This Week in New Haven (July 15 – 21)

Y ou’ve got to love the libraries. They are your salvation during this time of year, when many other city institutions are on vacation or have scaled down their activities. At New Haven’s main Ives library on Elm Street or at its branch libraries around the city, you can find everything from a dance class to a traveler’s firsthand account of Panama to a game of chess while a live pianist plays sweet classical music in the background.

Oh, and there are books there too!

Monday, July 15
Teen dancer Chloe Fletcher leads kids aged 7 to 10 in a class on the fundamentals of ballet. “Ballet with Chloe” spins from 4 to 5 p.m. at Fair Haven Branch Library, 182 Grand Avenue, New Haven. (203) 946-8115.

The latest debate among the five people still running for mayor of New Haven centers around the arts. The Mayoral Candidate Forum on the Arts is presented by the Arts Industry Coalition, and is held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the arts-magnet Co-op High School (177 College Street, New Haven; 203-772-2788).

Tuesday, July 16
Enjoy some youthful indiscretions when Yung Life, from Knoxville, Tennessee, plays Cafe Nine (250 State Street, New Haven; 203-789-8281) with New Haven’s own Ports of Spain. Yung Life’s members may be young, but their jaunty new-wave-ish pop sounds like it’s straight out of the ’80s and has even been released on vinyl and cassette. 8 p.m. $5.

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Wednesday, July 17
Victoria Navin has been to Panama. She describes the country and its magnificent canal in “Visions of Panama,” an illustrated talk at 6 p.m. at the main branch of the New Haven Free Public Library. 133 Elm Street, New Haven. (203) 946-8835.

Tonight’s installment of the “Grill ’n Chill” summer music series at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven (360 Amity Road, Woodbridge; 203-387-2522) offers Kosher barbeque available for purchase plus showtunes sung by Rich Moran, Judy Webber and Jeff Webber. 5 to 8 p.m. BYOB; just make sure it’s Kosher.

Los Angeles pop duo Kisses (pictured above), the summery girl group La Luz and the Connecticut-based sister act Verdigrls provide the free indie rock at BAR tonight (254 Crown Street, New Haven; 203-495-1111). 9 p.m.

Thursday, July 18
A lot of libraries have chess clubs. Today at 4:30 p.m., Wilson Branch Library offers live piano accompaniment from a guy named Leonardo. (203) 946-6541.

The electronic dance-music duo The Manhattan Project knows how to keep a big room happy. The act makes the Spaceland Ballroom throb tonight. Before that, The Hornitz, a couple of horn players from the Boston area, performs its multi-pronged act involving live playing, beatboxing and looping. Dirty Bunny starts things off sometime after the doors open at 7 p.m. $10.

Friday, July 19
The Five Satins are a part of New Haven history. Group founder Fred Parris and the latest incarnation of the group, which originally formed here in 1954 and recorded their biggest hit, “In the Still of the Night,” in the basement of St. Bernadette’s Church, will perform as Fred Parris & The Five Satins while headlining a big doo-wop show at 7:30 p.m. in Hamden’s Town Center Park (2761 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden; 203-287-2546). The concert also features the Charley Thomas version of The Drifters.

From doo-wop to the Dead and indie rock: Toad’s Place (300 York Street, New Haven; 203-624-TOAD) has two shows tonight. While the well-regarded Grateful Dead tribute band Shakedown, which has also developed some material of its own over the years, holds forth in the main Toad’s hall (with Relative Souls and Full Spectrum also on the bill), Blake Shwarzenbach from the bands Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil is in the club’s upstairs Lilly’s Pad (with opening acts Wolves at Bay and New Year’s Revolution), making good on his postponed June 28 gig. Both shows start at 8:30 p.m. Tickets to see Schwarzenbach are $10; Shakedown shakes you down for $12, or $8.50 in advance. Both shows start at 8:30 p.m.

…and the music grooves on, to modern jazz with live samplings and nimble bass-playing from composer Carl Testa at Firehouse 12 (45 Crown Street, New Haven). It’s an album release concert presented by the Uncertainty Music Series in which the audience is seated within a “special quadraphonic speaker setup.” 8:30 p.m. $10.

Saturday, July 20
At DaSilva Gallery (897 Whalley Avenue, New Haven; 203-387-2539), there’s a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. for a display of drawings and paintings by Isabelle Sanchez. She says her work explores “questions of identity on a personal level (one’s relationship with one’s own body) and on a public level (the externally imposed conventions of, say, advertising).”

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra plays live on New Haven Green at 7 p.m. It’s a night of “Dueling Divas,” a.k.a. soprano Jamilyn Manning-White and mezzo-soprano Toby Newman, singing selections from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni and Bizet’s Carmen, among other classics. There’s a 6 p.m. concert by the Mariachi Academy of Connecticut on the Green prior to the NHSO show.

Sunday, July 21
New Haven Museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of every month—and for free, yet! Today you can check out the new exhibit about Wooster Square. 114 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. (203) 562-4183.

There’s an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. for an exhibit of watercolors, oils and sculptures by the eclectic artist Martin Glaberson at Kehler Liddell Gallery (873 Whalley Avenue, New Haven; 203-389-9555). The show’s up through August 3.

Jake Joyce McCoy, a self-described “rock-and/or-roller without a band,” performs tonight at Stella Blues (204 Crown Street, New Haven; 203-752-9764; call ahead to confirm timing and cover charge, if any). His new album is called The Vagabond Directory By Heart.

Written by Christopher Arnott.

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Christopher Arnott has written about arts and culture in Connecticut for over 25 years. His journalism has won local, regional and national awards, and he has been honored with an Arts Award from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. He posts daily at his own sites and New Haven Theater Jerk (

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