Baroque music. Chamber music. Jam bands. Ballet. Jazz. A big student theater festival at the Yale School of Drama. But this week is mostly about visual art—from Vietnamese photographer Hien Duc Tran to a fascinating forced-collaboration concept at Artspace to the wide-ranging Westville Village Artwalk. Look around you.
Monday, May 5
Baroque in Two
The Yale Baroque Ensemble, the ensemble-in-residence at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, plays chamber music by Telemann, Bach, Vivaldi, Handel and Geminiani 8 p.m. at the university’s Morse Recital Hall (in Sprague Hall, corner of College and Wall streets). Free. The selfsame Yale Baroque Ensemble performs again this Thursday, 5:30 p.m. May 8 at their homebase (Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, 15 Hillhouse Ave.). That time, it’ll be Vivaldi, Handel and Biber. (203) 432-4158.
Firehouse 12, which tends to book live shows on Fridays, has a rare Monday event this week: The Spark, with Ethan Schneider on drums, Hans Bilger on bass, Julian Reid on piano and Tina Colon on vocals. The jazz/soul act grew out of Reid’s earlier bands Judopegroup and the Julian Reid Quartet. 8:30 p.m. $13. 45 Crown St. (203) 785-0468.
Tuesday, May 6
Take a moment to donate to your favorite local non-profits today. The Great Give 2014, which begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Wednesday night, makes it easy for you to contribute to worthy causes (including many arts groups), while also making them eligible for matching grants and other incentives from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
New Haven Preservation Trust is bestowing its 2014 “Preservation Awards” today at noon in City Hall (165 Church St., 2nd floor), honoring “exemplary acts of leadership in historic preservation” which “celebrate the people and places crucial to our city’s vitality.”
Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White
The Standells recorded the garage rock classic “Dirty Water” in 1962, and it has been beloved in the bar-band netherworld ever since. Countless sports fans embraced the wailing tune (set in the “frustrated women” college culture along the Charles River) when it became a Red Sox home-victory anthem. A book, Love That Dirty Water by Chuck Burgess, was written in 2007 about the phenomenal life of the song. The Standells still tour, with two original members (vocalist/keyboardist Larry Tamblyn and bassist John Fleckenstein) in the line-up. They’re at Café Nine (250 State St.) tonight, with local garage aesthetes Bronson Rock (featuring Buzz Gordo) opening the 8 p.m. show. $18.
Wednesday, May 7
In the Chambers
Two chamber concerts today at Yale’s Morse Recital Hall (inside Sprague Hall, 470 College St.; 203-432-4158): A Lunchtime Chamber Music shindig at 12:30 p.m. and the latest Guitar Chamber Concert led by Benjamin Verdery (featuring compositions by Bach, Strozzi, Brahms, Schumann, Bellinati, Tadic, Eespere, Piazzolla and others) at 8 p.m. Both shows are free.
Thursday, May 8
With the end of the school year just, well, six weeks away, there’s a student show bonanza. The theater department of the Educational Center for the Arts is presenting several one-act plays 7 p.m. tonight and Friday in the school’s auditorium (55 Audubon St., 203-777-5451). Meanwhile, students from New Haven Ballet dance in that school’s 29th Annual Spring Performance, tonight through Saturday in the performance space at Co-op High School (177 College St.; 203-562-5666). The ballet has 8 p.m. shows on Thursday and Friday and three shows on Saturday, at 11 a.m., 1:30 & 4 p.m.
The first of three “Jammin’ Thursdays” shows is tonight at Toad’s Place (300 York St.; 203-624-TOAD). The sprawling solos emanate from All Good, The Before, Breakfast on Neptune, Indigroove and ZWS. 7:30 p.m. $10.
Friday, May 9
Walk Your Art Off
The annual Westville Village Artwalk has its “kick-off events” tonight and a full day of stuff tomorrow. Visual art is at the center of everything, with receptions at all the galleries, an “artisans and artists market” Saturday at the corner of Central Ave. and Fountain St., and public art displays throughout the neighborhood. There’s even a silent auction of Converse brand Chuck Taylor sneakers, “reimagined” as art objects by local artists. But Westville Village Artwalk also offers music concerts (by Sound Affect, Wess Meets West, Jose Oyola & The Astronauts, Edgewood Jazz Band, Elison Jackson, Violent Mae, Little Ugly, Jacket Thor, Hand, Bill Fischer Drum Circle, Benny Loco, DJ- Dooley-oh, The Levins, Lady Blaze + Jumpin Joe and Harmony in Action), information booths for dozens of non-profits (from Schooner Inc. to Squash Haven to Elm City Cycling to New Haven Reads), specials at eateries in the area, and lots for kids to do. Everyone from the Mitchell branch library to mobile food carts and vintage-clothing vans are involved.
The Yale School of Drama unveils full productions of full-length works by three playwrights who are poised to graduate from the school’s playwriting program. It’s called the Carlotta Festival of New American Plays and it’s been happening for nearly a decade, as part of the School of Drama’s wholescale encouragement of new drama. Each of the three shows (which can be as elaborately staged as anything found at any Yale theater space, and are likely to feature talents you’ll be recognizing on major stages in years to come) get four performances over the next week. Tonight at 8 p.m. is the premiere of Hansol Jung’s Cardboard Piano, set in “Northeastern Africa on the eve of the millennium.” Tomorrow at 8 p.m. is the first performance of Bird Fire Fly by Mary Laws which “examines the transformation of fear into violence, the perpetuation of oppression and the fight to be free.” Sunday at 8 p.m. marks the opening of THUNDERBODIES, an upper-case “comedy of no manners” by Kate Tarker. For a full schedule of other performances (all of which take place at the Iseman Theater, 1156 Chapel St.), go here.
Remember the interactive outdoor dance shows happening downtown last week? The expanded indoor version of that same Elm City Dance Collective creation, Almost Porcelain, has three performances this weekend in Yale’s Off Broadway Theater space (41 Broadway, actually found behind Toad’s Place on the path found halfway down York Street between Broadway and Grove). Kellie Ann Lynch directed and choreographed the show, which likens dancers to fine art sculptures and can be viewed tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Saturday, May 10
One If By Land
Historian Walter Borneman, author of The Admirals, signs his new book American Spring: Lexington, Concord and the Road to Revolution, 2 p.m. at the Yale Barnes & Noble Bookstore (77 Broadway; 203-777-8440).
Westville doesn’t have all the art collaborations this weekend. Downtown at Artspace (50 Orange St.), the Forced Collaboration II exhibit allows a dozen artists to modify artworks by other artists, while letting their own works be… improved? defaced? The artists being matched up are deliberately different in style and temperament, and don’t know each other. The concept is that collaboration isn’t always easy. Each artist (that’s Chris Bors, Daniel Bozhkov, Ilana Harris-Babou, Kerry Cox, Oliver Herring, David Humphrey, Bridget Mullen, Mariah Robertson, Mandolyn Wilson Rosen, Jen Schwarting, Mark Starling, J.R. Uretsky) is keeping a blog documenting their emotions during this fraught process, which will display the original against their changed selves.
Voyage of Sinbad
Southern Connecticut State University is a funny place to be this weekend. Jay Leno’s giving the “Mary and Louis Fusco Distinguished Lecture” there on Friday, though tickets to Leno’s appearance have been sold out since it was first announced. Tonight, however, SCSU welcomes Sinbad, the reliable stand-up comedian whose non-comic exploits have included questioning Hillary Clinton’s memory when she recalled visiting Bosnia under a burst of sniper fire. (Sinbad was on that same 1996 trip. Go figure.) Sinbad performs 8 p.m. at Lyman Center (501 Crescent St., 203-392-6154). $35.
Photographer Hien Duc Tran, whose art chronicles the Vietnamese communities he’d lived in, joins the Democracy Forum 3 p.m. at New Haven Free Public Library (the Ives one, 133 Elm St.) for “A Vietnamese-American Perspective.”
Sunday, May 11
The Artistic Family
The monthly Family Program at Yale Art Gallery (1111 Chapel St.; 203-432-0600) uses artworks in the museum to inspire storytelling and other activities for kids. Meet 1 p.m. in the museum lobby. Free.
There are four Neighborhood Music School ensembles which you have to audition to get into. They all play this afternoon at Yale’s Battell Chapel (400 College St.): the Concert Orchestra and Concert Band at 2 p.m., then the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Youth Orchestra at 4 p.m. $10, $5 seniors & children.
Modern jazz trumpeter Nick DiMaria leads his combo at Stella Blues (204 Crown St., 203-752-9764). DiMaria digs Miles Davis and Eddie Henderson. He released an album last year, recorded live at the Outer Space. He seems at home playing in small clubs.