It's music time in Ridgefield.
This week the Ridgefield Playhouse will host five concerts. The concerts cover a wide musical spectrum and include performances by a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a legendary reggae band, a New Orleans jazz group, an acclaimed blues band and a beloved '90s alternative rock group.
First on Friday, May 18, the Wood Brothers will perform at 8 p.m. This sibling-led group plays a hybrid form of the blues that mixes in elements of folk music. The group's latest album is "The Smoke Ring Halo." Tickets to the Wood Brothers show are $37.
On Saturday, May 19, at 8 p.m., Ronnie Spector will bring her "Beyond the Beehive" tour to the playhouse. Spector earned her spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with hits such as "Be My Baby" and "Baby I Love You." The show features Spector's powerful vocals, which first propelled her to fame in the 1960s. Tickets are $37.
The playhouse will close out the weekend on Sunday, May 20, by playing host to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which performs feel-good New Orleans style jazz. The group's music was first heard some 50 years ago in New Orleans when Alan Jaffe -- uncle to playhouse Executive Director Allison Stockel -- started playing with the band; it soon became one of the most famous jazz groups in New Orleans.
The band's name comes from the venerable venue, Preservation Hall, located in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter. The group's mission is to spread the sound of jazz and Dixieland far and wide. To that end, it has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and for British royalty and the king of Thailand. Tickets are $45 and $50.
On Tuesday, May 22, at 8 p.m., the playhouse will host a concert by Collective Soul. The 1990s super group will be performing its album "Dosage" in its entirety and playing its hits, "Shine," "December," "Where The River Flows" and "The World I Know." Tickets are $75.
The eventful week at the playhouse will draw to a close Thursday, May 24, with an 8 p.m. performance by legendary reggae group The Wailers. The Wailers was formed by the remaining original members of Bob Marley & The Wailers following the death of Marley in 1981. Together with Marley, The Wailers has sold in excess of 250 million albums.
Beyond the group's groundbreaking work with Marley, The Wailers has collaborated with Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder and Carlos Santana, as well as reggae legends Peter Tosh, and Burning Spear. The group's most recent collaborations include ones with Kenny Chesney, Eve, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. Tickets are $50.
At 80 E. Ridge, Ridgefield. 203-438-5795, www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org.
catch the prowlers
Taking inspiration from some of the greatest, The Prowlers get down and serious about playing music. Whether churning out current material, beats from the '80s, a streak of soul tunes, or belting out classic rock, this Danbury-based band strives to get people happy and relaxed -- and dancing.
The band will show what it's made of Saturday, May 19, at Widow Brown's in Danbury. Show time is 10 p.m.
This seven-member group formed just under a year ago. It features bass, rhythm and lead guitars, drums and keyboards. Several members share vocal duties, including two female singers. The level of experience and dedication to doing great music justice is what drives the band. Having a keen ear for precision in their instrumentation, The Prowlers also like to keep a creative approach, and have the talent and dexterity to improvise.
The Prowlers cover roughly 75 different artists, including Stevie Wonder, Blondie and ZZ Top, just to name a few. They take on music that some other groups shy away from and songs that challenge them.
With regular practice every week, open communication between members, and a mutual decision to avoid drama, this band stands out as professional, but with a definite edge.
A busy summer and fall are shaping up for The Prowlers, and they are looking forward to the Brookfield Concert Series, where they will be playing locally again in July.
If you want to catch The Prowlers at Widow Brown's, don't forget to bring your boogie shoes.
International Chamber Soloists, a small orchestra founded in 2004 by violinist Dmitri Berlinsky, will perform on Saturday, May 19, at 8 p.m. at Ives Concert Hall on the midtown campus of Western Connecticut State University. The performance is the last in the Danbury Concert Association's 2011/12 season and is co-hosted by Western Connecticut State University's music department.
International Chamber Soloists' first Danbury appearance will feature works by Mendelssohn, Bach, and Tchaikovsky and include a violin solo by Berlinsky.
At 181 White St., Danbury. $15. 203-748-0522 www.danbury.org/concert.
BIG BAND CONCERT
The Danbury Music Centre will host an evening of big band music at the Danbury Senior Center Saturday, May 19, at 8 p.m. The concert will feature classic dance music from the likes of Basie, Ellington, Dorsey and more. Veterans may reserve two free tickets (one for them and one for a guest) thanks to funding from Precision Computer services.
At 10 Elmwood Place, Danbury. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. 203-748-1716, www.danbury.org/MusicCtr.
SINGER SONGWRITER NIGHT
Fast Eddie's Billiards Cafe in New Milford will host a songwriter showcase Friday night,May 18, at 9 p.m. The event features the talents of Don Lowe, Chris Ellis, Mark Miller, Mike Latini and Michel Rae Driscoll.
At 46 Old State Road, New Milford. No cover. 860-350-8569, www.fasteddies.com.
jazz on tap
Manual Transmission, a jazz group, will perform at Pizzeria Lauretano in Bethel on Sunday, May 20, at 6 p.m.. Formed in 2011, this is a dynamic young organ quartet. It features guitarist Shane Peters, Martin Sather on tenor saxophone, Alex Smith on the organ, and drummer Kyle Rowland. Manual Transmission performs standards and original material.
At 291 Greenwood Ave., Bethel. 203-792-1500.
Chip Zellner's Berkshire Big Band will perform popular American Songbook favorites, plus something new outdoors at the Richter Arts Center Sunday, May 20, at 3 p.m. Dancing and picnicking on the lawn is encouraged. No charge, but donations are welcome.
At 100 Aunt Hack Road, Danbury. 203-744-5144, www.danbury.org/richter.
fun for the family
"The Very Best of First Night" will be presented at The Palace Danbury Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m. This fundraiser is all about magic, music, comedy, juggling and family fun. All proceeds will benefit First Night Danbury. Tickets are $17.50 for adults, $10 for kids under 12, $50 for families.
At The Palace, 165 Main St., Danbury. 203-792-1711, www.citycenterdanbury.com.
"I Hear America Singing," the spring concert of the Connecticut Master Chorale, will be presented at 8 p.m. at St. Rose of Lima Church, Saturday, May 19 -- Armed Forces Day. The concert is dedicated to the brave men and women who have served our country; it features works about America and by American composers. The Connecticut Master Chorale Orchestra will provide accompaniment.
At 46 Church Hill Road, Newtown. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. 203-743-0473, www.cmchorale.org.
On Friday, May 18, at 6 p.m., the Station House Songwriters Circle will meet at The New Station House in Redding.
At 3 Side Cut Road, Redding. 203-664-1577.
Want your show to be considered for Backstage Pass? Are you a local artist who wants to be profiled? Send an email with all pertinent information about the band and the gig to Erik Ofgang at least two weeks before the show. Send it to email@example.com for consideration.