Click here for an updated concert calendar for July and August 2011.
As always, weekly events are listed at the bottom of the page, after the last of the daily listings: scroll down and you’ll find them. If you didn’t see anything that struck you as fun this time around, check back later because we update this obsessively.
A few things you should know about this calendar: acts are listed here in order of appearance, NOT headliner first and supporting acts after; showtimes listed here are actual set times, not the time doors open. If a listing here says something like ”9 PM-ish,” chances are it’ll run late. Cover charges are those listed on bands’ and venues’ sites: always best to click on the band link provided or go to the venues page for confirmation since we get much of this info weeks in advance. This is not a list of every band playing every club in NYC; this is a list of good shows, many of which we will go see ourselves. We focus on edgy, entertaining stuff: if you’re looking for Lady Gag or Fleet Foxes, you’re in the wrong place. We try to be descriptive rather than using all kinds of superlative adjectives.
6/1, 7:30 PM adventurous pianist Alexandra Joan winds up her entertainingly counterintuitive Kaleidoscope Series with a program of original material and improvisations featuring jazz guitarist Peter Mazza, Thomson Kneeland on bass and Timothy Hayward on sax at WMP Concert Hall, 31 W 28th St., $25
6/1, 7:30 PM dark incisive classical composer/pianist Fernando Otero and cellist Inbal Segev play Bach, Kodály, and Otero at le Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec.
6/1, 8 PM delightfully fun, quirky, counterintuitive all-female indie pop band the Walking Hellos at Fontana’s.
6/1, 10 PM, intense frontwoman Wendy Griffiths and her powerfully tuneful 80s punk/new wave influenced Changing Modes – who recorded our pick for best song of 2010 – at Sullivan Hall, $10.
6/1 midnight-ish big sprawling funk band Turkuaz at Southpaw, $5.
6/2, noon, George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn, free.
6/2, half past noon Klezmatics violin powerhouse Alicia Svigals’ Klezmer Fiddle Express at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave./10th St.
6/2, 2:30 PM acoustic guitarist Don DeMarco plays instruments similar to those in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection in their musical instruments section, free w/museum adm
6/2, 7 PM fiery noir cabaret songwriter Sabrina Chap at Banjo Jim’s followed eventually at 9 with the psychedelic folk of the Peaceniks feat. Moogy Klingman and Patti Rothberg at Banjo Jim’s.
6/2, 7 PM gorgeously lyrical jazz quintet the Flail at the Fat Cat. They’re also at Smalls at 9:30 on 6/16.
6/2, 8 PM smartly multistylistic retro keyboardist/singer and Jack White collaborator Rachelle Garniez (whose most recent album we rated best of the year) at Barbes.
6/2, 8 PM legendary, brilliant first-wave Irish punk rockers Stiff Little Fingers make their Brooklyn debut at Europa, $20. They’re at the Gramercy Theatre the following night for an extra $13 – that’s how much Live Nation is ripping you off for this one.
6/2, 8 PM the Da Capo Chamber Players’ 40th anniversary concert at Merkin Concert Hall feat. Pierrot lunaire, OP. 21 by Arnold Schoenberg, with guest soprano, Lucy Shelton; the world premiere performance of Gravity by George Tsontakis (written for the 40th anniversary of Da Capo); the New York premiere of Midnight Rounds by Keith Fitch (written for the 40th anniversary of Da Capo); Tres Lent as well as And…They’re Off! by Joan Tower (who was the ensemble’s founding pianist), $20 adv tix very highly rec., this should sell out.
6/2, 8 PM the New Amsterdam Symphony plays Bizet’s Carmen Suite, Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite and Brahms’ Symphony #2 at Symphony Space, $20
6/2, 8:30 PM trombonist Samuel Blaser leads a quartet with Russ Lossing, piano; Eivind Opsvik, bass; Paul Motian, drums; Samuel Blaser, trombone playing the cd release show for his latest one at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15
6/2, 8:30 PM new music ensemble Sybarite5 play the Lincoln Center Atrium at 65th/Bwy, letting their ipod shuffle choose the pieces they’ll be performing, early arrival advised.
6/2, 9 PM Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative at Zebulon. The legendary filmmaker also writes absolutely hilarious, subtly provocative, socially aware songs that skewer all kinds of stereotypes. He’s backed by a killer funk band comprised of members of Burnt Sugar.
6/2, 10 PM atmospheric, pensive rock anthems with Hurricane Bells feat. Steve Schiltz (ex-Longwave and Scout) at Culturefix on Clinton St.
6/2 powerpop/psychedelic guitar monsters Devi at Arlene’s, 11 PM recording a live album! Get your screams on vinyl!
6/2, midnight, dark female-fronted soul band MotherMoon at Spike Hill.
6/3, 7 PM ferocious, hilarious, theatrical, Beatlesque lyrical songwriter Walter Ego at Banjo Jim’s feat. some of NYC’s best guests (secret – we won’t give it away).
6/3, 7:30 PM the Prism Quartet plays world premieres by works by David Rakowski, Lisa Bielawa, Perry Goldstein, Matthew Levy, and Cara Haxo at Symphony Space, $20
6/3, 8 PM filmmakers Suki Hawley, Mike Galinsky and David Beilinson’s documentary the Battle for Brooklyn, which confronts the destructive effects of gentrification, notably the graft and fraud-ridden Atlantic Yards arena and parking-lot project where private property was illegally seized by a real estate swindler through an eniment domain claim. At the Brooklyn Heights Cinema; also screening 6/9 at 9 PM at Myrtle Avenue Hill in Ft. Greene Park, free; and on 6/11, 8 PM at Indie Screen, 285 Kent Ave., Williamsburg. A weeklong run begins on 6/17 at Cinema Village in Manhattan.
6/3, 8 PM grease up your pompadours: Smokey Hormel’s western swing band, retro rock chanteuse Eilen Jewel and Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys at the Bell House, $12 adv tix rec.
6/3, 9 PM Caithlin De Marrais – one of the most unselfconsciously riveting singers in any style of music – sings her plaintive, tersely compelling songs at Pete’s
6/3, 9/10:30 PM Ingrid Laubrock, tenor sax; Ralph Alessi, trumpet; Kris Davis, piano; Tom Rainey, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.
6/3, 10 PM the funniest oldschool country band around, the Jack Grace Band at Rodeo Bar. They’re also at Barbes on 6/10 at 10.
6/3, 10:30ish eclectic Afrobeat/funk band Mamarazzi – whose new album is excellent – at Zebulon
6/3, 10:30 PM organist Jared Gold and trombonist Dave Gibson lead a quintet at the Fat Cat
6/3 ferocious Nashville gothic rockers Ninth House play Sathony in Astoria, 11 PM.
6/3 wry, literate Nashville gothic with Maynard & the Mustiesat Lakeside, 11 PM.
6/3, 11 PM wild intense original bluegrass band Thy Burden at Spike Hill.
6/3, 11 PM horn-driven funk band the Kickdown at Bowery Poetry Club, $10
6/3, 11:30 PM ecstatic Brazilian funk/reggae/maracatu band Dende & Hahahaes at Joe’s Pub $12.
6/4, 3:30 PM charismatic, literate NYC noir rock legend LJ Murphy at the Howl Festival, Tompkins Square Park; on 6/8 he’s at Bar 82 with his trio at 9.
6/4 Blitz the Ambassador at the Brooklyn Museum, free w/museum adm.
6/4, 6:30 PM intriguing dark 80 style dreampop band Teletextile at Ft. Useless in Bushwick
6/4, 6:30 PM, free, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble play Gershwin: Lullaby for Strings; Barber:Adagio for Strings; Dvorak: String Quartet No. 12, “American” at Flushing Town Hall, tix req., early arrival advised.
6/4, 7 PM Nashville gothic goddess – and indie film star – Lorraine Leckie at Banjo Jim’s
6/4 a blast from the past – legendary oldschool Williamsburg punk/indie rockers FF (which stands for Fat Fuck) at Lakeside, 7 PM.
6/4, 7 PM powerhouse blues guitarist Bobby Radcliff – the rare guy who plays a lot of notes but doesn’t waste any – at Terra Blues.
6/4, 8 PM oldschool rocksteady with the Forthrights, kick-ass third generation ska with the Scofflaws and early 80s British band Bad Manners for those who like their ska on the pop side, $15 at the downstairs studio space at Webster Hall
6/4, 8 PM Bamba Sacko play African roots reggae at Shrine followed at 10 by the reggae/rocksteady of Finotee.
6/4, 8 PM the Moonlighters’ wickedly smart, torchy Bliss Blood plus Jim Fryer on trombone at Rest Au Rant, 30-01 35th Avenue (corner of 30th St.) in Long Island City
6/4, 8 PM the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma at NJPAC in Newark, $25 seats avail.
6/4, 8 PM bossa jazz siren Sasha Dobson’s country band Chola followed by Banda Sinaloense de los Muertos at Barbes. Chola are also here Mondays in June at 8 PM starting on the 13th.
6/4, 8 PM witty jazz guitar star Matt Munisteri at the Jalopy, $10.
6/4, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie’s monthly surf rock extravaganza with Connecticut’s surprisingly agile Clams, high-intensity Reverb Galaxy, the diverse, country-tinged Matt Rae Trio and the Octomen (excellent fiery surf trio) at midnight-ish.
6/4 intense gypsy punks Bad Buka at Mehanata, 9 PM
6/4, 9/10:30 PM drummer Ralph Peterson’s brilliant B3 band the Unity Project plays the cd release show for their spectacularly good new one with Pat Bianchi, organ; Josh Evan, trumpet; Wayne Escoffery, tenor sax at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15.
6/4, 10 PM, 90s Detroit rock cult figures the Dirtbombs at the Bell House, $20
6/4, 10 PM cowpunk with the Nightmare River Band at Spike Hill.
6/4, 11 PM eclectic Selegalese flavored roots reggae with Meta & the Cornerstones at the 92YTribeca, $12 adv tix rec.
6/5, repeating on 6/ 12, and 6/19 the NY Scandia Symphony at the Billings Lawn in Ft. Tryon Park uptown, 2 PM. This extraordinary and clever ensemble plays a Frank Foerster piece called Summer in Ft. Tryon Park which has to be heard to be appreciated, along with works by numerous brilliant obscure Scandinavian composers.
6/5, 3 PM harpsichordist Elaine Comparone and The Queen’s Chamber Band play world premieres by Michael Cohen, Stephen Kemp, Elodie Lauten, David J. MacDonald & Eugene W. McBride at St. Mark’s Church, 10th St./2nd Ave., $25.
6/5, 6 PM B3 groove organist Ehud Asherie’s No Bass Hit Trio ft. Harry Allen & Chuck Riggs at the Fat Cat
6/5, 7:30 PM trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet w/ Angelica Sanchez (piano), John Lindberg (bass) and Pheeroan akLaff (drums) at le Poisson Rouge, adv tix $15 rec.
6/5, 8 PM deviously fun new music duo Anti-Depressant (violinist Jennifer Choi and pianist Kathy Supove) play Galapagos, $15/$10 stud.
6/5, 8 PM slinky low-register retro Cuban band Gato Loco – with baritone guitar, baritone sax, tuba and bass – at Bowery Poetry Club
6/5, 8 PM tuneful Americana harmony band the Bowmans at the small room at the Rockwood
6/5, 8 PM composer Eve Beglarian and her new band Brim at Galapagos, $15.
6/5, 8:30 PM bassist Petros Klampanis plays the cd release show for his eclectic new one with a scary-good lineup feat. Megan Gould , violin; Heather Paauwe, violin; Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin, viola; Yoed Nir, cello; Gilad Hekselman, guitar; Magda Giannikou, guest vocalist at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.
6/5, 9 PM gypsy pop band Occidental Gypsy – “Found somewhere on the music tree between John Pizzarelli and Caravan Palace” – at the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd St.
6/5 hilarious, diverse satirical cowpunk rockers Uncle Leon & the Alibis at Rodeo Bar 10ish
6/6, 6:30 PM an interfaith 9/11 commemorative concert at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown with pianist Simone Dinnerstein playing Bach’s English Suite as well as two of his Chorale Preludes – BWV 639 and 147, free but rsvp reqd
6/6, 7:30/9:30 PM Orrin Evans & the Captain Black Big Band at Dizzy’s Club, $20, better reserve now, these guys sell out fast.
6/6 arguably the first-ever guitar jazz triplebill at the Mercury with the astonishingly smart, intense, original, bluesy Marvin Sewell at 8, Liberty Ellman at 9 and then Moroccan-inspired Dave Fiuczynski at 10, $15.
6/6, 8 PM stars of the NYC Balkan underground, trumpeter Ben Holmes and trio followed by at 9:30 by Chicha Libre at Barbes.
6/6, 9 PM the New Yorkestra big band at Tea Lounge in Park Slope
6/6-7 the Melvins at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $20 adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7 PM.
6/6, 9 PM the New Yorkestra big band at Tea Lounge in Park Slope
6/6, 9 PM at Otto’s a screening of the 1982 punk rock movie Ladies & Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains starring Diane Lane, Laura Dern, Paul Simonon, Steve Jones, Paul Cook and others from the era.
6/6, 10:30 PM Middle Eastern-tinged violist Dina Maccabee and her group at Pete’s
6/7, 6:30 PM, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival a must.
6/7, 6:30 PM the Tomsk Chamber Orchestra plays Tschaikovsky and Shostakovich at Symphony Space, $30
6/7, 7:30ish oldschool hip-hop with EPMD at Betsy Head Playground, Livonia Ave. & Strauss St., Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5 to Saratoga Ave.
6/7, 7:30 PM Rose of the Compass – recorder player Nina Stern, with Glen Velez, frame drum, and Ara Dinkjian, oud – play an intriguing set of music from the Mediterranean to the Balkans at the cd release show for their new one at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec.
6/7, 8 PM Carol Lipnik & Spookarama play the cd release show for their hypnotic, haunting new one M.O.T.H. at the big room at the Rockwood.
6/7, 8ish energetic lo-fi guitar/drums duo Eleanor followed by the Highway Gimps – the missing link between Motorhead and My Bloody Valentine – at Tammany Hall in the old Annex space on Orchard St., $5
6/7, 8 PM McCoy Tyner – who’s still got the most powerful left hand in jazz – leads a trio with Gary Bartz and Bill Frisell at Highline Ballroom, $35
6/8, 8 PM fiery literate steampunk songwriter Kelli Rae Powell at Southpaw.
6/8, 8 PM 60s soul legend Eric Burdon & the Animals at B.B. King’s, $35 adv tix a must.
6/8, 8 PM soulful, soaring country/rock siren Alana Amram & the Rough Gems at Bruar Falls, $6.
6/8, 9 PM Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns at Radegast Hall – if anybody can get all the douches to shut up and listen, this oldtimey New Orleans siren can.
6/8, 10 PM Sistermonk play their high energy gypsy funk at Shrine
6/8, 10ish tongue-in-cheek, period-perfect early 50s style country from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar.
6/8 Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy makes a rare small room appearance at midnight at the Delancey, $25, this will sell out fast, get adv tix at the club
6/9, half past noon the Arturo O’Farrill latin jazz group at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St.
6/9, 7:30 PM intense Balkan-influenced songwriter Alina Simone at Joe’s Pub $12.
6/9, 8 PM irrepressible, fun ska-pop band Across the Aisle at Otto’s
6/9, 9 PM dark compelling historically-fixated songwriter Elisa Flynn at the Way Station, 683 Washington Ave, Brooklyn (at Prospect Place; 2/3 to Grand Army Plaza).
6/9, 9:30 PM lush, atmospheric, socially aware, Radiohead-influenced rockers My Pet Dragon play the cd release show for their new one at the big room at the Rockwood.
6/9 Chicago blues guitar/piano legend Lucky Peterson at 10 PM at Terra Blues
6/9 Afrobeat crew Ikebe Shakedown’s cd release show, 10 PM at Southpaw, $10 gen adm.
6/9, 9 PM honkytonk hellraisers the Steamboat Disasters at Freddy’s
6/9, 10 PM Banda Magda play their cosmopolitan gypsy/Mediteranean/latin accordion-driven songs at Drom, $10 gen adm
6/9, 10ish the twangy, clever Trailer Radio at Rodeo Bar.
6/9, 10:30 PM careening Balkan brass intensity with Veveritse Brass Band at the Jalopy, $10
6/10-12 the global-themed Brooklyn Folk Festival is $20 per day; the best deal if you’re making a weekend out of it is the three-day $55 pass available at the Jalopy, who are hosting night one. Nights two and three are at BWAC, 49 Van Brunt St. in Red Hook. Too many awesome artists to list: Peter Stampfel, the Roulette Sisters, Elizabeth Butters, Uncle Monk, Black Sea Hotel, Radio Jarocho, the Newton Gang and many more, the complete lineup is here.
6/10, 7 PM smart twangy literate Americana rock with Chip Robinson at Lakeside.
6/10, 7:30 PM all-girl punk/no wave legends the Bush Tetras at le Poisson Rouge, $12 adv tix rec.
6/10, 8 PM assaultive hilarious Chinatown hip-hop pioneers the Notorious MSG’s cd release show at the Brooklyn Bowl, only $5.
6/10, 8 PM Koleurz play French African roots reggae at Shrine.
6/10 dreamy shoegaze soundscapes from Balun followed by the film NY Non-Fiction at Open Road Rooftop, 350 Grand St. at Essex, 8 PM, $10
6/10, 8 PM Lisle Atkinson & Neo Bass play bass arrangements of Ellington feat. guests pianists at Symphony Space, $25 adv tix rec.
6/10, 8 PM antique Americana harmony band Ollabelle (all original members) at City Winery, $20 standing room tix avail.
6/10, 8 PM terse oldschool Chicago blues guitarist Irving Louis Lattin at Lucille’s.
6/10, 9 PM sharp, tuneful, Aimee Mann-esque literate rockers Elizabeth & the Catapult at Bowery Ballroom, $15 gen adm.
6/10 Cuban reggaeton siren Telmary Diaz with a live band at BAM Cafe, 9:30 PM – early arrival advised, this will sell out.
6/10 Vietnamese psychedelic rock revivalists Dengue Fever, 10 PM at Highline Ballroom.
6/10 baritone country crooner/bandleader Dale Watson at Maxwell’s 10ish, $10 (note separate admission from earlier NRBQ concert).
6/10, 10 PM the Hard Times play reggae at Two Boots Brooklyn.
6/10 midnight the Peoples’ Champs play their psychedelic mix of funk and Afrobeat at the small room at the Rockwood
6/10, midnight, witty guitar star of a million bands Homeboy Steve Antonakos plays his own wry Americana stuff at Banjo Jim’s
6/10, midnight, clever fun retro 80s synth-disco duo Hank & Cupcakes at the Mercury, $10.
6/11 Jim Black’s AlasNoAxis and Josh Roseman & The King Froopy All Stars at Central Park Summerstage – be aware that they’re opening for a popular, lame jam band from the 90s and that you may not be able to get in unless you show up before 3.
6/11, 4:30 PM baritone Austin honkytonk crooner Dale Watson at Madison Square Park, free
6/11, 6 PM singer-songwriter satirists the Lascivious Biddies at the small room at the Rockwood.
6/11, 7 PM lyrical jazz pianist Mika Pohjola at Miles Cafe with his quartet, $20 includes a drink and “snacks”
6/11, 7:30/9:30 PM eclectic Middle Eastern-tinged jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman leads a trio at the Bar Next Door.
6/11, 8 PM oldtimey/Americana/indie band Dastardly – sort of very funny version of Mumford & Sons – at Pete’s. They’re at Spike Hill at 9 on 6/12.
6/11, 8 PM psychedelic steampunk/gypsy band the Wyld Old Souls’ cd release show at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec.
6/11, 8 PM Mississippi hill country blues guitar genius Will Scott (who’s got an excellent new album out) plays a NYC show at 68 Jay St. Bar to kick off his latest European tour.
6/11, 9 PM ecstatically fun, intense gypsy punk/metal cumbia/rock en Espanol band Escarioka – one of our favorites – at Mehanata
6/11, 9 PM Taj Weekes & Adowa – who are about the best thing happening in roots reggae right now – at the 92YTribeca, $14 gen adm.
6/11, 9/10:30 PM the cleverly lyrical John McNeil/Bill McHenry jazz group at Cornelia St. Cafe, $15
6/11, 10 PM oldtime country harmony hellraisers Those Darlins at Maxwell’s, $10.
6/11, 10 PM hellraising Irish band Jameson’s Revenge at Connolly’s
6/11 LES rockabilly/surf/punk legend Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Lakeside, 10:15ish.
6/11, 11 PM clever, funny faux-French garage rockers Les Sans Culottes at Freddy’s.
6/11 high-energy all-girl country harmony band Those Darlins, 11 PM at Maxwell’s.
6/11 we are not making this up – L’il Kim shares the stage with transvestite Amanda Lepore at gay bar Club 57, 311 W 57th St.(8th/9th Ave), $15 before midnight.
6/12 hellraising country harmony women Those Darlins at 2:45 PM followed by the intensely charismatic retro nuevo funkster Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears at 4:30 at Madison Square Park, free.
6/12, 3 PM a toy piano festival at Bargemusic feat. Phyllis Chen, Karlheinz Essl, Konrad Kaczmarek, John McDonald, Matthew Malsky and others, $25/$20 srs/$15 stud.
6/12 ska on the water: Royal City Riot and the Toasters play a concert cruise aboard the Jewel, leaving at 7 PM sharp from behind the heliport at 23rd & the FDR, $25 adv tix. available at the Highline Ballroom box office.
6/12, 7:30 PM cutting-edge string quartet Brooklyn Riderwith Silk Road Project shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki at the Schimmel Auditorium at Pace University downtown (Spruce St. between William/Nassau), 2 free tix per person available starting at 5 PM at the box office. Then Brooklyn Rider sprint up to Bleecker St. to le Poisson Rouge where they’re playing with Christina Courtin for $15 at 10:30.
6/12, 8 PM Syrian pop star Omar Souleyman at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $15 adv tix available at the Mercury til 7 PM weekdays
6/12, 8 PM alt-country pioneer and Flatlanders honcho Joe Ely at B.B. King’s, $25 adv tix rec.
6/12, 8:30-midnight PM Sousalves’ Songwriters from Hell at Banjo Jim’s featuring (in order) Maya Solovey, Katie Dixon, Kerry Davis, Sousalves, Alan Merrill, Benjamin Cartel and finally Liz Tormes headlining at half past eleven.
6/12, 8:30 PM trumpeter Sarah Wilson plays the cd release for her new one with Myra Melford, piano; Ben Goldberg, clarinet; Jerome Harris, bass; Matt Wilson, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.
6/12, 9 PM killer doublebill: torchy intense chanteuse April Smith & the Great Picture Show plus the phenomenally charismatic soul man/guitarist Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears at Maxwell’s, $18 adv tix highly rec., this will sell out.
6/12, 10 PM lyrical, dark Texas Americana rocker John Pinamonti at Sunny’s in Red Hook
6/12, 11:30 PM innovative new big band jazz with Ensemble Denada at Drom, $15 gen adm.
6/13, 6:30 PM an interfaith 9/11 commemorative concert at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown with Bach’s Sonata #2 in D Major for Harpsichord and Cello performed by harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper and cellist Fred Zlotkin, free but rsvp reqd.
6/13, 8:30 PM pianist Melody Fader leads a string trio playing Beethoven, Berio, Chopin, Carter, and Dvorak’s Dumky Trio at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.
6/13, 9 PM the Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra – one of the world’s most interesting – makes a rare Brooklyn appearance at Tea Lounge in Park Slope. Don’t miss it if big band jazz is your thing
6/13, 10:30 PM Oran Etkin does his West African jazz thing followed by eclectic captivating Moroccan jazz/soul chanteuse Malika Zarra and her band at Joe’s Pub, $12
6/13 gypsy rocker Yula Beeri and the Extended Family at the big room at the Rockwood.
6/14, 6-9 PM the Museum Mile Festival features free admission at most every museum starting at 103rd St.
6/14, 7 PM fearless mostly female klezmer powerhouse Isle of Klezbos at the community garden at 520 E 12th (Ave. A/B); in case of rain, it’s at Bluestockings Bookstore on Allen St. just south of Stanton.
6/14, 8 PM witty, stinging lyrical tunesmith Marcellus Hall (of White Hassle) at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10
6/14, 8 PM the Sirius Quartet play world premieres by Mikael Karlsson and Fung Chern Hwei at the Gershwin Hotel, $10
6/14, 9:45 PM bluegrass with the Sleepy Hollow String Band at Caffe Vivaldi.
6/14 dark politically aware jazz/pan-Asian chanteuse/pianiast Jen Shyu at Korzo, 10 PM.
6/14, 10:20 PM ethereal dark art-rockers Elysian Fields play the cd release show for their new one at le Poisson Rouge, $15 gen adm.
6/15, 7 PM twangy, tuneful Texas-flavored alt-country band Two Cent Revival play. their cd release show at the Rockwood.
6/15, 7:30 PM adventurous new music quartet Cadillac Moon Ensemble plays Luciano Berio and others including two world premieres at Culturefix, 9 Clinton St., free
6/15 the Dictators’ ageless Andy Shernoff at 7 followed eventually by the soul/garage sounds of the Solid Set at 9 at Lakeside.
6/15, 7:30 PM smartly tuneful jazz pianist Art Hirahara solo at Smalls
6/15, 7:30 PM violinist Veronique Mathieu plays works by Csickso and Shepherd followed by fearless avant ensemble Lunatics at Large performing works by Raoul Pleskow, Frederick Tillis, Elizabeth Bell, Steven Gerber and Marilyn Bliss at Symphony Space, $11.
6/15, 8 PM endlessly surprising, astonishingly intense piano virtuoso Kathleen Supove plays Julia Wolfe – Compassion; Lainie Fefferman – Barnacles (NY premiere); Alvin Curran – Inner Cities (selections); Michael Gatonska – A Shaking of the Pumpkin; Frederic Rzewski – Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$25 stud.
6/15, 8 PM John Zorn plays a rare duo show with Tyshawn Sorey on drums at the Stone, their calendar doesn’t say it’s any more than $10. Could be a lot of fun. Get there early.
6/15, 9 PM New Orleans band the Grand Street Stompers play the cd release show for their new one at Radegast Hall.
6/16 the Northside Festival in Williamsburg kicks off – in reality what that means is that whatever bands all the Williamsburg clubs happened to have on their calendar this week are part of it. Last year’s was badly attended and didn’t have many good bands, pretty much what you’d expect in this part of town. There are a few choice shows including Beirut on 6/16 at 8:30 and Guided by Voices on 6/18 at 7 at McCarren Park, both of which are SOLD OUT but you might be able to get close enough to hear anyway.
6/15, 9:30ish the eclectic, funny, ferociously tuneful instrumental rockers TarantinosNYC at Otto’s.
6/15 a rare non-stadium show by edgy, lyrical powerpop siren Patti Rothberg at the Bitter End, of all places, 10 PM
6/16, half past noon baritone saxophonist Claire Daly leads a quartet at at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St.
6/16-19 James Farm (the new quartet with featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland) at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $35, res. very highly rec., this will sell out quickly.
6/16, 7:30 PM the highlight of the American Composers’ Association’s multiple nights at Symphony Space looks to be this one,with works by Christopher Shultis, Jody Rockmaker, Joyce Hope Suskind, Lewis Nielson, Barbara Jazwinski, and Glenn Stallcop. Performers include Esther Lamneck, clarinet, Falko Steinbach, piano, Martin Schuring, oboe, and Lynne Aspnes, harp, $11.
6/16, 7:30 PM violinist Emilie-Anne Gendron and pianist Yelena Grinberg play Liszt, Bartók, Kurtag, Schubert, Saint-Saëns at WMP Concert Hall, $25.
6/16 flutist Ransom Wilson’s new music ensemble Le Train Bleu at Galapagos, 7:30 PM, $15.
6/16-19, 7:30/9:30 PM Jamaican jazz/reggae piano legend Monty Alexander & the Harlem Kingston Express at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail. Note that the 6/15 show is sold out.
6/16, 8:30 PM Mamie Minch and Jolie Holland’s oldtimey supergroup Midnight Hours at the Jalopy, $10
6/16, 8:30 PM eclectic electric guitar powerhouse Joel Harrison leads a quartet with Anupam Shobhakar, sarod; Stephan Crump, bass; Satoshi Takeishi, percussion at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10
6/16 Esquela – the new Americana rock project from the Yayhoos’ Keith Christopher with powerhouse singer Rebecca Frame – at Lakeside, 9 PM.
6/16, 9 PM Garth Stevenson – who creates songs live from loops using his bass and a pedal – followed by intricate “American mystic music” acoustic guitarist John Shannon at the 92YTribeca, $10 gen adm.
6/16 electric bluegrass/country/rock guitar/mandolin monsters Demolition String Band at Rodeo Bar, 10ish.
6/16 dark lyrical songwriter Daniel Bernstein & the Everybody Knows at Fontana’s, 10 PM.
6/17 the third annual Istanbulive Turkish music festival at Central Park Summerstage features iconic songwriter/freedom fighter/filmmaker Zulfu Livaneli (sort of the Turkish Bob Dylan), early arrival, i.e. 3 PM at the latest, highly advised.
6/17, 7 PM the Shannon Baker/Erica Seguine Jazz Orchestra at Miles Cafe, $20 includes a drink and “snacks”
6/17, 8 PM keyboardist Kate Mattison’s sultry downtempo soul/pop band Mattison opens for Kathryn Calder of the New Pornographers at Rock Shop in Gowanus, $10
6/17, 9/10:30 PM dark 80s-style goth/pop pianist/singer Kristin Hoffmann.at Caffe Vivaldi.
6/17 wickedly tuneful, fearless, funny, socially aware all-girl janglerock/folk band Left on Red play Bar 82 at 10
6/17 surf music classics and obscuities with the Boss Guitars at Lakeside, 11 PM.
6/18, 7 PM charismatic, literate NYC noir rock legend LJ Murphy at Banjo Jim’s.
6/18, 7 PM Metal Mountains (Helen Rush and Samara Lubelski’s ethereal project) followed by Thurston Moore’s Whiteout and then legendary 1960s psychedelic garage band Bardo Pond, no idea how many original members are left, at le Poisson Rouge, $10 gen adm.
6/18, 7:30 PM tuneful death-obsessed indie pop pianist/songwriter Jeremy Messersmith at the Mercury, $10.
6/18, 7:30 PM salsa dura doublebill: La Excelencia and the Larry Harlow Latin Legends Big Band at Prospect Park Bandshell.
6/18 the highlight of the Northside Festival is at Trash Bar starting at 8 with the Highway Gimps, the Viennagram at 9, Gunfight at 10, the Brooklyn What – NYC’s most intense, funny, socially aware rockers, and the Shapes (the Texas psychedelic pop band?) at midnight.
6/18, 8 PM for all you percussion fans: imagine tarantella sorceress Alessandra Belloni and Bahian groove monster Dende on the same stage. It’s gonna happen – wow. A summer solstice show with John LaBarbera on guitar and Steve Gorn on reeds, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, $25
6/18, 8 PM trumpeter Nate Wooley does double duty: first, premiering Atemwende” by Yugoslavian composer Bojan Vuleticwith the Mivos string quartet, then in a duo cd release performance with fellow trumpeter Peter Evans at Issue Project Room, free.
6/18, 8 PM Irish acoustic punk band Box of Crayons celebrate Bloomsday with the cd release show for their new album Dublin Over at Freddy’s
6/18, 9 PM hauntingly lyrical, intense Americana songwriter James McMurtry at the Bell House, $15. He’s also at Maxwell’s on 6/17 at 7:30 for the same price.
6/18 vibraphone-based Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica play the cd release show for their hypnotic, psychedelic new one Third River Rangoon at Otto’s – definitely the classiest band ever to play this dive.
6/18, 9 PM eclectic country juggernaut M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy, $10.
6/18 fearlessly fun Americana-punk rockers Spanking Charlene – winners of the Sirius/XM best unsigned band contest, now on Little Steven Van Zandt’s label – at Lakeside, 11 PM
6/19, 11 AM this year’s Bang on a Can Marathon – a NYC institution – at the World Financial Center.
6/19 this year’s free Punk Island festival at Governors Island happens two days in advance of Make Music NY as the yuppies are shitting their pants at the thought of loud, nonconformist music being played anywhere near their “luxury” apartments. This year, it’s been put together by the folks at ABC No Rio, a cool, eclectic, completely non-corporate lineup with bands as diverse as Humanwine, Fashion Week, Star Fucking Hipsters and Yula & the Extended Family. Take the free ferry which leaves every hour on the half hour from the old Shaolin ferry terminal (to the north of the new one). This year, they’re letting you bring food and drinks but be careful how you hide that booze, since it’s verboten – security is probably going to paw through your stuff, so wrap it up tight. After all, as the MMNY site reminds you, “The Trust for Governors Island reserves the right to deny access to the island at its discretion.” Let’s take over the island! Bust the trust!
6/19, 2 PM, free, extraordinary painter/performance artist Theresa Byrnes, guitarist Ronny Drayton, curator/producer Shantrelle Lewis, and actress Marie Claudine Mukamabano address issues of survival over adversity: sexual assault, illness, genocide, and a son’s incarceration, exploring the question of “how we continue after facing the unthinkable.” Moderated by musician K. Neycha Herford at Danny Simmons’ Corridor Gallery, 334 Grand Ave btwn Gates & Greene, Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, C to Clinton-Washington (G train not running)
6/19 a rare solo set by saxophone adventurer Matana Roberts at Downtown Music Gallery, 6 PM.
6/19, 9:30 PM rustic, lyrical Americana songwriter Andrew Vladeck’s dual cd/book release show at Joe’s Pub, $12.
6/19 soaring Americana with banjo player Hilary Hawke & the Flipsides at Rodeo Bar 10ish
6/19, 10 PM terrorist jazz with Peter Evans, Trumpet; Moppa Elliot, bass; Kassa Overall, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.
6/20 indie classical orchestra the Knights play the world premiere of Lisa Bielawa’s Templehof Etude, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony plus a Morton Feldman piece at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, 7:30 PM, early arrival advised.
6/20 Piaf scholar/noir accordion siren Marni Rice at 9 at Small Beast at the Delancey followed eventually at 11 by the magnificently intense, ferocious, gypsy rock/art-rock of Vera Beren’s Gothic Chamber Blues Ensemble.
6/20, 9 PM the JC Sanford Orchestra at Tea Lounge in Park Slope. They absolutely killed here last fall.
6/20, 10 PM tuneful danceable funk/Afrobeat band Mamarazzi at the Mercury, $15.
6/21 is Make Music NY. We’ve cherrypicked the best shows and put up a separate page here since there are so many of them. Nice to see that the very last band on the list is Zion Judah, one of our favorite reggae bands.
6/21, 1 PM Louis Andriessen’s Hoketus performed by two groups TBA at Federal Hall downtown
6/21, 7ish Talib Kweli at Red Hook Park (bordered by Hicks and Henry in Red Hook – same directions as if you’re going to the Jalopy: F to Carroll St., exit front of Brooklyn-bound train. Left on Smith, right on 1st Place, continue as 1st Place becomes Summit. Go over the BQE, make a U-turn, continue on Summit).
6/22, 7 PM at Alwan for the Arts, a panel discussion: Detained Without Cause – Muslims’ Stories of Detention and Deportation in America. “The post-9/11 emergence of Islamophobic media hysteria, oppressive law enforcement tactics and increasing surveillance in the name of security is a package sold to the public as the inevitable cost of freedom. Learn what that cost really means in human terms: the stories of fellow New Yorkers disappeared from our communities during the first months after the terrible events of 9/11.” Free and open to the public, early arrival advised.
6/22, 7 PM alt-country chanteuse Tift Merritt at Madison Square Park, free.
6/22, 7:30/9:30 PM eclectic pan-latin bassist Pedro Giraudo leads his jazz orchestra at the Jazz Standard, $20.
6/22, 8 PM eclectic, poignant yet quirkly funny art-rock keyboardist Greta Gertler solo at the Gershwin Hotel, a benefit for the homeless, $15
6/22, 8 PM Pete Rock (of Pete Rock & CL Smooth) opens for psychedelic vibraphone jazz legend (and brilliant film composer) Roy Ayers at Highline Ballroom, $25 gen adm.
6/22, 8 PM a Roy Nathanson doublebill at the Stone: first his Sotto Voce quintet, then his Akhenaten Ensemble featuring vibroharp and trumpet, $10. He’s a NYC institution and an unbeatable raconteur, somebody you should see at least once.
6/22, 9 PM the Japonize Elephants play gypsy punk at Freddy’s.
6/22, 9 PM powerhouse soul-infused songwriter Jo Williamson at LIC Bar.
6/23 this year’s four-day Undead Jazz Festival begins. Some amazing shows: 6/23 at le Poisson Rouge with pianist Satoko Fuji’s lyrical Ma-Do quartet followed by Marc Ribot solo and Orrin Evans’ gritty, cerebral, intense Tarbaby; also on 6/23, haunting trumpeter Amir ElSaffar as well as lyrical pianists Kris Davis and Gerald Clayton each leading a band at Sullivan Hall; 6/25 pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-Fen’s Dim Sum and then later Jeremy Udden’s plaintive Americana jazz band Plainville at Homage Skate Park, 151 Smith St., in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; and all kinds of great stuff scattered around on closing night. They’re doing it by neighborhood: West Village on day one, Gowanus for the next two and then Williamsburg. Your best bet the best deal is the four-day pass for $50 which works out to $12.50 a night, a real steal for these A-list shows. There are also two-day passes ($35), single-day passes ($25) and single tix to the 6/24 show at the Bell House (not included in the two-day pass), all available at the Poisson Rouge box office. Too many acts to list individually: the full calendar is here.
6/23, 7 PM the Vijay Iyer Quintet at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, free tix avail. 2 per person on the line outside the castle starting at 4 PM.
6/23, 7:15 PM oboeist Keve Wilson leads an ensemble at Caffe Vivaldi.
6/23 Greensboro, NC’s deliriously fun, lickety-split, witty oldtimey banjo/euphonium band Holy Ghost Tent Revival at Littlefield, 8 PM, $10; they’re at the Rockwood at midnight on 6/24.
6/23, 8 PM drummer Mike Pride’s always interesting, psychedelic jazz band From Bacteria To Boys at the Stone, $10
6/23, 8/10:30 PM vocal jazz legend Little Jimmy Scott celebrates his 85th birthday at the Blue Note, $20 “seats” avail. His show last year at the Charlie Parker Festival was characteristically shattering – he’s still got it.
6/23-24, 8 PM this era’s biggest surf band, Los Straitjackets at City Winery, $20.
6/23, 8 PM hypnotic, sometimes lush, sometimes austere new music quintet Build play the Gershwin Hotel, $10.
6/23, 9 PM one of the year’s best doublebills – haunting, hypnotic duo AE (Eva Primack and Aurelia Shrenker) who interpolate Appalachian and Balkan music, followed by badass oldtimey sirens the Roulette Sisters at 10:30 at the Jalopy, $10
6/23 Shane Endsley, trumpet; Gerald Clayton, piano; Matt Brewer, bass; John Ellis, tenor sax at Cornelia St Cafe, 9/10:30 PM, $15.
6/23, 9:30 PM Palestinian-American oudist Tareq Abboushi’s Shusmo project at Joe’s Pub, $15.
6/24, 6 PM coy, fun Israeli dance-pop duo Hank & Cupcakes at Union Square on the south side of the park
6/24, 7 PM cinematic Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester’s Secret Identity with Claire Daly on baritone sax, Vito Dieterle on tenor, David Hofstra on bass, and Matthew Garrity on drums at the Gershwin Hotel, $5.
6/24, 7 PM Octavio Brunetti’s Apeadero Sur Tango Orchestra at Hudson River Park, 44th St. and the Hudson
6/24, 7:30 PM Badwagon (the Bad Plus plus Jason Moran’s Bandwagon) make their world premiere followed by Roy Hargrove’s quintet at Prospect Park Bandshell.
6/24, 8ish swirling dreampop band Zaza, Quiet Light and noir psychedelic rock legend Martin Bisi at Littlefield, $8.
6/24, 8 PM new music ensemble Transit play world premieres by Pat Muchmore, Daniel Felsenfeld and Ryan Brown at St. Peter’s Church, 346 W 20th St. (8th/9th), $15
6/24, 8:30 PM Canadian darkwave/goth chanteuse NLX at Caffe Vivaldi.
6/24, 9ish intense, potently lyrical, dark songwriter Erin Regan at Goodbye Blue Monday.
6/24, 9 PM Greta Gertler’s lush, gorgeously tuneful orchestrated rock band the Universal Thump at Bowery Electric, $12
6/24, 9 PM cult legend soul/blues harpist/belter Syl Johnston at the Bell House, $20.
6/24, 9 PM garage rock night with Electric Mess and the Insomniacs at Union Hall, $8
6/24, 10 PM intense Irish party band Shilelagh Law at Connolly’s.
6/24 original 2/3 female (2 girls, 1 guy) rockabilly/surf rockers Catspaw at the Fortune Cookie Lounge under Lucky Cheng’s, 10:30 PM, $5
6/24 kick ass Americana rockers Tom Clark & the High Action Boys at Lakeside, 11 PM
6/25 popular British soul revivalists Fitz & the Tantrums followed by James Brown-influenced soul/funk vet Lee Fields & the Expressions at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival, i.e. 4 PM at the latest highly advised.
6/25, 5:30 PM alto sax powerhouse Jacam Manricks leads a trio at Miles Cafe, $20 includes a drink and “snacks”
6/25, 7:30 PM snarling garage-punk band Des Roar – of Ted Bundy Was a Ladies Man notoriety – at the Mercury
6/25, 8 PM slinky, haunting vintage Middle Eastern/East African group Sounds of Taraab at Barbes.
6/25, 8 PM the Undead Jazz Festival at Littlefield is sort of the Stone transplanted to the Gowanus, with Jeff Lederer’s Sunwatcher, Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman, the Darius Jones Trio, Anthony Coleman Trio w/ Brad Jones and Satoshi Takeshi, and Jamie Saft’s New Zion Trio, $25 adv tix rec.
6/25, 8 PM the London Souls’ third-rate fifth-generation garage rock followed by the Heavy, who do oldschool funk/soul vamps with lots of loops and samples, at Prospect Park Bandshell.
6/25, 8 PM the CCB Reggae Allstars play Marley’s Rastaman Vibration in its entirety plus other Marley hits at the Brooklyn Bowl, $5.
6/25, 8ish tuneful, high-energy ska-punk with King Django at Shrine.
6/25, 10:30 PM ornate, intense, amazingly tuneful art-rock/metal band Of Earth – fresh off a world tour opening for Guns & Roses?!? at Local 269, $7. Their excellent album is now available for free download.
6/26, 3 PM Renaissance ensemble Parthenia play “an intimate collection of early English art songs for voice, viols and lute, illustrating Renaissance life and love” including music by Dowland, Purcell and Henry VIII at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud.
6/26, 7 PM a characteristically eclectic triplebill at Barbes – Yukie and Ryoji playing classic tango and tango nuevo on bandoneon and guitar followed by at 8 by Ben Holmes, Curtis Hasselbring and Marcus Rojas playing brass trio improvisations and then at 10 gypsy punk band the Japonize Elephants.
6/27, 7 PM the Ossia Chamber Players perform interesting new works by Rubin Kodheli, Theo Bleckmann, Michael Gatonska, Daniel Wohl and Kono Michi at le Poisson Rouge.
6/27, 8 PM eclectic, always interesting jazz bassist Dave Holland leads a quintet at the Highline Ballroom, $25.
6/27 charming oldtimey swing and hillbilly sounds with Daria Grace & the Prewar Ponies at Rodeo Bar, 9ish.
6/27, 9 PM the Schumacher Group plays innovative third-stream big band jazz at Tea Lounge in Park Slope.
6/27, 9:30 PM drummer Ari Hoenig leads an intriguing quartet with intense, Middle Eastern influenced guitarist Gilad Hekselman at Smalls
6/28, half past noon up-and-coming jazz pianist Emmet Cohen at 1 NY Plaza downtown, free. He’s also at the World Financial Center plaza at 5:30 on 6/30.
6/28, 5:30 PM the NY Gypsy All-Stars in the parking lot out back of City Winery, free.
6/28, 7 PM maverick viola virtuoso Ljova with the Fernando Otero Quintet at Klavierhaus, 211 W 58th St., $20. Moody Argentinian pianist Otero tore up le Poisson Rouge his last time there; Ljova is always up for a challenge and maybe some serious jousting.
6/28-7/3, 7:30/9:30 PM the Kenny Garrett Quartet at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail.
6/28, 10 PM dark steampunk siren Jolie Holland plays the cd release show for her latest one at Bowery Ballroom, $15 adv tix highly rec.
6/28-7/2, 11 PM alto saxophonist Sharel Cassity leads a quartet at Dizzy’s Club, $10 seats avail.
6/29, 7 PM a spectacularly good new music doublebill at Galapagos: Mivos Quartet play world premieres by Tristan Perich and Samson Young followed by Redshift Ensemble’s highly anticipated Arctic Sounds suite incorporating found sounds from the rapidly disappearing great white north, $15 gen adm., early arrival highly rec.
6/29, 7 PM short sets by powerpop goddess Patti Rothberg and ex-Utopian Moogy Klingman followed by two sets by the Peaceniks at the big room at the Rockwood, $10
6/29, 7 PM latin jazz piano legend Larry Harlow & Latin Legends Big Band at Soundview Park in the Bronx, 6 train to Morrison Ave/Soundview
6/29, 7 PM cellist Marika Hughes at the small room at the Rockwood.
6/29, 7 PM a Bernard Herrmann 100th Birthday celebration conducted by Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (?!?) conductor John Mauceri at the Greene Space, $20 includes a glass of wine.
6/29, 8 PM Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra – who just put out a sizzling album of classic/obscure 1920s swing jazz tunes – at Highline Ballroom, $10 adv tix very highly rec.
6/29, 8 PM hard-hitting psychedelic powerpop trio Devi play outdoors at the Grove St. Path train station in Jersey City, free
6/29, 8:30 PM the monthly ska-xtravaganza has found a new home at Southpaw. This month’s lineup is the Big Takeover, Cosmolingo, The Rudie Crew, the Times and King Django, $10, note that this is 21 and over
6/29-7/3 the annual Django Reinhardt gypsy jazz festival at Birdland, sets 8:30/11 PM, $30 seats avail., too many artists to list here but it’s a good lineup as always.
6/29, 10 PM Beninghove’s Hangmen play the release show for their new noir jazz cd at Drom, $10 gen adm
6/29 Paleface – the original sardonic 90s white funk/hip-hop guy – at Rodeo Bar 10ish. 6/30 he’s at Southpaw at 10:30 followed by dark soul/rock chanteuse Shenandoah & the Night for $10.
6/30, 7 PM Ehud Asherie plays solo piano followed at 9:30 PM by tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger’s fascinating, tuneful Quintet at Smalls.
6/30, 7 PM Laurie Anderson and Bill Laswell at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, free tix avail. 2 per person on the line outside the castle starting at 4 PM.
6/30-7/3 one of the leading lights of jazz piano, Gerald Clayton leads a trio at the Jazz Standard, sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 ($30 Fri-Sat).
6/30, 8 PM film historian/Yiddish culturist Eve Sicular (Metropolitan Klezmer’s awesome drummer) presents “The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film: A Yingl Mit a Yingl Hot Epes a Tam?” addressing gay subtext in classic Yiddish celluloid. Free outdoor video/multimedia presentation at Le Petit Versailles Garden, 346 E Houston at Ave C.
6/30, 8:30 PM intense, crystalline-voices singer/composer Sara Serpa leads a quintet with Andre Matos, guitar; Pete Rende, piano; Matt Brewer, bass; Tommy Crane, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.
6/30, 9 PM fearless charismatic dark oldtimey siren Kelli Rae Powell at Freddy’s followed at 10 by a one-off NYC show by Wytchhyker, Electric Six frontman Joshua Darsky’s old “stoner pop” band.
6/30, 9:30 PM Nellie McKay’s surreal, twisted one-woman biographical show about the execution of convicted murderer Barbara Graham (who was probably innocent) in California in 1956, $20, this will sell out, adv tix a must. “Good people think they’re always right.”
6/30, 10:15 PM tuneful Americana siren Julia Haltigan plays the big room at the Rockwood
If you’re looking for weekly events for June or July, scroll down to the bottom of this page.
7/1, 8:30 PM roots reggae legends Steel Pulse at Prospect Park Bandshell.
7/1, 9 PM dark intense rock songwriter Elisa Flynn at Banjo Jim’s playing new “19th Century Songs” from her ep and a bunch of new ones “about bears, speaking in tongues, and murder…nothing but murder.”
7/1, 10 PM oldschool vallenato/cumbia hellraisers Very Be Careful at Bowery Poetry Club; they’re at Barbes 7/2 at 10.
7/2, 1 and 3 PM Jed Distler leads a 40-piece ensemble playing Terry Riley’s In C on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour
7/2 Roy Ayers and the Jazz Mafia Symphony at Central Park Summerstage, get there by 7 PM or else you probably won’t get in.
7/2, 7:30 PM lyrical songwriter Niall Connolly plays the big room at the Rockwood
7/2, 8 PM blistering bluegrass jamband Thy Burden’s cd release show at Union Hall, free.
7/2, 8:30 PM torchy noir German songwriter Sophie Hunger at le Poisson Rouge, $15 gen adm.
7/2 intense gypsy punks Bad Buka at Mehanata, 9 PM.
7/3 the reliably intense, charismatic anti-gentrification rockers the Brooklyn What at Fort Tilden in the Rockaways, time TBA.
7/3, 8 PM new music ensemble Transit plays an intriguing evening of new electroacoustic works by Tristan Perich, Lesley Flanigan (very highly recommended) and Daniel Wohl at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, Broadway at Fulton, free.
7/5, 7:30/9:30 PM Dario Boente & Proyecto Sur play tango nuevo jazz at the Jazz Standard, $20
7/5, 8 PM classic boricua sounds with the Lavoe All Stars and Cantando Renzo Padilla at St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx, St. Ann’s Ave and E 144th Street, 6 train to Brook Ave.
7/6, 6 PM African and Afro-Cuban sounds with the Edmar Castaneda Trio plus special guest Andrea Tierra and then the Lionel Loueke Trio at Madison Square Park, free.
7/6 pianist Osmany Paredes’ latin jazz quartet at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $20.
7/6, 7 PM pianist Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble playing latin/Jewish jazz – real cool stuff – at the Triad Theatre, 158 W. 72nd St., 2nd Fl.., just west of Broadway, $10
7/6, 8 PM intense, powerful Afrobeat/desert blue siren Khaira Arby at the Brooklyn Bowl, $5.
7/7, half past noon trombonist Art Baron leads a small combo at St. Marks Park, 2nd Ave/10th St.
7/7, 5:30 PM Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca at the World Financial Center, free.
7/7, 7 PM My Brightest Diamond at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, free tix avail. 2 per person on the line outside the castle starting at 4 PM.
7/7, 7 PM edgy comedic musical chicks Mel & El (their album is called She’s My Bitch) put on their latest show Mel & El: Our Time of the Month (Flight of the Conchords as done by Tammy Faye Starlite, maybe) at the 92YTribeca, $15
7/7, 8 PM cello rockers Deoro plays Bach, Ravel, Messaien, Bizet, Michael Brecker and Randy Wolff at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs./$15 stud. On 7/8, same time, same price, the band returns, playing an acoustic set from their Kingston Morning reggae-rock album.
7/7, 8ish hip-hop/rock at the downstairs space at Webster Hall with White House Band, Mickey Factz, Tunde Olaniran, Rocky Business, Nyle vs. the Naysayers, Ra the MC and Mahogany, no idea who’s playing when but if you’re into this stuff, check it out.
7/7, 8:30 PM extraordinary oudist Tareq Abboushi plus percussionist Hector Morales at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10
7/7, 8:30 PM the Court Yard Hounds (that’s sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks) at Prospect Park Bandshell.
7/7, 9 PM filmmaker/hilarious satirical bandleader Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative (his funk band feat. members of Burnt Sugar) at Zebulon
7/7, 9 PM quirky, rustic cello rockers Pearl & the Beard at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $12 adv tix avail. til 7 PM weekdays at the Mercury.
7/7 midnight smart oldtimey chanteuse/swing guitarist Miss Tess at the small room at the Rockwood.
7/8 tight, soaring oldschool honkytonk band Yarn – with a horn section – at Southpaw, time TBA $12
7/8, 9 PM badass Australian country songwriter Kasey Chambers at Bowery Ballroom, $25 gen adm.
7/8, 9 PM Los Lobos at Prospect Park Bandshell.
7/8 dark rock chanteuse Nicole Atkins & the Sea at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $12 adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7 PM.
7/8 midnight sly acoustic jam band Tall Tall Trees at the big room at the Rockwood.
7/9, 7 PM politically aware indie rocker Ted Leo & the Pharmacists play South St. Seaport
7/9, 7:30 PM late golden-age hip-hop with Raekwon, Smif-N-Wessun, Joell Ortiz, Skyzoo, Neek the Exotic & Large Professor, no idea who’s opening or headlining, at Prospect Park Bandshell.
7/9, 9/10:30 PM multi-reed paradigm-shifter Matana Roberts leads a quintet with Daniel Levin – cello, Shoko Nagai – piano, Thomson Kneeland – bass, Tomas Fujiwara – drums, at the Jazz Gallery, $20.
7/11, 7:30 PM Bjorkestra frontwoman Becca Stevens’ Band at the big room at the Rockwood.
7/11, 9 PM cleverly haunting, intense Americana/art-rock/punk songwriter Raquel Bell at Pete’s
7/11 hypnotic pensive indie songwriter Bill Callahan f.k.a. Smog at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $20 gen adm; 7/12 he’s at Bowery Ballroom, same time, same price
7/12-16, 8:30/11 PM Pablo Zeigler’s tango nuevo project with cantante Sandra Luna at Birdland, $30 seats avail.
7/13 noirish soul/rock band Shenandoah & the Night at Bryant Park, free, 6 PM
7/13, 7 PM jazz bass powerhouse Christian McBride & Inside Straight at Madison Square Park, free.
7/13, 11 PM golden-age hip-hop stars Pharoahe Monch & Black Rob, OGC (from Fab 5), Helta Skeltah,, Smif & Wessun, Black Moon at B.B. King’s
7/14, 7 PM Patti Smith at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, free tix avail. 2 per person on the line outside the castle starting at 4 PM.
7/14 drummer Tim Kuhl leads a group feat. Michael Formanek, bass; Ben Gerstein, trombone; Jonathan Goldberger, guitar; Frantz Loriot, viola; Jonathan Moritz, saxes playing the cd release show for his new one at 8:30 PM at Cornelia St. Cafe.
7/16, 4 PM C&W/Brazilian dance band Nation Beat, sultry Nina Simone-influenced worldbeat siren Meklit Hadero and then Arturo O’Farrill’s latin jazz quartet at the Stuyvesant Town oval, free, take the 15th St. entrance
7/16, 5 PM-ish PM the Black Angels at South St. Seaport.
7/16, 7:30 PM percussionist/composer Alessandra Belloni leads an all-female quintet with Jessica Valiente on reeds and Eve Sicular on drums playing Belloni’s mystical sea goddess tribute at the NY Open Center, 22 East 30th St., $25
7/16, 8 PM high-energy soul legend Andre Williams with Neko Case’s backing band the Sadies at Brooklyn Bowl, $8
7/16, 10:30 PM Patti Smith guitarist (and powerpop maven) Lenny Kaye followed by garage rock legends the Fleshtones cd release show at the Mercury $12 adv tix rec.
7/17 Pink Martini at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival 7 PM highly advised.
7/19 the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free
7/19, 7:30ish 80s hip-hop legend (and LL Cool nemesis) Kool Moe Dee at Queensbridge Park, F to 21st St.
7/19, 8 PM two excellent jazz acts for the price of less than half of one: the Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra followed by bassist Ben Williams & the Checkout at the 92YTribeca, $12 gen adm.
7/19-24 lyrical jazz pianist Fred Hersch leads a trio at the Vanguard, 9/11 PM
7/19, 10 PM Toots & the Maytals at Brooklyn Bowl, $26. He’ll also be here on 7/25.
7/20 desert blues legends Tinariwen at Highline Ballroom, 9 PM, $27 adv tix rec.
7/21 ecstatic Eastern European dance mashup band Balkan Beat Box, 8 PM at Brooklyn Bowl, $12.
7/21, 8 PM 21st century style garage rock night with Plastic Traps, the Boom Bang and the Vandelles at Union Hall, $8.
7/21, 8 PM thoughtful guitar jazz with Tin/Bag (Kris Tiner, trumpet & Mike Baggetta, guitar) with the James Ilgenfritz Group at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, 58 7th Ave, Park Slope), $15 ($10 stud/srs)
7/21 Lucinda Williams at the Beacon, 9 PM, $39.50 tix avail. at the box office – may be sold out by now.
7/23, 9/10:30 PM intense, smartly lyrical pianist Michael Cain leads a trio with Lonnie Plaxico – bass, Rudy Royston – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $20.
7/24, 8:30 PM fiery, lyrical jazz pianist Bobby Avey leads a quartet with Miguel Zenon, alto saxophone; Thomson Kneeland, bass; Jordan Perlson, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10.
7/26 Brazilian nocturnes and grooves with Forro in the Dark in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free.
7/26-31 7:30/9:30 subtle, soulful latin chanteuse Claudia Acuna leads her brilliant intense quintet at Dizzy’s Club, $30 seats avail.
7/27, 6 PM clever, comedic Erin & Her Cello at Bryant Park, 6 PM, free
7/27, 7:30 PM dark hypnotic songwriter Marissa Nadler at the Mercury; 7/30, 9 PM she’s at at Littlefield, both shows are $12
7/26, 7:30 PM the Matt Herskowitz Trio plays Bach, Schumann and Chopin at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.
7/26, 8:30 PM clever lyrical songwriters Joe McGinty and Ward White at Bowery Electric
7/27 rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival 7 PM highly advised.
7/27, 7:30 PM the Black Earth Boys feat. kora virtuoso Juldeh Camara followed by Billy Bragg at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center.
7/27, 8 PM smartly aware, tuneful Americana rocker Amy Speace at the small room at the Rockwood.
7/28 Budos Band play a concert cruise aboard the Queen of Hearts, leaving from 40. West Houston St. at West Side Highway at 8 PM sharp, adv tix $30 avail. at the Highline Ballroom box ofc.
7/29, 7:30 PM brilliant, soulful Lebanese multi-instrumentalist/composer Bassam Saba and his ensemble followed by eclectic, fearless Malian siren Oumou Sangare at Prospect Park Bandshell.
7/29, 7:30 PM hilarious, virtuosic oldtimey/grasscore band The Devil Makes Three at the Mercury, $12 adv tix very highly rec.
7/29, 8 PM excellent eclectic danceable doublebill: Brazilian/C&W band Nation Beat followed by the Mexican-American Go-Go’s, Pistolera, playing the cd release for their new one El Desierto y La Ciudad at Drom, $10 adv tix highly rec.
7/29, 9/10:30 PM percussionist Adam Rudolph leads a globally astute octet with Joseph Bowie – trombone; Graham Haynes – cornet/flugelhorn; Brahim Fribgane – oud; Kenny Wessel – guitars; Peter Apfelbaum – flute/tenor saxophone; Jerome Harris – acoustic bass guitar/slide guitar; Matt Kilmer – percussion at the Jazz Gallery, $20
7/29-30 the Eels at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9 PM, $30 gen adm., adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7, this may sell out.
7/30, 4 PM psychedelic, rustic, horn-driven blues/klezmer/minor-key band Hazmat Modine followed by Steven Bernstein’s Millennian Territory Orchestra (no idea if they’re doing their Sly Stone set or not) at the World Financial Center plaza.
7/30, 6 PM a cool country doublebill: Rhett Miller followed by the always hilarious Hayes Carll at the Stuyvesant Town oval, free, take the 15th St. entrance
7/30, 6 PM Indian brass band Red Baraat, go-go godfather Chuck Brown and Dr. John & the Lower 9/11 at Prospect Park Bandshell.
7/30, 7:30 PM comedic and virtuosic Erin & Her Cello at the big room at the Rockwood
7/30, 9 PM ecstatically fun, intense gypsy punk/metal cumbia/rock en Espanol band Escarioka – one of our favorites – at Mehanata.
7/30, 9/10:30 PM Ralph Alessi – trumpet, Kris Davis – piano, Ingrid Laubrock – saxophone, Tom Rainey – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $20
7/31 French gypsy rockers Watcha Clan followed by Israeli Middle Eastern/Indian jam band Yemen Blues at Central Park Summerstage, early arrival 3 PM highly advised.
8/2 the CCB Reggae Allstars in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free.
8/2, 8 PM the Mingus Orchestra plays Washington Square Park, free
8/3 Ethiopian groove unit Budos Band at Tappen Park in Staten Island, Staten Island train to Stapleton.
8/4, 6:30 PM Balkan powerhouse Raya Brass Band on the Broadway plaza at Lincoln Center, free.
8/4, 7:30 PM Vietnamese psychedelic rockers Dengue Fever at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free
8/4, a twangy guitar summit with the eclectic Bill Kirchen and surf rockers Los Straitjackets at Maxwell’s $15.
8/5, 7 PM Tom Waits-ish Nashville gothic singer Mark Growden at the small room at the Rockwood
8/5, 7:30 PM Bassam Saba and the NY Arabic Orchestra at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.
8/7, 9:30 PM hip-hop/Afrobeat innovator/bandleader Blitz the Ambassador at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.
8/9 noir retro rock bandleader Nicole Atkins in the parking lot out behind City Winery, 5:30 PM, free
8/9 classic roots reggae with the Abyssinians and Black Uhuru’s Mykal Rose at Highline Ballroom
8/9, 7:30 PM members of the Jupiter Symphony play Schubert, Mozart and Dvorak at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.
8/10, 7 PM oldschool latin soul stars Johnny Colon and Joe Bataan at Central Park Summerstage
8/10, 7:30 PM violinist/composer Todd Reynolds, beatboxer Adam Matta and vaudevillian Luminescent Orchestrii bandleader Sxip Shirey with Caleb Burhans, Conrad Harris, Pauline Kim Harris, Yuki Numata, Courtney Orlando, and Ben Russell followed by Laurie Anderson at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.
8/11, 7 PM two generations, two continents of Ethiopian grooves with Fendika and Debo Band at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.
8/13, 1 and 3 PM pioneering new-music string quartet Ethel play a free show on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour
8/13 clawhammer banjo player/songwriter Abigail Washburn at 4 PM at the plaza on the northwest side of Lincoln Center, free.
8/13, 7 PM 1950s rockabilly legend Sonny Burgess followed by Marty Stuart at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free.
8/14, 7 PM the Bar-Kays plus Steve Cropper with Bettye LaVette, Ellis Hooks and Dylan Leblanc at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, free
8/16, 7ish Bachata Heightz at Highbridge Park in Harlem, 171st and Amsterdam, A/C to 168th St.
8/17, 7 PM legendary 70s psychedelic art-rock band Nektar – who were sort of a cross between Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead – with original members Roye Albrighton and Ron Howden at B.B. King’s, $25.
8/18, 8 PM one of the year’s best triplebills with Bakersfield-style country twanglers Alana Amram & the Rough Gems, the Texas honkytonk and zydeco of the Doc Marshalls and haunting intense original acoustic Nashville gothic/bluegrass of Frankenpine at Union Hall, $7.
8/19, 9 PM wild crazy female-fronted gypsy band Fishtank Ensemble at Union Hall, $10
8/20 African reggae with Meta & the Cornerstones and Ivoirien star/freedom fighter Tiken Jah Fakoly at Central Park Summerstage, 3 PM early arrival a must.
8/21 oldschool hip-hop stars EPMD at Central Park Summerstage, 3 PM early arrival highly advised.
8/22, 7:30 PM the Knights play Schubert and Liszt at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, early arrival advised if you want a seat.
8/23, 7ish Tito Rojas at East River Park, Grand St. and the river, F to East Broadway or J/M to Delancey.
8/24, 7ish the Cold Crush Brothers at East River Park, Grand St. and the river, F to East Broadway or J/M to Delancey
8/27, 1 PM day one of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival has Tia Fuller and James Carter at Marcus Garvey Park in Spanish Harlem
8/28, 1 PM day two of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival with the Gerald Clayton trio, Ali Jackson and the Archie Sheppp Quartet at Tompkins Square Park.
8/31 cutting edge tuneful jazz with the John Farnsworth Quintet at Bryant Park, 6 PM, free.
9/4, 1 and 3 PM pianists Blair McMillen and Pam Goldberg play Bach, John Adams and others with a string ensemble on Governors Island, free ferries leave from the old Staten Island ferry terminal every hour on the half hour
9/8-9 plus 9/15-16, 9 PM Ian Hunter at City Winery, $35 tix avail.
9/15, 8 PM the recently regrouped Klezmatics at Highline Ballroom
9/27, 8 PM Malian guitar legend Boubacar Traore at the Bell House, $17 adv tix very highly rec.
9/27, 8 PM dark Middle Eastern-tinged instrumentalist Sir Richard Bishop opens for the Swans at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $30 adv tix avail. at the Mercury weekdays til 7 PM, this may sell out
Sundays there’s a klezmer brunch at City Winery, show starts around 11:30 AM – 2 PM, $10 cover, no minimum, lots of good bands.
Sundays from half past noon to 3:30 PM, bluegrass cats Freshly Baked (f.k.a. Graveyard Shift), featuring excellent, incisive fiddle player Diane Stockwell play Nolita House (upstairs over Botanica at 47 E Houston). Free drink with your entree.
Sundays at 7:30 at Theatre 80 St. Marks the world’s most socially aware “reverend” and activist, Rev. Billy and his wild, ecstatic 30-piece gospel Church of Earthalujah Choir, $10 cover but “no one turned away.”
Every Sunday the Ear-Regulars, led by trumpeter Jon Kellso and (frequently) guitarist Matt Munisteri play NYC’s only weekly hot jazz session starting around 8 PM at the Ear Inn on Spring St. Hard to believe, in the city that springboarded the careers of thousands of jazz legends, but true. This is by far the best value in town for marquee-caliber jazz: for the price of a drink and a tip for the band, you can see world-famous players (and brilliant obscure ones) you’d usually have to drop $100 for at some big-ticket room. The material is mostly old-time stuff from the 30s and 40s, but the players (especially Kellso and Munisteri, who have a chemistry that goes back several years) push it into some deliciously unexpected places.
Every Sunday, hip-hop MC Big Zoo hosts the long-running End of the Weak rap showcase at the Pyramid, 9 PM, admission $5 before 10, $7 afterward. This is one of the best places to discover some of the hottest under-the-radar hip-hop talent, both short cameos as well as longer sets from both newcomers and established vets.
Mondays at the Fat Cat the Choi Fairbanks String Quartet play a wide repertoire of chamber music from Bach to Shostakovich starting at 7.
Mondays starting a little after 7 PM Howard Williams leads his Jazz Orchestra from the piano at the Garage, 99 7th Ave. S at Grove St. There are also big bands here most every Tuesday at 7.
Mondays at the Jazz Standard it’s all Mingus, whether with the Mingus Orchestra, Big Band or Mingus Dynasty: you know the material and the players are all first rate. Sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 and worth it.
Also Monday nights Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, a boisterous horn-driven 11-piece 1920s/early 30’s band play Sofia’s Restaurant, downstairs at the Edison Hotel, 221 West 46th Street between Broadway & 8th Ave., 3 sets from 8 to 11, surprisingly cheap $15 cover plus $15 minimum considering what you’re getting. Even before the Flying Neutrinos or the Moonlighters, multi-instrumentalist Giordano was pioneering the oldtimey sound in New York; his long-running residency at the old Cajun on lower 8th Ave. is legendary. He also gets a ton of film work (Giordano wrote the satirical number that Willie Nelson famously sang in Wag the Dog).
Mondays in June at 9 PM at the Brooklyn Bowl Afrobeat band Zongo Junction and funk orchestra Turkuaz play a doublebill, sometimes with an opening act at 8; 6/13 the opener is reggae band Buru Style. $5 cover.
Mondays at Tea Lounge in Park Slope at 9 PM trombonist/composer JC Sanford books big band jazz, an exciting, global mix of some of the edgiest large-ensemble sounds around. If you’re anybody in the world of big band jazz and you make it to New York, you end up playing here: what CBGB was to punk, this unlikely spot promises to be to the jazz world. No cover.
Also Mondays in June the Barbes house band, Chicha Libre plays there starting around 9:30. They’ve singlehandedly resurrected an amazing subgenre, chicha, which was popular in the Peruvian Amazon in the late 60s and early 70s. With electric accordion, cuatro, surf guitar and a slinky but boisterous rhythm section, their mix of obscure classics and originals is one of the funnest, most danceable things you’ll witness this year.
Also Mondays in June Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Union Pool in Williamsburg, two sets starting around 11 PM. The Rev. is one of the great keyboardists around, equally thrilling on organ or electric piano, an expert at Billy Preston style funk, honkytonk, gospel and blues. He writes very funny, very politically astute, sexy original songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party til past three in the morning. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax, with Dave Smith from Smoota and the Fela pit band on trombone, with frequent special guests.
Tuesdays at 7 PM from May through July it’s a classical piano series playfully titled Upright Piano Brigade, an A-list of classical talent playing the brand-new Sauter piano at Barbes. May artists include Michael Brown on May 3; Evan Shinners on May 10; Tanya Bannister on May 17; Gregg Kallor on the 24th and William McNally on the 31st.
Tuesdays in June clever, fiery, eclectic Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party play Barbes at 9. Get here as soon as you can as they’re very popular.
Tuesdays in June the Dred Scott Trio play astonishingly smart, dark piano jazz at the smaller room at the Rockwood at midnight.
Wednesdays at 9 PM Feral Foster’s Roots & Ruckus takes over the Jalopy, a reliably excellent weekly mix of oldtimey acts: blues, bluegrass, country and swing.
Every Thursday the Michael Arenella Quartet play 1920s hot jazz 8-11 PM at Nios, 130 W 46th St.
Thursdays and Fridays in June at Mehanata it’s Bulgarian sax powerhouse Yuri Yukanov and the Grand Masters of Gypsy Music, 10 PM, $10.
Fridays at 8:30 PM adventurous cellist/composer Valerie Kuehne books an intriguing avant garde/classical/unclassifiable “weekly experimental cabaret” at Cafe Orwell in Bushwick, 247 Varet St. (White/Bogart), L to Morgan Ave. It’s sort of a more outside version of Small Beast, a lot of cutting-edge performers working out new ideas in casual, unstuffy surroundings. Kuehne promises “never a dull moment.”
Fridays in June at 9 Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens play oldschool 1960s style gospel the Fat Cat.
Saturdays in June through August, 1 PM there are free concerts at Bargemusic – early arrival advised. Usually these are piano recitals, with the occasional string ensemble. Note that there is no concert on August 13.
Saturday nights in June, 9:30 PM Tammy Faye Starlite stars in Chelsea Madchen: An Evening with Nico at the Duplex, Duplex (61 Christopher St. at 7th Ave.), $15 plus 2 drink min. Less one of Starlite’s venomously hilarious parodies than an exploration of Nico the individual: “Nico was, and remains, a heroine and emblem for these dark days of civil unrest and our unceasing fascination with sybaritic self-destruction and the willful deconstruction and annihilation of beauty,” says Tammy Faye. “I’ve got the songs, the accent and the hair down and am working tirelessly on the cheekbones.” Let’s see if she’s learned to sing flat.
Saturdays eclectic compelling Brazilian jazz chanteuse Marianni and her excellent band at Zinc Bar, three sets starting at 10 PM.
Every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Tuesday’s album is #609:
Jimmy Smith – Midnight Special
Conventional wisdom is that Back at the Chicken Shack is the great Hammond B3 jazz organist’s alltime classic (although pretty much everything the guy ever recorded is worth hearing). We picked this 1963 release A) to be perverse, B) because the tracks are a little better, and lesser-known, and C) because it’s everything BUT Smith’s signature shuffle grooves. Everything on both albums was recorded in a single day – to say that Smith and his band (Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax, Donald Bailey on drums and Kenny Burrell guesting on guitar on three tracks) were on top of their game is an understatement. Basie’s One O’Clock Jump gets a terse, biting blues treatment, alongside Bird’s Jumpin’ the Blues, while Why Was I Born? makes funk out of the Rodgers/Hammerstein showtune. Turrentine’s A Subtle One is a wickedly catchy song without words; the title track, a straight-up blues, swings with a jaunty, summery joy. Here’s a random torrent via Oufar Khan.
One of the great remaining things about music in this town is that if you have your ear to the ground, you can catch major artists doing low-key shows working up new material in unexpected surroundings. Case in point: Midnight Hours’ gorgeously rustic, harmony-driven show at 68 Jay Street Bar Saturday night. The Roulette Sisters’ resonator guitar dynamo and de facto frontwoman Mamie Minch put this trio together with oldtime Americana siren Jolie Holland and Biggish Bandleader JC Hopkins, and it brings out the best in all of them. Tickets for Holland’s concert at City Winery earlier this year were $20, and she’s worth it: she’s got dozens of good songs, and she’s a hilarious performer. This show was free.
The harmonies were amazing. Minch’s badass contralto held down the lows in places, but Holland got to show off her low range as well, and when the two women went up, Hopkins was there to anchor the songs. He played acoustic, then electric guitar and delivered some potent blues harp on one number. Holland’s stark box fiddle playing gave many of the songs an especially bucolic edge. Early on, they did a version of the Flying Burrito Bros.’ Sin City, taking it back in time fifty years. The best song of the night, Minch and Holland matching each other nuance for nuance, might have been titled What You Got to Say, Hopkins’ terse Chris Brokaw-style leads shadowing his bandmates hauntingly. Hopkins dedicated a wistful number to an ex-girlfriend and a swing-flavored one to his grandfather while Holland panned for jewelled microtones and ominously ambiguous blue notes from beginning to end. Minch got the crowd roaring with an original with a nonstop torrent of lyrics, and wound up their final set of the night with a forceful traveling song, its narrator leaving no doubt that she wanted to get the hell out.
Potently eclectic Luminiscent Orchestrii violinist Sarah Alden headlined, playing an astonishingly diverse set of Americana and Balkan music, backed by upright bass and a guitarist who toward the end of the show played some luscious lapsteel on several western swing tunes. They swung into the set with some bluegrass, followed by a chilling instrumental that Alden wrote about getting lost in a graveyard as a young child. “This is clapping music,” the Oklahoma-bred member of our crew explained as the band launched into an energetic version of Trouble in Mind. From the Appalachians to the Balkans to a biting “Transylvanian mix,” Alden and the band wailed and soared. By one in the morning, the band was still at it, Cangelosi Cards’ frontwoman Tamar Korn joining them for more western swing. And the best singer of the night wasn’t even onstage: Jan Bell, who books the series of Wednesday and Saturday shows here, was behind the bar instead. Watch this space for upcoming Midnight Hours appearances; Holland is at Bowery Ballroom doing the cd release show for her new one on 6/28.
As usual, all kinds of stuff in the pipeline and no time to do it. Who put that Bushwick barbecue on the calendar here? Fess up! In the meantime, as we do every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Monday’s album is #610:
The Delmore Bros. – Classic Cuts 1933-41
Alton and Rabon Delmore really weren’t brothers, but that didn’t stop them from pretending they were. A lot of that kind of stuff happened in country music back in the old days. This massive 4-cd box set spans from the fire-and-brimstone country gospel of No Drunkard Can Enter There and Goodbye Booze – did anybody ever take these songs the least bit seriously? – to blues like Nashville Blues and I’ve Got the Railroad Blues, standards like Lay Down My Old Guitar and Blue Hills of Virginia along with creepy southern gothic tales like The Dying Truck Driver. Rustic, provocative evidence that there was an awful lot of cross-pollination between black and white musicians in those days. This one hasn’t showed up in the usual places, so in its place you might be interested in these 1933-35 radio tracks via Did You Remember El Diablo Tuntun.
As much as musicians are accustomed to playing solo, it’s another thing entirely to play unaccompanied instrumentals in front of an audience. Thursday at Trinity Church, violist Yoon-Kyung Shin was up to the challenge. An intense, dynamic presence, she began the concert with Bach’s Suite No. 4 in E Flat, BWV 1010. It’s a series of six dance pieces: some of it, like the opening Prelude and lively Courante have the feel of etudes. But the rest of it, especially the brooding Allemande and slinky Sarabande gave Shin the chance to sway and dip for poignancy while keeping the stately beat. After all, this was party music, high-class 18th century style.
The party continued as Shin was joined by pianist Alexandria Le for Brahms’ Sonata for Viola and Piano in E Flat, Op. 120, No. 2. It’s a pretty amazing piece. On one level, from a 21st century perspective, it’s astonishing how Brahms was able to achieve so much diversity with it, and to keep it interesting for so long (it went on for at least fifteen minutes) using what appears to be simple major and minor chords. Of course, that’s not all that’s going on. Rich with allusions that artfully set up joyous resolutions, it’s anything but predictable, and Le had a great time with it, firing off one bullseye after another when the opportunities came along. With a playful camaraderie between the musicians, Shin’s steely resolve made a wryly fascinating contrast. Moving from the glittering, beery cheer of the opening Allegro Amabile, they backed away and let the starlit ambience speak for itself throughout the two closing movements
The two closed with Efrem Zimbalist’s Sarasateana Suite of Spanish dances, a considerably lighter suite, but not easy to play. Shin handled the lightning doublestops of the gypsy-rock flavored opening tango and miles-high astringencies of the Malaguena dance with effortless aplomb, Le digging in and lending a resonantly potent, Satie-esque plaintiveness to the quieter second movement. The party ended as it had began, the two joining forces energetically for the percussive clog dance movement to end it on a boisterous, carefree note.
More new stuff in the pipeline than we can keep track of: classical party music in the West Village and a wild night in Dumbo, among a million other things. In the meantime, as we do every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Sunday’s album is #611:
Sarah Vaughan – Sarah +2
To a generation of fans, Sarah Vaughan is divine; another camp (guess which one we’re in) thinks she could have done more with less. On this 1962 album she does exactly that, backed magically and tersely by Barney Kessel on guitar and Joe Comfort on bass. Kessel absolutely owns this album, reminding why he was was one of the most sought-after (and today, underrated) guitarists ever. No effects, no frills, no overplaying, just richly counterintuitive syncopation, surgical precision and a dynamic chordal attack, and Comfort’s even more minimalist bass is just as cool. The spacious arrangements mean that much of the time it’s Vaughan solo, or with the bass, or the guitar. The big hit here was The Very Thought of You. Just in Time starts out like Peggy Lee’s The Fever until the guitar finally comes in; When Sunny Gets Blue doesn’t have the intensity of Jeanne Lee’s version, but what does? All I Do Is Dream of You works surprisingly well with such a cosmopolitan arrangement, as does the stripped-down Ray Noble big band hit Goodnight Sweetheart. The early Ellington hit Just Squeeze Me nails the coyness of the theme. There’s also a wary reinterpretation of Bessie Smith’s Baby Won’t You Please Come Home and a dreamily surreal, bossa-tinged version of Key Largo. Here’s a random torrent.
Songwriter, poet and novelist Gil Scott-Heron, one of the greatest musical artists of the past half-century, died yesterday at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York after returning from Europe, where he had fallen ill. He was 62. Scott-Heron’s signature style combined jazz, soul and funk with wryly literate, often savagely critical, socially conscious lyrics. Tall and charismatic, with a machete wit, he was a consummate live performer who used catchy, anthemic songs to deliver a potent message. Enormously influential on several generations of hip-hop artists, Scott-Heron was considered one of the pioneers of rap. While his relationship with the genre was ambivalent at best, his 1969 debut album, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox is often credited with being one of the earliest hip-hop albums since it features spoken-word pieces (including the iconic The Revolution Will Not Be Televised) set to simple percussion.
Scott-Heron’s biggest hit, The Bottle, chronicled the toll that alcoholism takes on inner city life, though told with characteristic humor from a drunk’s point of view. His most enduring song, We Almost Lost Detroit hauntingly recalls a narrowly averted nuclear disaster caused by a near-meltdown at a Michigan nuclear power plant. Scott-Heron was also one of the first major American artists to address the horrors of apartheid, with the scathing Johannesburg. Throughout his career, he championed progressive causes and lampooned the right wing (most memorably with the scorchingly hilarious 1981 anti-Reagan broadside B Movie). As a recording artist, his peak period was from the mid-70s to the early 80s, notably his collaborations with pianist Brian Jackson and their group the Midnight Band. Many of those albums, including From South Africa to South Carolina as well as the 1988 Live Somewhere in Europe are bonafide classics.
Scott-Heron was also a legendary bon vivant who took that lifestyle to extremes. A heavy cocaine user in the 80s, by the following decade he’d developed a serious crack habit. Throughout that time, he remained an intense, charismatic performer, but he recorded sporadically and erratically, and as his crack use escalated, his performances and career suffered. Persecuted and jailed for cocaine possession multiple times during the zeros, he had recently been on the comeback trail, releasing a new album last year titled I’m New Here, which sets poetry to samples much in the same vein as his earliest work. His recent live shows had been remarkably strong as well, all the more impressive considering that he’d once again become a regular crack user (we reviewed his surprisingly high-spirited, energetic concert at Marcus Garvey Park on August 5 of last year). Our deepest condolences to his wife and daughter. Funeral arrangements are pending.
As we do every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Saturday’s album is #612:
Jackie McLean – Jackie’s Bag
Jackie McLean was an alto saxophonist with a bright, hard-hitting style. This 1960 album comprises two sessions: one with Donald Byrd on trumpet, Sonny Clark on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums, the other with Chambers plus the great, underrated Tina Brooks on tenor sax, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Kenny Drew on piano and Art Taylor on drums. The title is a pun: at the time he recorded it, McLean was a heroin addict, and he wasn’t the only one in the band. Nevertheless, it’s a swinging record, steeped in the blues yet consistently surprising, with some great solos. There’s the vivid, scurrying Quadrangle; the blazing minor swing of Blues Inn; the genially optimistic Fidel (how little they knew then, huh?); the pensive but wickedly catchy Appointment in Ghana; the brisk, bright Ballad for a Doll; as well as Brooks’ blistering Isle of Java (another pun) and gritty, gospel-infused Street Singer. The cd reissue also includes the klezmer-tinged Melonae’s Dance and darkly smoldering Medina. Here’s a random torrent via toukoutou.
As we do every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Friday’s album is #613:
Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks – Original Recordings
Dan Hicks was literally a half-century ahead of his time. The title of his 1969 debut alludes to a much earlier era – the 1920s and 30s – whose music he updated, yet keeping a sultry roaring 20s feel courtesy of the harmonies of Lickettes Sherri Snow and Christina Gancher. It’s all low-key acoustic stoner swing Americana with funny lyrics. The funniest – and most vicious – number here is Canned Music, in a way 50 years ahead of its time, as a parody of lite FM cliches. There’s the sardonic How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away; the faux gypsy I Scare Myself (another one that was way ahead of the curve); the proto-Moonlighters shuffle Evening Breeze; the tongue-in-cheek boogie Waiting On the 103; the noir diptych Shorty Takes a Dive and Shorty Falls in Love; It’s Bad Grammar Baby (sort of his All Along the Watchtower); the sort of obvious Milk Shakin’ Mama, and after all this, they pull out all the stops for the Jukie’s Ball. They were steampunk 30 years before that term existed and remain one of the funnest, funniest retro swing bands ever recorded. Here’s a random torrent via Smalltown Pleasures.