Lucid Culture


The Make Music NY 2011 Schedule – Our Top Picks

Here’s a list of the most interesting acts we could find who’re playing this year’s Make Music New York, Tuesday, June 21. The official schedule is here. We’ll update this page as we get word of other quality acts playing around town that day. Be aware that as in years past, even the official list has massive gaps in it: there will be hundreds, maybe thousands of artists who aren’t listed who will be participating. This is your chance to discover random performers who might become your favorites (or not) during your lunch hour, or on the way home – or, if you’re like us, you might think of playing hooky that day. A few observations: 1) there seem to be considerably fewer performers listed this year than last; 2) most of the people who played it last year aren’t playing this year, at last according to the calendar (which can be interpreted many different ways), and 3) there are far fewer locations listed this year, compared to 2010, at least according to the official calendar. Which is also open to interpretation.

Remember that the excellent free Punk Island shows on Governors Island are on Sunday, June 19, not the 21st.

We’ve done our best to list performances with good sonics: every year, dozens of good performers find out how impossible it is to compete with the eardrum-shattering alarms that go off when city bus doors open, or with the subway rumbling overhead. If the Sediment Club was playing under the Manhattan Bridge, we’d be there – the din would only enhance what they do. But last year, there was an unamplified acoustic guitar duo down there. Go figure.

At noon catchy, hypnotic Afrobeat band Emefe play Tavern on the Green, Central Park West at 67th St; at 3:30 they move to the corner of Battery Place and State Street Plaza downtown (just follow the sound of the horns); at 7 they navigate up to the Winery at 257 W 116th St.

At noon Barmaljova – a rare performance by extraordinary violist/composer Ljova Zhurbin and his equally extraordinary singer wife Inna Barmash – outside the old Astor Wines & Liquors space on St. Mark’s Place, just west of Lafayette St.

Also at noon, Zap & the Naturals play reggae at K. Printing Inc., 355 Lenox Ave. uptown.

Also at noon, eclectic jazz guitarist Nick Demopoulos – inventor and virtuoso of the smomid, sort of a cross between an electric oud and a bass. He’s at Pentatonic Guitars at 139 Franklin St. in Greenpoint; at 6:30, he moves to Supercore at 305 Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg.

1 PM a “griot summit” hidden way up at Wave Hill Park in the Bronx (675 W 252nd St.) featuring a tremendously skilled, entertaining group of African artists: balafonist Famoro Dioubate and kora players Salieu Suso, Lankandia Cissoko and Yacouba Sissoko.

1 PM ambient downtempo chanteuse Lulla at Tea Lounge, 837 Union St. in Park Slope.

2 PM classical pianist Taka Kigawa has scored the coveted Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park! Nice work Taka!

3 PM heavy metal under the BQE: just the way it used to be, Union Ave. and N 8th St. in Williamsburg. The show starts with SOS at 3, Wizardry at 4, the punk/hardcore of Thinning the Herd at 4, darkly psychedelic La Otracina at 6, then Exemption and Krystaleen split the remaining hour from 7 to 8.

4 PM one of our favorites, eclectic roots reggae band Zion Judah at Peach Frog, 136 N 10th St. in Williamsburg.

4 PM the avant-garde Red Light Ensemble, hilarious furry-suited oldtime swing xylophone jazz band the Xylopholks (will they survive the heat?) and Shakuhachi Ensemble, with trumpeter Leif Arntzen squeezed in there somewhere, at the Cornelia St. Cafe.

4 PM torchy pianist/singer Jeanne Marie Boes at the Athens Triangle, 3221 Newtown Ave. in Astoria.

4 PM several reggae acts playing 366 Myrtle Ave. in Ft. Greene: Terry Lyons, Kemston, Hotta Lava and Tayazawan.

4 PM rootsy rockers Whisperado followed at 6 by fearless, fiery, lyrically-driven pop siren Elaine Romanelli at Jackson Hewitt, 28-17 Steinway St. in Astoria.

4 PM the David Glukh klezmer ensemble at the NYPL Spuyten Duyvil branch, 650 W 235th St. in the Bronx.

4 PM the Pitch Blak Brass Band at Water St. Restaurant, 66 Water St. in Dumbo.

4 PM Tschaka Tongy play reggae at K. Printing Inc., 355 Lenox Ave. uptown.

4 PM the Caribian Ricans play reggae and ska at Society Coffee, 2104 Frederick Douglass Blvd. uptown; at 6 PM they’re at Hunts Point Park, Lafayette Ave. and Edgewater Road in the Bronx.

4:45 PM the Fools – tuneful, lo-fi all-girl garage-pop duo – at the junk shop at 106 N 3rd St. in Williamsburg.

5 PM cool concept: “Unsung Greats: ‘Where is the Outrage?’ Musical and poetic commentary on the need for continuous strikes and other forms of mass protests. The purpose: To ignite and excite the spirit of revolution in our communities and the world.” Today Yemen: tomorrow Wall Street. At the community garden at 312 E 4th St.

5 PM Thunda Vida plays reggae and ska at the Whole Foods at 98th and Columbus Ave.

5 PM lyrical jazz pianist Deanna Witkowski plays the Winery at 257 W 116th St.

5:30 PM the lush, sweeping, intoxicating NY Arabic Orchestra plays Bryant Park.

6 PM smartly lyrical, Aimee Mann-esque songwriter Andrea Wittgens at Fort Tryon, Riverside Dr. and Dyckman St.

6 PM carnivalesque Balkan brass outfit Hungry March Band marching around Highline Park, 10th Ave. and 16th St.

6 PM Alarm Will Sound’s Alan Pierson conducts some kind of ensemble playing Rzewski and Beethoven at 246 Spring St. – ostensibly WQXR is involved.

6 PM the Birdhive Boys play bluegrass at Verde at 216 Smith St. in Carroll Gardens.

6 PM the Renaissance Street Singers at 108 Christopher St. in the West Village.

6 PM Pastor Murtlene Sampson sings gospel with piano accompaniment at Brower Park, 1040 Park Place in Bed-Stuy.

6 PM Tribal Legacy play reggae and ska at Sans Souci Restaurant & Bar, 330 Myrtle Ave. in Ft. Greene.

6 PM jazz flutist Carlos Jimenez plays the Riverdale branch of the NYPL, 5540 Mosholu Ave. with his group.

6 PM at Goodbye Blue Monday, someone or something called Meatloaf Sucks. Do they mean the big fat guy, or the hamburger creation?

6:30 PM pioneering avant-garde string quartet Ethel at the Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St.

6:30 PM the Kaufman Center’s student avant garde ensemble Face the Music plays their home base at 129 W 67th St.

7 PM smart guitar jazz with a sometimes sardonic, cynical edge:  Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord at Beer Table, 427 7th Ave. in Brooklyn.

7 PM Num & Nu Afrika play their annual reggae show at Drastadub Studios, 31 W 127th St. uptown.

7 PM Americana rock siren Karen Hudson at her usual haunt, Indian Hill Cafe, 600 W 218th St. in Washington Heights. Honkytonk singer Orville Davis follows at 9.

7 PM the Brooklyn Brass Quintet at the Central Park entrance to the Columbus Circle subway.

7:30 PM Ill Rendition plays reggae at Joloff, 930 Fulton St. in Ft. Greene.

8 PM oldschool Brooklyn indie rock legend John Hovorka at Russell & Driggs Ave. in Greenpoint

8 PM Bill Popp & the Tapes at Tompkins Square Park. This may be the best gig he’s ever had – not bad, considering that various versions of this band have been around for 30 years. He’s not bad either, in a Beatlesque powerpop way. You are destined to see him one of these days whether you realize it or not – why not now?

June 4, 2011 - Posted by | classical music, concert, country music, folk music, gospel music, jazz, Live Events, middle eastern music, Music, music, concert, New York City, reggae music, rock music, world music | , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for picking out some great shows!

    I’m happy to say that MMNY has more participating locations this year than in 2010, not fewer. This year we have 407 on our schedule; last year we had 379.

    As far as the number of concerts, it will be about the same as 2010. There are currently 972 concerts on our schedule, with more trickling in. Last year there were 1,025 on our schedule by June 21st.

    Finally, details on the WQXR/Q2 Pick Up Band with Alan Pierson have just been announced: see

    (Note the change in time, too.)

    Aaron Friedman
    Make Music New York, Inc.

    Comment by Aaron Friedman | June 5, 2011 | Reply

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