Selected Events Manhattan’s WestSide (12/25)

Today’s “Fab 4”/ Selected NYCity Events – WEDNESDAY, DEC. 25, 2013

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “Notable NYC Events-Dec.”, (because the holiday season kicks into high gear in December)
and also “on Broadway”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

It’s Christmas Day, when most folks are home with family and friends, but there are some hard working musicians performing this evening, if you get the urge.

Eric Alexander Quartet featuring Louis Hayes
To kickoff the third annual “Countdown: A John Coltrane Festival,” Saxophonist Eric Alexander leads a quartet featuring the legendary Louis Hayes. Louis Hayes, a drummer at the heart of straight-ahead jazz for the past 50 years, established his reputation in the 1950’s and 60’s during extended stints with Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver, and Cannonball Adderley.

His innate swing and effortless feel sometimes make it seem like he invented jazz drumming. He has worked with everyone from Dizzy and Newk to Ravi Shankar and, of course, Trane. As The New York Times reports, “You know the drummer Louis Hayes if you have a halfway decent jazz record collection.”
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, at 106th St.
At 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m./ $40 cover
(212) 864-6662,

Chris Botti (through Jan. 5)
“Mr. Botti, whose adult-pop savvy and controlled but brooding trumpet sound have made him a high-gloss global superstar, descends on the Blue Note each year around this time for an extended run. As usual he has a slick but substantial band, and the clout to call on the occasional unbilled celebrity guest. $75 cover at tables, $40 at the bar, with a $5 minimum.” (Chinen-NYT)
Blue Note, 131 West Third St., Greenwich Village
At 8 and 10:30 p.m., $75 cover at tables (8pm sold out), 
$40 at the bar, with a $5 minimum. (sound is fine at these bar seats, vision decent)

Christmas at Birdland (variations through Dec. 28)
Holiday music will be the theme of several sets at the Birdland jazz club.

Tonight at 6PM: “A Swinging Birdland Christmas” will feature the cabaret performers Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch.

In the tradition of beloved seasonal specials, Blackhurst, Caruso and Stritch will perform swinging arrangements of “Christmas Waltz,” Kay Thompson’s “Holiday Season,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” among other favorites. The singers will be joined by Steve Doyle on bass and Carmen Intorre on drums.

Tonight at 9PM: The pianist and singer Michael Feinstein will present his “Holiday @ Birdland”

Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace.

More than simply a performer, Feinstein has received national recognition for his commitment to celebrating America’s popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation.
Birdland – 315 West 44th St (btw 8th/9th ave)
at 6 p.m./$30 cover (includes a drink if you sit at the bar, which are not bad seats)
At 9PM / $100-$150, $75 at the bar
(212) 581-3080 /

Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm dates and check times, as schedules are subject to change. 
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