Today’s “FAB 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – THURSDAY, DEC. 25, 2014.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”
Christmas at Birdland — Cabaret @ 6pm & @ 9pm
Eric Alexander & Harold Mabern Quartet featuring Louis Hayes — Jazz
Chris Botti — Jazz
Dutch Christmas – Age of Rembrandt — SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music
For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Dec.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity Sights, Sounds and Stories visit out our sister site: nyc123blog.wordpress.com
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.
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 celebrate their fifth year and 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.
Tonight at 9PM: The pianist and singer Michael Feinstein will present his “Happy Holidays: Swinging with the Big Band”
Backed by a 17-piece big band, legendary performer, vocalist, pianist and scholar of American popular song, Michael Feinstein, kicks off a year-long, global, centennial celebration of Frank Sinatra with a program of Ol’ Blue Eyes favorite standards from the great American songbook.
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 / $150-$250 at the tables, $60 at the bar
(212) 581-3080 / birdlandjazz.com
Eric Alexander & Harold Mabern 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 Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, at 106th St.
At 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m./ $45 cover (limited space)
(212) 864-6662, smokejazz.com
Chris Botti (through Jan. 5)
“Mr. Botti, whose adult-pop savvy and controlled but brooding trumpet sound have made him a global superstar, descends on the Blue Note each year around this time for an extended engagement. This is his 10th annual run, and as usual he brings a slick but substantial band, and the clout to welcome the occasional celebrity guest.” (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)
475-8592 / bluenote.net
Dutch Christmas – Age of Rembrandt
(Performances in Saint James Chapel)
“Late Renaissance carols played on wood recorders, drinking songs, and Latin motets for male voices—all the fixings of a good old Dutch Christmas—make up this concert by Early Music New York at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine” (thoughtgallery.org)
Researched and directed by Frederick Renz, this vivid program continues EM/NY’s penchant for presenting newly unearthed seasonal repertoire side by side with more familiar early music ‘standards.’ EM/NY’s men’s vocal ensemble is joined by a consort of recorders to perform late Renaissance repertoire from the Ex cathedra Records CD, “A Dutch Christmas” (produced in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art).
A delightful compendium of 16th- and early 17th- century holiday repertoire encompassing the Netherlands as well as the Low Countries – drinking songs and dances by Pierre Phalèse & Tielman Susato for the “Nieuw Jaar,” devotional Cantiones natalitiae (Latin and Dutch Christmas songs), kerstliedjes (Dutch carols) and Latin motets for voices along with variations on favorite carol tunes for recorders by Jacob van Eyck and Jan Pieterzoon Sweelinck.
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St.
at 2:00 PM and 7:30PM
Traditionally sold-out seasonal performances! If so, mark your calendar for next year.
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
Holiday markets in NYC
New York has a wealth of holiday markets and craft fairs that you can browse if the big department stores with their holiday windows aren’t your bag. Now that Christmas is here most have closed up shop, but there are still a few open for your after Christmas shopping, including my favorite at Bryant Park.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Not only is there free ice-skating on Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink, but also 127 holiday shops, including 27 new kiosks and 26 eateries. New offerings such as eco-friendly clothing and accessories from Angelrox ($10–$250) and organic hair- and skin-care products from Surya Brasil (starting at $15) are up for grabs. And after you shop and skate, warm up at spacious rinkside restaurant Celsius. FYI: The vendors are only there until Jan 4, but If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours (open through March 1). FYI: On Tuesday, Dec 2, come for the tree, but stay for the grand lighting ceremony at 6pm, including performances on and off the ice.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Sixth Ave, between 40th and 42nd Sts
Until Sun Jan 4
Creeds Collective Holiday Pop-up
This pop-up’s two-month run allows you to grab splurgeworthy presents from up-and-coming fashion, beauty and wellness brands for everyone on your list—or hell, let’s be honest, yourself. Our favorites include Angela & Roi handbags ($340), Dharma eyewear ($99), Coye Nokes shoes ($350) and more. And 10 percent of proceeds from every purchase goes toward Global Citizen’s (globalcitizen.org) fight against extreme poverty. The pop-up also offers complimentary mini spa treatments from natural hair- and skin-care brand THANN, a nail-art bar by Primp & Polish and a #hashtag photo booth, to reward yourself for getting through your shopping list.
Creeds Collective Holiday Pop-Up 54 Crosby St , between Broome and Spring Sts
Until Sun Dec 28
Jingle holiday pop-up
Accessories designer Jill Schwartz curated this 6,000-square-foot shop inside Chelsea Market, featuring local and international goods perfect for gift-giving. Inside, you’ll find stylish wares by Izola and vibrant living sculptures (starting at $60) from Twig Terrariums. Plus, this pop-up has enough holiday spirit to cheer up even scroogiest New Yorker.
Chelsea Market 75 Ninth Ave, at 16th St
Tue Dec 16 – Mon Dec 29
Elsewhere, but worth a detour:
Artists & Fleas Williamsburg Holiday Market
Founders Amy Abrams and Ronen Glimer will again curate a special holiday-themed version of their weekend market, now featuring more than100 vendors inside their Williamsburg space, which expanded to the warehouse next door. Boasting sellers, artists, makers and collectors, enjoy free gift-wrapping stations, tasty treats and Christmas carolers to get you all warm and fuzzy. If off-the-wall gifts are your thing, you might want to snatch up Kt Ferris Creations’ trendy evil-eye necklaces ($28–$150), Curated Basics’ black stainless steel cuffs for guys ($40), festive knit Twinko onesies for pets or Marley & Alfie horseshoe dream catchers ($99) for your ecentric friends and family members.
Artists & Fleas 70 North 7th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
Until Sun Dec 28
This comprehensive listing and much more useful holiday info, including a holiday gift guide, can be found at TONY magazine’s Christmas in NewYork Guide.