Selected Events (11/20) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

Today’s SWEET 6 > FRIDAY / NOV. 20, 2015

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.
(click on links for more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:
Ballet Hispanico (also Saturday)
Apollo Theater, 253 W125th St./ Friday 8PM, $
“The Brazilian choreographer Fernando Melo makes his New York debut, compliments of Ballet Hispanico performing “If Walls Could Speak” at the storied Apollo Theater. The evening-length work is an ode to Mr. Melo’s birthplace in all its cultural richness and political complexity, accompanied by live percussion and samba. That work occupies the evenings; a Saturday matinee aimed at families features selections from the company’s repertory.” (NYT- Schaefer)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Tyshawn Sorey Trio (through Sunday Nov.22)
Village Vanguard,178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30 +10:30PM, $30
“Mr. Sorey, a powerfully inventive drummer who has applied most of his recent focus to composition, presents the trio that can be heard on his latest album, “Alloy.” Featuring the pianist Cory Smythe and the bassist Christopher Tordini, it’s a chamberesque unit that works as much with new-music protocols as with any jazz dialect — and it counts as an unexpected booking at the Village Vanguard, one worth bolstering with a show of support.” (NYT-Chinen)

Django Reinhardt Festival Allstars (thru Nov.22)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
“No one has ever truly captured the passionate brilliance of the Belgian Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, who died in 1953, but that hasn’t stopped generations of players from following in his virtuosic path. The French father-and-son guitarists Dorado and Amati Schmitt lead a quintet in this annual festival honoring the six-string king.” (NewYorker)
Guests include the saxophonist Joel Frahm (Friday), the cellist Borislav Strulev (Saturday) and the singer Cyrille Aimée (Sunday).

Twyla Tharp: 50th Anniversary Tour (thru Nov.22)
NYS / DHK Theater (at Lincoln Center) / 8PM, $35-$150
“The legendary Twyla Tharp celebrates her golden anniversary with two premieres: the linked Fanfare and Preludes and Fugues, set to Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, and Yowzie, a jazz-infused celebration of music by titans like Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton.” (TONY)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Aesthetics of Poverty: Italian Neorealist Film
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, / 1PM, $
“Alberto Burri’s work, in its straightforward presentation of materials from life, shares with Italian neorealist film an “aesthetic of poverty” that points to material deprivation in postwar Italy. Four important films from this rich cinematic period are screened on select Fridays during the run of Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting.”
Today: Roberto Rossellini’s 1946 masterpiece “Paisan” with a young Ingrid Bergman

Murray’s Masterminds: 2015 Holiday Epicurean Showcase
Murray’s Cheese, 254 Bleecker St./ 6:30–8pm; $60
“The most dependably delicious part of any dinner—one that can’t be marred by Aunt Louisa’s overzealous vegan cooking—is the cocktail-hour cheese plate. Embrace everyone’s favorite nosh at Murray’s Holiday Epicurean Showcase, where the purveyor of fine wheels will serve up its best cheeses alongside olive oils, cured meats, breads and desserts.” (TONY)

Bonus – Jazz Picks:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. jazz.org/dizzys, 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave), birdlandjazz.com, 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. smokejazz.com, 212-864-6662
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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A PremierPub / Tribeca

B-Flat / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St))

b_flat4There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door.

But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.

It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.

There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.

Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.

It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.

This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music iot may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.

Website: http://http://www.bflat.info/index.html
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk to bFlat

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.

 

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