Selected NYC Events (11/25) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“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.
For future NYC Events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / Nov.”

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Maria Schneider Orchestra (through Nov. 27)
Jazz Standard, 116 E27th St./ 7:30 and 9:30PM, $
79_edp “This peerless large ensemble won two Grammy Awards in 2016: best large jazz ensemble album for “The Thompson Fields,” one of last year’s standout releases; and best arrangement, instruments and vocals, for a stand-alone track made with David Bowie. The accolades only begin to account for the high standard of artistry in the group, which begins with Ms. Schneider’s tonally evocative, emotionally lucid compositions — always the primary feature of this customary Thanksgiving-week residency.” (Chinen-NYT)

“Maria Schneider has a handsome collection of Grammys, and the accolades are well deserved: This protégée of the late bandleading/arranging genius Gil Evans fronts the most polished modern jazz orchestra on the planet, a vehicle for her lush, intricate and refreshingly accessible works.” (TONY)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

New York City Ballet / “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker”
CHUCHO VALDÉS-JOE LOVANO QUINTET
Ben Vereen: Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen
Dorrance Dance
JASON MORAN AND THE BANDWAGON
bonus: Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

New York City Ballet / “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker”
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / 8PM, $30+
“People like to say they’re sick of “The Nutcracker,” but once the music starts, and little Marie catches a glimpse of that tree, who can resist it? Tchaikovsky loved children, and that love is audible in the score; an early critic called it a “symphony of childhood.” What makes it so good is that it doesn’t eschew darkness, or grandeur. George Balanchine, who created his now classic version in 1954, understood this, and made a ballet that has a bit of everything: cozy family dances, conflict, drama—enter Dewdrop with her urgent leaps—and sugarplums, too.” (NewYorker)

CHUCHO VALDÉS-JOE LOVANO QUINTET (through Nov. 27)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
“Mr. Valdés is a pianist from Havana who has contributed as much as anyone to modernist Afro-Cuban jazz. Mr. Lovano is a leading saxophonist in the postbop continuum, and one of the great small-group bandleaders of his time. They have been on tour for the last week with this rhythmically advanced band, featuring Gastón Joya on bass, Yaroldi Abreu Robles on percussion and Francesco Mela on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

Ben Vereen: Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen (thru Nov 26)
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $55-$85
“Fosse muse, jazz cat and showbiz-blooded triple-threat entertainer Ben Vereen—of Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar and All That Jazz fame—struts his still-slick stuff. His show is a potent mixture of sweat and veneer; the man has a firm place in Broadway legend.” (TONY)

“Mr. Vereen is a song and dance man who never lets up. He wins you over with his sheer energy, good will and showbiz know-how.” The New York Times

Dorrance Dance (through Nov. 27)
Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave. @ 19th St./ $
“Michelle Dorrance, the MacArthur award-winning tap choreographer, brings her tightly constructed, spirit-lifting 2013 show “The Blues Project” back to the Joyce. Driven by the raucous live music of Toshi Reagon and her band, BIGLovely, Dorrance’s crew of affable, expert hoofers—including the virtuosic co-choreographers Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards—entertain greatly while more subtly hinting at the racially mixed roots of tap and the pain within the joy.” (NewYorker)
Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.(no performance on Thanksgiving Day)

JASON MORAN AND THE BANDWAGON (through Nov. 27)
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“Mr. Moran, the pianist and composer, is coming to the close of another banner year — as a concert programmer, an interdisciplinary collaborator and the force behind his own label. The Bandwagon, his trio with the bassist Tarus Mateen and the drummer Nasheet Waits, still represents his baseline, and this engagement at the Vanguard has become a cherished staple of this time of year.” (Chinen-NYT)

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“This weekend he presents Origin II, an updated edition of a late-’90s band, now with Ravi Coltrane and Steve Wilson on saxophones. On Wednesday and Thursday Mr. Corea will revisit the acoustic side of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including Mr. Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws.” (NYT-CHINEN)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.

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Bonus NYC events– Jazz Venues:
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 (all six are within walking distance of each other):
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 – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319

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 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

One current exhibition the NewYorkTimes likes:
‘Implosion: 20’ (through Dec. 22)
Anton Kern Gallery, 532 West 20th Street, Chelsea

“Adroitly scrunched into a midsize gallery, “Implosion: 20” is an excellent group show of 39 artists that feels like a mini-biennial in its sweep and diversity. It celebrates the Anton Kern Gallery’s 20th anniversary, the conclusion of its Chelsea lease and its pending relocation to 55th Street, near Fifth Avenue.

The exhibition represents nearly every artist to whom the gallery has given a solo show; their efforts tend to be impressive. Sometimes the work is new, like Nicole Eisenman’s portrait of Richard Hell, which channels Michael Jackson by way of Ed Paschke. Sometimes it’s old, like Marcel Odenbach’s four-minute video, from 1977-79, “The Eternal Creative Hands or for All Art Historians,” which features the artist’s fidgeting hands.

Perhaps most important, this gathering also celebrates unusually ecumenical, eyes-first ways of looking — the search for convincing ratios of innovation to authenticity. In a time overrun with artists who simply go through the motions, this is very refreshing.” ROBERTA SMITH

One current exhibition TimeOutNewYork likes:
Elmgreen & Dragset, “Changing Subjects”
FLAG Art Foundation, 545 W25th St, 9th Floor (closes Sat. Dec.17)

“The Scandinavian artist duo present works old and new for this mid-career survey show. Among the offerings are set pieces featuring morose, uncannily realistic figures, like those of a body in a morgue locker and a baby left in a basket under an ATM machine, as well as an enigmatic installation of large glass vessel filled with pastel blues, greens and pinks.”

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For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide (nycgo.com) Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but better to plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm).

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 11/23 and 11/21.
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This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
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