Selected NYC Events (01/06) + 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.

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

REGINA CARTER: SIMPLY ELLA
Jazz Standard, / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30 (try 9:30 show for tickets)
“One of the leading instrumentalists of her generation, jazz violinist and MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter celebrates the 100th birthday of her musical idol and inspiration, Ella Fitzgerald, with a new Sony Masterworks album, Simply Ella, and two nights at Jazz Standard. Simply Ella is the latest in a series of adventurous thematic recordings that includes I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey (2006), a collection of her mother’s favorite early jazz standards; and Reverse Thread (2010), which celebrated the African music traditions re–imagined for violin, accordion, bass, drums and kora.

As John Fordham wrote in The Guardian: “When the MacArthur Foundation awarded Carter a fellowship in 2006, they heralded her achievements in ‘pioneering new possibilities for the violin and for jazz’. Ten years later, her music resoundingly retains both its respect for jazz and classical traditions, and its creative edge.”

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

BACH’S ‘CHRISTMAS ORATORIO’
‘A DARLENE LOVE CHRISTMAS’
Fred Hersch Trio
NOCHE FLAMENCA
Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Monster Energy Buck Off
New Year’s Resolutions: How to Make and Keep Them
BONUS: NYC WINTER JAZZFEST

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

BACH’S ‘CHRISTMAS ORATORIO’
St. Paul’s Chapel, Trinity Wall Street / 1PM, FREE
“Julian Wachner’s Time’s Arrow festival (Jan. 1-12) at Trinity Wall Street this year celebrates the 250th anniversary of St. Paul’s Chapel. All of the programming is worthwhile, but this performance of Bach’s frequently overlooked “Christmas Oratorio,” spread out with two of six parts per lunchtime performance, ought to be especially interesting. Mr. Wachner, never less than intriguing in any repertoire, conducts the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street.’ (NYT)

I was at Wednesday’s concert and this is a wonderful performance of Bach’s work. The soloists are especially fine.

‘A DARLENE LOVE CHRISTMAS’
“The former Crystals singer’s annual show has become as much of a holiday tradition as the Yule Log. And you can be certain she’ll perform her Christmas chestnut “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. (also Dec. 23, 26 and Jan. 6) at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 W. 42nd St.
INFO $45; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com” (DANIEL BUBBEO, Newsday)

Fred Hersch Trio
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30, +10:30PM, $30
images“This prime pianist’s instrumental touch only strengthens his acute composing and band-leading skills. See all three forces in play at this six-night stand, where Hersch expands his invaluable trio—with the bassist John Hebert and the drummer Eric McPherson—to include the trumpeter Mike Rodriguez and the saxophonist Dayna Stephens.” (NewYorker)

NOCHE FLAMENCA (Dec. 26-Jan. 28)
West Park Presbyterian Church, Amsterdam Ave & 86th St./ 8PM, $27.50+
“In the early 20th century, Arthur Schnitzler’s play “La Ronde” scandalized audiences with its vignettes of sexual encounters that breached class borders. The inventive and indispensable dance company Noche Flamenca interprets that work through a series of duets that explore the dynamics of loneliness and desire, feelings that flamenco captures well. Accompanying “La Ronde” in a 75-minute program, which will performed from Dec. 26 through Jan. 7, is “Creación,” inspired by the lives of Noche Flamenca’s incomparable star Soledad Barrio and the accomplished hip-hop dancer TweetBoogie (in a role also performed by Nubian Néné). The two will share the stage with younger women dancing both styles.” (NYT-Schaefer)

BONUS:
NYC WINTER JAZZFEST (through Jan. 10)
“This teeming convergence of bands and artists, both emerging and established, qualifies as New York City’s biggest jazz event of the season, if not the year. The festival’s 2017 edition has adopted a theme of social justice, with related work presented by, among others, the trombonist Craig Harris (“Breathe”) and the drummers Mike Reed (“Flesh & Bone”) and Terri Lyne Carrington (with her band Social Science). They will represent a few options among many in the Winter Jazzfest Marathon, on Jan. 6 and 7 in a range of settings below 14th Street.

The festival then continues with a centennial tribute to Thelonious Monk, on Jan. 8 at Littlefield, featuring improvisers like the pianist David Virelles and the guitarist Marc Ribot; a double bill of the singer-songwriter Sam Amidon (with an array of guests) and the drummer Andrew Cyrille (performing solo) on Jan. 9 at Le Poisson Rouge; and the Liberation Music Orchestra, with the pianist Geri Allen as a guest conductor, on Jan. 10, also at Le Poisson Rouge.” (Chinen – NYT)

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Monster Energy Buck Off (Jan.06-08)
Madison Square Garden, / 7:45PM, $26+
imgres “Escape the chilly weather with some Southern-style, yee-haw-worthy fun at the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Monster Energy Buck Off at The Garden. Don a cowboy hat and cheer on 35 ace studs as they attempt to stay atop bucking bovines—which can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds—for more than eight seconds.” (TONY)

PLUS, Two places to ride a mechanical bull in NYC
“When you do, rider Ryan Dirteater (yes, that’s his real last name) says to “keep your chin down, bow that chest out, keep your hips on the rope, and don’t get too wild with your free arm.” Ready to ride? Here’s where to go.
Johnny Utah’s
Sign a waiver, get a stamp on your hand, and enjoy free bull rides all night at this kitschy Southwestern-inspired bar. The midtown haunt promises a “challenging” experience, so you might want to hold off on those loaded nachos until after your turn. 25 W 51st St (212-265-8824)
Slate
On special occasions, this sleek Chelsea lounge amplifies its Sunday football-watching revelry with mechanical livestock. Between the writhing bull and the club’s pool, Ping-Pong and foosball tables, you’ll never be bored during halftime. 54 W 21st St (212-989-0096)” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

New Year’s Resolutions: How to Make and Keep Them
Prospect Heights Brainery, 190 Underhill Ave./ 5PM, $25
“The New Year is a time when we reflect on our goals for the year ahead: better health, a new job, travel or finding a relationship.But change is hard. It requires a real commitment, the forming of rituals and planning.Research has found 88% of people actually fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. The reason: setting and reaching goals isn’t strictly about self discipline or willpower, it’s about intention and finding pleasure in pursuing what matters to you.
In this class, we will set practical goals, take a look at the calendar and come up with a plan for the year ahead. We’ll also find a partner or support system to help make our dreams come true.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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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 60 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.

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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 01/04 and 01/02.
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