Selected NYC Events (01/08) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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:

ANAT COHEN TENTET 
Jazz Standard, / 7:30, +9:30PM, $30
“A clarinetist and tenor saxophonist of irresistible rhythmic aplomb, Ms. Cohen has dabbled in music for midsize ensembles, and this one should bring out some vibrant colors in her writing. The 10-piece ensemble’s chamberesque lineup includes Nadje Noordhuis on trumpet, Rubin Kodheli on cello, James Shipp on vibraphone and Sheryl Bailey on guitar.” (Chinen-NYT)

“With the clarinet she becomes a singer, a dancer, a poet, a mad scientist, laughing – musically – with the sheer delight of reaching that new place, that new feeling, with each chorus.” (JazzTimes)

Whenever Anat Cohen is in town she is always my top pick – just magical.

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY
Jomama Jones: Black Light 
Confucius- CHINA NATIONAL OPERA & DANCE DRAMA THEATER
Chris Botti 12th Annual Holiday Residency
UTE LEMPER
Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Monster Energy Buck Off
BONUS: NYC WINTER JAZZFEST

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Jomama Jones: Black Light 
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, $25
“Decked out in sequined splendor, Jones is a paradigm of R&B-diva grandeur circa 1982, with impeccable posture and elocution that bespeak an old-school black-star dignity. Created and performed by Daniel Alexander Jones, Jomama has starred in a series of shows, most recently the fascinating Duat; now she joins forces with young pianist Samora Pinderhughes for a night of original “Afromystical” songs.” (TONY)

Confucius- CHINA NATIONAL OPERA & DANCE DRAMA THEATER
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center/ 1PM, $22+
“During China’s Cultural Revolution, Confucius fell out of fashion. In recent years, however, as the country has modernized, it has also re-embraced its past and the ancient philosopher’s 2,500-year-old teachings. A 90-minute dance drama about his life, simply called “Confucius,” follows the scholar through the kingdoms of the Zhou dynasty as he reflects on ethics and honor, as illustrated in a blend of traditional and contemporary dance and music. The director and choreographer, Kong Dexin, is a 77th-generation descendant of her subject.” (NYT)

Chris Botti 12th Annual Holiday Residency (LAST DAY)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $50 Bar; $85-$115 Table
“Botti’s trumpet skills are actually as good as his telegenic looks, even if he rarely puts them to use playing the kind of bop he cut his teeth on. A consummate showman, Botti presents his blend of smooth jazz-funk, glossily Miles-ian ballads and assorted pop and classical chestnuts at the Blue Note for his 12th annual holiday residency.” (TONY)

UTE LEMPER (also Jan.11)
54 Below, / 9:30PM, $45+
“Back by popular demand, Feinstein’s/54 Below presents renowned international chanteuse and star of Broadway’s Chicago, Ute Lemper with her new show Songs From the Broken Heart. Share in Ute’s stories of life, wonder, love, doubt, and loss, spanning from her Song Trilogy of Poets to her own tales of long sleepless nights. Delve into Ute’s repertoire of her own pen alongside the lyrics of Bukowski, Coehlo, Leo Ferre, Jacques Brel, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits. Journey beyond the dark streets of Berlin and Paris, and follow the main road that leads to Ute’s heart in this deeply personal and intimate evening of stories and songs.”

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)

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Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi32 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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WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:
‘FROM THE COLLECTION: 1960-1969’ (through March 12, 2017)
“MoMA shakes up its sanctum sanctorum, installing half of its permanent collection galleries with works chosen by 17 curators from a single decade: the tumultuous 1960s. The limited time frame is balanced by unprecedented breadth and variety. As never before, the presentation mixes together objects and artworks from all six of the museum’s curatorial departments. The blend is alternately stimulating and bewildering, revelatory and infuriating: yet another symptom of the museum’s limited curatorial mind-set. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Smith)
 ‘TONY OURSLER: IMPONDERABLE’ (through April 16, 2017)
“This small exhibition is centered on a 90-minute film in which episodes from the history of spiritualist frauds and hoaxes are re-enacted by people in fanciful costumes while mystic flames, smoke and ectoplasmic phenomena come and go. At certain moments during “Imponderable,” you feel breezes wafting over you and hear loud thumping under the theater’s risers. The crudeness of these effects is part of the generally comical spirit. It’s all about the confusion between illusion and reality to which human beings seem to be congenitally susceptible. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Johnson)

 Whitney Museum of American Art:
‘HUMAN INTEREST: PORTRAITS FROM THE WHITNEY’S COLLECTION’ (through Feb.12, 2017)
“A year ago, the Whitney inaugurated its new downtown home with a permanent collection showcase called “America Is Hard to See.” Its even more immediately engaging successor, devoted entirely to portraiture, is now on view and might well have been subtitled “Americans Are Strange to Look At,” which, in the 250 images here, we sure are: funny-strange, beautiful-strange, crazy-strange, dangerous-strange, inscrutable-strange. The work is arranged by theme and spread over two floors. There are magnetic images everywhere. 99 Gansevoort Street, 212-570-3600, whitney.org.” (Cotter)

“DREAMLANDS: IMMERSIVE CINEMA AND ART’, 1905-2016′ (thru Feb.05, 2017)
“The Whitney’s new exhibit offers visitors a chance to explore more than a century of experimentation in cinema, mostly by American artists. See works that question and play with elements such as color, touch, music, spectacle, light and darkness, animation and dimension. There will be a film series in addition to the 18,000 square feet of gallery space devoted to the show.” (Newsday)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right sidebar dated 01/06 and 01/04.
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