Today’s Sweet 6 NYC Events>SATURDAY/FEB.18, 2017
“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: “Notable NYC Events-Feb.”
Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:
EXPANSIONS: THE DAVE LIEBMAN GROUP (also Sunday)
at Smoke Jazz Club, 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $38
“An esteemed soprano saxophonist and N.E.A. Jazz Master, Mr. Liebman, 70, has recently been working with Expansions, a spry, protean quintet. It features three younger musicians — the entrancing pianist Bobby Avey, the multi-reedist Matt Vashlishan and the drummer Alex Ritz — and one longtime associate, the bassist Tony Marino. Last year the band released a live album, “Expansions Live,” full of murky and magnetic interplay. For this three-night run the group will focus on the repertoire of John Coltrane.” (NYT – GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)
5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30Pm, +10:30PM, $30
“Típico,” Zenón’s new album, is a dedicatory project that celebrates the unity and invention of the alto saxophonist’s longtime quartet, now approaching its second decade as a fierce modernist ensemble. The leader’s lapel-grabbing playing may remain the focus, but his bandmates—the pianist Luis Perdomo, the bassist Hans Glawischnig, and the drummer Henry Cole—having thoroughly absorbed Zenón’s integration of Latin musical sources and jazz, are invaluable contributors, each worthy of his obvious pride.” (NewYorker)
Catherine Russell and Her Sextet
A Valentine’s Celebration: “Nothing But Love Songs”
Birdland, / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“With the Grammy® nominated, “Harlem On My Mind,” vocalist Catherine Russell journeys to the blue heart of the great American songbook. “One of the outstanding singers of our time,” (Wall Street Journal) and her sextet bolster her reputation as one of the foremost interpreters of early-20th century American music. The daughter of pioneering jazz musician Carline Ray and long-time Louis Armstrong band leader and arranger Luis Russell, Catherine Russell has ”a voice that wails like a horn and whispers like a snake in the Garden of Eden.” (NPR) In addition to her own acclaimed recordings, Russell has been prominently featured providing period music on the soundtracks to HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and other film and television productions.”
MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY (Feb.14-26)
at the Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 8PM, $56-$76
“With classic works by Martha Graham and pieces by four contemporary choreographers — Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Annie-B Parson, Pontus Lidberg and Nacho Duato — the Graham company hosts a two-week season with the theme “Sacred/Profane.” The runs includes premieres by Mr. Cherkaoui, who takes on Sufi mysticism, and Ms. Parson, who is inspired by Graham’s “Punch and the Judy,” a comic work from 1941. Promisingly, there is text by the witty Will Eno.
But the real attraction comes in the Graham masterworks, especially “Primitive Mysteries” (1931), an all-female dance divided into three sections that explores the virgin myths of the American Southwest. There are also sections from the haunting “Dark Meadow” (1946) and Act II from “Clytemnestra” (1958), as well as some lighter fare, including the always lovely “Diversion of Angels” (1948) and the comic work “Maple Leaf Rag” (1990).” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)
Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Roe v. Wade: Four Decades Later
New-York Historical Society / 9AM, $48
“Celebrated journalist Linda Greenhouse, Yale Law School dean Robert Post and NYU School of Law professor Kenji Yoshino examine the landmark case and discuss why, over forty years later, it remains a source of heated debate. Show up at 9am for a continental breakfast; the program begins at 9:30am.” (TONY)
Elsewhere, but this annual show is worth the detour:
The Orchid Show
New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., the Bronx.
“This edition of the New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Show, now in its fifteenth year, focusses on Thailand’s rich history and the flower’s cultural status as one of the country’s leading exports. Held in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the display features blooming orchids by the hundreds in lush tropical environments, leading into an arched installment styled in the manner of a traditional Thai pavilion. The schedule includes several panel discussions, tours, and after-hours viewings with music and cocktails.” (NewYorker)
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
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.
♦ 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 is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017. 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):
A PremierPub / Midtown West.
Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)
Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.
From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” closed Jan.15)
Those in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.
Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.
But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.
Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.
It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.