Selected NYC Events (05/18) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

Today’s Super 7 NYC Events > THURSDAY/MAY 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-May”

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

Steve Coleman and Five Elements
Village Vanguard, / 8:30, +10:30PM, $30
It’s a pressure-cooker type of deal: Steve Coleman’s Five Elements outfit simmers and bubbles and boils until the lid blows off and the steam screams out. Thanks to the intricate interplay — which has been the DNA of the saxophonist/conceptualist’s stuff since he established his lab in the heady Fort Greene of the Eighties — watching the process can be mind-boggling, like body music posing as a chess match. Trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, guitarist Miles Okazaki, bassist Anthony Tidd, and drummer Sean Rickman comprise the quintet, and their agility is unparalleled. A concert-hall set from last summer’s Montreal Jazz Fest was unforgettably explosive, and when they set up shop in a cozy room like the Vanguard, every micro maneuver boasts an even greater impact. Don’t take your eyes off the rhythm section.” (Jim Macnie,Village Voice)


6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)

>>Bill Charlap Trio
>>American Ballet Theatre
>>Art Museum Day
>>Islamic Civilization in Thirty Lives: The First 1,000 Years
>>“How Money Got Free: Bitcoin and the Fight for the Future of Finance”
>>PLUS Mad. Sq. Eats
AND The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is throwing a concert.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

at the Jazz Gallery, 1160 Broadway / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $25
“Mr. Prieto, a Cuban drummer and MacArthur fellow, assigns a spry rhythmic identity to every member of his Sí o Sí Quartet. His original compositions focus on melodies and phrases that repeat and amplify without adding any excess weight. The quartet — featuring Roman Filiu on alto saxophone, Manuel Valera on piano and Johannes Weidenmueller on bass — appears at the Jazz Gallery in a two-night run that Mr. Prieto is using to raise money for a coming big band album.” (GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO-NYT)

Bill Charlap Trio (May 16 – 21)
With pianist Bill Charlap, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Kenny Washington
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $35
“Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…when he sits down to play, the result is an embrace, an act of possession. The tune rises, falls, disappears, and resurfaces in new forms as Charlap ranges over the keyboard with nimble, crisply swinging lines, subtly layered textures, dense chords, and spiky interjections.” TIME Magazine

One of the world’s premier jazz pianists, Bill Charlap has performed and recorded with modern masters ranging from Phil Woods and Wynton Marsalis, to Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand. Since 1997, he has led the GRAMMY® Award-nominated Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, now recognized as a leading group in jazz. Veterans of top jazz clubs including the Village Vanguard, Birdland, and – of course – Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, this trio is exemplary for its jaw-dropping level of chemistry and on-the-fly interactivity, made possible by both technical chops and hard-earned experience.”

PLUS, for the remainder of May it is dueling ballet companies, as the city’s two major companies, A.B.T. and New York City Ballet, face off at Lincoln Center – only in NY.

American Ballet Theatre (May 15 thru July 08)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center / (May 15-16, 7:30 p.m.; May 17, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; May 18, 7:30 p.m). $22+
“ABT kicks off its eight-week spring engagement with its 1995 production of “Don Quixote,” the first in this season’s lineup of full-length story ballets. It may not be the most nuanced or substantive work, but as a vehicle for pyrotechnic feats, it sparkles. Casting for the leading couple — Kitri and Basilio — includes Gillian Murphy and Cory Stearns on Monday and Thursday, and Misty Copeland and Jeffrey Cirio on Tuesday.” (SIOBHAN BURKE-NYT)
NYC Ballet (May 16 thru May 28)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $30+
“Of the works in City Ballet’s four-week Here/Now festival, those by Justin Peck, the company’s artist in residence, have been among the freshest — the most aligned with the festival’s title. On Friday Mr. Peck unveils his third collaboration with the indie composer Sufjan Stevens, “The Decalogue,” performed by 10 dancers to a commissioned score for solo piano. It repeats on Sunday, Thursday andMay 20, sharing a bill with ballets by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Jorma Elo and Peter Martins.” (GIA KOURLAS – NYT)

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

Art Museum Day
Make today a museum day and escape the heat at one of the museums offering free admission in celebration of Art Museum Day.

Islamic Civilization in Thirty Lives: The First 1,000 Years
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 12PM, $45
“Distinguished professor Chase F. Robinson draws on the long tradition in Muslim scholarship of commemorating in writing the biographies of notable figures. He weaves together the lives of religious thinkers, political leaders, lawmakers, writers and philosophers to create a rich narrative of Islamic civilization — a vivid picture of life in all arenas of the pre-modern Muslim world. There will be a book signing following the event.” (

“How Money Got Free: Bitcoin and the Fight for the Future of Finance”
Museum of American Finance, 48 Wall St./12:30PM, $5
“In the space of a few years, Bitcoin has gone from an idea ignored or maligned by almost everyone to an asset with a market cap of more than $12 billion. Venture capital firms, Goldman Sachs, the NYSE and entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson have invested more than $1 billion in companies built on this groundbreaking technology. Bill Gates has even declared it “better than currency.”

Join us for an afternoon of provocative discussion with Brian Patrick Eha, journalist and author of a new book about Bitcoin, How Money Got Free. An exciting, behind-the-scenes narrative of the rise and fall and rise of this disruptive technology, his book has been compared to “a fiber-optic cable extending into our uncertain economic future.” He will draw on his deep knowledge of Bitcoin’s history to discuss how this brilliant invention is shaping the debate around competing ideas of money and liberty, and what that means for the rest of us.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
My Soul Looks Back: Jessica B. Harris in Conversation with Nicole Taylor
Museum of Food and Drink 62 Bayard Street on the south side of McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn./ 6:30pm; $10
“The famed cookbook author, professor and specialist in the cultures of the African diaspora sits down with writer Nicole Taylor to discuss her new memoir of the West Village in the ’70s, My Soul Looks Back.” (TONY)  OOPS!  this now looks SOLD OUT.

AND from New York Today, a wonderfully quirky feature on the NYT (Mon-Fri) comes this idea for beating today’s record breaking heat:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is throwing a concert.

“Inside the Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central Terminal, 70 musical acts will compete for the chance to play at coveted spots throughout the city’s subway stations and commuter rail terminals and at the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

The competition is part of Music Under New York, a program that brings music to commuters by staging performances from more than 350 buskers.

The competitors today include guitarists, a hulusi player and pop music singers, among others. They will be judged by previous winners, music industry professionals, members of cultural institutions and transportation authority staff.

About 20 winners will be chosen to join other performers on the Music Under New York roster. The auditions run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Past winners will perform a concert from noon to 12:30 p.m., during a break in the auditions.”

PLUS Mad. Sq. Eats (thru Jun 03)
General Worth Square; 11am; free access
“Twice a year, this outdoor food fest brings buzzworthy bites from the city’s best restaurants to Worth Square in the Flatiron District. Best eats include Roberta’s sensational pizza, MeltKraft grilled cheese sandwiches and cheesesteaks by the Truffleist. The one-stop shop for the tastiest grub in town will be available every day until June 3, so make sure to wear your stretchy pants.” (TONY)

The great food options here along with the lovely Madison Square Park across the street make an unbeatable combo.

And don’t forget these outer borough events:
Day 7 of Bronx Week 2017, which celebrates the citizens of the borough with events through May 21. Times and prices vary.

And while you are in the Bronx you won’t want to miss this:
CHIHULY (thru Oct.29)
New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd./ $20 to $25
“Step into the sublimely colorful mind of multimedia artist Dale Chihuly at this larger-than-life exhibition, where over twenty of the celebrated creators’ gigantic pieces will take over the 250-acre grounds of the New York Botanical Garden, with installations created especially for the exhibit. Don’t miss special after-dark hours to experience the glassworks illuminated.”

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
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. South,, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — / 212-864-6662

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — / 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 was 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):


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.

Here is one exhibition the New York Times really likes:

PETER DREHER (thru May 20)
Koenig & Clinton, 459 West 19th Street

“Peter Dreher has spent much of his career producing thousands of high-concept but technically exacting oil portraits of an empty water glass. This 84-year-old German painter’s latest show at Koenig & Clinton collects seven decades’ worth of his treatment of skulls, instead.

The works range from a 1947 watercolor with an upward gaze of doomed innocence to six 10-foot-wide black-and-gray gouaches, made between 2005 and 2007, that manage to look equally like punk-chic bedspreads and coolly abstract reckonings with wartime atrocity. They have a strange, motion-activated flicker, their more or less reflective skulls passing in and out of view as you shift your position.

This subtle formal paradox — a suggestion that black and white, as equal partners in a singular action of contrast, are essentially interchangeable — is a good lead-in to the back room, which holds 15 recent head-on views. Painted in thin, overlapping layers of white gouache, these skulls look like X-rays printed on celluloid. They vary widely in their particulars: One has a jackal’s grimace and a cleft chin, another a severe underbite and eight separately articulated lower teeth. But hanging them all in a line makes those details read as passing accidents, like the constantly mutating patterns of a tide pool.

Standing in front of them, I had what felt like a Buddhist revelation: For a moment, I could see that impermanence was inextricable from form.” (WILL HEINRICH)


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 ( 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). OR try the NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 05/16 and 05/14.

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