NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/07) + 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 better check the tab above: “NYC Events-January”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

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

​Blue Note Jazz Club / 8PM, +10:30PM, $65-$125
“Botti, described by The Wall Street Journal as “a December institution in the Big Apple at the Blue Note, has called the club his home every December since 2005.

Since the release of his 2004 critically acclaimed CD When I Fall In Love, Chris Botti has become the largest-selling American instrumental artist. His success has crossed over to audiences usually reserved for pop music and his ongoing association with PBS has led to four #1 jazz albums, as well as multiple Gold, Platinum and Grammy Awards. Most recently, his latest album Impressions won the GRAMMY® for Best Pop Instrumental Album at the 2013 55th GRAMMY® Awards. Performing worldwide and selling more than four million albums, he has found a form of creative expression that begins in jazz and expands beyond the limits of any single genre.”


6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Erin Markey: Rainbow Caverns—Greatest Hits of All Time Including the Future
>> Harold Mabern
>>Shanghai Dance Theatre – Soaring Wings
>>Ali Jackson
>>Orrin Evans
>> Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Erin Markey: Rainbow Caverns—Greatest Hits of All Time Including the Future
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 9:30PM, $25
“Brilliantly off-kilter actor-singer Markey has spent the past few years making people uncomfortable with her nervy, edgy, marvy brand of strangely connected and fiercely committed humor, most recently as Squeaky Fromme in the Encores! production of Assassins. This Under the Radar festival event includes musical excerpts from past shows A Ride On The Irish Cream (2016) and Boner Killer (2017) and the in-development Little Surfer (2019); guests include Markey’s sturdy companion, Becca Blackwell.” (TONY)

Harold Mabern  (thru Jan.07)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, (betw105th/106th Sts.) /
“A Memphis-born transplant who has retained the bluesy filigree of his home town in his fluent bop-and-beyond improvisations, the respected veteran Mabern will be inviting a slew of guests to the stage during this engagement, including the saxophonists Eric Alexander, Vincent Herring, and another Memphis hero, George Coleman, as well as the trombonists Steve Turre and Steve Davis.” (NewYorker)

Ali Jackson (Jan. 5-7)
Dizzy’s Club Broadway at 60th St./ mm mm
“UptownDrummers, Miles Davis once said, can make good composers—this engagement by the longtime drummer for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra might make a reliable testing ground for the theory. Jackson, who also finds room for jazz classics in his repertoire, will front a quartet that includes the guitarist Peter Bernstein and the bassist Omer Avital.” (NewYorker)

Shanghai Dance Theatre – Soaring Wings ((Jan.05-07)
NYS / DHK Theater / 8PM, $22+
“Environmental protection meets exquisite Chinese dance in Soaring Wings, a new dance drama about the crested ibis, viewed in China as “the bird of good fortune.” The Shanghai Dance Theatre makes its New York debut in this opulently costumed piece directed and choreographed by Tong Ruirui, to traditional Chinese music composed by Guo Sida. The work, which dramatizes the interdependence between people and nature, was written by Luo Huaizhen after Chinese scientists discovered the birds in the wild and doubled down in efforts to protect them.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Vilage Voice)

Orrin Evans (LAST DAY)
Jazz Standard / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $30
“Multifaceted keyboardist-composer Orrin Evans joins jazz-pop trio the Bad Plus this year and performs in just about every other configuration known to jazz. Expect smart, hard-swinging, and emotionally nuanced arrangements when the Philadelphian cranks up his Captain Black Big Band, a six-horn nonet plus two singers, for a relatively rare appearance Tuesday–Wednesday. The group’s most recent album, 2014’s Mother’s Touch, includes an oblique reimagining of Wayne Shorter’s “Water Babies” alongside gospel-tinged originals and a resistance-resounding “Prayer for Columbine.” Evans downsizes Thursday and Friday with a foolproof sextet consisting of JD Allen (tenor sax), Bill McHenry (tenor sax), Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), James Genus (bass), and drummer Mark Whitfield Jr. The leader plays piano in gusts of ideas, blending head and heart while exploring subtleties of difference and repetition.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

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

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave./ 2PM,
Free with museum admission
“Learn about the man who created some of the greatest art works of all time at Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman, a lecture discussing the ideas and inspirations behind some of the artist’s iconic works.” (


Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

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.

Gordon Parks: I Am You, Part 1
New views from a late visionary.
The first installment of two, this show devoted to the great photographer of the civil-rights movement focuses on lesser-known work from the ’50s and ’60s, like portraits of artists including Calder and Giacometti and vérité fashion photography that paved the way for today’s street-style portraiture.
Jack Shainman Gallery, 524 West 24th Street. Opens January 11.(NYMagazine)

Here are two exhibitions the New Yorker likes:

“The first in a multiyear series of shows about photographs made for commercial or practical purposes, curated by Brian Wallis, considers the portrait. Most of the images date to the nineteenth century; all of them fit into typologies. Fifteen tintypes of “workers with tools of their trade” include a barber, a piano tuner, and a sword swallower; several mug shots attributed to the California sheriff Thomas Cunningham are so picturesque that they could be mistaken for stills from a Hollywood period piece. Passport photographers across Africa take full-length portraits and cut out the heads, leaving behind accidental studies of fashion. A mesmerizing series of such discards, shown here, were taken against a red background in Gulu, Uganda, and collected by the Italian-born journalist Martina Bacigalupo. A found group of forty-eight color snapshots of migrant farmworkers, each holding up a paper number—their source is unknown—takes the idea of identifying documents in a more chilling direction.”

Lee Krasner

Kasmin, 293 Tenth Ave., at 27th St. (thru Jan.13)

“Working in her late husband Jackson Pollock’s East Hampton studio, often at night, in the years following his accidental death, in 1956, Krasner produced twenty-four paintings in a series she titled “Umber,” five of which are on view in this small but powerful show. They’re rough and explosive abstractions in which thick strokes of black, brown, and off-white jostle against the edges of the canvas and one another. While the works clearly suggest an artist trying to externalize grief, there’s a joyful aspect to them, too. In the center of a brown storm of brushstrokes spattered with creamy blotches, titled “Fecundity,” several curving black lines evoke the expansive feeling of gracefully opening arms.”


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 12/12 and 12/10.

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