NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/11) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

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

Roomful of Teeth
Carnegie Hall, Zankel Hall / 7:30PM, $35-$45
“When Caroline Shaw’s Partita for 8 Voices won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013, the piece also drew attention to the orchestralike a cappella ensemble she sings in and wrote it for. Now that group, Roomful of Teeth, performs that work and also joins up with jazz pianist and composer Tigran Hamasyan for the local premiere of his Ser Aravote and of Ambrose Akinmusire’s A Promise in the Stillness.” (Justin Davidson, NY magazine)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Changüí Majadero
>> JJOSÉ JAMES
>> AMERICAN DANCE PLATFORM
>> Joshua Redman
>>Vijay Iyer Sextet
>>Katy Tur Presents Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History
>>Your Nam
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Changüí Majadero
Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center/ 7:30PM, FREE, better get there early for a seat.
“Playing Cuban roots music straight out of East LA, Changüí Majadero is a blazing five-piece band that has honed a deeply informed and highly personal take on changüí, a surging Afro-Cuban musical tradition that took shape in the late 19th century on the eastern side of the island around Guantanamo. It’s one of the foundational styles that gave birth to son, salsa, and timba, and in the hands of Changüí Majadero the music feels fresh and intoxicating. Founded by vocalist Gabriel García, an expert on Cuban tres guitar, the band features bassist Yosmel Montejo, Norrell Thompson on vocals and guayo (metal scraper), George Ortiz on the low-pitched bongó de monte, and Alfred Ortiz on maracas and vocals.”

JOSÉ JAMES
at Le Poisson Rouge / 7PM, $30
“Mr. James sometimes uses his sleepy baritone to boast, or to posture, or to console — typical soul singer stuff — but it’s hard to get lost in his singing. He’s a shy romantic, relativist and self-questioning and complex: Whether by design or not, it’s the uncertainty that makes his work interesting. His newest project is a tribute to Bill Withers, another singer whose music always seemed more defined by his internal life than by his public persona. Mr. James presents Mr. Withers’ music here with an expert quintet. The concert also includes sets from three acts with their own ideas about how to make dance music surprising: My Brightest Diamond, the No BS! Brass Band, and Knower.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

AMERICAN DANCE PLATFORM (Jan. 9-14 at various times).
at the Joyce Theater / tonight: 7:30PM, $66
These may be tough tickets, better order in advance.
“This showcase of domestic dance arrives at the Joyce with four pairings of stylistically and geographically diverse troupes from around the country. On Jan. 9 and 14 (evening), the innovative choreographer Caleb Teicher — also a stellar tap performer — shares a program with the dynamic Los Angeles-based contemporary dance company BODYTRAFFIC. On Jan. 10 and 14 (matinee), New York’s Jessica Lang Dance splits the bill with Backhausdance from California’s Orange County, both examples of polished virtuosity. On Jan. 11 and Jan. 13, the veteran modern dance company PHILADANCO!, hailing from Philadelphia, meets Halau O Kekuhi, hailing from Hawaii and noted for its explosive style of hula inspired by legends about the volcanoes.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

Joshua Redman (Jan. 9-14)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, 10:30PM, $30-$45
“The ability to hold a band together, thus insuring a unified ensemble identity, is not to be undervalued. The saxophonist Redman can flit about among a swath of side projects, but he always finds his way back to his trusted quartet, which counts the pianist Aaron Goldberg, the bassist Reuben Rogers, and the drummer Gregory Hutchinson as its loyal members.” (NewYorker)

Vijay Iyer Sextet (Jan.9-13)
Birdland / 7:30PM, 10:30PM, $40
“A band for the age, if not the ages, the Vijay Iyer Sextet is the latest poll-topping project by the ever-experimenting pianist. Cerebral yet appealing, or appealingly cerebral, the group’s recent ECM release, Far from Over, is a bracing blast of contemporary jazz at its most uncompromisingly complex and virtuosic. With only a couple of low-voltage exceptions, the music is relentlessly dynamic, thanks in large part to the turbulent combustications of drummer Tyshawn Sorey (the equally formidable Marcus Gilmore replaces him for the final two dates of this five-show run). Iyer familiars reunite and recombine. Saxophonists Steve Lehman (alto) and Mark Shim (tenor) helix regularly, while Graham Haynes provides spacier horns (cornet, flugelhorn) and electronics. Longtime Iyer trio member Stephan Crump returns on bass, while Iyer sparkles, provokes, glosses, and annotates throughout.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

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

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Katy Tur Presents Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History
Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St.Bklyn / 7:30PM, FREE
“Fort Greene locals, journalists Katy Tur and Touré, come together to talk about Tur’s new book, Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History. In it, Tur relays her experience as an NBC correspondent at turns singled out, bullied, and kissed by then failed casino operator Donald Trump.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Your Name
The Museum of Modern Art / 7:30PM, $8–$12
“Japan’s biggest hit in 2016 and the highest-grossing anime film of all time, Makoto Shinkai’s lush mindbender Your Name has many elements that are familiar on their own but here combine to create something unique. Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) and Taki (Ryûnosuke Kamiki) are teenage strangers living very different lives. She’s in a remote village, while he’s in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo — right where Mitsuha wishes she could be. Your Name is the most beautiful anime since Patema Inverted, with which it shares themes about the difficulties of personal connections as represented by inexplicable cosmic phenomena.” (Sherilyn Connelly, Village Voice)

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Continuing Events

NYC Winter Jazzfest  (Jan.10-17)
Various times and venues, Prices vary
“More than 130 acts perform in twelve venues over eight days during the annual stamina-testing NYC Winter Jazzfest, which kicks off Wednesday, January 10, with emerging British jazz acts The Comet Is Coming, saxophonist Nubya Garcia, and trumpeter Yazz Ahmed. Coming up, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane pays tribute to his mother, Alice; drummer Teri Lyne Carrington hosts an all-star celebration of the late pianist Geri Allen; and flutist-composer Nicole Mitchell explores a sci-fi musical utopia. The core of the festival, of course, is the weekend marathon. Bundle up Friday night to hear saxophonist Rudresh Mahathappa’s rhythmically elliptical Indo-Pak Coalition, drummer Ches Smith’s Haiti-centric We All Break, and experimental Brooklyn duo Sonnymoon at various locations. And explore the free-jazz outskirts at the New School on Saturday with power trio Harriet Tubman and the Sun Ra Arkestra’s live score to the Ra-written 1974 Afrofuturist film Space Is the Place.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

For 12 essential sets to catch this Friday/Saturday, January 12/13, see this good piece from NY Magazine: “Loud, Wild, Improvised”

The New York Jewish Film Festival  (Jan.10-23)
Watch the screenings at Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center
at various times; $15
“A wide variety of documentaries, narrative films and retrospectives awaits you at this packed festival. Catch Italian comedy Let Yourself Go (January 13, January 14), West Bank doc West of the Jordan River (January 23) a restored screening of 1937 Yiddish film The Dybbuk (January 14, January 17), among many others.” (TONY)
today: Razzia – Directed by Nabil Ayouch, 7:30pm
The Last Goldfish – Directed by Su Goldfish, 12:30pm
The Prince and the Dybbuk – Directed by Piotr Rosolowski & Elwira Niewiera, 2:45pm

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Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
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, 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 – UG, 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 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):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are My Fave Special Exhibitions @ MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Frick Collection

‘MURILLO: THE SELF-PORTRAITS’ (through Feb. 4, 2018). “Two flawlessly executed selfies by one of the leading painters of the Spanish Golden Age are united for the first time in centuries in this revealing, somewhat melancholy exhibition on mastery and aging. Around 1650, the thirtysomething Bartolomé Esteban Murillo painted himself as an ambitious young painter with pursed lips and arched eyebrows, staring out incongruously from a block of ancient marble. The young painter was already imagining himself as a man for the ages, but success seems to have worn down Murillo in the later self-portrait, from about 1670. His hair has grown thinner, he’s developed a double chin, and he extends his hand as if desperate to connect to us.” (Farago)

 Neue Galerie

‘WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, 1903-1932: THE LUXURY OF BEAUTY,’ (through Jan. 29).”Fruit bowls, umbrella stands, swanky wallpapers, lavish curtains: The only thing the Wiener Werkstätte couldn’t make is a profit. This substantial exhibition on the most important design firm in early-20th-century Vienna brings together more than 400 works of Modernist applied arts, designed in a new kind of studio that united artists and artisans in a single enterprise. Their rational, rectilinear creations, made of silver or pricey oak, won a following among imperial Vienna’s bourgeoisie, but perpetual cost overruns and the coming of war pushed the Wiener Werkstätte into decline. The 1920s were the last gasp for the firm, under the blingier designer Dagobert Peche, whose mirrors and cruets were as florid as his predecessors’ were straitlaced.” (Farago)
212-628-6200, neuegalerie.org

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today. mcny.org” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out these special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish)

‘MICHELANGELO: DIVINE DRAFTSMAN AND DESIGNER,’ (through Feb. 12).”A monument to a monument. With 133 drawings by the beyond-famous artist on loan from some 50 front-rank collections, this show is a curatorial coup and an art historical tour de force: a panoptic view of a titanic career as recorded in the most fragile of media: paper, chalk and ink. And it demands that you be fully present. Drawing is more than a graphic experience; it’s a textural one, about the pressure of crayon and pen on a page; the subliminal fade and focus of lines; the weave and shadow-creating swells of surfaces. These are effects that can’t be captured by a smartphone.” (Cotter)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘JAPANESE BAMBOO ART: THE ABBEY COLLECTION’  (through Feb. 4, 2018). “This fabulous show celebrates Diane and Arthur Abbey’s gift of some 70 bamboo baskets and sculptures, which nearly doubles the Met’s already outstanding holdings in this genre and brings them into the 20th and 21st centuries. The curator has embedded this trove within what is essentially a second exhibition that traces bamboo’s presence through folding screens, ink paintings, porcelain, netsuke, kimonos and more.” (NYT-Roberta Smith) 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

DAVID HOCKNEY (through Feb.25, 2018) “For nearly 60 years, David Hockney (British, born 1937) has pursued a singular career with a love for painting and its intrinsic challenges. This major retrospective—the exhibition’s only North American venue—honors the artist in his 80th year by presenting his most iconic works and key moments of his career from 1960 to the present.

Working in a wide range of media with equal measures of wit and intelligence, Hockney has examined, probed, and questioned how to capture the perceived world of movement, space, and time in two dimensions. The exhibition offers a grand overview of the artist’s achievements across all media, including painting, drawing, photography, and video. From his early experiments with modernist abstraction and mid-career experiments with illusion and realism, to his most recent, jewel-toned landscapes, Hockney has consistently explored the nature of perception and representation with both intellectual rigor and sheer delight in the act of looking.” (Metropolitan Museum)

“Give it up for David Hockney, one of painting’s elder statesmen, and for his crystalline retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which proceeds in a string of perfectly curated mini-exhibitions. Check at the door the usual caveats and tsk-tsks regarding this wildly popular Anglo-Californian — that he’s a lightweight; that his “moment” was the ’60s; that he’s obvious. Suspend at least briefly the belief that a tragic vision, or abstraction, is essential for entry into art history’s pantheon.

No, Mr. Hockney, at 80, is not Jasper Johns or Gerhard Richter. But he has his own greatness, which flows from openly following his own desires — including his attraction to other men — while rigorously exploring the ways art and life feed each other, visually and emotionally. Full disclosure, forthright joy and forward motion are the dynamos of his art, which in my book at least, gives him an edge over Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon.” (NYT)

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW)

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 01/09 and 01/07.
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