NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/13) + 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:

Darlene Love
at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill / 8PM, $50
“The New York Times raved …”Darlene Love’s thunderbolt voice is as embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton’s guitar or Bob Dylan’s lyrics.” Through the years, Darlene Love continues to captivate audiences worldwide with her warm, gracious stage presence and superb performances. This has been a banner season for Darlene. Her new CD, released via Sony/Columbia/Wicked Cool Records has been greeted with sensational critical reaction and numerous TV presentations. Produced by fellow musician and long time friend Steven Van Zandt, it includes selections written for Darlene by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Webb and many others including two notable songs by Stevie himself.”


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Le Nozze di Figaro
>> Joshua Redman
>>Vijay Iyer Sextet
>>Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio
>>“Nine ways to honor Dr. King’s legacy this weekend.”

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $
“Mr. Harper was of the most consistently exciting tenor saxophonists to emerge in the late 1960s and early ’70s. He seemed to wield his horn like hot iron; his book of compositions, meanwhile, read as an insurrectionary tract, while fusing concepts from John Coltrane and Joe Henderson. His powers are undiminished, though we haven’t seen a leadership recording from him in roughly a decade, and he does not headline his own shows in New York often enough. Catch him here with Freddie Hendrix on trumpet, Francesca Tanksley on piano, Hwansu Kang on bass and Aaron Scott on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Le Nozze di Figaro (next and last performance Jan.19, 7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $
“An exceptional ensemble of performers—including Ailyn Pérez, Nadine Sierra, Isabel Leonard, Luca Pisaroni, Mariusz Kwiecien, and Ildar Abdrazakov—share the stage in Mozart’s comic yet profound look at human nature and one crazy day in a wealthy Spanish household. Acclaimed Mozartean maestro Harry Bicket conducts Richard Eyre’s high-spirited production.”

AMERICAN DANCE PLATFORM (Jan. 12-14 at various times).
at the Joyce Theater / tonight: 8PM, $66
These may be tough tickets, better order in advance.
“This festival, programmed by Christine Tschida, the director of Northrop at the University of Minnesota, wraps up this weekend with programs featuring shared performances. The newest pairing explores rhythm and showcases Ensemble Español Spanish Theater, which performs flamenco and folkloric dance, and Trinity Irish Dance Company. Other programs offer classic modern dance by Philadanco! alongside hula by Halau O Kekuhi; Jessica Lang Dance with, in its Joyce debut, Backhausdance; and BODYTRAFFIC with the tap ensemble Caleb Teicher and Company.” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)

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)

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio
Jazz Standard / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $35
“On a sultry night in June 2016, Dr. Lonnie Smith celebrated his 75th birthday with an inspired performance at the Jazz Standard with his longtime trio of Jonathan Kreisberg (guitar) and Johnathan Blake (drums). They marked the turban-clad B3 icon’s milestone trip around the sun with a joyous set featuring funky, inventive renditions of Wayne Shorter’s “JuJu,” Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” (with Joe Dyson guesting on drums), and the 1962 Freddie Hubbard composition “Up Jumped Spring,” in addition to a revamped version of the good doctor’s own 1977 jam “All in My Mind,” with Alicia Olatuja on vocals. That song also serves as the title cut to the album that was recorded and produced from the concert by Blue Note president Don Was, who was instrumental in bringing Smith back to the label whose sound he helped define in the ’60s. All in My Mind will hit stores on January 12, and its release is being celebrated at the very place it originated, with a three-night stand at the Standard. The Hammond heat from this living master of soul jazz will certainly bring some much-needed warmth to this city trapped in a deep freeze.” (Ron Hart, Village Voice)

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

Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Events
try New York Magazine’s very fine list:
“Nine ways to honor Dr. King’s legacy this weekend.”


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: 7:00 PM , Walter Reade Theater, Let Yourself Go
9:30 PM , Walter Reade Theater, Siege


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. (LAST DAY)

“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 01/11 and 01/09.

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