NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/27) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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? Pick one of these:

at Symphony Space / 8PM, $35+
“Three esteemed artists come together here for a night of cross-pollination and exchange uniting the musical traditions of New York, New Orleans and Havana. The New Orleanian jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis will join Steven Bernstein, a stalwart trumpeter of New York’s downtown scene, and Arturo O’Farrill, the progressive Cuban-American pianist. Mr. Bernstein will be accompanied by the Hot 9, the band he co-leads with Henry Butler, another New Orleans pianist. Mr. O’Farrill will present his Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Matthew Shipp Trio with Roscoe Mitchell
Carnegie Hall, Zankel Hall / 9PM, $32+
“For nearly 35 years, pianist Matthew Shipp has been an omnipresent fixture of New York City’s downtown jazz circuit, working not only with his own menagerie of acclaimed ensembles but also as a contributing member to such esteemed groups as the David S. Ware Quartet and the Ivo Perelman Duo. On Saturday, he makes his debut on Manhattan’s grandest stage, when he headlines Carnegie Hall as the hallowed venue celebrates sixty-plus years of American free jazz. The night will kick off with an improvised solo recital by Shipp, after which he’ll be joined by his trio (rounded out by Michael Bisio on bass and Newman Taylor Baker on drums). Anticipation is highest, however, for the appearance of the legendary AACM saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell. As a onetime member of Mitchell’s outfit the Note Factory, Shipp is no stranger to playing alongside this titan of Chicago wind. And if the combustible energy of the pair in performance at the 2005 Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz festival in Italy is any indication, Carnegie Hall is likely going to rock on this night like the old Soho loft scene of the ’70s.” (Ron Hart, Village Voice)


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

>>Orfeh and Andy Karl: Legally Bound
>> Tosca
>>Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage
>> Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Festival
>> Chelsea “Best Exhibits” Gallery Tour
>> The New York Times Travel Show
>> A Night of Philosophy and Ideas


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $38
“Mr. Escoffery, a tenor saxophonist of fluid and beaming power, is celebrating the release of “Vortex,” an album recorded with his longstanding quartet. That group — an impressive mainline jazz ensemble, with Dave Kikoski on piano, Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Ralph Peterson on drums — appears here, playing the Escoffery originals featured on the recording.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Tosca (Dec 31 – May 12; next April 21, 8PM, but it’s already sold out! try April 26)
The Metropolitan Opera / 1PM, $20+
“Rivaling the splendor of Franco Zeffirelli’s set and costumes of the Napoleonic era, Sir David McVicar’s ravishing new production offers a splendid backdrop for two extraordinary sopranos sharing the title role of the jealous prima donna: Sonya Yoncheva and Anna Netrebko. Vittorio Grigolo and Marcelo Álvarez alternate in the role of Tosca’s revolutionary artist lover Cavaradossi, with Bryn Terfel, Michael Volle, and Željko Lučić as the depraved police chief Scarpia. Andris Nelsons conducts.”

Orfeh and Andy Karl: Legally Bound (also Tuesday)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM< $70
“One of musical theater’s royal couples—power belter and blue-eyed-soul recording artist Orfeh (soon to be seen in Pretty Woman) and her charming husband, Rocky dreamboat Andy Karl (most recently of Groundhog Day)—share some of their love.” (TONY)

Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage (Jan 25-28)
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM,
“With tenor saxophonist/bass clarinetist/flutist Craig Handy, trombonist Jay Ashby, pianist/accordionist Julian Shore, vocalist Fabiana Masili, percussionist Fernando Saci, and bassist/cavaquinho player/percussionist Nilson Matta

Nilson Matta is well known as the world-class bassist of Trio da Paz, but his solo career as a composer and bandleader is equally noteworthy. His albums are thoughtful aural masterpieces featuring lush harmonies and contemporary Brazilian rhythms. “Brazilian Voyage” is an apt title for tonight’s performance, as Matta’s expert knowledge of Brazilian jazz unfolds as a varied journey through the music’s traditions and contemporary explorations, demonstrating an evolution in which he continues to play a major role.”

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

Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Festival
The Tunnel, 608 West 28th St./ session1:12pm-4pm $109; session 2: 5:30pm-9:30pm $99
“At this annual bash, stuff your face with all-you-can-eat whole-roasted pig, broken down into dishes like tender pork brisket and zesty ribs by pit-masters coming from the deep South to downtown Manhattan. Between gut-sticking platters, swig limitless pours of craft suds and hooch, including rare, twenty-year-old bourbons. Feeling bold? There’s a bacon-eating contest where you can test your marathon-eating abilities for bragging rights and swag.” (TONY)

Chelsea “Best Exhibits” Gallery Tour
New York Gallery Tours, 1PM, +3:45PM, $25
“With 300 galleries for us to choose from, this ALL-NEW tour will be our most extraordinary of the month. Highlights: (1) a South African artist’s sculpture/ painting hybrids including an innovative “forest” installation through which you will navigate, (2) ravishing paintings on silk that depict a female artist’s fascinating and startling mythologies, and (3) audacious giant robots that walk and hurl objects, among 7 exceptional exhibits in all.”

New York Gallery Tours finds the most innovative art, and leads you on an insightful, entertaining and affordable journey through the contemporary art scene.  With over 15 years of experience, thousands of clients, and a director/ guide with a Ph.D. in arts education, we’re the city’s #1 gallery tour provider!

The tour will take place no matter what the weather – rain, snow or shine (the art is all indoors). Meet at 526 W. 26th St. between 10th & 11th Ave. Nearest subways: C- or E-Train to 23rd St. SPECIAL OFFER: visit our website to request DISCOUNT tickets for $8-off admission!

The New York Times Travel Show
Javits Center / 10am, various prices
“Celebrating 15 years, the New York Times Travel Show is back with more than 550 exhibitors sharing tips of the trade. There will be live seminars featuring Zac Posen, Andrew Zimmern, Samantha Brown, Pauline Frommer and others; cultural performances; culinary demonstrations and tastings; travel advice; travel deals and more. Receive a special discount of $5 off your ticket purchase with code SOCIAL.”

Elsewhere, but this is pretty darn unique, worth the overnight detour.

A Night of Philosophy and Ideas
Brooklyn Public Library – Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza / 7PM – 7AM! FREE
“When you think of an all-night party in Brooklyn, a bunch of philosophy nerds digging into Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But that’s exactly what’s going down at the Brooklyn Public Library’s central branch tonight.

At 7pm, the library will kick off a 12-hour marathon dubbed A Night of Philosophy and Ideas. The event, which is completely free and open to the public, will include musical performances, talks from academics on a variety of philosophical disciplines and a keynote lecture from George Yancy, a professor at Emory University and editor of the Philosophy of Race book series.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase throughout the night, though you might want to pack some trail mix to keep you going through the dozens of lectures. The night caps off at 6:30am with a presentation by Vincent Colapietro titled “The Witness of Poetry and the Poetics of Attention,” which is fitting considering that even the most ardent philosophy nerd’s attention span will be completely shot by the end of this gauntlet.” (TONY)


PLUS the Winter Antiques Show, which will run from the 19th to the 28th. Head to the Park Avenue Armory to find one-of-a-kind finds from 70 exhibitors.” (UntappedCities)


Broadway Week began last week! Get two-for-one tickets to your favorite shows, from Chicago to Wicked.  NYC Restaurant Week began this week on Monday.

Try  a double header. “NYC Broadway Week and NYC Restaurant Week will overlap this winter, creating the perfect storm of events where you can sit down indoors. NYC Broadway Week begins first with two-for-one tickets to the best shows from January 16 through February 4. NYC Restaurant Week joins in on January 22, and it runs through February 9, offering lunches for $29 and dinner for $42.”

See TONY magazine:  Your guide to combining NYC Broadway Week and NYC Restaurant Week


Continuing Events

Metropolitan Museum of Art (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-NYT)

The art world has been agog about this exhibition for sometime. One critic after another exclaims that it is the “Exhibition of a lifetime!” The hype has been over the top. Usually that means you’ll be disappointed when you actually experience it, because it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype. Not this time.

This is a huge and marvelous exhibition that shows the evolution of Michelangelo from a young artist to a mature, divine genius. An exhibition that you will remember for sometime. Even the works of other artists that are included for contrast and context are amazing.

Here are a few reviews from the critics to give you a fuller flavor of this exhibition. They strongly encourage you to make the time to see this “once in a lifetime” exhibition. I also encourage you to see it.

Only 17 days left, because the exhibition closes February 12, and that last week it will probably be crazy packed.


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):


My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:

A special pat on the back to MOMA, who is now displaying art from the seven countries affected by Trump’s travel ban.

“Trump’s ban against refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations has sparked acts of defiance in NYC, from demonstrations across town, to striking taxicab drivers at JFK to Middle Eastern bodega owners closing their shops in protest. Recently, the Museum Of Modern added its two cents by bringing out artworks it owns from the affected countries, and hanging them prominently within the galleries usually reserved for 19th- and 20th-century artworks from Europe and the United States. Paintings by Picasso and Matisse, for example, were removed to make way for pieces by Tala Madani (from Iran), Ibrahim El-Salahi (from Sudan) and architect Zaha Hadid (from Iraq). The rehanging, which was unannounced, aims to create a symbolic welcome that repudiates Trump by creating a visual dialog between the newly added works and the more familiar objects from MoMA’s permanent collection.” (TONY)

Stephen Shore (thru May 28)

“This immersive and staggeringly charming retrospective is devoted to one of the best American photographers of the past half century. Shore has peers—Joel Meyerowitz, Joel Sternfeld, Richard Misrach, and, especially, William Eggleston—in a generation that, in the nineteen-seventies, stormed to eminence with color film, which art photographers had long disdained. His best-known series, “American Surfaces” and “Uncommon Places,” are both from the seventies and were mostly made in rugged Western states. The pictures in these series share a quality of surprise: appearances surely unappreciated if even really noticed by anyone before—in rural Arizona, a phone booth next to a tall cactus, on which a crude sign (“GARAGE”) is mounted, and, on a small-city street in Wisconsin, a movie marquee’s neon wanly aglow, at twilight. A search for fresh astonishments has kept Shore peripatetic, on productive sojourns in Mexico, Scotland, Italy, Ukraine, and Israel. He has remained a vestigial Romantic, stopping in space and 
time to frame views that exert a peculiar tug on him. This framing is resolutely formalist: subjects composed laterally, from edge to edge, and in depth. There’s never a “background.” The most distant element is as considered as the nearest. But only when looking for it are you conscious of Shore’s formal discipline, because it is as fluent as a language learned from birth. His best pictures at once arouse feelings and leave us alone to make what we will of them. He delivers truths, whether hard or easy, with something very like mercy.” (NewYorker)

Whitney Museum

Laura Owens (thru Feb.04)

© Laura Owens

“In the mid-nineteen-nineties, Owens heralded the comeback of painting with a succession of unbelievably cool, well-timed canvases that breezily dispensed with outdated notions of style, gesture, and the mutual exclusivity of formalism and illusionistic space. And she’s made news ever since: this welcome mid-career retrospective neatly charts the hairpin turns of the Los Angeles artist’s rigorous, funny, and very influential career thus far. A mischievously austere painting, from 1997, shows a blue expanse interrupted by seagulls, nominally and stickily rendered, as if piped on with black icing. The artist undercuts our understanding of “sky,” though, by airbrushing the birds’ shadows onto her monochrome. While it’s not so hard to believe that the tricky collisions of painterly quotation from the next few years are from the same artist, by 2002, when Owens deploys decorative painting in an enchanting woodland scene, we’re in a different world; then we’re in another, with her abstractions of chewed-up grids, digital brushstrokes, and sculptural, stuccolike blobs. The through line, of course, is her passionate loyalty to the medium itself, but, as demonstrated by the exhibition’s finale—an installation of two-sided, freestanding paintings, from 2015—she’s not afraid to move off the wall; it’s anyone’s guess what comes next.” (NewYorker)

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 01/25 and 01/23.

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