NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/16) + 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-February”
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:

Steve Davis (Feb.16-18)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, btw105th/106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
“All modern jazz trombonists owe much to J. J. Johnson, the man who brought bebop to the instrument. Davis is an obvious acolyte of the master, his technical wizardry firmly wed to expressive mirth. Here, Davis pays tribute to Johnson, with an all-star sextet featuring Eddie Henderson on trumpet and Harold Mabern on piano.” (NewYorker)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Wye Oak + William Brittelle + Metropolis Ensemble
>>CARLA BRUNI
>> The Edge of Heaven
>>HOVVDY
>> Javon Jackson
>>Marilyn Maye
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Wye Oak + William Brittelle + Metropolis Ensemble
Symphony Space / 8PM, $25+
“The Baltimore group Wye Oak made the transition from gothy folk to synth pop on their 2014 album, Shriek, and they continue to innovate. At this unique performance, Wye Oak will perform songs off Shriek with totally new arrangements by composer William Brittelle, performed by the Metropolis Ensemble. Brittelle, who writes intricate, interlocking compositions filled with a sweeping energy, will also perform some songs off his album Spiritual America, which Symphony Space calls “an epic post-genre mix of orchestra, children’s chorus, electronics, and rock band.” (Sophie Weiner, Village Voice)

CARLA BRUNI
at the Town Hall / 8PM, $59+
On her 2017 album “French Touch,” the former first lady of France interprets songs by the Rolling Stones (“Miss You”), Depeche Mode (“Enjoy the Silence”) and even AC/DC (“Highway to Hell”) in a pleasantly languid chanson style. The sound evokes dim-lit clubs and Gauloises smoke, but it should suit the Town Hall’s historic auditorium just as well.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

The Edge of Heaven
Laurie Beechman Theater / 7PM, $25–$45
“Guitarist Gary Lucas gathers no moss. He has recently performed live scores to films by René Clair and Curtis Harrington, launched a funky Captain Beefheart covers project with singer Nona Hendryx, and played tributes to former collaborator Jeff Buckley. But nothing reflects this virtuosic maverick’s charm and taste more than The Edge of Heaven, his 2010 revival of the lush midcentury Chinese film music Lucas fell in love with while living in Taiwan. This collection of astringently sentimental instrumentals and vocals focused on Zhou Xuan and Bai Guang, two of China’s so-called Seven Great Singing Stars, with Lucas’s flowing guitar providing ongoing reinterpretation of the music’s nostalgic beauty. Here Lucas will revisit and expand his China adventure alongside Feifei Yang, a rising vocal star who also performs on the erhu (a two-string fiddle), and Jason Candler on reeds and percussion.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

HOVVDY
at Baby’s All Right / 8PM, $12
Tempos stay slow and voices tender in this Austin, Tex., duo’s music, which is well suited to anyone who’s ever loved Yo La Tengo’s quieter moments. Their latest album, “Cranberry,” unfolds like an afternoon whose warm mood you remember long after the details have faded. Hovvdy (pronounced “Howdy”) will mark the LP’s release with this Brooklyn show.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

Javon Jackson (Feb.15-17)
Iridium, 1650 Broadway, at 51st St/ 8PM, $30+
“A champion of the rugged tenor-saxophone tradition of such masters as Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Joe Henderson, Jackson came up through the jazz boot camps of Art Blakey and Elvin Jones, and he wears his rigorous training proudly. These days he’s not averse to dipping into R. & B. and funk, the better to reveal his soulful inclinations.” (NewYorker)

Marilyn Maye (Feb.15-18)
With vocalist Marilyn Maye, and pianist Tedd Firth
Dizzy’s Cub, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $
“Singer, actress, and living legend Marilyn Maye is the “Queen of Cabaret,” an iconic entertainer whom Ella Fitzgerald famously praised as one of her favorite singers. She’s shared the stage with artists like Count Basie and Charlie Parker, and she appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson an unprecedented 76 times. Maye has been a recent audience favorite at Dizzy’s Club and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual galas, and in October 2017 she headlined four sets in The Appel Room. She now returns to our most intimate venue for a run that’s likely to sell out in advance. Join us at Dizzy’s and enjoy a true entertainer, one of the remaining geniuses from the “golden age of show business” who remains as sharp and effective as ever.”

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

More smart stuff tomorrow.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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)

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)

‘BIRDS OF A FEATHER: JOSEPH CORNELL’S HOMAGE TO JUAN GRIS’ (through April 15). “This small, hyper-specialized, stunning exhibition brings together a grand total of only 13 works — a dozen shadow boxes by Joseph Cornell, the Queens-based assemblage artist, and a Cubist masterwork that he cited as their direct inspiration. Gris’s “Man at the Café” (1914) might seem like a surprising obsession for Cornell, who was not a painter nor a Frenchman. He and Gris never met. But Cornell was deeply moved by Gris, the overlooked, tagalong third in the Cubist movement that also included Picasso and Braque, and the show succeeds in tracking the fluttery ways of artistic inspiration.”
(Deborah Solomon)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘THE FACE OF DYNASTY: ROYAL CRESTS FROM WESTERN CAMEROON’ (through Sept. 3). “Upstairs, the Michelangelos continue to knock ‘em dead; downstairs, in the African wing, a show of just four commanding wooden crowns constitutes a blockbuster of its own. These massive wooden crests — in the form of stylized human faces with vast vertical brows — served as markers of royal power among the Bamileke peoples of the Cameroonian grasslands, and the Met’s recent acquisition of an 18th-century specimen is joined here by three later examples, each featuring sharply protruding cheeks, broadly smiling mouths, and brows incised with involute geometric patterns. Ritual objects like these were decisive for the development of western modernist painting, and a Cameroonian crest was even shown at MoMA in the 1930s, as a “sculpture” divorced from ethnography. But these crests had legal and diplomatic significance as well as aesthetic appeal, and their anonymous African creators had a political understanding of art not so far from our own.” (Farago)

Jewish Museum.

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’  “After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

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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 02/14 and 02/16.
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