NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/05) + 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-MAY”
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:

Kenny Barron (May 2-6)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“As if his artistry were a benchmark meant to spur on his acolytes, the nearly seventy-five-year-old dean of mainstream jazz piano never rests on his laurels. The leader of an acclaimed trio, Barron convenes a beefed-up unit for this engagement—a captivating quintet heard on the recently released “Concentric Circles,” which includes the saxophonist Dayna Stephens and the trumpeter Mike Rodriguez.” (NewYorker)

and don’t forget to  Sip tequila while watching a horse race.
“This Saturday is the convergence of Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby, which means plenty of festivities to go around. Check out this list of Cinco de Mayo events in New York, and for some derby action, head to Red Rooster, Maison Premiere, the Roof, or Maysville for one of their parties. Choose wisely.” (NYMagazine)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Michael Formanek
>> ZAKIR HUSSAIN AND DAVE HOLLAND’S CROSSCURRENTS
>> ALL ROBBINS NO. 1: THE BERNSTEIN COLLABORATIONS
>> John Lloyd Young
>>CHUCHO VALDÉS
>> Frieze Art Fair
>>Sacred Sites Open House Weekend
Continuing Event
Hudson Yards Shed
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Michael Formanek
The Stone at the New School, 55 W. 13th St./ 8:30PM, $20
“An apprenticeship in the eighties with such mainstream titans as Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson gave Formanek, a bassist, all the hard-won grounding he needed to evolve into one of the most respected instrumentalists, composers, and bandleaders of today’s adventurous scene. This wide-ranging residency finds him in the company of several audacious compatriots, including the guitarist Mary Halvorson, the pianist Kris Davis, and the trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum.” (NewYorker)

ZAKIR HUSSAIN AND DAVE HOLLAND’S CROSSCURRENTS (May 4-5)
Rose Theatre, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 8 p.m., $
“The Indian tabla player Zakir Hussain and the British-born bassist Dave Holland have been at the top of their respective fields since the 1970s. Mr. Holland is one of the most inventive, broad-ranging bassists in jazz; Mr. Hussain plays with fellow heroes of Indian classical music, as well as a cross section of international stars. Recently the two masters have come together in Crosscurrents, a band devoted to what’s now an old idea — the fusion of rock, jazz and Indian classical — but with its own sparkling allure. The group includes the saxophonist Chris Potter, the guitarist Sanjay Divecha, the pianist Louiz Banks, the drummer Gino Banks and the vocalist Shankar Mahadevan.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

ALL ROBBINS NO. 1: THE BERNSTEIN COLLABORATIONS
New York City Ballet (May 4 – 20)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 2PM, $35+
“Two American masters converge in these high-energy story ballets. Fancy Free follows three soldiers on shore leave in the Big City, while Dybbuk delves into a mystical world with dreadful consequences. Renewing their international hit, West Side Story Suite brings audiences to the feuding streets of 1950s New York City with heart-rending poignancy.”

John Lloyd Young
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $75+
“The Tony-winning star of Jersey Boys, both the Broadway musical and the Clint Eastwood film, brings his musical highs and puppyish eyes back to Feinstein’s/54 Below in a new set that focuses on material from his 2012 album, My Turn.” (TONY)

CHUCHO VALDÉS (May 1-6)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30PM, $55-$75
“Earlier this week, Mr. Valdés, a Latin jazz patriarch, began an extended run at the Blue Note that will find him flexing his powers in a variety of contexts. Through Sunday, he performs with a midsize ensemble, celebrating the 45th anniversary of the founding of Irakere, his watershed Cuban fusion band. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he’s joined by the trumpeter Roy Hargrove and the vocalist Roberta Gambarini; on Thursday, he performs alone; and from May 4 to 6, he’ll be accompanied by Ron Carter. (The drummer Lenny White joins Mr. Valdés and Mr. Carter for the last two dates, with the violinist Regina Carter coming aboard for the final evening.)” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Frieze Art Fair (5/3-5/5)
“Head over to Randall’s Island Park this spring to experience the contemporary art world in an alfresco environment. Interact with public installations, sit in on “Frieze Talks,” enjoy the Frieze Art Fair’s Reading Room, and of course, lay your eyes on some of the most talked about artwork in the city. friezenewyork.com” (cityguideny.com)

Fill up on Art (NY Magazine’s Weekend Agenda)
This weekend is the behemoth Frieze art fair on Randall’s Island, and we’ve been busy culling the best of more than 190 galleries from over 30 countries. If you’re on the island, check out these five can’t-miss artists. But the fun happens all over town, and we’ve got you covered there, too. And if you’re anti-Frieze, there’s also Cultural Traffic, Art New York, Fridge Art Fair, Moniker Art Fair, Other Art Fair, Superfine!, and TEFAF. Have fun!

Sacred Sites Open House Weekend ( Sat 5, Sun 6)
at various locations and times;
“Even if you’re not a godly guy or gal, New York Landmarks Conservancy offers a great chance to take a peek at the art and architecture of houses of worship across all five boroughs with its annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend. This year’s activities are organized around the theme “Sacred Sounds and Settings.” Check out guided tours, concerts, organ demonstrations and more, all for free. Righteous.” (TONY)

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Continuing Events

Hudson Yards Shed (May 01-13)

“Hudson Yards continues to transform before our eyes with an ever-growing list of new sites, such as Vessel, the beehive-like public landmark that’s New York’s answer to the Eiffel Tower. But the largest and most exciting cultural contribution to the far West Side is the Shed, a multi-arts performance venue opening in spring 2019. To provide a sneak peak of what’s to come, the entertainment center presents a free art series, just a block away from its home base. Dubbed A Prelude to the Shed, the two-week event is being held at a structure that has been designed to change fluidly as dancers and guests move about.

Aside from exhibiting “A Stroll Through the Fun Palace,” which showcases the archives of Cedric Price (an inspiration to the architects of the Shed), the main event boasts a killer lineup of entertainers for the evening performances. On select nights, check out R&B singer Abra, electronic-music producer and performer Arca, and the New York rapper-singer Azealia Banks.

Beyond the lit musical performances, there’s plenty of art and dance to catch, too. Artist Tino Sehgal’s This variation seamlessly intertwines throughout the day with ​William Forsythe’s new work, ​titled​ Pas de Deux Cent Douze​. There’s also ​D.R.E.A.M. Ring dance battles organized by dancer Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray​. Chances are, you’ll feel encouraged to bust a move and shake your tail feather along with them—especially if you hit the grab-and-go café for beer and wine beforehand.” (TONY)

“The innovative Red Bull Music Festival (May 03-25) returns for the sixth year with a lineup as diverse as the city itself. This Friday, catch a performance by cult musician John Maus at Deno’s Wonder Wheel, Saturday, see a conversation with Harry Belafonte, and on Sunday, see Brooklyn-based experimental R&B and gospel artist Serpentwithfeet in the Refectory at the High Line Hotel. Beginning Friday, you can also catch an exhibition by hip-hop pioneer and cult artist RAMMΣLLZΣΣ.” (NYMagazine)

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

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Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and 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. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
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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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)

Neue Galerie

‘BEFORE THE FALL: GERMAN AND AUSTRIAN ART OF THE 1930S’  (through May 28). “An exhibition in the form of a chokehold, the third of the Neue Galerie’s recent shows on art and German politics pushes into the years of dictatorship, with paintings, drawings and photographs by artists deemed “degenerate” by the Nazis — as well as by those who joined the party or who thought they could shut out the catastrophe. (You will know the dissidents, like Max Beckmann and Oskar Kokoschka; the fascists and sellouts are less known.) Gazing at ornery still lifes of dolls and dead flowers, or dreamy landscapes in imitation of an earlier German Romanticism, you may ask to what degree artists are responsible for the times in which they work. But then you see “Self-Portrait in the Camp,” by the Jewish German painter Felix Nussbaum — made between his escape from a French internment camp and his deportation to Auschwitz — and you know that there can be no pardon. (NYT -Farago)
212-628-6200, neuegalerie.org

‘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

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 for NewYorkers)

‘THOMAS COLE’S JOURNEY: ATLANTIC CROSSING’ (through May 13). “The Met’s exhibition of the nation’s first major landscape artist and progenitor of what would be called the Hudson River School is gorgeous, politically right for right now and a lesson in the mutability of art history. Politically, Cole’s art is conservative, but it’s also work that challenges and complicates that term. And this show is precisely about complication. Just as Cole is most realistically and revealingly seen and judged against the background of his time, so is the exhibition, coming as it does in this confounding MAGA moment.” (Holland Cotter)

‘DIAMOND MOUNTAINS: TRAVEL AND NOSTALGIA IN KOREAN ART’ (through May 20). “Mount Kumgang, or the “Diamond Mountain,” lies about 90 miles from Pyeongchang’s Olympic Stadium, but it’s a world away: The august, multipeaked range lies in North Korea and has been impossible to visit for most of the past seven decades. Featuring stunning loans from the National Museum of Korea and other institutions in Seoul, South Korea, this melancholy beauty of a show assembles three centuries’ worth of paintings of the Diamond Mountain range, and explores how landscapes intermingle nostalgia, nationalism, legend and regret. The unmissable prizes here are the painstaking paintings of Jeong Seon, the 18th-century artist who is perhaps the greatest of all Korean painters. And later impressions of the mountains, including a blotchy vision from the Paris-based modernist Lee Ungno, give a deeper historical weight to very live geopolitics.” (NYT – Farago)
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)

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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) for NewYorkers

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 05/03 and 05/01.
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