NYC Events,”Only the Best” (06/24) + 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, check the tab above: NYC Events-JUNE”
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:

Arturo O’Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 9PM +11PM, $30
“Grammy Award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill — leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz” (NY Times) — was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He played piano in Carla Bley’s Big Band from 1979 through 1983 and earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte. The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra is the resident large format ensemble of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) founded by Arturo O’Farrill in 2007 and dedicated to preserving the music and heritage of big band Latin jazz.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Junior Brown “The American Original”
>>David Murray & Class Struggle
>> MIRANDA CUCKSON AND ETHAN IVERSON
>> Hallelujah Disco with Harlem Gospel Choir and Tony Award Winner Melba Moore
>> Summer of Love Secret Speakeasy
>> Figment NYC
Continuing Events
>> RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL
>> Othello
>> ‘THE LET GO’
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Junior Brown “The American Original”
City Winery / 8PM, $22+
“Junior Brown has shown himself to be equally adept at virtually all styles of American music, leading many to dub him America’s most versatile musician. A listen to his catalog of recordings reveals a virtuosity in Country, Western Swing, Hawaiian, Rock and Roll, (Hard Rock, Surf, etc.), Blues, Trad. Jazz, (Swing), Pop, Bluegrass, and even Mariachi.”

David Murray & Class Struggle (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Though less conspicuous than he was a few decades ago—is there anyone who’s actually made their way through the relentless tsunami of recordings that Murray appeared on in the eighties and nineties?—the fire-breathing saxophonist and bass-clarinet player remains a force to be reckoned with. His Class Struggle sextet has some trusted peak-era collaborators, including the trombonist Craig Harris and Murray’s son, Mingus, on guitar.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

MIRANDA CUCKSON AND ETHAN IVERSON
at Spectrum / 7 p.m., $
“A tireless advocate of new music for violin and a jazz pianist and composer join forces for this program of solo and duo works, as part of the ongoing Modern Piano (+) Festival. Alone, Ms. Cuckson plays Donald Martino’s “Romanza,” three of Salvatore Sciarrino’s “Six Caprices” and Josiah Catalan’s “Aperture Perpetuum.” Mr. Iverson contributes original jazz pieces. Together, they play violin sonatas by Louise Talma and George Walker.” (NYT-David Allen)

Nicky Siano’s Hallelujah Disco with Harlem Gospel Choir and Tony Award Winner Melba Moore
Central Park, Rumsey Playfield, off Fifth Avenue at 69th St. / 7PM, FREE
‘Disco was a social and cultural revolution, and Nicky Siano was there from the beginning. In this multi-media event, Nicky tells the story of the NYC dance music scene from Stonewall to Studio 54. The show features seasoned R&B artist Melba Moore and The Harlem Gospel Choir singing danceable gospel songs, interwoven with the story as told through pictures, video and interviews with such notables as Frankie Knuckles and David Mancusco.

“Hallelujah Disco” is a celebration of New York City, The Seventies, and Gay Rights, written and directed by Nicky Siano, and produced by Siano with Rebecca Lynn. Learn the history of NYC Nightlife, while the Disco Gospel Classics are performed live.

The Illustrious Blacks, known for their highly praised live shows that fuse music, dance, theater, fashion and more, will open with a DJ set.”

Summer of Love Secret Speakeasy
The Museum of Interesting Things, 177 Prince St./ 6PM, $10
The 1960’s & early 1970’s Party in Soho
60’s 70’s Music/tech/fun party
Hear vinyl LP’s; You get to DJ also!
16mm short movies & music fest & party!
Plus see cool antiques

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

Figment NYC (June 23-24)
Governors Island / 10AM-6PM, FREE
“In one of the most exciting weekends of the summer for Governors Island, Figment NYC returns to capture the imagination of thousands of guests by transforming the island into a whimsical wonderland where creative minds come to play and world-build. Hundreds of artists will set up installations across the sprawling parks and sites, allowing guests to come wander and discover — for free! Pack a picnic and prepare for some blow-up over your enviable Insta.” (Metro)

“Experts in neuroscience, chemistry, medicine, performance art, and yoga are among the participants in a Guerilla Science Sensorium on Governors Island. An abandoned officer’s quarters will become a cabinet of curiosities for the senses as you experiment with the workings of body and brain.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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Continuing Events

RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL at various locations (LAST DAY).
“The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council presents this festival, now in its 17th year, with free dance, music, theater and visual art shows at downtown sites. Of the dance highlights, the most dramatic is likely to be an appearance by It’s Showtime NYC!, a company of street dancers, performing on the steps of Federal Hall (June 18-22). Other notable events include Catherine Galasso’s “Of Granite and Glass,” a site-specific dance inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron” at the Winter Garden (June 15-17); Enrico D. Wey’s “silent :: partner,” an exploration of memory and memorialization held inside Federal Hall (June 15-17); and Cori Olinghouse’s “Grandma,” a look at aging and the ghosts of the American South. The setting? A Lower Manhattan office building (June 16-17).” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Othello (LAST DAY)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Jitney) directs the first offering of the Public Theater’s 2018 season of Shakespeare in the Park: an account of the Bard’s fast-paced tragedy of jealousy and misplaced trust, in which a villain preys on the insecurities of a Moorish war hero married to a white woman. The cast is headed by Chukwudi Iwuji as Othello, Corey Stoll as Iago and Heather Lind as Desdemona.”
*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

‘THE LET GO’ (June 7-July 1)
at the Park Avenue Armory
“This large-scale, site-specific multiweek event is masterminded by the interdisciplinary artist Nick Cave, who transforms the armory into a vivid dance landscape in which spectators are invited to do just what the title says they should: let go. Within this dance hall environment are performances, an installation in the form of a Mylar sculpture, dance-based encounters and music provided by D.J.s. For some programs, Mr. Cave works with the choreographer Francesca Harper; for others, there will be dancing by community groups. On June 26, as part of “An Evening of Artistic Responses: The Let Go,” the musician Nona Hendryx, the vocalist and artist Helga Davis, Ms. Harper and Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray and his company, D.R.E.A.M. Ring, respond to the installation, which references issues of social justice, with site-specific performances.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

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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 Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,

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 discovery and enjoyment.
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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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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.

Here are two exhibitions the New Yorker likes:

Damien Hirst (thru June 30)

“Superabundant multicolored dot paintings, randomly composed in sizes from smallish to giant, are as perfectly dead as a trisected shark in formaldehyde-filled glass cases, which is also on view. There’s no formal structure or even optical dazzle, except by occasional accident. These aren’t active pictures. They’re passive slabs, yielding nothing to contemplation that they don’t impart at first glance. Neither good nor bad, they maintain an imperturbable, mortuary dignity—Hirst’s cynosure. He creates visual curios that look like art while dispensing with art’s pesky demands on thought, feeling, and perception. His works are aesthetic cryptocurrency. There are worse things in the world.” () Gagosian, 555 W. 24th St.

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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 (nycgo.com) 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 this 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.) “

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 06/22 and 06/20.

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