NYC Events, “Only the Best” (01/03) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

“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-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.

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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Andrea McArdle and Donna McKechnie Celebrate Sondheim & Hamlisch (also Jan. 4,5)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $50+
“After a brilliant career as one of the all-time great Broadway dancers, McKechnie has refocused her energies on singing; McArdle has a performanent place in our hearts for her performance as the big-belting moppet in Annie. Now the two troupers team up for a salute to Stephen Sondheim and Marvin Hamlisch. Expect songs from Company and A Chorus Line—McKechnie was in the original casts of both—as well as Follies, A Little Night Music, They’re Playing Our Song and more.” (TONY)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Etienne Charles: Creole Soul
>> “American Dance Platform”
>> AFROMONDO SHOWCASE 2019
>> COUNTDOWN 2019: JOHN COLTRANE FESTIVAL
>> STEEL PULSE
>> Fred Hersch Trio
>> CHASE BROCK EXPERIENCE

Continuing Events
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Etienne Charles: Creole Soul
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Hailed by the New York Times as “an auteur” and by JazzTimes as a “daring improviser who delivers with heart wrenching lyricism,” Trinidad-born trumpet player, percussionist, and composer Etienne Charles has earned a reputation for blending the myriad rhythms and sounds of the Caribbean and American South (especially New Orleans jazz) into his signature style of Creole soul. A Juilliard grad and a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, Charles is a member of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Swing Collective. His forthcoming album, Carnival: The Sound of a People Vol. 1, is an excursion into the varied acoustic sounds, grooves, chants, and rituals of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago. For this special evening, Charles will premiere a work commissioned by Lincoln Center and inspired by the diverse immigrant experiences of the Americas.”

“American Dance Platform” (Jan. 3-7)
Joyce Theatre / 8PM, $75
Among the three pairings in this year’s sampler, the sole Joyce début is that of Raphael Xavier, whose poetic take on hip-hop, related to that of his colleague Rennie Harris, shares a bill with Ballet X, which reprises two of the solid works (by Trey McIntyre and Matthew Neenan) it brought to the Joyce last summer. Ronald K. Brown has a New York première, “New Conversations: Iron Meets Wood,” with live music by Arturo O’Farrill; it shares a program with Ephrat Asherie’s “Riff This, Riff That,” which explores the jazz roots of hip-hop. Stephen Petronio’s troupe, performing his sophisticated “Hardness 10” and parts of Steve Paxton’s “Goldberg Variations,” offers a stronger balance of past and present than its program mate, the Martha Graham Dance Company.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

AFROMONDO SHOWCASE 2019
at S.O.B.’s / 7:30 p.m., $20
“Artists from across Africa and the African diaspora are represented in this lineup, which ranges from traditional musicians to the continent’s latest pop exports. Performers include Ilam, a bluesy singer-songwriter from Senegal; William Cepeda, a Puerto Rican trombonist who fuses contemporary jazz with the island’s folk music; the Nigerian pop singer Jemiriye; and Nkumu Isaac Katalay, who fuses the music of his native Democratic Republic of Congo with Afrobeat — the West African funk popularized by Fela Kuti.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

COUNTDOWN 2019: JOHN COLTRANE FESTIVAL  (Jan. 1-6)
at Smoke /  7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; $45
“Smoke is uptown Manhattan’s trustiest home for world-class, straight-ahead jazz; the venue also runs its own in-house record label. For the next two and a half weeks, it will present a festival featuring all-star groups made up of some famed performers who typically grace its stage, and its albums. From Thursday through Jan. 2, the pianist Harold Mabern will lead his quartet. Throughout the festival, there will be separate performances at 11:45 p.m. and 12:45 a.m. each night, New Year’s Eve being the only exception. From Friday through Thursday, the pianist and vocalist Johnny O’Neal will play these midnight sets; for the rest of the festival, they will feature the pianist Marc Cary and his Harlem Sessions ensemble.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
STEEL PULSE (Jan. 2-3)
at Brooklyn Bowl / 8 p.m.; $30
“Reggae has a well-earned reputation for creating good vibes — but alongside the easy tempos and mellow sounds, there’s often a political or religious message. Steel Pulse, the first non-Jamaican band to win the Grammy for best reggae recording (they’re from Birmingham, England), titled their first major label single “Ku Klux Klan” 40 years ago. “Those cowards only kill who they fear/That’s why they hide behind the hoods and cloaks they wear,” the frontman David Hinds sings on the track, which remains depressingly relevant.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

Fred Hersch Trio (Jan. 1-6.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
Fred Hersch’s pianistic gifts are legendary, but his uncanny ability to assemble perfectly calibrated trios should not be taken for granted. Over the past decade, he’s had a winning combination in the bassist John Hebert and the drummer Eric McPherson, who, as demonstrated on the recent release “Live in Europe,” make up an intuitive rhythm team of distinction. On the final three nights of this engagement, the frighteningly adept alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon joins the unit.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

CHASE BROCK EXPERIENCE (Jan. 2-3)
at the Beckett Theater at Theater Row / 8 p.m.,;
“Brock plants his new piece, “The Girl With the Alkaline Eyes,” in a futuristic setting: a high-tech lab where Oliver, a young coder, is hard at work on a secret project related to artificial intelligence. (It’s all in the title.) In this 70-minute dance thriller, featuring a score and scenario by Eric Dietz, Brock explores the desire between a man and his machine.” (NYT- Gia Kourlas)

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

More Smart Stuff coming soon.

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Continuing Events

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Bryant Park (btw 5th/6th Ave. @42nd St.) / shops to 8PM, rink to 10PM
Enjoy the Holiday Shops, The Lodge by Urbanspace, and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Holiday Shops are open through January 2, 2019 (LAST DAY).

The Rink
This 17,000 square foot rink features free admission ice skating, high quality rental skates, and free skating shows, special events, and activities.
​October 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting and Rink may be closed for events – check here)

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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:
(4 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)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

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)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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 surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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A PremierPub / Tribeca

B-Flat / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St)

b_flat4There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door.
But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.

It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.

There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.

Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.

It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.

This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music it may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.

Website: http://http://www.bflat.info/index.html
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk to bFlat

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).

If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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