NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/06) + 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, 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:

NOCHE FLAMENCA
at Joe’s Pub / 3 and 7 p.m.; $30
“To watch a flamenco show at Joe’s Pub is to harken back a century or so to the Café Cantantes in Seville, where song, dance, music and libations were enjoyed in intimate, immersive environs. Here, the New York-based Noche Flamenca presents “Rondan Los Deseos” (Circle of Desire), which was created by the troupe’s co-founders Martin Santangelo and Soledad Barrio, who are also its star performers. After a previous engagement at the Pub and an appearance on the Joyce stage last year, the work returns with new duets and trios.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)
(also Jan. 8, 7 p.m.; Jan. 9, 9:30 p.m., Jan. 10, 8 and 10 p.m.; through Jan. 11).

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> globalFEST
>> MARC COHN
>> CHRISTIAN SANDS
>> “American Dance Platform
>> Fred Hersch Trio

>> COUNTDOWN 2019: JOHN COLTRANE FESTIVAL
>> Check out bull riders live at MSG

Continuing Events
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Winter Jazzfest
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

globalFEST
Hear what’s next in music
at the Copacabana / 6 p.m.-2:30 a.m. $50
“Everyone wants to be the first to discover new music, and your first chance of the year comes with globalFEST. Artists from around the world perform on three stages to introduce themselves to an American audience in a giant jam session stretching into the night. Hear Indian funk infused with New Orleans brass from Cha Wa, Calypso king Mighty Sparrow and Afrofuturist beats by Gato Preto.” (Metro)

MARC COHN
at City Winery / 7:30 p.m.; $45-$55
“For those who prefer their rock on the softer side and with a healthy dose of blues, singer-songwriter Marc Cowhn — best known for his hit “Walking In Memphis” — is headlining a near-ideal evening of music. Also performing are John Oates and his Good Road Band, who recently released “Arkansas,” a rootsy album designed in part as a tribute to legendary bluesman Mississippi John Hurt, and then Cohn will get vocal support from legendary harmonists the Blind Boys of Alabama.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

CHRISTIAN SANDS
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $
‘A 29-year-old pianist and bandleader of increasing renown, Sands is aligned with jazz’s straight-ahead mainstream, but he’s got an unbounded inquisitive instinct. He sounds like he listens to Oscar Peterson, Jason Moran and Eddie Palmieri in about equal doses. He performs this Saturday with a quartet including the guitarist Caio Afiune, the bassist Yasushi Nakamura and the drummer David Rosenthal; that group will likely draw heavily from Sands’s most recent album, “Facing Dragons.” On Sunday, he returns with a trio featuring the bassist Luques Curtis and the drummer Terreon Gully. The latter show is a tribute to Erroll Garner; Sands serves as the creative ambassador for the Erroll Garner Jazz Project, a group dedicated to furthering the canonical pianist’s legacy.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

“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)

Fred Hersch Trio (LAST DAY)
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)

COUNTDOWN 2019: JOHN COLTRANE FESTIVAL  (LAST DAY)
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)

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

Check out bull riders live at MSG
The Professional Bull Riders are coming to Manhattan to compete live. The 2019 Buck Off at the Garden will feature a line-up of cowboys attempting who stay on bulls for eight seconds while the animals do their darnedest to toss them to the dirt.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, Jan. 4 through Sunday, Jan. 6; Madison Square Garden, Manhattan
INFO From $28; 719-242-2800, pbr.com

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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 Lodge by Urbanspace, and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
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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Winter Jazzfest (Jan.4-12)
Various Locations, Individual shows $15-55; one day marathon pass $50–$60; two-day marathon pass $90–$105
“During the typically bleak post–New Year’s Eve concert lull, Winter Jazzfest is a bright spot on the city’s calendar. With shows spread across nine nights, the fest brings top jazzers to venues like Le Poisson Rouge, Nublu and, for the first time, Brooklyn Steel. The festivities end with its signature two-night Greenwich Village marathon: a buzzy, multi-stage blowout that’s typically one of the best concerts in NYC. The marathon shows aren’t individually ticketed, so a wristband grants you access to any of each night’s gigs—as long as a given club doesn’t hit capacity. It’s a model that encourages sampling and venue-hopping. The event also requires patience and an open mind: If your preferred show is full, pull out the schedule, and head to one of the nearby spots for something unexpected. This year’s fest continues to stand with movements including #metoo and #blacklivesmatter in its active support of social and racial justice, gender equality and immigrant rights. (TONY)

Winter Jazzfest, the year’s largest survey of the jazz scene with over 100 acts playing from Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn, with its famous marathon sessions taking place both this Saturday and all next weekend. Here’s a full guide to Winter Jazzfest

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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 65 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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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)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Hilma af Klint : Paintings for the Future (thru 02/03/19)

“Convinced that the world was not ready for her artistry in 1906, particularly as an underrepresented female in her field, af Klint of Sweden kept her work private. Her paintings anticipated by years “breakthroughs” by Kandinsky, Mondrian and others and were unseen before 1986. The Guggenheim rediscovers her.”

“Recognized as one of the art world’s earliest abstract painters, Hilma af Klint was a steadfast believer that her work was inspired by the spiritual. The new Guggenheim exhibition, “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future,” showcases the work of this groundbreaking Swedish artist (1862-1944), whose work was rarely seen until the 1980s.” (Newsday)

See our art critic’s top pick of the year.
“Luckily, the number-one pick in Jerry Saltz’s best art shows of 2018 is still running. Hilma af Klint’s Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum examines the work of the unacknowledged Swedish visionary and makes a case for her being the first modernist abstract painter. Saltz is especially enamored with the first gallery, so make sure you spend some time there.” (NYMagazine)

Jewish Museum

‘CHAGALL, LISSITZKY, MALEVICH: THE RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE IN VITEBSK, 1918-1922’ (LAST DAY). This crisp and enlightening exhibition, slimmed but not diminished from its initial outing at Paris’s Centre Pompidou, restages the instruction, debates and utopian dreaming at the most progressive art school in revolutionary Russia. Marc Chagall encouraged stylistic diversity at the short-lived People’s Art School in his native Vitebsk (today in the republic of Belarus), and while his dreamlike paintings of smiling workers and flying goats had their defenders, the students came to favor the abstract dynamism of two other professors: Kazimir Malevich and El Lissitzky, whose black and red squares offered a radical new vision for a new society. Both the romantics and the iconoclasts would eventually fall out of favor in the Soviet Union, and the People’s Art School would close in just a few years — but this exhibition captures the glorious conviction, too rare today, that art must serve the people. (NYT-Farago)

‘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)

‘ARMENIA!’ (through Jan. 13). The first major museum exhibition ever devoted to the art of Armenia — officially its “medieval” era, but in fact spanning nearly 1,500 years — bulges with weighty stone crosses, intricate altar frontals and flamboyantly illuminated Bibles and Gospel books unlike any manuscripts you’ve seen from that time. Armenia, in the Caucasus Mountains, was the first country to convert to Christianity, in the fourth century, and the richly painted religious texts here, lettered in the unique Armenian alphabet, are a testament to the centrality of the church in a nation that would soon be plunged into the world of Islam. By the end of the Middle Ages, Armenian artists were working as far afield as Rome, where an Armenian bishop painted this show’s most astounding manuscript: a tale of Alexander the Great that features the Macedonian king’s ship swallowed by an enormous brown crab, hooking the sails with its pincers as its mouth gapes. (NYT-Jason Farago)

Delacroix  (LAST DAY)
“This is the first comprehensive U.S. retrospective of the work of French artist Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863). The Met has teamed up with The Louvre, showcasing in chronological order some 150 pieces, including paintings, drawings, manuscripts, and prints.” (cityguideny)

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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 12/17 and 12/15.
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