NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/12) + 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:

Anat Cohen Tentet
Zankel Hall / 9PM, $54-$64
“Prolific clarinetist, composer, and bandleader Anat Cohen—along with musical director, arranger, and composer Oded Lev-Ari—presents an intercontinental mix of songs that celebrate the clarinet’s beauty, versatility, and stylistic adaptability. Featuring a world premiere for solo clarinet and ensemble by Lev-Ari, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, and music from their acclaimed album Happy Song, the Anat Cohen Tentet engages audiences with thrilling musical excursions that draw on Cohen’s diverse sonic loves, from Brazilian music to African grooves, from vintage swing to touching ballads.”

Anat is always my featured performance whenever she is in town. No better clarinet player anywhere in America. Don’t miss her!

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>DARCY JAMES ARGUE’S SECRET SOCIETY
>> JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA AND NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF ROMANIA
>> THEO CROKER
>> ORRIN EVANS QUINTET
>> CUBA FESTIVAL
>> Bill Charlap
>> The Enigmatist 

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

DARCY JAMES ARGUE’S SECRET SOCIETY
at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $25
“Maybe you’ve heard: New York’s big-band scene is quietly roaring again (not that it ever went completely silent). If you’re trying to find the action, the Gallery is a good place to start, and to understand where a lot of today’s young composer-bandleaders draw their inspiration, Darcy James Argue’s long-running Secret Society ensemble is a good bet. This weekend the sophisticated, space-rock-tinged, 18-piece band will perform works from across its three-disc catalog, as well as some unrecorded numbers. (On Thursday, the Gallery will also host its 12th Jazz Composers’ Showcase, organized by Miho Hazama, with a house big band playing compositions by three young composers.)” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA AND NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF ROMANIA
at the Rose Theater / 8PM; $105+
“Wynton Marsalis is Jazz at Lincoln Center’s artistic director and the lead composer for its large ensemble. The New York Philharmonic commissioned him to write a piece it could perform in collaboration with Marsalis’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and he came up with “The Jungle (Symphony No. 4),” an ode to the urban frenzy of New York City, which premiered in 2016. (It is apparently not a reference to Upton Sinclair’s working-class novel of the same name, which is set in Chicago.) Here the Jazz at Lincoln Center ensemble will perform the work with the visiting National Symphony Orchestra of Romania.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

THEO CROKER
at Ginny’s Supper Club / 7PM and 9PM; $15-$20
“A young trumpeter who’s equal parts insouciance and fleet command, Croker recently unveiled a new ensemble: the Big Brother Big Band. That group will cram onto the stage at Ginny’s on Friday, giving uptown listeners their first glimpse at Big Brother’s soul-and-hip-hop-infused take on the large-ensemble tradition. On Saturday, Croker returns to Ginny’s with a smaller group.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)
This is a wonderful, but small club. Better reserve tickets in advance.
Only steps away from the 125th St. stop on the #2/#3 subway.

ORRIN EVANS QUINTET (Jan. 11-13)
at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; $40
“Evans, a daring Philadelphia pianist, is as deeply rooted in bebop tradition as he is versatile and incursive. His Captain Black Big Band (which used to hold down a weekly residency at Smoke) released one of last year’s best large-ensemble records, but he’s equally enthralling as a leader of small groups. Here Evans, 43, presents a quintet featuring powerful players from across generations with the upstarts Josh Lawrence on trumpet and Caleb Curtis on alto saxophone, plus the bassist Ben Wolfe and the drummer Ralph Peterson, both respected veterans in their mid-50s.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

CUBA FESTIVAL (through Jan. 20)
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM, +8PM; $75
“Our country’s relationship with Cuba may still be in flux but the Joyce Theater’s commitment to Cuban artists remains steadfast. Starting Jan. 9, the space presents the Cuba Festival. First up is the frequent visitor Malpaso Dance Company, a skilled and earnest troupe that will present a diverse program of works by Merce Cunningham, Abel Rojo and Beatriz Garcia Diaz, plus Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s haunting “Tabula Rasa” (through Jan. 13). The festival continues with the company Los Hijos del Director (Jan. 15-16) and the feisty contemporary Flamenco dancer Irene Rodríguez and her self-named company (Jan. 18-20).” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Bill Charlap (Jan.8-13)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“Bill Charlap isn’t out to change the world with his elegant and resourceful piano playing—he’s just resolved to make it a more stylish place to live. In addition to a solo performance and an evening with his sparkling trio, this mainstream master will host a variety of impressive guests, including Houston Person, Tom Harrell, and Jon Faddis.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

PLUS, The Enigmatist
This weekend and Jan 25-26 look sold out.
Better jump on this for next weekend.
The Enigmatist (Jan. 4-26 / Fridays and Saturdays)
Play an interactive magic show
High Line Hotel, 180 10th Ave./ 7PM, +9:30PM, $85
“David Kwong builds crossword puzzles for the New York Times by day, but by night he’s actually better known as a magician, who has consulted on projects from Now You See Me and NBC’s Blindspot. Now he’s appearing as The Enigmatist at the High Line Hotel, inside a mysterious room called the Riverbank Estate for a night of illusions, cracking riddles and solving puzzles.” (Metro)

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

Broadway Con (Jan.11-13)
NY Hilton Midtown / 9AM-6PM, $80+
“As we’re often reminded during awards season, Hollywood is only in LA. But Broadway is only in New York. See it up close and personal at BroadwayCon. You’ll have a chance to meet stars, sing along to show tunes, learn insider show biz intel, vote for all-star set list selections, get sneak peeks of upcoming musicals, and dress in your best Wicked cosplay.” (thrillist.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 (last day)
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.

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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)

‘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)

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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 01/10 and 01/08.
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