NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/21) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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:  February NYC Events”
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.
To make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”


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

Vuyo Sotashe
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Singer and songwriter Vuyo Sotashe is becoming an integral part of New York City’s jazz scene. After moving here in 2013, the young South African artist has quickly made his mark, earning a Fulbright Scholarship and finalist positions in several international competitions, while also collaborating with artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Michael Mwenso, Brianna Thomas, Elio Villafranca, Duchess, and the cabaret persona Jomama Jones, to name a few. Sotashe now adds American Songbook to his list of high-profile gigs with this free performance in the David Rubenstein Atrium. Catch this rising international jazz star while you can.

“A South African with a wool-lined baritone who stunned the crowd with his lyrical precision… [J]udging from the volume of the applause he received from the audience, one can expect to hear more from this young artist in the future.” – Downbeat

“Sotashe’s swooning falsetto brought a dramatic quality to ‘I Loves You Porgy’ and his infectious swing factor alongside [Michael] Mwenso had dancers whirling in front of the stage.” – Downbeat on the 2016 Hot Jazz Festival at the McKittrick Hotel


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)

>> BalletNext
>> Dayna Stephens Quartet
>> More Than Words: Haiku’s Expressive Potential
>> Discovering George Washington in New York
Continuing Events 
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

at the Joyce Theater / 7p.m.; $45+
“To mark its 25th anniversary, Complexions presents three programs over two weeks that highlight its brand of sharp, sultry ballet. The programs comprise new, revived and repurposed works by Dwight Rhoden, who founded and directs the troupe with the dancer Desmond Richardson. program A features the New York premiere of “Bach 25,” set to music by both J. S. Bach and his son C. P. E. Bach, as well as the return of “Star Dust,” a tribute to David Bowie. Program B pairs the premiere of “Woke,” a response to current politics, with “From Then to Now,” a greatest-hits compilation from the company’s repertory. A separate matinee program combines the compilation with the Bach piece.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

at Nublu 151 / 8 p.m.; $20
“A master percussionist and eminence of Chicago’s creative music scene, Kahil El’Zabar channels a deep sense of history into his music, coming away with something timeless and universal and enchanted. For over 40 years, he has led the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, usually as a trio featuring a rotating cast of horn players and flutists. But he recently expanded it into a quartet, with Alex Harding on baritone saxophone, Corey Wilkes on trumpet and Ian Maksin on cello. At Nublu the band celebrates the release of “Be Heard,” which will be out in March on the audiophile Spiritmuse Records.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

BalletNext (Feb. 19-23)
New York Live Arts, 219 W. 19th St./ 730PM, $25
“This season of Michele Wiles’s company features the usual assortment of novelties, such as a première by Wiles for students from the University of Utah, with a score by the esteemed jazz trumpeter Tom Harrell. But the news is the participation of Amar Ramasar, who made a splash on Broadway last year in “Carousel,” and was fired from New York City Ballet in September, after being accused of texting sexually explicit photos of female dancers. He’ll be dancing Mauro Bigonzetti’s “BachGround” with his former City Ballet colleague Maria Kowroski.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

Dayna Stephens Quartet (Feb.19-24)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“The riveting post-bop saxophonist Dayna Stephens has already proved his worth on this bandstand as a trusted associate in the ensembles of Kenny Barron and others. For this critical engagement, though, he débuts at the helm of a topnotch quartet, featuring the pianist Aaron Parks, the bassist Ben Street, and the drummer Gregory Hutchinson.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

at Birdland / 8:30 and 11 p.m.; $30-$40
“Three of the best saxophonists in straight-ahead jazz and its affiliated territories, Lovano (tenor saxophone), Liebman (soprano) and Osby (alto) join up this week with a trio of all-star side musicians: the pianist Phil Markowitz, the bassist Cecil McBee and the drummer Billy Hart. All six of these players have been among jazz’s most respected figures since at least the 1980s, and all continue to barrel forward creatively.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

More Than Words: Haiku’s Expressive Potential
Japan Society, 333 E. 47th St./ 6:30PM, $15
“Haiku: in just 17 syllables, this classic form of Japanese verse captures the essence of a moment. Mastered by poets like Matsuo Basho and Yosa Buson, this ancient literary form has captured the hearts of people around the world, inspiring modern poets like Ezra Pound and Jack Kerouac. At this talk, Hiroaki Sato, author of On Haiku and former president of the Haiku Society of America, unveils the surprising role haiku has played in social upheavals, religion, humor and more, and examines its boundless potential for literary expression in English. Followed by a book-signing reception.”

Discovering George Washington in New York
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7PM, $29
“Observe Presidents’ Week with journalist Mary Calvi, author of Dear George, Dear Mary: A Novel of George Washington’s First Love, and Chris Formant, who just published Saving Washington: The Forgotten Story of the Maryland 400 and The Battle of Brooklyn. Together, they’ll draw connections between Washington’s early life and spiritual experiences and his subsequent feats of leadership.” (ThoughtGallery)


Continuing Events
NEW YORK CITY BALLET  (through March 3)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM
“In the coming week, City Ballet’s winter season belongs to Princess Aurora. Through Feb. 24, the company presents “The Sleeping Beauty” in a 1991 version by the former director Peter Martins, who followed a blueprint from the 19th-century master Marius Petipa (a section by George Balanchine made the cut, too). Over the next 10 days, several of City Ballet’s top ballerinas embody the titular character in this streamlined, two-act production. Lilac Fairy aside, the true fairy godfather here is Tchaikovsky, whose enduring score many consider ballet’s best.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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)

♦ 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.

Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):


My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of exhibitions)

Whitney Museum of American Art

‘ANDY WARHOL — FROM A TO B AND BACK AGAIN’  (through March 31) “Although this is the artist’s first full American retrospective in 31 years, he’s been so much with us — in museums, galleries, auctions — as to make him, like wallpaper, like the atmosphere, only half-noticed. The Whitney show restores him to a full, commanding view, but does so in a carefully shaped and edited way, with an emphasis on very early and late work. Despite the show’s monumentalizing size, supplemented by an off-site display of the enormous multipanel painting called “Shadows,” it’s a human-scale Warhol we see. Largely absent is the artist-entrepreneur who is taken as a prophet of our market-addled present. What we have instead is Warhol for whom art, whatever else it was, was an expression of personal hopes and fears.”  (Cotter)

Museum of Modern Art


Museum of Art and Design

‘STERLING RUBY: CERAMICS’  (through March 17).
“Adept at most art mediums, this artist is at his best in ceramics, especially in the outsize, awkwardly hand-built, resplendently glazed baskets, ashtrays and plates and the objects that verge on sculpture in this show. These works actively incorporate accident and aspects of the ready-made, have precedents in the large-scale ceramics of Peter Voulkos and Viola Frey, but may be closest in spirit to the Neo-Expressionism of Julian Schnabel — rehabilitated, of course.” (Smith – NYT)

American Folk Art Museum

‘PAA JOE: GATES OF NO RETURN’  (through Feb. 24).

“Joseph Tetteh Ashong, better known as Paa Joe, is Ghana’s pre-eminent funerary carpenter, turning out thousands of brightly colored lions, soda bottles and automobiles for people to be buried in. Most of his exuberant pieces enjoy the light of day for only a few hours before they disappear into the ground. But in 2004, Paa Joe was commissioned by the art dealer and gallerist Claude Simard to make casket-size hardwood models of 13 former Gold Coast slave forts, and seven of them are now at AFAM. Thanks to Paa Joe’s gift for transmuting even the most complex and brutal material into a cheerful expression of his own artistic temperament, the works’ undeniable conceptual weight doesn’t hamper the overwhelming visual pleasure.” (Will Heinrich-NYT)

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Posts in right Sidebar dated 02/19 and 02/17.
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