NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/26) + 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:  “APRIL 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.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”


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

WADADA LEO SMITH (April 26-28)
at the Kitchen / 8 p.m.; $25+
“This trumpeter, composer and farsighted musical thinker has only ripened with age; at 77, he’s making some of the most affecting music of his career, and he is as prolific as ever. His most recent album is “Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs,” on which he blends brass, electronics and a string quartet to make slow, glassy music that’s often as faint as a memory, yet as urgent as a protester’s chant. He presents the 15-part work here alongside a deep cast of collaborators: The Diamond Voices trio, the RedKoral string quartet, the BlueTrumpet Quartet and the Janus Duo (Pheeroan akLaff on drums and Hardedge on electronics) will all be onstage with him. Jesse Gilbert will present a video component, and the butoh dancer Oguri will also perform.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Zila Khan’s Rumi Yatra
>> Marsalis and Burns: Country Music

>> New York City Ballet
>> National Pretzel Day
Continuing Events
>> Tribeca Film Festival

4/26 The Hot Sardines, Joe’s Pub
4/27 Django A Go Go, Town Hall
4/27 Roger McGuinn, Concert Hall at the New York Society For Ethical Culture
4/29 The New York Pops 36th Birthday Gala honoring Cyndi Lauper, Carnegie Hall
4/29-30 John Hiatt, City Winery
4/30 Deer Tick, Rough Trade
4/30 The Mountain Goats, Brooklyn Steel
5/01 Patti Smith, Webster Hall
5/01 Joan Baez, Beacon Theatre


Music, Dance, Performing Art

at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; $38
“The vocalists Charenée Wade and Brianna Thomas both root themselves snugly within the bluesier realms of jazz’s vocal tradition, and though neither sounds much like Ella Fitzgerald, there is no escaping the influence of the First Lady of Song. Wade’s clear but forceful voice will lead the way on Friday; the next evening, Thomas — whose singing is laden with rousing, youthful energy — will take the helm.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

at Flushing Town Hall / 8 p.m.; $25
“Rosnes, a pianist, is still riding high on the success of last year’s “Beloved of the Sky,” an album of original compositions inspired by the paintings of Emily Carr. Its original pieces range from tangled melodic webs to coolly meditative exhalations. Taken together, they amount to a reckoning with the legacy of post-bop’s piano heroes: The ghosts of Cedar Walton, Andrew Hill and Geri Allen are alive in Rosnes’s playing. In Queens, Ms. Rosnes appears with two members of the band from the album — the vibraphonist Steve Nelson and the bassist Peter Washington — as well as the drummer Lewis Nash.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

DIG DANCE (April 26-27)
at the 92nd Street Y / 8 p.m.; $25+
“This recurring dance series travels to the Emerald Isle this week with “New Dance Ireland: Choreographers of Nowness,” featuring a handful of choreographers, each of whom explore Irish identity and dance from a different angle. Participants include Jean Butler, Darrah Carr, Sean Curran and John Scott, among others, who are mixed and matched over three programs. For this week’s installment of Fridays at Noon, Scott also curates excerpts from many of these choreographers alongside a panel discussion moderated by Siobhan Burke, a dance critic for The New York Times.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Zila Khan’s Rumi Yatra
Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Ave./ 8PM, $30
“Singer Zila Khan’s repertoire ranges from Indian Classical to Indo-Jazz Fusion to traditional Ghazal and Sufi. She’ll lead an ensemble through India’s rich musical landscape, as informed by the philosophy of Rumi.” (ThoughtGallery)

at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $20+
Among the rising stars on jazz’s avant-garde, few are busier or more widely praised than Reid. The cellist — who recently released an album of duets, “The Mouser,” with the drummer Filippo Monico — enjoys the empowerment and open possibility of free improvisation, but she also seeks the firm foundation of a steady groove. Her clearly articulated, lyrically imaginative cello playing can fulfill a range of roles in quick succession: melodist, beat maker, textural accompanist. At the Jazz Gallery she will perform in two separate formations: a duo with the drummer Tomas Fujiwara (nodding to her new album) and a longstanding quartet featuring Fujiwara, the guitarist Mary Halvorson and the bassist Jason Roebke.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Marsalis and Burns: Country Music (April 25-27)
Rose Theatre, 60th St. at Broadway / 8PM, $60+
[this looks like a tough ticket, may need to try another night, or go secondary market.]
“Having tackled jazz, Ken Burns has now turned his sights to country music. In a preview of his forthcoming series, the ambitious documentarian joins forces with the famed trumpeter (and Burns’s favored talking head) Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, to illustrate the shared roots of the two durable genres. Among the other guests at the swinging hoedown are Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, and Rhiannon Giddens.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

New York City Ballet (thru June 2)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $35+
“In the first week of the season, the company dances two alternating programs of works created for it in the twenty-first century, in addition to William Forsythe’s “Herman Schmerman,” from 1992. Forsythe’s subversion of balletic conventions—courtly manners, gender roles, hierarchy—began a conversation that is still very much alive in the world of ballet. “Herman” shares a program with Alexei Ratmansky’s “Concerto DSCH,” a witty and stylish romp to Shostakovich. Two distinguished works from the past five years, Ratmansky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Justin Peck’s “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes,” bookend the other program. Both are set to excitingly descriptive scores, the former by Mussorgsky and the latter by Copland.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

National Pretzel Day
Twist with joy over pretzels and beer
Loreley Beer Garden / HH 6-8PM
“It may be news to you that April 26 is National Pretzel Day. Not exactly a Federal Holiday, but a cause for celebration nonetheless. Pretzels come in all shapes, sizes, and textures, and it’s about time we appreciate them all. Loreley Beer Garden will serve up a variety, including soft baked German pretzels, New York-style pretzels, giant Bavarian pretzels, and burgers, sandwiches, and sausages on pretzel buns. Dip ‘em in a rainbow of sauces and wash it all down with craft beer and seasonal cocktails.” (thrillist)
Happy Hour from 6pm-8pm, take $2 off Select Drafts & Wines, $15 Select Liter Steins, and $25 Select Bottled Wine.


Continuing Events

Tribeca Film Festival (April 24 to May 5)

“Robert De Niro and Co.’s Tribeca Film Festival has long shown a spotlight on local indie features, documentaries, foreign films, the latest from big-name talent and the greatest from up-and-coming filmmakers.

TimeOutNY has got your complete one-stop-shopping guide to Tribeca Film Festival: their personal must-see picks, movie screenings, ticket info, a list of nearby bars and restaurants and much more.”

See Also:
IndieWire – Tribeca 2019: 12 Must-See Films at This Year’s Festival, From Danny Boyle to a Wild ‘Showgirls’ Doc.
CBS News – 15 highlights at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in NYC. (NYMag) – Tribeca Film Festival What to see at the independent film fest.


STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

♦ 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 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.,, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St.,, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St.,, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St.,, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St.,, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St.

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

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St., 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.
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.

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):


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:

And from New York Magazine:

Nadav Kander
A dark line.
“Known for his landscapes, the British photographer’s latest work brings the viewer to a particular point in the U.K.: the Thames Estuary, where the river meets the North Sea. The results are visually arresting and somewhat haunting.” (NYMag)
Flowers Gallery, 529 West 20th Street, through May 25.


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 ( 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.) “

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 04/24 and 04/22.

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