Today’s Nifty 9 NYC Events > SATURDAY/ MAY 11, 2019
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For future NYC Events, check the tab above: “May 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:
Rebirth Brass Band
Symphony Space / 8PM, $38+
“Whether seen on HBO’s Treme, or at their legendary Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, The Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they’ve also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound.”
8 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> AUSTRALIA FESTIVAL
>> JEREMY PELT
>> ‘DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES’
>> The Pucci Amanda Jhones Quartet
>> ‘EL CIMARRÓN’
>> David Murray with Saul Williams
>> Maceo Parker
>> ‘What’s My Name| Muhammad Ali’ pop-up
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.
Music, Dance, Performing Art
AUSTRALIA FESTIVAL (through May 12)
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM, +8PM, $35+
“The Australian Ballet presents a program of works by homegrown choreographic talent. Alice Topp’s acclaimed Aurum, supported by The Joyce Theater’s Nureyev Prize, draws inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi—repairing cracked pottery with precious metals—and explores damage, healing, and the beauty of our flaws. The dancers’ powerful movement is framed in breathtaking stage design featuring a reflective golden floor and ripples of burnished light. The award-winning duet Unspoken Dialogues by Stephen Baynes, and a new work by Resident Choreographer Tim Harbour will round out the program.”
JEREMY PELT (May 9-12)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“Pelt’s trumpet tone can wander into the mist during a ballad, then come roaring out with a scorching solo when the energy rises. He spends a lot of time somewhere in between those two places on “The Rodin Suite,” a five-part work that dominates his most recent album, “Jeremy Pelt the Artist,” which came out earlier this year. While his nominal inspiration was the sculptures of Auguste Rodin, the musical influences are at least as apparent — particularly the 1970s fusion records of Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. This weekend he appears with most members of the band that played on the album: Victor Gould on piano, Alex Wintz on guitar, Chien Chien Lu on vibraphone and marimba, Corcoran Holt on bass, Allan Mednard on drums and Ismel Wignall on percussion.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)
‘DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES’
at the Metropolitan Opera House / 12PM, $53+
“The Met often sneaks in one of the most interesting prospects of the year right at the end of its season, and these three performances, reprising a 2013 run, certainly qualify as that. Its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, leads John Dexter’s 1977 production of Poulenc’s masterwork with a cast that includes Isabel Leonard as Blanche, Karita Mattila as the Prioress and Adrianne Pieczonka as Madame Lidoine.” (NYT-David Allen)
The Pucci Amanda Jhones Quartet
at The Sound Bite / 7PM, $
“Jazz vocalist Ms. Jhones has kept busy performing across the world: The Renaissance Jazz club in Kuala Lumpur; the Half Note Jazz Club in Athens, Greece; the Q. Jazz club in Istanbul; and the Park Hyatt Jazz club in Tokyo, Japan. Catch her in Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday.” (cityguideny)
‘EL CIMARRÓN’ (May 10-11)
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art / 7 p.m.; $55
“It’s a tribute to the socially conscious, artistically collaborative vision of the soprano Julia Bullock that her season as an artist in residence at the Met includes these concerts of Henze’s, the title of which translates to “The Runaway Slave.” Bullock does not perform; instead, relish the singing of Davóne Tines, a breakout bass-baritone, alongside Emi Ferguson on flute, Jonny Allen on percussion and Jordan Dodson on guitar. Zack Winokur directs.” (NYT-David Allen)
David Murray with Saul Williams (May 7-11)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
Back in the eighties and nineties, it might have seemed as if every new dawn also brought a new David Murray recording. The still mighty tenor saxophonist and bass clarinettist may have cut down on his productivity of late, but his taste for experimentation and variety remains. Here, he reunites with the politically attuned spoken-word poet Saul Williams in a collaborative venture entitled “Blues for Memo”; they front a quintet that also features the acclaimed drummer Nasheet Waits.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)
Maceo Parker (May 7-12)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $35-$45
“The saxophonist Maceo Parker’s fame was insured by his work as the Johnny-on-the-spot soloist for James Brown and by his later contributions to modern funk, but his affection for R. & B.-inflected jazz-horn work—a tradition that runs from Louis Jordan to Hank Crawford and beyond—is never far below the surface. At seventy-six, he remains a soulful instrumentalist and occasional singer who still bows to the majesty of the groove.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)
Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
‘What’s My Name| Muhammad Ali’ pop-up (May 11-12)
45 Grand St./ 12-7PM, FREE
“Learn about Muhammad Ali’s life in a two-day pop-up in SoHo that has eye-catching imagery, artwork, quotes and audio and three dedicated spaces that highlight different aspects of Ali’s life including: ” The Athlete,” “The Activist” and “The Orator.” The pop-up is being held in celebration of the debut of HBO’s two-part documentary “What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali.” (amNY)
STREB (LAST WEEKEND)
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.
COMING SOON (WFUV)
5/10-11 Morrissey, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
5/10-11 Crossing Bridges Music Festival, The Schimmel Center
5/11 Rebirth Brass Band, Symphony Space
5/11 Lee Fields and the Expressions, Brooklyn Steel
5/12-13 Lizzo, Brooklyn Steel
5/13 The Who, Madison Square Garden
5/13 “Sound Mind” A Mental Health Benefit w/Langhorne Slim, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 My Brightest Diamond, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 Moby & John Hodgman, National Sawdust
5/15 Gordon Lightfoot, Town Hall
♦ 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.
A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village
Caffe Vivaldi / 32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker St./W4th St.)
Café Vivaldi is a classic, intimate club located in Greenwich Village on Jones Street, the street featured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album, “Freewheelin’. ”
Each night Ishrat, the long time proprietor and impresario, carefully curates and schedules an eclectic series of musicians. You can often see him at his table in the corner, hard at work reviewing music videos and listening to cd demos on his laptop, scouting out future bookings. Musicians come from all over to play and sing in a club in Greenwich Village. Some are local New Yorkers, others are just passing through, in town for a few days.
There is a small bar, seating maybe 10. It’s close to the stage and I find it’s a perfect spot to sip a glass of red wine while listening to the music. The room itself has the performance area at one end and a cozy fireplace at the other. The performance area here is small, dominated by a large black Yamaha Grand piano. Tables are bunched together and most people at the tables are eating lite meals or sampling the wonderful desserts.
There is also a good selection of fairly priced wines, but you are here because of the music. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to find, and that’s half the charm of this place. It’s not a home run every night, but many nights it’s pretty special.
I remember the night I saw the most talented bossa nova group, just in from San Paulo. As I listened, I wondered if there was any better music playing anywhere else in New York City that night. And at Caffé Vivaldi there is never a cover charge. Their recently redesigned web site does give you a better idea of the type of music playing each night.
At one time Greenwich Village was filled with clubs just like this, but times change. Real estate interests have impacted the village, and not for the better. Even Caffé Vivaldi had a rough time recently, when a new landlord raised the rent exorbitantly. Fortunately, Ishrat has built a loyal following over the years, and a fund raiser and slightly more reasonable rent has kept Café Vivaldi in business.
When Woody Allen and Al Pacino wanted to make movies featuring the timeless quality of Greenwich Village they came to Vivaldi. It’s important that we keep this special place alive, for if we lose Cafe Vivaldi, NYCity will have lost a piece of it’s soul.
CAFFE VIVALDI HAS CLOSED, VERY SAD.
I HAVE LEFT THIS REVIEW ON MY SITE AS A KIND OF MEMORIAL.
As reported in the “Gothamist”:
“Caffe Vivaldi, one of the last bohemian bastions of the West Village, is set to close this weekend. During its 35 years on Jones Street, the casual cafe won the hearts of locals and celebs alike, including Oscar Isaac, Bette Midler, and Al Pacino.
Despite that friendly communal atmosphere, the owners ultimately struggled to survive under their notorious vulture landlord Steve Croman, who they say waged a harassment campaign against the restaurant, and eventually tripled their rent.”
“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.
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
3 Good Eating places
It’s not difficult to find a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:
Fish – 280 Bleecker St. (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.
Bleecker Street Pizza – 69 7th ave S. (corner of Bleecker St.)
The place is tiny and not much to look at, but this is one good slice. They like to brag that they have been voted “Best pizza in NY” 3 years in a row by the Food Network. I believe them. I would have voted for them.
Num Pang – 21 E 12th St. (btw. University Place/5th ave.)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. It’s cramped, even for NYCity, but usually there is room up the spiral staircase to sit down and eat. In good weather carry your sandwich a few blocks to Union Square park. You may have to wait a few minutes, because everything is freshly made, but it’s worth it. Can you believe – an unheard of 26 food rating by Zagat.
“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24,000 eating establishments you might welcome some advice.
◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available FALL 2019).
◊ Order before NOV. 30, 2019 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.