NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/13) + 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:  “July 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:

This is the last of this season’s ‘Midsummer Night Swing’ and we will miss it.

Harlem Renaissance Orchestra
15th Annual Tribute to Illinois Jacquet
plus the Ambassador Prize Lindy Hop Dance Contest
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center / 6PM, $22
Dance floor opens at 6:00 pm
Dance lesson at 6:30 pm
Live music at 7:30 pm
Style: Big Band Swing
Dance Instructor: Margaret Batiuchok teaches Swing
DJ: Ryan Swift

“Swing is the thing at our season finale. The Harlem Renaissance Orchestra keeps the spirit of jazz legend Illinois Jacquet alive with classic big-band tunes and blazing uptown energy. Always one of the best parties of the season, the night reaches its glorious peak when New York’s best dancers compete for the Ambassador Prize, an homage to Lindy hop icon Frankie Manning.”


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Dr. Eddie Henderson Quintet
>> Mark Morris Dance Group
>> Billy Childs
>> Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz

>> Freddy Cole Quartet 
>> Bal des Pompiers
>> ‘Woodstock–The Director’s Cut’

You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.


Music, Dance, Performing Art

Dr. Eddie Henderson Quintet (July 12–13)
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $45
“The band joining Henderson at this run includes the New Orleanian saxophonist Donald Harrison, the pianist Peter Zak, the bassist Gerald Cannon and the drummer Mike Clark — who, like Henderson, came into his own in the 1970s, playing jazz-funk in bands led by Herbie Hancock. The group’s diversity makes sense for a trumpeter like Henderson, whose idea of jazz encompasses subtle backbeats, swarming atmospherics and virtuoso hard-bop playing.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Mark Morris Dance Group (LAST DAY)
Rose Theatre, Broadway at 60th St./ 7:30PM, $40+
“Morris, a longtime friend of the Mostly Mozart Festival, returns with a triple bill. It includes a new work, “Sport,” set to Satie’s “Sports et Divertissements,” a suite of witty piano pieces on such subjects as racing, picnicking, and sledding. Morris is also bringing back “V,” a moving, and remarkably redemptive, pure-dance piece set to Schumann’s Quintet in E-Flat Major. It premièred in October, 2001, just a month after 9/11.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

Billy Childs (July 11-14)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“On the inspired recording “Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro,” from 2014, the Grammy-winning pianist and arranger Billy Childs paid tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter, touching on both her sophisticated pop creations (“Stoned Soul Picnic”) and her inward-looking reveries (“New York Tendaberry”). Here, two fine singers, Alicia Olatuja and Kate McGarry, join Childs in tackling the intricacies of Nyro’s inimitable work.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz (also July 15-16, 18-20)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $70+
“The stars of the original Off Broadway production of The Last Five Years, having gone on to major Broadway careers, reunite for a nightclub set. Scott is a blond bombshell with a paradoxical flair for understatement, a reticent power that reached its apex in her 2010 Broadway showcase, Everyday Rapture; Butz has an unlikely but winning combination of everyday guyness and star magnetism. In addition to The Last Five Years, the two have also shared the stage in Rent and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and both are highly accomplished nightclub performers, so this should be a doozy. Todd Almond is the musical director.” (TONY)

Freddy Cole Quartet (July 11-13)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $30-$40
“The New York Times calls Freddy Cole, “the most maturely expressive male jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive.” People Magazine praises his, “gorgeous autumnal baritone, expressive phrasing and pitch-perfect feel for jazz standards, pop tunes and love ballads.”

Uncle to Natalie Cole, brother of Nat “King” Cole, pianist and vocalist Freddy Cole doesn’t apologize for sounding a little bit like his iconic elder brother as he tantalizes listeners all over the world. Cole’s annual visit is the perfect blend of jazz and great American standards.”


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

These events are not exactly Manhattan’s WestSide, but still worth the detour:

Bal des Pompiers
Learn the words to ‘La Marseillaise’
Jacques Brasserie, Upper East Side /
“In Paris, the night before Bastille Day, Parisians celebrate Bal des Pompiers (translation: Dance of the Firemen), by partying in fire stations (some firemen, one assumes, remain designated drivers in case of an emergency). Jacques Brasserie is hosting a Bal des Pompiers party complete with specialty cocktails like the Jacques 75, which comes with a float of G.H. Mumm champagne. Have a few escargots, play a game of Pétanque, and raise a glass to the French revolutionaries.” (thrillist)
Cost: Free to enter; specialty cocktails are $12; food available for purchase


‘Woodstock–The Director’s Cut’
“Michael Wadleigh’s Oscar-winning 1970 documentary on the 1969 music festival that defined a generation, returns in an extended, 225-minute cut that includes additional performances from Canned Heat, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix. Associate producer Dale Bell will appear in person at the screening, which is sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, July 13, at 1 p.m., Metrograph, 7 Ludlow St., Manhattan
INFO $15; 212-660-0312,

Continuing Events

“Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival will run from July 10 through August 10, 2019. Harnessing Mozart’s innovative spirit as its inspiration, this edition will feature groundbreaking, multidisciplinary, international productions and acclaimed artists from a variety of genres, introducing the audience to emerging creative voices, commissions and premieres.  The program will include performances from Mark Morris Dance Company, a panel discussion on Mozart’s Magic Flute, a screening of the film The Great Buster: A Celebration, and much more. For a full festival lineup, visit the Mostly Mozart Festival event page.” (



7/13 Yeasayer, Webster Hall
7/13 De La Soul, The Rooftop at Pier 17
7/13 The Smithereens with Marshall Crenshaw, Iridium Jazz Club
7/14 Lynyrd Skynyrd, Forest Hills Stadium
7/14 Railroad Earth, Summerstage Central Park
7/15 Bettye LaVette, City Winery
7/17 Okkervil River, City Winery
7/17 Aimee Mann, Music Hall of Williamsburg

♦ 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.

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 is one exhibition the New Yorker likes:

and one the NYTimes likes:

‘JEFF WALL’ (extended through July 26)

“Rumination and risk-taking, in equal measure, mark this conceptual photographer’s spellbinding new exhibition. The show, Wall’s first at this Chelsea gallery since ending a 25-year run with the rival dealer Marian Goodman, feels decidedly introspective. Figures alone in contemplative trances, or alienated from their partners in scenes of evident tension, define most of the works. The encyclopedic visual literacy that has long characterized Wall’s pictures (with their compositional echoes of old master paintings) has been pared back, allowing more psychological complexity to emerge. Just as new is an emphasis on narrative and sequence; among the pieces are two diptychs and an enveloping, cinematic triptych.” (Karen Rosenberg)


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 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 07/11 and 07/09.

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.


NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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