NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/16) + 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:  “August 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.”

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

JOHNNY O’NEAL TRIO (Aug. 16-17)
at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; $38
“A dizzyingly talented pianist with equal doses of stride and bebop in his playing, O’Neal has much in common with Oscar Peterson, the famed piano player who in the 1950s and ’60s was seen as Art Tatum’s heir apparent. (O’Neal, in turn, portrayed Tatum in “Ray,” the blockbuster 2004 film.) This weekend O’Neal will play music from Peterson’s repertoire, celebrating what would have been his 94th birthday. O’Neal will be joined by the bassist Peter Washington and the drummer Lewis Nash.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Accordion Festival
>> BALLET FESTIVAL
>> Azar Lawrence Experience
>> Michael Feinstein: I Happen to Like New York
>> Bill Frisell
>> Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward
>> From Concorde to Mars: Designing the Future

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Accordion Festival
Bryant Park / 5-10PM, FREE
The annual accordions around the world festival at Bryant Park culminates in a five-hour celebration of bands that feature at least one accordionist each.

“Accordions Around the World is a weekly summer series featuring accordionists as well as bandoneon, bayan, concertina, and harmonium-players of different musical genres. Audiences have an opportunity to hear music from all over the world and to experience the wide range of this often overlooked and little-known instrument in an intimate performance setting. Choose to wander the park to explore different musical stylings or set up a picnic and the artists will rotate around the audience. The finale is Accordion Festival, a five-hour celebration of bands with at least one accordionist.” (nyc-arts.org)

BALLET FESTIVAL
at the Joyce Theater (Aug. 16, 8 p.m.; Aug. 17, 2 and 8 p.m.; Aug. 18, 2 p.m.), $85+
“Over the past couple of weeks, artists associated with Britain’s Royal Ballet have been taking turns curating programs for the Joyce’s annual midsummer gift to balletomanes. The fourth and final one belongs to the adventurous principal dancer Edward Watson. His lineup will begin with four short works — all duets and solos — by the choreographers Wayne McGregor, James Alsop, Laila Diallo and Javier de Frutos; the pieces will be performed by Watson, his Royal Ballet colleague Sarah Lamb and the former New York City Ballet dancer Robert Fairchild. Following the intermission, the three will come together in Arthur Pita’s “Cristaux” and will be joined by the City Ballet principal Maria Kowroski.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Azar Lawrence Experience (Aug.15-18)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
“The fulsome tenor and soprano saxophonist Azar Lawrence doesn’t disguise his admiration for John Coltrane—his bona fides include work with the Coltrane associates Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner—but a fondness for earthy R. & B. has earned him his own loyal following; his seventies recordings, including “Bridge Into the New Age,” are widely regarded as essential listening. Here, he performs with Experience, his fortified septet, which includes the guitarist Julian Coryell, the son of the fusion pioneer Larry Coryell.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Michael Feinstein: I Happen to Like New York (Aug.7-23)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85+
“The popular and polished standard-bearer of American song returns to the club that bears his name for a three-week run devoted to tunes that celebrate New York City; the set includes a salute to the masterfully ebullient singer-pianist Bobby Short, who defined the champagne wing of cabaret in his four-decade run at the Café Carlyle. Feinstein is joined by special guests Melissa Manchester (August 15–20) and Jackie Evancho (August 21–23).” (TONY)

Bill Frisell (Aug.13-18)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“The venerable crossover guitarist, famous for his luminous folk-jazz fusions, settles into a two-week residency at the Vanguard. Expect magic: His 2016 performances at the venue resulted in a live album, Small Town, released the following year. At this year’s stay, he’s sure to play from Harmony, his upcoming (and first) release with Blue Note Records. During week one, (Aug 6–11), Frisell will fire up a blazing trio, with Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on drums; the second week, they’re joined by special guest Greg Tardy on saxophone (Aug 13–18).” (TONY)

Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward (Aug.14-18)
Irish Repertory Theatre / 8PM, $45-$50
“The Noël Coward touch was always a light one. His music scampers like a mouse; his lyrics bounce like balloons. In his plays, even suffering has an upward tendency. But when his work is excerpted and performed by others, that glancing quality can turn coy and saccharine, as it sometimes does in Barry Day’s two-handed cabaret Love, Noël.

Reading from Coward’s letters and covering nearly two dozen songs, cabaret stars Steve Ross and KT Sullivan pay Coward tribute. Sometimes Ross, the longtime king of café cabaret, is his own tuxedoed self, and sometimes he’s pretending to be Coward; an amused-seeming Sullivan takes on all the women. (She does a great, gloomy Marlene Dietrich.)” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

From Concorde to Mars: Designing the Future
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86 / 7PM, $15
Head to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for the conversation From Concorde to Mars: Designing the Future. Lawrence Azerrad, author of Supersonic: The Design & Lifestyle of Concorde; Tibor Balint, principal human centered designer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Jeffrey Montes, a space architect at Space Factory, all come together to talk about innovations to come.” (ThoughtGallery)


Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week 2019:  LAST day!
“The more than three-week-long promotion featuring two-course lunches ($26) and three-course dinners ($42) at some of the city’s best restaurants is back for its summer edition starting July 22. This time around, the celebration features prix-fixe meals at more than 380 eateries, with deals through Aug. 16.

You can find links to menus and the restaurants involved here, but check out our picks for some of the most enticing deals below.” (amNY)

Battery Dance presents The 38th Annual Battery Dance Festival
Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park (Aug.11-16) / 7-9PM, FREE
Schimmel Center, 3 Spruce St. (Aug.17) / 6-8PM, $10
“Battery Dance, in association with Battery Park City Authority, announces the 38th Annual Battery Dance Festival with free performances from August 11-16, 2019 from 7-9 pm against the backdrop of New York Harbor at Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park in Battery Park City, culminating in a closing performance on August 17, 2019, from 6pm to 8pm at The Schimmel Center at Pace University. Tickets for the closing performance are $10.00; or $65 including after-reception.”

This festival, which started in 1982, returns to Lower Manhattan for a week of outdoor shows, as well as one at the Schimmel Center on Aug. 17. As always, the event includes dance companies and artists from around the world; this year, expect performers from Argentina, Austria, Curaçao, France, India, Iraq, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Turkey. And it wouldn’t be the Battery Dance Festival without a celebration, on Thursday, of Indian Independence Day. The focus is on Manipuri dance with Darshana Jhaveri & Drummers and Dancers of Manipur. Audience members have the chance to dance, too: After each outdoor show, artists will lead participants in a movement adventure of their own.” (NYT-

JAZZ IN TIMES SQUARE
Concert Series / Curated by Jazz at Lincoln Center
Thursdays from 5-7pm, from June to September
Broadway Plaza between 43rd and 44th Streets

“Give your Thursday night a new rhythm as you head to the train or wait for a colleague to join you for dinner. Jazz at Lincoln Center brings New York City’s hottest young jazz bands to the plaza, creating the feeling of an intimate club amidst the lights and sounds of Times Square.”

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

8/16 Willie Nile & James Maddock, Rockin The River, Circle Line
8/16 Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, The Bell House
8/16-17 Galactic, Brooklyn Bowl
8/17 Beck, Cage The Elephant and Spoon, Forest Hills Stadium
8/19 The Binky Griptite Orchestra, Union Pool
8/21 Tame Impala, Madison Square Garden

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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 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. 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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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)

‘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)

“In Praise of Painting” (thru Oct.4, 2020)

“How great are the Met’s holdings in the Dutch golden age? Very. This long-term installation rings the lower level of the Lehman Wing with scores of lesser-known gems from the mid-seventeenth century, many of them rarely on view before, amid masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Ruisdael. The period, vivified here, began in 1648, when the end of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain brought a boom in wealth and morale, expressed by genre paintings that exalt the national ideal of gezelligheid—social warmth, comfort, belonging. A key figure was Gerard ter Borch, who had travelled widely and worked at the court of Philip IV, in company with Velázquez. Ter Borch’s lustrous, ineffably witty domestic scenes inspired a generation of masters, notably Vermeer, whose genius rather eclipsed his elder’s. The pictures often star ter Borch’s younger sister Gesina, preening in satins or enigmatically musing. Herself a painter, she is cutely funny-looking—pointy nose, weak chin—and desperately lovable. There’s much to be said for a world with such a family in it.”

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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 08/14 and 08/12.
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Bonus Live Music  – NYC 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.”

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

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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