NYC Events -“Only the Best” (01/14) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

“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:  “January 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:

Count Basie Orchestra  (Jan.14-18)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40+
“2020 marked the 85th Anniversary of The Count Basie Orchestra. William J. “Count” Basie (1904-1984) started his orchestra in Kansas City in 1935 and proceeded to develop one of the greatest jazz groups in history.

Under Basie’s leadership — with a strong commitment to making sure every tune was danceable — the orchestra featured many of the greatest instrumentalists and vocalists in jazz including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Joe Jones, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Frank Wess, Clark Terry, and many more. They played for Kings and Queens, appeared in movies and television shows, and won 18 Grammy® Awards, the most for any orchestra. Today, under the leadership of director, Scotty Barnhart, The Count Basie Orchestra is traveling the world, swinging and shouting the blues with precision, in Count Basie’s unmistakable style of Kansas City swing.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> CHES SMITH
>> La Traviata
>> Julian Lage Trio
>> The Lineup with Susie Mosher
>> LES BALLET AFRIK AND EPHRAT ASHERIE
>> Uncanny Valley: Anna Wiener
>> Marino Marini and Henry Moore: An Italian Friendship
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

CHES SMITH (Jan. 14-18)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Spend more than a few days bopping around New York’s improvised-music scene, and you’ll surely come across Ches Smith. He’s among the most-called-upon drummer and percussionist on the avant-garde today. Seeing him lead his own projects is uncommon, so this residency at the Stone is something of a turning of the tables. And they’ll be spun in a lot of directions: He appears with a different group each night. Of particular note are Tuesday’s show — featuring the pianist Craig Taborn, the violinist Mat Maneri and a special guest to be named on guitar — and Thursday’s program, titled “Drums and Songs,” for which Smith and the bassist Nick Dunston will be joined by a number of vocalists and players of the tanbou, a Haitian drum.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

The Metropolitan Opera
La Traviata (next Jan.18, 1PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $30+
“Michael Mayer’s sumptuous staging, a highlight of the 2018–19 season, returns with two casts of bright stars. Sopranos Aleksandra Kurzak and Lisette Oropesa share the role of Violetta, the opera’s tragic heroine, opposite tenors Dmytro Popov and Vittorio Grigolo as her ardent lover, Alfredo, and baritones Quinn Kelsey and Luca Salsi as Alfredo’s stern father, Germont. Karel Mark Chichon and Bertrand de Billy conduct one of opera’s greatest scores.”

Julian Lage Trio (Jan.14-19)
Village Vanguard / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30
“Guitarist Lage has been a musician’s musician since youth. He’s graduated from child-prodigy appearances with Carlos Santana and Pat Metheny to grown-up sideman gigs with Gary Burton and his pianist pal Taylor Eigsti. Expect shimmery fireworks, as Lage leads a hot trio that includes the Bad Plus’ maestro drummer Dave King.” (TONY)

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Birdland / 9:30PM, $25
“Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe: warm, funny, biting, ferociously committed. In her weekly series at the downstairs Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show their talents.” (TONY)

LES BALLET AFRIK AND EPHRAT ASHERIE (Jan.13-14)
at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / 7:30 p.m.; $ could be a tough ticket.
“The latest episode of the Guggenheim’s Works and Process series focuses on a newly commissioned piece driven by vogueing and house dance styles. Les Ballet Afrik, founded by the distinguished ballroom scene veteran Omari Wiles, presents excerpts from “New York Is Burning,” which commemorates the 30th anniversary of the influential documentary “Paris Is Burning,” and features Wiles’s fusion of African, Afrobeat and house moves. Additionally, the busy B-girl Ephrat Asherie will show parts of “UnderScored,” an upcoming work inspired by the wild, wonderful dancing at the Loft and the Paradise Garage, famed underground clubs of the 1970s and ’80s.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Uncanny Valley: Anna Wiener
McNally Jackson Williamsburg, 76 N. 4th St./ 7PM, FREE
“Anna Wiener comes to McNally Jackson Williamsburg to speak about her new book, Uncanny Valley: A Memoir, which provides a rare first-person look at Silicon Valley. She’ll share insight into an industry “that enriched itself at the expense of the idyllic future it claimed to be building.” (ThoughtGallery)

Marino Marini and Henry Moore: An Italian Friendship
Center for Italian Modern Art, 421 Broome St., 4th fl. / 6PM, $10
“Sebastiano Barassi, Head of Collections & Exhibitions at the Henry Moore Foundation in the U.K., speaks on the friendship between two of the most celebrated sculptors of the 20th century, Henry Moore and Marino Marini.”


Continuing Events

Winter Jazzfest
Various venues // Various prices
“Since 2009, the Winter Jazzfest has grown from a single evening to a multi-night, multi-venue, multi-disciplinary showcase of the cutting edge of jazz and its many stylistic subcategories, from hot swing to avant-garde to jazz-inflected world music. This year’s festival features more than 600 artists in 150 groups on 20 stages over 10 nights. There will be a British Jazz Showcase, a celebration of Detroit’s jazz history, plus talks, panels, and workshops focused on social justice, immigration, gender balance, and more. The fest also includes three all-night marathons at some 20 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn.”
(Jan.9-17)  (Gothamist) 

J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (Jan.9-17)
“Ever watched a squash game in a train station? The 23rd annual J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) arrives in Grand Central Terminal, bringing together the world’s greatest squash stars for an exciting week of international competition and live spectator events. The matches are played beneath the iconic chandeliers in Vanderbilt Hall in a state-of-the-art glass squash court with stadium seating for 500 and a free standing room area for commuters and passersby. Gracing the courts with their talent will be all of the world’s top-ranking men’s and women’s players, representing 24 nations and six continents.” (cityguideny.com)

Prototype
Opera but make it fashion.
“Theater and opera aficionados know that January is the right time to get a hit of all the wildest, newest experiments in music-performance: The Prototype festival has been blowing minds for seven years. Even if you’re not typically an operagoer, you should dabble here. You like poetry? Try Ellen West, with a libretto by Frank Bidart. You like taiko drumming and puppetry? It’s got Ellen McLaughlin and Garrett Fisher’s Blood Moon. There’s even a confrontation between Zakes Mda’s novel Cion and Ravel’s Boléro by the South African choreographer Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, which should tick every single box a culture vulture’s got. ” (Helen Shaw, NYMag)
Various locations, January 9 to 19.

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

1/14 On Your Radar with John Platt, Rockwood Music Hall
1/14-15 Hamilton Leithauser, Cafe Carlyle

Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
October 4­, 2019–January 19, 2020
Hudson Theatre
“The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.”

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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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A PremierPub / Tribeca

B-Flat / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St)

b_flat4There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door.
But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.

It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.

There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.

Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.

It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.

This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music it may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.

Website: http://http://www.bflat.info/index.html
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk to bFlat

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“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 (except for certain jazz clubs).

If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.

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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 Triad – 158 W72nd Street (btw Amsterdam/Columbus Ave.)

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

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

The Duplex – 61 Christopher 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.”

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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