NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/16) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square / Theater District)

“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:

The Town Hall & Winter Jazz Fest Present Seu Jorge, with Rogê
Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. / 8PM, $57+
“For many, Seu Jorge will forever be Pelé dos Santos, the deckhand in the film “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” prone to crooning David Bowie classics in Portuguese. Whether singing Bowie or his own upbeat samba-funk, the Brazilian vocalist boasts a light touch, his every note mocking gravity’s pull. At this Winter Jazzfest concert, Jorge is joined by Rogê, his countryman and collaborator on a forthcoming acoustic album.

The Israeli clarinettist Anat Cohen opens with her bubbly Brazilian band, Choro Aventuroso.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

GD: I think the prime reason for attending this show is Anat Cohen and her Brazilian band. They are awesome.

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> LITTLE BIG TOWN
>> ‘WOZZECK’
>> Rizo: Losing the Lady
>> Cyrus Chestnut
>> GREGORY VUYANI MAQOMA
>> CHES SMITH
>> Count Basie Orchestra 
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

LITTLE BIG TOWN
at Carnegie Hall / 8 p.m.; $51+
For more than a decade, this Nashville-based quartet has been a staple of the country radio diet. Dense, liberally applied harmonies are their time-tested recipe; as the situation demands, the group’s four-part vocal theatrics can add firepower to country stompers, like their 2005 single “Boondocks,” or bring gravitas to emotional ballads, like their Taylor Swift-penned song “Better Man,” from 2016. In Midtown on Thursday, the group will celebrate the release of their ninth studio album, “Nightfall,” and kick off a six-month tour that includes back-to-back shows at the Apollo on Jan. 17 and 18.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

‘WOZZECK’ (next Jan.19, 3PM)
at the Metropolitan Opera / 8 p.m.; $
“The artist William Kentridge follows up his pioneering productions of “Lulu” and “The Nose” with Berg’s first opera, a take that my colleague Zachary Woolfe called extraordinary on its debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2017. The Met’s music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, wields the baton for this run, with Peter Mattei as Wozzeck, Elza van den Heever as Marie, Christopher Ventris as the Drum Major, Gerhard Siegel as the Captain, Andrew Staples as Andres and Tamara Mumford as Margret. Also at the Met are “Der Rosenkavalier” on Saturday and Wednesday evening and the family-friendly “Magic Flute” on Saturday and Thursday afternoon.” (NYT-)

Rizo: Losing the Lady (also Jan.17)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, $35
“The winkingly sexy, Victrola-voiced chanteuse formerly known as Lady Rizo returns to Joe’s Pub after a yearlong absence, without her former title but with a collection of original songs and covers by such persona-shifting artists as Beyoncé, Prince and David Bowie.” (TONY)

Cyrus Chestnut (Jan. 16-19)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway / 7PM, +9PM, $38
“The pianist Cyrus Chestnut exudes such cherubic ebullience in both his appearance and his playing that it’s sobering to learn he’s turning fifty-seven. His ever-joyous blend of jazz, blues, classical, and gospel influences may be best appreciated when he’s in charge of a trio; at this birthday celebration, he’s joined by the bassist Eric Wheeler and the drummer Chris Beck.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

GREGORY VUYANI MAQOMA (Jan.15-18)
at the Joyce Theater / 8PM, $35+
“After a brief, recent visit to New York for Fall for Dance, this South African choreographer returns for an evening of his own as part of Prototype, the opera-theater festival. His contribution, “Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro,” is a shadowy production set in a graveyard and inspired by the Zakes Mda novel “Cion,” which juxtaposes the story of a professional mourner from South Africa and the legacy of slavery in the United States. What qualifies this show for an opera celebration are the Isicathamiya singers, performing an a cappella style that originated among South African Zulus. The singers deliver a haunting rendition of Ravel’s illustrious score to accompany Maqoma’s grounded, gripping movement.” (NYT-)

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)

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

More Smart Stuff tomorrow.


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)

1/16 Seu Jorge, The Town Hall
1/16 Revelry w/Don Flemons, Symphony Space
1/16-19 Public Theater’s “Under The Radar” Festival
1/17 JD Souther, Sony Hall
1/17-18 Umphrey’s McGee, Beacon Theatre
1/18 The Smithereens, Sony Hall
1/19 Umphrey’s McGee, Brooklyn Bowl
1/19 Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven, Sony Hall
1/21 Temples, Webster Hall
1/22 Rufus Wainwright, Alice Tully Hall, NYC
1/22 J Roddy Walston, The Bowery Ballroom
1/22 Toshi Reagon, Joe’s Pub

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

Jimmy’s Corner 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)

IMG_2083Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest,” Ali.

Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.

Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe just a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.

On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a wonderful old time jukebox, with a great selection of  40s & 50s R&B and soul. On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
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Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
facebook.com/jimmyscornernyc)
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s

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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 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.

I MEMORIALIZE THESE TWO WONDERFUL CLUBS AS A WARNING.
WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO SAVE THESE SPECIAL PLACES

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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