NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/15) + 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:  “February 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:

PUSS N BOOTS
and Bowery Ballroom  / 8 p.m.; $25
“Across her nearly two decades as a mainstay of the adult contemporary sector, Norah Jones has shown herself to be a willing collaborator, appearing on songs with everyone from Dolly Parton to Outkast. One of Jones’s most enduring musical partnerships, though, is with the musicians Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper, with whom she performs in the alt-country group Puss n Boots. In 2014, the trio released “No Fools, No Fun,” a debut flavored by folksy, fingerpicked guitar, close harmonies and, of course, Jones’s signature silky coo. After a few years of relative inactivity, Puss n Boots will release their sophomore album on Friday and perform in Brooklyn on the same evening. The following night, they will appear in Manhattan.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Sahba Motallebi & Rahim AlHaj
>> Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
>> Joanne Brackeen & Ugonna Okegwo
>> Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
>> Nathan Laube – A renowned organist.
>> JOHN ELLIS AND ANDY BRAGEN
>> Doc Fortnight 2020

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Sahba Motallebi & Rahim AlHaj
Merkin Hall, 129 W. 67th St./ 7:30PM, $30
“The musical traditions of Iran and Iraq stretch back centuries, and improvisation is built into the music-making of both cultures, allowing contemporary string virtuosos such as Sahba Motallebi (she plays the tar, a Persian lute) and Rahim AlHaj (an oud practitioner, once a political prisoner in his native Baghdad) to tinge these ancient modes with shades of modernity. Playing separately and together in a remarkable, one-of-a-kind concert on Saturday, at Merkin Hall, both honor the roads they’ve travelled from the war-torn Middle East to renown in the West.” (Leander Williams, NewYorker)

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (Feb.11-16)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30PM, 10:30PM, $35
“Until the sixties, Monday nights were a jazz wasteland, as most clubs would shutter to cool off after the weekend. But then the polymathic brass man Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis formed a big band in order to kick off the week in style at the Village Vanguard. Fifty-four years later, the group, now dubbed the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, has outlived both its founders and numerous star soloists, yet it has lost none of its vigor or tonal lustre. As is now the custom, the durable ensemble gets a full week to celebrate its remarkable longevity.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Joanne Brackeen & Ugonna Okegwo (Feb. 14-15)
Mezzrow, 163 W. 10th St./ 7:30PM, +9PM, $25
Though female jazz instrumentalists now appear on bandstands and in recording sessions more often than they used to, it’s imperative to acknowledge the time—not so long ago—when a gifted pianist such as Joanne Brackeen could make news just by virtue of her presence on the male-dominated scene. Brackeen, who received an N.E.A. Jazz Masters award in 2018, remains a formidable post-bop improviser and composer; her skills will be on view in this duet with the responsive bassist Ugonna Okegwo. Also playing: Once a specialist in early jazz piano, Ehud Asherie has since broadened his scope; he performs, Feb. 21-22, with a trio that includes the drummer Willie Jones III.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Feb.13-15)
N.Y.U. Skirball, 566 LaGuardia Pl. / 7:30PM, $50+
“Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker doesn’t lack chutzpah. She’s the Belgian choreographer who, for the revival of “West Side Story” currently on Broadway, has replaced the original Jerome Robbins choreography with her own radically different stuff. A similar boldness underlies “Mitten Wir im Leben Sind” (“In the Midst of Life”), a 2017 work that has its North American première at N.Y.U. Skirball, Feb. 13-15. It’s set to Bach’s suites for solo cello, all six in a row, and lasts two attention-taxing hours, without an intermission. Compounding the audacity, the choreography is in De Keersmaeker’s most austere, pedestrian mode, all walks and runs and pivots. (De Keersmaeker, who is fifty-nine, is one of the five dancers.) But the cellist, Jean-Guihen Queyras, is deeply versed in the score and up for the marathon. And, if the steps look plain, their design is firm and considered. The dance of alignment and friction between Bach and the Belgian postmodernist can clarify both.” (NewYorker- Brian Seibert)

Nathan Laube – A renowned organist.
St. Thomas Church Fifth Ave. / 3PM, $20
“There’s no sound quite like the tyrannosaurish roar of a pipe organ. And while Lincoln Center tries to figure out how to squeeze a scaled-down instrument into the future Geffen Hall, a few churches have a monopoly on the real thing. Laube fires up one of the city’s great instruments for a midafternoon dose of Bach, Liszt, and Wagner.” (J.D., Vulture, NY Mag)

JOHN ELLIS AND ANDY BRAGEN (Feb. 14-15)
at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $35+
“It has been over 10 years since Ellis, a saxophonist and clarinetist, and Bragen, a playwright, debuted “The Ice Siren,” a “jazz opera” that in fact owes as much to modern Western classical as it does to jazz. Next month the opera — one of three long-form collaborations that Ellis and Bragen have produced — will finally be released as an album. This concert celebrates that fact, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Jazz Gallery, which commissioned “The Ice Siren.” Ellis will perform the work with an 11-piece group featuring the vocalists Gretchen Parlato and Miles Griffith, and conducted by the trombonist J. C. Sanford.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Doc Fortnight 2020 (thru Feb.19)
Widen your world at a documentary film festival
MoMA / various times, $12
“Hungry for more documentaries now that you’ve finished watching Cheer? MoMA’s annual Doc Fortnight festival will scratch that itch with a collection of eclectic nonfiction films from all over the world. This weekend, you can catch their shorts program, which showcases nine films that capture our uncanny times; Felix in Wonderland, a doc-slash-concert film about German musician Felix Kubin; Aswang, an exploration of the aftermath of Duterte’s reign in the Philippines; and more award-winning films.” (thrillist)


Continuing Events

MM

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

2/15 Live From Here with Chris Thile: Indigo Girls, Real Estate & more, The Town Hall
2/15 Ween, Terminal 5
2/15 Puss n Boots, Bowery Ballroom
2/17 Broadway Sings Queen, Sony Hall
2/18-19 Jon Batiste, Cafe Carlyle
2/19 Soul Asylum, Bowery Ballroom
2/19 Bat for Lashes, Town Hall

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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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