Today’s Elite 8 NYC Events > THURSDAY/ FEBRUARY 20, 2020
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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do This:
Hear Project 19
Renée Fleming Sings Björk (Feb.20-22)
New York Philharmonic with “America’s Diva.”
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $29+
“Björk’s high, icy voice is so perfectly suited to her tunes that they practically meld in the mind, but the plush-voiced soprano Renée Fleming gives two of them new incarnations as orchestral songs. The program, part of the orchestra’s celebration of the 19th Amendment’s centenary, includes a world premiere by Ellen Reid.” (J.D., Vulture, NY Mag)
7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> John “Dandy” Rodriguez’s “Dream Team” presents Descargas 2020
>> MWENSO & THE SHAKES
>> Kamasi Washington
>> Jill Scott
>> New York City Ballet
>> ELIO VILLAFRANCA AND THE JASS SYNCOPATORS
>> BILL FRISELL
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
John “Dandy” Rodriguez’s “Dream Team” presents Descargas 2020
Atrium @ Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Johnny “Dandy” Rodriguez is a salsa legend and world-renown bongocero. Having performed and served as musical director for Tito Puente’s orchestra for 33 years, “Dandy,” as he’s universally known, is a veteran of Tito Rodriguez, Machito, Willie Rosario, Celia Cruz, Fania All-Stars, Ray Barretto and virtually the entire pantheon of salsa’s pioneers.
His New York City-based “Dream Team” is a tight-knit unit that performs the band’s entire repertoire entirely by ear. Performing without the boundaries of written music, every rendition of the band’s repertoire of salsa classics and descargas reaches dizzying new heights of danceable excitement.”
Elsewhere, but this one looks worth the detour:
MWENSO & THE SHAKES
at National Sawdust / 8 p.m.; $20
“Hailing from Sierra Leone by way of England, the vocalist Michael Mwenso is undaunted by the tall task ahead of anyone running what’s nearly a full-on performance revue of the sort that dominated American stages 100 years ago. You’re dealing in music, dance, inspirational storytelling, comedy; in terms of the entertainment and the message to be delivered, that’s basically promising it all. Mwenso is up to the challenge; he sings and banters like a carnival barker at a swingers’ club, and he has a plucky young crew to support him. The Shakes include the dulcet-tongued South African vocalist Vuyo Sotashe, the tap dancer and vocalist Michela Marino Lerman, the tenor saxophonists Julian Lee and Ruben Fox, the keyboardist Mathis Picard, the bassist Russell Hall and the drummer Kyle Poole.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)
Kingside / 8PM, $35
“Saxophonist, bandleader and Kendrick Lamar collaborator Washington has reinvigorated contemporary jazz and garnered heaps of mainstream critical acclaim the past few years with ambitious releases like his three-hour 2015 debut, The Epic, and 2018 follow-up, Heaven and Earth.” (TONY)
Radio City Music Hall, Sixth Ave. at 50th St./ 8PM, $120+
“July will mark the twentieth anniversary of “Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1,” Jill Scott’s staggering début, and, in honor of the occasion, the singer is setting out on tour. The album, which matches an around-the-way-girl lyricism with the sensuality and soul of Scott’s showstopping voice, has held up well over the years—the emotional and carnal ecstasies of love and the roller coaster of heartbreak will always be universal. Scott, who has since made a foray into Hollywood, remains ever iconic.” ( Briana Younger, NewYorker)
New York City Ballet (through March 1)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $78+
“Where would the art of ballet be without “Swan Lake”? Even this company, not known for its allegiance to evening-length story ballets, has a version (which it will perform Feb. 14-23). This staging dates back to 1996, when Peter Martins—the company’s former artistic director—created it for the Royal Danish Ballet. (A bit of trivia: the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky danced it when he was a member of the Danish company, in the nineties.) Three years later, Martins brought it to N.Y.C.B. The staging is swift and a bit dry, and it includes a second virtuoso male role, for a pesky jester who flits about the stage in great, flying leaps. It also includes some choreography by Balanchine, from a previous, one-act version. The abstract, color-coded designs are by the Danish painter Per Kirkeby.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)
ELIO VILLAFRANCA AND THE JASS SYNCOPATORS (Feb. 18-20)
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $
“A Cuban-born pianist of immense talent and understated touch, Villafranca will present in the coming week material from two new projects: “Life Stories,” a book of songs he wrote inspired by his journeys through Cuba, Haiti, Spain and New Orleans, and “Don’t Change My Name,” a tribute to Florentina Zulueta, a woman from the African kingdom of Dahomey who was enslaved and brought to Cuba in the 17th century. Villafranca’s band will include the trumpeters Jeremy Pelt (on Tuesday and Wednesday only) and Alex Norris (on Thursday), the saxophonist and clarinetist Roxy Coss, the trombonist Robin Eubanks, the bassist Peter Slavov, the drummer Dion Parson, and the percussionists and vocalists Mauricio Herrera and Lisette Santiago.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)
BILL FRISELL (Feb.18-23)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m.; $20, $35
“Each of the ensembles Frisell has in store for this six-day run promises something rewarding. The challenge is deciding which to pick. For the first two nights, this folk-inflected experimental guitar hero will play in a trio with two of his frequent collaborators, the bassist Thomas Morgan and the drummer Kenny Wollesen. On Feb. 20-21, he will be in duet with the expert trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, and from Feb. 22 to 23 he will present a quintet featuring Akinmusire, Wollesen, the saxophonist Greg Tardy and the bassist Tony Scherr.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)
Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
More smart stuff coming tomorrow.
Experience Famed Designer Jeff Leatham’s Bold and Colorful Vision
“The dazzling floral creations of Jeff Leatham, famed artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris and floral designer to the stars, energize the 18th annual Orchid Show. Leatham’s bold and colorful vision unfolds through captivating installations and designs, transforming each gallery of the exhibition in the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a different color experience and visual effect, like the turn of a kaleidoscope.
Thousands of orchids provide bursts of forms and colors—in purples, reds, oranges, and hot pink—revealed through overhead arches, vine-inspired ribbons, mirrored sculpture, dramatic lighting, and other artistic embellishments.”
COMING SOON (WFUV)
2/20 Kamasi Washington, King’s Theatre
2/20 Susan Werner, Joe’s Pub
2/21 Drive By Truckers, Webster Hall
2/21 The Weight Band, Brooklyn Bowl
2/21 Jeffrey Osborne, Sony Hall
2/22 Live From Here with Chris Thile, Town Hall
2/22 Ms. Lauryn Hill, United Palace
2/23 The Woody Guthrie Center Presents “This Land Is Your Land,” The Town Hall
2/23 Altan, Symphony Space
2/23 Ari Hest, City Vineyard
2/24 Black Lips, Music Hall of Williamsburg
2/24 Wolf Parade, Brooklyn Steel
2/25 Stone Temple Pilots, Gramercy Theatre
2/25 Rhys Lewis, Mercury Lounge
2/26 Tibet House Benefit Concert, Carnegie Hall
2/26 Natalie Merchant, Jazz At Lincoln Center
2/26 Glass Animals, 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 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.
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 are two exhibitions the Vulture (NY Magazine) likes:
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 (nycgo.com) 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.) “