New York City Live Music Calendar for November and December 2013
Periodic updates continuing through the month, with a MUCH IMPROVED December calendar here: you might want to bookmark this page and check back periodically to see what’s new. There’s a comprehensive list of places where these shows are happening at NY Music Daily’s sister blog Lucid Culture.
Showtimes listed here are set times, not the time doors open – if a listing says something like “9ish,” that means it’ll probably start later than advertised. Always best to check with the venue for the latest information on set times and door charges, since that information is often posted here weeks in advance. Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar.
John Zorn turns 60 this year. There are dozens of celebrations of the defiantly nonconformist Tzadik maven’s music going on around town: the full calendar is here.
Starting January 29 at 7:30 PM and continuing on Wednesday and Sunday nights through the end of February, clarinet virtuoso David Krakauer leads a killer ensemble playing live themes to accompany a series of NYC-centric films from across the decades at the Museum of Jewish History, 36 Battery Place just north of Battery Park
On select Mondays and Thursdays, an intimate, growing piano music scene on the Upper West Side featuring iconoclastically insightful, lyrical pianist Nancy Garniez playing Mozart, Bach and more recent composers who draw on their work, email for info/location.
Mondays in November, 7 PM the Grand Street Stompers play hot oldtimey swing and dixieland at Arthur’s Tavern on Grove St. just west of 7th Ave. South.
Mondays starting a little after 7 PM Howard Williams leads his Jazz Orchestra from the piano at the Garage, 99 7th Ave. S at Grove St. There are also big bands here most every Tuesday at 7.
Mondays at the Jazz Standard it’s all Mingus, whether with the Mingus Orchestra, Big Band or Mingus Dynasty: as jazz goes, it’s arguably the most exhilarating show of the week, every week. The first-rate players always rise to the level of the material. Sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 and worth it.
Also Monday and Tuesday nights Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, a boisterous horn-driven 11-piece 1920s/early 30’s band play Iguana, 240 W. 54th St ( Broadway/8th Ave) , 3 sets from 8 to 11, surprisingly cheap $15 cover plus $15 minimum considering what you’re getting. Even before the Flying Neutrinos or the Moonlighters, multi-instrumentalist Giordano was pioneering the oldtimey sound in New York; his long-running residency at the old Cajun on lower 8th Ave. is legendary. He also gets a ton of film work (Giordano wrote the satirical number that Willie Nelson famously sang in Wag the Dog).
Mondays at Tea Lounge in Park Slope at 9:15 PM trombonist/composer JC Sanford books big band jazz, an exciting, global mix of some of the edgiest large-ensemble sounds around. If you’re anybody in the world of big band jazz and you make it to New York, you end up playing here: what CBGB was to punk, this unlikely spot promises to be to the jazz world. No cover.
Mondays in November (check the Barbes website for updates), 9:30ish Chicha Libre plays their home turf at Barbes. The world’s most vital, entertaining oldschool chicha band, they blend twangy, often noir Peruvian surf sounds with cumbia and other south-of-the-border styles along with swirling psychedelic jams and deep dub interludes. Show up early because they are insanely popular.
Also Mondays in November Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Union Pool in Williamsburg, two sets starting around 11:30 PM. The Rev. is one of the great keyboardists around, equally thrilling on organ or electric piano, an expert at Billy Preston style funk, honkytonk, gospel and blues. He writes very funny, very politically astute, sexy original songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party til past three in the morning. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax, with Dave Smith from Smoota on trombone, with frequent special guests.
Tuesdays in November clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at 9 PM at Barbes. Get there as soon as you can as they’re very popular. $10 cover.
Tuesdays at around 10 Julia Haltigan and her band play 11th St. Bar. A torchy, charismatic force of nature, equally at home with fiery southwestern gothic rock, oldschool soul and steamy retro jazz ballads, and her band is just as good as she is.
Three Tuesdays in December the exhilarating NY Gypsy All-Stars – with ferociously intense clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski – play Drom, 10 PM, $10
Wednesdays at 1 PM there are free organ concerts at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, a mix of NYC-area and international talent.
Every Wednesday, 8:30 PM Jazz with Attitude featuring Wayne Holmes on keys, Jeff Sheloff on sax, Shinya Miyomoto on drums, Dave Jones on bass and Stephanay JNote on vocals at the Proper Café, at 21701 Linden Blvd in Cambria Heights, Queens, free
Wednesdays in November, 8:30 PM guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg (of Dr. Lonnie Smith’s band) leads a trio at the Bar Next Door, $12.
Wednesdays at 9 PM Feral Foster’s Roots & Ruckus takes over the Jalopy, a reliably excellent weekly mix of oldtimey acts: blues, bluegrass, country and swing.
Thursdays and Fridays in November Bulgarian alto sax star Yuri Yunakov and band play Mehanata starting around 10. One of the most intense and gripping improvisers in gypsy music.
Fridays at 5 PM in November, adventurous indie classical string quartet Ethel (Ralph Farris, viola; Dorothy Lawson, cello; Kip Jones, violin; and Tema Watstein, violin) plays the balcony bar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm. When they’re not there, they’ll have someone from from their wide circle of like-minded avant ensembles. Although the sound wafts across the balcony, you actually have to be in the bar itself in order to really appreciate what they’re doing.
Fridays in November at 9 Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens play oldschool 1960s style gospel at the Fat Cat.
Saturdays in November at 3 PM at Bargemusic there are impromptu free classical concerts, usually solo piano or small chamber ensembles: if you get lucky, you’ll catch pyrotechnic violinist/music director Mark Peskanov and/or the many members of his circle. Early arrival advised.
Saturdays eclectic compelling Brazilian jazz chanteuse Marianni and her excellent band at Zinc Bar, three sets starting at 10 PM.
Sundays there’s a klezmer brunch at City Winery, show starts around 11:30 AM – 2 PM, $10 cover, no minimum, lots of good bands.
Every Sunday the Ear-Regulars, led by trumpeter Jon Kellso and (frequently) guitarist Matt Munisteri play NYC’s only weekly hot jazz session starting around 8 PM at the Ear Inn on Spring St. Hard to believe, in the city that springboarded the careers of thousands of jazz legends, but true. This is by far the best value in town for marquee-caliber jazz: for the price of a drink and a tip for the band, you can see world-famous players (and brilliant obscure ones) you’d usually have to drop $100 for at some big-ticket room. The material is mostly old-time stuff from the 30s and 40s, but the players (especially Kellso and Munisteri, who have a chemistry that goes back several years) push it into some deliciously unexpected places.
Sundays in November at 9 Romany guitar genius Stephane Wrembel plays Barbes. He’s holding on to the edgy, danceable spirit of Django Reinhardt while taking the style to new and unexpected places. He’s also very popular: get there early.
11/1, 7:30 PM indie classical chamber group Glass Farm Ensemble plays Drew Krause’s Coil for flute, cello, and piano; Michael Jarrel’s Assonance III for bass clarinet, cello, and piano and trios for flute, bass clarinet, and piano by Jonathan Harvey, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez and Yvonne Troxler at Symphony Space, $20.
11/1, starting at noon (ouch) a bluegrass Day of the Dead at the Bell House with the Hackensaw Boys, Morgan O’kane, sly oldtimey swing crew Seth Kessel & the Two Cent Band , country fiddler Melody Allegra , Barefoot and Bankside, and Diamond Eye Jack Super Jam, $14 adv tix rec.
11/1, 11 PM dark intense lyrical southwestern gothic/paisley underground rockers Shanghai Love Motel at the Parkside, $5
11/2, 5 PM pensive, unpretentious, darkly lyrical Steve Earle-ish Americana songwriter Davey O at the small room at the Rockwood
11/2, 6 PM thereminist Carolina Eyck and pianist Christopher Tarnow and Graph Rabbit perform new pieces for piano and theremin at the Judith Charles Gallery, 196 Bowery.
11/2, 7 PM throat-singing group Alash and minor-key Balkan/world music jamband Hazmat Modine at le Poisson Rouge, $16 adv tix rec
11/2, 8 PM eclectic jazz vibraphonist Warren Wolf leads his quartet at the Miller Theatre, $25 seats avail.
11/2, 8 PM Shafi Mondol play Indian baul minstrel music – the original freak-folk – at Symphony Space, $30.
11/2, 9 PM an especially good one of Unsteady Freddy’s surf rock bills at Otto’s with the noir Dark City at 9, the surreallistically percussive Bongo Surf at 10 and haunting Greek rembetiko rockers the Byzan-Tones at 11.
11/2, 9/10:30 PM visionary trumpeter Amir ElSaffar leads his quintet with Ole Mathisen – saxophone; John Escreet – Piano; Francois Moutin – bass; Dan Weiss – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $20.
11/2, 10 PM Dahlia Dumont & DecaDence play reggae, French chanson and chamber pop at the Way Station
11/2, 10:30 PM noiserock/noir rock legend Steve Wynn and his killer jamband the Miracle 3 at Bowery Electric $12.
11/2, midnight dark retro Link Wray-influenced surf/soul rockers Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside at the Mercury, $12 adv tix rec.
11/3, 3 PM the NY Virtuoso Singers perform a program of works by composers who influenced, and were influenced by Brahms: Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Schumann, Dvorak, Elgar, Bartok, Schoenberg, Webern, and Brahms himself at Merkin Concert Hall, $25
11/3, 4 PM adventurous chamber ensemble WindSync at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free, no under-6’s admitted
11/4, 7:30 PM the NY Philharmonic’s Contact series moves downtown to Subculture for a premiere of Essa-Pekka Salonen chamber works introduced by the composer.
11/4, 8 PM Steve Martin’s bluegrass backing band the Steep Canyon Rangers at City Winery, $20
11/4, 8 PM lush, hypnotic indie classical choir Roomful of Teeth with guest Holly Herndon sing the premiere of Caroline Shaw’s Partita and works by Caleb Burhans, Brad Wells, and William Brittelle at le Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec.
11/4, 8 PM legendary 80s chanteuse and Clash collaborator Ellen Foley doing her Americana rock thing at the Cutting Room, $25 adv tix rec
11/5, 7 PM otherworldly grooves from across the Sephardic diaspora with Rabbi Gad Bouskila, Hazzan Yohai Cohen and the NY Andalus Ensemble at Elebash Hall, 5th Ave. north of 34th St., $20.
11/5 7:30 PM cello/accordian duo Wolfgang Panhofer and Alfred Melichar at the Austrian Cultural Center, 11 E 52nd St., free, res req .
11/6, 7:30 PM pyrotechnic bandoneonist JP Jofre with the Attacca Quartet playing Piazzolla’s 5 Tango Sensations at Subculture, $12.
11/6, 9 PM hauntingly energetic klezmer/Eastern European folk band Litvakus at the Way Station.
11/6 9 PM original Runaways frontwoman Cherie Currie at the Gramercy Theatre, $33.50 adv tix rec. For that price, Marie should be there too.
11/7, 1 PM Decoda – Anna Elashvili, violin; Nathan Schram, viola; Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello; Angelina Gadeliya, piano play Britten: Lachrymae; Holiday Diary; Suite for Violin and Piano; Sonata for Cello and Piano at Trinity Church, free.
11/7, 7 PM lutenist Hopkinson Smith plays works by John Dowland and his baroque contemporaries at the Fabbri Library, 7 E 95th St, $25 tix avail
11/7, 7:30 PM violinist Ryu Goto joins the UNSRC Symphony Orchestra playing Paganini’s first violin concerto at Symphony Space, $30.
11/7, 7:30 PM indie classical chamber stars Ymusic play with a surprise guest, program TBA at the Lincoln Center Atrium, early arrival advised
11/7, 9/10:30 PM cutting edge new big band jazz with the wildly popular Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society at at the Jazz Gallery, $20
11/7, 9:30 PM haunting Americana/Tex-Mex chanteuse/bandleader Patricia Vonne at Hill Country, free. Wow!
11/8, 7 PM irrepressible pyrotechnic pianist Kathleen Supove plays Reflets dans l’Eau (from Images Book 1) by Claude Debussy, Cakewalking (Sorry Claude) by Daniel Felsenfeld, Long Distance Call by Randall Woolf, Disney Remixes by Matt Marks, Piano Miniatures by Mohammed Fairouz, and Feux d’Artifice (from Préludes, Book II) by Claude Debussy. at P.S. 142 on the Lower East Side (100 Attorney Street), $15, all proceeds to benefit the school
11/8, 8 PM bhangra funk orchestra Red Baraat at Brooklyn Bowl, $15.
11/8, 8 PM viol quartet Parthenia play Jonathan Pieslak’s Bhakti (1), Unburdening, Gilbert Galindo’s Tierra Magnifica, B. Allen Schulz’s Aspects of a Singularity, David Fetherolf’s Atrytone, for treble and bass viol duo and Frances White’s From a Fairy Tale, at DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 W 37th St, $20; the program repeats 11/9 at 8 PM at at Waltz-Astoria, 23-14 Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria
11/8, 8 PM the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Tschaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 at Symphony Space, $25.
11/8, 9:30 PM eclectic, compelling chanteuse Sabrina Lastman leads her south-of-the-equator jazz quintet with Emilio Solla on piano, Meg Okura on violin, Edward Perez on bass and David Silliman on percussion at the Metropolitan Room, 34 W 22nd St, $20 + 2 drink min
11/8, 11ish southwestern gothic/dark garage rockers Spindrift at Glasslands, $12.
11/9, 7:30 PM the Korean Traditional Music Association celebrates ancient and classic sounds at Symphony Space, $30.
11/9, 11ish the Big Takeover play smart third-wave ska at the big room at the Rockwood
11/10, 10:30 AM (yawn) up-and-coming chamber music competition champs Caroline Goulding, violin and Michael Brown, piano play Bach: Sonata No. 3 in E major, BWV 1016 and Bartók: Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano, BB 84 at the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center, 165 W 65th St. $22 tix avail, coffee reception to follow
11/10, 2 PM the Lysander Piano Trio plays Haydn: Piano Trio in E Major, Hob. XV:28; Shulamit Ran: Soliloquy; Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 67; Smetana: Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 15 at the Tishman Auditorium at the New School, 66 W 12th St., $17.50
11/10, 5 PM the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Choir play Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 plus choral works by Part and Mozart at Avery Fisher Hall, $35 tix avail.
11/10, 8 PM string quartet Brooklyn Rider with banjo shredder Bela Fleck at le Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec.
11/10, 8 PM indie art-rock band Loadbang premieres new works by Scott Worthington, Gary Philo, Nate Wooley & Eve Beglarian’s Island of the Sirens at Roulette, $20
11/11, 8 PM North/South Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Max Lifchitz premiere the Concierto Cubanero by Cuban guitarist Jose Lezcano with the composer featured as soloist at Christ and St Stephen’s Church, 120 W 69th St (bet Bway and Columbus), free.
11/11, 9 PM the Brooklyn What – the borough’s most exciting, ferociously tuneful, amusingly insightful anti-gentrification rockers at the Mercury, $10
11/12, 7:30 PM Wolfgang Reisinger, drums and electronics; Dave Liebman, saxophones at the Austrian Cultural Center, 11 E 52nd St., free, res req.
11/13, 9 PM eclectic, funky, edgy lyrical rocker Avi Fox-Rosen – who keeps putting out amazing albums EVERY MONTH as name-your-price (.i.e. free) downloads – at Spike Hill
11/14, 1 PM Grace Cho and Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, piano; NOVUS NY ensemble members Owen Dalby, violin; Alexandra Sopp, flute play Britten: Mazurka Elegiaca, Op. 23, No. 2; Gemini Variations; Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances for Two Pianos at Trinity Church, free.
11/14, 10 PM transgressive comedic agitator Tammy Faye Starlite & the Hebrew Ladies play Iggy Pop’s Kill City album in its entirety at the Cutting Room, $15 adv tix rec
11/14-16 & 11/19 the NY Philharmonic play Christopher Rouse: Oboe Concerto (with Liang Wang, oboe; NY premiere; Richard Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra; Don Juan (with Glenn Dicterow, violin) at Avery Fisher Hall
11/15 retro 80s goth/synthrock/darkwave band Eraas at St. Vitus
11/15 noir Spector-esque chamber pop/psych band Gringo Star at the Cameo Galley.
11/15, 7:30 PM Malian chanteuse Rokia Traore plays Rose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway/60th, $25
11/15, 7:30 PM the Hagen Quartett play Beethoven and other composers at the Austrian Cultural Center, 11 E 52nd St., free, res req
11/16, 8 PM brilliant Iranian kamancheh improviser/composer Kayhan Kalhor (of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble) and Ali Bahrami Fard perform original compositions from their recent album I Will Not Stand Alone. at the Asia Society, 725 Park Ave (at 70th St), $35/$30 stud/srs.
11/16, 8 PM the Orlando Consort sing a program inspired by “Machaut’s extraordinary Le voir dit, the improbable (and possibly autobiographical) love story of an aging poet and his young admirer, widely considered one of the great works of the Middle Ages” at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 145 W 46th St., $35 tix avail.
11/17, 3 PM maestro Barbara Yahr leads the Greenwich Village Orchestra with guest violinist Itamar Zorman playing Moshe Moshe Zorman — Galilean Suite; Tchaikovsky — Romeo and Juliet, fantasy overture; Brahms — Violin Concerto at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, Irving Pl/17th St., $15 sugg don, reception to follow.
11/20, 7 PM Hawaiian guitar music with Kekuhi and Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole at Elebash Hall, 5th Ave. north of 34th St., $20
11/20, 7:30 PM Alan Feinberg, piano; Anne-Marie McDermott, piano; Ursula Oppens, piano with the Brentano String Quartet play Charles Wuorinen works for solo piano and string quartet at the Morgan Library, $35
11/20, 8 PM Rachel Calloway, soprano; Olivia de Prato, violin; Ensemble Signal, conducted by Brad Lubman play works by microtonal composer Georg Friedrich Haas at the Miller Theatre, $35/$25 stu.
11/21, 1 PM acclaimed, eclectic cellist Matt Haimovitz plays works by Higdon, Britten and others plus a Berio Sequenza at Trinity Church, free
11/21, 7 PM History of Tango with Quintet of the Americas (wind ensemble), Polly Ferman (piano) and Daniel Binelli (bandoneon) play music by Piazzolla, Mores, others and new works by Daniel Binelli at Saviour’s Atonement Lutheran Church, 178 Bennett Ave, Manhattan.
11/22, 7 PM Elevator Repair Service theater ensemble presents readings of Edgar Allan Poe, accompanied by a live sound score at the Morgan Library, $25.
11/21 7:30 PM violinist/impresario Gil Morgenstern joins with pianist Rieko Aizawa, and actor Rob Breckenridge for a theatrically intense exploration of “beauty born of terror” with music of Pärt, Schulhoff, Chen Yi, Poulenc and Messiaen at the World School (259 10th Ave, $35/$15 stud
11/22, 7:30 PM Wolfgang Muthspiel’s Vienna World -Wolfgang Muthspiel, guitars and voice; Becca Stevens, voice; Billy Childs, piano at the Austrian Cultural Center, 11 E 52nd St., free, res req
11/22, 8 PM Cesar Reyes plays music of Lecuona, Lavista and Diez-Nieto at Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow St. in the west village.
11/22-23, 8 PM the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis collaborates with Indian jazz orchestra the Sachal Jazz Ensemble at Rose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center – amazing – a cross-cultural cross-pollination not to be missed.
11/23, 2 PM up-and-coming Brazilian pianist Aleyson Scopel plays works by Mozart, Schubert and the world premiere of J. Almeida Prado’s (1943-2010) Cartas Celestes XV – Celestial Charts XV at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall
11/23-24, 3 PM Drama in Beethoven with pianist Emir Gamsizoglu, pianist and actress Ege Maltepe makes the missing link between Beethoven and Shakespeare at Caffe Vivaldi. “Once upon a time there was a short German guy with a bad temper and a huge spirit and passion for music. His name was Ludwig. Drama in Beethoven is a fun experiment to connect stories with Beethoven Sonatas. Developed as a classical-for-all project, the show aims to create a direct and unique connection between listener and the classical music. “Music is just music! We are the ones who are labeling it with fancy halls and dress codes” says Ege Maltepe, an actress, playwright and a former student of Mike Nichols, right before diving into a bloody scenario along with the 2nd movement Sonata No.7. The show repeats 12/7-8.
11/23, 7 PM fiery, politically aware, charismatically bluesy bandleader LJ Murphy & the Accomplices at the Parkside
11/23, 8/10 PM vibraphonist Chris Dingman’s Subliminal & Sublime project at Subculture, $15.
11/23, 9ish dark atmospheric anthemic chanteuse Basia Bulat at Bowery Ballroom
11/24 pianist Alessio Bax plays Liszt’s “Dante” Sonata at Alice Tully Hall.
11/24, 4 PM the Cassatt String Quartet play Dvorak’s American Quartet, a traditional Japanese work plus the premiere of James Nyoraku Schlefer’s “Dream Corner,” a septet for string quartet, shakahachi, koto and shamisen at the Tenri Institute, 43A W 13th St $25
11/24, 4 PM a Roswell Rudd tribute with an all-star cast: John Medeski ,Steven Bernstein ,Bob Dorough ,Richard Hammond ,Fay Victor ,Michael Doucet , Rolf Sturm ,Heather Masse ,Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis , and the NYC Labor Chorus with Reggie Bennet at le Poisson Rouge, $25 adv tix rec.
11/24, 8 PM Eve Beglarian with her favorite trombone quartet, the Guidonian Hand, and BRIM (Mary Rowell, Taylor Levine, and EVBV) will be performing another set of herRiver Project pieces at the Firehouse Space, with special guests Karl Larson (piano), and Ken Thomson (clarinet.)
11/25-27 lyrical pianist Fred Hersch & guitarist Julian Lage playing duets from their fantastically low-key duo album at the Blue Note.
11/29 6ish Swingadelic, Nicole Atkins and Lesley Gore at South St. Seaport, free. WTF segues but the opening swing act (whose new Allen Toussaint homage is fantastic) and noir rocker Atkins have been killing lately.
12/1, 10 PM darkly lyrical chamber pop songwriter Elizabeth & the Catapult at the big room at the Rockwood
12/2, 7 PM a new sultry spin on classic 60s latin soul grooves: Spanglish Fly at the Lincoln Center Atrium.
12/3, 7 PM the Ljuba Davis Ladino Ensemble play rich, haunting Andalucian and Jewish sounds at CUNY’s Elebash Hall, 5th Ave just north of 34th St, $20
12/3, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard: intense cutting edge sometimes eerie vibraphone jazz with the Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group featuring Terreon Gully and Mike Pope, $20.
12/3, 7:30 PM a klezmer dance party led by an all-star band led by clarinetist Michael Winograd, bassist Benjy Fox-Rosen and tsimblist Pete Rushefsky at the Stephen Wise Free Synagaogue, 30 W 68th St (between Columbus & Central Park West), $10.
12/4, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard: intense pianist Marc Cary‘s playful but often haunting Focus Trio, $20
12/4, 10 PM atmospheric third-stream trombonist/chanteuse Natalie Cressman with her band at the big room at the Rockwood
12/5, 1 PM Decoda – Owen Dalby, violin; Anna Elashvili, violin; Meena Bhasin, viola; Claire Bryant, cello play Britten: Quartet No. 3 for Strings, Op. 94; Berg: Lyric Suite at Trinity Church, free.
12/5, 7:30 PM pianists Ursula Oppens and Robert Levin perform a selection of Bernard Rands’ piano music from 1960- 2010 including his Twelve Preludes at Symphony Space, $
12/5-8, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard ageless saxophonist Benny Golson with Mike LeDonne – piano; Buster Williams – bass; Carl Allen – drums, $30.
12/5, 8 PM dark, charismatic, deviously witty literate keyboardist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez at Barbes
12/5, 8 PM harpist Zeena Parkins and a chamber ensemble play a “composer portrait” of the enchantingly haunting, atmospheric Icelandic Anna Thorvaldsdottir at the Miller Theatre, $25
12/5, 8 PM edgy, politically savvy singer-songwriter Erin McKeown’s Anti-Holiday Spectacular at Littlefield, $20
12/5 ageless Bow Wow Wow frontwoman Annabella Lwin at Bowery Electric.
12/6, 9 PM the massive, ten-piece, eclectic M Shanghai String Band – who play everything from classic country to seafaring ballads to noirish acoustic rock – at their home base, the Jalopy, $10
12/6, 9:30 PM wild Canadian guitar/viol ensemble the Sultans of String – gypsy jazz, Middle Eastern and rock – at Joe’s Pub.
12/6, 11ish the sometimes droll, sometimes boisterous, increasingly noir classic country sounds of the Jack Grace Band at Rodeo Bar
12/7-8, 3 PM Drama in Beethoven with pianist Emir Gamsizoglu, pianist and actress Ege Maltepe makes the missing link between Beethoven and Shakespeare at Caffe Vivaldi .”Once upon a time there was a short German guy with a bad temper and a huge spirit and passion for music. His name was Ludwig. Drama in Beethoven is a fun experiment to connect stories with Beethoven Sonatas. Developed as a classical-for-all project, the show aims to create a direct and unique connection between listener and the classical music. “Music is just music! We are the ones who are labeling it with fancy halls and dress codes” says Ege Maltepe, an actress, playwright and a former student of Mike Nichols, right before diving into a bloody scenario along with the 2nd movement Sonata No.7.
12/7, 6 PM charming, historically-informed oldtimey chanteuse/bandleader Robin Aigner & Parlour Game followed at 8 by acoustic Mexican folk-punk band Radio Jarocho and then at 10 by high-voltage Mexican polka crew Banda Sinaloense De Los Muertos.at Barbes
12/7, 7 PM great guitarist Bill Frisell’s Big Sur Quintet at le Poisson Rouge, $35 adv tix req
12/7, 8 PM new music from Iran and Syria with Saeid Shanbezadeh plus eclectic Syrian saxophonist Basel Rajoub, percussionist Naguib Shanbehzadeh, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh; trumpet player Basel Rajoub; and Tunisian violinist Jasser Haj Youssef at the Asia Society, 725 Park Ave (at 70th St), $35/$30 stud/srs.
12/7, 11 PM phenomenally fun, intense, noir-tinged oldschool soul siren Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes at the Mercury, $15 adv tix a must, this will sell out
12/8, 3 PM the Greenwich Village Orchestra’s annual family-friendly holiday concert: GVO’s Gary Dranch will be on hand to play Rossini’s Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra, and everyone can try an instrument at the post-concert Instrument Petting Zoo, at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, Irving Pl/17th St., $15 sugg don, reception to follow.
12/8,7 PM up-and-coming violinist Michi Wiancko playing indie classical works, joined by her chamber-pop project Kono Michi at Barbes
12/8, 7 PM, True Love Ain’t Too Hard to See, “an alt-cabaret reimagining of Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s 1975 album Zuma” feat. members of Daniel Stampfel’s killer janglerock band at the Duplex, free w/2-drink min.
12/8, 7 PM German a cappella ensemble Calmus sing Xmas music from pre-Renaissance to modern times at the Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
12/8, 8 PM jazz-tinged Persian/Syrian trio Sound: The Encounter with Saeid Shanbehzadeh on neyanban (Iranian bagpipe), neyjoti (flute), boogh horns, dance, and vocals; Basel Rajoub on saxophones, duclar; Naguib Shanbehzadeh on dammam, percussion at Alwan for the Arts, $20.
12/9, 10 PM noir guitar monster Jim Campilongo leads his trio at the small room at the Rockwood
12/10, 6 PM Yarn/Wire play works by Eric Wubbels, Alex Mincek, Mei-Fang Lin and others at the Miller Theatre, free, free drinks at 5:30.
12/10, 7:30 PM psychedelic south seas tropical jazz ensemble Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica opens for the Balanescu Quartet, playing a homage to Maria Tanase, the “Romanian Edith Piaf” at the Schimmel Auditorium at Pace University on Spruce St. downtown, expensive, $36.50, but could be amazing
12/10, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard trumpeter Alex Sipiagin leads a quintet with a bunch of his Mingus Band mates, $20
12/10, 8 PM wry lyrical rock genius Marcellus Hall (ex-Railroad Jerk and White Hassle) plays the album release show for his new one at the big room at the Rockwood.
12/10, 8 PM eclectic Balkan jazz trumpeter Ben Holmes leads a quartet at Barbes
12/11, 7 PM well-known gems of the 17th century Baroque by Bilber, Bertali, and Muffat as well as recently discovered anonymous works that reside at Kromeriz in the Czech Republic, performed by Tatiana Daubek, Leon Schelhase and Beiliang Zhu at the Czech Center 321 E 73rd St, free.
12/11, 7 PM Ensemble Mise-en plays works of noted 20th century Italian composer Franco Donatoni, free but early arrival (i.e. 6:30 PM) a must, at the Italian Academy at Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Ave.
12/11-15, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard veteran tenorist George Coleman Sr leads an octet, $25/$30 Fri-Sat.
12/11, 9ish early 50s/rockabilly parodists Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Rodeo Bar.
12/11, 10 PM the Rebel Factory with Certain General’s Phil Gammage on guitar at Spike Hill
12/11, 10ish heavy violin shredding with Stratospheerius at Bowery Electric.
12/12, 7:30 PM 10³²K featuring trombone genius Ku-umba Frank Lacy with Andrew Drury, percussion / Kevin Ray, bass reinventing obscure classics at Lincoln Center Atrium.
12/12, 8:30 PM eclectic jazz guitarist Assaf Kehati leads his trio at the Bar Next Door
12/13, 7:30 PM cool, enigmatic, eclectic jazz chanteuse Gretchen Parlato leads her quartet at the big room at the Rockwood where she made her new live album/dvd.
12/13, 8 PM explosive, haunting but nuanced North Carolina country singer Jeanne Jolly and her amazing band at Drom, $10 adv tix rec.
12/13, 8 PM cross-generational, tuneful cross-pollination: guitarist Mike Baggetta with Jerome Harris on bass and Billy Mintz on drums at Branded Saloon in Ft. Greene. 12/21 they’re at the Bar Next Door at 7:30
12/13, 8 PM adventurous chamber ensemble ACME plays Lutoslawski’s Sacher Variation for solo cello, Bukoliki for viola and cello, and his String Quartet, as well as Steven Stucky’s Dialoghi for solo cello and his Nell’ombra, nella luce for string quartet at Symphony Space, $32
12/13, 9 PM powerhouse country chanteuse Jeanne Jolly and her phenonemal oldschool band at Drom.
12/13, 9 PM “filthy song night” at the Jalopy, $10 with a diverse cast of characters: Savon Fifth (Cozy Shack), Kristen Andreassen (Uncle Earl), Bascomb Ferd (The Raunch Bothers), Sam Duffy (The Piledrivers), Elio Schiavo (Five Deadly Venoms), Bug (The Defibulators), Cassie Jenkins, Becca Stevens (The Bjorkestra), Little Ho Peep, Rob Hecht, Brad Einhorn (Kings County Strings), Karen Duffy, Jumping Through Poops, Bluff Channahon (The Barbara F*cking Walters), and “secret special guests”
12/13, 9ish dark noisy Tzadikian dub-tinged noise-jazz with Jamie Saft‘s Slobberpup at Shapshifter Lab
12/13 punk/rockabilly/surf legends Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Rodeo Bar, 11 PM
12/14, 8 PM eclectic classically-trained adventurous and always surprising a-cappella quartet NY Polyphony sings at St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia, 116th/Amsterdam, $30 tix avail
12/14, 8 PM the Canticum Novum Singers perform While by my Sheep, arranged by Hugo Jungst, O Magnum Mysterium by Tomas Luis de Victoria, Hodie Christus Natus Est by Jan Pieters Sweelinck, Ave Maria by Johannes Brahms, Ave Maria by Anton Bruckner, A Christmas Cantata by Arthur Honegger and Friede auf Erden by Arnold Schoenberg, repeating 12/15 at 3 PM at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, 552 West End Ave. (at 87th St.), $25/$20 srs.
12/14, 9 PM brilliantly lyrical psychedelic new wavers the Larch play the single release show for their new one at Freddy’s.
12/14, 10 PM the rambunctious oldime Baby Soda Jazz Band at Barbes.
12/15,10:30 AM (this is a morning show) Alessio Bax, piano; Lucille Chung, piano playing four-handed versions of Stravinsky: Petrushka; Piazzolla (arr. Bax and Chung): Three Tangos at Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th St.), $22 tix avail
12/15, 7 PM western swing with Smokey Hormel‘s Roundup followed by Mexican cumbia band La Sabrosa Sabrosura (a spinoff of Mexican reggae stars Los Yerberos, i.e. the Weedheads) at Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer St (between Imlay & Conover), Red Hook
12/15, 8 PM bass clarinet star Ken Thomson plays the album release show for his new one with the Jack Quartet at Subculture .
12/17-22, 7:30/9:30 PM tuneful pianist Geri Allen leads a quintet with Ravi Coltrane and Tain Watts at the Jazz Standard.
12/17, 8 PM the Antara Ensemble performs works for strings and high winds by Roussel, Handel-Halvorsen, Kay, Chausson and Piazzolla at Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Ave at 54th St., $25/$20 stud/srs.
12/19, 7 PM up-and-coming avant-garde ensemble Face the Music followed at 9 by trombonist Curtis Hasselbring‘s wry, tuneful, punk-influenced New Mellow Edwards and then the psychedelic salsa of La Mecanica Popular at Barbes
12/19, 8 PM indie classical stars the Mivos Quartet play the album release show for their debut including the world premiere of Scott Wollschleger’s String Quartet No. 2, White Wall along with Felipe Lara’s Corde Vocale, Dai Fujikura’s Flare and Mark Barden’s Nocturne at the DiMenna Center, 450 W 37th St., reception to follow, $20 includes a hard copy of the album.
12/19, 9 PM a rare reunion of hellraising, politically astute Americana rockers the Hangdogs (who were sort of the Dead Kennedys of highway rock) with frontman Matthew Grimm doing some tunes off his insightful and hilarious new powerpop/Americana rock album Songs in the Key of Your Face at Rodeo Bar.
12/20, 8 PM oudist Adam Good‘s haunting Turkish ensemble Hoshneva at Barbes
12/20, 8 PM indie classical ensemble Cadillac Moon Ensemble plays a program titled Den of Death featuring world premieres pushing political and stylistic lines by Matt Marks, Alex Temple, Melody Loveless, and Viet Cuong at the Cell Theatre, 338 W 23rd St, $15/$10 stud.
12/20, 10 PM massive ten-piece Balkan brass groove monsters Veveritse at the Jalopy, $10.
12/20, 11ish timeless, satirical, politically fueled faux-French garage rockers les Sans Culottes at Hank’s.
12/21, 9 PM quirky fun jazzy female-fronted French pop/jazz with Banda Magda at Drom, $12 adv tix rec.
12/22, 11ish fiery bluegrass fiddler Melody Allegra and band at Rodeo Bar
12/28, 9 PM charming female-fronted oldschool soul/swing combo Lake Street Dive at the Bell House $15 adv tix rec.
12/29, 11 PM rustic oldtime upbeat swing/country blues bandleader Woody Pines at Rodeo Bar
12/30-31 9ish Gogol Bordello at Terminal 5, $35 adv tix avail or $60 2-night tix avail.
1/9 eclectic, funky, edgy lyrical rocker Avi Fox-Rosen – who keeps putting out amazing albums EVERY MONTH as name-your-price (.i.e. free) downloads – celebrates his yearlong marathon at Rock Shop along with the reliably ferocious, fun Balkan madness of Raya Brass Band
1/10, 8 PM Ryan Truesdell’s explosive archive-plundering Gil Evans Project big band at Subculture.
1/12, 7 PM melodic jazz pianist Jorn Swart plays the album release for his pensive, noirish new one with a quartet at Spectrum
1/29 Laura Cantrell – arguably this era’s most compelling, luminous female oldschool country artist – plays the album release for her long-awaited new one at Joe’s Pub