New York City Live Music Calendar for December 2014 and January 2015

by delarue

A lot of people assume that December is a dead month for live music. That’s the Grinch talking! Lame-ass Grinch wants you to stay home away from all the fun. Lots of good things happening this month, and daily updates here: you might want to bookmark this page and check back regularly 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. If you see a show listed without the start time, that’s because either the artist, their publicist or the venue in question sent incomplete info: those acts are usually listed last on a particular date.  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.

On select Thursdays and Saturdays, an intimate, growing piano music scene on the Upper West Side featuring iconoclastically insightful, lyrical pianist Nancy Garniez – a cult favorite with an extraordinarily fluid, singing, legato style – exploring the delicious minutiae of works from across the centuries. Thursday evenings at 7, a series of surprise, impromptu shows, the next one Dec 21 at 4 PM. Purcell to Bartok, Bach to Stravinsky, sugg don $30 (pay what you can), delicious gluten-free refreshments, beverages and lively conversation included! email for info/location.

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 in December at Barbes Erica Ramos’ sultry oldschool latin soul groove band Spanglish Fly take over the 9:30 PM slot held for so many years by the now temporarily disbanded Chicha Libre. Hard act to follow, but this party should be just as much fun.

Mondays at the Vanguard the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – composer Jim McNeely’s reliably good big band vehicle – plays 9/11 PM, $30 per set plus drink minimum.

Mondays in December, 10 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at the small room at the Rockwood. Now you can go see him since the Living Room, that hellhole where he used to rehearse on Monday nights, is closed forever!

Also Mondays in December 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 December, 7 PM Ninth House‘s hotshot lead guitarist Keith Otten plays his own tuneful, Britrock-influenced sounds at Isle of Skye, 488 Driggs Ave (btwn N9th/N10th St.) in Williamsburg

Tuesdays in December 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 in December,  9 PM eclectic soul/Americana bandleader and excellent guitarist Miss Tess at Bar Chord

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.

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 December, 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.

Fridays at 5 PM, adventurous indie classical string quartet Ethel (Ralph Farris, viola; Dorothy Lawson, cello; Kip Jones, violin; and Tema Watstein, violin) play the balcony bar with a rotating cast of interesting special guests at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm.

The first Friday of the month, anytime between midnight and midnight you can download four songs from Kiam Records artists – like Jennifer O’Connor, Mascott and Tim Foljahn – for free.  Each month’s theme is different (previously they have tackled covers, colors and money)  December’s the fourth edition and a holiday theme.  Available to download only on Friday and then archived and streaming at Soundcloud.

Fridays in December at 9 Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens play oldschool 1960s style gospel at the Fat Cat.

Saturdays in December at 4 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.

Three Sundays in December: 12/7, 14 and 21 at 2 PM the perennially relevant, satirical Reverend Billy & the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir – whose mighty sound will move you to action against eco-destroyers and corporate criminals – take on the potentially apocalyptic farm-destroying, cancer-causing Frankenfood monster Monsanto at Joe’s Pub, $15

Sundays at 4 PM fun, hellraising booze-fueled acoustic Americana band Jumbo Brown at Skinny Dennis, 152 Metropolitan Ave. (next to Nitehawk Cinema), Williamsburg.

Sundays at 5 PM through Dec 5 at Barbes irrepressible viola virtuoso/composer Ljova Zhurbin joins with a revolving door of collaborators including his brilliant singer/wife, Inna Barmash, Romany chanteuse Sanda Weigl, Ukrainian-American bandurist Julian Kytasty, tango maestros JP Jofre (bandoneon) and Pablo Aslan (bass), violin stars Charlie Burnham, Johnny Gandelsman and Miki-Sophia Cloud, clarinetists Sam Sadigursky & Kinan Azmeh, plus the members of Ljova and the Kontraband (Patrick Farrell, Jordan Morton and Mathias Künzli) and of the Yiddish Love Songs & Lullabies band (Shoko Nagai & Dmitry Ishenko). Every week, something different and potentially wild.

Sundays at 5 PM Durban-born Thuli Dumakude’s African/American music revue features choral group Thokoza – six South African and African women singing classics and obscure material from Southern church gospel to traditional South African Township songs – at the Jackie Onassis Theatre, 120 West 46thStreet between Broadway and 6th Ave., $30/$20 stud/srs

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 December, 8:30 PM purist guitarist Peter Mazza – who gets the thumbs up from bop-era legend Gene Bertoncini – leads a series of trios at the Bar Next Door.

Sundays in December at 9 – check the Barbes calendar to make sure -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 like art-rock and post-Velvets noiserock. He’s also very popular: get there early.

12/1, 7 PM wickedly cachy, darkly keyboard-driven Colombian psychedelic cumbia band MAKU Soundsystem at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival a must.

12/1, 7 PM balmy, sardonically individualistic vocal jazz stylist Dorian Devins in a typically outside-the-box setting with the always excellent Behn Gillece on vibraphone and Hans Glawischnig on bass at the Whynot Jazz Room, 14 Christopher St, downstairs, $10

12/1, 8 PM cult fave powerpopster/wordsmith Franklin Bruno, similarly lyrical LES experimental legends the Scene Is Now and offkilter postpunk downtown supergroupHeroes of Toolik at Bowery Electric.

12/1, 9:30 PM Costa Rican vibraphonist Felipe Fournier leads a band playing a Tito Puente tribute focusing on Puente’s less celebrated work on the vibes at Barbes.

12/2, 7 PM wickedly lyrical, inscrutable crooner Ward White – whose glamrock-tinged new album Ward White Is the Matador is the hardest-rocking thing he’s ever done – at the Mercury, $10. He’s also playing a rare duo show with Mesiko drummer Ray Rizzo on 12/8 at 8 at Hifi Bar (the old Brownies)

12/2, 7 PM reedman Matt Darriau‘s Balkan jazz Paradox Trio followed at 9 by ten-piece Balkan horn monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes.

12/2, 7:30 PM classic hundred-year-old klezmer grooves with pianist Dave Levitt and his Trio featuring Mike Cohen and Christina Crowder at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W. 68th St. (Columbus/CPW), $15.

12/2, 7:30 PM a memorial concert for composer Leo Kraft featuring his works plus compositions by Nailah Nombeko, Carl Kanter, Eugene W. McBride, Jacob E. Goodman; Craig Slon, Kevin McCarter and Scott D. Miller performed by a cast including violinists Miranda Cuckson, Curtis Macomber, Calvin Wiersma, Gregor Kitzis, Marina Kifferstein, and Ken Hamao, violist Daniel Panner, cellist Greg Hesselink, and pianist Blair McMillen at St. Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex, $20 sugg don.

12/2-7, 8/10 PM guitarist Jon Madof plays the Stone with a whole slew of Jewish jazz luminaries. Choice picks: two sets of Zorn on 12/3 with Shanir Blumenkranz on guitar and Mathias Kunzli on drums; and 12/6, a large ensemble playing Shlomo Carlebach hits for the first set and more Zorn for the second, $15

12/2, 8:30 PM edgy, dynamic, genre-defying Greek South African violinist Maria Manousaki  with Shai Maestro, piano;  Petros Klampanis, bass;  John Hadfield, drums;  Zayn Mohamed, oud at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 minimum

12/2-14 bass luminary Christian McBride plays with his Inside Straight quintet (secret weapon: vibraphonist Warren Wolf) through 12/7, then 12/9-14 with his trio (secret weapon: pianist Christian Sands) at the Vanguard, 8:30/10:30 PM, $25

12/2, 9 PM intense, pyrotechnic ragtime pianist/songwriter Jack Spann at the Way Station.

12/2, 9 PM  creepy dark garage/punk soul band the Naked Heroes at Cake Shop, $7. They’re also at Grand Victory at 11 on 12/13 for three bucks more.

12/2, 10:30 PM cutting-edge improvsition from an unusual trio: Yukari on flutes, Shoko Nagai on piano and Pascal Niggenkemper on bass at Korzo

12/2, 11:30 PM trumpeter Jason Prover & the Sneak Thievery Orchestra play the albm release show for their new oldtimey swing collection at Dizzy’s Club, $5

12/3, 2:30 PM Gregory Zelek plays the 1830 Appleton organ on the balcony adjacent to the musical instruments section at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm.

12/3, 5 PM up-and-coming pipa (haunting, delicate Chinese lute) virtuoso Jiaju Shen with classical guitarist Yuda Deng at the Rubin Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

12/3, 7 PM free jazz keyboardist and avant-garde composer Judith Berkson in a rare solo vocal-and-keys performance at Barbes

12/3-7, 7:30 PM playful, fun avant garde icon Meredith Monk leads a seven-piece choir performing her latest suite On Behalf of Nature at BAM, $20 tix avail.

12/3, 8 PM alto saxist/individualistic, politically astute composer Matana Roberts’Anthem with Kevin Tkacz, bass; Liberty Ellman, guitar; Ches Smith, drums at Roulette, $20

12/3, 8 PM this could be deliciously vindictive and twisted…or sonic hell: James Hoff presents his Blaster project – electronic music created by infecting drum machine samples with computer viruses. Spencer Yeh does electroacoustic improvisations with violin and vocals.at the Kitchen, $15

12/3, 8:30 PM Norwegian improvisational legends Ballrogg with Klaus Ellerhusen Holm – clarinet, bass clarinet; Roger Arntzen – double bass; Ivar Grydeland – pedal steel, guitar play their cinematic, shapeshifting, epically pastoral jams followed by Eivind Opsvik playing solo bass at 10 at I-Beam, $15.

12/3, 8:30 drummer Kate Gentile‘s Trio + 1: Matt Mitchell – piano; Adam Hopkins – bass; + Jeremy Viner – sax/clarinet followed by altoist Anna Weber and her quartet at Seeds

12/3, 8:30 PM Circle Down – Angelica Sanchez, piano;  Chris Lightcap , bass;  Chad Taylor, drums – at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 minimum

12/3. 9 PM dark, smart, edgy post-Velvet rock songwriter and former Band of Susans guitarist Anne Husick and band at Sidewalk

12/3, 9:30ish intriguing, intense, fun, lo-fi original punk blues resonator guitarist/singer Breanna Barbara Arneson at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club.

12/3, 9:30 PM to 12:00 AM – tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio with Glenn Zaleski – piano , Pablo Menares – bass , Francisco Mela – drums at Smalls

12/4, 7 PM tuneful pianist Jim Ridl leads his trio from behind the Fender Rhodes at 55 Bar

12/4 and 12/9, 7:30 PM, also on 12/5 at 2 and 12/6 at 8 cellist Alisa Weilerstein and the NY Philharmonic play Dvorak’s Cello Concerto and Symphony No. 7 at Avery Fisher Hall, $30 tix avail.

12/4, 7:30 PM Federico Agostini, violin and Enrico Elisi, piano play Brahms, Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78; Beethoven, Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 96 at the Morgan Library, $25.

12/4, 8 PM dark, charismatic, deviously witty literate keyboardist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez at Barbes followed at 10 by Martin Vejarano‘s Cumbia River Band playing “a festive repertoire of Colombian Cumbia standards.”

12/4, 8 PM deliciously ugly, skin-peeling noiserock with the Sediment Club followed eventually at around 11 by late 70s postpunk legends Pere Ubu at Cake Shop (ostensibly a secret show, but this will probably sell out so get there early), $10

12/4, 8ish a mostly John Zorn evening at Nublu: edgy reedman Uri Gurvitch opens followed sometime after 9 by cellist Erik Friedlander, tropical singer Sofia Rei at 10, rustic Brazilian folk group Forro in the Dark at 11 and John Zorn’s wild surfy Abraxas at midnight or later. This is Nublu, you know the deal.

12/4, 8 /10 PM an especially interesting configuration for darkly mutable guitar legend Marc Ribot with Greg Lewis – organ and Jeremy Clemons – drums at Classon Social, $10

12/4, 8/10 PM bassist Lauren Falls leads a quartet playing her lyrical compositions with Seamus Blake- tenor saxophone; Nir Felder – guitar; Can Olgun – piano; Justin Brown – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $15 for first set, $10 for second.

12/4, 8 PM soprano saxophonist Dan Blake with Richie Barshay: drums; Jorge Roeder: bass followed by the aggressively exploratory quartet of James Ilgenfritz: bass; Sam Kulik: trombone; Federico Ughi: drums; Jonah Rosenberg:keys at the Firehouse Space, $10

12/4, 8:30  PM guitarishly intense noir surf/postrock/metal instrumentalists Dark City at Bowery Electric, $10.

12/4, 8:30 PM haunting, dusky, jangly southwestern gothic rock band And the Wiremen at Troost, 1011 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint

12/4, 8:30 PM oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band at at Hill Country Brooklyn. He’s also at Barbes the following night, 12/5 at 10, at at Slake on 12/17 at 6 and at Beast of Bourbon on 12/20 at 9 PM

12/4, 8:30 PM high-velocity acoustic jams with Astrograss followed at 10 by honkytonkers the Me Oh My Ohs featuring Hilary Hawke & Abby Hollander at the Jalopy, $10

12/4, 9:30ish irreverent oldschool Williamsburg vocal jazz crew the Old Rugged Sauce at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club. They’re also here on 12/18.

12/4, 10 PM ferocious dark artsy metalish rockers Junius  at St. Vitus, $15

12/4, 10 PM brilliantly lyrical dark oldtimey songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Pete Lanctot and band at at Hank’s.

12/4, midnight high-voltage Bay area Afrobeat/disco jamband Afrolicious at Shrine. They’re also here at noon on Xmas day!

12/5, half past noon a stripped-down quartet version of cumbia/klezmer/latin jamband Metropolitan Klezmer play a free lunchtime show at 1 New York Plaza downtown, repeating on 12/19 as well. On 12/12, same time they’ll be at 1 Liberty Plaza just south of Zucotti Park.

12/5, 5 PM a book signing and reading by Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico fr their new Trenton punk/hardcore history No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes (feat. interviews with Jello Biafra, Peter Hook, Peter Murphy, Henry Rollins, Al Jourgenson, Jon Stewart and others associated with it), followed by an acoustic show by documentary filmmaker/punk rocker Drew Stone & the Hit Squad with special guests Tristan Michael and Bopa King Carre playing classic first-wave punk covers at Cake Shop, free.

12/5, 6 PM punk/rockabilly/surf legends Simon & the Bar Sinisters at Slake, free

12/5, 7 PM a killer newschool ska-punk quadruplebill, in reverse order : the Hub City Stompers, Montreal’s The Beatdown, the 45 Adapters and Ladrones at Grand Victory, $10

12/5, 7 PM Bulgarian chanteuse Vlada Tomova and her rustic, haunting band at the small room at the Rockwood followed eventually at midnight by deviously oldtimey swing jazz crew Seth Kessel & the Two Cent Band 

12/5, 7 PM a night of electrocacoustic works by Roland Kuit, Sheena Hong, Nancy Bogen, Joel Gressel, Phil Mango, Angelo Bello, Ari Frankel, John Bock, Michael Gogins and Hubert Howe at Spectrum, $15

12/5-6, 7:30 PM Philip Glass is joined by nine other pianists—including Timo Andres, Jenny Lin, and Aaron Diehl—to perform the composer’s complete piano etudes  at BAM, $20 tix avail.

12/5. 8 PM indie chamber ensemble Either/Or plays eerily astringent Keeril Makan spectral works for strings at the Miller Theatre, $20 tix avail.

12/5, 8 PM tenor saxophonist Larry Ochs reprises the fire and energy of his recent stand at the Stone with Harris Eisenstadt: drums; Ken Filiano: bass; Pascal Niggenkemper: bass; Nate Wooley: trumpet at the Firehouse Space, $10

12/5, 8:30  PM Banda de los Muertos trombonist Jacob Garchik leads a gorgeously tuneful jazz sextet including Jacob Sacks: Piano, Dan Weiss: drums, Kristi Helberg: violin, Miranda Sielaff: viola, Jane O’Hpra: cello at I-Beam, $15. The following night12/6 they’re at  the Firehouse Space at 7 for five bucks less.

12/5, 9 PM powerful, haunting, intense folk noir singer Jessi Robertson and band plays the album release show for her new one I Came From the War followed by the quieter but similarly brooding Richard Buckner at Union Hall, $15, this will sell out.

12/5, 9 PM mesmerizing, soaring, intense art-rock pianist/songwriter Kristin Hoffmann at Caffe Vivaldi.

12/5, 10 PM a rare appearance by third-wave ska legends the Scofflaws at Otto’s

12/5, 10 PM ten-piece country/circus/acoustic rock powerhouse M Shanghai String Band – whose latest album is amazing – at the Jalopy.

12/5, 10:30 PM ex-Aquanettas singer (and current Ember Schrag bassist) Debby Schwartz does her intriguing, soaring dreampop/janglerock/postpunk at Hank’s.

12/5, 11ish Silver with hypnotic, sardonioc saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin and Eddie Henderson, Juini Booth, Kenny Wollesen followed sometime after midnight by psychedelic original Nuyorican salsa band La Mecanica Popular at Nublu

12/6, 4 PM Songs for Unusual Creatures, brought to you by many of the same people behind Songs for Ice Cream Trucks: “A celebration of the under-appreciated creatures that roam the planet. From the Australian Bilby to the deep-sea Magnapinna Squid, to the Saddleback Caterpillar” followed eventually at 10 by upbeat Sinaloa-style Mexican mariachi/ranchera brass group Banda de los Muertos at Barbes.

12/6, 6 PM sassy, guitarishly excellent female-fronted C&W/honkytonk parodists Trailer Radio at at Slake, free.

12/6, 7:15ish charismatic blues harpist/resonator guitarist Wade Schuman’s dark psychedelic acoustic blues/klezmer/reggae/soca jamband Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues They’re also here on 12/13

12/6, 8 PM smart, thoughtful, female=fronted band Bern & the Brights – who’ve moved from acerbic indie jangle to catchy, punchy, reggae-infused groove-rock – at Desmond’s

12/6, 8 PM accordion-and-guitar duo Charlie King & Rick Burkhardt – Joe Hill meets Berthold Brecht? acoustic Gogol Bordello, maybe? at the People’s Voice Cafe, $18 sugg don, “no one turned away”

12/6, 8/10 PM trumpeter John Daversa leads his brass-heavy big band at the Jazz Gallery, $22

12/6, 9 PM oldimey duo Barefoot & Bankside followed at 10 by Kagero – the missing link between jaunty oldtimey swing and wild Romany punk rock – at the Way Station

12/6, 9 PM edgy gutter blues band Jane Lee Hooker at Beast of Bourbon

12/6, 9/10:30 PM tuneful but perennially surprising pianist Kris Davis leads an interesting trio with Sam Barfeld, violin;  Satoshi Takeishi, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 minimum

12/6, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie’s monthly surf rock extravaganza returns to Otto’s starting with the Weisstronauts at 9, the world’s darkest, most slashing horror surf band, the Coffin Daggers at 10, the Matt Rae Trio at 11 and then Aaron & the Burrs dueling it out – sorry, couldn’t resist – at sometime after midnight.

12/6, 111ish veteran multi-reed improviser Charles Gayle followed by the Sun Ra Arkestra squeezing themselves into the tiny space for a stage at Nublu? Yup.

12/6, time TBA fun, anthemic Spector-esque retro girl-group band Pep at Friends & Lovers.

12/7, 4 PM noir rockers Elysian Fields’ guitar monster Oren Bloedow brings an all-star band TBD to Sunny’s in Red Hook. He’s also there on 12/13, same time.

12/7, 4 PM the Cassatt String Quartet play Dvorak’s American Quartet and Peter Schickele’s American Dreams at Ross Hall at the Bronx Botanic Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, B/D to Fordham Rd., $33/$20 stud/srs

12/7, 4 PM oldtimey string band the Whistling Wolves at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $10

12/7, 5 PM the Dover Quartet perform Haydn’s String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76, No. 1 and Beethoven’s String Quartet in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5. at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, free, no under-sixes.

12/7, 7 PM Anna Stoytcheva, piano plays Rachmaninoff preludes plus works by Schumann, Ravel and Mozart at the Bulgarian Consulate General, 121 E 62nd St., free.

12/7, 7 PM a cool low-key acoustic gathering of thoughtful, cliche-free A-list cult favorite songwriters: Jennifer O’Connor, Mascott‘s Kendall Jane Meade, Amy Bezunartea and others at HiFi Bar (the former Brownies).

12/7, 7 PM Piedmont fingerstyle blues guitar legend Larry Johnson at Terra Blues. He’s also here on 12/14.

12/7, 7 PM eclectic chamber ensemble the Washington Square Winds play a program TBA at Caffe Vivaldi

12/7, 8 PM the JACK Quartet play the world premiere of downtown avant garde luminary Annie Gosfield’s Signal Jamming and Random Interference for string quartet and jammed radio signals at Roulette, $20

12/7. 10 PM sardonic Japanese Brooklyn postpunk girlband the Hard Nips at Trans-Pecos, $8

12/7, 10:30 PM vibraphone virtuoso Behn Gillece leads a particularly interesting quartet with Spike Wilner – piano , Brian Charette – organ , Anthony Pinciotti – drums at Smalls

12/8, 6 PM cleverly lyrical, edgily funny, spine-tingling powerpop/acoustic rock singer Tamara Hey in a rare duo show with acoustic bassist Richard Hammond, then at 7 PM amusing singer-songwriter parodists the Lascivious Biddies followed at 8 by a rare father-daughter duo show with torchy singer Julia Haltigan and her electric mandolinist dad Emmet and then at 9 by tersely jangly guitarist Tony Scherr (sideman to a million brilliant songwriters) and his band at the small room at the Rockwood

12/8, 7:30 PM the Aeolus Quartet and the Aizuri Quartet take turns onstage performing works by Mendelssohn, Schulhoff, Lembit Beecher and a NY premiere by Dan Welcher at Advent Lutheran Church, 2504 Broadway at 93rd St.free

12/9, doors and drinks at 5:30, show at 6 PM, the Mivos Quartet parse the avant garde spectrum for works by Martin Stauning, Patrick Higgins, a new arrangement of J.S. Bach’s Contrapunctus XIX, and György Kurtág’s cult favorite suite of “microludes” at the Miller Theatre, free.

12/9, 6 PM the Ebony Hillbillies – NYC’s one and only black bluegrass band and  brilliant, badass resonator guitarist/oldtime country/hokum blues songwriter Mamie Minch at Slake

12/9, 7 PM once-and-future Chicha Libre timbalera Karina Colis followed at 9 by ten-piece Balkan horn monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes.

12/9, 7 PM tuneful, edgy Texas tenor saxophonist Stan Killian and his quartet at 55 Bar

12/9, 7:30 PM trumpeter Jordan Hirsch’s Band of Dreamers plays for a Yiddish dance party at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W. 68th St. (Columbus/CPW), $15.

12/9-10 sax powerhouse Azar Lawrence celebrates the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s A Love Supreme with a sensationally good quartet: Benito Gonzalez – piano; Reggie Workman – bass; Jeff “Tain” Watts – drums, 7:30/10 PM at the Jazz Standard, $30

12/9, 7:30 PM the Brooklyn Art Song Society backed by pianists Michael Brofman and  Jocelyn Dueck sing Satie-influenced tunes by Louis Durey and works by Germaine Tailleferre at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $20/$10 stud/srs

12/9, 8 PM a monster jazz improv triplebill with the Andrea Parkins/Viv Corringham duo, then pianist Matt Mitchell with Andrew Hock and Mike Pride Trio (their debut peformance together) followd by saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos with Max Johnson on bass and Kevin Shea on drums at Spectrum, $15

12/9, 8 PM an intriguing, genre-smashing, possibly very intense all Svetlana Bukvich program at Roulette with the Sarajevo-born composer on keys plus an ensemble including Patti Kilroy on violin, Jessica Meyer on viola and the incomparable Kamala Sankaram on vocals, $20

12/9, 9 PM the instrumental half of  80s/90s downtempo/trip-hop/acid jazz icons Everything But the Girl, Ben Watt, at le Poisson Rouge, $25 adv tix rec

12/9, 9:30  PM vicious noiserock jamband the the Skull Practitioners– led by Steve Wynn sparring partner/genius guitarist Jason Victor – at Grand Victory, $TBA

12/9. 10ish hypnotic, intense atmospheric/chamber pop/art-rock project Opal Onyx at Shea Stadium, $tba

12/9, 10 PM pianist/flutist Diana Wayburn‘s hypnotically intense, spectacularly eclectic African/Middle Eastern/indie classical/improvisational Dances of the World Chamber Ensemble at the Way Station

12/9, 11 PM wild, high-energy Afrobeat jamband the Brighton Beat at Arlene’s, $8. They’re also at Brooklyn Bowl at 8 on 12/15, show up before 7 and get in free, otherwise it’s $6. Check out their unbelievable live free download page.

12/10, 6 PM stunningly down-to-earth, nuanced, smartly lyrical cabaret-rock chanteuse/pianist Jeanne Marie Boes and her torchy band at the small room at the Rockwood

12/10, 6 PM koto/shamisen player/vocalist Sumie Kaneko and flutist/shinobue player Nobuko Miyazaki at the Rubin Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

12/10, 7 PM pianists Adam Tendler and Sarah Cahill play Luciano Berio works at the Italian Academy at Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue just south of 118th St. free.

12/10, 8 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

12/10-13, 8 PM bassist Thomas Morgan with Pete Rende – piano and Dan Weiss – drums at Seeds

12/10, 8 PM drummer Tyshawn Sorey leads his expansively funky trio with Cory Smythe, piano, Christopher Tordini, bass  at Roulette, $20

12/10, 8:30/10 PM a Jen Shyu doublebill at I-Bream, $15: her solo historically-informed pan-Asian Sounds & Cries of the World with performances on vocals, Taiwanese moon lute, gayageum, piano,followed by her Winged Rain in Diamond Light with Mat Maneri: viola; Satoshi Haga: dance; Randy Peterson: drums – as usual with her, could be magically intense.

12/10, 8:30 PM drummer Henry Cole (of  Miguel  Zenon’s quartet) leads a quartet with John Ellis, tenor sax;  Adam Rogers, guitar;  Joe Sanders, bass at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 minimum

12/10, 9 PM exciting, lushly rocking avant garde/indie classical string quartet New Retro Strings – Claudia Chopek and Hilary Castle on violins, Gillian Gallagher on viola and Eleanor Norton on cello. at the Delancey, $6

12/10, 9 PM high-energy jangly garage-soul band Needle Points followed at 10 by cleverly tuneful/jarring vintage Sonic Youth influenced DC guitar band Paperhaus and then the mysterious Mr. Kid & the Suicide Policemen at Palisades, 906 Broadway, Bushwick, $7, J/M to Myrtle Ave.

12/10. 9 PM Greg Smith & the Broken English – who’re sort of a more down-to-earth Deer Tick – at Rock Shop, $10

12/10, 9 PM violists Kristina Giles and Jessica Meyer team up for an evening of duos and sol original indie classical works for gut-stringed instruments at Spectrum, $15

12/10, 9:30 PM Dan Finnerty’s hilarious, viciously sarcastic top 40 cover band the Dan Band play a sick Xmas show at Joe’s Pub, $22

12/10, 10 PM scary intense hypnotic folk noir singer Larkin Grimm at Cake Shop, $8

12/11, half past noon torchy purist jazz chanteuse Catherine Russell plays a free show with her combo at the World Financial Center

12/11, 7:30 PM, also 12/12-13 at 8 PM the NY Philharmonic plays Dvorak’s Piano Concerto and New World Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall, $33 tix avail.

12/11, 7:30 PM the Chamber Orchestra of NY plays two Respighi works plus vocal works by Richard Strauss and a Daniel Mack world premiere at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $25 tix avail.

12/11, 8 PM eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo leads his sextet at Barbes followed at 10 by Daria Grace’s torchy, delightful oldtime uke swing band the Pre-War Ponies.

12/11, 8 PM a fantastic free triplebill at the Jalopy with Feral Foster & His Band, Mexican folk-punks Radio Jarocho, and Hubby Jenkins of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

12/11, 8 PM vintage Neil Young-inspired janglerockers the Nu-Sonics at Rock Shop, $10

12/11, 8:30 PM alto saxophonist Loren Stillman leads a quartet with Shane Endsley, trumpet;  Drew Gress, bass;  Mark Ferber, drums  at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 minimum

12/11, 9 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” at Troost, 1011 Manhattan Avenue btwn Huron & Green. They’re at Espresso 77, 35-57 77th Street, Jackson Hts., free. on 12/18.

12/11, 9 PM SisterMonk play their high-energy Romany/Middle Eastern punk/funk at Shrine

12/11, 9 PM janglemeister/powerpop maven Daniel Stampfel’s latest band, At the Moment at the Way Station

12/11, 9:30 PM socially aware, oldtimey-flavored, female-fronted Americana band 2/3 Goat at Hill Country

12/12, 6 PM crystalline-voiced, noir-tinged third-stream jazz chanteuse Tessa Souter and her band at 55 Bar

12/12, 7 PM works for two pianos plus horn and strings by Gorecki, Reich, led by pianists Vladislav Boguinia and Yuri Boguinia at Spectrum, $15

12/12, 7:30/9:30 PM the reliably brilliant, noirish Tom Beckham on vibes with Aidan Carroll on bass and Eric Doob on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12

12/12, 8:30 PM soaring Tom Waits-influenced Americana chanteuse Lara Ewen at Hank’s

12/12, 9 PM haunting, intense Nashville gothic songwriter Jessie Kilguss and similarly intense, eclectic, lyrically-driven Americana/soul songwriter Matt Keating at Red Hook Bait & Tackle

12/12, 9 PM a killler Americana twinbill: otherworldly bluegrass singer and first-class songwriter Jen Larson and band followed by wryly amusing newgrass/urban Americana tunesmith Alex Battles & the Whisky Rebellion at the Bell House, $10

12/12, 9 PM the Jacks of Kings County play their high-energy Americana followed by explosive female-fronted Americana jamband the Sometime Boys at the Way Station

12/12, 9 PM surf/twang instrumental rockers the Bakersfield Breakers – whose new album is a dead ringer for something from 1963, unbelievably cool and fun, at Route 66 Smokehouse (46 Stone St in the financial district), free

12/12, 9 PM Ethiopian folk-reggae chanteuse Wayna and band at BAM Cafe, free

12/12, 9ish 90s indie powerpop/mod punk legends the Figgs at Bowery Electric, $10

12/12, 9 PM searing, theatrical Romany/Balkan punk rockers Bad Buka acoustic ?!? at Radegast Hall. Even without amps, they have the energy to drown out the tourists. If you can’t afford Gogol Bordello at Terminal 5, these guys and girls will do just fine

12/12, 10 PM ethereal, shimmeringly captivating atmospheric duo Janel & Anthony at I-Beam, $15

12/12, 11 PM aptly named 70s outlaw country-tinged highway rockers Waylon Speed at the small room at the Rockwood – kind of a loud band for this space, but what the hell.

12/13, 4 PM the Erik Satie Quartet- Anders Nilsson – guitar; David Ambrosio – bass; Satoshi Takeishi – drums and Tim Keiper – at Barbes .

12/13, 6:45 PM avant garde icon Phil Kline’s annual  twinkling, psychedelic, enveloping boombox processional Unsilent Night gathers at the arch at Washington Square Park; at 7, join the procession and march to Tompkins Square Park. Downloadthe app for your phone or burn a cd for your boombox, or use the link to stream during the procession – or borrow one of Kline’s cassettes for whatever vintage equipment you have. There will be a limited number of boomboxes courtesy of Kline as well – and a worldwide series of Unsilent Nights in other cities throughout December

12/13, 7 PM, repeating on 12/14 at 2 PM chamber ensemble the Brooklyn Brandenburgers play music by Byrd, Scheidt, Charpentier, J.S. Bach, Geminiani and Dvorak.at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $10

12/13, 7:30 PM the eclectic Balkan/latin/hip-hop Underground Horns followed by eclectic ska/rocksteady/world funk band the Brown Rice Family at at Drom, $10 adv tix rec

12/13, 7:30 PM adventurous keyboardist and Philip Glass/Big Lazy collaborator Mick Rossi with bassist Michael Bates and drummer Jeff Davis at Spectrum, $15

12/13, 8 PM and repeating 12/14 at 3 PM percussionist/bandleader Alessandra Belloni‘s creepy tarantella rock band I Giullari Di Piazza play the darkest xmas concert you’ll ever hear at the Italian American Museum, 155 Mulberry St, $25

12/13, 8 PM adventurous, cinematic violinist Dana Lyn leads a quartet  with Mike McGinnis, Sara Schoenbeck and Stephanie Richards plus a performance by dancer Davalois Fearon at the Vazquez Building, 93 Forrest St. in Bushwick, aboug 5 blocks from the Morgan Ave. L station.

12/13, 8/10 PM a killer show at the Jazz Gallery with tuba player Bob Stewart‘s Double Quartet First Line Band joined by the strings of the Publiquartet, $22.

12/13, 8 PM smart, edgy guitar paradigm-shifter Mary Halvorson in a rare solo show followed by the eclectic Lucky Chops Brass Band playing their party favorites at Industry City Distillery, 33 35th St in Gowanus, N/R to 36th St., $8

12/13, 8 PM Puetro Rican hill country music from across the generations starting in the early 60s with Felito Felix Y El Trio Los Antares, Odilio Gonzalez El Jibarito de Lares” and 80s hitmaker Lily Y Su Gran Trio at the Lehman Center, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, D/4 to Bedford Park Blvd., $25 adult and $10 kids’ tix avail.

12/13, 8 PM the Cecilia Chorus of New York directed by Mark Shapirol presents masterworks for chorus and orchestra by Francis Poulenc and Ralph Vaughan Williams at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $25 tix avail

12/13, 10 PM  psychedelic latin soul maven Damian Quinones and his killer two-guitar band at Silvana

12/13, 10ish Louisville early 80s style noise-punk band Anwar Sadat at Shea Stadium

12/13, 11 PM darkly captivating piano-and-guitar art-rock duo Christy & Emily at the Gutter, $5

12/14, 3 PM guitarist Gerard Edery and Ensemble – Barbara Martínez (vocals/dancer & choreographer), Cristian Puig (flamenco guitar), and Jessie Reagen Mann (cello) – play their mix of acoustic Sephardic and flamenco sounds at Congregation Shaarai Tefilla, 38-20 Parsons Blvd., Flushing, 7 to Main St. $10

12/14, 4 PM the Division Piano Trio play works by Haydn, Beethoven and others at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, free, no under-sixes

12/14, 3 PM pianist Ramin Arjomand plays through-composed and improvised works followed at 5 by pianist Marilyn Nonken with Hannah Levinson, viola & Adam Holmes, crotales playing a Drew Baker composer portrait at Spectrum, $20/$10 stud/srs

12/14, 6 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo at 55 Bar

12/14, 6 PM Hat Trick –  April Clayton, flute; David Wallace, viola; and Kristi Shade, harp – perform works by Debussy, Gubaidulina and Takemitsu at the Lounge at Hudson View Gardens, 128 Pinehurst Ave at 183rd St., $12 sugg don, reception to follow.

12/14, 7 PM jazz violin legend Michael Urbaniak leads his quintet at Drom, $25 adv tix a must.

12/14, 7 PM pianist Mimi Stern-Wolfe and her daughter Laura Wolfe play a LES-themed program of songs by Joni Mitchell, Harold Rome and originals at Pangaea, 178 Second Avenue (between 11th & 12th), $15 + $15 min

12/14, 7:30 PM bassist Todd Sickafoose‘s perennially adrenalizing Tiny Resistors w/Jenny Scheinman ,Ben Goldberg ,Kirk Knuffke , Erik Deutsch ,Adam Levy ,Rob Reich , and Allison Miller at le Poisson Rouge, $13 adv tix rec.

12/14, 7:30/10 PM pianist Aaron Diehl and vibraphonist Warren Wolf team up for a classy, tuneful duo show at the Jazz Standard, $25

12/14, 8 PM brilliant violinist Dana Lyn leads a killer cinematic semi-improvisational band with Clara Kennedy (cello), Mike McGinnis (clarinet), Jonathan Goldberger (guitar) and Vinnie Sperrazza (drums) at the Firehouse Space, $10. She slayed with this unit here last spring.

12/14, 9 PM exciting up-and-coming jazz guitarist Ila Cantor followed at 10 by classical guitarist Michael Sheridan leading his trio at Barbes

12/14, 9 PM newschool dark psych-pop band Mystery Lights at the Mercury, $8

12/15, 7 PM wild, eclectic, klezmer/psychedelic cumbia/latin jazz jamband Metropolitan Klezmer play the album release show for their long-awaited new live one at the Eldridge Street Synagogue just north of Division St., $20/$15 stud/srs .

12/15, 7 PM Elliot Figg, clavichord with Shirley Hunt (baroque cello), Thomas Dunford (lute), and Jude Ziliak (baroque violin). play works by C.P.E. Bach and premieres at Spectrum followed by the club’s annual holiday party, $15.

12/15, 7:30 PM soprano Allison Charney hosts a diverse evening of chamber music including pianist Navah Perlman performing Chopin’s Barcarolle and B-minor Sonata; cellist Kajsa William-Olsson joined by the night’s host in a world premiere of a new setting of American composer Kim D Sherman’s song cycle, Prairie Diaries and pianist Joel Fan’s debut of a new arrangement of Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz at the Manhattan JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave at W 76th St ,$15/$10 stud/$5 62+

12/15, 8 PM drummer Allison Miller‘s reliably explosive, tuneful Boom Tic Boom with Myra Melford, piano; Jenny Scheinman, violin; Kirk Knuffke, cornet; Todd Sickafoose, bass at Roulette, $20

12/15, 8 PM Wet Ink Ensemble plays works by Peter Ablinger’s recent ensemble piece of the same name, as well as music by Klaus Lang, Alex Mincek, Kate Soper and Eric Wubbels at St. Peter’s Church, 346 W. 20th St. $10/students free

12/15, 8 PM electroacoustic violist/singer Jessica Meyer plays the album release show for her new solo cd at the Cell Theatre, 338 W 23rd St., $20.

12/15. 8:30 PM pianist Marta Sanchez leads a quintet with Roman Filiu, alto saxophone;  Jerome Sabbagh, tenor saxophone;  Marta Sanchez, piano;  Or Bareket, bass;  Jason Burger, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 minimum

12/16, 7 PM high-energy, lyrical folk noir rockers Mac McCarty & the Kidd Twist Band at Path Cafe

12/15, 10 PM pianist/impresario Steven Blier and a slew of singers deliver Xmas songs by Jewish composers including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (sung in Yiddish), ad infinitum, at Henry’s Restaurant, 2745 Broadway at 105th St., $10.

12/16, 7 PM resonator guitarist Zeke Healy and violist Karen Waltuch – who do Kurt Weill and Saint-Saens along with the expected oldtime Americana – folowd by ten-piece Balkan horn monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes.

12/16, 7 PM pianist Gabriel Zucker plays Messiaen followed at 8 by Throughways (Dan Blake – saxophone; Terri Hron – recorder, electronics; Sarah Bernstein – violin, voice electronics) and then mischievous Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester at Spectrum, $15

12/16, 7 PM pianist David Virelles plays the album release party for his new one, “Sacred Music for piano, 2 basses, drumset andbiankoméko abakuá” at Drom, $15 adv

12/16, 7:30 PM a monster Hanukkah blowout with Montreal’s Shtreiml w/Jason Rosenblatt & Ismail Fencioglu at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W. 68th St. (Columbus/CPW), $15.

12/17, 7:30 PM indie classical chamber group Ensemble Pi play their annual peace concert feat. socially aware works by Penderecki, Sostakovich, Laura Kaminsky, Susan Botti, Jason Eckardt, Bryant Kong at Subculture, $20/$15 stud/srs.

12/16, 7:30/10 PM trumpeter Dave Douglas & pianist Uri Caine spar with their typical out-of-the-box verve at Subculture, $22 adv tix rec.

12/16, 8 PM spectacular, intuitive pianist Karine Poghosyan joins with members of the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony directed by David Bernard for a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 3 at the DiMenna Center, $25

12/16, 8 PM noir clarinetist/composer Ben Goldberg with saxophonist Donny McCaslin, drummer Tyshawn Sorey, guitarist Steve Cardenas and bassist Stomu Takeishi at Roulette, $20

12/16-21 jazz drum icon Jeff “Tain” Watts leads a small combo with Ravi Coltrane on alto sax at the Vanguard, 8:30/10:30 PM, $25

12/16, 9:30 PM atmospheric, groove-driven large ensemble jazz with trombonist Alan Ferber‘s Nonet at Smalls

12/17, 6 PM the Yiddish Art Trio – Michael Winograd (clarinet), Benjy Fox-Rosen (bass/vocal) and Patrick Farrell (accordion) at Cornelia St. Cafe, $8 incl. a drink. 12/21 at 7 PM they play the album release show for their new one at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, $20/$15 stud/srs.

12/17, 7 PM an un-cheesy Hanukah triplebill at the Greene  Space, $25: Ukrainian Jewish tsimbl dulcimer wizard Pete Rushefsky and violinist Jake Shulman-Ment (whose most recent show together was as adrenalizing as it was hypnotic) followed by choral ensemble Pella singing rare and familiar Jewish repertoire, then East of the River doing their bracing Mediterranean/Middle Eastern mashups.

12/17, 7:30 PM perennially relevant indie classical chamber group Ensemble Pi play one of their politically-fueled programs at Subculture: Bryant Kong’s The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld, for piano and voice (a setting of Donald Rumsfeld’s pronouncements from Pentagon briefings and media interviews via Hart Seely’s book, Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld) plus Shostakovich’s Alexander Bloch suite, works by Penderecki and Jason Eckart and premieres by Laura Kaminsky and Susan Botti, $20/$15 stud/sts

12/17, 8 PM a rare NY show by brilliant Tin Hat/Gaucho accordionist Rob Reich with a killer band – Ila Cantor – guitar;Ben Goldberg – clarinet; Matt Pavolka – bass and Brian Chase – drums – at Barbes

12/17, 8 PM funk bass goddess Shelley Nicole’s Blakbushe at Bowery Electric, $10

12/17, 8:30 PM a particularly choice version of trombonist Ryan Keberle’s Catharsis with Ingrid Jensen – trumpet; Jorge Roeder – bass; Eric Doob – drums; Camila Meza – vocals at Seeds

12/17, midnight, cutting-edge postbop organist Jared Gold leads his trio at Smalls. This guy is the real deal, like Brian Charette. If you want to see where jazz organ is going, check this guy out.

12/18-20, 7:30 PM cutting-edge jazz pianist Vijay Iyer performs his recent suite Mutations I-X for piano, string quartet, and electronics; his score to the film Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi; and the world premiere of a new commission at BAM, $20 tix avail.

12/18, 8 PM virtuoso cinematic psychedelic/western swing steel guitar player Raphael McGregor leads his eclectic band at Freddy’s

12/18, 8 PM the Out Louds – “a one of a kind power trio” improvising like mad with Tomas Fujiwara – drums; Ben Goldberg – clarinet and Mary Halvorson – guitar at Barbes.

12/18, 8 PM globally influenced Franco-Algerian chanteuse Ourida (vocals in French, Russian and Berber) with Jonathan Levy on bass and Joe Hertenstein on drums at Shapeshifter Lab, $8

12/18, 8 PM repeating 12/13, 4 PM Jennifer Choi, violin; Pala Garcia, violin; Kyle Armbrust, viola; Michael Nicolas, cello play Bartók String Quartet No. 6 plus works by Kurtag and Ligeti at Barrgemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud.

12/18, 8 PM in reverse order: Gold Dime (Andrya Ambro of Talk Normal); the Flag (easy to find online, huh?); Parlor Walls – the side project of Eula‘s fiery, distinctive guitarist/frontwoman Alyse Lamb; Courtship Ritual and Shanghai Beach at Palisades, $8

12/18, 9 PM violinist Tom Swafford‘s mighty twelve-piece string ensemble String Power at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

12/18, 9 PM intense southwestern gothic songwriter Joe Yoga (of the Downward Dogs) does his annual twisted Xmas show featuring a slew of downtown songwriting talent including himself, Killy Dwyer and others, plus a “double-blind Secret Santa: bring a gift/get a gift… they all go in a big box and then pick one at random later on in the show! This is always one of the biggest hits at Yoga Christmas so be sure to participate!”  at Under St Marks Theater 94 St Marks Place, $5

12/18 midnight, noir-inspired alto saxophonist Nick Hempton leads a quartet with Dan Aran – drums , Tadataka Unno – piano , Dave Baron – bass at Smalls

12/19, 6 PM Candice Hoyes sings rare Ellington Songs for soprano & jazz trio with Emmet Cohen, piano; Yasushi Nakamura, bass; Ulysses Owens, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 minimum. Cult favorite Romany jazz chanteuse Sanda Weigl sings Kurt Weill songs afterward with sets at 9 and 10:30 (separate admission, same price) with pianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri which should be pretty amazing

12/19, 6 PM fiery, twisted, theatrical noir folk/Americana rock band Thee Shambels – who will prove an impossibly charismatic act for all who follow them onstage tonight – at the small room at the Rockwood

12/19, 8 PM sinister noir cabaret/oldtime guy/girl duo Charming Disaster – Jeff Morris from Kotorino and Ellia Bisker from Sweet Soubrette – followed at 9 by intriguing jazz quartet Old Time Musketry, who blend oldtimey swing, modern bucolic styles and darker, more challenging improvisational sounds at Pete’s

12/19, 8 PM RighteousGIRLS – Gina Izzo: flute and Erika Dohi: piano pair up with Mobius Percussion for an evening of new music by quality indie classical composers including Andy Akiho, Wally Gunn, Amy Beth Kirsten, and others at the Firehouse Space, $10

12/19, 8 PM reedman Petr Cancura‘s Down Home oldtimey pastoral jazz group with Richie Barshay – drums; Garth Stevenson – bass;Brian Drye – trombone, piano; Jeremy Udden – sax followed at 10 by the Jug Addicts at Barbes

12/19, 9 PM charismatic, sultry, torchy Americana songwriter/chanteuse Julia Haltigan opens for popular 90s extraterrestrials the Bogmen at Bowery Ballroom, $30. Should be the other way around, but it’s still a good doublebill.

12/19, 9 PM deviously dark murder ballad/talking blues/folk noir songwriter Kelley Swindall at the Bitter End.

12/19, 9 PM popular bellydancer Tamar Raqs hosts a night of live Middle Eastern music and revelry with music by dusky chanteuse AlSarah‘s Fairouz tribute band, at BAM Cafe, free

12/19, 10 PM ex-Sit n Spin leader Heidi Lieb’s wry all-female oldtime Americana band the Lonesome Prairie Dogs at the Way Station.

12/19, 9 PM irrepressible, noir-inspired trombonist/composer Curtis Hasselbring + Seven Suns at Spectrum, $15

12/19, 10 PM current-day trumpet icon Ingrid Jensen makes a rare dive bar appearance at 55 Bar with an unnamed ensemble, but it’s got to be good

12/19, 11 PM fiery Canadian gothic rocker Lorraine Leckie and her psychedelic band with Hugh Pool on lead guitar at Sidewalk

12/20, 7 PM an excellent global twinbill: hypnotic, pointillistically psychedelic dulcimer instrumentalists House of Waters followed by soaring, brilliant singer Magda Giannikou’s lush, sweeping, pan-Mediterranean art-rock/chamber pop/jazz group Banda Magda at Drom, $17 adv tix rec.

12/20, 8 PM the Roulette Sisters’ badass resonator guitarist Mamie Minch followed at 10 by haunting, noir cumbia/Mexican harmony band Las Rubias del Norte at Barbes

12/20, 8 PM shapeshifting violinist/singer Sarah Bernstein leads her amazing Quartet w/Kris Davis, Stuart Popejoy, Ches Smith at Scholes Street Studio, 375 Lorimer St in Williamsburg, $10

12/20, 8 PM, repeating on 12/21, 4 PM Mark Peskanov, violin; Andrew Gonzalez, viola; Coleman Itzkoff, cello; Michael Kimmelman, piano play Bach Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV 825; Beethoven String Trio in G Major, Op. 9, No. 1; Brahms Intermezzos; Debussy l’isle joyeuse; Mozart Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478 at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud

12/20, 9 PM dark 90s ska faves Mephiskapheles followed by ageless, perennially vital third-wave ska/soul/blues party mavens the Slackers at the Bell House, $20

12/20, 9 PM smart, politically-fueled Irish rocker Niall Connolly and band at the big room at the Rockwood

12/20, 9/10:30 PM pianist Jacob Sacks leads his tuneful quintet with Jacob Garchik, trombone;  Ben Gerstein, trombone;  Thomas Morgan, bass;  Dan Weiss, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 minimum

12/20, 9 PM Cantata Profana – whose repertoire spans medieval and contemporary vocal and chamber works – at Caffe Vivaldi

12/20, 9:30 PM cult classic 70s surrealist punks the Dickies – remember Stuck in a Pagoda with Tricia Toyota? –  at Bowery Electric, $15.

12/20, 9:30 PM Cantata Profana – pianist Dan Schlosberg and artistic director Jacob Ashworth – play duo works by Ives, Janacek, Prokofiev, and Britten at Caffe Vivaldi.

12/20, 10 PM ferociously lyrical, smart, jangle/dreampop rockers the Brixton Riot at Cake Shop, $10. Their 2012 album Palace Amusements was one of the year’s most exhilarating releases.

12/21 the annual interactive Make Music Winter activities take place today. Most of them are on the dumb side, substituting digital gadgetry for anything that might require actual musicianship or effort. Others are just as stupid for other reasons: a Bach relay race on the G train, interrupted by the loudest alarms in the entire subway system every time the car doors open or close ? Pure genius. But there are a handful that seem like real fun:

11 AM, Baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert leads a parade performing a participatory version of Schubert’s bitter existentialist/revolutionary song cycle Winterreise from Magnolia Plaza (in front of the administration building) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, then into and around the garden, where there’ll be free admission. Herbert sings along to a Timothy Long piano recording of the Schubert score, amplified by handheld radios carried by the paraders.

4 PM beginning at Intervale Green, 1330 Intervale Ave in the Bronx, a parade through Morrissania celebrating parranda, the Puerto Rican and Garifuna holiday caroling tradition, led by Hector “Pucho” Alamo, Lucy Blanco, Carlos Espada, Matthew Gonzalez, James Lovell, Los Hermanos Nuñez and Jorge “Georgie” Vázquez and ending with a big jam.

4 PM starting out at the basketball courts at W 3rd and 6th Ave, percussionists Amy Garapic and Clara Warnaar lead participants in a performance of Terry Riley’s iconic avant garde work In C around Washington Square Park for the NYC celebration of the piece’s 50th anniversary. “All instrumentalists are welcome to bring their own instruments and join in. Large cue cards will display individual musical cells, which will lead participants through the piece as well as along their route around the park.”

6:30 PM early music singers led by conductor Malcolm Merriweather walk from the steps of the American Museum of Natural History at 79th and CPW to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, carrying lanterns through Central Park, performing material once sung along the medieval pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. All singers are invited to join; one assumes scores will be provided.

12/21, 1 PM a sizzling allstar klezmer lineup – Aaron Alexander, Zoe Christiansen, KlezKamp Founder Henry Sapoznik, plus Hy Wolfe, the Brothers Nazaroff”s Daniel Kahn, Psoy Korolenko, Jake Shulman-Ment, Michael Winograd, Patrick Farrell, Jordan Hirsch, and Mark Rubin  join forces up in the Bronx at the Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center, 3301 Bainbridge Ave., D train to 205th / 4 train to Mosholu Pkwy, $10 includes noshes.

12/21, 4 PM musical sisters violinist Madalyn Parnas and cellist Cicely Parnas play a program TBA at Subculture, $20

12/21, 5/7 PM Marc Cary – maybe the most consistently interesting, tuneful pianist in jazz – leads his Focus Trio at Minton’s, $10 at the bar/$20 at tables

12/21, 9 PM otherworldly, indescribably noir Oaxaca-based Mexican circus music ensemble Pasatono Orquesta at Barbes

12/21, 9:30 PM high-voltage, smartly tuneful trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis leads her group at 55 Bar

12/21, 10 PM anthemic, eclectic often haunting female-fronted Americana/acoustic funk/art-rock jamband the Sometime Boys at the big room at the Rockwood

12/22, 7:30 PM a sneak preview of new operas by women composers: Alla Borzova‘s comic chamber opera “The Wedding Gift of Pirate Granny,” Patricia Leonard’s “My Dearest Friend: The Letters of John and Abigail Adams,” Julie Mandel’s “A Pious Cat,” Anne Phillips’ macabre “Plot,” Lou Rogers’ Manhattan Mother Goose,”Mira J. Spektor’s “The Passion of Lizzie Borden” and 6 minutes of heroes and heroines in her “Ladies of Romance.” with a first-class group of singers and pianists at Opera America, 330 7th Ave.at 29th St., $20, reception to follow

12/22, 8 PM deviously fun cabaret/chamber pop chanteuse Grace McLean & Them Apples at the big room at the Rockwood. At midnight across the way at the small room Royal Khaoz plays roots reggae – the first-ever reggae band to play here! Yeah mon!

12/23-28 reliably electrifying pianist Kenny Barron leads a quintet with Stefon Harris on vibes Elena Pinderhughes on flute, Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass Johnathan Blake on drums at the Vanguard, 8:30/10:30 PM, $25

12/23, 8:30 PM Chilean vibraphonist Diego Urbano with Dave Robaire, bass;  Jimmy Macbride, drums play cutting-edge, tuneful, south-of-the-border third-stream sounds at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

12/23, 6 PM surf/twang instrumental rockers the Bakersfield Breakers – whose new album is a dead ringer for something from 1963, unbelievably cool and fun – at Slake.

12/23, 9 PM a benefit at SOB’s with all proceeds to benefit the the surviving family of Eric Garner, performers TBA, $15 adv tix rec. In solidarity with the movement for justice, the organizers are requesting that concertgoers dress entirely in black,

12/23, 10 PM edgy alto saxophonist David Binney leads his group at 55 Bar

12/23, sometime late, Captain Black Big Band drummer Anwar Marshall’s wickedly catchy, groove-driven lyrical jazz project the Fresh Cut Orchestra at Nublu

12/24, 10 PM cutting-edge trumpeter Jeremy Pelt leads a small group at 55 Bar

12/25 why to got the movies when you can see slinky klezmer jamband Metropolitan Klezmer play two sets, 3 and 5 PM at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 + $10 min

12/25, 10 PM a reunion of intense improvisational piano trio legends Pilc Moutin Hoenig at 55 Bar

12/26, 6 PM a rare NYC show by Argentine tango composer/singer/bandoneonist Josefina Rozenwasser – leader of pan-Latin band Tia Juanita – followed eventually at 10 by roots reggae band Royal Khaoz at Silvana. Rozenwasser is also at Shrine on 12/29 at 8.

12/26, 7 PM intense, tuneful, state-of-the-art noir rock songwriter Nicole Atkins in a rare acoustic show at the Rubin Museum of Art,  , $27.50 adv tix rec

12/26, 8:30 PM the perennially intense, tuneful godfather of edgy, lyrical, anthemic downtown NYC rock, Willie Nile at Highline Ballroom, $25.

12/26. 10 PM Que Vlo-Ve play haunting, classic Greek hash-smoking and gangster underworld music from the 20s and 30s at Barbes

12/26, 10 PM LES punk/rockabilly/Americana guitar legend Simon Chardiet and the Rooftoppers at Sunny’s in Red Hook

12/26-27, 10:30 PM oldschool cool East Coast jazz: what a great way to wind down the holiday break: Ken Peplowski – clarinet , Ehud Asherie – piano , Martin Wind – bass , Matt Wilson – drums at Smalls

12/26 brooding Turkish art-rock/folk-rock crooner Rafet El Roman at Drom, $30 adv tix rec.

12/27. 6 PM New Aires – singer Malena Dayen and pianist David Rosenmeyer – play their original interpretations of classic tango plus tango arrangements of Cuban and Argentine folk tunes

12/27, 7 PM Chicago-style blues guitar monster Bobby Radcliff at Terra Blues

12/27, 9 PM Marta Hernández, aka Mar Salá plays her high-energy flamenco-rock at the Way Station

12/27, 10 PM Crucial Bridge & the Inity Band play their Antiguan take on classic roots reggae at Shrine

12/27, 10 PM torchy, fearless, country/blues siren Kelli King at Pete’s

12/28, 8:30 PM lyrical yet expansive pianist Eri Yamamoto with David Ambrosio, bass;  Ikuo Takeuchi, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

12/28, 10 PM Stephane Wrembel sparring partner and guitarist Roy Williams leads his own band the Bog Swing Group at Barbes playing similar Romany jazz along with western swing and other Americana

12/28 intense charismatic danceable metal cumbia/skaragga/latin rock band Escarioka at Bowery Electric.

12/29, 7 PM cleverly lyrical, darkly funny Nashville gothic rock with Maynard & the Musties at Cowgirl Seahorse, 259 Front St in the South St Seaport, free

12/29, 8 PM electrifying singer Shelley Thomas + the Brooklyn Takht Ensemble play Egyptian/Lebanese classics by Leila Mourad and others followed by lush, slinky vintage-era Middle Eastern film music ensemble Zikrayat at Drom, $10 adv tix rec

12/29, 8;30/10:30 PM intense, brilliant, compelling jazz singer Marianne Solivan with John Chin on keys and Neal Caine on bass at the Bar Next Door, $12

12/29, 9 PM Tongues in Trees – vocalist Samita Sinha, drummer Sunny Jain of Red Baraat, and guitarist Grey McMurray from itsnotyouitsme followed at 10 by noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo and band at the big room at the Rockwood

12/30 and 1/6, 7:30 PM, also 1/2-3 at 8 PM, the NY Philharmonic with Danil Trifonov on piano play Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, Rachmanionff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Tschaikovsky’s Pathetique Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall, $33 tix avail.

12/30, 9:30ish Deer Tick plays Elvis Costello’s My Aim Is True plus originals at Brooklyn Bowl, $20 – this is the most enticing night of a long stand here where the band plays their own stuff plus some pretty dubious cover nights.

12/30, 7:30 PM JC Hopkins and his Biggish Band play classics by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival a must

12/30-31, 8 PM John Zorn improv night at the Stone. 12/30 is heavy on percussion, 12/31 on strings, $25

12/30, 8 PM a wild allstar bluegrass night with guitarist Michael Daves, bamjo players Noam Pikelny and Sarah Jarosz, fiddler Brittany Haas and bass god Mike Bub at the Bell House, $15

12/30, 8ish explosive noir garage guitar/drums duo Twin Guns followed eventually by  dark garage rockers the Detroit Cobras at Bowery Electric, $20

12/30, 8:30 PM drummer Tom Rainey leads a potentially explosive trio with Mary Halvorson, guitar;  Ingrid Laubrock, tenor saxophone; at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

12/30, 9:30 PM saxophone powerhouse Lucas Pino‘s two-guitar No No Nonet at Smalls.

12/31 the Brooklyn Raga Massive with sitarist Neel Murgai, percussionist Sameer Gupta and an all-star cast play a NYE party with state-of-the-art new Indian classical music and improvisation beginning at 4 with a program for the kids and continuing from 6 to 10:30 for the adults followed by an all-night jam at Art Café, 884 Pacific St (at Underhill Ave), Ft. Greene, A/C to Clinton-Washington, $20 ($10 after midnight)

12/31, 9ish the coolest, most laid-back New Years Eve show in town: slyly humorous urban country bandleader Alex Battles & the Whisky Rebellion + Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues at Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club.

12/31, 10:30 PM Black Taxi play their propulsive oldschool disco-funk at the Mercury, $20 adv tix rec., you could do a lot worse for NYE than this party.

12/31, 11 PM pensively edgy dark 90s indie band Rainer Maria. back together with the original members, at Bowery Ballroom, $25 adv tix rec.

1/1, 8 PM ark, charismatic, mischieviously witty literate keyboardist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez at Barbes. She’ll be gentle this time because she knows you’ll be in pain.

1/1, 8 PM powerpop/paisley underground guitar genius Chuck Prophet at City Winery, $20

1/2, 7:30 PM a great doublebill at Drom: accordionist/chanteuse Kamala Sankaram’s hot surfy Bollywood project, Bombay Rickey followed by awesome low-register original vintage-style Cuban groove band Gato Loco – with bass and baritone sax, baritone guitar, bass and drums, $10

1/2-3, 9/10:30 PM and 1/4, 8:30 PM it’s Jon Irabagon Fest at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 minimum. You want assaultive? The saxophonist plays 1/2 with Mary Halvorson, guitar;  Nasheet Waits, drums. You want devious and unselfconsciously fun and swinging? 1/3 he’s with Mark Helias, bass;  Barry Altschul, drums. You want (gasp) lyrical? 1/4 with Luis Perdomo, piano;  Yasushi Nakamura, bass;  Rudy Royston, drums

1/2-3, 11 PM Gogol Bordello at Terminal 5, $35 adv tix rec. You know them, you love them – reggaeton lyricist Ana Tijoux opens the 1/2 show at 10.

1/3, 11 AM (in the morning), the Harlem Gospel Choir at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early (yawn) arrival advised – don’t worry, they’ll wake you up.

1/3, 8 PM dark urbane Romany song maven (and Berthold Brecht descendant) Sanda Weigl and band followed at 10 by Mexican ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

1/3, 9 PM accordionist/chanteuse Kamala Sankaram’s hot surfy Bollywood project, Bombay Rickey at Tea Lounge in Park Slope

1/3, 10 PM the amazing Middle Eastern/Greek psychedelic sounds of the Byzan-Tones at Otto’s.

1/3, 11:30 PM intense, eclectic original Balkan clarinet/violin/oud/percussion quartet Sherita followed by the more jazz-oriented, clarinet-fueled and even more explosive NY Gypsy All-Stars at Drom, $10

1/4, 7 PM brilliant violinist Dana Lyn‘s cinematic, oceanically-fixated, lively improvisaitonal Mother Octopus followed at 9 PM by Stephane Wrembel sparring partner and guitarist Roy Williams leading his own band the Bog Swing Group at Barbes playing similar Romany jazz along with western swing and other Americana.

1/4, 8 PM badass resonator guitarist and delta blues/oldtime hillbilly music maven Mamie Minch followed by ex-Dylan lead guitarist Larry Campbell with singer Teresa Williams at City Winery, $20 standing room avail.

1/4, 9 PM torchy, intense, literate, charismatic oldtimey ukelele siren/songwriter Kelli Rae Powell plays her final NYC show with her band and special guest Austin Hughes of M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy, $10.

1/6, 7 PM Balinese shadow and mask dancer Sidarta with music by bass god Shahzad Ismaily with members of NYC’s very own mesmerizing, hypnotically pointillistic Balinese orchestra Gamelan Dharma Swara at le Poisson Rouge, $15

1/6, 7:30 PM purist oldschool Chicago-style blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker at B.B. King’s, $20 adv tix rec.

1/6 lyrical pianist and Mingus advocate Helen Sung leads a quintet with Seamus Blake – tenor saxophone; Mike Rodriguez – trumpet; Reuben Rogers – bass; Obed Calvaire – drums, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard, $20

1/6, 9 PM Que Vlo-Ve play classic Greek hash smoking music and criminal underworld narratives from the 20s and 30s at Barbes.

1/7, 9:30 PM eclectic, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette with “the Well Tempered Quartet” – Spike Wilner (piano), Behn Gillece (viibes), and Anthony Pinciotti (drums) at Smalls. The next night 1/8 he’s at 55 Bar with the Mighty Grinders w/ Eric Kalb (drums) and Will Bernard (guitar) at 10.

1/7, 10 PM Pistolera frontwoman Sandra Lilia Velasquez’s torchy, slinky, psychedelic downtempo/trip-hop/art-pop band SLV at Shrine.

1/7 grittily tuneful, 3rd generation Stooges-influenced rockers Swanky Tiger, 11 PM at Bowery Electric $8

1/8 and 1/13, 7:30 PM, also 1/9-10 at 8 PM the NY Philharmonic play an especially awesome triplebill: Ravel’s Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, the Nielsen Clarinet Concerto and selections from Tschaikovsky’s Swan Lake at Avery Fisher Hall, $33 tix avail.

1/8, 7:30 PM prizewinning up-and-coming pianist Larry Weng plays works by Ives, Ravel, Horatio Parker and Aaron Jay Kernis at Subculture, $25.

1/8-11, 8 PM otherworldly, politially relevant vocal theatre company Carmina Slovenica perform their intense dance/choral drama Toxic Psalms, ”an open-ended collection of scenes by Hanne Blank, Veljo Tormis, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Karin Rehnquist, Jacob Cooper, Hafiz and Bronius Kutavicius,” at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo,  $25 seats avail.

1/8, 8 PM a show aptly titled “from Red Hook to the real Alaska” with Ken Waldman, Alaska’s fiddling poet, ex-Mamou Playboys Cajun fiddler David Greely, dance/harp duo Nic Gareiss & Maeve Gilchrist, multi-instrumentalist oldtime blues powerhouse Blind Boy Paxton, thoughtful newschool Americana songstress Kristin Andreassen and the Ray of Sun, Binghamton Americana quartet Milkweed, exhilarating 1800s style string band the Down Hill Strugglers, and rustic banjo/washboard duo Dubl Handi at the Jalopy, $10. The promoters say that “this lineup is on par with a strong international festival stage” and they’re right.

1/8. 8 PM global chanteuse and Leonard Cohen collaborator Perla Batalla  sings his songs followed at 9 by the electric, jazz-oriented, explosive NY Gypsy All-Stars at Drom, $10

1/8, 9ish this era’s version of Steve Earle, Joe Pug followed by wild stoner newgrass band the Devil Makes Three at Irving Plaza, $28.50.

1/8, 9 PM tuneful, hypnotic sometimes dreampop-infused tunesmithing, gorgeous vocals, wry lyrics: ex-Aquanettas guitarist/singer Debby Schwartz at Union Hall, $8

1/8, 10 PM Daria Grace’s torchy, delightful oldtime uke swing band the Pre-War Ponies at Barbes

1/9, the booking agents are in town for the convention this weekend and consequently there are some amazing multi-act bills happening. Like this incredibly cheap one at Drom which is $10 and starts at  7 PM with David Buchbinder’s exhilarating Odessa/Havana Jewish jazz project followed at 8 by Elizabeth Shepherd – the Canadian Norah Jones – at 8, Ghanian roots reggae songwriter Rocky Dawuni at 9:30, the voice of the Garifuna people, Belize-based singer Aurelio at 10, French-Canadian latin/reggaeton crooner Boogat at 11, infectious Brazilian maracatu/funk/New Orleans/surf/country band Nation Beat at 11:45 and then smartly aware Montreal reggae/hip-hop crew Nomadic Massive at around 1 in the morning. The following night 1/10 Aurelio is at Joe’s Pub at 11:30 followed by wickedly cachy, darkly keyboard-driven Colombian psychedelic cumbia band MAKU Soundsystem

1/9, 8 PM dark female-fronted Americana/psychedelic rockers Mesiko at Cake Shop.

1/9, 9ish intense, jazzily haunting Ethiopiques legend Hailu Mergia and Low Mentality and similarly slinky Egyptian folk-funk band Alsarah and the Nubatones at Baby’s All Right, $15

1/9-10 Winter Jazzfest takes over the cheesy clubs along the Bleecker Street strip and turns them into classy if sardine-can crowded for a couple of nights. The full lineup and ticket deal is here: your best bet is the two-day pass for $55 .

1/9, 10 PM  low-key, purist oldtime folk revivialist and David Rawlings collaborator Willie Watson at Rough Trade, $12 adv tix rec.

1/10, 5 and 7 PM dancers from popular Indian classical dance troupe Nrityagram  perform to set to an original live score composed by Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi at the first-floor Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum admin.

1/10 will there be a better show in NYC this year? Probably not. At Drom, starting at 7:30, check out this unbelievable lineup: pan-latin revolutionary anthem singer/banddleader Ani Cordero , ten-piece Balkan/Duke Ellington brass band Slavic Soul Party, nine-piece original psychedelic Afrobeat dancehall monsters Zongo Junction, intoxicating LA noir psychedelic soul band Chicano Batman,  politically-fueled latino punk band Las Cafeteras, Ethiopiques keyboard legend Hailu Mergia & Low Mentality, a bit of a lull and then at around 1 AM Chop & Quench playing Fela classics and their own originals. Cover is ten measly bucks.

1/10, 8 PM energetic acoustic Mexican folk-punk band Radio Jarocho followed at 9:30 by similarly influenced but funkier songwriter Rana Santacruz and then at 11 catchy, politically astute Mexican-American janglerockers Pistolera at 11 at Barbes.

1/10, 9 PM a killer horn-fueled triplebill: John Brown’s Body trumpeter Sam Dechenne’s explosive, all-original Balkan Cocek Brass Band,  hip-hop oriented grooves with No BS! Brass Band and bouncy Afrobeat orchestra Emefe at Littlefield, $15

1/11, 11 AM (in the morning) a blazing klezmer/psychedelic cumbia/latin doublebill with Isle of Klezbos and Metropolitan Klezmer – who each have sensational live albums out – at City Winery, $10, kids free, no minimum.

1/11, 3 PM the North-South Chamber Orchestra with Lisa Hansen, flute; Jordan Dodson, guitar plays a half-dozen Robert Martin works inspired by the paintings of Arshile Gorky at aChrist & St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 120 W 69th St.(bet Bway & Columbus, free

1/11, 5:30/8:30 PM up-and-coming eclectic, purist jazz singer Brianna Thomas, with an interesting band: Sullivan Fortner, piano; Yasushi Nakamura, bass; John Davis, drums; Tivon Pennicott, sax at Minton’s, $10 at the bar/$20 at tables

1/11, 7 PM a killer LA psychedelic latin rock twinbill with Las Cafeteras and Chicano Batman at Club Open (formerly SRB), 177 Second Avenue @ 14th St in Gowanus, $15

1/11 vibraphone powerhouse Stefon  Harris & Sonic Creed with James Francies – piano; Joshua Crumbly – bass; Jonathan Pinson – drums; Elena Pinderhughes – flute, vocals; Mike Moreno – guitar, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard, $20

1/12, 9/10 PM the perennially adventurous Del Sol String Quartet play works from their latest  album Peter Sculthorpe: The Complete String Quartets with Didjeridu   at Cornelia St. Cafe.

1/12 haunting, intense, politically-fueled Tunisian-French art-rock bandleader/singer Emel Mathlouthi at le Poisson Rouge

1/13, 7:30 PM new music piano luminary Lisa Moore plays an all-Philip Glass program at le Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec.

1/13, 7 PM dynamic, often haunting Balkan band the G String Orchestra  followed at 9 by explosive, wryly eclectic, Ellington/hip-hop influenced Balkan brass band Slavic Soul Party at Barbes.

1/13-14 bass and oud innovator Omer Avital leads a quintet with Joel Frahm – tenor saxophone; Michael Rodriguez – trumpet; Yonathan Avishai – piano; Daniel Freedman – drums, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard, $20

1/13, 8 PM Middle Eastern/Central Asian/jazz jamband TriBeCaStan, haunting all-female Bulgarian vocal choir Black Sea Hotel and elegant, sardonic art-rock pianist/bandleader Eve Lesov at Drom, $10.

1/13-14, 8 PM NOVUS NY and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street perform Ellen Reid‘s southern gothic choral opera Winter’s Child – sort of a mashup of the Virgin Suicides and the Adam & Eve myth – at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, $20.

1/14-17, 7:30 PM (with a 10 PM show on 1/15 and a 2 PM show on the 17th in addition) hauntingly atmospheric, hypnotic Korean-American composer/performer Bora Yoon plays and sings from her brilliant new album Sunken Cathedral, “tracing a musical and archetypal journey through the subconscious” at LaMama, $25.

1/14, 7:30 PM pianist Weiyin Chen plays Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 with the Miró Quartet, who play the composer’s String Quartet, Op. 51, No2 in A Minor and Quartet in C minor, Op. 60  at Subculture. The following night there, 1/15 at 7:30 PM they join the American Modern Ensemble, JACK Quartet, PUBLIQuartet and conductor Delta David Gier for an evening of world premieres from Jacob Bancks, Sidney Boquiren and Robert Paterson plus music by Chinary Ung, Jessie Montgomery, John Zorn and John Luther Adams, $20 adv tix rec

1/14, 8:30 PM Bobtown – arguably the best, most eclectic and inarguably the most harmonically rich folk noir group around – play the album release show for their new one A History of Ghosts at Hill Country.

1/14, 9:30 PM atmospheric, acerbically witty jazz/downtempo saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin‘s Istanbul Sessions at Drom, $15 adv tix rec

1/15, 7:30 PM slinky mostly-female klezmer jamband Isle of Klezbos at the Lincoln Center Atrium.

1/15-18 purist, terse pianist Aaron Goldberg leads a trio with Reuben Rogers – bass; Eric Harland – drums, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard, $20

1/15, 8 PM steel pan pioneer Ian Williams with Mantra Percussion at the World Financial Center atrium, free. Mantra Percussion return there the following night, 1/16 with works by Wet Ink Ensemble’s Sam Pluta, Alex Mincek and Eric Wubbels.

1/15, 8 PM a solid Americana triplebill: the amusing mandolin/fiddle duo of Mike Barnett and Jacob Jolliff, oldtimey string band Barefoot & Bankside and outlaw country duo North of Nashville at Union Hall, $10

1/15, 8:30 PM psychedelic powerpop/new wave rocker Mike Rimbaud plays the album release for his characteristically tuneful, snarling, politically smart, Elvis Costello-esque new one Put That Dream in Your Pipe at Bowery Electric

1/15, 9 PM edgy, intense, innovative Syrian and Argentine sounds; a killer doublebill and a good segue from clarinetist Kinan Azmeh‘s CityBand to bandoneon monster JP Jofre‘s Hard Tango Chamber Band at Drom, $15 adv tix rec.

1/15, 10 PM hard-rocking Balkan band Tipsy Oxcart at followed at 11 by the similarly energetic, more trad Ornamatik at Barbes – fresh from Golden Festival and not out of gas yet!

1/16, 7:30 PM it’s Golden Festival, the wildest Balkan music extravaganza anywhere west of the Danube, at Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave. in Park Slope, lineup tba,  $35/$30 studs.

1/16, 11 PM fiery Canadian gothic rocker Lorraine Leckie and her psychedelic band with Hugh Pool on lead guitar at Sidewalk

1/17. 8 PM Pierre de Gaillande’s Bad Reputation plays witty chamber pop English translations of Georges Brassens classics at Barbes.followed at 10 by mighty Indian funk band Brooklyn Qawwali Party.

1/17. 9 PM smart, shapeshiftingly tuneful cinematic punks the Brooklyn What have organized a benefit for Ferguson, MO at the Gutter in Williamsburg; it’s a Lou Reed/VU tribute night  with a whole slew of bands including Jeff Lewis, 60s folk legend Peter Stampfel, No One and The Somebodys, Ghospal, the Planes, Electric People, Old Table and possibly  more.

1/18, 2 PM the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra & Singers International play a Pan-American program including the New York premiere of Argentinian composer Martin Palmeri’s Misa A Buenos Aires plus a solo tango and flamenco dance performance by the Tierra Adentro de Nuevo Mexico Dance Ensemble at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $20 tix avail. The ensemble return the following night, 1/19 at 7 PM peforming music of Welsh composer Karl Jenkins

1/18, 3 PM the Budapest Festival Orchestra play Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 plus works by the Mendelssohns (Felix and Fanny) at Avery Fisher Hall, $35 tix avail. They’re also here at 1/21 at 8 playing Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 and works by Mozart, same price.

1/18, 4 PM Erica Gould’s classical theatre piece More Between Heaven and Earth, a site-specific drama based on the letters of Thomas Jefferson and his singer/mistress/muse Maria Cosway, starring Jonathan Cake, Melissa Errico, and Kathleen Chalfant and featuring music of Corelli, Cosway, Hewitt, and Sacchini at Fraunces Tavern Museum in the financial district (where Jefferson reputedly wrote some of those letters), $35.

1/18, 5 PM a crazy post-Golden Fest Balkan party with the brass-stoked Cocek Nation, Moldovan accordionist Sergiu Popa‘s Balkan Camp Reunion Band, Macedonian group Odglasi, Pontic Firebird playing their Greek Black Sea repertoire and kick-ass zurna-fueled Turkish band MWE at Drom, $10/$5 with a Golden Fest ticket

1/18, 5:30/8:30 PM powerhouse pianist Christian Sands – of Christian McBride’s band -leads his trio at Minton’s, $10 at the bar/$20 at tables

1/18, 7:30 PM the world’s most interesting string quintet, Sybarite5 play works by Radiohead (from their Radiohead covers album) plus Taraf de Haidouks: Astor Piazzolla, Jessica Meyer, Dan Visconti and others along with Armenian folk songs at Subculture, $20 adv tix highly rec.

1/20, 7;30 PM intense clarinet and violin-fueled klezmer group Litvakus at the Steven Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W 68th St., $15

1/20 eclectic, tuneful pastoral jazz/cinematic violinist-composer Skye Steele with Nate Wood and Masu  at Littlefield

1/21, 7 PM classical guitarist Jason Vieaux plays music of Albeniz and legendary early 19th century composer/guitarist Mauro Giuliani at P.S. 321’s Auditorium, 180 7th Ave. in Park Slope, $15

1/21, 7:30 PM deviously fun cabaret/chamber pop chanteuse Grace McLean & Them Apples , popular if controversial Americana band David Mayfield Parade and a bunch of twee trendoid losers at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised.

1/22, 7:30 PM the Calidore String Quartet play works by Mozart, Caroline Shaw and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13 at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/22, 7:30 PM and 1/23-24, 8 PM the NY Philharmonic plays a Chen Qigang NY premiere, the Mozart Horn Concerto No. 4 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 at Avery Fisher Hall, $33 tix avail.

1/22, 9 PM balmy, sardonically individualistic vocal jazz stylist Dorian Devins and her trio at Bar Thalia adjacent to Symphony Space, free

1/24, 8 PM popular lyrical jazz pianist Renee Rosnes with an interesting quartet: Steve Nelson, vibraphone; Peter Washington, bass; Bill Stewart, drums at the Miller Theatre, $20 tix avail.

1/24 10 PM the most monstrously creepy noir twang instrumental band on the planet, Big Lazy – whose latest album was rated best of 2014 here – at Barbes

1/25, 11 AM (in the morning) up-and-coming duo Paul Huang, violin and Jessica Xylina Osborne, piano play works byJanácek, Sibelius, Sarasate and Grieg at Walter Reade Theatre, 165 W. 65th St, in the Lincoln Center complex, $22 adv tix req., these morning shows frequently sell out

1/25, 5:30/8:30 PM jazz harpist Brandee Younger – this generation’s counterpart to Dorothy Ashby -leads her quintet with Rashaan Carter, bass; E.J. Strickland, drums; Chelsea Baratz, tenor sax at Minton’s, $10 at the bar/$20 at tables

1/25 explosive guitar-fueled art-rock jamband Wounded Buffalo Theory at Fontana’s

1/26, 7:30 PM pianist Michael Riesman and violinist Chase Spruill play “works from the bloodiest film scores by Philip Glass” at le Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix req.

1/26, 8 PM eclectic, vivid jazz cellist/singer Marika Hughes & Bottom Heavy at the Blue Note

1/27. drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, Vicky Chow, piano; Jennifer Choi, violin;Michael Nicolas, cello play trios by John Zorn at the Miller Theatre, free

1/27, 7:30 PM the oldschool purist intense klezmer Ken Maltz/Sy Kushner Duo at the Steven Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W 68th St., $15

1/27-31 the eleven-piece Chris Potter Underground Orchestra – including a five-piece string section! -7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard, $20

1/28, 7 PM otherworldly Tibetan chanteuse Yungchen Lhamo and band at Symphony Space, $30/$20 stud/srs.

1/29, 7:30 PM dynamic, intense cellist Maya Beiser plays works by Hildegard von Bingen, Gershwin, Eve Beglarian, the U.S. premiere of Rest These Hands by Anna Clyne, Byzantine chant arranged by Aleksandra Vrebalov, and Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece at the Jewish Museum, 5th Ave./92nd St. (enter on 92nd), $18/$15 stud/srs

1/29, 7:30 PM allstar indie classical pianist Sarah Cahill plays an all Terry Riley program at le Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix req.

1/29, 7:30 PM LA noir soul/Nashville gothic pop band Spain at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival very highly advised

1/30, 8:30 PM, repeating 1/31 at 7:30 PM the Chelsea Symphony play  Segal: Caprice for Cello and Orchestra with Erich Schoen-René on cello; Dai: World Premiere; Leonard Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story; Sibelius: Violin Concerto with solist Emanouil Manalov at St. Paul’s Church, 315 W 22nd St, $20 sugg don.

2/5 popular, pioneering indie classical string quartet Ethel play a composer portrait of Missy Mazzoli – who might be the best of the current crop of composers in the idiom -at the Miller Theatre

2/10, drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, guitarists Alec Holcomb, Jiyeon Kim, Xiaobo Pu and Hao Yang play works by Paul Lansky and Steve Mackey at the Miller Theatre, free

2/10, 8 PM sizzling sarod superstars Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan at Symphony Space, $25 adv tix a must

2/12, 8 PM Robert Sirota’s harrowing 9/11-themed suite for strings, Triptych performed by violinists Sarah Koenig-Plonskier and Karen Dekker, violist Michael Davis, and cellist Benjamin Larsen at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 139 St. John’s Place, Park Slope, free

2/12, 8 PM the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra plays  the Shostakovich Cello Concerto and Franck’s Symphony in D minor at Symphony Space, $25/$18 stud

2/13 SF’s raging, Nirvana-influenced gutter blues guitar/drums duo Two Gallants at the Mercury. 2/14 they’re at Rough Trade.

2/22, 3 PM the Park Ave. Chamber Symphony plays Stravinsky: Le sacre du printemps and Lorin Maazel’s arrangement of Wagner themes, The Ring Without Words at Rose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center

2/24, drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, the Jack Quartet play the American premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’ String Quartet No. 8 at the Miller Theatre, free

2/25, 7 PM striking, stark, soaring sounds from the global Jewish diaspora with Bukharian Jewish singer Muhabbat Shamayeva and Persian Jewish singer/composer Galeet Dardashti and their ensembles at Symphony Space, $30/$20 stud/srs

2/27, 8 PM the NYU Symphony with conductor Jens Georg Bachmann and piano competition winner Tadeusz Domanowski perform Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Stravinsky’s Firebird and student works at Symphony Space, free, early arrival advised

2/28, 9 PM sprawlingly creepy oldtimey/Americana guys O’Death – who sound better than ever despite the loss of of their tour van and all their vintage instruments – at Bowery Ballroom, $20 adv tix rec.

3/6, 8 PM the extraordinary Lebanese-American composer/multi-instrumentalist Bassam Saba and his ensemble playing haunting, sweepingly majestic original works at Roulette, $30/$25 stud/srs.

3/12,7  PM searingly intense, charismatic, fearless acoustic punk blues siren Molly Ruth followed by fiery Canadian gothic rocker Lorraine Leckie and her psychedelic band with Hugh Pool on lead guitar at the Mercury

3/13, 9 PM legendary, sweepingly majestic,timelessly relevant Australian psychedelic rockers the Church – who were arguably the best rock band in the world for a good fifteen years back in the 80s and 90s – at Bowery Ballroom, $30. 3/14 they’re at Rough Trade for the same price and will undoubtedly sell out. Adv tix rec at the Marcury, from 5-7 PM, M-F

3/24,. drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, indie chamber group Yarn/Wire play electroacoustic works by Thomas Meadowcroft and Chiyoko Szlavnics at the Miller Theatre, free.

4/22, 7 PM Norway, Sweden and the Shetland Islands’ virtuoso fiddling traditions represented by Olav Luksengård Mjelva, Anders Hall and Kevin Henderson at Symphony Space, $30

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