New York City Live Music Calendar for December 2015 and January 2016
Daily updates, new shows always being added, plus a new January/February calendar coming on the first of the year. There’s a comprehensive, recently updated list of places where these events are happening at New York Music Daily’s sister blog Lucid Culture.
This is not a list of every show in town – it’s a carefully handpicked selection. If this calendar seems short on praise for bands and artists, it’s because every act here is recommended if you like their particular kind of music. Many different styles to choose from here, something for everyone
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 salon 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 AND the connection between visual art, folk art and the classics via the pianist’s own imaginative fabric work from over the years. Next up: works by Debussy, Rameau and Mozart, 12/10 at 7 and 12/13 at 4 PM. Sugg don $10 (pay what you can), delicious gluten-free refreshments, beverages and lively conversation included! email for info/location.
Jan 7, 8, 12 at 7:30 PM plus Jan 9 at 6; Jan 10 at 2; Jan 11 at 4 PM the world premiere of Kaneza Schaal’s Go Forth, “ Schaal approaches the 3,000-year-old funerary text as an ancient performance score: excavating the spells and incantations to create a series of burial vignettes, fragments of translation, memory and imagination. Presented in the labyrinthine basement of Westbeth’s Artists Community in Chelsea, an essential artery of New York City’s artistic community, remnants of past legends, such as Merce Cunningham’s studios and the flood of Hurricane Sandy, line the walls. Photographic funerary murals usher the audience into the mythological landscape of the performance. Spurred by Schaal’s experience of ritualized grieving with her family in Rwanda,” at Westbeth Artists Community, 55 Bethune St in the west village, , $20 / $15 students & seniors, l./A./E/C to 14th St.
Mondays in December, 7 and 9 PM, erudite pianist Orrin Evans‘ richly tuneful, purist, stampeding Captain Black Big Band at Smoke
Mondays at 7 PM multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman’s popular western swing band Brain Cloud at Barbes followed at 9:30 PM by a variety of south-of-the-border-style bands playing cumbias, boogaloo, salsa, maybe all of the above.
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).
Also Mondays in December Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Union Pool in Williamsburg, two sets starting at 10:30 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. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax, with frequent special guests.
Tuesdays in December, 8:30 PM the George Gee Swing Orchestra play surprising new arrangements of old big band standards at Swing 46, 349 W 46th St, $15
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.
Wednesdays in December, 10ish the Slackers‘ timelessly soulful, bluesy frontman Vic Ruggiero at Grand Victory, $10
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 and Saturdays at 5 PM adventurous indie classical string quartet Ethel plus frequent special guests playing a mix of classical and more contemporary mateiral at the balcony bar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm
Fridays in December at 9 Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens play oldschool 1960s style gospel at the Fat Cat.
Fridays in December, 9ish dynamic, intense Bulgarian sax star Yuri Yunakov and the Grand Masters of Gypsy Music at Mehanata
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, 12/6,. 12/13 and 12/20, 2 PM Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir play their deliriously fun mix of original eco-warrior gospel and edgy street theatre at Joe’s Pub, $15
Sundays at 3 PM at the Stone a rotating cast of familiar faces from John Zorn’s circle perform from Zorn’s characteristically exhaustive, marathon collection of 300 works titled Bagatelles, recently composed between March and May 2015. “Each concert will be introduced by John Zorn, often in conversation with the musicians,” $15
Sundays in December at Barbes at 5 PM multistylistic viola virtuoso and evocative film composer Ljova,plays with a variety of ensembles, plus solo.
Sundays in December, 7:30 PM spine-tingling art-rock/avant-garde/chamber pop singer Carol Lipnik – pretty much everybody’s choice for best singer in all of NYC – with hypnotically luminous pianist Matt Kanelos – at Pangea on 2nd Ave. btw 11th/12th Sts, $20. Several special guests are promised.
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.
12/1, 7:30/9:30 PM edgy tuneful guitarist Mike Moreno and his quartet with Aaron Parks – piano, Doug Weiss – bass Eric Harland – drums playing the album release show for his new one Lotus at the Jazz Standard, $25
12/1, 7:30 PM pianist Ian Hobson plays works by Debussy, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Szymanowski at Subculture, $20 adv tix rec
12/1, 8 PM intricately arranged, psychedelic funk with the MK Groove Orchestra at Brooklyn Bowl, $5
12/1, 8 PM guitarist Joel Harrison and his amazing big band Infinite Possibility premiere 7 new works for 18-piece jazz orchestra at Roulette, $20/$15 stud/srs
12/1, 10:30 PM drummer Devin Gray & his intricate, playfully improvisaitional progressive jazz band RelativE ResonancE,at Korzo, $10
12/1, 10ish ominous Aussie baritone crooner Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders at Baby’s All Right, $14; 12/2 he’s at the Mercury at 7:30 for $12 in advance
12/1, midnight Parlor Walls – Eula guitarslinger Elyse Lamb’s shapeshifting,catchy, art-rock/postpunk collaboration with organist/drummer Chris Mulligan – at at the Silent Barn
12/2 the Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear show at City Winery is a private event and not open to the public
12/2, 6 PM low-register reedman Ben Goldberg with alto saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey at Downtown Music Gallery
12/2, 7 PM Mongolian horsehead fiddle virtuoso Jigjiddorj Nanzaddorj performs modern and traditional tunes alongside contemporary Western classical works at the Rubin Museum of Art, $20
12/2, 7 PM Minneapolis band the 4 on the Floor – sort of a punchier, beefier take on the Yardbirds, with a little soul and ‘Mats edge – at the big room at the Rockwood, $10
12/2, 7 PM a rare performance of works by noted Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd St., free
12/2, 7:30 PM the cd release party for colorful drummer Aaron Alexander‘s Klez Messengers with the sensational Michael Winograd (clarinet) and Patrick Farrell (accordion) at Mehanata, $15
12/2-6, 7:30 PM avant art-rock luminaries the Bang on a Can All-Stars play in back of a new theatrical production of Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer – a darkly kaleidescopic retelling of the John Henry folksong and story -at BAM, $20
12/2, 7:30 PM relatively rare NYC appearance by smart, purposeful highway rocker/Americana songwriter Eric Stuart at the Bitter End. If you couldn’t afford the BoDeans at City Winery, this guy will do just fine.
12/2, 8 PM amazingly eclectic flamenco/Romany jazz/Mediterranean guitarist Alberto Lombardi upstairs at Bowery Electric, free. 12/3 he’s at Silvana at 9
12/2, 8 PM, in reverse order: epic Washington, DC drone-noise shamblers Kohoutek, avamt-psych instrumental trio Metal Mountains (Helen Rush, PG Six and Samara Lubelski), String Noise – known for their twisted chamber covers of pop and global sounds – and performance artist Devi Mambouka at Trans-Pecos, $8
12/2, 8:30 PM two dark, edgy, noir jazz storytellers: the Jazz Passengers’ Roy Nathanson on alto and soprano sax plus Ben Goldberg on clarinet at Seeds
12/2, 9 PM day one of Roots & Ruckus Fest at the Jalopy, free, with the newly organized Jalopy Chorus; 9:30 PM Wyndham Baird; 10:00 PM string band the 4 o’Clock Flowers; 10:30 PM the bluegrass Berger Sisters; 11:00 PM the amazing Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues; 11:30 PM Eli Smith (of the fiery, 1800s style Down Hill Strugglers); 12:00 AM Karen Poliski. Next door at the Jalopy Tavern starting at 9 they have the 5 Mile String Band; 10:00 PM haunting Greek 1920s hash-smoking music and gangster tales with Que Vlo-Ve?; 11:00 PM Pocket Tonics
12/2, 9 PM searingly intense, charismatic, fearless acoustic punk blues siren Molly Ruth at Rock Shop, $10. 12/21 she’s at Bowery Electric
12/2, 9 PM clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski’s searing, lickety-split explosive NY Gypsy All-Stars play the album release show for their new one Dromomania at Drom, $10 adv tix rec. They’re also at the big room at the Rockwood on 12/23 at 7
12/2, 9 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues”.at Troost. 12/17 at 8:30 they’re at at Espresso 77, 35-57 77th Street, Jackson Hts., free
12/2, 9:30 PM pianist Aaron Parks with tenor saxophonist George Garzone in what might seem a completely mismatched duo setiting…until you realize how vastly these two’s backgrounds actuallly intersect. Parks might cut loose more and Garzone might hang back here a little just to be counterintuitive, $20
12/3, 5:30 PM NYC’s most eclectic, sensationally jam-oriented klezmer/latin/cumbia band, Metropolitan Klezmer at at the World Financial Center, free. They’re also in the lobby at at 1 NY Plaza, Water and Whitehall, free on 12/9
12/3, 8 PM dark, charismatic, mischieviously witty literate keyboardist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez followed at 10 by Chia’s Dance Party spinoff the Cumbia River Band with the amazingly eclectic Mary Spencer Knapp on accordion at Barbes. Garniez is also at Pangea on 12/7 and 12/14 at 7:30, $15
12/3, 8 PM a performance by Shawn Escarciga and an opening improvisational set by Ron Anderson (guitar), Chris Cochrane (guitar) , Brian Chase (drums), Michael Evans (drums). followed by ever-increasingly intense cellist Valerie Kuehne and the Wasp Nests playing the album release show for their new one The Apocalypse as Witnessed by a Slice of American Cheese and at some point in the evening, an unspecified piece for choir, at Jack, $10
12/3, 8:30 PM lushly sweeping, cutting-edge vocal jazz with Sara Serpa and her luminous new ensemble including André Matos, guitar; Guillermo Klein, piano; Aubrey Johnson, voice at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min. Matos leads a quartet with Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Masa Kamaguchi, bass; Billy Mintz, drums after at 10.
12/3, 9 PM day two of Roots & Ruckus Fest at the Jalopy, free with Aaron Frazer ;9:30 PM the East River String Band; 10:00 PM Morgan O’Kane; 10:30 PM Tamar Korn (irrepressibly entertaining frontwoman of Dennis Lichtman’s Brain Cloud, Cangelosi Cards); 11:00 PM sizzling Belarussian klezmer clarinetist/songwriter Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch & Friends (of Litvakus); 11:30 PM Jackson Lynch; 12:00 AM charmingly low-key front-porch songstress Joanna Sternberg. Next door at the Jalopy Tavern at 9 they have Locust Honey String Band; 10:00 PM Mike Termini ;11:00 PM Pat Hurley and his Whereabouts
12/3. 9 PM classical pianist (and onetime Dresden Doll) Tania Stavreva plays a program TBA at Caffe Vivaldi
12/3, 9:30 PM CB’s era punk legends the Sic Fucs followed by Walter Lure’s reliably oldschool punk band the Waldos at Bowery Electric, $10 adv tix rec
12/3, 10 PM Joe Yoga – ex-frontman of ferociously tuneful southwestern gothic rockers the Downward Dogs at Sidewalk. He’s also here on 12/23 at 8:15 followed by psychedelic poetry/gong/guitar loop drone project Chink Floyd
12/3, 10:30 PM tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser leads his killer postbop quartet at Smalls
12/3, 11 PM avant garde ensemble Tigue Percussion (either with or without members of Yo La Tengo, who knows) at Manhattan Inn, free
12/4, 5ish LES surf/soul/punk legends Simon & the Bar Sinisters return to their roots at ABC No Rio. Bow down to NYC punk royalty!
12/4, 7 PM American Modern Ensemble play moon-themed works by Claude Baker, Daniel Strong Godfrey, Robert Paterson, Judith Shati and George Tsontakis – but no Pierrot Lunaire – at National Sawdust. Same time, same venue, the program also includes violinist Miranda Cuckson joining percussion and piano quartet Yarn/Wire for the world premiere by composer, improvisor, and trombonist George Lewis. Also on the bill: a new work by Chiyoko Szlavnics, $25. Separate rooms or doublebooking?
12/4, 7:30 PM trumpeter David Smith leads his Quintet with saxophonist Dan Pratt, guitarist Nate Radley, bassist Matt Aronoff and drummer Mark Ferber. followed by intriguing singer Tammy Scheffer leading her killer Sextet with saxophonists Uri Gurvich and Dan Pratt, pianist Billy Test, bassist Peter Slavov and drummer Ronen Itzik at Prospect Range, 1228 Prospect Ave. (Vanderbilt/Reeve), Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, F/G to Ft. Hamilton Pkwy, $20/$10 stud
12/4, 7:30/9:30 PM the irrepressible Jon Irabagon on saxophone with Peter Brendler on bass and Vinnie Sperazza on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12. This rhythm section has the snarky sense of fun to bring out the very best in the guy, and vice versa.
12/4, 8 PM epic, sweeping, tuneful spacerock/art-rockers Sky Picnic at Matchless, $8
12/4, 8 PM the Chelsea Symphony play Engelbert Humperdinck — Prelude to Hänsel und Gretel; He Zhanhao & Chen Gang — The Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto with Phong Ta, violin; Charles Griffes — Poem for Flute and Orchestra with Melanie Chirignan, flute; Leroy Anderson — Sleigh Ridel Aaron Dai — The Night Before Christmas; Public Advocate Tish James serves as narrator, at St. Paul’s Church, 315 W 22nd St, $20 sugg don.
12/4, 8 PM Marta Hernández (aka Mar Salá) plays her acoustic flamenco rock at Shrine
12/4, 8 PM “Wemilere: Songs & A Just Meditation: Lullabies, slave songs, resistance and Ancestral Memory in dedication to Chango. Reflecting on the importance of holding community space in a time of grieving, crying out, calling out amidst trauma, violence, and poverty sweeping the world. This concert & rumba will be in celebration for the orisha Chango on his day,” at Jack, $10
12/4, 8 PM day three of Roots & Ruckus Fest at the Jalopy, free with the otherworldlyUkrainian Village Voices; 8:30 PM similarly haunting Yorkshire/Americana songstress Jan Bell ; 9:00 PM riveting, intense Romany song reinventor Eva Salina; 9:30 PM Twain; 10:00 PM Hubby Jenkins (of Carolina Chocolate Drops) 10:30 PM The Whiskey Spitters ;11:00 PM Lord Youth; 11:30 Jessy Carolina (of the torchy Jessy Carolina & the Hot Mess); 12:00 AM oldtimey guitar wizard Ernie Vega. Next door at the Jalopy Tavern at 8 they have another first-rate guitarslinger, Michael Gomez; 9:00 PM jaunty Hawaiian swing crew King Isto’s Tropical String Band ;10:00pm – 1:00am Dr. Hop
12/4, 9 PM Mac McCarty & the Kidd Twist Band play their fiery, sometimes unexpectedly poignant Pogues-ish punk and folk noir followed eventually at 11 by funny faux faux-sensitiive (get it?) singersongwriter Will Newman and then at midnight by hilarious original two-woman comedy-folk duo Hardwood at Sidewalk
12/4, 9 PM Rhythm Tolee play live bhangra, sufi and Indian folk grooves at the Way Station
12/4, 9:30 PM intense klezmer reedman Matt Darriau’s Paradox Trio at BAM Cafe
12/4, 10 PM this era’s most chillingly cinematic, shadowy reverbtoned noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy at Barbes
12/4, 11 PM smart, politically-fueled Irish rocker Niall Connolly and band at the small room at the Rockwood. He’s also here on 12/18, same time and then on 12/23 an hour earlier
12/4, 11 PM hard-hitting funk/Afrobeat band Shelley Nicole’s Blakbushe at the Bitter End
12/5, 4 PM Songs for Unusual Creatures – whose charming, psychedelic tributes to weirdness in the animal kingdom are suitable for adults as well as children – followed at 6 by accordionist Uri Sharlin’s funky Dogcat Ensemble project, at 8 by edgy lefty guitarist Damian Quinones and his psychedelic latin soul band and then at 10 by Sinaloa-style mariachi/ranchera brass group Banda de los Muertos at Barbes
12/5, 5:30 PM day four of Roots & Ruckus Fest at the Jalopy, free with Jenny Luna’s intense Turkish folk jamband Dolunay; 6:00 PM the Hoodoo Honeydrippers; 6:30 PM smart, pensive, eclectic accordionist/singer Ali Dineen; 7:00 PM mysterouis Translvanian band Szkojani Charlatans; 7:30 PM Isto (the King?); 8:00 PM Stephanie Nilles; 8:30 PM bouncy original retro Veracruz son jarocho group Radio Jarocho; 9:00 PM The Horse Eyed Men; 9:30 PM Willy Gantrim; 10:00 PM Spirit Family Reunion; 10:30 Feral Foster; 11:00 PM Crushed Out ;11:30 Rashad Brown. Next door at the Jalopy Tavern starting at 6 they have the charming washboard-driven Dubl Handi; 7:00 PM Chris Q. Murphy; 8:00 PM Crisco Dreams? 9:00 PM Outlaw Ritual’ 10:00 PM the Down Hill Strugglers
12/5, 7/9 PM adventurous yet purist jazz singer Charenee Wade leads her fascinating Gil Scott-Heron cover project at Ginny’s Supper Club, $15
12/5, 7 PM cutting-edge indie classical singer Lucy Dhegrae leads a chamber sextet playing music by Robert Sierra, Susan Botti and more at Third Street Music School Settlement
12/5, 7 PM the Doolittle Family playing their jangly mix of 60s Laurel Canyon psych-pop and country at the small room at the Rockwood
12/5, 7 PM a surrealistic performance by the butoh and jazz-inspired Conspiracy of Proletarian Shamans followed by literate Tom-Waits-ish alt country band Fist of Kindness at Medicine Show Theatre, 549 W 52nd St., 3rd Floor,$15/$12 stud/srs
12/’5, 7:15ish dark psychedelic acoustic blues/klezmer/reggae/soca jamband Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues. They’re also here on 12/19
12/5, 8 PM an intense duo show with haunting dark Americana songwriter/belter Jessi Robertson with the similarly minded Rony Corcos on lead guitar at Pine Box Rock Shop in Bushwick
12/5, 8 PM Behzod Abduraimov, piano plays Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition plus works by Schubert and Liszt at Irving HS Auditorium, Irving Place at 18th St., $14
12/5, 8 PM intense, alternately hypnotic and soaringly anthemic art-rock pianist/songwriter/indie classical composer Kristin Hoffmann at Caffe Vivaldi
12/5, 8 PM Dutch saxophonist and composer Marike van Dijk‘s massive thirteen-piece improvisational chamber jazz Stereography Project followed at 10 by low-register reedman Ben Goldberg, guitarist Steve Cardenas and drummer Billy Mintz playing Monk tunes at I-Beam, $15
12/5, 8 PM legendary improvisers in reverse order: Ikue Mori and Sam Pluta; Rajna Swaminathan (mridangam), in duo with guitarist Travis Reuter.; Peter Evans’ Zebulon trio, with bassist John Hébert and drummer Kassa Overall. at Jack, $20
12/5, the Alan Lomax of surf rock, Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly extravaganza at Otto’s begins at 9 with the cinematic/southwestern gothic Agent Octopus, the similarly Morricone-inspired Derangers, at 10, the Jersey Shore’s explosive, deviously original, Dick Dale-influenced Black Flamingos at 11 and guitar duo the Fireballs of Surf sometime past midnight.
12/5, 9 PM the reliably ferocious, fun Balkan (and occasionally Ethiopian and latin-tinged) madness of Raya Brass Band at at the Brooklyn Museum, free
12/5, 11 PM high-energy acoustic oldtime Americana band the Woes at Pete’s
12/5, 11ish fuzztone garage rock monsters the Mystery Lights at Shea Stadium, $tba
12/5, 9:30 PM one of the most epic, exhilarating art-rock bands in New York, Planta – imagine Pink Floyd or Nektar up close in a small club – followed at around 11 PM by Bombrasstico mashing up dancefloor brass band grooves with dancehall reggae and Afrobeat at the Bitter End.
12/6, 1:30 PM bluegrass fiddle star Melody Allegra leads her band at Brooklyn Bowl, free /
12/6, 2 PM intense tenor saxophonist/rabbi Greg Wall with Michael Cochrane on piano, Steve Johns on drums and his son, Daryl on bass plus choreographer Carolyn Dorfman and her dancers in an afternoon of jazz, dance and schmoozing, at Jewish Museum of New Jersey at Congregation Ahavas Sholom , 145 Broadway, Newark., free
12/6, 2 PM cult favorite literary songwriter (and Laura Cantrell collaborator) Franklin Bruno at Mayflower, 132 Greene Ave (cor Waverly & Greene), Ft. Greene
12/6, 4:30 PM the Duo Figer-Khanina play music for violin and piano TBA at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free, no under-sixes.
12/6, 6 PM intense jazz oudist/guitarist Gordon Grdina in a rare solo performance followed by noir-inspired low-register reedman Ben Goldberg at Downtown Music Gallery
12/6, 7:30 PM maestro Dong-hyun Kim conducts the Queensboro Symphony Orchestra – NYC’s hottest new classical ensemble – in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 at Mary’s Nativity Church, 46-02 Parsons Blvd. (at Holly Ave.), Flushing, 7 train to Main St. (the last stop), transfer to the Q27 bus, sugg. don.
12/6, 8 PM female-fronted power trio Castle Black – who veer between acidic Bush Tetras postpunk, stoner metal and more straight-up, sardonic punk – at Otto’s, followed at 9 by Cheri Dahl, who mashes up Marianne Faithfull, Mazzy Star and brooding oldschool punk-influenced sounds. 12/19 Castle Black are at Leftfield at 8
12/6, 8 PM sympatico third-stream improvisations, in reverse order: the Sarah Bernstein + Stuart Popejoy duo; Red Metal with Patrick Breiner – tenor saxophone and clarinet; Anais Maviel – voice’ Sana Nagano – violin; Chris Hoffman – cello at Jack, $12
12/6, 9 PM Cheetah Chrome’s legendary pre-Dead Boys proto-punk band Rocket from the Tombs at Baby’s All Right, $18
12/6, 9 PM the Space Merchants – who work a doomy reverb/fuzztone psych vibe, Sabbath with a Farfisa – followed eventually by Spencer Moody of the Murder City Devils at St. Vitus, $12
12/6, 9 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band at Skinny Dennis
12/6, 9 PM charismatic ghoulabilly/retro rock monster Reid Paley at 12th Street Bar at 8th Avenue and 12th Street, a block from Prospect Park and a few short blocks from the 7th Avenue F & G station.
12/6, 11 PM hard-rocking, groove-driven Balkan band Tipsy Oxcart at the small room at the Rockwood
12/7, 7 PM SWARMIUS – sort of a tripper San Diego counterpart to Tribecastan -doing their wickedly fun, Balkan-tinged, populiat jams with guest pianist Geoffrey Burleson followed by hauntingly philosophical percussion/electronics/spoken word duo Bradford Reed & Jane LeCroy and then a solo set by Burleson at Shapeshifter Lab, $10
12/7, 7:30 PM the Horszowski Trio and Claremont Trio play Schubert works (including the Notturno and String Quintet in C) plus works by Poulenc and Kurtag at Music Mondays, Advent/ Broadway Church, 2504 Broadway at 93rd St., free.
12/7. 7:30 PM “an evening of silent films from the 1960s-1970s by experimental artist Frans Zwartjes rescored by composer Whitney George, and performed by chamber emsemble the Curiosity Cabinet. at CUNY’s Elebash Hall, 365 5th Ave north of 34th St., free
12/7, 8:30/10:30 PM Rachel Caswell (of the Caswell Sisters) on vocals with Dave Stryker on guitar and Jay Anderson on bass at the Bar Next Door, $12
12/7, 8 PM not a musical event, but a good one: Brian G. Murphy directs a performance of Neil LaBute’s play Fat Pig, a searing, caustic critique of shallowness and misogyny. at Roulette, $17.
12/7, 8:30 PM violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Shai Wosner play Beethoven sonatas at the 92nd St. Y, $25/$15 under 30
12/7, 9 PM explosive guitar-fueled art-rock jamband Wounded Buffalo Theory at Pine Box Rock Shop in Bushwick
12/7, 10 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo and his trio ollowed at 11 by guitarist Nick Russo’s the Hot Jazz Jumpers, who are more eclectic than just about any other retro swing band out there, at the small room at the Rockwood
12/7, 11 PM long-running Israeli reggae-rock jamband Moshav Band at Highline Ballroom, $15 adv tix req
12/7 the Manhattan Chamber Players make their debut at le Poisson Rouge with piano/string music by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schubert, Fauré, Chausson, Shostakovich, and Piazzolla plus world premieres by Vivian Fung and Chris Rogerson. They’re at Baruch College on 12/15
12/8, half past noon organist Marco LoMuscio plays a program TBA at Central Synagogue, Lex/54t h, free
12/8 drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, Tilt Brass play works by Anthony Coleman, Tilt co-founder Chris McIntyre, James Tenney, Liza Lim and Catherine Lamb at the Miller Theatre, free
12/8, 6:30 PM intriguing,up-and-coming guitarist/songwriter Alicyn Yaffee – formerly of adventurous all-female jazz/art-rock band the Cave Women – at the Bar Next Door. 12/20 she’s at the small room at the Rockwood at 9.
12/8, 7 PM smart purist oldtime blues/Americana resonator guitarist Zeke Healy & intense, eclectic violist Karen Waltuch followed by ten-piece funky Balkan brass/Ellington jazz monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes
12/8, 7:30 PM well-liked folk noir guy/girl duo Whitehorse – Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland – at the Mercury, $15
12/8, 7:30 PM a wild Ernest Hemingway-inspired night at the Morgan Library: Cygnus Ensemble performs new commissions that relate to Hemingway and other writers and artists from 1920s Paris, including vocal and instrumental music inspired by the museum’s exhibition Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars by Laura Kaminsky, Errollyn Wallen, Damon Ferrante, Frank Brickle, and Jessie Montgomery as well as George Anthiel, Ezra Pound, and Cole Porter. The evening will also feature special appearances by the Sheer Pluck Guitar Orchestra and soprano Elizabeth Farnum. $35/$25 srud/srs
12/8, 9 PM Italian bluegrass trio the Blue Grasshoppers followed at 10 by brilliant ex-Girls Guns & Glory guitarist Jon Glover’s new southwestern gothic project, Mongoose at the Way Station. The Blue Grasshoppers are also at Shrine on 12/10 at 9.
12/8, 9:30 PM the exhilarating klezmer jazz project Tarras Band – who play the repertoire of legendary hotshot klezmer clarinetis Dave Taras -featuring Tarras’ former pianist Pete Sokolow (piano), Michael Winograd (clarinet,) Ben Holmes (trumpet), Jim Guttmann (bass,) and Dave Licht (drums.) do the album release show for their new one – which includes Tarras mateiral plus songs by Naftule Brandwein and Sam Musiker as well as originals – at Drom, $10 adv tix rec
12/8, 11 PM Jones Beach play their hard-hitting guitar/drums original surf music at Shrine
12/8, time tba wild, female-fronted noir cabaret/circus rock band Amour Obscur at Aviv
12/9, 7 PM Roshel Rubinov – the haunting, Middle Eastern-tinged Bukharan Jewish guitar god equivalent to Richard Thompson – at Elebash Hall, 365 5th Ave north of 34th St., $25
12/9, 7 PM intense, Middle Eastern-tinged bassist Petros Klampanis leads his innovative ensemble, Chroma playing the album release show for their new one at the Onassis Cultural Center NY, 645 5th Avenue, (at 51st St) free w/rsvp . They’re also at Cornelia St. Cafe on 12/26 at 9 and 10:30 for $10 + $1o min.
12/9, 7 PM pianist Pablo Zinger backs a series of first-rate Latina singers: Brenda Feliciano, Gizelzanath, Virginia Herrera, and Maribel Salazar, to perform a program dedicated exclusively to the powerful and immensely varied vocal music of Mexico from olero to classical, passing through rancheras, huapangos, habaneras and danzones. Featured composers include “the father of Mexican music”, Manuel M. Ponce, and Tata Nacho (Ignacio Fernández Esperón) to the composer of “Granada”, Agustín Lara, to Armando Manzanero (creator of “Somos novios” – “It’s Impossible”).at the Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker (Elizabeth/Mott, $30
12/9, 7:30 PM powerful, intense bass clarinetist Todd Marcus leads his Middle Eastern-inspired big band at Smalls
12/9, 7:30 PM haunting, lushly sweeping klezmer string band Bivolita featuring accordionist Christina Crowder and fiddler Keryn Kleiman. at Mehanata, $15
12/9, 8 PM dark urbane Romany song maven (and Berthold Brecht descendant) Sanda Weigl and band at Barbes
12/9-12, 8 PM Tyshawn Sorey conducts his string sextet from behind the drum kit at Seeds
12/9, 9:30 PM tuneful, anthemic, intense neoromantic/indie classical ensemble the Founders play new works inspired by Schubert’s Winterreise at National Sawdust, $15
12/9, 10 PM stark, intense acoustic circus rock/musette/Romany punk band the Sullied Accolades – like a more stripped-down Kotorino – followed at 11 by delicious original Americana/newgrass band Chamomile & Whiskey at the Way Station
12/9, 10 PM irreverent oldschool Williamsburg saloon vocal jazz crew the Old Rugged Sauce at Freddy’s
12/10, half past noon jazz harpist Brandee Younger – this generation’s counterpart to Dorothy Ashby – in the lobby at at 1 NY Plaza, Water and Whitehall, free
12/10, 6 PM Argentinean pianist Valentin Surif plays a rare program of music from his home turf nicluding Alberto Williams’ (1862-1952) Demi-teinte de la Suite Sur la Terrasse (1891), Berceuse, Op. 47 Nº 1 (1906) and Suite En la sierra (1891), Juan Josè Ramos’s (1930-1995) Siete Variaciones de Tango (1978), Astor Piazzolla’s (1921-1992) Adiós Nonino (1959) and Roberto Garcia Morillo’s (1911-2003) Cuarta Sonata Op 26 (1959) at the Consulate General of Argentina in New York, 12 West 56th St, free but res rec to rsvp@
12/10, 6 PM guitarist Nick Nace – ex-A Brief View of the Hudson – followed eventually at 10 by dark 80s influenced goth/art-rock songwriter Alfonso Velez at the small room at the Rockwood. Nace is also at Sidewalk on 12/18 at 10.
12/10, 7 PM pianist Jacob Greenberg plays music by Chopin, Schubert, Debussy, Webern and a world premiere by Dai Fujikura at Spectrum, $15
12/10, 7:30 PM, repeating on 12/11-12 at 8, the NY Philharmonic with pianist Jeffrey Kahane premiere an Andrew Norman concerto, plus Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspigel and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 at Avery Fisher Hall, $30 tix avail
12/10. 7:30 PM rising star saxophonist Melissa Aldana leads her quartet at Smalls
12/10, 8 PM old cutting-edge jazz pals from the AACM days: saxophonist/multimedia artist Douglas Ewart & Quasar and tersely, majestically blues-inspired trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith at Roulette, $20/$15 stud/srs
12/10, 8 PM gorgeously slinky, period-perfect 1950s-style Egyptian film music revivalists Zikrayat at Meridian 23, $tba
12/10, 8 PM intense, mesmerizing clarinetist Vasko Dukovski performs spectral composer Marcelo Toledo’s Entrañas/Descentros for solo clarinet and then together with the composer, the two work out an improvisation at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $10
12/10, 9 PM savage, macabre,cinematic noir jazz band Beninghove’s Hangmen at Bar Chord
12/10. 9 PM subversively torchy, historically-informed, richly lyrical oldtime Americana chanteuse Robin Aigner & Parlour Game at the Jalopy, $10
12/11, 6 PM NYC’s most innovative, hypnotically pointillistic Balinese bell orchestra, Gamelan Dharma Swara in the Chinese Garden Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm. 12/13 at 6 they’re at the Stone playing a new piece by innovative bagpiper Matthew Welch for $20then on the 20 th they’re at the Fat Cat at 7.
12/11, 7 PM Chicago-style blues guitar monster Bobby Radcliff at Terra Blues.
12/11-12, 7:30/9:30 PM pianist Fabian Almazan’s amazing, Shostakovich-influenced, string-driven chamber jazz octet Rhizome at the Jazz Gallery, $22
12/11, 8 PM legendary Korean traditional music/dance troupe Kkuns – with their rapidrife hwimori rhythms, entertaining buna (spinning dishes), drums and ritual chants – at Flushing Town Hall, free w/rsvp
12/11, 8 PM meticulous, thrilling pianist Alexandra Joan plays Kaija Saatiaho Preludel Bach Partita for keyboard No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV. 825; Arvo Part Partita, Op. 2;; Elliott Carter “90+”; Schumann Etudes Symphoniques, Op.13, Posthumous Etudes at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stud
12/11, 8 PM Cousin Earth – who play mischievously funny covers of everything from bluegrass to EDM on ukuleles – at Singlecut Beersmiths in Astoria, free
12/11, 8:45 PM intriguingly lyrical, enigmatic Americana songwriter Jeffrey Foucault – sort of a grungier Steve Earle – with the soaring, similarly rocking Caitlin Canty at the big room at the Rockwood, $15
12/11, 9 PM ethereally menacing, jangly female-fronted Bunny Punch – who mangle folk noir into janglerock with a dreampop edge – at Matchless, $8
12/11-12, 9:30 PM smoky, suave oldschool tenor saxophonist Harry Allen leads his trio at Mezzrow, $20
12/11, 11 PM flutist Hiroaki Honshuku’s quartet Racha Fora with special guest Donny McCaslin plays material from their innovative, bracing new Miles Davis homage at Club Bonafide, 215 East 52nd St. , $10
12/11 an extremely rare appearance by no wave icons Teenage Jesus and the Jerks with Lydia Lunch at Trans-Pecos, midnight $20
12/11 exhilarating, brass-driven retro 60s latin soul revivalists Spanglish Fly at Barbes
12/11, 5:30 PM cult favorite Americana soul songstress Dina Regine at the American Folk Art Museum
12/11, 7 PM International Contemporary Ensemble play Zosha Di Castri and David Adamcyk’s theatrical kitchen-sink electroacoustic epic Phonobellow, Natacha Diels’ minimalist, percussive, quirky An Economy of Means and Bulgarian composer/experimental vocalist Maria Stankova’s presumably otherworldly, haunting new work for voice and clarinet performed by Alice Teyssier and Joshua Rubin at the Teatro of the Italian Academy at Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, free
12/12, 5 PM a panel discussion of the future of Caribbean and South American emigration to the US followed by a performance by Colombian marimba de chonta player/bandleader Diego Obregon at the Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, free
12/12, 7 PM it’s the flagship event of the annual, magically enveloping, global Unsilent Night boombox parade! For 22 consecutive years, composer Phil Kline has led this interactive parade from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park. Show up no later than 6:45 PM, and you can pick up a boombox with a cassette of his carillonesque, pointillistic electronic score. Or download it for free, then bring your phone, mp3 player or tablet and join the fun! You can also stream it at soundcloud as you walk if you have a wifi connection. A great family event!
12/12, 7 PM the Attacca String Quartet performs music by Adams, Andres, Schumann, Rogerson, and Ippolitoat the DiMenna Center, 450 W 37th St., $20
12/12, 8 PM You Break You Buy with keyboardist Mick Rossi (Phillip Glass), guitarist Stephen Ulrich (Big Lazy) with Sexmob’s Tony Sherr (bass) Dean Sharenow (drums) playing creepy noir jams at Spectrum, $15
12/12, 8 PM Cairo-Montreal improvisational duo Flying Street, with Sam Shalabi on oud and Stefan Christoff on piano at Alwan for the Arts, $20/$15 stud/srs
12/12, 8 PM, repeating on 12/13 at 3 PM, Alessandra Belloni and her trancey tarantella band play Mystical Music in Honor of the Black Madonna,” a musical journey around the world to the ancient sacred sites of the primeval earth spirit created from authentic traditions of Southern Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, and Brazil “ at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue (bet. 9th & 10th Sts) $25
12/12, 8 PM pyrotechnic alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa‘s Charlie Parker tribute, Bird Calls at at the Miller Theatre, $20 seats avail
12/12, 8 PM Chamber Orchestra of New York play Gershwin’s Lullaby and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, along with Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 35 and the world premiere of Three Variations on a Gregorian Theme by Emiliano Imondi, at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $30 tix avail
12/12, 8 PM the Cecilia Chorus of New York sing Handel’s Messiah at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $25 tix avail
12/12, 9 PM cinematic soundtrack instrumentalists/surf rockers the Tarantinos NYC at Rock Shop, $10
12/12, 9ish a sizzling gospel/oldschool twinbill with monster piano player/charismatic showman Rev. Vince Anderson and period-perfect 60s blue eyed soul crooner Eli Paperboy Reed at Union Pool, $14
12/12, 9 PM Dubistry play deep roots reggae grooves, mento, ska and psychedelic dub instros at Shrine
12/12, 10 PM ex Bee & Flower bandleader/bassist Dana Schechter’s haunting, intense, grimly cinematic instrumental project Insect Ark at St. Vitus, $10
12/12, 10 PM twin-guitar, twin-keyboard psychedelic band Up & Down Hands play Pakistani film themes by legendary composer M. Ashraf at Barbes
12/12, 10:15 PM honkytonk with the Third Wheel Band at the big room at the Rockwood
12/12 grittily tuneful, 3rd generation Stooges-influenced rockers Swanky Tiger at Bowery Electric
12/13, 2 PM timeless freak-folk pioneer Kath Bloom at Mayflower, 132 Greene Ave (cor Waverly & Greene), Ft. Greene
12/13, 4 PM Miwa Gemini – the darkly enigmatic missing link between Calexico and Shonen Knife – followed at 5 by torchy, bluesy classical harpist/chamber pop songwriter Tara Minton and then eventually at 7 by percussive, trance-inducing, bitingly tuneful, Middle Eastern-tinged female-fronted jamband SisterMonk and then at 8 by magical-voiced indie pop songwriter Jes Hudak at the small room at the Rockwood
12/13, 6:30 PM pianist Margarita Rovenskaya plays works by Haydn, Brahms, Prokofiev, Bach and at Caffe Vivaldi
12/13. 7 PM Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman plays 6 world premieres by Missy Mazzoli, Michael Vincent Waller, Vera Ivanova, Tom Flaherty, Daniel Felsenfeld and Peter Yates at Spectrum, $15
12/13, 10ish Lenny Kaye (lead guitar genius from Patti Smith’s band, in case you don’t know) does his classic powerpop thing…or his country thing, or maybe both, upstairs at 2A
12/13 eerily playful, charismatic Nashville gothic/folk noir songstress Kelley Swindall at Scratcher Bar, 209 E 5th St.
12/14, 8 PM one of the year’s best twinbills: hard-rocking psychedelic cumbia/surf dance band Consumata and similarly psychedelic, surfy, vallenato-influenced art-rock groovemeisters Los Crema Paraiso at Brooklyn Bowl, $8
12/14, 8:30 PM multi-instrumentalist oldtime blues powerhouse Blind Boy Paxton at the Jalopy, $10
12/14, 9 PM irrepressible saxophonist Jon Irabagon celebrates the release of his wild, technically challenging first solo sopranino saxophone record Inaction Is An Action Delroy’s Wine Bar, 65 Fenimore St just off Flatbush Ave, Q to Parkside Ave, $10 sug don
12/14, 10 PM a subversive holiday tradition: Xmas songs by Jewish songwriters. Subtext, anybody? Performers include host Steven Blier on piano with chanteuse Lauren Worsham, clarinetist Alan Kay, cantor Joshua Breitzer, many others at Henry’s Restaurant, 2745 Broadway at 105th St, $10; Reservations requred to 212-866-0600 if you want to eat but not for bar seating
12/14, 11 PM noir jazz piano monsters the Dred Scott Trio return to their old stomping grounds at the small room at the Rockwood
12/15, 5:30 PM fiery Americana/Balkan/chamber-pop fiddler Sarah Alden and her all-star string band at the World Financial Center, free. She’s also here at 4:30 PM on 12/19
12/15, 9 PM the Bogmen’s charismatic, UFO-fixated Vic Thrill followed by NYC’s most haunting, inscrutable, savagely guitar-fueled, lyrically brilliant noir band Karla Rose & the Thorns at Grand Victory, $10
12/15-16, 7:30.9:30 PM intense, inscrutabley fiery guitarist Mary Halvorson leads her lush, lustrously brooding octet at the Jazz Gallery, $22
12/15, 7:30 PM chamber quartet the Curiosity Cabinet plays their conductor Whitney George’s work The Strange Library, for narrator and quartet, with projections, inspired by the creepy, surreal Haruki Murakami novella at the Center for Fiction, 17 E. 47th St, $15/$12 stud
12/15, 7:30 PM rising star cellist Sang-Eun Lee and pianist Noreen Polera play works by Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Crumb and Brahms at Merkin Concert Hall, $10 seats avail.
12/15, 9 PM brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet play classic salsa grooves at the Fat Cat
12/15 state-of-the-art, sinisterly socially aware newschool big band jazz Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society at the Bell House
12/16, 7 PM in reverse order at the Knitting Factory: psychedelic funk band the People’s Champs – who’re going in more of an Afrobeat direction lately – playing the album release showfor their ne wone American Dreamers, brilliant psychedelic desert rock/cantorial art-rock band Sway Machinery doing the same for their new one, funky, psychedelic Ethiopiques band Nikhil P. Yerawadekar and Low Mentality and low-key, soulful original country bluesman Jon LaDeau, $10 adv tix rec
12/16. 7:30 PM a wonderful new group on the scene, Tsibele with Eleonore Weill (flutes), Hannah Temple (accordion), Eva Boodman (trumpet), & Zoe Aqua (violin) playing klezmer classics and obscure treasures.at Zeb’s Place 223 W.28th St. (bet. 7th & 8th Ave.), $15
12/16, 8 PM intense, eclectic original Balkan clarinet/violin/oud/percussion quartet Sherita at the Delancey, $10
12/16, 8:30 PM an amazing all-instrumental twinbill: savage, macabre,cinematic Middle Eastern surf/crime jazz band Beninghove’s Hangmen and then deep two-trombone dub reggae and Afrobeat grooves with Super Hi-Fi playing the album release show for their sick new Xmas dub colllection at Brooklyn Bowl, $5
12/16, 8:30 PM NPR’s “Piano Puzzler” Bruce Adolphe hosts a program of piano music by Beethoven played by Orli Shaham and Noam Elkies at Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave, $30
12/16, 9 PM the Strung Out String Band play hi-energy oldtime Appalachian tunes at Bar Chord
12/16, 10 PM the intoxicating Katie Brennan & the Bourbon Express play honkytonk at the Way Station
12/16, 10:30 PM the increasingly soul-oriented, guitarishly brilliant Miss Tess & the Talkbacks at the big room at the Rockwood, $10
12/17, 5::30 PM playful, fun, eclectic oldtimey accordion/violin Americana/Romany/musette band the Wisterians at at the World Financial Center, free. They’re also here on 12/23
12/17, 6 PM composer and pianist Marika Takeuchi plays her tranquil contemporary instrumental music with violinist Rebekah Butler and cellist Bobbie Lee Crow III. at Cornelia St. Cafe, $9 incl a drink!
12/17, 7 PM pianist Vassily Primakov with Rachael Lee, violin, Ben Capps, cello, David Aladashvili, piano.play works by Tschaikovsky at Zinc Bar, $25
12/17, 7:30 PM intense gothic/punk/blues art-rock bandleader Vera Beren directs Pamela Enz’ Body Parts a Series of…starring Anita Durst, Julie Atlas Muz and Jack Neiman with music by Luis Mujica played by a live band at Dixon Place, $10
12/17, 8 PM the Danish Piano Trio‘s US debut with music by Felix Mendelssohn and Niels W. Gade; plus a world premiere by Geoffrey Gordon and a US premiere by Bent Sørensen, at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $20. Good, cutting-edge stuff!
12/17, 8/10 PM pianist Helen Sung plays her song cycle based on Dana Gioia poems featuring multi-reedist John Ellis, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Reuben Rogers, drummer Donald Edwards, percussionist Samuel Torres, along with guest vocalists Carmen Lundy and Carolyn Leonhart, at the Jazz Gallery, $22
12/17, 8:30 PM the New York Chillharmonic – vocalist/composer Sara McDonald’s lush, third-stream 17-piece big band with string quartet –at the Lincoln Center Atrium, early arrival advised
12/17, 9 PM fiery, torrentially lyrical, vengefully catchy punk/powerpop alienation anthems with Hannah vs. the Many at Rock Shop, $10
12/17, 10 PM lush but edgy original jazz chanteuse/songwriter Gracie Terzian – whose axe is the harp ukulele – at Club Bonarifide (in the old Something Jazz Club space) at 212 E 52nd St, $15
12/18, 7:30 PM the China National Traditional Orchestra play concertos for pipa and orchestra, erhu and orchestra and other sweepingly cross-pollinated sounds at Alice Tully Hall, $20 tix avail. They’re also at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on 12/20 at 8 playing new , theatrically staged compositions by musical director Jiang Yin, $20 seats avail.
12/18, 8 PM haunting dark Americana songwriter/belter Jessi Robertson, chamber pop stylist Elizabeth Ziman of Elizabeth & the Catapult, Shannon Conley, Jenna Nicholls, Kiyoshi Matsuyama and others play a tribute to PJ Harvey on the 15th anniversary of Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea at le Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec
12/18, 8 PM a mighty Americana quadruplebill at Hank’s with blazing guitarist Alan Lee and the Whiskey Bumps followed eventually by electrified bluegrass/Celtic band Tatters and Rags at 10 and cleverly lyrical, darkly funny Nashville gothic rockers Maynard & the Musties headlining at 11
12/18, 8 PM slinky, exhilarating, brass-driven retro 60s latin soul revivalists Spanglish Fly at at SOB’s, $10
12/18, 8 PM charming female-fronted continental swing jazz combo the Hot Sardines play the album release show for their new one at Uinon Hall, $12
12/18, 8 PM cellist Inbal Segev and classical guitarist Jason Vieaux play a Fernando Otero world premiere as well as works by DeFalla, Granados, Piazzolla and and Gnattali at Bargemusic, $35/$30 srs/$15 stu d
12/18, guessing that this starts at around 8, in reverse order: the Bad Brains’ HR & the Dubb Agents, Jawalski, Skarroneros, and one of Harlem’s longest-running, tightest first-wave punk bands, the Banddroidz at Bowery Electric
12/18, 10 PM Krawbel and the Snipper Snappers play their mashup of bluegrass, newgrass and acoustic janglerock at Freddy’s
12/18, 11 PM dazzlingly eclectic, enigmatic Canadian gothic bandleader Lorraine Leckie at Sidewalk
12/18, midnight he Brighton Beat play their deliriously fun Afrobeat jams at Joe’s Pub, $12
12/18, quarter past midnight ferocious latin/Romany rockers the Butcher Knives at the Kniiting Factory
12/19, 7 PM hilarious, savagely funny top 40 parodists the Dan Band at Joe’s Pub, $22
12/19, 8 PM pianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri’s tersely haunting Transylvanian jazz project at Barbes, $10
12/19, 8 PM chamber/choral group the Western Wind Ensemble performs styles ranging from Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Early American and Romantic to contemporary works, folk songs and spiritual plus new arrangements of seasonal chestnuts such as I Saw Three Ships and Tom Lehrer’s Chanukkah in Santa Monica at Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium, 417 E 61st off 1st Ave., $25 gen adm avail.
12/19, 9 PM deep two-trombone dub reggae and Afrobeat band Super Hi-Fi play sick versions of Xmas carols from their hilarious new album at Bar Chord
12/19, 9 PM the Rosewood Girl mash up enigmatic Neko C. Americana, nebulous post Sonic Youth jangle and vintage honkytonk at Freddy’s
12/19, 10 PM this era’s most chillingly cinematic, shadowy reverbtoned noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy at Barbes at Fox and Crow, 594 Palisade Ave, (Congress/Hobson), Jersey City,
12/19, 10 PM agelessly hilarious, sardonic first-wave punk rockers the Dickies at Bowery Electric
12/19, 10 PM edgy, intense alto saxophonist Sharel Cassity’s Electra at the Fat Cat
12/19, 11 PM Red Gretchen – best known for their anguished Replacements/Niirvana anthems, although they’re even better at slowly undulating, doomy psychedelic/art-rock grooves – at Sidewalk
12/19, 11:30 PM smolderingly intense singer/guitarist Mia Wilson’s deeply bluesy, brilliantly lyrical psychedelic band the Bright Smoke at the Mercury, $10
12/19, midnight ark female-fronted new wave/punk band Ingrid & the Defectors at Hank’s, $5
12/20, half past noon vocal-and-guitar duo Yael & Gabriel lead their combo playing Piaf classics at Highline Ballroom, $22 adv tix rec
12/20, 2 PM Lise de la Salle, piano with members of everybody’s favorite indie classical orchestra, the Knights, playing works by Ravel, Takemitsu, Mozart and Martinu at the Town Hall, $15 seats avail.
12/20, 2 PM politically-inspired soul singer Tomas Doncker at Mayflower, 132 Greene Ave (cor Waverly & Greene), Ft. Greene
12/20, 3 PM the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra play Handel’s Messiah at NJPAC in Newark, $30 tix avail.
12/20, 7 PM Charming Hostess – Jewlia Eisenberg, Marika Hughes, Dana Lyn and Mazz Swift – play edgy, lushly intense Balkan and Sephardically-inspired Jewish music from across the ages and similarly radical originals at Barbes
12/21 it’s Make Music Winter. Great idea – definitely more comfortable than the annual June 21 allday outdoor buskerthon – debatable execution. Along with the yodelers carousing through Washington Heights – good grief, why donn’t they stay homr in Jersey? – there are some cool participatory parades and such going on..
3 PM: Decantations: “Composer Ravi Kittapa and pianist Karl Larson invite the public to perform the New York premiere of Decantations III, Kittapa’s piece featuring the sound of sruti boxes (easily playable Indian drone instruments). Beginning at 3:00 pm, performers split into three groups and walk divergent paths around Astoria, playing a variety of sustaining instruments and electronic devices, while interacting with the sounds of the neighborhood. After 30 minutes everyone converges in Athens Square Park to create a large and varying drone resolving to a finish.”
4 PM: Melrose Parranda: “The Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) inaugurates its annual Melrose procession series with a focus on the Puerto Rican tradition of caroling called parranda. At 4:00 pm, a parranda with the Puerto Rican music of plena, and singing holiday songs from the island, will be led by Jorge Vazquez, Bobby Sanabria and others. Join the procession at the 149th St./3rd Avenue subway stop as we wind our way through Melrose into beloved local landmarks, ending with a jubilant jam session and refreshments. Come ready to sing, dance, and play!” And drink…There’s also a Trullita Navideña being organized at 4:30 PM on the south side of Williamsburg at El Puente Headquarters (211 S. 4th St)
4:30 PM: Kalmibascope: This sounds like real fun! “Participants are invited to join the Kalimbascope Ensemble, and promenade at dusk with the music of the enchanted thumb piano. Composer J.C. King leads a kalimba parade through the streets of Ridgewood and Bushwick, ending at Maria Hernandez Park. The parade will be accompanied by real-time electronics, giving the music an air of mystery and fascination. The parade begins at 4:30 pm at Trans Pecos (915 Wyckoff Ave). All are encouraged to bring their own kalimbas (though kalimbas will be available for the first 25 participants to borrow)”
6 PM: Bell by Bell: “Artist Tom Peyton distributes seventy color-coded bells to the crowd, one color per note. At the front of the parade, a team of conductors waves corresponding colored flags to lead the group in slowly moving music, written by a variety of composers. When the conductors raise their red and green flags, everyone with red and green bells start ringing, and so on for each color, creating a sonorous, atmospheric soundscape in DUMBO’s cavernous spaces. The parade begins at 6:00 pm at the DUMBO Archway and ends at Brooklyn Bridge Park (at Old Dock Street).”
6 PM: Pilgrimage: “Early Music singers led by conductor Malcolm J. Merriweather walk from West Park Presbyterian Church (Amsterdam and W. 86th) to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, carrying lanterns while singing medieval melodies once sung along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. All singers are invited to join, from absolute beginners to early music specialists. The pilgrimage begins at 6:00 pm and culminates in a triumphant arrival at the Cathedral with organ accompaniment. Presented in association with West Park Presbyterian Church and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.”
12/21, 8 PM it’s Murder Ballad Night at Branded Saloon in Ft. Greene, arguably NYC’s funnest and creepiest monthly concert. Hosted by luridly charismatic chamber-pop duo Charming Disaster and featuringpowerful Americana belter and Bobtown folk noir songwriter Karen Dahlstrom, intensely enigmatic, tuneful cello songstress Serena Jost,, Americana singer Karen Poliski, popular folk-pop songwriter Terry Radigan, creepy, theatrical female-fronted noir cabaret/circus rock band Orphan Jane, and more. Get there on time, the room fills up quick!
12/21, 8 PM Kent Tritle conducts the Oratorio Society of NY in the Mozart arrangement of Handel’s Messiah at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $25 tix avail
12/22, 9 PM wild Middle Eastern art-rock and metal guitarist Yoshie Fruchter at Silvana
12/22, 9 PM state-of-the-art hip-hop with the dead-serious but very funny Jean Grae at the Bell House, $20
12/23, 8 PM exhilarating female-fronted heavy psychedelic Argentine-American rock band Desert Flower – with punk, blues, noiserock and 70s metal influences at Black Bear Bar on N Sixth St. in Williamsburg, $10
12/23, 8:30 PM jazz chanteuse Allegra Levy – a welcome rarity in that she writes her own enigmatic, original songs – with Josh Deutsch, trumpet; Jason Yeager, piano; Timothy Norton, bass at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min
12/23, 8:30 PM Balkan night at Freddy’s with bands TBA
12/24, 10 PM Anthem Band play newschool roots reggae and dancehall sounds at Shrine
12/25, 3 and 5 PM NYC’s most eclectic, sensationally jam-oriented klezmer/latin/cumbia band, Metropolitan Klezmer at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 + $10 min
12/26, 8 PM stars of the klezmer and Yiddish world including Frank London, Sarah Gordon and Michael Winograd present an evening of music from singer/musicologist Adrienne Cooper’s cult classic 1999 album In Love and In Struggle: The Musical Legacy of the Jewish Labor Bund at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl. north of Batttery Park, expensive, $36
12/26, 9 PM percussionist/bandleader Alessandra Belloni‘s explosive, fiery tarantella/Brazilian trance band Tarantata at Mehanata, $10
12/27, 7 PM Venezuelan jazz violinist Alí Bello & the Sweet Wire Band play original and fascinating stuff at Club Bonarifide (in the old Something Jazz Club space) at 212 E 52nd St, $15
12/27, 8:30 PM expansively lyrical pianist Eri Yamamoto with David Ambrosio, bass; Ikuo Takeuchi, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 + $10 min
12/28. 10 PM increasingly dark and Americana-oriented, lyrically brilliant acoustic guitarist/songwriter Linda Draper at Pete’s
12/28, 10ish one of the great saxophonists in the history of ska, Dave Hillyard & the Rocksteady 7 at Hank’s
12/29, 7 PM eerily playful, charismatic Nashville gothic/folk noir songstress Kelley Swindall at Caffe Vivaldi
12/29, 7 PM a rare reunion show by legendary/obscure 90s NYC jug band Washboard Jungle – who predated the Brooklyn Americana explosion by 20 years – at Barbes. 12/30 they’re at Dixon Place.
12/29, 7:30 PM bewitching noir torch song stylist Bliss Blood and brilliant guitarist Al Street at Freddy’s
12/29-30, 7:30 PM and 1/2 at 8 PM, the NY Philharmonic with violinist Joshua Bell play Sibelius’ Swan of Tuonela, Finlandia and Symphony No. 4 plus Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto at Avery Fisher Hall, $33 tix avail
12/29, 8 PM arguably the best twinbill of the entire year with wild, guitar-and-keyboard-driven Balkan psychedelic rock monsters Choban Elektrik followed by explosive psychedelic rembetiko metal band Greek Judas at Rock Shop, $10
12/29-30, 8:30 PM one of the alltime great Chicago blues artists – equally intense on organ, piano and guitar – Lucky Peterson at Iridium, $28
12/29, 9 PM amazing, darkly psychedelic Middle Eastern jamband the Sandcatchers: Yoshie Fruchter (oud)’ Michael Bates (acoustic bass); Yonadav Halevy (drums)Stephen Ulrich (lap steel) at Rock Shop
12/29, 9 PM the Jack Grace Band play their boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic at Coyote Ugly Saloon
12/30, 8 PM the Brooklyn Ivo Papasov, pyrotechnic Balkan reedman Greg Squared‘s Circle at Barbes
12/30, 10 PM an extremely rare solo acoustic show by lyrically intense, southwestern gothic-tinged, darkly charismatic noir singer Karla Rose of Karla Rose & the Thorns at 11th St Bar
12/30, 10:30 PM haunting latin noir/gutter blues/psychedelic guitarist Jack Martin’s Bob Dylan Deathwatch at the Manderley Bar
12/30-31 Gogol Bordello at Terminal 5, $35 adv tix rec
12/31, 10 PM the year’s possibly most asshole-free New Year’s Eve celebration at Freddy’s with Sweet Tits – the “punk lesbian Spinal Tap” with Donald O’Finn’s classic full-length backwards version of It’s a Wonderful Life – complete with backward-masked sound – blasting on the tvs throughout the bar.
12/31, 10ish for fans of darkly bristling, bouncy Brazilian rainforest folk sounds, accordionist Rob Curto leads his forro band at Barbes, $20
12/31 devious oldschool C&W/rockabilly parodists Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Otto’s, 11 PM. If you must be in the East Village on New Year’s Eve (your inner New Yorker may be screaming STAY HOME), this is the place to be. The band is hilarious and they may skewer the tourists who will probably make up them majority of people in the house.
1/3, 2 PM wry noir jazz icons the Jazz Passengers at Littlefield, $25. It’s your guess if Debbie Harry’s goinna be with them or not.
1/8, 8 PM rip-roaring, oldtimey,-punk ghoul-swing band Megan Jean & the KFB at the Knitting Factory, $10 adv tix rec
1/4 pianists Jenny Lin and Uri Caine jam out on Scarlatti, Mozart and other composers at le Poisson Rouge
1/8-9, 10 PM hard-charging postrockers Russian Circles at St. Vitus, $20
1/9, 9 PM Mac McCarty & the Kidd Twist Band play their fiery, sometimes unexpectedly poignant Pogues-ish punk and folk noir at Sidewalk
1/10, 7:30 PM pianist Jenny Q Chai plays old and new visually-themed works by Chopin, Schumann and Kapuscinski at le Poisson Rouge
1/13, 7 PM Georgy Valtchev, violin and Lora Tchekoratova piano play piano trios by Smetana and Tschaikovsky at the Bulgarian Consulate, 121 E 62nd St., free
1/13, 7/9:30 PM “wrapped in an absurd and hyperbolic narrative, the music film, Sever revisits the ancient Chinese folktale of Diao Chan with live accompaniment by the modern Chinese band Xi Ban. Mixing classical instrumentation with westernized form, Xi Ban create an intriguing interplay between kabuki theatre and American delta blues,” at the Asia Society, 725 Park Ave. free but res req
1/15, 9 PM this era’s most chillingly cinematic, shadowy reverbtoned noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy at the Knitting Factory
1/16, 7:30 PM the Barbes folks put on what’s probably going to be the funnest, most adrenalizing multi-band extravaganza of the year, heavy on the cumbia, OMFG, at Drom, $10; in order: Morrocan trance grooves with Samir Langus, psychedelic, surfy, vallenato-influenced art-rock groovemeisters Los Crema Paraiso, the even more psychedelic cumbia/salsa jammers Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta; the magically haunting, soaring all-female Mariachi Flor de Toloache , Tucson desert rocker Gabriel Sullivan’s coyly titled psychedelic cumbia project, Xixa, the darkly Middle Eastern flavored Nubian grooves of Alsarah & the Nubatones , rustic Haitian/Dominican cumbia/vallenato group Buyepongo and newschool Ethiopiques-inspired dancefloor groovemeisters Debo Band
1/18. 7 PM psychedelic, surfy, vallenato-influenced art-rock groovemeisters Los Crema Paraiso, the sixteen-piece, accordion-spiced Gregorio Uribe Big Band , singer Sofía Tosello & innovative percussionist Franco Pinna’s hypnotic new folk-trance duo Chuño, slashingly eclectic Pan-American guitarist Juancho Herrera and band and magically eclectic singer (and member of Sara Serpa’s dreamy Mycale project) Sofía Rei at Drom, $20 adv tix rec
1/23, 9 PM funky, fun, shapeshiftingly unpredictable art-rockers Big Figment at the Gateway in Bushwick. $5
1/27, 6 PM the Erica Seguine/Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra – arguably the most original, interesting and shapeshiftingly fun, cinematic large jazz ensemble in NYC, right up there with Darcy James Argue – at Shrine
1/31, 5 PM jazz chanteuse Suzanne Lorge and her combo at the Lounge at Hudson View Gardens, 128 Pinehurst Ave at 183rd St., $12 sugg don, reception to follow.
1/28-30 and 2/4-6, 7 PM the world premiere of the late Robert Ashley’s avant garde opera Quicksand at the Kitchen, $20. “Divided into three acts of 16 scenes each, combines separate and “moveable” sequences of choreography by Steve Paxton, electric orchestra composed by Tom Hamilton, and light environments by David Moodey to present a unified work without a linear narrative structure.. Using Ashley’s signature blend of speech and song, Quicksand tells the story of a composer who has been coerced by a U.S. Government Agency (“the Company”) to serve as a low-level spy. Traveling with his wife to an unnamed South Asian country run by a military dictatorship, he becomes involved with plans to overthrow the government through his close friendship with two tour guides. With the assistance of four American mercenaries sent by “the Company,” the composer participates in the capture and imprisonment of the country’s leaders, and the destruction of the torture operation by which the dictatorship has maintained its power.”