New York Music Daily

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Month: December, 2016

New York City and Brooklyn Live Music Calendar for January and February 2017

Constant updates: you might want to bookmark this page and check back every so often. If you don’t recognize a venue where a particular act is playing, check the comprehensive, recently updated list of over 200 New York City music venues 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 published here weeks in advance. Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar.

On select Thursdays and Sundays, 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. Perennial possibilities: Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak (!). Sugg don $10 (pay what you can), delicious gluten-free refreshments, beverages and lively conversation included! email for info/location.

Mondays in January, 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).

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 at 9 PM erudite, purist torchy jazz chanteuse Svetlana & the Delancey 5 at the Back Room, 102 Norfolk St just north of Delancey St, free

Mondays at 10 noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at the big room at the Rockwood

Also Mondays in January, 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 January, 10 PM the great unsung hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin‘s Zebtet at the Fat Cat

Tuesdays in January, 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 January, 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 at 8-ish, amazing, psychedelic instrumentalists Sandcatchers – who blend cinematic, pastoral Americana and Middle Eastern themes – at Cheryl’s Restaurant, 236 Underhill Ave. (Eastern Pkwy/Lincoln Pl.) in Ft. Greene. Closest train is actually the 2/3 to Brooklyn Museum.

Wednesdays at 8 the Brooklyn Raga Massive – a rotating cast of A-list Indian, jazz and rock musicians who love to jam out classic Indian themes from over the centuries to the present day – play Art Cafe, 884 Pacific St.(at Washington Ave) in Brooklyn, $15; closest train is the 2 to Bergen St.

Wednesdays at 9 PM Feral Foster’s Roots & Ruckus takes over the Jalopy, a reliably excellent weekly mix of oldtimey acts: blues, bluegrass, country and swing.

Thursdays in January, 11ish darkly rustic Brazilian rainforest folk (and John Zorn covers) with Forro in the Dark at Nublu 151

Fridays and Saturdays at 5 PM adventurous indie classical string quartet Ethel plus frequent special guests playing a mix of classical and more contemporary material at the balcony bar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

Fridays at around 9:30 PM Bulgarian Romany sax legend Yuri Yunakov with his wild but haunting band at Mehanata

Saturdays Jan 7 and 14 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 in January at 6 PM eclectically brilliant jazz/musette accordionist Will Holshouser with a series of groups at Barbes

Saturdays in February, 6 PM eclectic, vivid jazz cellist/singer Marika Hughes & Bottom Heavy at Barbes

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

Sundays in January at sometime past noon at Hank’s, Nashville gothic crooner Sean Kershaw‘s legendary honkytonk brunch is back! It’s just like 1999 again!

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 January, 7 PM spine-tingling darkly mystical art-rock/avant-garde/chamber pop songwriter Carol Lipnik – pretty much everybody’s choice for best singer in all of NYC – at Pangea

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 at Barbes at around 9:30 PM paradigm-shifting Romany jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel – who blends Django with ominous Pink Floyd art-rock and growling post-Velvets psychedelia.

1/1, 5 PM luminary trumpeter Christine Jensen, pianist Helge Nysted and special guests at St. Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex

1/1-7 at 9 PM or later (check the club calendar) hypnotically psychedelic, microtonally guitar-fueled East African psychedelic band 75 Dollar Bill play a weeklong stand at Troost

1/1, 7 PM roaring 20s hot jazz with Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers at Radegast Hall. They’re at St. Mazie’s on 1/7 at 10:30

1/2, 3 and 5 PM a massive group of NYC classical talent performs new works by composers from the Trinity Church circle including Doug Balliett, James Blachly, Caleb Burhans, Owen Burdick, Chris DeBlasio, Eric Dudley, Caroline Shaw, Julian Wachner, and Jonathan Woody at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, 209 Broadway off Fulton, free, reception to follow the 5 PM concert

1/2, 6 PM  noir-inspired low-register reedman Ben Goldberg and drummer Tom Rainey celebrate the 25th anniversary of Downtown Music Gallery

1/2, 6 PM tuneful piano jazz with the Jiyoun Lee Quartet (the so-called Queen of Arpeggios) at Silvana

1/2, 7 PM the amazing JP Jofre / Miho Hazama Project featuring a string quartet from the New Asia Chamber Music Society playing cross-pollinated nuevo tango and lush big band jazz sounds at Joe’s Pub, $18

1/2, 7 PM shamisen player/singer/improviser Emi Makabe leads her quartet with Vitor Gonçalves, piano, accordion; Thomas Morgan, bass; Nate Wood, drums at 55 Bar

1/2, 7 PM deviously fun baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson’s Quartet with Ryan Frazier – trumpet; Devin Hoff – bass; Alex Cline – drums followed at 8 by Gerald Cleaver – drums / Chris Potter – tenor sax at Clemente Soto Valez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk St

1/2, 9 PM guitarist/singer Kiki Sabater’s careeningly psychedelic, Hole-like power trio Slow Suck at Bowery Electric, $8

1/2, 9 PM sweeping, swinging vibraphone jazz with Behn Gillece and his quartet at the Fat Cat

1/2, 10 PM state-of-the-art postbop guitarist Will Bernard leads his quartet at the small room at the Rockwood

1/3, 1 PM the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra perform parts 1 and 3 of the Bach Christmas Oratorio at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, free. They’re doing parts 2 and 4 the following afternoon, 1/4 at 1 and parts 5-6 on 1/6 at 1

1/3, 6 PM innovative art-rock/postrock string chamber ensemble Founders perform creative arrangements of American music by Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Harold Arlen, Bobby Bland and more, along with Edgar Allan Poe lyrics set to new music at the small room at the Rockwood. 1/10, 5 PM they’re at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, 209 Broadway off Fulton, free

1/3, 7 PM a benefit for Doctors without Borders in reverse order: hilarious 70s metal parody band Mighty High, a rare reunion by well-loved early zeros powerpop/janglerockers the Star Spangles, with opening sets by punk bands Trashy and the Whores at St. Vitus, $12

1/3, 8:30 PM the Out Louds – Tomas Fujiwara – drums; Ben Goldberg – clarinets; Mary Halvorson – guitar devise music inspired by plant species at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens at I-Beam, $15

1/3-8, 8:30/10:30 lyrical jazz piano icon Fred Hersch‘s Trio + 2 with Dayna Stephens (sax) Mike Rodriguez (trumpet) John Hébert (bass) Eric McPherson (drums) at the Vanguard, $25

1/3, 9 PM crystalline-voiced noir Americana songwriter Jessie Kilguss at 11th St. Bar

1/3, 9 PM tectonically shifting improvisational soundscapes with Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber followed at 11ish by darkly rustic Brazilian rainforest folk (and John Zorn covers) with Forro in the Dark at Nublu 151

1/3, 9 PM brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet play classic salsa grooves at the Fat Cat. He’s also at the Nuyorican at 10 on 1/17 and 1/24

1/3, 9 PM pensively improvisational, purposeful saxophonist Jure Pukl leads his group at Happy Lucky No 1 Gallery

1/3, 10 PM acerbic alto saxophonist David Binney leads his quartet at at 55 Bar

1/4, 5 PM  Elspeth Davis, mezzo-soprano; Erika Dohi, piano and Sandbox Percussion perform George Crumb’s American Songbook III: Unto These Hills at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, 209 Broadway off Fulton, free.

1/4, 6 PM psychedelically machinegunning virtuoso Max ZT on the hammered dulcimer at the Rubin Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

1/4, 7:30 PM intense, fearlessly relevant Middle Eastern clarinetist Kinan Azmeh‘s kinetic, picturesque City Band at Drom, $10

1/4, 7:30/9:30 PM fiery postbop jazz and Ethiopiques trumpeter Wayne Tucker leads his group at Minton’s. He’s also here on 1/31

1/4, 8 PM a rare solo show by virtuoso cellist Ian Maksin playing haunting Macedonian and Georgian folk tunes plus classics by Bill Withers, Jacques Brel and others at the Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec

1/4, 8 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

1/4, 9 PM velvety noir jazz singer (and Tickled Pinks member) Stephanie Layton’s impressively eclectic torch/swing jazz band Eden Lane at Rye Bar in Williamsburg

1/4, 9 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” at Troost in Greenpoint. 1/14 at 9 they’re at at Espresso 77, 35-57 77th Street, Jackson Hts

1/5, 6 PM the Erik Satie Quartet – Ron Hay (trombone), Max Seigel (bass trombone), Ben Holmes (trumpet), and Andrew Hadro (bari sax) –reinvent classic and obscure Satie chamber pieces as well as rare compositions by his obscure contemporaries at Silvana

1/5, 7 PM an amazing all-Korean triplebill: enigmatically improvisational psych-folk group Black String, flutist Han Chung Eun‘s band and eclectic, theatrical Korean art-rock/dance/pansori glam band Ssing Ssing at the big room at the Rockwood, $20

1/5-7 and 1/11-14 at 7 PM, also 1/8 at 2 PM Matt Marks’ lurid new electroacoustic opera Mata Hari explores the romantic intrigue and betrayal that led to her execution as a WWI spy at Here, 145 6th Ave. south of Spring, $30 

1/5, 7 PM fiery, bluesy Americana rockers Scott Wolfson & Other Heroes at the small room at the Rockwood

1/5, 7:30 PM ambient soundscapers/eclectic funkmeisters and David Bowie cover band Burnt Sugar play a “greatest hits” show at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/5, 7:30 PM longtime Piazzolla sideman and tango jazz piano luminary Pablo Ziegler leads his trio followed at 9:45 by edgy, improvisationally-inclined indie string ensemble the Sirius Quartet with guest Tracy Silverman at Club Bonafide, $15

1/5-6 state-of-the-art jazz violinist Regina Carter plays from the Ella Fitzgerald songbook at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $30

1/5, 7:30 PM, repeating 1/6-7 at 8 the NY Phil with pianist Emmanuel Ax play Kurt Weill’s Little Threepenny Music for Wind Orchestra, a new HK Gruber piano concerto and Schubert’s Symphony No. 2 at Avery Fisher Hall, $30 tix avail

1/5, 8 PM haunting Hungarian psychedelic folk band Meszecsinka, wild, improvisational accordionist David Yengibarian and pyrotechnic cimbalom virtuoso Miklos Lukacs’ enigmatic folk/art-rock trio Borbély Mihály Polygon at Drom, free; followed at 10:30 PM by psychedelic, dub-inflected tenor saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin‘s Istanbul Sessions, $15 

1/5, 8 PM dark, charismatic, mischievously witty art-rock keyboardist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez  followed by first-class oudist Brian Prunka‘s Nashaz Middle Eastern jazz project at Barbes

1/5, 8 PM Ensemble U: Estonia’s best-known contemporary music ensemble plays works by Scott Miller, Heather Stebbins, Kristjan Kõrver, Helena Tulve and Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes at the Firehouse Space, $10

1/5, 8 PM a killer multi-act Americana mini-festival at the Jalopy with stark Alaskan fiddler/poet Ken Waldman –Nic Gareiss & Maeve Gilchrist performing dance with harp; kinetic Americana songwriter/multi-instrumentalis Kaia Kater, Wild Hog (Thomas Bailey, Aaron Jonah Lewis, Max Johnson), Brian Vollmer & Claire Byrne playing old-time and country on fiddles and guitars; Miller, Knuth, Kilianski (Chris Miller, Audrey Knuth, Mark Kilianski); nd Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards (Boston twin fiddle, cello, bass), $15

1/5, 8ish noir-inspired low-register reedman Ben Goldberg‘s Invisible Guy and recent guitar monster tourmates Chris Cochrane and Marc Ribot at the Owl

1/5, 8:30 PM intense minor-key klzmer/groove/psychedelic art-rock instrumentalists Barbez followed by this era’s most chillingly cinematic, shadowy reverbtoned noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy celebrating their 20th anniversary with special guests Steven Bernstein, Charlie Giordano, Peter Hess and Willie Martinez at Union Pool

1/5, 8 PM purist, straightforward, warmly tuneful front-porch folk songwriter Joanna Sternberg at Sunny’s

1/5, 9 PM anthemic, surfy chamame rock band Paracuta followed by hard-hitting bassist Dawn Drake & Zapote playing hot Afrobeat-tinged funk grooves at Shrine

1/5, 11 PM edgy, guitar-fueled peak era King Crimson-ish art-rockers Woodhead at the Mercury, $10 

1/6, 7 PM innovative, captivating sitarist Roopa Panesar, rapturously fun Pakistani/desert rock singer/bandleader Kiran Ahluwalia, innovative Quebecoise Balkan filddler Briga, eclectic Americana/soul cellist/banjoist Lelya McCalla, at 10:45 PM lush, female-fronted chamber pop/chanson band Banda Magda and at half past midnight, noir mambo powerhouse Orkesta Mendoza at Drom

1/6, 7 PM charmingly nuanced, erudite singer/pianist and Dinah Washington reinventor  Champian Fulton leads her trio at Pangea, $20

1/6, 7 PM lush but edgy original jazz chanteuse/songwriter Gracie Terzian with guitarist Rotem Sivan at Caffe Vivaldi

1/6, 7:30 PM whirlwind clarinet and violin-fueled klezmer group Litvakus with soaring singer Sasha Lurje & Nicole Borge at the Jalopy, $15

1/6-7 and 1/9, 7:30 PM haunting, intricate composer/keyboardist Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s new opera Breaking the Waves, based on the Lars Von Trier art-house film at NYU’s Skirball Auditorium, $30 tix avail

1/6, 7:30 PM legendary avant crooner John Kelly‘s new elegaic, historically rich New York-centric retrospective Time No Line at Dixon Place, $15 adv tix rec

1/6, 8 PM haunting Puerto Rican bolero revivalists – and Sylvia Rexach reinventors – Miramar followed at 9:30 PM by fearlessly populist, wildly eclectic latin protest song maven/bandleader Ani Cordero and then at 11 by this era’s most chillingly cinematic, shadowy reverbtoned noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy at Barbes

1/6, 8 PM eclectic, theatrical Korean art-rock/dance/pansori glam band Ssing Ssing at Flushing Town Hall, $16, ages 13-19 free. 

1/6, 8 PM a cool Brooklyn psychedelic cumbia twinbill: Chicha Libre spinoff Locobeach followed by  Yotoco at the Knitting Factory, $13

1/6, 8 PM the smartly lyrical, soul-tinged Cornelius Eady Trio celebrate the release of their new album, Field Recordings; Jasmine Dreame Wagner opens the evening with music and poetry at 7 at Scholes St. Studios, free

1/6-7, 9 PM, repeating 1/8 at 3 and 7 PM and 1/9 at 3 Sylvia Milo’s fascinating biodrama The Other Mozart, bringing to life the composer’s supremely talented sister, pianist and fellow composer Nannerl and reclaiming her place in history, at the Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal St. 3rd Fl, use code MUSICBOX for $30 tix

1/6-7 and 1/11-14, 9 PM fiery, uncategorizable composer/singer Sarah Small’s new multimedia avant Balkan punk song suite Secondary Dominance featuring her amazing Balkan/Bulgarian vocal trio Black Sea Hotel at Here, 145 6th Ave south of Spring, $30

1/6, 9ish in reverse order: amazingly psychedelic guitarscaper David Grubbs, Anastasia Clarke, Max Alper/Camilla Padgitt-Coles, Julia Santoli at the Knockdown Center, $10

1/6, 9:30 M moody, purposeful Middle Eastern-tinged jazz with Uri Gurvich and his quartet at Club Bonafide, $15

1/6, 9ish in reverse order: amazingly psychedelic guitarscaper David Grubbs, ambient artist Anastasia Clarke, trippy multimedia acts Max Alper/Camilla Padgitt-Coles and Julia Santoli at the Knockdown Center, $10

1/6, 9 PM darkly edgy, politically-fueled Irish tunesmith Niall Connolly at the small room at the Rockwood

1/6, 10ish fiery, tuneful soul-punk rockers No Ice (a spinoff of the late, great Brooklyn What) play the album release show for their new one at Shea Stadium, $8

1/6, 10 PM  soaringly explosive jazz composer/torch singer Nicole Zuraitis at 55 Bar

1/6, 10:30 PM cutting-edge B3 organ and trombone soul/jazz grooves with the Jared Gold and Dave Gibson Band at the Fat Cat

1/6, 11 PM noir mambo powerhouse Orkesta Mendoza followed by hauntingly slinky Puerto Rican bolero revivalists – and Sylvia Rexach reinventors – Miramar at the Mercury, $15

1/7, 1 PM “Siren Baroque is thrilled to present a program of rare music from the convents of 17th-century Europe” by obscure women composers at the Firehouse Space, $10

1/7, 1 PM Novus NY perform the premiere of Laura Schwedinger’s Artemisia, “an opera of passion, betrayal and art in 17th century Italy based on the life of Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi” at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown,209 Broadway off Fulton, free

1/7, 6 PM amazingly eclectic jazz/oldtimey accordionist Will Holshouser  followed at 8 by Pangari & the Socialites playing classic ska, soul and rocksteady – most of it from the 60s Skatalites catalog, followed at 10 by stormy Mexican ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

1/7, 6 PM intensely lyrical, soaring art-rock pianist/uke player/bicycle athlete Joanna Wallfisch at the small room at the Rockwood

1/7, 7 PM all-female pan-latin rockers Ladama, otherworldly Tuvan throat-singing group Alash, legendary Ethiopiques jazz artist Girma Beyene & psychedelic Ethiopian groove orchestra Feedel Band , haunting Puerto Rican bolero revivalists – and Sylvia Rexach reinventors – Miramar, Moroccan trance grooes with Innov Gnawa,, latin rockers the Battle of Santiago, African dance-rap with Janka Nabay, and Afrobeat band Underground System at Drom, $10

1/7, 7 PM Helga Davis and Davóne Tines’ multimedia suite Requiem for a Tuesday, exploring violence against black communities, featuring Marc Cary on piano and the PubliQuartet at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix req

1/7, 7:30 PM ambitious, smart, noir-inclined tenor saxophonist Patrick Cornelius leads a trio at th Bar Next Door

1/7, 8ish a benefit for Syrian refugees with Haleh Liza, Juliet Rabia Gentile, Adam Maalouf, Elysian Fields art-rock guitar god Oren Bloedow, pianist Brittany Anjou and oud mastermind Zafer Tawil and more at the Owl, sugg don

1/7, 8 PM edgy, charismatic, hauntingly otherworldly LES rock diva Carol Lipnik, with her astonishing four-octave range, backed by her longtime pianist Matt Kanelos at Dixon Place, $15 adv tix rec

1/7, 8 PM careeningly intense gutter blues bandleader Breanna Barbara and tuneful, diverse retro 60s psychedelic garage rockers the Mystery Lights at Baby’s All Right, $12. 1/13 at 11 PM Breanna Barbara and band are at Shea Stadium followed by awesomely unhinged horror surf/hotrod instrumentalists the Mad Doctors , $10

1/7-8 and 1/11-14, 8 PM David Lang’s grisly new opera Anatomy Theatre – chronicling the final months of an English murderess from her conviction to execution and then postmortem – at Bric Arts, $30 

1/7, 8 PM New Orleans and noir swing with Davina & the Vagabonds and then a reunion of legendary 90s oldtimey revivalists the Squirrel Nut Zippers at Highline Ballroom, $30

1/7, 8 PM “Quartetto Tomassini is coming to Scholes Street Studio with original arrangements of Astor Piazzolla, beloved popular tangos and American standards.”

1/7, 8 PM cleverly tuneful, understatedly haunting composer and piano improviser Anthony Coleman leads a guitar-drums trio with Brian Chase and Chris Cochrane at the Firehouse Space, $10

1/7, 8:30 PM the Brooklyn Raga Massive – a rotating cast of A-list Indian, jazz and rock musicians who love to jam out classic Indian themes from over the centuries to the present day –at the big room at the Rockwood , $15. Followed at 10 ($12 separate adm) by intense, piano-based, Aimee Mann-style literate chamber pop group Elizabeth & the Catapult and then at 11:30 (no admission charge) by amazingly eclectic female-fronted latin/Mediterranean/Romany and charming French ye-ye pop with Banda Magda and then at half past midnight by keyboardist and occasional Karla Rose collaborator Frank LoCrasto‘s cinematic “exotica hour”

1/7, 9 PM jangly, sharply lyrical folk-rock/chamberpop band the Morning Sea – like a more stripped-down, less druggy Elliott Smith – at the Way Station. They’re back here on 1/21 at 9 and then 1/28 at 9 PM followed at 10 by wild, noisy, genuinely Hendrixian virtuoso lead guitarist Viva DeConcini and her band and then 11 by oldschool psychedelic soul/groove band Empire Beats

1/7, 9 PM eclectic, misty, Lynchian pastoral jazz chanteuse Kristina Koller and her combo at Bar Thalia, free

1/8, short sets by a big roster of up-and-coming jazz talent starting at half past noon violinist Curtis Stewart and group followed at 1:10 by trombonist Nick Finzer, 1:40 pianist Chris Ziemba, 2:10 trombonist Jimmy O’Connell and others at Michiko Studios, 149 W 46th St., free

1/8, 2:30 PM Eli Yamin and the Astro Intergenerational Arkestra perform selections from their new CD, Message From Saturn, a space odyssey [yup] inspired by Sun Ra and Mary Lou Williams at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, $10

 1/8, 3 PM  the Miolina Violin Duo and the North/South Chamber Orchestra premiere works by Carson Cooman, Victor Kioulaphides,Max Lifchitz , William Toutant at Christ & St Stephen’s Church, 120 W 69th St (bet Bway & Columbus), free 

1/8, 4 PM guitar mastermind Danny Weiss’ and magical Americana singer Mary Olive Smith’s soulful retro bluegrass band Stillhouse Serenade at the Old Stone House, $10

1/8, 4:30 PM theatrical, philosophical, unselfconsciously poetic singer/pianist/composer Mong-Lan‘s fascinating, multimedia River of Senses: Dream Songs & Tangos chronicles a Vietnamese refugee’s eventful, tango-fueled journey from Saigon to Buenos Aires, via America at Don’t Tell Mama, 343 W 46th St, $15

1/8, 5/8:30 PM well-loved 90s goth/noise purveyors Blonde Redhead play a rare intimate show at the Poisson Rouge, $30 adv tix req

1/8, 6 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo and his trio followed at 8 by bassist Scott Colley’s 2×3 Featuring Kevin Hays, Nate Smith + special guests at 55 Bar

1/8, 7 PM guitarists Jack Petruzzelli and Cameron Greider play their electric guitar arrangements of Ravel and Bartok, followed at 9 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

1/8, 7 PM Daniel Levin and Henry Fraser play duels with cello and contrabass at Downtown Music Gallery

1/8, 7:30 PM in reverse order at Highline Ballroom: rare noir jazz and cinematic themes from the 30s and 40s withBrian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra, feral New Orleans blues/klezmer/reggae/soca jamband Hazmat Modine, original klezmer punks the Klezmatics,  and innovative Quebecoise Balkan fiddler Briga, $20 adv tix rec

1/8, 8 PM eclectic third-stream jazz pianist Laila Biali and her group at the third stage at the Rockwood ,$10

1/8, 8:30ish kinetic Americana songwriter/banjoist Kaia Kater, thoughtful newschool Americana songstress Kristin Andreassen and charming antique Appalachian folk duo Anna & Elizabeth at the small room at the Rockwood. If you feel like paying a cover to see Anna & Elizabeth, they’re at National Sawdust on 1/20 at 7 for twenty bucks in advance…but no drink minimum.

1/8, 8:30 PM the Jentsch Group No Net play the brilliant cult favorite jazz guitarist’s Topics in American History – his chamber jazz abstraction of historical themes and events – at I-Beam, $15

1/8, 9 PM dynamic, subtle ex-Mariachi Flor de Toloache singer Maya Lazaro – now working a simmering oldschool soul sound – at Sunnyvale, $10

1/8, 11 PM haunting Nashville gothic songwriter Jaye Bartell at Union Pool, $8

1/8, midnightish psychedelic, dub-inflected tenor saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin‘s Istanbul Sessions at Nublu 151

1/9, noon the Hillbenders play their wryly twisted bluegrass version of the Who’s Tommy at Lucille’s, $12

1/9, 7 PM intense Balkan chanteuse Jenny Luna‘s haunting, traditional Turkish band Dolunay, fearless Romany/Balkan chaunteuse Eva Salina with pyrotechnic accordionist Peter Stan, the eclectic, jazz-tinged Macedonian sounds of Tavche Gravche and oudist Brian Prunka’s similarly diverse Nashaz at Gallery MC, 549 W 52nd St., 8th Fl

1/9, 7;30 PM irrepressible indie classical art-rock band the Bang on a Can All-Stars play new works by Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Juan Felipe Waller, an excerpt from Michael Gordon’s chamber opera Van Gogh, music by Philip Glass and moreat Merkin Concert Hall, $25

1/9, 7:30 PM Juilliard Chamber Fest starts with a performance of the DVORÁK String Quintet in G Major, Op. 77 and Brahms’ Piano Quintet No. 1 at Paul Hall at Juilliard, free, adv tix req

1/9, 8 PM haunting, paradigm-shifting trumpeter/composer trumpeter Amir ElSaffar with Tomas Fujiwara on drums and Ole Mathisen on sax at the Fridman Gallery, 287 Spring St., $20

1/9, 9 PM brilliant Americana jazz pedal steel player Susan Alcorn and hypnotic postrock sax ensemble Battle Trance at the Silent Barn, $10

1/9, 9:30 PM the Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta play classic 70s style psychedelic salsa at Barbes

1/10, 6:45 PM Charlie Haden’s improvisationally-inclined Liberation Music Orchestra with special guest Geri Allen on piano at the Poisson Rouge, $30 adv tix req

1/10, 7 PM intense, edgily tuneful Texas tenor saxophonist Stan Killian leads his postbop quartet at 55 Bar

1/10, 7:30 PM Juilliard Chamber Fest continues with Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 11, Prokofiev’s Quintet in G Minor and Brahms’ String Quartet No. 2 at Paul Hall at Julliard, free, adv tix req

1/10-15 popular lyrical pianist Bill Charlap plays a week at the Jazz Standard. 1/10 solo, 1/11 with Carol Sloane, 1/12-13 with Renee Rosnes, 1-14-15 with Freddy Cole and Houston Person, $30/$35 on the weekend

1/10, 8 PM not music-related but fun: this month’s Secret Science Club installment features author  Alexandra Horowitz discussing “Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell” at the Bell House, free 

1/10-14, 8 PM Philippe Quesne‘s La Melacolie des Dragons: “A band of longhaired metalheads decide that the snowy forest where their hatchback has stalled might be the perfect location to build a new heavy metal-themed amusement park. A helpful stranger is invited into their world of classic rock, medieval recorders, and large inflatable sculptures. An international audience favorite, this three-dimensional poem is full of visual wonder, joy and melancholy, and sincere delight in human existence,” at the Kitchen, $25

1/10-15, 9 PM drummer Jim Black plays a weeklong stand at the Stone. Choice pick: the 1/13 show with the deliciously noisy Eyebone: Nels Cline (guitar) Elias Stemeseder (keyboards) Jim Black (drums, electronics), $20

1/10, 9:30 PM the Bronx Conexion play their mighty salsa big band jazz at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, $10

1/10-14 11:30 PM lyrical pianist Chris Pattishall with bassist Marty Jaffe and drummer Kyle Poole at Dizzy’s Club, $5/$20 on the weekend

1/11, 6:30 PM guerrilla documentarian/photographer Clayton Patterson debates Forest City Ratner shill Marty Markowitz on the pros and cons of gentrification at the Museum of the City of New York, $20, reception to follow. Dollars to donuts that Patterson mops the floor with the ex-Brooklyn Borough President.

1/11, 7 PM eclectically funky, lyrical chanteuse/saxophonist Grace Kelly at Joe’s Pub, $25. Followed at 9:30 (separate $20 admission) by the Brooklyn Raga Massive – a rotating cast of A-list Indian, jazz and rock musicians who love to jam out classic Indian themes from over the centuries to the present day – playing Terry Riley’s In C

1/11, 7 PM eclectic, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette with Peter Bernstein:guitar and Ari Hoenig drums at Smoke, $12

1/11, 7 PM Stephanie Chase, violin and Sara Davis Buechner, piano play rarely heard and little-known music by Mozart, Turina and Friml at the Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix avail

1/11, 7:30 PM Juilliard Chamber Fest continues with Mozart’s Quintet in A Major for Clarinet and Strings and Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time at Paul Hall at Juilliard, free, adv tix req

1/11, 8 PM epic, exhilarating original Balkan brass music with alto saxophonist/clarinetist Greg Squared’s Expanded Circle at Barbes

1/11, 8 PM solo guitarscapes from Jason McMahon, assaultive trio Jobs (formerly Killer Bob) and pianist/composer Matt Mehlan’s chamber jazz septet Facelessness at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

1/11, 8:30 PM noir-inspired low-register reedman Ben Goldberg, trombonist Brian Drye and pianist Jacob Sacks improvise, followed by multi-reedman/brilliant composer Mike McGinnis’s MusicNOW Trio at I-Beam, $15

1/11, 8:30 PM violinist Asi Matathias and pianist Victor Stanislavsky play works by Bloch, Stravinsky and Saint-Saens at the 92nd St Y, $25

1/11, 9:30 PM haunting, intense flamenco jazz pianist Chano Dominguez & the NY Flamenco Ensemble at Club Bonafide, $15

1/11, 10:30 PM catchy, propulsive postbop trombonist Jimmy O’Connell leads his sextet at Smalls

1/12, 5 PM the world premiere of Paola Prestini’s indie classical take on the classical choral mass tradition “Mass Reimmaginings,” at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, 209 Broadway off Fulton, free

1/12, 6 PM the improvisationally-inclined Osso String Quartet at Silvana

1/12, 7 PM a Pre-Golden Fest Celebration at Sunnyvale, $12. In reverse order: wild, feral, intricate psychedelic metal versions of classic underground 1920s and 1930s Greek hash smoking music from Greek Judas; epic, original, intense original Balkan sounds from Raya Brass Band; the organ-fueled Choban Elektrik – the Balkan Doors – and lickety-split, spiraling, rare rustic minor-key Polesian klezmer dances and grooves with Litvakus 

1/12, 7:30 PM powerhouse clarinetist Ilye Shneyveys supplies the good vibes at a klezmer dance party at the Jalopy, $15

1/12, 7:30 PM the PubliQuartet play works by Jessie Montgomery and Matthew Brown and improvise on themes by Dvorak at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/12, 7:30 PM Juilliard Chamber Fest continues with the Weinberg String Quintet and Grieg’s String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 27 at Paul Hall at Julliard, free, adv tix req

1/12, 7:30 PM the Parker Quartet play Mendelssohn: Quartet No. 1 and Brahms: Clarinet Quintet at the Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker St. west of Bowery, $27 tix avail

1/12, 8 PM the plush, balmy, oldtimey uke swing of Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies followed by hard-hitting original Balkan rockers Tipsy Oxcart at Barbes

1/12, 8 PM wild, noisy, genuinely Hendrixian virtuoso lead guitarist Viva DeConcini and her band at the Way Station

1/12, 8 PM noir jazz piano mastermind Frank Kimbrough with bassist Masa Kamaguchi at Mezzrow, $20

1/12, 9 PM smart, cleverly lyrical original swing chanteuse/songwriter/trombonist Emily Asher’s Garden Party at Radegast Hall

1/12, 9 PM magically nuanced drummer Carlo Costa and his Group at the Firehouse Space, $10

1/12, 10 PM King Isto’s Tropical String Band playing awesomely fun, catchy Hawaiian slack-key guitar music at Sunny’s

1/13-19 the New York theatrical premiere of Dave Davidson & Amber Edwards’ new documentary “Vince Giordano — There’s a Future in the Past. “The man and the band who make the Jazz Age come alive! What does it take to keep Jazz Age music going strong in the 21 st century? Two words: Vince Giordano – bandleader, musician, historian,collector and NYC institution. For nearly 40 years, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks have brought the joyful syncopation of the 1920s and ‘30s to life with their virtuosity, vintage musical instruments, and more than 60,000 period band arrangements.This joyful documentary offers an intimate portrait of Vince, taking us behind the scenes as he shares his passion of hot jazz with a new generation of music and swing-dance fans,” at Cinema Village Theater: 22 E 12th St (between 5th & University), showtimes: 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm, tix $12 Adults / $8 Seniors, Students, Children, 212-924- 3363 Vince Giordano + filmmakers Dave Davidson & Amber Edwards will appear at 7pm shows on Friday, Saturday 

1/13, 5:30 PM Anana Kaye, catchy, soul-infused existentialist parlor pop mavens Sweet Soubrette and up-and-coming paisley underground band Moji Abiola – who add soulful vocals to the psychedelic mix – at the American Folk Art Museum

1/13, 6 PM New Orleans’ guy/girl Balkan ensemble Blato Zlato followed at 7 by dynamic, often haunting Balkan band the G String Orchestra at Shrine

1/13, 6 PM crystalline-voiced, noir-tinged third-stream jazz chanteuse Tessa Souter and her band at 55 Bar

1/13, 7 PM Lesley Karsten‘s sarcastically titled new Astor Piazzolla biodrama That’s Not Tango with a killer band feat. Brandt Fredriksen (piano), JP Jofre (bandoneon), and Nick Danielson (violin) at Subculture, $25 adv tix rec

1/13, 7 PM thoughtful, luminous, smart art-rock/improvisational jazz pianist Matt Kanelos solo followed by guitarist Mike Baggetta leading a trio at the Drawing Room, 56 Willoughby #3, downtown Brooklyn, $10

1/13-14, 7/10 PM dramatic gospel-inflected drag crooner/pianist M. Lamar plays his creepy, politically relevant new suite Funeral Doom Spiritual at National Sawdust, $30

1/13, 7:30 PM Golden Fest – NYC’s funnest music festival – starts tonight with scores of Balkan and Romany bands from around the world at the sumptuous Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave (4th/5th Aves) in Kensington, Brooklyn, R to Prospect Ave. Tix for tonight are $35, bands go til 2 in the morning and then basically all night on Saturday, when the show starts at 6.

1/13-14, 7:30 PM the lush Euroradio Jazz Orchestra led by Ohad Talmor at the Jazz Gallery, $22

1/13, 7:30 PM Juilliard Chamber Fest continues with Arensky’s String Quartet No. 2; Harrison’s Twilight Music for horn, violin, and piano and Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor at Paul Hall at Julliard, free, adv tix req

1/13, 7:30 PM reliably purposeful multi-reed improviser Marty Ehrlich leads a quartet at Smalls

1/13, 8 PM playfully literate superduo Kill Henry Sugar – guitar/banjo mastermind Erik Della Penna and drummer Dean Sharenow – folllowed at 10 by awesomely slinky, psychedelic Israeli Ethiopiques groove instrumentalists Anbessa Orchestra  at Barbes

1/13, 8 PM Americana rock sirens and ex-Red Molly bandmates Carolann Solebello  and Abbie Gardner at the Jalopy, $15

1/13, 8 PM Misha Piatigorsky‘s tuneful, dynamic, wit-infused Sketchy Orkestra at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

1/13, 9 PM delicious original Americana/newgrass band Chamomile & Whiskey at Hill Country

1/13. 10 PM intense frontwoman Hannah Fairchild’s searingly lyrical punk/art-rock/noir cabaret band Hannah vs. the Many at the Way Station

1/13, 11 PM fiery, eclectic Turkish art-rock guitarist Demir Demirkan’s Anatolian Knights with chanteuse Demet Sagiroglu at Drom, $25 adv tix rec

1/13, 11 PM trippy London downtempo/acid jazz guy Yussef Kamaal at the Guadalupe Inn, 1 Knickerbocker at Johnson, L to Morgna Ave., $10

1/14, 3 PM Juilliard Chamber Fest continues with Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11, Schoenberg’s Piano Septet, Op. 29 and DVORÁK Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major,at Paul Hall at Julliard, free, adv tix req

1/14, 3 PM Balkan/Latin/New Orleans brass grooves with the Underground Horns at Radegast Hall

1/14-15, 5 PM the Brooklyn Youth Chorus perform their new multimedia suite Silent Voices, examining the grim realities of marginalized young people with music by Sahba Aminikia, Jeff Beal, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Shara Nova, at the French Institute’s Florence Gould Hall, 55 E 59th St, $30

1/14, 6 PM amazingly eclectic jazz/oldtimey accordionist Will Holshouser followed at 8 by Brooklyn’s funnest new band, psychedelic organ-driven Middle Eastern-tinged surf rock trio Hearing Things at Barbes

1/14, 7 PM Electric Diamond – Scott Diamond and Don Slepian – play their wild multimedia version of Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition at the Firehouse Space, $10

1/14, 7 PM saxophonist/jazz singer Stephanie Chou leads her quintet at Joe’s Pub, $22

1/14, 7:30 PM Glass Farm Ensemble with Charlotte Mundy, voice; Martha Cargo, flute; Eileen Mack, clarinet; Leah Asher, violin/viola; Mariel Roberts, cello; Yvonne Troxler, piano. play Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire plus works by Willy Burkhard, Michel Jarrell, György Kurtag and Roland Moser. at Symphony Space, $20

1/14, 7:30 PM check out this awesome lineup and awesome program of rare oboe and bassoon works; Stuart Breczinski, oboe; Cat Cantrell, oboe; Nanci Belmont, bassoon; Brad Balliett, bassoon; Liz Dorman, piano play Sonatine for Oboe and Bassoon, Jolivet; Duo Sonata for Two Bassoons, Sofia Gubaidulina; Trio Sonata for Two Oboes, Bassoon, and Harpsichord/Piano, Zelenka at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 139 St. John’s Place, Park Slope, 2/3 to Grand Army Plaza, sugg don

1/14 8 PM Aleppo oudist/singer Muhammad Qadri Dalal and ensemble playing classic Syrian music at Alwan for the Arts is SOLD OUT

1/14, 8 PM Abraham’s River fka Mac McCarty & the Kidd Twist Band play their fiery, sometimes unexpectedly poignant Pogues-ish, fearlessly political punk and folk noir at Sidewalk

1/14, 8 PM pianist James Johnston plays works by Philip Glass, David T. Little, Missy Mazzoli, Eve Beglarian, Max Richter, Radiohead and others at Scholes St. Studios

1/14, 8 PM acoustic guitarist Robin Greenstein and Americana close harmony group Windborne at the People’s Voice Cafe

1/14, 8 PM Manhattan Chamber Players play works by Antonín Dvořák and JP Jofre at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv rix rec

1/14, 9 PM roots reggae, mento, ska and dub,with Dubistry at Shrine

1/14, 10 PM post-Stooges riff-rock stoners the Greasy Hearts followed by similar stoner 70s Murder City style rockers  Sun Voyager at Sunnyvale, $10

1/15, 2 PM Billygoat – plucked strings and slide, Britfolk and enigmatically noisy improv from Michelle Segre and Jennifer Sirey – at Mayflower Bar in  Ft. Greene 

1/15, 3 PM new music with shorts sets by the Etienne Charles Project, Turtle Island Quartet, and Helen Sung  Group at the DiMenna Center, free

1/15, 4 PM baroque string ensemble ACRONYM joins baritone Jesse Blumberg in a program entitled Valley of Tears: Bass Cantatas and Instrumental Sonatas by Johann Rosenmüller. at Corpus Christi Church, 529 W 121st St, $10 tix avail

1/15, 4 PM a post-Golden Fest Balkan bill with Western Greek band Pontic Firebird, Loza, New Orleans’ Blato Zlato, NYC supergroup Orkestar BAM and the Balkan-American stars of tomorrow, Cocek Nation at Drom, $10

1/15, 5 PM this era’s most dynamic extrovert drummer, Rudy Royston leads his group at St. Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex

1/15, 6 PM a benefit for the Womens’ March on Washington at City Winery, $20, with women artists from the worlds of jazz, reggae, chamber pop, latin, Middle Eastern and the avant garde:  Yo La Tengo headline, preceded in order by Pyeng Theadgill, Faith,  Mazz Swift, Arooj Aftab, Ani Codero, Larkin Grimm and Anais Maviel, Elena Moon Park and Camila Meza

1/15, 7 PM jangly, spiky, guitarishly brilliant Afrobeat band Timbila  followed at 9 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

1/15, 7 PM guitarist Kristo Rodzevski leads a quintet with Mary Halvorson on electric guitar and Tomeika Reid on cello at Joe’s Pub, $15

1/15, 7 PM pianist Marie McAuliffe and Canadian reedman David Aaron on various saxophones plus brilliant, subtle drummer Dave Gould at the Firehouse Space, $10

1/15, 7:30 PM young female Korean-American rising stars of the jazz world: criss-pollinating pansori jazz chanteuse Song Yi Jeon and her Quintet followed by the Jihye Lee Orchestra and then alto saxophonist Yoosun Nam and her Quintet at Club Bonafide, $15

1/16, 8 PM Mirror Visions Ensemble sing the four winning pieces from their inaugural Young Composer’s Competition—Margaret Barrett’s At a Window, with text by Carl Sandburg; John Glover’s Squall with text by Leonora Speyer; Aaron Grad’s Invitation to Love with text by Paul Laurence Dunbar; and Daniel Temkin’s Summer Rain with text by James Joyce plus an Emily Dickinson-inspired song cycle by Tom Cipullo at the Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker off Bowery, $20 

1/16, 9 PM legendary dual-reedman George Braith – who can play two saxes at once better than most guys can play one – leading his quartet at the Fat Cat

1/16, 9:30 PM stragglers from Golden Fest blast into Barbes. Maybe a Slavic Soul Party  flashmob. Expect horns and minor keys.

1/16. 10 PM explosive, creepy, colorful psychedelic rembetiko metal band Greek Judas at LIC Bar

1/17, 6:30 PM edgy British noir cabaret chanteuse/political satirist Melinda Hughes with pianist David Shenton at Caffe Vivaldi

1/17, 7 PM  the Bushwick Book Club – a collective of incredibly diverse, typically excellent songwriters including irrepressibly fun ringleader Susan Hwang, the haunting Jessie Kilguss, and parlor pop mavens Sweet Soubrette play songs inspired by Vonnegut’s 2005 essay collection Man Without a Country followed by ten-piece funky Balkan brass/Ellington jazz monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

1/17, 7:30 PM the Zora String Quartet play works by Mozart, Webern and Shostakovich at Merkin Concert Hall, $10 tix avail

1/17-22, 8:30/10:30 PM state-of-the-art bassist/composer Christian McBride leads his quartet with Marcus Strickland (tenor sax) Josh Evans (trumpet) Nasheet Waits (drums) at the Vanguard, $25

1/17-22, 9 PM diverse avant-garde guitarist James Moore of the Dither Quartet plays a weeklong stand at the Stone, $20. Choice pick: the 1/20 show with Forever House feat. Meaghan Burke (cello, voice) James Ilgenfritz (bass)  Peter Wise (drums) and special guests

1/18, 7 PM lead guitarist to the stars of the Americana and Greek psychedelic underworld, Homeboy Steve Antonakos plays the album release show for his catchy new powerpop cd Bodega Rock at the Parkside

1/18, 8 PM adventurous, powerhouse oudist/composer/musical traveler Kane Mathis at Barbes

1/18, 8 PM multi-instrumentalist avant-garde singer Ka Baird collaborates with Marcia Bassett on Buchla Easel and sound reactive projections from Camilla Padgitt-Coles in an exploration of our murkiest interior selves at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

1/18, 8 PM ex-Dylan lead guitarist Larry Campbell with singer Teresa Williams and guest country/blues guitar goddess Cindy Cashdollar at City Winery, $22 standing room avail

1/19, 7:30 PM hauntingly psychedelic, theatrical female-fronted art-rockers Goddess  at Dixon Place, free

1/19, 7:30 PM fiery klezmer trumpeter Jordan Hirsch’s “Overnight Kugel” at the Jalopy, $15

1/19. 7:30 PM hypnotically kinetic Garifuna rocker Aurelio and band at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/19, 7:30 PM latin jazz piano titan Arturo O’Farrill hosts a benefit for with an all-star jazz cast including but not limited to Claudia Acuña, Fabian Almazan, Lakecia Benjamin, Stephan Crump, Peter Evans, Mary Halvorson, Vijay Iyer, Amirtha Kidambi, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Roy Nathanson, the Jazz Passengers, Matthew Shipp, Jen Shyu, Somi, The Westerlies  at Symphony Space, $30

1/19-21 luminary jazz drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts leads his group playing a weekend birthday stand at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $30

1/19, 8 PM in reverse order at the Owl: multi-reed maven Ned Rothenberg‘s In Cahoots’ cd release show with pianist Sylvie Courvosier and violinist Mark Feldman; intense Balkan chanteuse Jenny Luna‘s haunting, traditional Turkish band Dolunay, and Sharq Attack with Marandi Hostetter, 5 string violin; Brian Prunka, oud; John Murchison, double bass and Philip Mayer, percussion jamming out classic Middle Eastesrn themes

1/19, 8 PM the uneasily cinematic art-rock Pi PowerTrio  – film composer and former Raybeat Pat Irwin (guitar, electronics), Sasha Dobson (drums, vocals) and Daria Grace (bass, vocals) at Hifi Bar

1/19, 8 PM a wild night at Issue Project Room – feral cellist/vocalist Audrey Chen, Nextworks (Joan LaBarbara and  Miguel Frasconi, Doron Sadja and Raul de Nieves plus MV Carbon and Bradley Eros, $15

1/19, 8 PM French Romany jazz guitar band Les Beaux Tailleurs followed at 10 by charismatic, fearlessly political, lurid noir Americana songwriter and banjoist Curtis Eller at Barbes. Eller is also at Rest-Au-Rant, 30-01 35th Ave. in Long Island City on 1/21 at 10.

1/19, 8 PM pianist Jiayin Sun plays a Busoni  sesquicentennial recital at Paul Hall at Juilliard, free

1/19, 9:30 PM indie classical gothic: David Lang’s Death Speaks and Brooks Frederickson’s Song Cycle performed by a first-class cast: Eliza Bagg, Ashley Bathgate, Karl Larson & Brendon Randall-Myers at the Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec

1/20, 3 PM a concert joining voices for: WQXR host Nadia Sirota leads the audience in an interactive performance of Pauline Oliveros’ enigmatic, improvisational close harmony study Tuning Meditation at the Fuentidueña Chapel at the Cloisters, free with museum adm but rsvp reqd, A to 190th St and walk into Ft. Tryon Park

1/20, 7 PM Bearthoven and RighteousGirls – flutist Gina Izzo and pianist Erika Dohi – play an indie classical program tba at Joe’s Pub, $15 adv tix rec

1/20. 7:30 PM oldschool 70s style psychedelic salsa band Ola Fresca at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/20, 7:30 PM Iranian art-rocker/multi-instrumentalist Fared Shafinury & Tehranosaurus play the album release show for his new one Into the Night at the Poisson Rouge, $30 adv tix req

1/20, 7:30 PM the Turkish/North African/Nigerian Dahka Band at Club Bonafide, $15

1/20, 7:30 PM the American String Quartet play works by Webern, Ravel and the Brahms, Clarinet Quintet at Greenfield Hall at Manhattan School of Music, free

1/20, 7:30 PM the New Juilliard Ensemble with Disklavier player piano perform pan latin works by Alejandro García Caturla, Alejandro Iglesias Rossi, Amoxtli Yoalli Ehecatl, Alejandro Castaños , Alberto Villalpando, Roberto Sierra at Symphony Space, free

1/20, 7:30 PM the MSM Chamber Orchestra play Adams, Shaker Loops; Villa-Lobos, Bachianas brasileiras No.5 for Soprano and Orchestra of Cellos; Milhaud, La Création du monde; and Stravinsky, Ebony Concerto at Ades Performance Space at Manhattan School of Music, free

1/20, 8 PM psychedelic gnawa/downtempo grooves with Club d’Elf playing the album release show for their new one with special guests Mat Maneri, John Medeski and Hassan Hakmoun at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

1/20, 10 PM catchy, fiery, female-fronted janglerockers/powerpop band Above the Moon – like a more forceful take on Versus – at Arlene’s, $10

1/20, 10:30 PM singer Tammy Scheffer leads her quintet with the excellent, lyrical Chris Ziemba on piano at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

1/20 toy piano virtuoso Phyllis Chen plays an all-Pauline Oliveros program at the DiMenna Center

1/21, 11 AM meet at the NW corner of 2nd Ave and 46th St and march with electically kinetic klezmer/cumbia/cinematic jamband Metropolitan Klezmer

1/21, 6 PM amazingly eclectic jazz/oldtimey accordionist Will Holshouser  followed at 8 by chamber pop/Romany/Americana violinist/songwriter Sarah Alden  and then Cumbiagra – whose take on psychedelic cumbias is more rustic and purist than most bands who play that stuff –at Barbes

1/21, 7 PM the Brooklyn New Music Collective plays a composer portrait of Steven Burke at Spectrum, $15

1/21, 7 PM catchy, purist vintage Dire Straits-ish Americana rock with Whisperado at Branded Saloon

1/21, 7:15 PM epic minor-key New Orleans blues/klezmer/soca/reggae jamband Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues

1/21, 7:30/9:30 PM haunting pan-Asian avant-jazz songstress/composer Jen Shyu  plays her epically surreal suite Song of Silver Geese at the Jazz Gallery, $22

1/21, 7:30 PM pianist Gustavo Casaneve with his quartet featuring bassist John Pattitucci plays original chamber jazz, tango, and classical works at Flushing Town Hall, $30, ages 13-19 free

1/21, 7:30 PM the Pamela Frank Quintet plays works by Dvorak, Mozart and Mendelssohn at Irving HS Auditorium, 17th & Irving Place, $14

1/21, 7:30 PM eclectic vocal-chamber ensemble Cantata Profana perform love-themed music of Adès, Pärt, Foss, Crumb, Schumann, Brahms, Machaut, Dufay at St. Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex, $25, reception to follow  

1/21, 8 PM NY Polyphony sing Palestrina’s Marcellus Mass plus a world premiere by Tavener protégé Ivan Moody at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 145 W 46th St between 6th and 7th aves, $30 seats avail

1/21, 8:15 PM vibraphone night at Shapeshifter Lab with Tony Miceli, Mark Sherman, Tom Beckham, Stefan Bauer, Yuhan Su, and Anthony Smith backed byMarcos Varela: bass and Jay Sawyer: drums $15

1/21, 7:30ish a subtly subversive post-election dance party: energetic acoustic Veracruz-style folk-punk band Radio Jarocho followed by the intoxicatingly clattering Moroccan trance grooves of Innov Gnawa at C’Mon Everybody

1/21, 9 PM Witchfinder Witch – the haunting new duo project of psychedelic rockers the Jigsaw Seen‘s Dennis Davison and folk noir songwriter Lorraine Leckie – at Pete’s. 1/25 they’re at Maxwell’s at 9 preceded at 8 by soaringly lyrical dreampop/art-rock/psychedelic songwriter Debby Schwartz with transgressive, populist comedienne/agitator Tammy Faye Starlite’s hilarious Blondie cover band the Pretty Babies headlining at 10, $10

1/22, 3 PM Paula Matthusen and Terri Hron create electroacoustic soundscapes at Spectrum, $15 

1/22, 4 PM the Cassatt Quartet performs Mendelssohn’s Capriccio for String Quartet, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Voyage, Daniel Visconti’s Black Bend and Tchaikovsky’s Quartet No. 1 in D  at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free, no under-sixes

1/22, 7 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo  leads a guitar trio followed at 9 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

1/22, 7 PM the album release show for the enigmatic Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, the new album from composer David Smooke featuring Loadbang, Karl Larson, Lunar Ensemble, Michael Parker Harley, Peabody Wind Ensemble, Harlan Parker at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

1/22, 7 PM the NY Jazzharmonic Quintet with Chris Ziemba on piano and Harrison Hollingsworth on bassoon at Bar Thalia, free

1/22, 7 PM Knuckleball featuring Daniel Levin on trumpet, Marc Hannaford on piano and Devin Gray on drums. play the album release for their new one at Downtown Music Gallery

1/22, 8 PM the One World Symphony – in collaboration with Mount Sinai’s SAVI (Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program) play works by Beethoven, Margaret Allison Bonds, and premieres bu Rob Adler, Michael Mandrin plus by conductor Sun Jin Hong,saluting Charlie Chaplin and Michelle Obama at Church of the Holy Apostles, 296 9th Avenue at 28th St, $20

1/22, 8 PM sharply lyrical, tuneful Americana songwriter and Lazy Lions frontman Jim Allen – the missing link between Steve Earle and Graham Parker – followed by new wave/Britrock guitarist/singer Tim Simmonds (ex-Actual Facts) at Branded Saloon

1/22, 8:30 PM purposeful, uneasy, ferociously smart guitarist Sean Moran’s Sun Tiger trio at I-Beam, $15

1/23, 7:30 PM New Juilliard Ensemble play pan-latin works by Alejandro Guarello, Manuel Sosa, Juan Campoverde, Martín Matalon, Mario Lavista, Martín Herraiz, Celso Garrido-Leccaand  Miguel del Águila at Symphony Space, free

1/23, 8 PM violinist Josh Modney, violist Kyle Armbrust, and cellist Michael Nicolas deliver a rare performance of Wolfgang Rihm’s hourlong string trio Musik für Drei Streicher–an oblique tribute to Beethoven’s late quartets – at the Abrons Arts Center, free, early arrival advised 

1/23, 9 PM the king of power pop, ageless Paul Collins – contemporary of both Ray Davies and Cheap Trick – at Berlin, $10

1/23, 9:30 PM Yotoco, the bastard child of Umoja Orchestra, Bioritmo, and Cumbiagra playing a melange of salsa, Afro-Cuban rumba, boleros, and cumbia at Barbes

1/24, doors and drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, pianist Marilyn Nonken plays commissioned works by Elizabeth Hoffman plusa Cy Twombly-inspired suite by Liza Lim at the Miller Theatre, free

1/24 tuneful, terse guitarist/singer Camila Meza and her Nectar Orchestra chamber jazz septet at the Jazz Standard, 7:30/9:30 PM, $25

1/24-29, 9 PM elegantly melodic, darkly counterintuitive pianist Sylvie Courvoisier plays a weeklong stand at the Stone, $20. Choice pick: opening night – Mephista + Jen Shyu with Ikue Mori (electronics) Susie Ibarra (drums) Jen Shyu (voice)

1/25, 6 PM cutting-edge improvisations with Japanese koto and shamisen player Sumie Kaneko  + flutist Haruna Fukazawa at the Rubin Museu of Art, free w/museum adm

1/25, 7 PM a screening of the documentary film In Memoriam: Hungarian Musicians – Victims of the Holocaust plus pianist László Stachó plays works by Schubert at the Hungarian Consulate,223 E 52nd St, free but rsvp req

1/25, 7:30/9:30 PM lush, intense, epically innovative big band jazz composer Miho Hazama & M-Unit at Dizzy’s Club, $30 and worth it

1/25, 7:30 PM a rare bass-fronted large jazz ensemble (just like Mingus), the Ross Kratter Jazz Orchestra at Club Bonafide, $15

1/25, 7:30 PM goth-tinged indie/postrock/art-rock band San Fermin with indie classical chamber group Now Ensemble at Markin Concert Hall, $25

1/25, 7:30 PM the New Juilliard Ensemble perform pan-latin works by Luis Fernando Sánchez Gooding, Rafael Díaz, Valéria Bonafé, Paul Desenne, Wilma Alba Cal, Samuel Zyman, Alejandro Viñao at Symphony Space, free

1/25, 8 PM brilliant pedal steel player Mike Neer’s Steelonious – who do Monk covers in the same vein as Buddy Emmons – at Barbes

1/25, 8 PM terse rising star postbop saxophonist Melissa Aldana plays a duo set with pianist Glenn Zaleski at Mezzrow, $20

1/25, 10:30 PM explosive, theatrical, phantasmagorical indie/metal power trio A Deer A Horsat Alphaville, $10

1/26, 7 PM hauntingly phantasmagorical art-rock/noir cabaret pianist/singer Anana Kaye at American Beauty, $12

1/26, 7 PM Michael Gordon’s Rushes for seven bassoons – omfg – at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix req

1/26, 7:30/9:30 PM brilliant Indian violinist/composer Arun Ramamurthy leads his trio followed by the sprawling, cutting-edge, psychedelic, aptly named Brooklyn Raga Massive at the Jazz Gallery, $22

1/26, 7:30 PM darkly rustic Brazilian rainforest folk (and John Zorn covers) with Forro in the Dark at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/26, 7:30 PM, repeating 1/27-28 at 8 Semyon Bychkov conducts the NY Phil playing Tschaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Symphony No. 5 at Avery Fisher Hall, $34 tix rec

1/26, 7:30 PMthe New Juilliard Ensemble perform pan-latin works by Anabella Enrique, Andrés Nuño de Buen, German Cáceres, Francis Schwartz, Tania León, Rodolfo Acosta, Alejandro Cardona and Ricardo Romaneiro at Symphony Space, free

1/26, 8 PM intense tenor saxophonist Elijah Shiffer leads an octet playing his 14-part suite The Other Man inspired by the 1973 poem by Roland Clare and Tony Golding at the Firehouse Space, $10

1/26. 9 PM wickedly tuneful, Zombies-esque psychedelic pop bandleader Sam Kogon at Rough Trade, $13 adv tix rec

1/26, 9 PM lyrical trombonist/composer Marshall Gilkes  leads a trio with Matt Clohesy on bass and Jonathan Blake on drums at Club Bonafide, $20

1/27, 5:30 PM haunting dark Americana songwriter/belter Jessi Robertson at the American Folk Art Museum

1/27, 6 PM fearlessly eclectic, theatrically-tinged jazz singer/composer Rebecca Sullivan leads her group with Leonor Falcón, violin, backup vocals;  Juanma Trujillo, guitar;  Andrew Schiller, bass;  Robin Baytas, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum  

1/27, 7 PM soulful chanteuse Kelly Sloan’s cachy, kinetic downtempo/neosoul group K Sloan & the Melodics at the small room at the Rockwood 

1/27, 8 PM otherworldly Near Eastern harmonies with the Supruli Georgian Choir followed at 9 by the similarly haunting, our-and-string-driven Turkish band Dolunay and at 10 by another Georgian choral ensemble Adilei,  $10

1/27, 8 PM intense retro 60s influenced Nubian funk band Alsarah & the Nubatones at C’Mon Everybody

1/27, 8 PM purist, harmony-driven “honkytonk power trio” Dylan Charles and the Layton Sisters at Pete’s

1/27, 8 PM eclectic jazz/blues resonator guitarist Elizabeth Wise at Caffe Vivaldi

1/27, 8:30 PM, repeating 1/28at 7:30 PM the reliably entertaining, adventurous Chelsea Symphony play a kinetic program including a Tim Kiah world premiere; Bach’s Violin Concerto No.2, BWV 1042, E major; Pēteris Vasks’ Concerto for English horn with soloist Jason Smoller; Kodály’s Dances of Marosszekand Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances at St. Paul’s Church, 315 W 22nd St., $20 sugg don

1/27, 8:30 PM playful impovising quartet Bright Dog Red – “Digable Planets meets Mahavisnhu” – at Spectrum, $15

1/27, 9ish one of the great saxophonists in the history of ska, Dave Hillyard & the Rocksteady 7 plays tunes by his great Skatalites predecessor Roland Alphonso at Hank’s, $8

1/27, 9 PM long-running, wickedly jangly, tuneful Americana rockers the Sloe Guns at the Bitter End

1/27, 9 PM the edgy female-fronted Talking Heads-ish Eliza & the Organix at the Way Station

1/27, 10 PM kinetic, mesmerizing, ancient Moroccan trance grooves from Innov Gnawa at Barbes

1/27, 10 PM wildly popular punkgrass hellraisers the Devil Makes Three at Terminal 5, $27.50 adv tix rec

1/27-28, 10:30 PM tenor sax improv legend George Garzone‘s Cosa Nostra at Smalls

1/27, 11 PM wildly theatrical, phantasmagorical noir cabaret band Orphan Jane at the Mercury, $10

1/28, 6 PM amazingly eclectic jazz/oldtimey accordionist Will Holshouser followed at 8 by former Snow frontwoman and haunting art-rocker Hilary Downes playing the album release show for her fantastic new one at Barbes

1/28, 7 PM solo Schubert-influenced David Del Tredici piano works based on Schubert songs by performed by Beth Levin and Dalit Warshaw followed by a chamber ensemble playing Schubert’s “epic and rollicking” Octet at Greenwich House Music School, $20 adv tix rec

1/28, 8 PM wickedly jangly surf/twang/country instrumentalists the Bakersfield Breakers at Hill Country Brooklyn

1/28, 8 PM fearless improviser, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Anaïs Maviel performs a solo set and then a duo with bassist Michael Bisio at Issue Project Room, $15

1/28, 9 PM deviously lyrical, historically spot-on, cleverly sultry oldtimey/Americana songwriter/bandleader Robin Aigner leads an all-star cast playing a Leonard Cohen tribute at Freddy’s

1/28, 11 :30 PM uneasy dreampop/postpunk band Dark Moon Apache, followed by ferociously dynamic, tuneful, female-fronted power trio Castle Black at Bushwick Public House

1/29, 2:30 PM irrepressible, ubiquitously excellent veteran low-register brassman Howard Johnson with Yayoi Ikawa – piano; Melissa Slocum – bass; Newman Taylor Baker – drums playing the album release show for his new one at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, $15

1/29, 3 PM an indie classical pianist summit. Joseph Liccardo plays Bach; Lisa Moore plays Martin Bresnick; Erika Dohi plays Berio at Spectrum $15

1/29, 3 PM the Claremont Trio play works by Beethoven, Dvorak and Robert Paterson at Merkin Concert Hall, $20/stud $5

1/29, 4 PM the Jack Quartet play works by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Derek Bermel, Julia Wolfe, and Iannis Xenakis  at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free

1/29, 4 PM French ensemble Alla Francesca fuses the music of “joglars” (minstrels) with the Occitan poetry of the “trobars” (troubadours) at Corpus Christi Church, 529 W 121st St, $10 tix avail

1/29, 5 PM the Aeolus Quartet and pianist Alejandro Hernandez-Valdeza play his new arrangement of Paul Desmond’s iconic Take Five for piano quintet plus Samuel Barber’s String Quartet, and Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 at All Souls Church, Lexington Ave and 80th St, sugg don

1/29, 6 PM cleverly lyrical, edgily funny, spine-tingling powerpop/acoustic rock singer Tamara Hey at the small room at the Rockwood

1/29, 7 PM erudite, subtle Americana guitarist Jason Loughlin and the String Players tackle the Chet Atkins songbook followed at 9 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

1/29, 7:30 PM Bollywood-flavored neosoul with Shilpa Ananth, carnatic art-rock violin powerhouse Rini and her band and then the Indian folk-dreampop of Humeysha at Drom, $10 adv tix rec

1/29, 8 PM macabre, cinematic postrockers Mogwai at the Town Hall, $30 adv tix avail

1/29, 8:30/10:30 PM ambitious, smart, noir-inclined tenor sxophonist Patrick Cornelius  leads his octet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

1/29, 9 PM elegantly tuneful bassist Iris Ornig leads her quintet at 55 Bar

1/29, 9:30 PM the Van Allen Belt – whose darkly swirly cinematics come across as a more punk, lo-fi Morricone Youth or Lost Patrol – at Pine Box Rock Shop

1/29, 9:30 PM noir-tinged crooner and expertly bluesy lead guitarist Phil Gammage leads his Adventures in Bluesland band at Lucille’s

1/30, 6 PM cleverly lyrical, coolly intriguing jazz chanteuse Dorian Devins leads her quartet playing a double album release show for her ambitious new ones at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 incl. a drink

1/30, 9:30 PM Colombian cumbia band  Bulla en el Barrio  at Barbes

1/31,6 PM tuneful, intriguing third-stream jazz pianist Noa Fort leads her trio at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

1/31, 7 PM all-size clarinet quartet Andy Biskin‘s Reed Basket play jazz, classical and originals with Andy Biskin, Peter Hess, Mike McGinnis, and Sam Sadigursky followed by ten-piece funky Balkan brass/Ellington jazz monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

1/31, 8 PM Claudia Schaer – violin; Helen Lin – piano play works by Stravinsky, Piazzolla, Satoh and Adams at the DiMenna Center, $20

1/31, 9 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band at Bar Chord

1/31, 10:30 PM charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy leads his group at Smalls

2/1, 9 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” at Troost

2/1 Gill Landry at Bowery Ballroom is sold out

2/2, 7 PM pianist Brian Marsella’s tuneful, first-rate original postbop jazz sextet the Flail at the Fat Cat

2/3, 7:30 PM slinky, carnivalesque Romany/Mediterranean band Dodo Orchestra at Club Bonafide, $15

2/3, 10 PM worst segue of the year but two Americana acts worth seeing: jugband legend Peter Stampfel and ferociously populist Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires – the Alabama highway rock version of the Clash – at the Knitting Factory, $15

2/4, 8 PM the Ureuk Symphony Orchestra play Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and the Tschaikovsky Violin Concerto with soloist Kyung Sun Lee at Merkin Concert Hall, $25 tix avail

2/4, 9 PM catchy, anthemic, charismatic folk noir band Thee Shambels – sort of the missing link between Nick Cave and the Pogues – followed by darkly torchy southwestern gothic/Europolitan songwriter/guitarist Miwa Gemini at Postmark Cafe, 326 6th St. north of 4th Ave in Park Slope, free

2/5, 1 (one) PM a wild bunch of first-class improvisers from the Gold Bolus scene join forces in variously noisy collaborations: Anaïs Maviel, Angela Morris (Rallidae), Anne Rhodes (Broadcloth), Carl Testa, Daniel Levine (Knuckleball), Dave Ruder, ellen o, Erin Rogers (thingNY), Joe White, Lisa Dowling (kills to kisses), Matthew D. Gantt, Sam Sowyrda, at Footlight Bar, 465 Seneca Ave, Ridgewood, $8 

2/5, 3 PM the Greenwich Village Orchestra play Sibelius – Swan of Tuonela;† R. Strauss – Don Jua; Debussy – Rhapsody; Ravel – Daphnis & Chloé Suite No. 2 at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, 16th St./Irving Place, $15 sugg don., reception to follow

2/6, 8 PM the mighty 180-voice New York Choral Society sing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem with soloists Vanessa Vasquez, soprano, Abigail Fischer, mezzo-soprano, Zach Borichevsky, tenor, and Sava Vemic, bass. at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall , $30 tix avail

2/6, 9:30 PM Level 5 play catchy, funky organ/guitar grooves, part vintage Meters, part JBs, with a psychedelic edge at the Bitter End. 2/20, 10 PM they’re at the small room at the Rockwood 

2/8, 8ish crystalline-voiced noir Americana songwriter Jessie Kilguss leads an all-star cast – Heather Eatman, Freddie Stevenson, Adam Rubenstein, John Brodeur, Jon Crider, Bird of Youth, John Wray, Hilary Downes, Cliff Westfall and others – singing a Leonard Cohen tribute at Hifi Bar

2/11, 7 PM lush string-driven Indian classical ensemble Akshara featuring powerhouse musicians Arun Ramamurthy, Dave Eggar and Kabilan Jeganathan perform along with dancers Sonali Skandan, Sahana Sridhar, Aishwarya Madhav and Janani Comar at Salaam Bombay, 319 Greenwich St at Reade, $25/$18 Seniors and Students/children under 12 free, 1 train to Chambers

2/12, 6 PM erudite, witty art-rock pianist/songwriter/composer Lee Feldman at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 incl a drink

2/16, 7 PM the all-female Ensemble Leonarda explore sworks by composers who sought out brave new worlds:  Handel (in England), Hotteterre (who went to Rome), & French baroque opera founder, Jean-Baptiste Lully (who emigrated from Florence, Italy to the French court of Louis XIV).  Plus a special rendition of Dvorak’s “Largo” from his “New World” Symphony, featuring hilarious performance artist Kelly Dwyer at the National Opera Center, 333 7th Ave, $25/$15 stud/srs 

2/16, 7 PM intense theatrical Bartok-influenced drummer/composer Sean Noonan’s “Soap” with Alex Marcelo piano Peter Bitenc bass at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

2/19 the intoxicatingly clattering Moroccan trance grooves of Innov Gnawa plus eclectic indie classical percussion ensemble Tigue at Threes Brewing

2/24, 7 PM the world premiere of the new global warming-themed opera Upon this Handful of Earth by Norwegian composer Gisle Kverndokk and librettist Aksel-Otto Bull at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Ave $25 tix avail

2/25, 7:30 PM intense, controversial Portuguese fado star Gisela João makes her US debut backed by a great acousic band at the Schinel Cner at Pace Univsity, 3 Spruce St, $30, 6/J/M to City Hall

2/25, 8 PM rapturously textured British Renaissance choir Stile Antico sing a pretty wild program of classics and obscurities by Tallis, Clemens Non Papa, Tompkins, Vivanco, McCabe and others at at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 145 W 46th St between 6th and 7th aves, $30 seats avail

2/26, 7 sh vivid gothic Americana songstress Lara Ewen at Scratcher Bar on E 5th just off Bowery

3/17/17, 10 PM Pussy Riot at National Sawdust. Tix not avail yet – and might not be affordable – watch this space


Batida Stirs Things Up at Lincoln Center

“Somebody asked me what I thought about Black Lives Matter,” Pedro Coquenão, a.k.a. Batida mused to the crowd gathered around the stage at Lincoln Center last night. He didn’t address the matter any further, letting his multimedia performance answer that question. Footage from a rare 1972 Angolan film by Sarah Maldoror flickered on the screen above the stage, two Africans weighing the pros and cons of societal class structure. One espoused a proto-trickle-down theory: the rich are good to be around because you can work for them. The other guy was more blase: “The rich exist to keep the poor down.”

Meanwhile, Batida’s drummer kept a brisk shuffle beat going, his two dancers, a man and a woman leaping and pouncing while the Angola-born, now Lisbon-based electronic musician/rapper/freedom fighter worked a spare, catchy, pinging melody into the mix, like a mbira through a reverb pedal. But nobody was dancing: everybody was watching the screen, apprehensively. That’s Batida’s steez, sort of George Clinton in reverse: free your mind and your lower extremities will follow.

Although the atrium space was packed, this was an unusually small crowd for Batida. He typically performs for thousands at big outdoor EDM festivals, using that platform as an opportunity for tireless advocacy for human rights worldwide, and in his war-torn native country, as documented by Amnesty International. In roughly an hour onstage, his show came across as an Afro-Portuguese take on Thievery Corporation, but minus the doctrinaire worldview, with the welcome addition of a withering sense of humor. Batida is one funny guy. He jabbed at the crowd with a torrent of cynical banter between numbers, with a plainspoken charisma akin to Iggy Pop or Rachid Taha. He was that self-aware: when he broke the fourth wall and entreated the gradeschoolers in the crowd to disbehave, or self-effacingly made fun of his own penchant for appropriating imagery, for example. And he was just as intense.

And he turned out to be a master at how to work a crowd. After he’d set the scene with with some matter-of-factly disturbing found footage from years of war in his native land, he’d run the visuals through a gel filter and pick up the pace. His samples were diverse and were absolutely fascinating, the most hypnotically entrancing one being a rare mid-70s wah-guitar-driven Angolan Afrobeat vamp that he said was noteworthy for not having drums (it did have what sounded like a djembe or two on it). Iimagine that, a dance music maven spinning the one Afrobeat tune on the planet without a drumbeat. Irony is not lost on this guy.

As scenes that weighed heavy postcolonial issues, such as the lingering effects of collaborating with enemy colonizers, shifted across the screen, the sonics and the beats grew more anthemic and the crowd surged. With a sardonic grin, Batida told them that “You’ll like this one, this one’s for the ladies, it works every time.” And then eventually painted himself into a corner while poking fun at just about every gender stereotype out there. The crowd got a kick out of that, but he also held their attention when he sent a shout-out to his compadres back home who’d been sprung by Amnesty Internation’s efforts after being jailed for a year for reading literature deemed subversive by the dictatorship.

“I’m so excited I could almost die,” confided Lincoln Center impresario Meera Dugal beforehand, who explained that it had been her dream to stage this show since discovering Batida’s music four years ago at Other Music. Then without missing a beat she scurried up to the front to join the dancers. In the back, a veteran chronicler of the New York music scene, still on the mend from a nasty injury, eventually rose from one of the press seats and began swaying back and forth. Physical therapy never felt so good.

The next show at the Lincoln Center atrium – the rectangular 62nd St. space where the most culturally diverse and happening acts perform – is Jan 5 at 7:30 PM with Burnt Sugar playing a “greatest hits” show, which might include everything from hard funk to ambient soundscapes to psychedelically danceable covers by James Brown, Prince, David Bowie and Steely Dan. As always, early arrival at these free shows is always a good idea.

A Psychedelically Cinematic New Album and a Brooklyn Release Show by Sxip Shirey

For the last several months, when he hasn’t been on tour or on set for one theatrical performance or another, multi-instrumentalist Sxip Shirey has been tracking at Martin Bisi‘s legendary (and hopefully, sooner than later, landmarked) BC Studios. The Luminescent Orchestrii co-founder contributed to the marathon weekend there last year in celebration of the space’s 35th anniversary. Watching him play blues harp through a Death Star-sized pedalboard, dueling with slinky bass virtuoso Don Godwin (better known as the funky tuba player who propelled Raya Brass Band for so long) was a real trip, considering that this happened at around eleven on a Sunday morning. Shirey has a new album, A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees – which hasn’t made it to the usual spots yet, although there a few tracks up at youtube – and an album release show at 7 PM on Jan 9 at National Sawdust. Advance tix are steep – $30 – but he doesn’t play around New York much anymore.

Since his pioneering Romany/circus rock band went on hiatus, Shirey’s thing has been loopmusic. As you would expect from a film composer, he takes some giant stylistic leaps between genres and makes it all look easy. This is a fun, quirky album that’s probably best cut and pasted among a bunch of favorite playlists: there’s something for every mood and theme here. It opens with the first of a couple of trippy, atmospheric miniatures, then shifts to a more psychedelic take on New Order and then a downtempo neosoul vamp with woozy vocals from Rihannon Giddens.

Crooner Xavier takes over lead vocals on I Got a Man, a steady, loopy resonator guitar blues-scape, then returns later on Cinnamon Stick, a homoerotic mashup of corporate urban pop, country blues and deep dub. Latency (Jetlag) is an uneasy music-box theme of sorts, while Shirey’s darkly exuberant minor-key blues harp on Grandpa Charlie brings to mind another charismatic New York frontman, Hazmat Modine‘s Wade Schuman.

Shirey follows the moody So Stay – akin to Iron & Wine covering the Sisters of Mercy – with Awake, a detour into spiky pine-forest acoustic psychedelia. Fat Robot blends New Orleans funk tinges into its trip-hop sway – it sounds like one of those Sunday morning tracks from Bisi’s place. Giddens returns to the mic on the ecstatic Just Drive By, Firefly, akin to a late 80s Bomb Squad take on a big soul anthem from twenty years before. I Didn’t See Her Walking In stays in the 80s, but with a slick Britpop gloss. Bracingly scrapy strings give way to a bubbly pulse in The Land Whale Choir Sings the Albert Hall, while Bach, Stevie Wonder and Janelle Monae is a lot more latter than former.

The big anthem Palms could be the Waterboys doing a Lou Reed tune. After that, Shirey brings to mind a more acoustic, less Asian take on Ryuichi Sakamoto’s early 80s scores.

Hauntingly Rustic Oldtime Appalachian Duo Anna & Elizabeth Play Manhattan and Brooklyn Next Month

Anna & Elizabeth are revered in the folk music world for their homemade “crankies” – a 19th century invention which is sort of a cross between a nickelodeon and a flipbook – and for their otherworldly take on antique Appalachian sounds. When the duo come to New York, they usually play the Jalopy. This time around, on Jan 8 at around 10 they’re at the small room at the Rockwood preceded at around 8:30 by banjoist Kaia Kater – who lately alternates between bluesy rusticity and pensive atmospherics – and thoughtful newschool Americana songstress Kristin Andreassen. If you feel like paying a cover to see Anna & Elizabeth, they’re at National Sawdust on Jan 20 at 7 for twenty bucks in advance…but no drink minimum.

The news about this purist, old-fashioned pair is that their 2012 album, Sun to Sun, is available again after having gone out of print shortly after the two released it. If you think that Elizabeth LaPrelle’s voice is hauntingly stark now, you should have heard her then – and you can, at Spotify. The duo sing an a-cappella take of a variation on the old lullaby All the Pretty Horses to open it, then a slow, spacious version of a Transatlantic folk tune, When I Was a Young Girl, backed by simple, keening fiddle washes that are acidic enough to give you goosebumps.

They juxtapose a slow, resonant instrumental, Darlin Don’t You Know It’s Wrong with the understatedly creepy Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail, Anna Roberts-Gevalt anchoring it with her stately baritone uke. Then she picks up her banjo for a hypnotically steady version of the surreal battle-of-the-sexes tale Old Kimball, switching to guitar for the even more surreal country gospel number Ooh My My!

The two sprint through a tighly wound fiddle-and-banjo dance, Patroller, then take their time with The Letter Song, a sad a-cappella message home from a woman married away on the desolate edge of the early American frontier. The banjo-and-guitar tune Green Icy Mountain is a lot more upbeat if not much more optimistic: life in those days in that part of the world was always precarious.

Lone Pilgrim contrasts Anna’s spare guitar with the raw power of Elizabeth’s vocals. The two take the album’s title track back to its roots as a grim field holler – rather than making lickety-split bluegrass out of it like many have done – and do the same with a sparse take of the Scottish ballad Highlands of Heaven. The lo-fi quality of the original recording enhances its homemade charm.

Another Tasty, Catchy, Swinging Vibraphone Album from Behn Gillece

Continuing yesterday’s theme about top-drawer jazz artists playing some unlikely spaces here in town, today’s is vibraphonist Behn Gillece, who’s doing a live rehearsal of sorts, leading a quartet at the Fat Cat on Jan 2 at 9 PM. You can be there to witness it for the three bucks that it takes to get into the pool hall – if you don’t mind the random polyrhythms of sticks hitting balls and some other background noise, you’d be surprised how many quality acts pass through here when they’re not headlining a place like Smalls, which is Gillece’s regular spot when he’s in town.

His 2010 Little Echo album with frequent collaborator Ken Fowser on tenor sax is one of the most tuneful, enjoyable postbop releases of recent years. Gillece’s previous album Mindset was considerably more ambitious, and on the knotty side; his latest one, Dare to Be – streaming at Posi-Tone Records – is a welcome return to form.

The album’s opening track, Camera Eyes begins as a sparkly ballad, shades of early 70s Milt Jackson until the rhythm section – Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Jason Tiemann on drums – kicks in and then they’re off on a brightly shuffling, distantly Brazilian-tinged tangent. Gilllece’s shimmering lines cascade over a similarly brisk shuffle groove in From Your Perspective, Bruce Harris’ trumpet taking a more spacious approach.

Tiemann’s snowstorm cymbals push the 6/8 ballad Amethyst along, gently, Radley channeling some deep blues, Gillece just as judicious and purposeful. The group picks up the pace but keeps the singalong quality going with the lickety-split swing of Signals, Radley and Gillece adding percolating solos: the subtle variations Gillece makes to the head are especially tasty. His intricate intro to Drought’s End hardly gives away how straight-ahead and understatedly triumphant Harris’ trumpet and Radley’s guitar will be as it hits a peak.

The first of the two covers here. Bobby Hutcherson’s Same Shame is done as a crescendoing, enigmatically scrambling quasi-bossa, echoed in the goodnaturedly pulsing, tropical grooves of Gillece’s. Live It. The album’s anthemic title track grooves along on a brisk clave beat: it’s the closest thing to the lush life glimmer of Little Echo here.

The last of Gillece’s originals, Trapezoid is a rapidfire shuffle: Tiemann’s counterintuitively accented drive underneath the bandleader’s precise ripples and Radley’s steady chords is as fun as it is subtle. The album winds up with a gently resonant take of Johnny Mandel’s ballad A Time For Love, looking back to both the Milt Jackson and Buddy Montgomery versions. Fans of engaging, ringing, tuneful music in general, as well as the jazz vibraphone pantheon spanning from those guys, to Hutcherson, to Gary Burton have a lot to enjoy here. If Gillece wasn’t already on this map, this has put him there to stay.

Darkly Distinctive Guitarist Will Bernard Makes a Rare Appearance Beyond His Usual Turf

Guitarist Will Bernard is unique in the jazz world as someone with a serious postbop pedigree but also a dark side and a penchant for all sorts of interesting textures. The trouble with so many jazz guitarists who use a lot of effects is that they sound fusiony, i.e. like everybody in the band is on coke and soloing at the same time. Bernard’s music, by contrast, is very straightforward, tuneful and often cinematic: he’s easy to spot because nobody else really sounds like him. When he’s not on tour – he’s highly sought after as a sideman – his usual home in New York is Smalls. But sometimes some of these A-list jazz guys use small venues more or less as a rehearsal room, which probably explains how Bernard got booked into the small room at the Rockwood at 10 PM on Jan 2. It’s a great opportunity to hear one of the most distinctive talents in New York jazz guitar in an intimate setting with good sound.

Bernard’s latest album is the aptly titled Out and About, streaming at Posi-Tone Records. All but one of the tracks are originals and the band is fantastic. Drummer Allison Miller’s jaunty groove, a New Orleans shuffle beamed back to Africa, propels the wry wah-infused opening number, Happy Belated, John Ellis’ bright tenor sax contrasting with Ben Allison’s growly, sinuous bass. Bernard follows that with a wistful, Americana-tinged miniature, Not Too Fancy. Then the band go for offcenter harmonies and staggered rhythms with Next Guest, from some terse guitar-sax exchanges to Bernard tumbling alongside Miller’s steady crescendoing pulse, Allison weaving between the raindrops.

The heat in Habenera, the album’s best and most epic track, is the simmering kind, Brian Charette’s creepy funeral organ over a beat that almost imperceptibly shifts away from an uneasy tango toward roots reggae as Bernard growls and burns: it sounds like Beninghove’s Hangmen at their most jazz-oriented. Then the band moves to an altered swing shuffle with Redwood (Business Casual), the bandleader’s enigmatic lines and Charette’s scampering riffage adding a suspiciously sardonic edge against Ellis’ irrepressible good cheer and a classic, expertly extroverted Miller solo.

A doggedly insistent clave groove, a catchy Americana turnaround and moody guitar-organ chromatics mingle throughout the Lynchian Homeward Bound, another killer cut: Bernard’s flickering resonance gives the impression that he wouldn’t mind staying on the road instead. By contrast, Ellis’ misty sax and Miller’s gently strolling rhythm take Homebody into pleasantly grey-sky current-day pastoral jazz territory.

With its pensive sway and surreal guitar efx channeling distant deep-space disturbances, Suggested Reading is another number that wouldn’t be out of place in the Brian Beninghove catalog – dig that trick ending! Miller rides the traps and Charette bubbles throughout the toe-tapping Full Sweep, which looks back to classic Jim Hall/Jimmy Smith collaborations. A slow, spacious number, Pan Seared veers warpedly toward pastorale territory The album winds up with the title track, a bleak bolero-jazz piece once again anchored in the murky depths by Charette, an apt way to wind up this shadowy, distinctive gem of an album.

New York Music Daily’s 2016 Picks For Best Manhattan and Brooklyn Venues

The purpose of this annual tradition is not to belabor the obvious but to help spread the word about spots and scenes that might be flying a little under the radar. The cognoscenti agree that year after year, New York’s two best music venues are Barbes and the Jalopy. But to pick those venues – wonderful as they are – over and over would get tiresome, especially since each place has been designated Best Brooklyn Venue here more than once.

In case you’ve been out of the loop, there’s a show worth seeing at Barbes virtually every night (they’re often closed on holidays). That’s something no other New York venue can boast. The club draws from a global talent base: many of New York’s most individualistic artists across an absurdly wide swath of musical styles play monthly or weekly residencies here. Balkan music and sounds from south of the border are big here; the space is intimate, the sound is excellent and the people who work here are convivial. For those reasons, Barbes is this blog’s local, which means more than than you might think considering that New York Music Daily is not based in Park Slope.

The Jalopy is oldtime Americana and country blues central. Its dusky, magically antique ambience is unsurpassed in New York. The sound is excellent, the people who work here are friendly and welcoming and considering that it’s based in Red Hook, it’s become sort of a community center. There isn’t quite as much music here as at Barbes because the Jalopy is not only a bar and venue but also an instrument repair store, a music school and a popular wedding spot.

What’s left after Barbes and the Jalopy? It would be too easy to pick the Village Vanguard, or Carnegie Hall, or Lincoln Center: those places are world-famous. Beyond that, the sad truth is that this blog’s first choices for this year’s best venues both went out of business.

The Lively lasted barely two months in its comfortable Meatpacking District basement digs before the owners gave up the ghost: they might have had music there for half that time. The place had everything going for it: a big stage, fantastic sound, imaginative booking and drinks that weren’t overwhelmingly overpriced, unusual in that neighborhood. That such a welcome, down-to-earth presence couldn’t make it there speaks to the precipitous decline of Manhattan nightlife.

Palisades was the Bushwick counterpart to Cake Shop, an unexpectedly laid-back, unpretentious former bodega space that booked a similarly unexpected, above-average mix of noisy rock, with frequent punk and psychedelic acts in addition to the usual parade of indie boy bands playing with their parents’ money. The sound was better than you would expect, drinks were cheap, and the door crew didn’t hassle you. All those things should be a given at every club, but they’re not, That such a popular and vital spot couldn’t make it any further reflects the neighborhood’s oversaturation with bars and clubs as much as it does the devastation caused by the real estate bubble and gentrification.

So other than famous classical halls and jazz clubs, what remains in Manhattan that hasn’t closed, or hasn’t been picked in previous years? Not a whole lot. Bowery Electric is a strong contender, but they’ve got to stop pretending that the closet-sized upstairs rehearsal space is as viable for music as the bigger basement room because it’s not.

The Hifi has a lot of good music, but it’s not a fulltime venue: it’s a bar. The Treehouse at 2A is unpretentiously low-key, has good sound, and a lot of good Americana acts pass through there. But you never know who’s playing since the bar does nothing to promote it and the guy who books it only lists the shows on Facebook.

The Mercury has fantastic sound and good people working there, but booking is erratic. Arlene’s books mostly Jersey bands now. Cake Shop, once a perennial contender for the borough’s best venue, has been on life support since forever. The Delancey was a contender but hasn’t been since they cancelled Paul Wallfisch’s weekly Small Beast extravaganza, and that was a long time ago.

But there is a space which has grown into one of Manhattan’s last great listening rooms, and that’s one of the reasons why this year’s pick for Best Manhattan Venue is the American Folk Art Museum. The other reason is the quality of the artists who play here. It’s one of the most innovative and fascinating art museums in town – with free admission, no less! – and the wide variety of Americana and global acts booked by impresario Lara Ewen mirror those visuals. Top-quality artists who run the gamut from front-porch folk, to country blues, ragtime, oldschool C&W, bluegrass, the occasional janglerock band as well as traditional folk sounds from Ireland, to the Ukraine, to Mexico and points further south have all been featured at Ewen’s mostly-weekly Free Music Fridays series. Wine is available for a donation, the crowd always comes to listen, and the show is free! It’s kind of like Barbes and the Jalopy combined, in a comfortable and friendly Manhattan space just steps from the train, across the street from Lincoln Center.

As far as Brooklyn is concerned, some of the newer Bushwick spots have promise. Alphaville and the Bushwick Public House are refreshingly laid-back and have better booking than their counterparts, although neither has much to recommend it sonically. Sunny’s in Red Hook is a New York landmark, a place that every New Yorker should go to at least once, but it’s really a bar, not a venue. Renovations at Roulette have resulted in fantastic sound, and booking there is as fearless as you can get, but once in awhile there’ll be a show there where prices are off-the-charts expensive. For a club to be Brooklyn’s best venue, it has to be affordable to everyone.

Which is why, for the third year in a row, the title of Best Brooklyn Venue is being handed out, more or less, as a lifetime achievement award. Along with its long-running counterparts Hank’s in 2010, Freddy’s in 2014 and Pete’s Candy Store last year, Bar Matchless in Williamsburg wins for 2016. The biker-themed club doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for admission or for drinks, the staff are pleasant and chill, the sound is better than what you would expect in a converted garage, and booking comprises a lot of the spillover from the louder, punk-oriented acts who were left homeless when Trash Bar and then Grand Victory closed. Yeah, there’s the occasional night of annoying indie purposelessness, or “comedy” – yuk – but there’s also metal and powerpop and even hip-hop on occasion. And they like theme nights where bands have something in common and the bar can rake in the benefits of keeping the crowd in the house. More venues should be like Bar Matchless.

The Top Thirty New York City Concerts of 2016

An informed snapshot of some of the most amazing performances across the five boroughs from a year that started out with some promise and ended with the whole world on edge and dreading the worst. Of all this blog’s year-end lists, including the 50 Best Albums and 100 Best Songs of 2016, this one’s the most fun to put together. And the most most individualistic: everybody’s got their own favorite concert moments. While it wouldn’t be hard to think of a hundred from the past year that deserve mention, that would be overkill. It all comes down to triage: apologies to the dozens of artists who played transcendent shows in this city in 2016 who aren’t represented here because of space constraints. Next year, dudes!

Concerts are listed chronologically; the very first one could be the best of the bunch.

Karla Rose at 11th St. Bar, 1/6/16
With her allusive lyrics, her silken voice and enigmatic stage presence, Karla Rose personifies noir. In 2016, out in front of her psychedelic, darkly cinematic twin-guitar band Karla Rose & the Thorns, she played Webster Hall, opened for first-wave punk legends the Dickies and the king of powerpop, Paul Collins. But her most intriguing show of all might have been this low-key trio set with World Inferno bassist Sandra Malak and pianist Frank LoCrasto, unveiling several new, mysterious numbers.

The 35th Anniversary of BC Studios, 1/15-16/16
Producer/guitarist/art-rocker/professional antagonist Martin Bisi booked a global cast of talent to perform and record a long timeline to commemorate his legendary Gowanus space, which might not last much longer if it isn’t landmarked. Highlights of the marathon weekend included slinky jazz punks Barbez, goth legend JG Thirlwell, haunting Middle Eastern noir singer and bandleader Ajda the Turkish Queen, a historic reunion of legendary 80s noiserock band Live Skull – who, back in the day, were better than Sonic Youth – and Bisi himself.

Gato Loco at Joe’s Pub, 1/29/16
The mighty psycho mambo band ambushed the audience with a battalion of baritone sax snipers throughout the space to bolster their explosive, darkly majestic reinventions of themes from the Verdi Reqiuem

Greg Squared’s Circle at Barbes, 3/6/16
The pyrotechnic multi-reedman and co-leader of Raya Brass Band – who’ve made frequent appearances on this page over the last few years – brought a bunch of A-list Brooklyn Balkan talent to work out about two hours’ worth of epically explosive new original pieces

Big Lazy and Mercury Radio Theater at Barbes, 4/1/16
The cinematic noir legends continue their monthly Friday night residency at Brooklyn’s best music venue; pound for pound, this twinbill, with the ferocious Philadelphia circus punk band, was probably the best of the bunch. Big Lazy’s best gig without a supporting act was probably this past May at the Lively, a great little Meatpacking District basement bar that lasted only a few weeks.

Kinan Azmeh and Erdem Helvacioglu at Spectrum, 4/9/16
Syrian clarinetist and Turkish guitarist join forces for a smoky, sinisterly ambient depiction of the horrors of war. Keep your eyes out for a forthcoming album of this material.

The Bright Smoke at Mercury Lounge, 4/14/16
Mia Wilson’s harrowingly intense art-rock band took their dynamic, explosively crescendoing live show to the next level at this one: it wouldn’t be overhype to say that they’re the closest thing to Joy Division that New York’s ever produced.

Greek Judas and Choban Elektrik at Barbes, 4/28/16
Greek Judas play careening psychedelic metal versions of classic hash-smoking and gangster music from Greece and Cyprus in the 20s and 30s. Choban Elektrik do the same with themes from across the Balkans, with organ and violin out front instead of screaming guitars. A real wild night, sort of like seeing the Doors and Iron Maiden on the same bill somewhere in the Aegean.

Ambrosia Parsley, Chris Maxwell and Holly Miranda at Hell Phone, 5/5/16
Short sets from the goth-tinged songbird and then the Arkansas gothic songwriter, followed by a raptly intense set from the cult favorite noir Americana singer, who showed off her chops on bothTelecaster and piano.

The Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York at I-Beam, 5/17/16
The room was so packed it was impossible to get inside, after the start of the great jazz pianist/composer/conductor’s shattering, angst-drenched suite reflecting horror and terror in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown on March 11, 2001. Watch out for the forthcoming album.

Eden Lane at Caffe Vivaldi, 5/29/16
Velvet-voiced jazz chanteuse Stephanie Layton channeled a century’s worth of existential angst and longing in front of her tightly swinging band, with a set packed with obscure treats from across the ages, including a vivid detour into the Erik Frandsen songbook.

Goddess, Ember Schrag and David Grubbs at a private party in Brooklyn, 6/3/16
Unsettlingly theatrical psychedelia, opaquely venomous Shakespeare-influenced Great Plains gothic songs and vast, deep-space guitarscapes to wind up one of the funnest nights of the year.

Lorraine Leckie at Pangea, 6/8/16
Backed by a tight, stripped-down version of her incendiary band the Demons, the eclectic songstress treated an intimate audience to everything from noir cabaret  to surrealistic art-rock. Her full-throttle Bowery Ballroom gig in November might have been even better.

 Attack and Tipsy Oxcart at Barbes, 7/5/16
Violinist Marandi Hostetter’s slinky, classic Levantine bellydance group made a great opener for the boombastic Balkan/Middle Eastern dance jamband.

Mariachi Flor De Toloache and Patti Smith at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 7/20/16
The all-female Mexican-American folk ensemble mesmerized the crowd with a plaintive set that ranged from mariachi, to rancheras, to some sly psychedelic rock. Then the queen of dark downtown New York art-rock and her band scorched through a characteristically fearless, defiantly populist, epic set of classic anthems and poignant newer material.

Robin Aigner and Kotorino at Barbes, 7/21/16
Brooklyn’s most deviously lyrical, torchy historical songwriter/chanteuse and her excellent, swinging Americana band followed by the darkly intense, phantasmagorical circus rock/art-rock/mambo crew

The Sway Machinery and Hydra at Joe’s Pub, 8/4/16
The debut of the ongoing collaboration between the psychedelic cantorial rock jamband and singer/composer Sarah Small’s lustrous, haunting Middle Eastern/Balkan trio with Yula Beeri and Rima Fand was every bit as entrancing as it promised to be.

Sandcatchers at Barbes, 8/9/16
Surfy, uneasy, richly psychedelic Middle Eastern jamband with a lapsteel along with guitar. Wow!

Bombay Rickey at Barbes, 8/12/16
Powerhouse singer/accordionist Kamala Sankaram brought her four-octave vocal range and also a sitar to a characteristically serpentine set of psychedelic cumbias, Bollywood, southwestern gothic themes and an electric take of a classic Indian raga.

Dan Penta at Sidewalk, 8/14/16
“Now that’s songwriting,” marveled one listener gathered in the back room of the East Village shithole where the harrowing, surrealistically intense frontman of great, obscure New York bands like Jagged Leaves, the Larval Organs and Hearth played a relatively rare solo set of relentlessly doomed anthems and dirges.

The Chiara String Quartet play Bartok from memory at National Sawdust, 8/30/16
The group’s new double-disc set of the complete Bartok quartets has a bristling, conversational quality, echoed by this performance of the sullen Quartet No. 1 and the chilling Quartets Nos. 3 and 5

Ben Holmes and Patrick Farrell at Barbes, 9/3/16
The hauntingly tuneful trumpeter and his longtime Yiddish Art Trio bandmate, pyrotechnic accordionist Farrell, played their creepy, carnivalesque new Conqueror Worm Suite, based on the Edgar Allen Poe poem.

Ensemble Fanaa at Rye Bar, 9/7/16
Otherworldly, microtonal tenor saxophonist Daro Behroozi’s eerily trippy gnawa-jazz trio with bassist/gimbri player John Murchison and drummer Dan Kirfirst slayed at their debut at Barbes back in July. They were even better in this cozy downstairs South Williamsburg boite.

Anbessa Orchestra at Barbes, 9/9/16
The fiery guitar-and-horn-driven Ethiopian psychedelic funk band put on a pretty ferocious show here back in May. This one was even hotter, sweatier and wilder, with some auspicious new material.

Hearing Things at Barbes, 9/11/16
Another band who slayed at a Barbes show that earned a rave review here, but whose next gig at the Park Slope hotspot was even hotter. Saxophonist Matt Bauder, organist JP Schlegelmilch and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza spun and stomped and slunk their way through a darkly psychedelic mix of surf and go-go originals.

The Allah-Las at Baby’s All Right, 9/17/16
About an hour and a half of lushly catchy three-minute retro psychedelic jangle, clang and twang, fueled by the overtone mist from Pedrum Siadatian’s twelve-string. That the best song of the night was a surf instrumental speaks to the quality of this band’s tunes.

The Attacca String Quartet and Jeff Lynne’s ELO at Radio City, 9/18/16
A bucket-list show. The Attaccas impressed with their ability to hold a sold-out crowd who didn’t seem likely to have any interest in composers like John Adams, but the ensemble kept their attention with a blazing, smartly curated mini-set. Visionary art-rocker Lynne’s band included only one remaining member from the iconic mid-70s lineup, and they played mostly radio hits instead of deep album cuts. But the new, young-ish ensemble was stoked to share the stage with one of the world’s alltime great tunesmiths, and he sang as strongly as he did forty years ago. Not bad for a guy who notoriously hated touring and playing live.

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society at National Sawdust, 10/2/16
Along with the Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York’s Fukushima suite, this was the most intense show of the year, the composer/conductor stern and enigmatic out in front of his mighty big band as they blustered and lurked through his crushingly relevant new conspiracy theory-inspired suite

Satomi Fukami, Masayo Ishigure and others at Merkin Concert Hall, 10/5/16
A feast of spiky, interwoven Japanese koto sounds. featuring the music of legendary 20th century koto virtuoso and composer Michio Miyagi

LJ Murphy in the East Village, 10/8/16
The charismatic noir blues bandleader was at the top of his game, skewering security state paranoia, smarmy East Village gentrifiers and little Hitlers of all kinds while his explosive three-guitar band the Accomplices careened and roared behind him.

Steve Ulrich and Mamie Minch at Barbes, 10/14/16
The debut live collaboration between this era’s definitive noir film composer and the darkly compelling resonator guitarist/blueswoman, a live score to Windsor McCay’s pioneering early animated film The Flying House, turned out to be even more haunting than expected. Then they played some blues, and some Johnny Cash

Sahba Motallebi at Symphony Space, 10/21/16
This concert never could have been staged in the pyrotechnic tar lute virtuoso’s Teheran hometown, because she’s a woman. Her slashing volleys of tremolo-picking and whirlwind riffage were pure adrenaline. That this was a duo performance with another woman musician, percussionist Naghmeh Farahmand made this a special slap upside the head of Islamofascists everywhere.

The Spectrum Symphony with organists Janos Palur and Balint Karosi at St. Peter’s Church, 11/4/16
Possibly this century’s only New York performance of concertos for organ and orchestra featured a richly textural take of the Poulenc concerto plus the world premiere of Korosi’s menacingly cinematic Second Concerto for Organ, Percussion and Strings plus works by Mendelssohn and Bach. Pound for pound, the most mighty, titanic, epic show probably staged anywhere in this city this year.

In 2015, women artists ruled this list; this year, acts were split evenly along gender lines. Tellingly, even more so than last year, about sixty percent of these shows were either free or a pass-the-bucket situation. Clearly the action in this city, in terms of live music at least, is on the ground floor.

Dark Crooner Mark Sinnis Releases His Catchiest, Hardest Country Record

There’s not a little irony in that baritone crooner Mark Sinnis’ catchiest and hardest country record comes out of the most difficult and arguably most complicated time in his life as a recording artist. His latest album, One Red Rose Among the Dying Leaves – streaming at Spotify – picks up the doomed tangent he began in 2012 with It’s Been a Long Cold Hard Lonely Winter. At that point, his marriage was on life support this one traces the despair that followed in its wake, yet paradoxically it’s Sinnis’ most hopeful album ever. Talk about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

As you might expect from Sinnis’ most traditional country album, there’s plenty of reverence for and references to to a century of tradition. The Elvis homage In Tupelo opens it; a homage to New York’s one and only country station, 1050 WHN, which aired at that frequency on the AM dial from 1941 to 1987, closes it on a similarly nostalgic note.

In between, there’s On This Thanksgiving Day, a cruel Johnny Cash-flavored anthem chronicling Sinnis’ departure/eviction from his Westchester home (he’s since resettled in North Carolina). There’s the towering, angst-fueled, Orbison-esque bolero that serves as the album’s title traack, inspired by an actual flower Sinnis discovered the day he moved out of his home in the frigid winter of 2014. It graces the album’s back cover.

Why Should I Cry Over You is a brisk, propulsive minor-key honkytonk blues number. There are a couple of older songs dating from Sinnis’ days fronting gothic-tinged art rock band Ninth House, notably the haunting When the Sun Bows to the Moon – “You create your own atmosphere, breathe your own tainted air” – and the creeping, low-key, doomed Jealousy.

There’s surprisingly upbeat, optimistic material here too. Love, Love Love (You’re Such a Four Letter Word) is a funny and wickedly catchy update on Don Gibson-style 1960s country-pop. Five Days, Seven Nights looks back to the roots of alt-country and bands like the Mekons, but with more finesse. Where It All Ends, a 70s style country ballad, serves as the album’s quietly triumphant coda.

Siting at the Heartbreak Saloon wouldn’t be out of place in the classic-era Merle Haggard songbook. And the album’s best song, Tough Love Is All She’s Got, is one of the all-time greatest kiss-off anthems ever written. See, on the surface, this retro chick – as he tells it, Sinnis’ ex – looks like a classic car from 1956 or so. But wait – pop the hood! Fans of classic country from Lefty Frizzell, to Waylon and Willie, to Jack Grace will love this album A period-perfect and smart, tersely recorded performance from multi-instrumentalists Stephen Gara-  who plays everything from banjo to bagpipes – ass well as W. D. Fortay on lead guitar, Ken Lockwood on fiddle, Brian Aspinwall on pedal steel and trumpet, Lee Compton on lead trumpet, Mike Gross on bass and Michael Lillard on drums.

How Do You Say Jethro Tull in Czech?

What an encouraging omen that in 2016, a band would be unafraid to record a hauntingly vivid, 70s-style art-rock suite. One that vividly echoes Jethro Tull, no less.

Jethro Tull.

Say it slowly. Jethro. Tull.

If you’re stoned, you’re already laughing. But stop. In this blog’s five-year history, the most popular review here is a writeup of a show by that band’s founder. So today’s front page news should be the second most popular piece ever, right?Psychedelic art-folk band Jull Dajen earn that distinction, evoking Tull in the best possible ways, and without the Stonehenge vibe that earned them Spinal Tap immortality. The Prague-based group’s new album Salamander is streaming at Soundcloud.

The opening diptych pairs a jaunty seafaring waltz theme of sorts with a bouncier one in 4/4, with a psychedelic wah violin solo by the band’s not-so-secret weapon, Pavel Cingl, at the center. The title track is a surreal Slavic take on Tull with a crystalline yet inscrutable vocal in perfect English by Bara Malkova anchored by slinky, sliding bass from Czech punk legend Jaroslav Kestra Kestranek.

In a Circle bookends a purposeful, propulsive minor-key dance theme with bandleader/acoustic guitarist Petr Stambersky’s pensive fingerpicking alongside Dusan Navarik’s similarly thoughtful flute. They hand off to Cingl, who raises the morose energy a little before the dance kicks in.

Unfortuantely I Haven’t Met You Yet goes a moodily bouncing psychedelic Britfolk direction. There’s a hint that the gnomes will go frolicking at the end – whether or not they do is worth sticking around to find out.Old Indian Man is a sad, hypnotic take on what could be a Native American theme, although it sounds closer to Shonen Knife with more expressive vocals. Cingl hits his wah pedal and channels a century of deep blues as it winds out.

Forgotten Tull gives Navarik a chance to channel his inner secondhand Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Meanwhile, the rhythm section gets  a chance to have devious fun with 70s disco (Kestranek’s lines are hilarious), and Cingl to offer a snide response via his wah pedal. For Anoushka Shankar reprises the opening theme as a moody fugue and then pouncing 70s art-rock, an eclectic elegy for her paradigm-shifting dad who like this band never met an idiom he could resist appropriating and adding his original voice to.

Malkova sings Starless – an allusion to the classic King Crimson dirge, maybe? – with a haunted resignation in contrast to the band’s slowly crescendoing dynamics and a lively, combative conversation between Cingl and Navarik. Greedy Pigs – Hungry Sharks is a funny juxtaposition between bouncy and sinister. There’s a final, closing benediction, a variation on the Scottish seaside theme that opens the album, Cingl”s psycho blues and Frantisek Tomasek’s terse, purposeful accordion signaling that all here ends well. Dare you to give this a spin even if Jethro Tull is no more than a signifier of wretched 70s excess to you.