New York Music Daily

Global Music With a New York Edge

Month: December, 2019

An Exhilirating, Revelatory Carnegie Hall Debut by the Aizuri Quartet

In their Carnegie Hall debut last night, the Aizuri Quartet played an exhilarating, “wonderfully quirky” program, as violinist Miho Saegusa grinningly characterized a lively, animatedly conversational performance of Haydn’s String Quartet in B minor, Op. 64, no. 2. And that wasn’t the highlight of the night. The suite of Komitas’ Armenian folk sontgs, via a colorful Sergei Aslamazian arrangement, were often gorgeously poignant. And Paul Wiancko‘s 2016 triptych Lift, an “ode to joy,” as violist Ayane Kozasa put it, was a thrilling, ceaslessly bustling, distinctly urban choice of coda. Wiancko is a cellist by trade: his work for strings takes maximum advantage of all those instruments can offer.

The theme of the night was “locally sourced” music inspired by the composers’ home turf that also resonated with the group members. Cellist Karen Ouzounian explained that the night’s five dances collected by Komitas – a Near Eastern musical polymath and proto Alan Lomax– were “a musical link for a lot of families in the diaspora to a distant home…a tiny window into Armenia.” Growing up in Toronto, she’d developed a passion for the repertoire, something the group clearly share.

The wistfully waltzing song without words they opened with set the bar almost impossibly high for the rest of the night, lit up with Saegusa’s sparkling pizzicato. They’d revisit that plaintiveness with the third piece, a distantly Viennese-tinged waltz, Kozasa adding aching intensity with a solo toward the end. In between, a kinetic, celebratory number featured forceful call-and-response and a nimble pizzicato bassline from Ouzounian. The acerbic fourth tune, with its uneasy, Iranian-tinged modalities and stormy gusts, morphed into a jauntier waltz that set the stage for a bounciy vamping conclusion.

In the Haydn, violinist Emma Frucht got to indulge in some unusual single-string voicings that the composer had written for a string-playing buddy. The group reveled in the occasional puckish, peek-a-boo moment and coy instants of anticipation: they’d really taken the quartet apart to find all the best jokes. Dynamics were very hushed in the quietest passages, so that when the group really dug into the Romany-inspired minor-key phrases that Haydn would inevitably smooth out, the effect was all the more striking. Deft handoffs of neatly interwoven counterpoint between the instruments became more animated as the music grew more straightforwardly triumphant, to a playful coda.

Wiancko’s triptych had a cinematic restlessness, a hive of activity built around several intriguing thematic variations. The ensemble kicked it off memorably with a shiver of harmonics, quickly hitting a bustle that brought to mind Charles Mingus’ mid-50s work. Seemingly tongue-in-cheek rounds of pizzicato gave way to circular, Philip Glass-ine phrasing and some of the night’s most unselfconsciously lustrous harmonies between the violins. As the piece went on, lively swoops and dives along with a long series of short, colorful solo spots for each of the instruments mingled with hazy atmospherics, Debussy-esque echoes of ragtime and a return to a frenetic cityscape to tie up any possible loose end. What appeared to be a sold-out crowd exploded with a series of standing ovations.

The Aizuri Quartet’s next New York gig is Dec 15 at 11 AM at Subculture, playing a program TBA; cover is $20, which includes coffee and breakfast snacks. Concert Artists Guild, who sponsored this show, also have a characteristically innovative series of performances from future stars of the serious instrumental music world. Their next one is Feb 11, 2020 at 7:30 PM back at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, with pianist Yi-Nuo Wang playing works by Rachmaninoff, Bartok, Brahms, Chen-yi Lee and Liszt; tix are $30.

A Rapturous, Slashing New Solo Album From One of This Era’s Most Dynamically Brilliant Cellists

Who is the audience for cellist Ashley Bathgate‘s new solo album, simply titled Ash and streaming at Bandcamp? Anyone who gravitates toward thoughtful low-register sounds…and sounds that aren’t so low as well. Bathgate has been one of the most sought-after cellists in 21st century music since joining the Bang on a Can All-Stars back in the zeros. While she seems to prefer pensive sounds and is a brilliant interpreter and improviser in Indian music, she’s also asked to do the impossible more often than not in the world of indie classical and the avant garde. Her extended technique is fearsome, yet she’s known for embracing straightforward tunefulness. The new record, a collection of material written for her, looks back to the Bach suites she’s practiced for years, through the prism of the here and now.

That a composer as celebrated as Andrew Norman would title the album’s opening track For Ashley speaks for itself. Bathgate’s deadpan humor is hard to resist, as the staggered syncopation and sudden staccato mimic a famous Bach theme. The hazy, spacious chords in the midsection offer bracing contrast, as do the increasingly surreal, warpy harmonics as the piece winds out.

Christopher Cerrone’s On Being Wrong is an acerbic electroacoustic piece with echo and doppler effects, Bathgate becoming a one-woman string quartet as she juxtaposes a plaintively slashing, vamping chromatic theme against wary ethereality. Timo Andres’ Small Wonder looks back to Bach very playfully, with sudden rhythmic shifts and jaunty changes in attack, timbre and rhythm, spiced with harmonics and incisive pizzicato.

The album’s most epic piece is Jacob Cooper‘s Ley Line, Bathgate digging into its gritty, steady, ominously hypnotic modal eighth-note runs with a savage determination. It sounds a lot like Julia Wolfe…and that it must be subtly wild fun to play. A Ted Hearne piece with a seemingly random title filters back and forth between techy atmospherics and stark minimalism, Bathgate’s cello taking on a saxophone-like tone at times. The glitchiness of the production toward the end is annoying: nobody wants to suddenly have to check to see if their machine or their phone is melting down.

The album’s final piece is Robert Honstein‘s gorgeous Orison, a slow, tectonically shifting soundscape, textured top to bottom with gravelly murk, fleeting echoes, keening overtones and echo phrases. Beyond the fact that the Ted Hearne piece could have been faded out at about the two-thirds mark, this is a magically fun, entrancing record.

A Wildly Majestic New Double Live Album and a Vanguard Stand from High-Voltage, Individualistic Drummer/Composer Johnathan Blake

These days pretty much every phone can capture at least some of a concert in various degrees of dodgy audio or video. But what’s the likehlihood of being at a transcendent performance that ended up being released as a live album? For anybody who might regret missing out on drummer Johnathan Blake‘s transcendent, torrential trio performances with Chris Potter on tenor sax and Linda May Han Oh on bass at the Jazz Gallery earlier this year, good news! You can hear the group in all their dark, majestic, wickedly catchy glory on Blake’s marathon new double live album, Trion, streaming at Bandcamp. Blake has been on a creative tear this year: he’s making his Vanguard debut as a bandleader tonight, Dec 3 with his similarly exhilarating Pentad featuring Joel Ross on vibes and Immanuel Wilkins on tenor sax on a stand that continues through Dec 8, with sets at 8:30 and around 11. You might want to get there early because it’s going to be intense.

For anyone who might scowl snarkily at the idea of a seventeen-minute chordless jazz version of the Police’s Sychronicity I, you have to hear the album’s opening track – to be fair, the original is actually a decent new wave tune and fertile source material. The bandleader kicks it off with a judicious solo tour of the drumkit, like a tabla player making sure everything’s right: Blake’s unusually musical tuning instantly identifies him. All the other tracks here are as epic, if slightly shorter, i.e. around the ten-minute mark. If you want to kick back with an album that’s going to keep you up all night, this is it.

Potter playfully throws a spitball or two before launching into the tune head-on with the rhythm section tightly alongside. From there they motor along, leaving a lot of space and elbow room for Oh’s gritty propulsion, Blake’s adrenalizing outward expansion and Potter’s artful variations. The saxophonist teases the crowd until a searing trill in response to an evil Blake roll; Oh’s long solo has a remarkably austere, balletesque grace.

Oh introduces Trope, her lone composition here, with an expansive yet darkly terse, distantly Appalachian-tinged solo intro, taking the implied menace introduced by the Police tune to the next level; then Potter enters hazily over her warily pulsing chords, which will give you goosebumps. The rest is equal parts gorgeousness and latin-tinged gravitas, which Blake seizes on: it’s arguably the highlight of the night.

Likewise, Oh’s funky intro kicks off the scampering shuffle One for Honor, by Charles Fambrough, the bassist who took a young Blake under his wing early in his career in Philadelphia. This song without words is just about as catchy and unsettled, Potter working the unease of the passing tones for all they’re worth, up to an enveloping hailstorm of a Blake solo.

Blake’s first anthem on the album, High School Daze, will resonate with anyone who couldn’t wait to get the hell out” Potter channels soul-crushing tedium balanced by guarded hope and then playful defiance. Oh subtly runs a hip-hop-tinged loop; Blake makes a second-line groove out of a simple rap riff; then Oh takes a biting solo that brings to mind mid-70s Stevie Wonder. No Bebop Daddy – an incisively waltzing shout out to Donny McCaslin’s kid, who really knew what he didn’t want to hear on the morning drive to school – has a delicously dark, pointillistic Oh solo and a long climb to an aching, livewire Potter crescendo.

Tne second record also gets a solo Blake intro, the subtly leapfrogging Bedrum, leading into the first of the Potter ompositions, the bouncy, hypnotically crescendoing, vampy Good Hope, with a long climb to a mighty sax solo. His second tune is the warmly saturnine Eagle, Oh’s twilit, folksy riffs setting the stage for the saxophonist’s lyrical drift toward wary, modal JD Allen-esque intensity and back. The trio stay in a similar, slightly more carefree latin-tinged vein for a sprawling, impromptu encore of Charlie Parker’s Relaxing at the Camarillo.

The debut recording of the catchy but enigmatically shifting Blue Heart, by Blake’s dad – the distinctive and underrated jazz violinist John Blake Jr. – has a loose-limbed, syncopated strut and Potter’s most casually genial work here. The album’s final number is West Berkley Street, a jaunty shout-out to Blake’s hip-hop-infused childhood stomping ground. What a treat to be able to revisit such a magic couple of nights.

High Voltage Latin Jazz with Dayramir Gonzalez & Cuba enTRANCe at Lincoln Center

It would probably be overhype to call pianist Dayramir Gonzalez the missing link between Eddie Palmieri and McCoy Tyner. But at his thundering, intense show last week Lincoln Center, Gonzalez and his booming ensemble Cuba enTRANCe strongly brought to mind both of those two icons. With a crushing lefthand attack, stampeding the entire length of the keys, Gonzalez’s intensity never relented. Nobody knows better than he does that the piano is a percussion instrument.

If that wasn’t enough, Gonzalez made sure he had plenty more torrential beats on hand, with both drums and congas in the band: each player got plenty of time in the spotlight and used it explosively. Contrastingly, Gonzalez’s bassist – playing a five-string model with an extra B on the low end – held the center, tersely and calmly, with his judicious, resonant slides and the occasional chord to drive a big crash home.

The quartet opened with a shapeshifting, majestic jazz waltz, introducing the calm/frenetic bass/piano dynamic that would last the duration of the night. The second number, Moving Foward, was a bristling, modally-charged epic, the thunder punctuated by Gonzalez’s glistening cascades and a couple of more moody, suspenseful interludes where the rhythm dropped back.

He explained that as a kid, he’d followed his mom’s advice that “Una sonrisa abre puertas,” building on that idea with Smiling, a more pointillistic, leaping number. He brought it down afterward with a solo ballad from his debut album, Grand Concourse, which was party salsa jazz and part late Beatles. The rest of the set was just as dynamic: loopy, catchy riffage over polyrhythms; more glistening, darkly vamping tableaux that were part salsa and part Chopin; sad boleroish balladry and pouncing, carnaval-esque party themes. Gonzalez spoke eloquently to the similarities between the refugee crisis in Europe and the one further south on this continent; he even sang a little. The crowd clapped along, hitting a salsa groove without any prompting. Right now, Gonzalez seems to be better known in Europe than he is here, and that’s a crime. His next gig is on Dec 4 at 8 PM at Vibrato Grill Jazz, 2930 N Beverly Glen Cir in Los Angeles; cover is $30.

The series of free concerts at the Lincoln Center atrium space on Broadway just north of 62nd St. continues tonight, Dec 2, with an earlier, 7 PM show featuring Strings & Skins, who combine Colombian and Haitian dance grooves. There are also many other performances in the neighborhood until 9; if you can handle the cold, follow the sound.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn for December 2019

Daily updates – if you go out a lot, you might want to bookmark this page and check back regularly.

If you’re leaving your hood, don’t get stuck waiting for a train that never comes, make sure you check the MTA delays and out-of-service page for service cancellations and malfunctions, considering how unreliable the subway is at night and on the weekend.

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.

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.

If you see a typo or an extra comma or something like that, remember that while you were out seeing that great free concert that you discovered here, somebody was up late after a long day of work editing and adding listings to this calendar ;)

Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar:

On select Wednesdays 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, beverages and lively conversation included! sug don, email for details/address

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 tropical bands playing cumbias, boogaloo, salsa, maybe all of the above.. Brain Cloud are also playing their 10th anniversary show on Nov 22 at 9 PM at the Jalopy for $20

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.

Mondays at the Vanguard the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – composer Jim McNeely’s reliably good big band vehicle – plays 9/11 PM, $35 per set plus drink minimum.

Mondays starting at 9:30 PM Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play two sets at Union Pool. 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 woke, 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 usual lead soloist on baritone sax, with frequent special guests. Sizzling guitarist Binky Griptite – Sharon Jones’ lead player – is also often there.

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

Tuesdays at 9 PM, clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes (check the club calendar), $10 cover.

Wednesdays at 9ish the Binky Griptite Orchestra (formerly Sharon Jones’ brilliant oldschool soul backing band) at Threes Brewing Outpost, 113 Franklin St (Greenpoint/Kent Aves) in Greenpoint, free

Most Thursdays at 8:30, 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 the Jalopy, $15 adv tix at the bar at the main space. Tons of special guests followed by a wild raga jam!

Fridays at 7:30 PM tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser leads his band at the Django. Jukebox jazz in a JD Allen vein but not as dark and more straight-ahead/groove-oriented: as postbop party music goes, nobody’s writing better than this guy right now.

Saturdays in December at 4 PM free concerts at Bargemusic;  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 December, at 6 PM  haunting, cinematic lapsteel genius Myk Freedman  plays with a series of bands at Barbes

Most Sundays at 5:15 PM starting in late September, a free recital on the amazing, powerful, dynamic new organ at St. Thomas Church at 5th Ave and 53rd St. featuring some of the world’s greatest organists. The space is magnificent and the music usually is too. Right now the church fathers are programming pretty much everybody who used to work here and play the mighty old Aeolian-Skinner organ that finally had to be replaced. Check the concert calendar for details.

Sundays in December,12/1, 12/8, 12/22 an d 12/29 at 8 PM purist guitarist Peter Mazza – who gets the thumbs up from bop-era legend Gene Bertoncini – leads a series of groups at the Bar Next Door

Sundays at 8:30/11 PM the epic, intense, politically fearless Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra at Birdland, $30 bar seating avail

Sundays at 9:30 PM paradigm-shifting Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel leads his band at Barbes – check the club calendar just to make sure.

12/1, 2 PM fiery ecological activist/bandleader Rev. Billy and his massive original gospel-style choir at Joe’s Pub, $15,

12/1, 2 PM pianist Benjamin Grosvenor plays works by Schumann, Janacek, Prokofiev and Liszt at the Town Hall, $20

12/1, 3 PM a string quartet with Jennifer Gersten, violin; Jungwon Yoon, violin; Nick Pauly, viola; Benjamin Larsen, cello play works by Natalie Dietterich, Robert Sirota and Samuel Barber at Concerts on the Slope, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 139 St. John’s Place downhill from 7th Ave, Park Slope, any train to Grand Army Plz, sugg don

12/1, 4 PM Hell’s Kitchen Country play “lesser known material of bluegrass pioneers such as the Sauceman Brothers, as well as the Stanley Brothers and Jimmy Martin” at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $10

12/1. 5 PM, repeating 12/5 at 7 Allison Kiger, flute; Valeriya Sholokhova, cello and hostess/impresario Yelena Grinberg, piano play a rare program of works by female composers Clara Schumann, Dame Ethel Smythe, Louise Farrenc, Cecile Chaminade and Fanny Mendelssohn at Grinberg’s upper westside piano salon, reception to follow, $35, close to the 1/2/3 train at 96th St., deets here 

12/1, 7:30/9 PM disarmingly direct, lustrous jazz singe Marianne Solivan with Joshua Richman (piano), Barry Stephenson (bass) at Mezzrow, $20

12/1, 8 PM perennially tuneful, pensively lyrical Americana janglerocker Mike Ferrio of Tandy and Good Luck Mountain at 11th St. Bar

12/1, 8:30 PM  cinematic guitarist Pat Irwin and boisterous swing/ska trombonist J. Walter Hawkes at Troost

12/1, 9 PM a rare reunion of gothic Americana legends O’Death followed at 10:30 by politically fearless dirty gospel piano wildman Rev. Vince Anderson with his classic 1999 lineup at Pete’s. No shit. Get there early

12/2, starting at 6ish the annual Winters Eve festival at and around the triangla where Broadway meets Columbus Ave, some surprisingly good acts show up and play in the cold. Klezmer under the xmas tree, maybe?

12/2, 6 PM whirlwind klezmer violin icon Alicia Svigal‘ Klezmer Fiddle Express at the triangle at Broadway and 66th St

12/2, 6 to 9 PM, with several breaks, Mariachi Nuevo Mexico at1900 Broadway between 63rd & 64th St

12/2 6 to 9 PM, with breaks to go down for repairs at the least opportune time, the L Train Brass Band at 1865 Broadway at 61st St.

12/2 6 to 9 PM, with breaks, electric violinist Monica Portillo at 1932 Broadway at 64th St

12/2, 7 PM Colombian-Haitian roots dance band Strings & Skins at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, note early showtime

12/2, 7 PM Jocelyn MacKenzie, the better half of popular late zeros chamber pop band Pearl & the Beard at Pete’s

12/2, 7:30 PM percussionist/composer Qasim Naqvi, violinist Jennifer Koh and singer Davóne Tines perform Naqvi’s compositions plus works by J. S. Bach, Hildegard of Bingen, Isang Yun, and traditional African-American spirituals at Music Mondays, Advent Church, northwest corner of 93rd and Broadway, free

12/2, 7:30 PM charmingy edgy all-female latin tropicalia dance band Ladama plus Guatemalan songwriter Gaby Moreno and chamber orchestra Metropolis Ensemble at Merkin Concert Hall, $20

12/2, 9 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with Jack Grace solo at Bar Chord. 12/9 at 9 he’s with his band at Skinny Dennis

12/2, 9 PM edgy lead guitarist Damian Quinones and his psychedelic latin soul band at LIC Bar

 12/2, 9 PM sweeping, swinging vibraphonist Behn Gillece and group at the Fat Cat

12/3, 7 PM Venice-themed “madrigals for cello, choir, and city” by Andrea Liberovici performed by Aaron Wolff, cello with the Fractio Modi vocal quartet at the Italian Academy at Columbia, 1161 Amsterdam Ave just south of 118th, free

12/3, 7 PM soprano Lucy Dhegrae and the Talea Ensemble play David Adamcyk’s new composition, Father, My Father, a reflection on the #MeToo movement at the Americas Society, free, rsvp sugg

12/3, 7:30/9:30 PM whirlwind B3 jazz organist Pat Bianchi leads his quartet at the Jazz Standard, $30

12/3-8, 8:30/11 PM monster drummer Johnathan Blake & his sizzling quintet Pentad at the Vanguard

12/3-7, 8:30 PM perennnially edgy, darkly tuneful, fearlessly noisy guitarist Mary Halvorson leads a series of ensembles at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice picks: 12/6-7 with her Code Girl sextet with Amirtha Kidambi (voice) María Grand (tenor saxophone, voice) Adam O’Farrill (trumpet) Michael Formanek (bass) Tomas Fujiwara (drums)

12/3, 9 PM Americana rock songstress and Hadestown creator Aiofe O’Donovan followed at 10:30 by Lake Street Dive’s Bridget Kearney doing her new wave rock project at Pete’s

12/3, 9 PM brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet playing classic salsa grooves at the Fat Cat

12/4, 1 PM the Ulysses Quartet play works by Komitas, David Haas and others at the Greene Space, free, rsvp req

12/4, 7 PM crystalline-voiced noir Americana songwriter Jessie Kilguss with her excellent band at Mirror in the Woods, 575 Union St, Gowanus, R to Union St

 12/4, 8 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10. 12/16 at 8 he’s at the Jalopy Tavern for the tipjar

12/4, 8:30 PM Dervisi feat. psychedelic guitarist George Sempepos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” and Middle Eastern flavored hash smoking anthems at Troost

12/4, 9 PM sharply lyrical southwestern gothic/Americana songwriter Tom Shaner  at LIC Bar

12/4. 9 PM psychedelic soul band  Frankie Sunswept and the Sunwrays at the Jalopy Tavern

12/4, 9 PM edgy, dreampop-tinged Americana rock songwriter Juliana Nash back at her old stomping ground at Pete’s, which she booked brilliantly for years back in the 90s and zeros

 12/5, 8:30 PM Thurston Moore and his non Sonic Youth band at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

12/5 8:30 PM a klezmer dance party with T-Klez featuring clarinetist Dena Ressler, the legendary Psachya Septimus & drummer David Licht at Town & Village Social Hall, 334 E 14th St.(between 1st & 2nd Ave.), $15

 12/5, 7 PM poignant, nuanced jazz singer Amy Cervini leads her quartet at 55 Bar

12/5. 7/9 PM poignantly lyrical, eclectic pianist Marta Sanchez leads her quintet with Chris Cheek on sax playing the album release show for her new one at Birdland, $20 bar seating avail

12/5, 7:30 PM the fearlessly relevant, toweringly intense Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra at Bric Arts, $25 standing room avail

12/5 7:30 PM, repeating 12/7 at 8 the  NY Philharmonic with piano legend Yefim Bronfman play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. plus Symphony No. 2, $32 tix avail

12/5, 7:30 PM guitarist Wendy Eisenberg solo followed by drummer Devin Gray and his improvisational trio featuring saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos and bassist Luke Stewart at Greenwich House Music School, $15

12/5, 8 PM the Monenta Quartet “joins forces with composers Elizabeth Brown and Frances White in a multimedia evening fusing Western contemporary music with Japanese aesthetics,” at Roulette, $20 gen adm

12/5, 8 PM 21st century classical star Bright Sheng plays piano joined by the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble at the Miller Theatre, $20 tix avail

 12/5, 8 PM a night of improvisation: Donald Sturge Anthony McKenzie II + On Ka’a Davis; 8:45pm pensively intense microtonal violinist/singer Sarah Bernstein solo; 9:30pm Telepathic Band
 (Daniel Carter, Patrick Holmes, Matthew Putman, 
Hilliard Greene, Federico Ughi) at Union Pool, $15

12/5, 8:30ish psychedelic supergroup the Elgin Marbles feat. members of Love Camp 7, Dervisi and Peter Stampfel’s jug band at Troost

12/5, 10 PM the great unsung NYC hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin leads his Zebtet at the Fat Cat. He’s also here on 12/10 and 12/17 at 7

12/5, 10 PM explosive, theatrical, phantasmagorical indie/metal band A Deer A Horse at Trans-Pecos, 410

12/5-6,10:30 PM indie powerpop/jangle superstars the Joy Formidable at Rough Trade, $25. Some think they’re this era’s Pretenders; others think they’re peevishly opaque.

12/6, 5:30 PM dark, carnivalesque oldtimey songwriter Feral Foster at the American Folk Art Museum

12/6, 7 PM Yara Arts Group with bandurist Julian Kytasty singing wintertime Carpathian songs at the Ukrainian Museum, 222 E 6th St $25/$20 stud/srs

12/6, 7 PM singers Theo Bleckmann and Magos Herrera, trombone monster Ryan Keberle, and Endless Field with special guests at St Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex, $20 to benefit the NRDC

12/6, 7:30 PM chamber quintet Vista Lirica play works by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and a rare Max Reger quintet piece at Greenwich House Music School, $25/$15 stud/srs

12/6, 8 PM iconic fire-and-ice jazz singer Karrin Allyson and pianist Roberta Piket’s sextet project celebrate the compositions of legendary jazz pianist Marian McPartland. at Flushing Town Hall, $16/$10 srs/students 18 and under free w/school ID

12/6, 8 PM, repeating 12/8 at 3 the NJ Symphony Orchestra with pianist George Li play works by Anna Clyne, Dvorak and Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano concerto at NJ PAC in Newark, $20 tixa vail

12/6, 8 PM avant singer Charmaine Lee with Tyshawn Sorey (percussion) remixed live by Ikue Mori at Issue Project Roomm, $15/$12 sud/rs

12/6, 8 PM the reliably entertaining, adventurous Chelsea Symphony play Arturo Marquéz — Danzón No. 2; Max Bruch — Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 26 with soloist Molly Fletcher on violin; Camille Saint-Saëns — Introduction & Rondo capriccioso with violin soloist Dawn Wang; Fernande Breilh Decruck — Les clochers de Vienne: Suite de Valses (NYC Premiere); Ralph Vaughan Williams — Fantasia on Greensleeves; Leroy Anderson — Sleigh Ride; and Aaron Dai — The Night Before Christmas at St. Paul’s Church, 315 W 22nd St., $20 sugg don

12/6-7, 8 PM pan-Asian chanteuse/multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu debuts hauntingly atmospheric new work at Happy Lucky No. 1 Galllery, $20

12/6, 8:30 PM John McCowan plays solo contrabass clarinet followed by bass clarinetist Aaron Novik‘s close-harmonied, overtone-layered homage to downtown NYC noiserock bands of the 80s at Arete Gallery $15

12/6, 9 PM fearlessly relevant latin rock songwriter and protest song connoisseur Ani Cordero at the Sultan Room, $20

12/6, 9 PM anthemic Iron Maiden-style metal band the Blackfires at the Mercury ,$12

12/6, 9 PM a rare Friday installment of Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly surf rock extravaganza with Drew & the Blue, at 10 surfed-up tv themes from Commercial Interruption, at 11 hard-hitting, reverb-iced Strange but Surf, and around midnight Drip Culture

12/6, 9:30 PM a rare reunion of brilliant resonator guitarist/bluesmama Mamie Minch‘s sassy all-female oldtimey blues quartet the Roulette Sisters followed at 10:30 PM by the world’s creepiest, slinkiest, most psychedelic crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy at Pete’s

12/6, 9:30 PM stoner boogie/punk/powerpop band the Evictions, heavy psych band the Warhorses and Brooklyn’s hilarious counterpart to Spinal Tap, stoner metal parodists Mighty High at the Gutter, $7

12/6, 10 PM hard-hitting, brass-fueled newschool latin soul/boogaloo dance band Spanglish Fly at Barbes

12/6, 10:30 PM tuneful oldschool soul/jazz trombonist Dave Gibson leads his quintet at the Fat Cat

12/7, 5 PM singer Mary Thorne leads a septet performing Bach advent cantatas at the cozy, rustically festive Christ Church Cobble Hill, 326 Clinton St, Brooklyn, F to Bergen St., reception to follow, sug don

 12/7, 6 PM fiery, psycheirdelically bluesy oldschool soul/roadhouse jamband Lizzie & the Makers  at Pete’s

12/7, 6 PM haunting, cinematic lapsteel genius Myk Freedman followed at 8 by the furry-suited, oldtimey jazz Xylopholksand then at 10 by epic ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

 12/7, 7 PM soca hall of famer Mighty Sparrow and his equally hilarious, phenomenal band in a rare intimate show at Joe’s Pub, $25

12/7, 7:30 PM the Calidore String Quartet play works by Webern, Haydn and Beethoven: String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat Major, Op. 127 iat Irving Auditorium, Irving Pl/17th St., $17

 12/7, 7:30 PM sultry retro Franco-American torch jazz/chamber pop/ukulele swing band les Chauds Lapins at the basement room at the Rockwood, $12

 12/7, 8 PM trippy, dubby roots reggae and ska sounds with Avo & Skalopy at the Jalopy Tavern

12/7, 8 PM veteran satirical poliical songwriter Charlie King and Appalachian folksinger Annie Peter at the People’s Voice Cafe, sugg don, $20, “more if you choose; less if you can’t; no one turned away.”

 12/7, 8 PM Gamelan Kusuma Laras performs traditional Javanese gamelan music under the direction of the renowned I. M. Harjito. at Roulette, $30

12/7, 9 PM the Machio Ozawa Tango Duo at Bar Thalia adjacent to Symphony Space, free

12/7, 10 PM fiery, deviously fun oldtimey swing guitarist/crooner Seth Kessel & the Two Cent Band at Skinny Dennis

12/8. 11 AM fearless indie classical pianist Jenny Lin plays a program tba at Subculture, $20, coffee and breakfast snacks included

12/8, noon ish brilliant, fearlessly political B3 organist Greg Lewis plays Monk tunes at Bar Lunatico. He’s also here on 12/2212/8,  4 PM the Sometime Boys’ riveting, powerful, theatrical frontwoman Sarah Mucho sings dark cabaret and rock tunes at Freddy’s

12/8, 6 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at 55 Bar

12/8, 6 PM violinist Sana Nagano does double duty, first with mandolinist Sam Harnet and bassist Zach Swanson, then in the duo  Peach and Tomato with violist Leonor Falcon at Downtown Music Gallery

12/8, 7 PM a rare free show by Ethio-jazz piano/accordion pioneer Hailu Mergia at Pioneer Works

12/8, 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

 12/8, 7 PM haunting, fearsomely powerful soul belter and noir Americana songstress Karen Dahlstrom – at Scratcher Bar, 209 E 5th St

12/8, 9ish Bubble  leader Dave Foster’s retro jazz song project the Gershwin Bros followed by torchy singer Rembert Block’s concert version of her new opera at the Treehouse at 2A

12/8 ,10ish wryly psychedelic cinematic Italophile instrumentalists/parodists Tredici Bacci at the Sultan Room, $10

12/8, 10 PM ntriguingly opaque parlor postrockers Green & Glass  play the album release show for their new one at the Mercury, $10

12/9, 6 PM the Greenpoint Songwriters Exchange – a diverse bunch playing everything from folk noir to Costelloesque, literary rock to Indian ragas and oldschool soul – at Pete’s

12/9, 7 PM tuneful postbop pianist Jim Ridl leads his group from behind the Rhodesl at 55 Bar

12/9, 8 PM Toot Sweet play twisted theatrical female-fronted accordion glam rock at the small room at the Rockwood.

 12/9, 8 PM bassist James Ilgenfritz’s Anagram Ensemble play the world premiere of Colombian-American composer Federico Garcia De Castro’s Themuru, for two guitars, two percussionists, clarinet, saxophone, viola, cello, and bass followed by Ilgenfritz’s multimedia opera I Looked At The Eclipseat Roulette, $18 adv tix rec

12/9, 8:30 PM suave oldschool tuneful postbop: Harry Allen (tenor sax) leads his quartet at Birdland, $20 bar seating avail

 12/9, 8:30 PM enigimatically witty, erudite jazz chanteuse/songwriter Dorian Devins  leads her trio at the Bar Next Door, $12

12/9, 10ish the NYC Gaita Club – a Bulla en el Barrio spinoff – play rustically pounding Afro-Colombian trance-dance music at Barbes

12/9, 7:30 PM imaginative, purist jazz drummer Dan Pugach’s Nonet followed at 10:30 PM by this era’s most intensely powerful tenor saxophonist/composer, JD Allen‘s smoking, intense trio at Smalls

 12/9, 9 PM smartly lyrical, eclectically tuneful 70s British style pub/punk rockers Binky Phillips & the Planets at Arlene’s, $5

12/10, drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, badass harp virtuoso Bridget Kibbey plays works by Bach, Gershwin, Albeniz and Tschaikovsky at the Miller Theatre, free

12/10, 7 PM eclectic, hard-hitting, lyrical composer/tenor saxophonist Stan Killian at 55 Bar

 12/10, 7:30/9 PM lyrical jazz piano icon Fred Hersch in a rare duo show with his longtime, subty coloristic drummer Eric McPherson at Mezzrow, $20

12/10, 8 PM guitarist Josh Farrar leads the electric Microaggressions playing classic Arabic songs by Balegh Hamdi and Sayyed Makawi plus works by Aram Khachaturian and Erik Satie, plus, “most enticingly,” the “Wasla from Hell,” an extensive suite that juxtaposes melodies by the venerated Arab masters Mohammed Abdl Wahab, Farid Al Atrash, and Mohammed Qasabgi with metal and proto-metal riffs by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Slayer. at Sisters Brooklyn, 900 Fulton St, C to Clinton-Washington

12/10-15, 8;30/11 PM state-of-the-art jazz bassist Christian McBride & Inside straight at the Vanguard

12/10, 9 PM klezmer-influenced singer/multi-instrumentalist Judith Berkson premieres new work with adaptive new music chamber ensemble Ordinary Affects at Roulette, $18 av tix rec

12/10, 10:30 PM charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy leads his quintet at Smalls. He’s also here on 12/24. same time

12/11, 6;30 PM not a music event but relevant and recommended: a free screening of the documentary film La Supplication (Voices from Chernobyl) directed by Pol Cruchten, at the Americas Society, free, rsvp req

12/11 day 1 of the annual Roots & Ruckus Festival at the Jalopy and Jalopy Tavern, free. Stage 1: The Jalopy Theatre 8:00 PM – Sam Talmadge, 8:30 PM – The Jalopy Chorus. 9:00 PM – Ken Schatz, 9:30 PM – brilliantly relevant Americana/pan-American songwriter Miriam Elhajli; 10:00 PM – the intense, historically inspired oldtime blues/gospel Piedmont Blūz Acoustic Duo. 10:30 PM – Yva Las Vegass & Amelia Jackie. 11:00 PM – 19th century style string band The Four O’ Clock Flowers. 11:30 PM – Astroturf Noise. Stage 2: Jalopy Tavern 8:00 PM – Paisley Fields. 9:00 PM – Anna J. Witiuk. 10:00 PM – Lissy & the Jacks, 11:00 PM – Lord Youth

12/11, 7:30/9:30 PM purposeful raga pianist Utsav Lal at the Jazz Gallery, $15

12/11, 7:30 PM the amazing, haunting, otherworldly NY Andalus Ensemble – who play ancient Middle Eastern and North African Jewish sounds from as far back as a thousand years ago  –  at La Nacional, 239 W 14th St, $22/$16 stud/srs

12/11, 8 PM dark, ferociously eclectic guitarist Anders Nilsson – who careens from Satie to Big Lazy to metal – and band at Barbes

12/11, 8 PM  pyrotechnic clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski’s ferociously kinetic NY Gypsy All-Stars at Drom $10

12/11, 10 PM atmospheric, cinematic drummer/composer Tim Kuhl and band at Pete’s

12/12, 6 PM performances by Jo˜ão Rezende, bandoneon sorcerer JP Jofre, celtic folk trio Tam Lin (Elliot Cole, Fiona Gillespie, and friends), Andrew Yee, and ambient electronic performances from Sebastian Zel, Alex Ring Gray, natalie[dot]computer, and David Bird plus fancy drinks! at 1 Rivington St., 2nd fl, free, rsvp req 

12/12. 7 PM Hyojin Kang – one of Korea’s most celebrated gayageum (magically warptoned zither) virtuosos at Spectrum, $15

12/12, 7 PM soaringly explosive jazz composer/torch singer Nicole Zuraitis at 55 Bar

12/12, 7 PM in their New York debut, the Eybler Quartet play the U.S. premiere of Pedro Ximénez de Abrill Tirado’s Quartet, Op.55, at the Americas Society, $20- a rare chance to hear fascinating obscure 19th century Pan-American repertoire.

12/12, 7:30 PM postminimalist pianist Julian De la Chica “explores raw scenes from watching people’s every day life from a friend’s apartment window in Soho,” hmmm, at the DiMenna Center, $25

12/12, 7:30 PM spoofy goth and folk noir parodiies with the Gothic Archies at Symphony Space, $20 for 30 and under ,$30 otherwise

12/12 day 2 of the annual Roots & Ruckus Festival at the Jalopy and Jalopy Tavern, free. Stage 1: The Jalopy Theatre – 8:00 PM – Taylor Plas; 8:30 PM – fiery, fearless oldtimey blues songwriter/historian Vienna Carroll; 9:00 PM – Maria Alejandra Rodriguez; 9:30 PM – the otherworldly Ukrainian Village Voices; 10:00 PM – Neel Murgai & Mir Naqibul Islam playing an Indian raga or two; 10:30 PM – wild klezmer band Litvakus. Stage 2: Jalopy Tavern – 8:00 PM – Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues playing sly Memphis Jug Band classics; 9:00 PM – The Buck and a Quarter Quartet; 10:00 PM – Starcrossed Losers; 11:00 PM – Jackson & the Stanks

12/12, 7:30 PM Indian and latin-tinged jazz improvisation with the Karuna Trio featuring Hamid Drake, Adam Rudolph, and Alexis Marcelo at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free

12/12, 8 PM the fifteen-piece Collapsible Shoulder Big Band performs compositions from Chris Cochrane’s upcoming release at Roulette, $18 adv tix rec

 12/12, 8 PM Indian percussion genius Deep Singh’s Sharabi live bhangra project, reggae-rockers Zion80 and wild, hilarious klezmer punks Golem at Drom, $20

12/12. 8 PM saxophonist Anna Webber  leads her combo at Jamaica Center for Arts, 161-4 Jamaica Ave, Queens, $10

12/12, 8 PM enigmatic improvisational rock with 101 Crustaceans’ Ed Pastorini & indie classical piano trio Bearthoven at the Owl

12/12, 8 PM charmingly dangerous harmony trio the Whynotte Sisters – Sara Milonovich, the Pre-War Ponies’ Daria Grace and Vibeke Saugestad –  followed at 10 by drummer Arthur Vint & Associates reinventing classic Morricone spaghetti western soundtracks at Barbes

12/12, 8:30 PM a rare duo performance by klezmer chanteuse Polina Shepherd with Klezmatics accordion wizard Lorin Sklamber at Town & Village Social Hall, 334 E 14th St.(between 1st & 2nd Ave.), $15

12/12, 8:30 PM riveting Japanese shamisen player/singer/improviser Emi Makabe leads a trio with Thomas Morgan on bass, Vitor Gonçalves on piano/accordion at I-Beam, $15

12/12, 9 PM 20s hot jazz revivalists Cait and the Critters at Radegast Hall

 12/12, 9 PM lavish, slinky latin noir big band jazz with the  Scott Reeves/Jay Branford Dectet at Silvana

 12/12, 9ish ferocious female-fronted art-rock/stoner metal band Ruby the Hatchet and German stoner band Kadavar at St Vitus, $20

 12/13, 5;30 PM imagistic original front-porch folk songwriter Lisa Bastoni at the American Folk Art Museum

 12/13, 7 PM drummer Adam Rudolph’s strikingly tuneful, rumblingly improvisational Go Organic Orchestra  and Brooklyn Raga Massive – 40 people onstage, insane Indian jamband awesomeness – at Elebash Hall, 365 5th Ave, $25

12/13 day 3 of the annual Roots & Ruckus Festival at the Jalopy and Jalopy Tavern. Stage 1: Jalopy Theatre – 8:00 PM – Barry Clyde 8:30 PM – Chris Acker and the Growing Boys 9:00 PM – Mary Go Round 9:30 PM – Morgan O’Kane10:00 PM – soaring Americana songstress Maggie Carson & Band 10:30 PM – The Horse-Eyed Men 11:00 PM – devious Hawaiian guiarist Isto 11:30 PM – Nat Myers; Stage 2: Jalopy Tavern 8:00 PM – Mara Kaye 9:00 PM – Skalopy Brass 10:00 PM – Hasta la Zeta 11:00 PM – Papa Vega’s Rocket 88s

 12/13. 8 PM magically hypnotic pan-Asian multi-instrumentalis/singer Jen Shyu‘s harrowing, elegaic suite Zero Grasses at the Center for Remembering and Sharing, $25 adv tix rec

12/13, 8 PM intrepid indie classical chamber group Wet Ink Ensemble  play works by Charmaine Lee, Pierre Tremblay, Kristina Wolf, Bryn Harrison and Eric Wubbels at St. Peters Church, 346 W 20th St, $10, stud free

 12/13-14 8 PM cellist Jay Campbell leads an improvisational ensemble at Happy Lucky No. 1 Galllery, $20

12/13, 8 PM poignant, eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo’s Tango Quartet followed at 10 by psychedelic salsa bandleader Zemog El Galle Bueno at Barbes

 12/13, 8:30 PM Ikue Mori remixes a live show by arguably the foremost piano improviser alive (and a hell of a composer too), Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura at the Stone at the New School, $20. The following night 12/14, same time Fujii and Tamura are at I-Beam for five bucks less sans Mori; 12/15 at 8 they’re at 244’s Black Box Theatre, 244 West 54th St.,10th fl

12/13, 8:30 PM ambitious, perennially tuneful saxophonist Mike McGinnis leads his pastoral jazz Roadtrip nonet at I-Beam, $15

12/13. 9ish kitchen sink Brazilian/C&W/funk/New Orleans band Nation Beat at Nublu 151, $15

12/13, 10 PM irrepressibly sardonic janglerock/folk-punk songwriter, New Yorker illustrator and White Hassle alum Marcellus Hall  at Pete’s

12/14, 4 PM colorful violinist Zoe Aqua leads her klezmer band playing a Hanukah celebration at Congregation Beth Elohim Ballroom, 274 Garfield Pl, Park Slope, $20

 12/14, 5 PM third-stream neoclassical group Electric Diamond with Ruth Cunningham – founding member of legendary choir Anonymous 4 at the Frances X. Cabrini Shrine, 701 Fort Washington Ave, A to 190th st, sug don

12/14 day 4 of the annual Roots & Ruckus Festival at the Jalopy and Jalopy Tavern.7:00 PM – Johanna Wacker 7:30 PM – The Skipping Stones 8:00 PM – captivating flamenco/Sicilian songstress Julia Patinella 8:30 PM – Orbisonesque crooner Bobby Blue the Balladeer 9:00 PM – rising star banjo player Nora Brown 9:30 PM – folk noir impresario Feral Foster 10:00 PM – multi-instrumental Americana talent Ali Dineen 10:30 PM – Americana jamband road warriors Spirit Family Reunion 11:00 PM – Rashad Brown. Stage 2: Jalopy Tavern 7:00 PM – Miss Maybell & Charlie Judkins; 8:00 PM – sizzling blues guitar genius Michaela Gomez 9:00 PM – The Homestead Street Band 10:00 PM – psychedelic soul band Frankie Sunswept & The Sunwrays11:00 PM – Wyndham Baird & Band

12/14, 7:30 PM ruthlessly funny, politically satirical faux-folk duo Friends Who Folk (Rachel Wenitsky and Ned Riseley) at Union Hall, Union St. north of 7th Ave in Park Slope, $10

12/14, 7:30 PM Rajrupa Chowdhury plays ragas on the sarod at the Chhandayan Center For Indian Music, $20

12/14, 8 PM intense, pyrotechnic oudist and ngoni virtuoso Brandon Terzic plays Middle Eastern and west African sounds followed at 10 by  feral singer Carolina Oliveros’ mighty 13-piece Afro-Colombian trance/dance choir Bulla en el Barrio at Barbes, . Bulla are also here on 12/23 at 10

 12/14, 8 PM indie classical rising stars  TAK Ensemble play world premieres by Younge and Lopez  at Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, Harlem , 521 W 126th St, sug don

 12/14, 9 PM  Super Yamba play their bracingly psychedelic Afrobeat jams at Bar Chord for the tip jar. Then on 12/19 at 7:30 they’re at at Symphony Space, $20 for 30 and under ,$30 otherwise

12/14, 9 PM  Andrew Vladeck – whose lyrically-driven songs careen from stark oldtimey tunes to epic, cinematic anthems – at Pete’s

12/14, 10 PM fiery electric bluegrass and C&W with Demolition String Band at Skinny Dennis

12/15, 11 AM the Aizuri Quartet play a program TBA at Subculture, $20, coffee and breakfast snacks included

 12/15, 2 PM the legendary  Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio play an all-Beethoven program at the Town Hall, $20

12/15, 5 PM repeating 12/18 at 7 Eric Silberger, violin; Laura Metcalf, cello; and bandleader/impresario Yelena Grinberg, piano play works by Clara and Robert Schumann, Mendelssohn and Brahms and Robert Schumann at Grinberg’s upper westside piano salon, reception to follow, $35, close to the 1/2/3 train at 96th St., deets here 

 12/15-16, 7 PM the annual Rotunda Holiday Concert with all-star indie classical choir Roomful of Teeth, composer/singer/viollinist Caroline Shaw and percussion trio Tigue at the Guggenheim, $25 standing room avail

12/15, 8 PM shreddy female-fronted heavy psych/metal band Thrilldriver followed by the similarly dark, more eclectic, psychedelic  enigmatic Lorraine Leckie and her killer band at the big room at the Rockwood

12/15, 9:30 PM exhilarating acoustic guitar instrumentalist Lyle Brewer – like John Fahey on steroids – at Pete’s

 12/15, 9:30 PM ferociously dynamic, tuneful, female-fronted power trio Castle Black  at Our Wicked Lady, $10

 12/16, 7 PM Greg Lewis’ brilliant, fearlessly political Organ Monk Trio at 55 Bar

12/16, 7 PM female composers night: violinist Meg Okura, Tracy Yang, and the Jen Allen Jazz Orchestra at Shapeshifter Lab, $15s

12/16, 7:30 PM riveting, charismatic, intuitive pianist Karine Poghosyan plays two Beethoven Sonatas plus the Liszt solo piano arrrangement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony at Broadway Presbyterian Church, 601 W 114th St at Broadway, $15 sug don

12/16, 8 PM feral bassist Brandon Lopez debuts new work for his trio and 4tet at Roulette, $18 adv tix rec

12/16, 7:30 PM songwriter Adrienne S. Witt’s new play Unseen – “As the news of another black teen being killed by a white police officer covers every newspaper, Ava Janine Wright can’t help but be deeply affected. As the Chief Financial Officer at Bucchanan Trust Accounting Firm she feels guilty for not doing more to help her community. When her Ivy league education, position and money can’t protect her from the red tape of Buchanan Trust and her highschool friend Elijah is profiled by police; Ava decides it’s time to reassess her future,” at Dixon Place, $17 adv tix rec

12/16, 9:30 PM ex-Chicha Libre keyboard sorcerer Josh Camp’s wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach at Barbes

12/17, 2 PM nimble tsimblist Pete Rushefsky leads a klezmer band at Poe Park in the Bronx, Grand Concourse at 192nd St., free

12/17 ,7 PM the Jack Quartet play a Catherine Lamb world premiere at the first-floor New School auditorium at 63 5th Ave. They’re back here on 12/18 playing works by Tyshawn Sorey and Clara Iannotta, free w rsvp

12/17, 8 PM Ultrafizz (pianist Nathaniel LaNasa and singer Lucy Degrahe) play works by Pauline Oliveros Meredith Monk, Guillaume de Machaut, and unknown 13th century choral composers at Arete Gallery, $15

 12/17, 8 PM soaring, politically relevant, brilliantly purposeful alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon  leads a quartet with Seth Trachy (tenor sax), Joel Mateo (drums), Chris Tordini (bass), Glenn Zaleski (piano) at Nublu 151, $15

12/17-22, 8:30/11 PM piano icon Kenny Barron leads his quintet at the Vanguard; then he’s there with a trio through 12/29

12/17-21, 8:30/11 PM iconic, tuneful Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander at Birdland, $30 bar seating avail

12/17, 8:30 PM smartly tuneful oldschool soul/psych-pop songwriter Mimi Oz at Pete’s

12/17, 9 PM wickedly torchy noir and new wave songwriter Julia Haltigan at 11th St Bar

12/18, 7:30 PM surrealist avant garde free jazz collective thingNY play”audio-visual chamber music and sonic theaters” – works by Paul Pinto, Jennifer Walshe, Sam Scranton, Jesse Marino and a Robert Ashley world premiere at Arete Gallery, $15

12/19, 7:30 PM Los Rumberos del Callejón bring their salsa out of the alley at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, get there early

12/19, 8 PM the Bushwick Book Club – a lit-rock collective including both some of NY’s smartest songwriting talent along with some dorky open mic lifers – at Barbes

 12/19, 8:30 PM lyrical pianist Jason Yeager and quintet play the album release show for his brilliant, latin-inspired new protest jazz record at the Cell Theatre, $15

12/19, 8:30 PM a klezmer dance party with Khanike Tanzhoyz at Town & Village Social Hall, 334 E 14th St.(between 1st & 2nd Ave.), $15

12/19, 10 PM the world’s darkest, slinkiest, most blackly funny crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy  at Bar Lunatico

12/19, 11 PM catchy, politically fearless soulstress Alice Lee – Nina Simone meets Fiona Apple, equally psychedelic and torchy – at Pete’s

12/20, 8 PM rustic Brazilian jungle guitar-and-accordion sounds with Regional de NY followed at 10 by slinky, hypnotic percussive Moroccan trance band Innov Gnawa at Barbes

12/20, 8 PM hilarious original oldtimey-style hokum blues songwriter Al Duvall followed by a quartet covering Fats Waller led by the wonderful Joanna Sternberg alongside Charlie Burnham, Joe Cohn, and Anthony Coleman. at the American Can Factory, 232 3rd St., Gowanus $15

 12/20, 8 PM “join Brooklyn’s premier Dolly Parton coverband, Doll Parts for a holiday celebration of our Lord and savior Dolly Parton,” at the Bell House, $16

12/20-21, 8 PM amazingly eclectic, alternately punishing and subtle drummer Ches Smith‘s quartet with Mary Halvorson (guitar), Liberty Ellman (guitar), Nick Dunston (bass) at Happy Lucky No. 1 Galllery, $20

12/20, 9 PM deviously funny twin-trombone dub reggae crew Super Hi-Fi play their sick dub versions of xmas songs at Bar Chord

12/20, midnight legendary 90s Brooklyn psychedelic funk unit Groove Collective reunite at Drom, $15

12/21, 4 PM jangly, intense, soaring bandleader/guitarist/bassist Debby Schwartz followed at 5 by Bubble‘s Dave Foster at Pete’s

12/21, 7 PM ambient guitarist and Bowie collaborator Gerry Leonard a.k.a. Spooky Ghost at the basement room at the Rockwood, $15

12/21, 8 PM dark cabaret legend Sanda Weigl and her Romany-flavored band at Barbes

12/21, 8ish popular, gritty, propulsive 90s indie rockers Versus at Elsewhere, $12

12/21, 10 PM first-rate purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Cliff Westfall and his killer band at Skinny Dennis. He’s also here on 12/28

12/21, 10 PM hard-hitting bassist Dawn Drake & Zapote‘play psychedelic Afrobeat and funk at Shrine

12/22, 11 AM cellist Astrid Schween leads her ensemble at Subculture, $20, coffee and breakfast snacks included

12/22, 7:30 PM noir-inspired alto saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton followed at 10:30 by tuneful oldschool soul/jazz trombonist Dave Gibson leading his quintet at Smalls

12/22, 8 PM epically soaring psychedelic art-rock/chamber pop pianist/bandleader Greta Gertler and innumerable special guests at Barbes

12/22, 8 PM smart, darkly pensive third-stream jazz pianist Noa Fort at the small room at the Rockwood

12/23, 7:30 PM Camille Thurman – a double threat as nuanced singer and intense tenor saxophonist – leads her quintet at Smalls

12/23, 7:30 PM mostly-female, kinetic klezmer/cumbia/cinematic jamband Isle of Klezbos at Joe’s Pub, $20

12/24, 8 PM the annual klezmer show at Barbes with plenty of usual suspects – Ben Holmes, Michael Winograd, Matt Darriau all possible – playing classics and their own material

 12/24, 8:30 PM elegant bop-era guitar legend Gene Bertoncini plays a rare solo show at the Bar Next Door $12

12/26, 10 PM Pangari & the Socialites play classic ska and rocksteady – most of it from the 60s Skatalites catalog – at Barbes

 12/27, 5 PM charmingly inscrutable Parisienne jazz chanteuse Chloe & the French Heart Jazz Band at Club Bonafide,$20.

 12/27, 8 PM the Skyline Salsa Band at FM Jersey City, $10

12/27-28, 7/9 PM powerful jazz belter – and Gil Scott-Heron reinventor –  Charenee Wade leads her group at Ginny’s Supper Club, $20

12/27, 8 PM electric, electric C&W/blues band the Jug Addicts followed by the world’s darkest, slinkiest, most blackly funny crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy at Barbes

12/27, 9:30 PM deviously hilarious, charismatic oldtimey New Orleans swing songwriter Carsie Blanton at Rough Trade, $15 adv tix rec

12/28, 10 PM the Bubble  leader Dave Foster’s retro jazz song project the Gershwin Bros with the transcendent Erica Smith on vocals at Barbes

12/30, 7 PM New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez‘s 4th annual goodbye party – saluting some of those who’ve left us this year – at Pangea

12/30, 9ish bouncy live hip-hop groove band the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble at the Knitting Factory, $18

12/31, 9ish clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  at Barbes, $20

12/31, 11 PM funnest New Year’s event in town is Paolo Bordignon playing a program TBA on the massive Aeolian-Skinner organ at St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, 52nd/Park Ave, free

Full calendar for January 2020 coming on Jan 1