New York Music Daily

No New Abnormal

Category: african pop

The Nile Project Reinvent Undulating, Mesmerizing Nubian and Ethiopian Grooves

The Nile Project use Nubian traditional songs and proto-funk as a stepping-off point for lavishly colorful, frequently hypnotic jams. There are all kinds of influences here, from Egypt to Ethiopia, Mali and points further south, not to mention American psychedelic rock This blog gave their 2015 debut album Aswan a big thumbs-up. Their 2017 follow-up, Jinja – streaming at Bandcamp – picks up with much more of a darkly vivid Ethiopian tinge. With this band’s vast stash of instruments, they must have a huge tour van.

The first track, Inganji begins with Mohamed Abozekry’s skeletal, skittish oud riff, then Steven Sogo’s guitar kicks in over a circling, hypnotic Malian groove. There’s a very assertive call-and-response at one point between frontwoman Sophie Nzayisenga and the other women in the group.

Allah Bagy sounds like a mashup of a majestic Nile valley anthem and a briskly circling Malian theme, spiced with a rapidfire web of stringed instruments and Jorga Mesfin’s honking baritone sax. You want psychedelic? Ya Abi Wuha follows the same slow/fast formula, with more of an Ethiopian tinge and rippling proto-blues guitar riffage.

Dawit Seyoum’s krar harp delivers hypnotic, rapidfire volleys in Omwiga – it gets joyous when Ahmed Omar’s bass and Hany Bedair’s drums kick in, moving in more of an ellipse than a circle. With Nader Elshaer’s leaping flute over a percussive gallop, Unzi Nil could be a prototype for a brooding Bob Marley anthem. The more distinctly Egyptian-flavored epic Dil Mahbuby gets a long, percolating oud intro, a lithely slinky groove, a plaintively expressive Arabic vocal from Dina El Wedidi and yet another doublespeed romp.

Tenseo is even longer, more than twelve minutes of suspensefully fluttering fretwork, Selamnesh Zemene’s dramatic melismatic vocals, and an undulating, broodingly chromatic groove that could be Mulatu Astatke.

Swaying along over a spiky oud loop, Marigarita has a fervent Ethiopian tinge. Biwelewele is a big, catchy, undulating anthem over a bluesy minor-key bassline. The album’s final, benedictory cut is Mulungi Munange. To say that this careening ensemble are the sum of their parts is actually high praise.

Haunting, Wildly Psychedelic East African Sounds Rescued From an Obscure Archive in Djibouti

Many emerging African nations in the 60s and 70s had a national band. Those were typically established by newly independent regimes, to help concretize a national identity in areas which had been balkanized by Western imperialists. While those groups may have been founded and then exploited for propaganda purposes, their music was often very good, and fascinatingly cross-pollinated. One of the most intriguing was from Djibouti.

That country’s group, 4 Mars’ bandname commemorates the founding date of the ruling People’s Rally for Progress party there. What makes this music so unique is not only the haunting chromatics common throughout what is now Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, but also the global influences that passed through Djibouti’s ports. For centuries, the region has been a major Indian Ocean commercial hub: no wonder the Chinese Communists are building a naval base there.

In a much more fortuitous and peaceful development, the American firm Ostinato Records recently gained access to the massive archives of Radiodiffusion-Télévision de Djibouti and is mining the collection for all sorts of treasures never before heard outside the country. The new 4 Mars compilation Super Somali Sounds From the Gulf of Tjadoura – streaming at Bandcamp – is the first release, comprising both studio and concert recordings made by the regional supergroup between 1977 and 1994.

A couple of the cuts here are questionable: how appropriate is it to include a tribute to a repressive political figure? Sure, the praise-song tradition in Africa goes back centuries. But comparatively speaking, does the inclusion of Dixie in an anthology of American folk songs enhance the album’s historical value…or compromise it ethically and esthetically?

The album’s opening track, simply titled Natesha (Compassion) sets the stage: a Bollywood-influenced, melismatic chanteuse out front of what sounds like a lo-fi, vintage synth-driven roots reggae band playing a dark minor-key groove. That beat is actually dhaanto, an ancient East African rhythm that eventually made its way to Jamaica.

The quasi-reggae pulse gets more organic, with swirly organ, spare bass, trebly tremolo guitar and one-drop drums in the epic, almost ten-minute Hobolayee Nabadu (Hello Peace). The group’s saxophonist, Mohamed Abdi Alto – who now leads the excellent Groupe RTD – plays spare, biting minor-key riffs and remains an often haunting presence on many of these tracks.

Dhulika Hooyo (Motherland) is cheerier, with more surreal harmonies and a massed choir which could be half kids: at their peak, the group comprised more than forty members including dancers. How powerful is Tamarta (Power)? Not so much: this is one of the more synthy tracks, guy/girl vocals matched by tradeoffs between flute and keys, shifting to an unexpected latin soul-inflected groove.

Daroor (rough translation: Drought) has a loping, vaudevillian beat behind the Bollywood-style vocals. The number after that is faster: imagine Fela playing rocksteady. The song for an iron-fisted Djiboutien ruler has more of a strut and is a lot shorter. Likewise, the pulse of Lana Rabeen Karo (It Cannot Be Desired), a long one-chord jam which seems less forced: one thing that definitely can’t be desired is having to sing for a dictator.

Tellingly, the female singers are missing until a couple of minutes into the even more disturbingly titled Tilman Baa Lagu Socdaa (Follow the Rules). Like several of the reggae-ish tracks here, Inkaar Walid (The Elders’ Curse) could be a Burning Spear anthem with surreal Chinese flute and Balkan pop influences.

The broodingly catchy Abaal (Gratitude) seems to be of the same early 80s-tinged vintage as the album’s opening number, with flaring metal guitar, warpy synth and hasty, overcompressed lo-fi production. An acerbically modal traditional wedding song gets a bouncy, electric update with keening flute and synth along with more Ethiopian-flavored vocals: it’s arguably the catchiest track here. The concluding epic is a real departure, a melancholy, pentatonic Chinese ballad. Goes to show what a range of flavors the trade winds will blow in. Let’s hope for winds of trade rather than winds of war in that part of the world in the coming years.

A Symphonic Malian Mashup

Of all the strange and beguiling orchestral cross-pollinations of recent years, kora player Toumani Diabaté’s live album Korolen with the London Symphony Orchestra under Clark Rundell is at the top of the list. You could call this six-part suite a harp concerto, the kora being one of that instrument’s ancestors and sharing a ringing, rippling upper register. The music is calm, expansive, unhurried, sometimes warmly playful, sometimes meditative.

This archival 2008 concert – streaming at Spotify – begins with a Diabaté solo, introducing the spare, warmly expansive pastorale Hainamady Town. Then strings and winds enter and add lush, sweeping ambience. Diabaté’s spur-of-the-moment arrangements are strikingly uncluttered and atmospheric: an oboe sailing here, a brassy echo there. Diabaté turns more and more of the melody over to the orchestra as the layers grow more pillowy.

Diabaté’s lively solo introduction of Mama Souraka seems improvised; the decision to pair the kora with xylophone and pizzicato strings along with gentle staccato accents seems completely logical. Yet so does the doppler-like sweep later on.

Elyne Road opens with a windswept British folk ambience over an understated waltz beat; Diabaté’s clustering riffs shift the music into even sunnier African terrain. The ensemble return to the solo intro/orchestral crescendo model in Cantelowes Dream, with a Diabaté joke that’s too ridiculously funny to give away. A Spanish guitar delivers a spiky Malian solo; Diabaté’s conversations with high woodwinds grow more animated and gusty.

Moon Kaira is the most lushly dancing piece yet ultimately most hypnotic segment here, with a triumphant interweave of voices. The bassoon matching Diabaté’s intricate doublestops is a trip. The ensemble close with Mamadou Kanda Keita, a pulsing, vamping salute to the griot tradition with expressive vocals by the late Kasse Mady Diabaté, and a guitar/kora duet on the way out.

Cape Verdean Singer Lucibela Charms and Energizes the Crowd in Her New York Debut

In her New York debut last night at Merkin Concert Hall, Cape Verde singer Lucibela delivered a mix of pensive morna ballads and bouncy coladera dance tunes with considerably more depth and gravitas than her limited if stylistically vast recorded repertoire has hinted at so far A sold-out crowd who’d followed those hints, or had seen her before – the home island posse was in full effect for this show – sang and danced along to a dynamically shifting mix of Portuguese-language songs reflecting issues of distance and alienation, and sometimes just good times off the west coast of Africa.

The World Music Institute’s Gaby Sappington – who’d booked this show – explained that she’d chosen Lucibela to open their 2019-20 season and keep the spirit of late-summer vacationing alive, if only for an evening. Yet the most explosively applauded number of the night was a brooding, bolero-tinged ballad where the bandleader finally reached for the rafters with her cool alto voice, channeling abandonment and destitution.

It took her awhile to get to that point. Rocking a mane of an afro and dressed in a simple white-and-beige linen dress and sandals, she sang with an elegant understatement for most of the evening. Her four-piece backing band were tight and methodical. Seven-string acoustic guitarist Ze Antonio alternated between graceful, steady chords, swinging basslines on his low strings, and the night’s most shivery, breathtaking instrumental break. Purposeful, incisive lead guitarist Daya Nieves switched to melodica on a handful of songs, alongside carvaquinho (Brazilian ukulele) player Stephane and drummer Nir, who balanced graceful rimshots and a mist of cymbals over a groove that often slunk into clave.

Lucibela began the night very demurely but as the trajectory of the songs rose from stately morna ballads to more kinetic, often bossa-tinged coladera numbers, she warmed to the audience and by the end of the show had them on their feet and dancing. The night’s funniest song was Profilaxia, a sardonically romping tune about a guy who just can’t get enough of the females. That was her moment to flirt with the dudes in the front row. Meanwhile, the guitars intertwined, the carvaquinho plinked, and influences from across the waves – from dramatic flamenco to stark Romany music to Portuguese fado and French cabaret – filtered through the mix.

The World Music Institute‘s ongoing series of concerts continues this Sept 22 at 8 PM at Merkin Concert Hall once again with Indian sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee and tabla player Ojas Adhiya; you can get in for $25.

Lucibela Brings Cape Verde’s Many Ocean-Borne Flavors to Manhattan on the 17th

Although the death of Cesaria Evora left a gaping hole in the global music pantheon, she’s hardly the only good singer to come out of the Cape Verde Islands. New York fans of plaintive morna ballads and bouncy coladera songs have a prime opportunity to be immersed in that stuff when the World Music Institute brings Cape Verde singer Lucibela here to make her debut her at Merkin Concert Hall on Sept 17 at 8 PM. You can get in for $25.

Cape Verde was occupied by Portugal for many years. Just as many Puerto Ricans moved to the US in search of a better life, many islanders, Lucibela included, have relocated to their former colonizer. That explains the title of her 2018 album Laço Umbilical, meaning “umbilical cord,” a reference to longing for home as well as the fact that she ended up moving there to be close to her daughter. The record has since been tweaked and reissued as Ti Jon Poca, streaming at Spotify.

Where Evora was smoky and sometimes boozy, Lucibela is distinct and rather restrained throughout this mix of Portuguese-language standards and a couple of new reinventions. Toy Vieira’s spiky acoustic guitar is the primary instrument, backed by spare bass and percussion. There’s a lot of music on this record, and it’s a lot more eclectic than you might imagine. The opening track, Chica di Nha Maninha distantly reflects Spanish Romany music and has biting soprano sax.

If somebody felt like translating Sodadi Casa to English, it could pass for a Jimmy Webb countrypolitan song from the 60s. Sai Fora, with Algerian crooner Sofiane Saidi, is a mind-warping mashup of chaabi, morna and what could be Tom Waits.

Angolan singer Bonga adds an imploringly gritty cameo in Dona Ana, a slinky, melancholy bolero in disguise. Stapora do Diabo an unselfconsciously gorgeous number with tasty, chromatically spiced guitar and sax. Lucibela and band take a sparkly detour into bossa nova with Porto Novo Vila Crioula, then go dusky with Laço Umbilical, which with a fatter low end could be Jamaican rocksteady.

Profilaxia isn’t just clean (sorry) – it’s one of the album’s most sprightly numbers, as is Mi E Dode Na Bo Cabo Verde. With its brooding cello, Arku da Bedja is the closest thing to Mediterranean balladry here. Then Lucibela picks up the pace again with the carefree Novo Olhar; Violeiro, a delicate bossa rtune, is much the same. She winds up the album with the title cut, which more than hints at flamenco. As is typically the case with music sung by women in her part of the world, themes of distance and longing permeate this diverse collection: coastal civilizations tend to be fertile crucibles for cross-pollination.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn for August and September 2019

Daily updates – if you go out a lot, you might want to bookmark this page and check back regularly. Believe it or not, some of this year’s free summer concert series schedules are still being tweaked – you’ll see the good stuff on this page.

If you’re leaving your hood, don’t get stuck waiting for a train that never comes, make sure you check for service changes 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 found out about 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:

August 5 through 11 the annual Drive East Festival of Indian music and classical arts at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, features both iconic artists seldom heard outside India as well as cutting-edge new talent. Individual concert listings are in the calendar below; tickets are relatively cheap (no more than $30, often less), and the level of talent is breathtaking. Very highly recommended.

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 donemail 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.

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

Mondays starting at around 10:45 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.

Tuesdays at 7:30 PM the chamelonic, playful, sometimes irresistibly cartoonish Daniel Bennett Group play jazz outside the box at the bar at the Residence Inn, 1033 6th Ave at 39th St, free

Tuesdays at 9 PMclever, 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 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 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.

Free classical concerts on Saturdays at 4 PM 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 August at 6 PM mesmerizing oudist  Brian Prunka plays with a series of Middle Eastern groups at Barbes

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.

8/1, noon eclectic Texas acoustic blues guitarist Ruthie Foster at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn

8/1, 5 PM ferociously powerful, politically fearless southern gothic guitar/banjo player Amythyst Kiah at Wagner Park on the river north and west of Battery Park

8/1, 6:30 PM oldschool salsa jazz with Yunior Terry & Son De Altura under the Manhattan Bridge archway in Dumbo

8/1, 6:30 PM tuneful purist postbop player Jocelyn Gould on guitar with Louie Leager on bass and Sarah Gooch on drums at the Bar Next Door

8/1, 7:30 PM summery Brazilian samba chanteuse Tulipa Ruiz at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/1, 7:30 PM purist oldschool tenor sax player Craig Handy leads an organ quartet with Kyle Kohler on the B3 at Smalls – interesting change of pace

8/1, 8 PM dark, savagely brilliant guitarist Ava Mendoza in a rare solo show at the Old American Can Factory, 232 3rd St., Gowanus, $15 cash only at the door, space limited, RSVP to reserve your ticket,  She says the punk band on after her are fun too

8/1, 8 PM New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez at Barbes

8/1, 8 PM ferocious psychedelic guitarist Debra Devi at FM Jersey City, $10

8/1, 8 PM oldschool style jazz chanteuse Yuka Mito leads her quartet at Club Bonafide, $20

8/1, 8 PM klezmer-jazz piano ico Anthony Coleman leads a trio Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery, $20. He’s there the following night solo, same deal

8/1-4, 8/10:30 PM shadowy, cinematic bassist Avishai Cohen leads a trio with Shai Maestro on piano and Mark Guiliana on drums at the Blue Note, $20 standing room avail

8/1, 9 PM catchy, edgy, darkly kinetic female-fronted Romany-tinged rock band the Trouble with Kittens  followed by explosive, creepy, colorful psychedelic rembetiko metal band Greek Judas  at Niagara, Ave. A and 7th st.

8/1, 9 PM bassist Jeong Lim Yang’s quartet with Oscar Noriega on reeds at Bar Lunatico. Counterintuitive, thoughtful, unpredictably interesting.

8/1-4, 11:30 PM charming/badass eclectic jazz vocal trio the Ladybugs at Dizzy’s Club, $5. Their Disney covers from across the decades have surprising bite.

8/1 menacingly orchestral metal band Doomstress at Lucky 13 Saloon

8/2. 6 PM classical ensemble the Harlem Quartet play a program TBA at Bryant Park

8/2, 6 PM propulsive coastal Afro-Honduran sounds with the Garifuna Collective plus a dance troupe at Crotona Park

8/2, 7 PM a rare program of Japanese music for koto and reeds with clarinet wizard Thomas Piercy and ensemble at Spectrum, $15

8/2-3, 7:30 PM the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra with soloist Pierre-Laurent Aimard play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 at Avery Fisher Hall, $35

8/2-3,7:30 PM low-key oldschool postbop rapture: saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, ageless pianist George Cables & bassist Ugonna Okegwo at Mezzrow, $25

8/2, 8 PM a live performance of new Christopher Cerrone song cycles by soprano Lindsay Kesselman, vocalist Theo Bleckmann, and a chamber choir, accompanied by Wild Up under Christopher Rountree at Arete Gallery, $20 includes copy of the new cd

8/2. 9 PM quirky, whirling, string-driven chamber pop/art-rock band Gadadu at Pete’s

8/2, 9 PM Brandi & the Alexanders play oldschool-style soul ballads at the Way Station

8/2, 9:30 PM, repeating 8/4 at 7 the Ryoma Quartet put a high voltage spin on traditional Japanese sounds wih tsugaru-shamisen, shinobue flute, tsuzumi drum, and a violin at Joe’s Pub, $20

8/2, 9:45 PM perennially entertaining first wave-style punks the Car Bomb Parade play the album release show for their new one, followed by female-fronted screamers Sister Munch and the evern louder, food-fixated But, Pyrite at the Gutter, $10

8/2, 10 PM ex-Chicha Libre keyboard sorcerer Josh Camp’s wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach at Barbes

8/2, 10:30 PM  tuneful oldschool soul/jazz trombonist Dave Gibson leads his quintet at the Fat Cat

8/2-3, 10:30 PM sizzling postbop saxophonist Mike DiRubbo leads a killer quartet with Brian Charette on piano at Smalls. Expect more thrills than subtlety.

8/3, 2 PM ish brass band madness, outdoors: the L Train Brass Band (which apparently IS running this weekend, unlike its namesake), Brass Queens, Brooklyn’s original punk Balkan horn group Hungry March Band, and eclectic quartet Trumpet Marmalade at Good Life Garden, 50 Goodwin Pl, (off Grove; J to Gates Ave) in Bushwick, sug don. “The garden festivities will conclude with a NOLA-flavored second line processional to Queens Brewery for the official afterparty.”

8/3, 6 PM one of New York’s most eclectic, interesting oudists, Brian Prunka followed at 8 by torchy, slyly lyrical, historically-fixated retro Americana songwriter Robin Aigner & Parlour Game and at 10 by epic ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

8/3, 6 PM legendary hip-hop dj Funk Flex celebrates his bday and EPMD celebrate the 30th anniversary of their 1989 classic Unfinished Business at Crotona Park

8/3, 6 PM 70s soul nostalgia with what’s left of the Stylistics, the Manhattans, and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes (minus the late great Philly soul bandleader) at the Amphitheatre at Coney Island, free, be aware that this is a corporate venue and security is extremely hostile

8/3, 7 PM rising star sitarist Abhik Mukherjee with Dibyarka Chatterjee on tabla at the Chhandayan Center for Indian Music  $16

8/3. 7 PM the Post-Haste Reed Duo play the album release show for their playful, charming new one at Spectrum,

8/3, 7ish politically fearess Taiwanese guy/girl piano pop duo Tizzy Bac at Central Park Summerstage

8/3, 8ish  legendary, intense former Come bandleader and haunting indie-psych guitarist Thalia Zedek’s E followed by ageless mostly-female CB’s era funk-punk/postrockers the Bush Tetras playing the album release show for their new one at the Mercury, $15

8/3, 8:30 PM Rachel Koblyakov “sets out to explore the various polyphonic and lyrical possibilities of the solo violin. The works chosen are with disregard to the composers’ era or the general categorization of their music, yet each piece favors either a polyphonic or lyrical form.” with works by J.S. Bach, Alfred Schnittke, Marc-André Dalbavie, Orlando Bass, Michael Finnissy, Dai Fujikura, and Matthias Spectrum, $15

8/3, 9 PM surf rock night at Otto’s: swirly, hard-hitting, reverb-iced Strange but Surf, darkly cinematic instrumentalists the TarantinosNYC.  and Link Wray cover band the Wraycyclers

8/3, 9 PM International Contemporary Ensemble play Dai Fujikura’s: Shamisen Concerto plus works by Nathan Davis, Ann Cleare, György Kurtág, Kate Soper and Anahita Abbasi: at Merkin Concert Hall, $30

8/3, 10 PM atmospheric, cinematic drummer/composer Tim Kuhl and his group at Pete’s

8/3, 11 PM slinky downtempo/cumbia/psychedelic salsa dura band La Mecanica Popular at the old Nublu

8/4, 1 PM organ genius Greg Lewis and similar jazz guitarist Marvin Sewell play brunch at Bar Lunatico. Theyr’e back on 8/18

8/4, 4ish hypnotically pointillistic microtonal African guitar/drums jams with 75 Dollar Bill at Union Pool, free

8/4, 7 PM fiery, psychedelically bluesy oldschool soul/roadhouse jamband Lizzie & the Makers at  at LIC Bar

8/4, 7 PM Sean Ali plays solo bass at Downtown Music Gallery. He’s a tuneful guy, this could be of interest beyond the fellowship of the four strings.

8/4, 7:30 PM rappers of south Asian heritage: G. Sidhu, Rianjali, Taizu, Rolex, Robin Dey, SA Grooves, Project Convergence, IMGE Dance at Damrosch Park

8/4, 10 PM searing, intense, brilliantly tuneful Turkish-American rockers Barakka at the old Nublu, $10

8/5, 8 PM irrepressibly sardonic, fun faux-psychedelia and punk jazz with Grex at the old Nublu

8/5, 8:40 PM sitarist Hidayat Khan – heir to the legacy of the great Vilayat Khan – with Enayat Hossain on tabla at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $30

8/5, 9 PM darkly psychedelic/new wave circus punks Yula & the Extended Family – which could be just frontwoman/bassist Yula Beeri and her loop pedals – at LIC Bar

8/5, 9 PM New Bojaira play flamenco jazz at the Fat Cat

8/5, 9:30 PM the Slippery Fish “pay tribute to master Tõno Quirazco who in the 1960’s combined the new sound of jamaican ska music with country twang, to invent a twist on the Caribbean sound. Witman-Cohen – bass ; Myk Freedman – pedal steel; Phillip Mayer – drums; Stefan Zeniuk – sax; Maria Eisien – saxvocals; Jackie Coleman – trumpet and Chris Parker -guitar,” at Barbes

8/6, 6 PM dancers Rasika Kumar, Sahasra Sambamoorthi and Nadhi Thekkek perform their new piece Unfiltered, inspired by the Bharatanatyam tradition, which “explore the everyday moments that eventually lead to the boiling points that cascade into change” with a live score by pyrotechnic vocalist Roopa Mahadevan at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $30

8/6, 7 PM haunting, cinematic lapsteel genius Myk Freedman with JP Shlegelmilch-piano; Jason Nazary-drums; Ari Folman-Cohen-bass and surprise guests. followed by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes, $10

8/6. 7 PM whirlwind klezmer violin icon Alicia Svigals plays her soundtrack to the cult classic 1920s silent film The Ancient Law, with pianist Donald Sosin at the Manhattan JCC, $15

8/6, 7 PM the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra play works by Rodrigo, Piazzolla, Gabriela Lena Franh and others at Temple Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue at 65th St, free, rsvp req

8/6, 7:30 PM Deepak Ram on bansuri flute with Enayat Hossain (tabla) and guest Kanoa Mendenhall (double bass) at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20

8/6, 7 PM New Bojaira play flamenco jazz at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City

8/6-7, 7:30 PM the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra with soloist Joshua Bell play Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, Dvorak’s Violin Concerto and Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta at Avery Fisher Hall, $35

8/6, 7 PM  the great unsung NYC hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin followed at 9 by brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet playing classic salsa grooves at the Fat Cat

8’6, 7:30 PM intense, lyrical, politically fearless tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss in a rare duo show with pianist Mike King at Mezzrow, $20 Ries

8/6-7, 7:30/9:30 PM tenor saxophonist Tim Ries leads his band (the second night with Bernard Fowler, playing songs from Ries’ other band, the Rolling Stones) at the Jazz Standard, $30

8/6-11, 8/10;30 PM boisterous soul-jazz trumpeter Nicholas Payton leads his group at the Blue Note, $20 standing room avail

8/6-18, 8:30/10 PM guitar icon Bill Frisell eads his trio with Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on drums at the Vanguard, $35. Saxophonist Greg Tardy joins the festivities starting on 8/13. Then Frisell is there through the 25th as part of drummer Andrew Cyrille’s quartet

8/6-7, 8:30 PM powerful jazz belter – and Gil Scott-Heron reinventor –  Charenee Wade sings the Betty Carter songbook with her band at Dizzy’s Club, $35

8/6-10, 8:30 PM playful improviser and ambitous composer/tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock,  leads a series of ensembles at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: 8/7 with the “Grammy Season Sextet” – Brandon Seabrook (guitar) Michael Formanek (bass) Tom Rainey (drums) Mazz Swift (violin) Tomeka Reid (cello)

8/6, 8:40 PM dancer/vocalist Vidhya Subramanian performs a Bharatanatyam concert at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $30

8/7, noon metal band the Beautiful Distrortion – loudest act ever to play outdoors at the triangle at 72nd St. and Broadway at Lincoln Square Park on the upper west

8/7, 5:30 PM the Bryant Park Accordion Festival with the deviously lyrical Susan Hwang, playful Nordic group Smorgasbandet, the latin and Mddle Eastern-tinged Ismael Butera, hypnotic harmonium player Mindra Sahadeo and others around the park

8/7, 6 PM Rohan Krishnamurthy and Nitin Mitta’s North and South Indian Percussion Duo with harmonium player Rohan Prabhudesai at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20

8/7, 6 PM terse, crystalline-voiced guitarist/jazz chantense Camila Meza leads her chamber jazz septet Nectar Orchestra at Madison Square Park

8/7, 7 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

8/7-10, 7/10 PM diverse bassist Nicki Parrott leads her group at Birdland, $20. Strong singer too.

8/7, 7:30 PM amazing, atmospheric Hindustani singer/multi-instrumentalist  Arooj Aftab opens for a flameco dance performance at Darnrosch Park

8/7, 8 PM Du.O – Aimée Niemann and Charlotte Munn-Wood playing “old, new, and improvised music on our violins (and sometimes non-violins)”- at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery,

8/7, 8:30 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” and Middle Eastern flavored hash smoking anthems at Troost

8/7, 8:40 PM Bala Skandan and friends play a Carnatic-nspired percussion program at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $25

8/7, 9 PM psychedelic supergroup the Elgin Marbles feat. members of Love Camp 7, Dervisi and Peter Stampfel’s jug band at Troost

8/7, 10:30 PM intense, charismatic oldschool soul belter Sami Stevens at Bowery Electric, $10 adv tix rec

8/8, noon surprisingly vital first-wave Jamaican roots reggae band Third World at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn

8/8, 6 PM wildly popular Indian singer Binay Pathak performs a program of ghazals and Hindustani songs with Rabi Sanjar Bhattacharjee at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20

8/8, 7 PM soaringly explosive jazz composer/torch singer Nicole Zuraitis at 55 Bar

8/8, 7:20 PM Prasant Radhakrishnan plays a rare US program of Carnatic saxophone with Rohan Krishnamurthy on mridangam at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20

8/8, 8 PM plush, balmy, oldtimey uke swing band Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies at Barbes

8/8, 8 PM starkly atmospheric jazz violinist/singer Zosha Warpeha followed by cellist Hank Roberts ‘ edgy sextet at the Owl

8/8, 9 PM the aptly named ghoulabilly/noir Americana  Legendary Shack Shakers at the Knitting Factory, $15

8/8. 7 PM incisive lead guitarist Cecilia Eljuri plays from her new reggae record at Joe’s Pub, $tba

8/8, 730 PM charismatic, theatrical, anthemic rock-soul songwriter DB Rielly at Astoria Park Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and the pool

8/8. 7:30 PM newgrass and classcial with violinist Tessa Lark and bassist Michael Thurber at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/8, 8 PM folk noir/parlor pop song stylist Marah Vanbeekom at Bar Chord.

8//9, 6 PM| spellbinding violinists Trina Basu & Arun Ramamurthy‘s Carnatic-inspired Nakshatra Quartet Indian chamber ensemble at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $25

8/9, 6 PM oldtimey danceable bluegrass sounds with Megan Downes & the City Stompers at 76th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard (in Alley Pond Park), Queens

8/9,,7 PM rousing, anthemic janglerock/Americana band the Hawthorns at the small room at the Rockwood

8/9, 7PM ish celtic fiddle star Eileen Ivers and band at Bryant Park

8/9-10, 7:30 PM the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra with soloist Steven Osborne play Haydn’s Overture in D, the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2, Schittke’s Mozarr a la Haydn and Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 at Avery Fisher Hall, $35

8/9, 8:40 PM Hindustani Kirana Gharana singer and sarodist Sanhita Nandi with Nitin Mitta (tabla) and Ravi Mishra (harmonium) at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $25

8/9-10, 7:30/9:30 PM lyrical latin jazz pianist Manuel Valera‘s New Cuban Express Big Band at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/9, 7:30 PM a Marvin Gaye tribute with guitarist Felicia Collins, sax powerhouse Alexa Tarantino, Toshi Reagon, Siedah Garrett, Kecia Lewis, and others at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/9, 8 PM New Bojaira play the album release show for their new flamenco jazz record at Drom, $15 adv tix rec

8/9, 8 PM poignant, eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo’s tango quartet at Barbes

8/9, 9 PM eclectic Korean pianist/performance artist Hyo Jee Kang plays Fly in Water: A Multimedia Concert at the Center for Remembering and Sharing, $25 adv tix recs

8/9, 8 PM punk/rockabilly band the Screaming Rebel Angels followed by ex-Stray Cats bassist Slim Jim Phantom and his trio at Brooklyn Bazaar, $16

8/9, 9ish Dilemastronauta Y Los Sabrosos Cosmicos with members of M.A.K.U and Combo Chimbita play space cumbia and other trippy tropicalia at C’Mon Everybody, $10

8/10, 1/3 PM improvisational jazz big band Go: Organic Orchestra & 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 material from their upcoming triple vinyl album in the park on Governors Island. Included on the bill is their new composition In D, a sequel to the Terry Riley classic.

8/10, 4 PM Japanese koto/shamisen virtuoso Yoko Reikano Kimura in a rare US performance at the Center for Remembering and Sharing, $30

8/10, 6 PM reggae acts from across the years, in reverse order at Central Park Summerstage: dancehall king Elephant Man, ex-Black Uhuru singer Junior Reid, Estelle and newschool conscious roots band Raging Fyah at Central Park

8/10, 7 PM lustrous singer and badass cello-rock bandleader Serena Jost in a rare solo show, on a killer triplebill with haunting, fearsomely powerful soul belter and noir Americana songstress Karen Dahlstrom – and Pete Cenedella, frontman of mighty, anthemic, vintage Springsteenian rockers the Tru Mongrel Hearts at Freddy’s

8/10, 7 PM bright, shiny crystalline voiced oldschool-style soul singer Tameca Jones and her excellent band at the big room at the Rockwood, $12

8/10,,7 PM Ensemble Nikel play works by Klaus Lang and other contemporary composers at Wagner Park north of Battery Park. 8/14 at 8 they’re at the DiMenna Center playing works by Simon Løffler, Steven Takasugi, Clara Iannotta, Mirela Ivičević and Julien Malaussena for $20/$10 stud/srs

8/10, 7:20 PM Sruti Sarathy plays classical Indian violin at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20. She has serious chops, expect lots of thrills.

8/10, 7:30 PM tuneful, hard-hitting alto saxophonist Alex Lore with Martin Nevin on bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums at the Bar Nex tDoor, $12

8/10, 7:30 PM psychedelic cumbia night with the slinky female-fronted Delsonido and Bomba Estéreo at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/10, 6 PM mesmerizing oudist Brian Prunka followed at 10 by hard-hitting, brass-fueled newschool latin soul/boogaloo dance band Spanglish Fly at Barbes

8/19, 9ish the math-iest doom metal band ever, Skryptor, monster guitarist Ava Mendoza’s epic noisemetal power trio Unnatural Ways and shapeshiftingly surrealistic Chicago art-rockers Cheer Accident at Ceremony, 224 Manhattan Ave. (off Maujer), Williamsburg, $t ba

8/10, 9ish acerbic drummer/composer Kate Gentile with saxophonist and clarinetist Jeremy Viner, pianist Matt Mitchell, and bassist Kim Cass at the Owl

8/10, 9 PM high-voltage Americana jamband Spirit Family Reunion at Union Pool, $15

8/10, 9 PM uneasy, catchy psychedelic band Quicksilver Daydream play the album releae show fortheir new one at Littlefield, $10

8/10, 10 PM alternately boisterous and plaintive oldschool honkytonk band the Shootouts at Skinny Dennis

8/10, 10 PM smartly tuneful oldschool soul/psych-pop songwriter Mimi Oz at the Way Station

8/11, 11:30 AM| kathak dancer Seibi Lee performs with a live classical Indian score at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $20

8/11, 1 PM not a music event per se but very cool: Jiva Dance Company perform their apocalyptic Bharatanatyam suite The Four Horsemen: “The stories – a woman shackled to the life of a courtesan (conquest), a woman reminiscing the night she spent with her lover who is at war (war), a mother searching for nourishment for her child in the midst a sandstorm (famine), and finally a woman at the end of her life recalling memories that span youthful joy to hardship and loss (death) – are touchingly timely,” at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $25

8/11, 2:30 PM the rapturous, mighty Navatman Music Collective – this continent’s only Indian carnatic choir, and one of only three in the world – sing their new suite Bridges of Joy at the Mezzanine Theatre, 502 W 53rd St, $25

8/11, 3 PM ish funk-punk-postpunkers the B Boys play the album release show for their new one at Union Pool, free 

8/11, 4 PM the Sometime Boys’ riveting, powerful, theatrical frontwoman Sarah Mucho sings dark cabaret and rock tunes at Freddy’s

8/11, 5 PM cinematic guitarist Pat Irwin and boisterous swing/ska trombonist J. Walter Hawkes followed by Richard Mazda – the legendary 80s new wave producer and guitarist – at LIC Bar

8/11, 5 PM Romany jazz accordionist Julien Labro leads his group at Jefferson Market Garden in the west village

8/11, 5 PM an ACLU benefit for immigrant rights with solo performances by thoughtful pianists Aaron Parks and Shai Maestro plus drummer Antonio Sanchez and postbop saxophonist Dayna Stephens leading their own bands at Shapeshifter Lab, $25

8/11, 6 PM ish anthemic melodic metal band Liliac at Blackthorn 51, $15

8/11, 7 PM brilliant steel guitarist Mike Neer’s Steelonious – who do Monk covers in the same vein as Buddy Emmons –   followed at 9:30  by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

8/11, 7 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at 55 Bar

8/11, 7:30 PM noir Americana siren and Hadestown creator Anais Mitchell opens for a ex-crackhead hanger-on from the 60s who was once in a pioneering janglerock band, at Damrosch Park, get there early because all the old hippies will take the seats

8/11, 7:30 PM chill, purposeful oldschool jazz trio: Evan Arntzen (tenor sax), Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Mathis Picard (piano) at Mezzrow, $20

8/11, 8ish perennially vital latin jazz piano sage Eddie Palmieri at East River Park. If you want to see him indoors he’s at at the Blue Note  8/20-25 at 8/10:30 PM, $30 standing room avail

8/11, 8 PM elegant bop-era guitar legend Gene Bertoncini at the Bar Next Door

8/11, 830 PM pioneering Afro-punk bass player Felice  Rosser of Faith followed by eclectic guitarist Monica Passin of rockabilly/soul band Lil Mo & the Monicats with amazing vocalist/Americana song stylist Drina Seay at the Treehouse at 2A

8/12 7/10 PM articulate, lyrical third-stream jazz pianist Laila Biali at Birdland, $20 seats avail

8/12, 7:30 PM fiery alto saxophonist Lucas Pino’s eclectic, dynamic No No Nonet at Smalls

8/12, 7 PM eclectic, hard-hitting, lyrical composer/tenor saxophonist Stan Killian at 55 Bar

8/12,  10ish the NYC Gaita Club – a Bulla en el Barrio spinoff – play rustically pounding Afro-Colombian trance-dance music at Barbes

8/13, 7 PM rustic Colombian sounds with the Cumbia River Band at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City

8/13, 7 PM music and conversation with Asian American female parlor pop stylists Jay Miners, Yify Zhang, the more “R&B” influenced ÊMIA, and pensive acoustic songwriter Sarah Kang at the Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., $20 includes a drink

8/13, 7:30/9:30 PM the haunting, smokily atmospheric Michael Leonhart Orchestra at the Jazz Standard, $30

8/13-17, 8:30 PM noir-inspired low-register reedman Ben Goldberg leads a series of ensembles at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: the 8/15 octet gig with Ches Smith (xylophone) Kenny Wollesen, Will Shore (vibraphone) Allison Miller (drums, percussion) Kirk Knuffke (cornet) Ryan Ferreira (electric guitar) Andrew Conklin (electric guitar)

8/14, noon: :hard-hitting bassist Dawn Drake & Zapote‘play latin-tinged funk followed by mystery band Hasta La Zeta at Lincoln Square Park on the upper west

8/14, 5:30 PM the Bryant Park Accordion Festival with New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez. forro shredder Felipe Hostins, torchy cumbia/swing singer Erica Mancini and others around the park

8/14, 6 PM intense retro 60s influenced Nubian funk band Alsarah & the Nubatonesat Madison Square Park. 8/15, 6:30 PM they’re under the Manhattan Bridge archway in Dumbo

8/14, 7:30 PM cleverly lyrical, darkly klezmer-tinged pianist Uri Caine with Mark Heliias on bass at Mezzrow, $20

8/14, 730/9:30 PM  the mighty, colorful, occasionally Middle Eastern-tinged Eyal Vilner Big Band at Minton’s, $20 + 2 drink min. they’re also here on 8/21

8/14, 8 PM intense, purposeful, scorching guitarist Ava Mendoza solo, and improvisational  viola sorceress Jessica Pavone‘s string ensemble at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery,

8/14, 8 PM fuzztone-fueled retro 60s psychedelic rockers the Mystery Lights at Berlin, $15

8/14, 9 PM Elliott Smith-esque chamber-pop band the Morning Sea  at the big room at the Rockwood

8/14, 9 PM wildfire Hazmat Modine lead guitarist Michaela Gomez leads her band at Bar Lunatico

8/15, 5 PM newschool gospel with Texas singers the Walls Group & Washington DC all-female classical trio the String Queens on the plaza outdoors at NJPAC in Newark

8/15, 5:30 PM chamber ensemble Leadlights play selections by Debussy, Ravel, Schubert, and Jessie Belvedere Plaza in Battery Park City

8/15, 7:30 PM newschool Mississippi hill country blues with Cedric Burnside at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/15, 8 PM ghostly ambient artist Olivia Block and politically woke multimedia artist Raven Chacon at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/15 8 PM ambitious, perennially tuneful saxophonist Mike McGinnis leads his quartet with Jacob Sacks on piano followed by alto player Jonathan Crompton doing the album release show for his new one with Ingrid Laubrock and Patrick Breiner on tenor sax, plus bassist Adam Hopkins and drummer Kate Gentile at the Owl

8/15. 8:30 PM veteran downtown avant-garde vocals/sax duo A Dream in Red – Nora McCarthy and Jorge Sylvester – at Arete Gallery, $15

8/15, 9 PM dynamic, lyrically smart newgrass band Cricket Tell the Weather at the small room at the Rockwood

8/16, 5 PM the grand finale of this year’s Bryant Park Accordion Festival with Toot Sweet‘s twisted theatrical glam rock, Argentine tango band the Aces of Rhythm, underground Russian rocker Fedor Chistyakov, Tex-Mex conjunto Los Texmaniacs and wild Venezuelan shredder El Rey Vallenato Beto Jamaica

8/16. 5;30 PM sharply lyrical folk noir songwriter Lizzie No at the American Folk Art Museum

8/16, 7:30 PM ambitious postbop with a sense of humor: Kyle Nasser on saxophones with Rick Rosato on bass and Vinnie Sperazza on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12

8/16, 7:30/9:30 PM cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum‘s nine-tet with Mary Halvorson on guitar, Tomeka Reid on cello, Ingrid Laugrock on tenor sax and others at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/16, 8 PM hypnotic electric santoorist/singer Azam Ali plays the album release show for her hypnotic, ambient new one at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

8/16, 8 PM dusky, rustic Brazilian rainforest guitar-and-accordion sounds with Regional de NY at Barbes

8/16, 8 PM adventurous cellist Okkyung Lee with Ches Smith, drums; Ganavya Doraiswamy and Sara Serpa, voices; Maeve Gilchrist, harp at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/16, 9 PM psychedelic band Annabelle Chairlegs – like a slightly faster Black Angels with a chirpy girl singer out front – followed by ferocious punk blues guitarslinger Black Joe Lewis at the Bell House, $22

8/16, 9 PM Antibalas spinoff Armo play Afrobeat at Bar Lunatico. they’re also here on 8/30

8/16, 1AM ish (wee hours of 8/17) this era’s most intensely powerful tenor saxophonist/composer, JD Allen at Smalls. In his element, to be sure.

8/17, 3 PM potentially scary piano/bass/guitar improv: Ron Stabinsky/Shayna Dunkelman/Ava Mendoza at Arete Gallery, $15

8/17, 3:30 PM dancer Azumi Oe with drumer Carlo Costa & bassist Sean Ali, eclectic, globally-inspired violinist Dina Maccabee, and dancer Oxana Chi with performance artist Layla Zami & pianist Mara Rosenbloom at Luisa Muhr’s monthly Women Between Arts show – NYC’s only multidisciplinary series focusing exclusively on woman performers at the Glass Box Theatre at the New School, 55 W 13th St, $20, “no one turned away for lack of funds”

8/17, 6 PM one of New York’s most eclectic, interesting oudists, Brian Prunka followed at 8 by  eclectic, electric C&W/blues band the Jug Addicts and at 10 by ferocious, creepily enveloping, kinetic psychedelic tropicalia band Yotoco at Barbes

8/17, 7 PM ish honkytonk guitarslinger Danny Weiss and charming singer Mary Olive Smith’s oldschool C&W band Stillhouse Serenade at the Gowanus Dredgers Society Boathouse, free

8/17, 7:30 PM sizzling, melodic, dynamically epic latin jazz pianist Luis Perdomo with Rufus Reid on bass, wow at Mezzrow, $25

8/17, 7:30/9:30 PM tunes to match eclectic ambition: trombonist Kalia Vandever leads a quintet playing the album release show for her new one at the Jazz Gallery, $20

8/17, 8 PM fearlessly relevant, genuinely riveting, populist tenor sax visionary/improviser Matana Roberts with International Contemporary Ensemble at the DiMenna Center, $20. Then 8/20-24, 8:30 PM she leads a series of duos at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: closing night with Vijay Iyer WOW

8/17, 8ish conscious hip-hop legend Talib Kweli at Marcus Garvey Park

8/17, 9 PM Summer Cannibals – like a good, concise, more political take on late-period Sleater-Kinney – at Elsewhere, $12

8/17, midnigh unpredictably fun, funny, occasionally Lubowski-esque psychedelic art-rock band the Academy Blues Project at the small room at the Rockwood

8/18, 3 PM ish majestic, darkly cinematic surf instrumentalists the TarantinosNYC at Bay 9 East at Riis Park in the Rockaways

8/18, 5 PM the NY Jazzharmonic play a program of music associated with the early women in jazz at Jefferson Market Garden in the west village

8/18, 5:30 PM 20s/30s swing purists the David Berger Jazz Orchestra at Birdland

8/18, 6 PM ferocious singer Hannah Fairchild’s explosive, lyrically brilliant noir punk power trio Hannah vs. the Many at the Nest, 504 Flatbush Ave, B/Q to Prospect Park, $tba. Noiserock trio George Puke, who play after, are fun too.

8/18, 6 PM oldschool salsa with Jose “El Canario” Alberto and La Sonora Ponceña at the Coney Island Amphitheatre, free, it’s a pretty small place run by corporate idiots and you’ll need to get there early to get in

8/18, 6 PM what’s left of multiple incarnations of Bob Marley’s band the Wailers featuring Julian Junior Marvin at Marcus Garvey Park

8/18, 7 PM bassist Max Johnson’s Heroes Trio with Jason Rigby on saxophone, Jeff Davis on drums playing  “compositions by the great bassists and heroes, past and present, such as Jimmy Garrison, Henry Grimes, Charlie Haden, Mark Dresser, Slam Stewart and many more” followed at 9:30 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

8/18, 7 PM eclectic, sardonically lyrical parlor pop band Orly Bendavid and the Mona Dahls at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

8/18, 8 PM indie classical with the Bent Duo -David Friend, piano; Bill Solomon, percussion –  followed by popular quirky indie rock band Deerhoof playing 80s covers wtf at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/19-23, half past noon haunting, eclectic Armenian jazz composer Armen Donelian rocks the electric piano at Bryant Park

8/19, 8 PM eclectic, potentially combustible guitarist Ryan Ferreira in a rare solo show followed by  noir-inspired low-register reedman Ben Goldberg n a rare duo show with tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laugrock at Arete Gallery, $15

8/19, 9:30ish ex-Chicha Libre keyboard sorcerer Josh Camp’s wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach at Barbes

8/20 7 PM cinematic, lyrical, fiercely relevant genre-smashing saxophonist/singer Stephanie Chou leads her quartet at the Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., $20 includes a drink

8/20, 8 PM indie classical chamber goup Talea Ensemble play works by Volokovic, Biro and Leroux at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/21, 1 PM the upbeat, oldtimey Ebony Hillbillies – NYC’s only oldschool African-American string band – at Lincoln Square Park on the upper west

8/21-22, 7:30/9:30 PM terse piano/guitar interplay: Kris Davis and Julian Lage at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/21, 8 PM indie classical chamber group Talea Ensemble and perennially interesting piano/percussion ensemble Yarn/Wire play works by Vivier, Boulane, Oesterle, Linda Caitlin Smith and others at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/21, 9 PM poignant, eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo’s Tango Quartet at Bar Lunatico

8/21. 9 PM violinist Marissa Licata – who does colorful, energetic versions of covers from Despacito to Jethro Tull – at the Delancey, $10

8/22, 6:30 PM Lisa Hoppe on bass with Rachel Therrien on trumpet and Dayeon Aaron Edgcomb on drums at the Bar Next Door, free

8/22, 6:30 PM Bollywood-influenced oldschool soul harmony band Say She She under the Manhattan Bridge archway in Dumbo

8/22, 7 PM Alice Coltraine-inspired multi-keyboardist Rema Hasumi at Arete Gallery, $15

8/22, 7:30 PM whirlwind tropical accordion star El Rey Vallenato Beto Jamaica and band at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/22, 8:30 PM Wickedly catchy Americana/paisley underground rockers Girls on Grass followed by a kinda whiny Americana act, then deviously fun no wave/post-Velvets rockers Shadow Year and then the similar but more punkish Dares at Union Pool, $12

8/22, 9 PM creepy, wickedly lyrical, harmony-driven noir chamber pop/murder ballad duo Charming Disaster at Joe’s Pub, $15

8/22, 9 PM flashy, catchy, eclectic Americana fingerstyle guitarist Dougmore at Sunny’s

8/22, 10 PM drummer Arthur Vint & Associates reinvent classic Morricone spaghetti western soundtracks at Barbes

8/22. 11 PM wickedly torchy noir songwriter Julia Haltigan  at the Sultan Room, $12

8/23. 5:30 PM Americana rock songstresss Stephanie Manns at the American Folk Art Museum

8/23, 6 PM reverbtoned 70s style psychedelic soul band the Muckers at Bryant Park

8/23, 7 PM in reverse order at Marcus Garvey Park: eclectic, purist jazz singer Brianna Thomas, South African croone Vuyo Sotashe, the JBs’ Fred Wesley, erudite jazz drummer Winard Harper & Jeli Posse at Marcus Garvey Park

8/23, 7:30 PM flashy highway rock guitar dude Ryan Scott, haunting art-rock cinematic instrumentalists Morricone Youth and eclectic, cinematic keyboardist Frank LoCrasto at the Sultan Room, $10

8/23, 8 PM fiery, psychedelically bluesy oldschool soul/roadhouse jamband Lizzie & the Makers at  Gold Sounds, $8

8/23. 9 PM wild psycho mambo/psychedelic cumbia band La Misa Negra at SOB’s, $15

8/23, 9 PM  first-rate purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Cliff Westfall and his kick-ass group at Skinny Dennis

8/23, 9 PM wild live techno with sax-and-drums monsters Moon Hooch at Rough Trade, $22 gen adm. The next night, 8/24 they’re at the Music Hall of Williamsburg at 11, for two bucks less. Go figure.

8/23, 10 PM the world’s creepiest, slinkiest, most blackly funny crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy at Barbes

8/24, 3 PM in reverse order; alto powerhouse Ravi Coltrane, chanteuse Quiana Lynell, the all-star all-femael trio Reclamation with Camille Thurman, Nikara Warren and Brandee Younger at Marcus Garvey Park

8/24, 6 PM one of New York’s most eclectic, interesting oudists, Brian Prunka  followed at 8 by pianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri playing their creepy Transylvanian jazz and at 10 by and at 10 by epic, psychedelic, noir-drenched psycho mambo band Gato Loco at Barbes

8/24, 7 PM slinky, darkly psychedelic instrumentalists the Ghost Funk Orchestra followed at 9 by uneasily eclectic tropically-influenced singer Renata Zeigeur and band at Bryant Park. Avoid the singsongey, cliched 8 PM singer-songwriter act in between them

 8/24, 7:30 PM rapturous Indian carnatic music with singer Samarth Nagarkar, tabla player Meghashyam Keshav and Rohan Prabhudesai on harmoniun at the Chhandayan Center for Indian Music $16

 8/24, 8ish legendary 90s Brooklyn psychedelic funk unit Groove Collective reunite at the Mercury, $10 adv tix rec

8/24. 9 PM one of NY’s most versatile, ferocious guitarists, ex-Sharon Jones lead player Binky Griptite and band at Bar Lunatico

8/24, 10 PM wild, colorful, Bowie-esque female-fronted glamrockers the Manimals play a pro-choice benefit at Union Pool, $12

8/24, 1 AM (actually wee hours of 8/25 feral tenor saxophonist Eric Wyatt leads the jam at Smalls. Could be off the hook

8/25, 3 PM the Emerson Quartet’s Eugene Drucker, violin; Roberta Cooper, cello; Beth Levin, piano play works by Clara & Robert Schuman and Brahms at Concerts on the Slope, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 139 St. John’s Place downhill from 7th Ave, sugg don

8/25, 3 PM in reverse order at Tompkins Square Park: drum eminence grise Carl Allen’s Art Blakey Tribute, tenor man George Coleman’s Trio,  lyrical pianist Fred Hersch and eclectic altoist Lakecia Benjamin at Tompkins Square Park

8/25, 5 PM Remy Taghavi, bassoon and Yelena Grinberg, piano play works for this unusual pairing by Vivaldi, Tellemann, Mozart, Saint-Saens, Ravel, Dutilleux and Boutry at Grinberg’s upper westside piano salon, reception to follow, $35, close to the 1/2/3 train at 96th St., deets here 

8/25, 7 PM chamber jazz ensemble the Westerlies with crooner Theo Bleckmann and the majestic, titanically kinetic NYChillharmonic – a mighty art-rock band with jazz instrumentation – at Joe’s Pub, $tba

8/25, 8ish popular 90s salsa chanteuse La India at Central Park Summerstage

8/26, 7 PM trumpeter Dominick Faranacci leads a nonet bolstered by the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra saluting great events and places in Harlem jazz at the HSA Theater, 649 St. Nicholas Ave north of 141st St., A/C/B to 145th St., free

8/26, 7 PM Taka Kigawa plays late Beethoven piano sonatas at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

8/26, 8 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with Jack Grace solo at Bar Chord

8/26, 9 PM subtle, dynamic jazz singer Yoon Sun Choi with the perennially lyrical Jacob Sacks on piano at Bar Lunatico

8/27, 7 PM clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  and brilliant Danish klezmer jazz ensemble Mames Babagenush at the Mercury, $20 adv tix rec

8/27-28, 7:30/9:30 PM monster drummer Johnathan Blake leads a killer quartet wih Immanuel Wilkins -alto saxophone; Joel Ross -vibraphone; Dezron Douglas -bass at the Jazz Gallery, $25

8/27-28, 730/9:30 PM epically brilliant, Shostakovich-inspired jazz pianist/composer Fabian Almazan leads his trio at the Jazz Standard, $30

8/27, 8:30 PM accordion genius Shoko Nagai and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi’s Abysm at Arete Gallery, $15

8/27-9/1, 8;30/10 PM ferocious postbop tenor sax with Chris Potter’s Underground quartet at the Vanguard, $35

8/27, 9 PM singer Kami Thompson and guitar monster James Walbourne’s fiery, fearless Britfolk/psych-folk band the Rails at Joe’s Pub, $tba

8/28, 7 PM the Brooklyn Raga Massive – a rotating cast of A-list Indian, jazz and rock musicians who love to jam out classic Indian themes  with klezmer clarinet and mandolin wizard Andy Statman at the Rubin Museum of Art, $30 gen adm

8/28 8 PM self-explanatory, popular 90s jamband the NY Ska Jazz Ensemble at Iridium, $25

8/29, 5 PM 90s Dirty Jerz hip-hop supertrio Lords of the Underground outdoors at NJPAC in Newark

8/29, 7 PM slinky noir/retro rock bassist/songwriter Amy LaVere plays the album release show for her excellent new one at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10

8/29, 7 PM Nancy Garniez, piano with Gregor Kitzis, violin; Artie Dibble, viola; Dave Eggar, cello play the Mozart G minor Piano Quartet; Brahms C minor Piano Quartet, Brahms C major Trio at Garniez’s upper West Side salon,  sug don $20, refreshments, lively and iconoclastic conversation includedemail for details/address

8/29-31, 7:30/9:30 PM erudite pianist Orrin Evans leads his trio augmented by guest Kevin Eubanks on guitar at the Jazz Standard, $30. Forget the sub gig for Iverson; Evans is a throwback to smoking, hard-hitting 50s postbop glory.

8/29, 730 PM the Haitian funk band that started it all, Boukman Eksperyans at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/29, 8 PM 7 PM the Underground Spiritual Ground, a new supergroup and Anbessa Orchestra spinoff exploring the connection between African-American spirituals, Ethiopian and Caribbean music followed at 10 by Quatre Vingt Neuf, who do playfully improvisational versions of hot jazz classics and Little Rascals theme music with a rock rhythm section at Barbes

8/29, 10 PM creepily relevant, provocative performance artist Jelly Boy the Clown, torchy noirish sardonically funny cabaret dude Phat Man Dee and similarly funny, smart, politically woke feminist folk-punk duo Dolltits (Therina Bella and Magie Serpica) at ConeyIslandUSA, 1208 Surf Ave (corner W.12th St), Cnney Island, $20

8/30, 9 PM the eclectic, electrifying accordion-driven Los Mochuelos play classic gangsta Colombian vallenato and cumbia at Bar Chord

8/30, 10 PM Nando Griffiths & Kingston play roots reggae at Shrine

8/30-31 ,10:30 PM state-of-the-art postbop alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw leads his quartet at Smalls. You want adrenaline?

8/30, 11 PM enigmatic, compelling third-stream jazz pianist/singer Alina Engibaryan at Littlefield, $10

8/30, 11 PM allusively haunting, minimalist folk noir singer Belle-Skinner at Pete’s

8/31, 3 PM ish ageless, jangly, purist NY surf rock originals the Supertones at Bay 9 East at Riis Park in the Rockaways

8/31, 6 PM  mesmerizing, intricate, anthemic oudist  Brian Prunka and band followed at 8 by accordion genius Shoko Nagai ’s haunting, increasingly loud and psychedelic Tokala Silk Road/klezmer mashup project and at 10 by Rana Santacruz – the Mexican Shane MacGowan, but without the booze if you can imagine that – at Barbes

8/31, 9 PM haunting traditional Persian sounds with Koubeh at the old Nublu, $15

9/1,  3 PM ish the largescale improvisational ensemble who started it all, the Sun Ra Arkestra outdoors at Union Pool, free

9/3, 8 PM tuneful latin-inspired pianist/organist Bennett Paster at Halyards

9/7, 1/3 PM intense, microtonal string ensemble the Sirius Quartet play works by Jeremy Harman, Fung Chern Hwei, Gregor Huebner, plys original arrangements of Radiohead & the Beatles in the park on Governors Island

9/8, 7 PM catchy, anthemic newgrass/blue-eyed soul band the Levins at the basement room at the Rockwood, $12

9/13 at 8 PM, repeating 9/14 at 7:30 pianist Melody Fader and violinist Doori Na play Wolfgang Rihm’s ethereal score to Miro Magloire‘s new dance piece at City Center Studio 5, 130 W 56 St, $33/$20 stud/srs

9/!4. 4 PM sharply amusing, wickedly lyrical, politically woke lit-rock singer/pianist Dawn Oberg at the small room at the Rockwood

9/15, 7 PM pensively intense microtonal violinist/singer Sarah Bernstein‘s excellent Veer Quartet with Sana Nagano – violin; Leonor Falcón – viola; Nick Jozwiak – cello  at Spectrum $15

9/21, 5 PM ish intense, brilliantly relevant oldtime gospel/Africa Africana music maven Vienna Carroll and the irrepresibly theatrical, politically spot-on Ukuladies at the Gowanus Dredgers Society Boathouse, free

9/23 ageless Peruvian psychedelic cumbia jamband legends Los Wembler’s de Iquitos at the Poisson Rouge

11/8, 8 PM the world’s darkest, slinkiest, most blackly funny crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy play the album release show for their danceably creepy new one Dear Trouble at the Old American Can Factory, 232 3rd St. in Gowanus with special guests Steven Bernstein on trumpet, Slavic Soul Party’s Peter Hess on saxes and Miramar’s Farfisa sorceress Marlysse Rose Simmons, $20

Barbes: Home Base For NYC’s Best Bands

The problem with Barbes – and if you run a music blog, this can be a problem – is that the hang is as good as the bands. If you’re trying to make your way into the music room and run into friends, always a hazard here, you might not make it past the bar. Which speaks to a couple of reasons why this well-loved Park Slope boite has won this blog’s Best Brooklyn Venue award three times in the past ten years or so.

A Monday night before Thanksgiving week last year was classic. The scheduled act had cancelled, but there was still a good crowd in the house. What to do? Somebody called somebody, and by eleven there was a pickup band – guitar, keys, bass and drums – onstage, playing better-than-serviceable covers of Peruvian psychedelic cumbia hits form the 60s and 70s. The best was a slinky, offhandedly sinister take of Sonido Amazonico, the chromatic classic which has become the national anthem of chicha, as psychedelic cumbia is called in Peru. Where else in New York could you possibly hear something like this…on a Monday night?

On Thanksgiving night, the two Guinean expat guitarists who lead the Mandingo Ambassadors played a rapturously intertwining set that drew a more-or-less straight line back to the spiky acoustic kora music that preceded the state-sponsored negritude movement of the 1960s. Without the horns that sometimes play with the band, the delicious starriness of the music resonated more than ever.

The night after that, there was a solid klezmer pickup band in the house. The night after that – yeah, it was a Barbes weekend – started with pianist Anthony Coleman going as far out into free jazz as he ever does, followed by a psychedelic take on nostalgic 60s and 70s Soviet pop by the Eastern Blokhedz and then an even more psychedelic set by Bombay Rickey, who switched from spaghetti western to sick jamband versions of Yma Symac cumbias to surf rock, Bollywood and finally an ominous shout-out to a prehistoric leviathan that’s been dead for twenty thousand years.

Sets in late November and January left no doubt that Slavic Soul Party are still this city’s #1 Balkan brass party band, whether they’re playing twisted Ellington covers, percolating Serbian Romany hits or their own hip-hop influenced tunes. A pit stop here early before opening night of Golden Fest to catch the Crooked Trio playing postbop jazz standards was a potent reminder that bandleader Oscar Noriega is just as brilliant a drummer as he is playing his many reed instruments.

Who knew that trumpeter Ben Holmes’ plaintive, bittersweet, sometimes klezmer, sometimes Balkan tinged themes would blend so well with Kyle Sanna’s lingering guitar jangle, as they did in their debut duo performance in December? Who expected this era’s darkest jamband, Big Lazy, to take their sultry noir cinematic themes and crime jazz tableaux further into the dub they were exploring twenty years ago, like they did right before the new year? Who would have guessed that the best song of the show by trombonist Bryan Drye’s Love Call Trio would be exactly that, a mutedly lurid come-on?

Where else can you hear a western swing band, with an allstar lineup to match Brain Cloud’s personnel, swaying their way through a knowingly ominous take of Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s Look Down that Lonesome Road? Notwithstanding this embarrassment of riches, the best show of all here over the past few months might have been by Turkish ensemble Alhambra, featuring most of haunting singer Jenny Luna’s band Dolunay. Back in mid-December, they spun moody, serpentine themes of lost love, abandonment and desolation over Adam Good’s incisive, brooding oud and Ramy El Asser’s hypnotic, pointillistic percussion. Whether singing ancient Andalucian laments in Ladino, or similar fare in Turkish, Luna’s wounded nuance transcended any linguistic limitations.

There’s good music just about every night at Barbes, something no other venue in New York, or maybe the world, can boast.  Tomorrrow’s show, Feb 18 at Barbes is Brain Cloud at 7 followed at 9:30ish by ex-Chicha Libre keyboard sorcerer Josh Camp’s wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach. Slavic Soul Party are here the day after, Feb 19 at 9; Noriega and the Crooked Trio play most Fridays starting at 5:30. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

A Clown-Free Valentine’s Day Show at Lincoln Center

Obviously, if you run a music blog in a town where there are over 230 fulltime venues, it pays to get out as much as possible. This blog takes three official vacation days a year: New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day and St. Paddy’s. What’s out there in the clubs on those three nights is almost inevitably worse than what’s onstage.

If Celtic sounds are your thing, you can wait til the 18th when all the amateurs are still at home recovering. New Year’s Eve is a ripoff pretty much everywhere, and Valentine’s Day is cheese central. Venues that wouldn’t ordinarily consider booking a Justin Beiber cover band blink and and hope that there are enough Jersey tourists to justify torturing the sound guy and waitstaff for a night.

But this year there is a show on Valentine’s Day that’s neither cheesy nor extortionistic, and that’s Cape Verde singer/guitarist Tcheka’s gig at 7:30 PM at the atrium space at Lincoln Center on Broadway just north of 62nd St. As with the rest of the mostly-weekly early evening shows here, there’s no cover, although the seats tend to get taken as early as an hour before showtime.

Tcheka’s album Boka Kafe is streaming at Bandcamp. He plays solo acoustic guitar, with flair and flurrying energy in an individualistic style that draws on samba, bossa nova, soukous and even funk in places. Which makes sense: music from island nations tends to be a mashup of everything that’s blown in on the trade winds. He sings in an earnest tenor voice, with a smoky falsetto, in his native vernacular and also in Portuguese.

He chops his way through thickets of rainy-day jazz chords on several of the album’s faster numbers; on one, he strums into rapidfire flamenco territory. The quieter songs have a lingering luminosity with echoes of Portuguese fado balladry. And his hooks are catchy: you walk away humming them. Lyrics are a big deal for this guy – themes of the rigors of rural island life, coastal mythology and on one track here, women’s rights are front and center, so his music will resonate most with those who can understand them. But fans of tropical acoustic sounds also ought to check out Tcheka (sorry – couldn’t resist).

Slinky, Eclectic, Unpredictable Psychedelic Grooves from International Orange

International Orange are one of the most distinctive, unpredictable instrumental jambands out there. In a single, expansive tune, they can shift between Afrobeat, oldschool soul, psychedelic funk, gutbucket organ grooves and Bahian-flavored beats. Pretty much everybody in the band writes.Their latest album A Man and His Dog (For Gaku)  is streaming at Bandcamp. They’re playing at 11 PM on Dec 30 at Offside Tavern at 137 W 14th St,

While their music is hardly melancholy, there is a sad backstory. The group lost their bassist, Gaku Takanashi, who appears on half the tracks here: this would be his final recording. Guitarist David Phelps’ tune Keep the Blue Side Up opens it with an upbeat, catchy soukous guitar flair, then Dan Stein’s organ solo takes the music toward gutbucket organ groove before Phelps returns to with a metal attack. Meanwhile, the rhythm section – Takanashi’s bass and Todd Isler’s drums – follow a carefree tropical shuffle. 

Olinda – by Isler and Fender Rhodes player Adam Morrison – is a starry boudoir soul jam with more than a hint of roots reggae, Phelps’ slide guitar adding unexpected Hawaiian flavor as Leo Traversa’s hammer-on bass riffs weave through the mix. How I learned Not To Worry, another Phelps tune, is a syncopated oldschool soul song without words, with more of that keening slide guitar and Takanashi’s bass percolating over the organ.

The lively Strut Orange brings to mind steel guitarist Raphael McGregor’s adventures in instrumental southern rock. Freight Liner, also by Phelps, is a more tipetoeing, New Orleans-flavored strut, Phelps’ exchanges with Morrison’s organ bringing to mind vintage 60s Mulatu Astatke Ethiopian funk before the guitar goes in a shreddier direction.

Maracuja, an Isler tune, has a catchy oldschool soul melody over an animatedly shuffling maracatu groove, Phelps’ hard funk lines and detours toward metal flaring overhead. Sookie’s Rhumba, by Traversa, keeps the soul ambience simmering as Isler flits along on his rims, Phelps adding warm, Smokey Robinson-esque lines until the bass signals a shift into bubbling West African territory. 

Their take of Pat Metheny’s Sirabhorn is part twinkling Hawaiian seascape, part Carnaval them, another showcase for Phelps’ sunbaked slide work. His original The Penguin comes across as Peter Gabriel-era Genesis motoring through an oldschool soul groove with unexpected, tongue-in-cheek success: imagine a more original, focused Dopapod.

First Principle, by Stein is a dub reggae jam as organist Brian Charette might do it, with a little Beatlesque psychedelia thrown into the mix. Phelps’ solo guitar tribute to his bassist friend Gaku, A Man And His Dog closes the album on a steady, warmly reflective, pastoral note.

Jamming Like a Refugee Camp at Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center’s Jordana Leigh, who’d booked last night’s New York debut by pan-global folk group Translucent Borders, explained that the NYU-sponsored ensemble had pulled a set together after only playing together for four days. NYU’s Andy Teirstein explained that the project grew out of the refugee camps on the islane of Lesbos in 2016. The group he’d assembled to play for the refugees there had the expected impact: it became a magnet for like-minded players and dancers from throughout the camp, and unexpected connections were made. “Musicians like crossing borders,” he observed dryly.

Palestinian singer Amal Murkus gave the show an all-too-brief coda with a trio of songs in Arabic. Modulating meticulous microtones and mining her midrange for every bit of angst she could evoke, she intoned an impassioned exile ballad over Firas Zreik‘s pointillistically haunting kanun. A considerably darker, more atmospheric, poignant tone poem of sorts was next, Zreik brushing the strings of his instrument for a surreal autoharp-like effect. Murkus wound up the concert with a warm Palestinian lullaby that she introduced by reminding the crowd how utterly surreal it was. She didn’t namecheck Gaza, but the message had mighty resonance. Then she led the group – also comprising cellist Mariel Roberts and conguero Francisco Mora-Catlett – on a long, bittersweet upward path interrupted by a surreal conga break.

Reaching a transcendent ending was a work in progress, which was to be expected, given the lack of rehearsal time. Ghanian fiddler Meirigah Abubakari vamped and pounced. Nyckelharpa players Marco Ambrosini and his daughter duetted on a stately, baroque-tinged theme for the resonant Nordic fiddle before Roberts added a muted bassline and the theme morphed into a lively waltz or two. Israeli oudist Yair Dalal was joined by percussionist Muhammad Mugrabi and accordionist Neta Weiner of Israeli hip-hop band System Ali for a couple of spare, moody taqsims, a broodingly serpentine levantine theme and a multilingual mashup of klezmer and Wu-Tang hardcore rap.

Translucent Borders are at the NYU’s Crystal Theater at 111 Second Avenue between 6th & 7th streets tomorrow night, June 29 at 7:30; the show is free. And the mostly-weekly free Lincoln Center atrium concerts at the Broadway space north of 62nd St. continue on July 5 at 7:30 PM with Haitian Creole singer Melissa Laveaux and the amazing Guadeloupe/New Orleans duo Delgres, who blend duskcore guitar and second-line grooves.