New York Music Daily

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Tag: classical music

A Stormy, Thrilling Carnegie Hall Return For Kariné Poghosyan

Wednesday night at Carnegie Hall, pianist Kariné Poghosyan picked where she left off after a meticulously intuitive and thunderously applauded performance of Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky there in November, 2019. That New Yorkers had to wait so long for a reprise is a crime. Undeterred by the past almost three years, she delivered a similar amount of fireworks and detailed insights to another packed house and several ovations.

The material drew from her latest album, understatedly titled Folk Themes: she is a fierce and articulate exponent of music from her Armenian heritage. Poghosyan’s well-chronicled, dazzling technical prowess is matched by a remarkable attention to content: her performances are akin to a jazz singer who takes the lyrics line by line for maximum emotional impact, not to mention unexpected mirth.

One of the evening’s early highlights was a tender and spacious but playful version of Komitas’ Shushiki, which contrasted with an alternately thunderous and suspenseful version of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Waltz No. 6.

Four lyric pieces by Grieg rounded out the first half of the concert: the alternately hopeful and foreboding To the Spring, the deliciously phantasmagorical March of the Gnomes, the angst-fueled, Rachmaninovian Minuet for Vanished Days, and a rewardingly lithe, understated take of Wedding at Troldhaugen.

There was majesty to match the requisite shreddy intensity in her performance of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12. Yet she found a coy flirtatiousness in how she held back her phrasing, particularly before the lithely dancing music-box interlude, whose dynamics she worked with a similarly dynamic charm. As she played, she would look up, completely overjoyed, leaving no doubt that this was a love song with a happy ending.

By contrast, his Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 was much more stately and somber. In the beginning, moments of triumph were subsumed in an pervasive pensiveness, Poghosyan exercising considerable restraint with the lefthand and the rhythmic drive while opting for glitter and gleam. Still, she found a swinging passage where she was literally bouncing on the piano bench in the seconds before throwing caution to the wind and driving it to a careening coda.

Liszt’s Rhapsodie Espagnole fell somewhere in between. This time out, Poghosyan had picked an irridescent green gown instead of the red Trans Am of an outfit she’d worn at the 2019 concert – and she didn’t give the crowd the big bicep flex this time around.

The encores were arguably the highlight of the night. The first was a briskly kinetic, crystalline romp through Babajanian’s gorgeously chromatic Dance of Vagharshapat. The second which has become a signature piece in her repertoire, was an opulent, ecstatic, pointillistically pristine rendition of Kachaturian’s Toccata.

Poghosyan’s next concert in the tri-state area is on March 12 at 2 PM where she joins the Wallingford Symphony Orchestra on a program including works by Prokofiev plus Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Tix are $30.

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Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn For February 2023

All these concerts are free of restrictions on entry. Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar. If a venue is unfamiliar, look for it on the old guide to NYC music venues here, which is more of a worksheet now, but it has links to most of the places on this calendar.

Tuesdays in February, Inspired, latin-influenced postbop trombonist Conrad Herwig and his septet at the Django, $25.

Thursdays in February, 5 PM poignantly lyrical, eclectic pianist Marta Sanchez at Bar Bayeux. 2/28 at 7:30 PM she leads a trio at Mezzrow, $25

Sundays at around 8 PM trumpeter Jon Kellso and (frequently) guitarist Matt Munisteri lead the Ear-Regulars in NYC’s only remaining weekly hot jazz jam session at the Ear Inn

2/1, 7 PM crystalline-voiced noir Americana songwriter Jessie Kilguss, leads an acoustic evening of some eclectically excellent songwriters: Lizzie Edwards of fiery, psychedelically bluesy oldschool soul/roadhouse jamband Lizzie & the Makers. Dave Derby of allstar 90s lit-rock crew Gramercy Arms, badass cellist Patricia Santos of the Whiskey Girls; and others at Branded Saloon

2/1, 7 PM riveting, charismatic, intuitive pianist Karine Poghosyan plays the album release show for her new one with works by Coleridge-Taylor, Grieg, Komitas and Liszt at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $35 tix avail

2/1, 7:30 PM  the best singing pianist (and the best piano-playing singer) in jazz, Champian Fulton at the Django, $25

2/1, 7:30 PM  eclectic, witty, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette at Mezzrow, $25 2/15, 10:30 PM he’s at the Django, $25

2/1, 8/9:30 PM  Transylvanian pianist Lucian Ban with viola sorcerer Mat Maneri at Bar Bayeux. Ban is at Bar Lunatico on 2/7 at 9 PM

2/1, 8:30 PM throwback powerhouse blues belter Shemekia Copeland at City Winery, $20 adm avail

2/1, 8:30 PM loop-driven art-rock instrumentalists Thee Reps at Sisters Brooklyn, 900 Fulton at Washington, A/C to Clinton-Washington, $10

2/2, 7 PM fiery Bollywood and art-rock violinist Rini and Shakthi a.k.a. Bollywood chanteuse Shakthisree Gopalan front their own bands and then join forces for a set at Drom, $20 adv tix avail

2/2, 7 PM entrancing singer Treya Lam – who blends psychedelia, art-rock and oldschool soul – at Joe;s Pub, $15

2/2, 7:30 PM brilliant baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian leads a quartet at the Django, $25, followed at 10:30 by noir-inspired alto saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton, He’s also at Smalls on 2/12

2/2, 7:30 PM wryly witty, sophisticated art-rock keyboardist and theatrical composer Greta Gertler Gold at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free

2/2, 8 PM ex-Brain Cloud frontwoman Tamar Korn‘s charming torch-swing band Kornucopia at at St. Mazie’s

2/2, 8 PM eclectic pan-Middle Eastern chanteuse Zahra Alzubaidi and surrealist art-song bandleader Leila Adu  at the Owl, $20 sug don

2/2, 8:30 PM ferociously dynamic, tuneful, female-fronted art-rock power trio Castle Black at the Windjammer, 552 Grandview Ave, Ridgewood, $12

2/3, 7 PM punk-jazz guitar cult hero Jack Martin’s Deathwatch at TV Eye, $10

2/3, 7:30 PM sizzling postbop saxophonist Mike DiRubbo’s quartet  at the Django, $25

2/3, 7:30 cynical, amusing, cinematic synthpunk band Marottes play the album release show for their new one at the Parkside

2/3-4, 7:30 PM  tenor sax improv titan George Garzone leads a quartet at Smalls, $25

2/3, 9 PM tuneful, first-class Kenyan reggae crooner Nixon Omollo at Shrine. If you love classic 70s roots reggae, don’t miss this guy.

2/3, 9 PM iconic klemer trumpeter Frank London’s Spiritual Quartet at Bar Lunatico

2/3, 10:30 PM  picturesque jazz pianist Michael Weiss leads a trio the Django, $25

2/3,11 PM iconic Afro-Cuban percussionist/bandleader Pedrito Martinez at Drom, $25. He’s back on 2/23 at 9 PM

2/4, 7 PM a battle-of-the-bands lineup including a showdown between slinky Afrobeat-influenced band Deep Sea Peach Tree vs. catchy powerpop/dreampop band Royal Blush at Our Wicked Lady, $15. Apples and oranges: they’re both good. Noisy lo-fi soul-punk band Hypemom will dispose of their execrable math-rock competitors

2/4, 7 PM the world’s most unpredictably brilliant cinematic guitarist, Steve Ulrich plays his original scores from This American Life with a string quartet followed by a set by his iconic film noir trio Big Lazy at the Sultan Room, $26

2/4. 7 PM darkly torchy southwestern gothic/Europolitan songwriter/guitarist Miwa Gemini, at the downstairs room at the Rockwood, $10

2/4 and 2/9, 7:30 PM bhangra trumpet mastermind Sunny Jain and band at Symphony Space, $35/$25 30 and under

2/4, 8 PM vicious noiserock jamband the the Skull Practitioners– led by Steve Wynn sparring partner/genius guitarist Jason Victor and perennially entertaining punk-soul cult figure Jon Spencer & the Hitmakers at TV Eye, $20

2/4, 8 PM perennially acerbic violin duo String Noise join in an audiovisual performance based on traditional Norwegian knitting patterns with sound artists Stine Janvin and Cory Arcangel at the Clementa Soto Velez auditorium, 107 Suffolk off Rivington, $20

2/4, 9:30 PM  hard-hitting, reverb-iced surf band Strange but Surf, and slinky, Middle Eastern-tinged Pontic surf band the Byzan-tones  at 11 at Otto’s

2/4, 11 PM  80s dancehall reggae hitmaker Sister Nancy  at the Market Hotel, $20

2/5, half past noon/2L390 PM hot 20s jazz trumpeter Jason Prover and band at the Blue Note, $26

2/5, 11 AM chamber jazz  cellist Marika Hughes with eclectic, ambient-tinged guitarist Kyle Sanna  at the Museum of Art & Design, 2 Columbus Cir., $25, coffee/breakfast snacks included

2/5, 2 PM Irish musicians Sean and Deirdre Murtha lead a sea chantey singalong at the South St. Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St north of the water, free

2/5, 4 PM front porch folk banjo player Allison Kelley – of the Johnson Girls – with her band – at Skinny Dennis

2/5, 5 PM spiky strings galore: Yacouba Sissoko, kora; John Hadfield, percussion; Bridget Kibbey, harp at Our Saviour’s Atonement Lutheran Church, 178 Bennett Avenue at 189th, Washington Heights, $25

2/5, 8 PM sets from ambient, percussive composer Qasim Naqvi, + MIROVAYA LINIYA (Julia Pello & Heinrich Mueller’s Heisenberg Principle-influenced duo) as well as a video installation by Peter Burr at Roulette, $25 adv tix rec

2/5, 8 PM cheery, kinetic 20s hot jazz crew Baby Soda Band at St. Mazie’s. They’re back on 2/12 and 2/26.

2/5, 9 PM choral quartet Agrol Agra sing Bartok works followed by trumpeter Frank London’s ¡No Pasarán! brass band at the Owl, $12 sug don

2/6-7. 7:30 PM alto saxophonist Jesse Davis makes a rare 2-night NYC stand at Smalls with a quartet, $25. He’s also at Mezzrow on 2/10-11

2/6, 8 PM Trio Casals play works by Mozart and Piazzolla at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $34 tix avail

2/6, 9 PM unorthodox hot 20s swing string band the Buck and a Quartet Quartet at Skinny Dennis

2/7, 7 PM  funk-jazz crew the Silver Arrow Band at Drom, free. They’re back on  2/22

2/7, 8 PM intense janglerock/Americana/soul songwriter Matt Keating and guitarist Steve Mayone’s catchy project the Bastards of Fine Arts at the small room at the Rockwood

2/8, 9 AM, not a music event but important: thousands of New Yorkers, many of them city workers, are still out of a job after being fired for not taking the lethal Covid injections. Show up and show your support at the rally at Foley Square, downtown across from the courthouse

2/8, 7:30 PM  snidely satirical new wave/80s rock spoofers Office Culture and  hauntingly cinematic Lynchian/southwestern gothic instrumentalists Suss at Public Records, $24

2/8, 8 PM Filharmonie Brno play works by Martinu, Janacek and the New York premiere of Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 12, at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $34 tix avail

2/8, 10:30 PM  lyrical, thoughtful tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander leads a quartet at the Django, $25

2/9, 7 PM carnivalesque Balkan punk monstrosity Funkrust Brass Band and wild, hilarious klezmer punks Golem at Union Pool, $19

2/9, 7:30 PM  tuneful oldschool soul/jazz trombonist Dave Gibson leads a quartet followed by  purist oldschool tenor sax player Craig Handy at the Django, $25

2/9, 7:30 PM  tenor saxophonist Tim Ries and his quartet play Sonny Rollins at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

2/9, 7:30 PM soulful pan-Latin jazz chanteuse Claudia Acuña at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free

2/9, 9 PM relentless noiserock duo the Venus Twins and explosive, theatrical, phantasmagorical indie/metal band A Deer A Horse at TV Eye, $12

2/9, 9 PM edgy, hypnotic harpist/singer Kitba at the Owl

2/10, 10 PM punk night at the small room at the Rockwood – no joke. Fire Is Murder at 10 and then the reliably hilarious Car Bomb Parade. Desperate times, desperate measures.

2/11-12, sets at 10:30., 11:30 AM and 1:30. & 2:30 PM  Metropolis Ensemble play Ricardo Romaneiro’s mutimedia Biophony SoundGarden in sync with plant-generated soundscapes at the Steinhardt Conservatory at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, $18

2/11, 6 PM potentially mesmerizing improvisation: James Ilgenfritz – bass / Sandy Ewen – guitar / Michael Foster – saxes
  at Downtown Music Gallery

2/11, 7 PM dark psychedelic acoustic blues/klezmer/reggae/soca jamband Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues.

2/11, 7:30 PM distinctively intricate, vivid composer/singer/viollinist Caroline Shaw plays Caroline Shaw at Merkin Concert Hall $30

2/11, 8 PM trumpeter Kenny Warren leads an interesting trio with cellist Christopher Hoffman and drummer Nathan Ellman-Bell at Bar Bayeux

2/11, 8 PM the Met Orchestra play Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Stravinsky’s Firebird and Moussorgsky’s Dances of Death, yikes, at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $28 tix avail

2/11, 9 PM fiery electric bluegrass and C&W with Demolition String Band at Skinny Dennis  They’re back on 2/27

2/11, 9 PM Innov Gnawa‘s star Moroccan sintir player Samir Langus at Bar Lunatico

2/11, 10:30 PM  fiery, latin-inspired trombonist Mariel Bildstein leads her septet at the Django, $25

2/12, 4 PM the  Harlem Chamber Players play works by Valerie Coleman, Tania León, Frederick Tillis and George Walker’s String Quartet No. 1 at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free, no under-sixes.

2/12, 9 PM pastoral gothic accordion bandleader Sam Reider with the Jimi Hendrix of the cuatro, Jorge Glem at Bar Lunatico

2/13, 7 PM the New York Composers Circle play new small ensemble music: David Picton’s Piano Sonata No. 1, Kevin McCarter’s Responding Variations for oboe and viola, Tamara Cashour’s This Is Not a Reimagining for piccolo and contrabassoon, and Timothy L. Miller’s Two Settings of Ogden Nash Poems for narrator and piano, U.S. premieres of Ukrainian composer Olga Victorova’s Magic Birds Phung Hoan, Andrei Bandura’s Sonata for Violin and Piano and the New York premiere of David Mecionis’s Trio in Two Parts with an Interval Between, Natalia Medvedovskaya’s Ragtimes for piano solo and Debra Kaye’s Submarine Dreams for bass flute and double bass at the National Opera Center, $20

2/13, 7:30 PM  energetic ragtime/Romany swing guitarist Felix Slim at Cowgirl Seahorse. 2/22 at 8 he’s at St. Mazie’s

2/13, 8 PM the Toronto Symphony play Samy Moussa’s Symphony No. 2, Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $34 tix avail

2/13, 10:30 PM smartly impressionistic postbop pianist Miki Yamanaka at Smalls. She’s back on 2/27

2/14, half past noon, Italian organist Francesco Bongiorno plays a program tba at Central Synagogue, 54th/Lex, free

2/14, 7 PM jazz vocalist/comedian Eleonor England‘s annual Stabby Valentine’s Day “featuring tunes where someone is betrayed, neglected, forgotten, jilted, left, abandoned, denied, or (in a perfect world) stabbed by their lover at Don’t Tell Mama’s 343 W 46th St between 8th and 9th Ave, $20

2/15, 8 PM the S.E.M. Ensemble play new small-scale orchestral works by Lydia Brindamour, Jordan Dykstra, Jakub Polaczyk, Teodora Stepančić, and Jiaqi Wang at Willow Place Auditorium, 26 Willow Place, Brooklyn Heights, free

2/15, 8 PM lyrical, cerebral pianist Matt Mitchell leads a great trio with Kim Cass on bass and Kate Gentile on drums at Bar Bayeux

2/15, 8 PM violist Miranda Sielaff performs work by Telemann, Ligeti and Stravinsky followed by the Argus Quartet playing Theofanidis works at Seeds

2/15, 9 PM iconic, slinky film noir guitar instrumental jamband Big Lazy at Bar Lunatico

2/16, 7 PM powerful, dynamic clarinetist/composer Michael Winograd leads a killer klezmer band playing a live concert recording of his Tanz album at the Manhattan JCC, $10

2/16, 9 PM intriguingly moody, coldly jangly, female-fronted new wave band Nostranders at Our Wicked Lady, $14. They’re at the small room at the Rockwood on 2/26 at 10 for the tip jar

2/16, 8 PM the Czech National Orchestra play works by Dvorak, Brahms and Beethoven’s Symphony No, 3 at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $34 tix avail

2/16, 8 PM keyboardists Marcia Basssett and Ted Gordon improvise as a duo on the Buchla Music Easel at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $20

2/17, 7:30 PM merengue band Afro Dominicano at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free

2/17, 7:30 PM rising star trumpeter Adam O’Farrill‘s Stranger Days quintet at Seeds

2/17, 8 PM sound artists Thomas Ankersmit and Dani Dobkin play a 1973 Serge Modular synthesizer at Brooklyn Music School, 126 St. Felix St, $20, any train to Atlantic Ave or G to Fulton

2/17, 8 PM intense, ecstatic oldschool soul band Empire Beats at Silvana

2/17, 10 PM the oud-fueled Sedi Donka Balkan Band at St. Mazie’s

2/18, 5:30 PM a free screening of Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine’s Leonard Cohen documentary Hallelujah at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free

2/18, 7:30 smart, terse guitarist Mike Moreno leads his quartet at Smalls, $25

2/18, 8 PM  luminous latin-inspired jazz chanteuse Marianne Solivan leads her quartet at Bar Bayeux

2/18. 9 PM brilliant, fearlessly political B3 organist Greg Lewis does his Organ Monk thing at Bar Lunatico

2/19, 11 AM: early music at an early hour, Twelfth Night Ensemble plays a medieval program TBA at the Museum of Art & Design, 2 Columbus Cir., $25, coffee/breakfast snacks included

2/19, 3 PM Ronn McFarlane, lute; Carolyn Surrick, viola da gamba; Yousif Sheronick, percussion play works by Dowland, Purcell, the Allman Bros., English folk tunes and hymns at Concerts on the Slope, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 139 St. John’s Place downhill from 7th Ave,, $25

2/19, 3 PM the New York Virtuoso Singers perform American works including world premieres by Anthony Davis, Peter Zummo, Elena Ruehr, and William McClelland; New York premieres by Tania León, David Patterson, and Edie Hill as well as works by Florence Price, Annea Lockwood, Jessie Montgomery, Mari Esabel Valverde, and Nancy Wertsch, and 18th, 19th and 20th century choral works by William Billings, Charles Ives, at Christ & St Stephen’s Church. 120 W 69th St (bet Broadway and Columbus) $20. 2/25 at 7:30 they sing the choral movements from Bach’s Cantatas 148 through 177, with piano accompanist Will Healy at Merkin Concert Hall, $30

2/19, 5 PM classically-inspired jazz pianist Jason Yeager in a rare duo show with saxophonist Gottfried Stöger at the lounge at  at Hudson View Gardens, 116 Pinehurst Ave, Washington Heights, A to 181st St., $15

2/19, 9 PM 90s allstar janglerock collective Gramercy Arms play the album release show for their new one at the big room at the Rockwood

2/19, 8 PM edgy jazz cellist Hank Roberts at the Owl. 2/20, 9 PM he’s with Aruan Ortiz on piano and Matt Wilson on drums at Bar Lunatico, wow.

2/21, 6:30 PM a wild night of improvisation: drummer Nick Fraser, viola wizard Mat Maneri and bassist Brandon Lopez,  followed at 7:30 by guitarist Aaron Rubenstein solo  and then at 8:30: Active Field with Nana Futagawa on shamisen, Evan Caplinger on cello, Joe Jordan on oboe, Izzy Tanashian on synth and Orchid McRae on drums, wow   at Downtown Music Gallery

2/21, 7 PM sludgy stoner metal band Reverend Mother, thorny heavy psych band Bone Church and killer heavy psych/stoner boogie band El Perro at St. Vitus, $16

2/21, 7:30 charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy at Smalls, $25

2/21, 8 PM Mohamed Araki – keyboard Dave Adewumi – trumpet Gideon Forbes – nay Sami Abu Shumays – violin Sarah Mueller – violin Josh Farrar – electric guitar Marwan Allam – bass Johnny Farraj – percussion Philip Mayer – percussion play a tribute to paradigm-shiffting Egyptian keyboardist Hany Mehanna at Sisters Brooklyn, 900 Fulton at Washington, A/C to Clinton-Washington, $20

2/21, 9 PM cinematic, classically-tinged improvisational pianist Miss Kerosene at the small room at the Rockwood

2/22, 8 PMish Mykal Rose, former frontman of roots reggae legends Black Uhuru at SOB’s, $30

2/22. 10 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with Jack Grace at the Ear Inn

2/22, 10:30 PM purist postbop saxophonist TK Blue leads a quartet at the Django, $25

2/23, 7 PM  pianist Per Tengstrand and a string ensemble play the Grieg Piano Concerto at Scandinavia House, $30

2/23, 7 PM  rustic Piedmont-style blues guitar duo Gordon Lockwood at Terra Blues

2/23, 7:30 PM the Experiental Orchestra play string quartets and other works by Michelle Ross, Jessie Montgomery and Jessica Meyer at Church of the Advent Hope, 111 E 87th St east of Park, $29/$18 stud

2/23 8 PM Judith Hamann plays works for solo cello by microtonal composer Pascale Criton at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free, no under-sixes.

2/23, 10 PM counterintuitive, whirling, string-driven chamber pop/art-rock band Gadadu at the Owl

2/24-25, 6 PM brilliantly relevant oldtime gospel/Africana music maven Vienna Carroll at the balcony bar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w adm

2/24-25, 7:30 PM cutting-edge B3 organ grooves with the Jared Gold quartet at Smalls, $25

2/24, 7:30 PM purist postbop jazz guitarist Ed Cherry and band followed at 10:30 by clever, purist B3 jazz organist Akiko Tsuruga at the Django, $25

2/24, 10:30 PM pyrotechnic clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski’s ferociously kinetic NY Gypsy All-Stars at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

2/25, 8 PM world-class jazz for the tip jar: revered saxophonist Ravi Coltrane leading a quartet with Luis Perdomo, Drew Gress, EJ Strickland at Bar Bayeux

2/25, 10:30 PM  the great unsung NYC hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin at Smalls, $25

2/26, 3 PM the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $18 tix avail

2/26, 7:30 PM pianist Illia Ovcharenko plays works by Liszt, Scarlatti, Revutsky and Silvestrov at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, $18 tix avail

2/26, 8 PM classical chorale the Downtown Voices sing Caroline Shaw’s “To the Hands” at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, free

2/26, 10:30 PM energetic, inventive, gospel-inspired jazz pianist Pete Malinverni leads his trio at the Django, $25

2/27, 8 PM brilliant keyboard-driven doom metal/heavy psych band Early Moods at St. Vitus, $20

2/28, 7 PM wildfire polymath violist Stephanie Griffin of the Momenta Quartet leads a different quartet playing her new suite for voice, viola, clarinet, and piano at the Americas Society, 680 Park Ave, free,

2/28, 9 PM singer Veronica Davila’s twangy, Bakersfield-flavored hard honkytonk band Low Roller at Skinny Dennis

Organist Gail Archer Delivers a Breathtaking Concert For Peace at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Thursday night at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Gail Archer played what might have been the first organ concert there in almost three years. That’s a crime: the church has some of the richest natural reverb of any building in town, and the Kilgen organ there is a treasure which deserves to be unleashed in all its glory. Archer excels on that instrument, and made an auspicious return with a profoundly relevant program dedicated to peace between Russia and Ukraine, in solidarity with the citizens of both nations.

Lately, Archer has made a career out of exploring specific organ traditions from cultures which aren’t typically associated with the instrument. While even the typical, small European city can be full of old organs, they are conspicuously absent from the remaining churches in Russia and Ukraine. Archer drew her program from material from her two albums featuring repertoire from both countries.

She opened with an electric, aptly majestic take of Glazunov’s Prelude and Fugue in D minor, Op. 98, making maximum use of the church’s upper-midrange brass and reed stops. Cached within her cyclotron swirl was a steady forward drive which as she recorded it came across more sternly than the triumph she channeled here.

Next on the bill were a couple of preludes by Rachmaninoff nemesis César Cui. His Prelude in G minor had echoes of Mendlessohn balanced by a rather opaque chromatic edge. Archer’s take of his Prelude in Ab major proved to be another opportunity for her to revel in the vast range in the available registers, this time a little further down the scale.

She flawlessly executed the rapidfire phrasing and torrential crescendos of 20th century composer Sergei Slonimsky’s Toccata. The last of the Russian pieces was another 20th century work, Alexander Shaversaschvili’s Prelude and Fugue: again, Archer’s registrations were a feast of dynamic contrasts, through a judicious processional, more muted phantasmagoria and a determined if persistently uneasy drive forward into a fullscale conflagration.

Turning to Ukraine, Archer focused on 20th century and contemporary composers before closing with the High Romantic. The Piece in Five Movements, by Tadeusz Machl showcased the organ’s many colors, from close harmonies in uneasy counterpoint, to more spare and distantly mysterious, to a more insistent, melodically spiky radiance and a stormy interlude fueled by challenging pedal figures.

Archer couldn’t resist unleashing every breath of portentous intensity in Mykola Kolessa’s defiantly disquieted Passacaglia, through some subtle rhythmic shifts. Likewise, the Chaconne, by 21st century composer Svitlana Ostrova came across as a radiant if dissociative mashup of familiar classical tropes and modernist acerbity, with some spine-tingling cascades.

Archer closed the program with Iwan Kryschanowskij’s epically symphonic Fantasie, ranging from a simmering blue-flame fugue, to a long climb with more than an echo of the macabre. A dip to more restrained, swirling resonance was no less intense; Archer worked briskly from there up to a deliciously descending false ending and a surprisingly understated coda.

The next concert at St. Pat’s, on March 9 at 7 PM, is a reprise of the annual series of Irish folk music performances which were interrupted by the lockdown. This one is dedicated to the memory of Mick Moloney, who died suddenly last year and had been a fixture of those shows.

Stunning, Haunting New Compositions by One of New York’s Most Adventurous Bassists

Good bass players are like good singers: they get enlisted for a wider range of projects than most musicians. Bassist Max Johnson is probably as well known for his work in Americana as he is with jazz. He’s playing the latter, leading an intriguing trio with tenor saxophonist Neta Ranaan and drummer Jason Nazary on Jan 28 at 7:30 PM at the Django; cover is $25.

But Johnson has another side, as a composer of new classical music. On his latest album When the Streets Were Quiet – a reference to The Trial, by Kafka – he appears only as a conductor, leading a chamber ensemble of violinist Lauren Cauley, violist Carrie Frey, cellist Maria Hadge, clarinetist Lucy Hatem and pianist Fifi Zhang.

The opening number on the album – streaming at New Focus Recordings – is Minerva, for clarinet, violin, cello and piano. After a spacious introductory reference to Messiaen’s Quartet For the End of Time, the ensemble work a simple, increasingly emphatic, steadily acidic counterpoint. Quartet for the Beginning of Time, maybe?

Johnson switches out piano for viola for the quartet on the title track. Hatem’s clarinet moves broodingly over an uneasy, close-harmonied, organ-like sustain from the strings. A couple of shivers and subtle swells further indicate that trouble is brewing. Frey leads the strings deeper into otherworldly microtonal territory, as minutely modulated tremolo effects signal the clarinet’s mournful return and a solemn, slowly drifting procession out. Franz Kafka would be proud to have inspired music this spellbinding.

Next up is Johnson’s String Trio for violin, viola and cello. The more somber, sustained moments of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 spring to mind, Cauley leading a slow but ineluctable upward trajectory toward horror. Hadge leads the group into more calming terrain, with distant echoes of what could be a Britfolk ballad mingled within the unease. The trio take their time moving between a jaunty bounce and portentous swells on the way out.

Hatem, Frey and Zhang play the final piece, Echoes of a Memory, again echoing Messiaen at his sparest. Pianissimo highs against stygian lows give way to a cautious, icy pavane of sorts, part Federico Mompou, part Bernard Herrmann. This doesn’t sound anything like what Johnson will likely be playing with the jazz trio on the 28th but it’s often transcendent. Is it fair to be talking about one of the best albums of the year when we’re not even done with January yet?

Mike O’Mara’s Last Playlist

Presuming that he is still alive, Mike O’Mara is a versatile pianist and an awardwinning choral composer. In 2017, he wrote and staged a prescient, dystopic musical comedy.

One of the recent songs on his youtube channel is titled Memento Mori. Clearly, you’d get the impression this is a pretty sharp, sober guy.

So why did he take the Moderna shot?

Unless he’s already answered that question somewhere, we may never know. Lioness of Judah reports that yesterday, O’Mara tweeted out a goodbye message.

Over the last several months, he had chronicled his crippling neurodegeneration in the wake of taking the lethal Covid injection. So it’s no surprise that he calls his final 2022 playlist  “Playing While Dying,” Scroll down on his homepage: solo on piano with occasional roughhewn vocals, he takes his time with some Handel, then picks up the pace with some energetic, barrelhouse-infused cabaret tunes like Through with Love, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, and Nice Work If You Can Get It.

The web abounds with accounts of sudden death from the Covid injections. This blog has related several and will continue to. What has been cruelly overlooked is the tortuous injuries suffered by those who took the shot (torture seems to be a major part of the ultimate game plan).

One recent survey indicates that 90% of those who took the deadly injection were coerced. They took it under duress, afraid that they’d lose their jobs or their college educations. One friend of this blog took it because she was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to go to the library. No joke.

The vast majority of those people weren’t covidian Nazis. They just wanted to live normal lives.

Some of them fell victim to fear porn. Others succumbed to the torture of the lockdowns which Janet Ossebaard has chronicled. Some might even have bought into the myth of asymptomatic transmission and thought that they were being good citizens.

These unfortunate victims didn’t comply because they wanted to ruin our lives. They complied because they were afraid that theirs would be ruined if they didn’t. Little did they know the opposite would happen. They didn’t deserve that. Everybody makes mistakes. Nobody deserves to die because they mistakenly believed that they could comply themselves out of the New Abnormal.

Let’s hope that Mike O’Mara is still with us and able to get on a protocol to flush the deadly toxins from the Moderna shot out of his system.

A Revealing Collection of Rare Polish Organ Music and a Concert for Peace by Gail Archer

Organist Gail Archer gets around. She has an unbounded curiosity for repertoire from around the globe and likes to explore it thematically, country by country. This makes sense especially in light of the vast and sometimes confounding variation in the design of pipe organs from various cultures…meaning that just about every individual instrument presents its own unique challenges.

One of Archer’s most colorful albums, drolly titled An American Idyll, is a salute to the composer-performers who were stars of the organ demimonde in the Eastern United States in the 19th century. Her two most recent albums have focused on rare organ works from Russia and Ukraine, each a country where church organs are a relative rarity. Her latest album Cantius – streaming at Spotify – is a fascinating and often riveting collection of rarely heard works by Polish composers. Archer’s next performance is a free concert for peace on Jan 19 at 7 PM at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, featuring both Russian and Ukrainian works. She plays the cathedral’s mighty Kilgen organ magnificently – if you are in New York and this is your thing, you do not want to miss this one.

Archer takes the album title from St. John Cantius Church, whose sleek, French-voiced 1926 Casavant organ she plays here. She opens with late 19th century composer Mieczyslaw Surzynski’s Improvisation on a Polish Hymn, a pleasant processional which gives her the chance to pull out some juicy upper-midrange stops and engage in a little baroque minimalism. Likewise, the brief Pastorale in F# Minor, by another 19th century composer, Wincenty Rychling begins with a stern hymnal focus but becomes more of a stroll.

20th century Polish-American composer Felix Borowski is represented by his Meditation-Elegie, an attractively workmanlike take on Louis Vierne, which Archer plays with increasingly steely grace. Contemporary composer Pawel Lukaszewski contributes his Triptych for Organ, Archer having fun with the brooding, Messiaenic suspense and  fugal crescendo of the fleeting first movement. She then lingers in the opaque resonance of the Offertorium and brings it full circle with mystical, steadily paced minimalism.

The real find here is a Henryk Gorecki rarity, his Kantata for Organ. Epic, sustained, wide-angle close-harmonied chords dominate the introduction. Then Archer wafts up from the murky lows to oddly incisive syncopation in the second movement, concluding with a rather fervent rhythmic attack that distantly echoes Jehan Alain. Did John Zorn hear this and have an epiphany which would inform his organ improvisations?

20th century composer Felix Nowowiejski’s single-movement Symphony No. 8 is more of a grande pièce symphonique, Archer patiently and dynamically negotiating its Widor-esque shifts from pensive resonance to a more emphatic attack and a mighty, majestic forward drive that opts for suspense over a fullscale anthem. It’s a High Romantic throwback and a real treat.

Grazyna Bacewicz is another standout Polish composer who is not known for organ music, but her Esquisse for Organ is exquisite: first evoking Messiaen in the gloomy introductory pavane and then Vierne in the coyly ebullient water nymphet ballet afterward. Archer winds up the album with a final 20th century work, Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz’s Tryptychon for Organ The steady quasi-march of an introduction reminds of Naji Hakim’s more energetic material, while the Meditation has more of an allusive early 20th century feel – and is considerably more emphatic than you would expect. Archer delivers the concluding Toccata with eerily puffing staccato but also a warm, triumphant pace in its more majestic moments.

Composer and Holocaust Survivor Inna Zhvanetskaya Escapes German Death Squad…For Now

Individualistic composer and Holocaust survivor Inna Zhvanetskaya has gone into hiding after a German court ordered her to be forcibly institutionalized and murdered via lethal Covid injection. LifeSite News reports that her lawyer, Holger Fischer was able to get the lethal injection order suspended, but she remains in danger of being seized by the health gestapo. At this time, she remains in an undisclosed location after being rescued by freedom fighters.

The pretext of the court order is that the 85-year-old, Ukrainian-born Zhvanetskaya needs to be hospitalized for her own protection. For whatever reason, the complaint filed with the court contained many false statements, misstating her age and incorrectly characterizing her as morbidly obese. According to a report by the Lioness of Judah Substack, Zhvanetskaya is also accused of being “Completely caught up in her compositions and so busy with music that it is impossible to have a meaningful conversation with her.”

Perish the thought.

In a conversation with a Report24 correspondent, the famously introverted composer thanked him for his support by singing him one of her pieces. “It’s like when Dad was at the front and Mom had to flee with me and my brother,” she explained, equating her flight from German authorities to her experiences in Ukraine running from the Nazis.

Zhvanetskaya’s music is deceptively simple, otherworldly and often outright haunting, with echoes of Erik Satie and Jewish folk traditions.

Update – Amy Sukwan has a searing piece on this just out.

A Playful, Entertaining, Dynamic New Album of Genre-Busting String Music From the PubliQuartet

You could debate whether the PubliQuartet’s latest album What Is American – streaming at Bandcamp – is punk classical, or the avant garde, or string jazz, or oldtimey string band music. You’d be right on all counts. The foursome of violinists Curtis Stewart and Nick Revel, violist Jannina Norpoth and cellist Hamilton Berry have a great time reinventing an iconic classical quartet, a couple of famous jazz numbers, and unveil a handful of world premieres that defy category. The central theme is exploring the many threads that make up what we might call American music. While it’s a lot of fun and eclectic to the extreme, the group also don’t shy away from themes of segregation or discrimination: again, highly relevant in the wake of the March 2020 global takeover attempt.

The group intersperse their own miniatures in between several of the pieces, taking turns narrating an Oliver Wendell Holmes text. “Down, down with the traitor” – powerful words for 2023!

The first work on the album is improvisations on Dvořák’s “American” String Quartet, No. 12, Op. 96. Movement one sets the stage: this is punk classical. spiked with slashes, slow drifting tones and percussive extended technique within a straightforward proto-Gershwin march. While the group blend several unembellished themes from the original, their reinterpretation is more brief.

They put a lively pizzicato swing beat to the lento second movement, when they’re not adding flitting, ghostly harmonics to the rustic oldtime gospel theme. Interestingly, the molto vivace third movement is a lot more circumspect and spacious in places. The quartet punch in hard with a march on the final movement, then back away with a hazy, contrapuntal chorale over loopy, jagged harmonics: if they recorded this live, it’s all the more impressive how they handled this polyrhythmic maze.

The ensemble build Rhiannon Giddens‘ At the Purchaser’s Option from stark oldtime blues-flavored trip-hop to a mighty anthem. Likewise, they turn Fats Waller’s Honeysuckle Rose into shivery indie classical and jaunty ragtime, with a voiceover by A’Lelia Bundles. In a diptych of Ornette Coleman’s Law Years, they veer from anthemic intensity to flickering disquiet and jaggedly dissociative blues.

The opening movement of the world premiere of Vijay Iyer‘s relatively brief string quartet Dig the Say is Carry the Ball. a jauntily swaying, riffy theme over hypnotic, rhythmic pedalpoint. The second movement, This Thing Together is equally hypnotic, but in a hazily drifting way. Movement three, Up From the Ground is bouncy and has handclaps; the final movement, To Live Tomorrow wraps it up with a jaggedly opaque edge. Iyer’s milieu may be jazz, and a lot more expansive than this, but this is a triumph of tight, genre-resistant tunesmithing.

Another world premiere, Roscoe Mitchell’s CARDS 11-11-2020 is the most ambient, minimalist and astringent work here, punctuated by echo effects and plucky pizzicato before an unexpectedly lively, acerbic coda.

The ensemble wind up the record with a medley of four covers from the worlds of soul and blues. They reinvent Tina Turner’s Black Coffee as a quasi-spiritual in 6/8 time, then bring a biting blues edge and slithery extended technique to They Say I’m Different, by Betty Davis. The driftiest, most sepulchral piece here is Alice Coltrane’s Er Ra, although the group can’t resist rising with a triumphant if whispery lattice of harmonics. They close by digging triumphantly into a determinedly swinging take of Ida Cox’s Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues.

The PubliQuartet don’t have any New York gigs coming up, but Giddens is playing an intriguing show on Jan 12 at 7 PM at the Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she’s joined by pianist Howard Watkins and a cast of singers in a salute to the thirty thousand slaves who escaped captivity prior to the Civil War. You can get in for $35.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn For January 2023

All these concerts are free of restrictions on entry. Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar. If a venue is unfamiliar, look for it on the old guide to NYC music venues here, which is more of a worksheet now, but it has links to most of the places on this calendar.

Three nights in January: 1/17, 1/24 and 1/31, 7:30 PM Inspired, latin-influenced postbop trombonist Conrad Herwig at the Django, $25.

Thursdays in January, 5 PM poignantly lyrical, eclectic pianist Marta Sanchez at Bar Bayeux

Sundays at around 8 PM trumpeter Jon Kellso and (frequently) guitarist Matt Munisteri lead the Ear-Regulars in NYC’s only remaining weekly hot jazz jam session at the Ear Inn

Nothing happening on January 1, what a great way to start the year….

1/2, 8 PM  noir-inspired honkytonk crooner Sean Kershaw at Cowgirl Seahorse

1/2, 9 PM trumpeter Wayne Tucker – who veers between sunny postbop jazz, Afrobeat and goofy vocal shtick – at Bar Lunatico. He’s at Smalls on 1/12 at 7:30 for $25

1/3, 7:30/9 PM noir-inspired pianist  Frank Carlberg plays the album release show for this haunting new Monk trio record with bassist John Hebert and drummer Dan Weiss at Mezzrow, $25

1/3, 10:30 PM Los Hacheros, who play fiery electric tres-driven Cuban sounds at the Django, $25

1/4, 7 PM improvisational alchemy: the Karen Borca Trio: Karen Borca – bassoon / Hilliard Greene – bass / Warren Smith – vibes’ at 8:30 Fred Moten does spoken word with bassist Brandon Lopez, and then at 9 FREE: brilliant saxophonist James Brandon Lewis with William Parker – bass / Melanie Dyer – viola / Juan Pablo Carletti – percussion at the Gene Frankel Theater, 24 Bond St off Bwy, R to 8th St., $25 adv tix rec

1/4, 8 PM the inspired, careening New York Ska – Jazz Ensemble at City Winery, $15 standing room avail

1/4, 8 PM state-of-the-art postbop alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw  with his Trio, Dezron Douglas and EJ Strickland at Bar Bayeux

1/4, 8:30/9:30 PM  jazz guitar and loopmusic icon Bill Frisell with Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums at Bar Lunatico, note $25 cover per set

1/4, 9 PM oldschool-style high plains C&W singer Hope Debates & North 40 at Skinny Dennis

1/4, 10:30 PM  lyrical, thoughtful tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander leads a trio at the Django, $25

1/5, 7 PM dynamic jazz improvisation: the Cooper-Moore Trio: Cooper-Moore – diddley bow, etc. / Melanie Dyer – viola / Brian Price – reeds; at 8:30pm Ahmed Abdullah on trumpet and Monique Ngozi Nri doing poetry and at 9  lyrical, politically fearless alto saxophonist Isaiah Collier with Antoine Roney – sax / Tchesser Holmes – percussion at the Gene Frankel Theater, 24 Bond St off Bwy, R to 8th St., $25 adv tix rec

1/5, 7:30 PM Rolling Stones tenor saxophonist Tim Ries at the Django, $25. He’s at Drom on the 19th at 8 for ten bucks less in advance

1/5, 9 PM front porch folk banjo player Allison Kelley – of the Johnson Girls – with her band at Radegast Hall. 1/9 at 9 she’s at at Skinny Dennis

1/5, 9:30 PM ramshackle, entertaining newgrass jamband the Breakneck Boys at the big room at the Rockwood, free, Downstairs psychedelic jazz multi-instrumentalist D. Treut plays the album release show for his new one, also free

1/6, 7 PM free jazz with words: the Isaiah Barr Trio – Isaiah Barr – sax / Sadaf – violin, vocals followed at 8:30 by poet Anne Waldman with Devin Waldman on sax and at 9 ubiquitous bassist  William Parker with dancer wife Patricia Nicholson -Ellen Christi – vocals / Jason Kao Hwang – violin at the Gene Frankel Theater, 24 Bond St off Bwy, R to 8th St., $25 adv tix rec

1/6, 8 PM kinetic jazz vibraphonista Yuhan Su leads her trio at Bar Bayeux. She’s at Smalls on 1/18 at 7:30 for $25

1/6, 10:30 PM fiery, latin-inspired trombonist Mariel Bildstein at the Django, $25

1/6, midnight intense Indian-influenced psych-folk songwriter Larkin Grimm at Bar Freda

1/7, 4 PM  Sarah Durning plays twangy oldschool-style original honkytonk at  at Skinny Dennis

1/7, 6 PM  great vibraphonist with a noir streak – Joe Locke leads his trio at Bethany Baptist Church, 275 W Market Street, Newark, free

1/7, 7:30 PM tuneful oldschool soul/jazz trombonist Dave Gibson leads his quartet at the Django, $25

1/7, 8 PM elegant folk noir songwriter Jean Rohe and  lustrously tuneful percussionist James Shipp at the Owl

1/7,  monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s begins at 8 PM with jangly New York original surf rock cult heroes the Supertones, at 9:30 guitar mastermind Mike Rosado’s volcanic, pounding Dick Dale-influenced surf band 9th Wave and then at 11  darkly cinematic, ornate instrumentalists the TarantinosNYC

1/7, 8 PM the  NJ Symphony Orchestra with pianist Danil Trifonov play Strauss’ Don Juan and Rosenkavelier suite plus Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 at NJPAC in Newark, $25 tix avail

1/8, 3 PM a rapturous free jazz afternoon: Melanie Dyer We Free Strings: Melanie Dyer – viola / Charles Burnham, Gwen Laster – violin / Alex Waterman – cello / Rahsaan Carter – bass / Newman Taylor Baker – percussion followed at 4:30 by Ensemble Rivbea Revisited:  William Parker – bass, composition / Juma Sultan – perc. / Joseph Daley – tuba, piano / Ted Daniel – trumpet / Ingrid Laubrock – sax / Brandon Lopez – bass at the Gene Frankel Theater, 24 Bond St off Bwy, R to 8th St., $25 adv tix rec

1/8, 3 PM violinist Kae Nakano leads a trio playing works by Haydn, Chausson and Lewis Spratlan  at Concerts on the Slope, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 139 St. John’s Place downhill from 7th Ave,, $25

1/9, 7 PM sharp, not a music event but intriguing Eugene Ionesco’s surreal, quirky, classic existentialist play Rhinoceros directed by Chris Noth and Ken Cheeseman at the Cutting Room, $20 sug don

1/9, 10 PM crooner Kevin Harris with jazz organ paradigm-shifter Brian Charette at the Ear Inn

1/10, time tba, cornetist Stephen Haynes and guitarist Joe Morris,  with a string quartet at Zurcher Gallery, $20

1/10, half past noon, Sicilian organist Diego Cannizzarro plays a program tba at Central Synagogue, 54th/Lex, free

1/10, 7:30 PM houghtful, dynamic pianist Manuel Valera & New Cuban Express followed at 10:30 PM by oldschool salsa dura band Sonido Costeño at the Django, $25

1/10, 8 PM  funk-jazz crew the Silver Arrow Band at Drom, free. They’re back on 1/24

1/11, 7:30 PM haunting French-Tunisian saxophonist Yacine Boulares at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free

1/12, 7 PM African-American string band polymath Rhiannon Giddens, pianist Howard Watkins and a cast of singers celebrate the 30K slaves who ran away from their captors prior to the Civil War, at the Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, $35 tix avail

1/12, 7:30 PM smartly impressionistic postbop pianist Miki Yamanaka at the Django, $25. She’s at Smalls on 1/23 and 1/30 at 10:30 for the same deal

1/12, 8 PM Maria Brea, soprano; Arthur Moeller, violin; Odaline de la Martinez & Max Lifchitz, conductor the North/South Chamber Orchestra performing latin-inspired works by Lifchitz, de la Martinez, Carmel Curiel and Federico Ermirio at Christ & St Stephen’s Church. 120 W 69th St (bet Broadway and Columbus), free

1/12, 9 PM the fiery Catalan-flavored Balkan Paradise Orchestra followed by psychedelic latin rockers Battle of Santiago – the missing link between Willie Colon and Pink Floyd – at Drom, $15 adv tix rec\

1/13 day one of the NY Jazz Piano Festival at Klavierhaus, 790 11th Ave, Ground Fl at 54th St. Solo sets, $30 per set. Today’s lineup is colorful klezmer-inspired Uri Caine at noon, postbop stalwart Miki Yamanaka at 3, Yayoi Ikawa at 4;30, Dave Burrell at 6 and latin big band jazz maven Arturo O’Farrill at 7:30.

1/13, 9 PM eclectic pan-latin and Middle Eastern-inflected acoustic songwriter Miriam Elhajli  at the Owl

1/13, 10 PM long-running, wickedly jangly, tuneful Americana rockers the Sloe Guns at Connolly’s

1/13, 10:30 PM jazz organist Ty Bailie leads his trio at the Django, $25

1/14 day two of the NY Jazz Piano Festival at Klavierhaus, 790 11th Ave, Ground Fl at 54th St. Solo sets, $30 per set. Highlights: brilliant latin jazz player Aruan Ortiz at 4:30, epic third-stream improviser Jean-Michel Pilc at 7:30, the more tersely improvisational Rachel Z and group tba at 9

1/14, 7 PM dark psychedelic acoustic blues/klezmer/reggae/soca jamband Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues. They’re also here on the 28th

1/14, 7:30 PM Greek surf band Habbina Habbina, psychedelic cumbia crew La Banda Chuska, – who are NYC’s answer to Los Bel-Kings –  clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party, Red Baraat’s bhangra soul trumpeter Sonny Singh, Mafer Bandola playing Venezuelan Joropo Llanero, Iranian violinist and bandleader Mehrnam Rastegari, and electroacoustic drummer Ravish Momin’s Sunken Cages, at Drom, $20

1/14, 8 PM Live Skull in their only third Brooklyn performance since 1985 at St. Vitus, $20,. If Sonic Youth were the noiserock Beatles (ok, they weren’t, just making an analogy here), Live Skull were the Stones

1/14, 10 PM Certain General guitarslinger Phil Gammage plays his dark Americana and blues at Shrine

1/14,10:30 PM ferociously tuneful, kinetic merengue/tropical psychedelic Dominican guitarist Yasser Tejeda & Pelotre at  at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

1/15, day three of the NY Jazz Piano Festival at Klavierhaus, 790 11th Ave, Ground Fl at 54th St. Solo sets, $30 per set. The increasingly haunting Laszlo Gardony at noon, postbop star Orrin Evans at 3, symphonic latin jazz player Dayramir Gonzalez at 4:30, Jean-Michel Pilc at 6, and lyrical Marc Cary at 8.

1/15. 5 PM the orchestrally cinematic Heart of Afghanistan at Drom, $20 adv tix rec. Followed at 8:30 PM by  iconic Afro-Cuban percussionist/bandleader Pedrito Martine‘s Echoes of Africa project, $25 separate adv adm

1/15, 7:30 PM singer Hilary Gardner leads a western swing quartet at Mezzrow, $25

1/15, 9 PM shapeshifting klezmer trumpeter Frank London‘s Spiritual Quartet with Anthony Coleman on piano at Bar Lunatico

1/16, day four of the NY Jazz Piano Festival at Klavierhaus, 790 11th Ave, Ground Fl at 54th St. Solo sets, $30 per set. Brilliant latin player Luis Perdomo at noon, the similar Benito Gonzalez at 1:30, the more kinetic Cuban Elio Villafranca at 3, shapeshifting Aaron Parks at 4:30, trad latin jazz pianist Edsel Gomez and Clifton Anderson at 6.

1/16, 7:30 PM the NYChillharmonic – who play lushly intricate art-rock with big band jazz orchestration – at City Winery, $25 gen adm

1/16. 8 PM mystically haunting Iranian singer/bandleader Mahsa Vahdat at City Winery, $20 gen adm

1/16, 9 PM original blue-eyed soul chanteuse Miss Tess at Skinny Dennis

1/17, 2 PM bassist Kebra-Seyoun Charles plays original works plus pieces by Bach, Mozart and John Hedges at Merkin Concert Hall, $25

1/17, 6:30 PM uneasy multi-reedman Norman Westberg of the Swans solo then at 8 bassist Marc Sloan with Gregor Kitsis from Bowie’s band on strings playing the album release show for their new vinyl record at Downtown Music Gallery

1/17, 8ish lush, hypnotic slowcore/postrockers Bing & Ruth at Union Pool, free

1/19, 7 PM organist Gail Archer plays a concert for peace for Russia and Ukraine with works by composers from both countries at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, free. She really knows this organ and can make it sing

1/19, 7 PM the rustic Piedmont-style blues guitar duo Gordon Lockwood at Terra Blues

1/19, 7:30 PM  entertaining cumbia jazz accordionist/crooner Gregorio Uribe at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free

1/19, 8 PM rising star trumpeter Adam O’Farrill‘s colorful, cinematic quartet at Seeds

1/19-21, 8 PM John Zorn and a ten-piece ensemble pay homage to legendary, noisy avant garde guitarist Derek Bailey at Roulette, $25 adv tix rec. 1/19 with Laurie Anderson; 1/20 with Matana Roberts; 1/21 with Amir ElSaffar and others

1/19, 8:30ish the perennially intense, tuneful godfather of edgy, lyrical, anthemic downtown NYC rock, Willie Nile plays his album American Ride at City Winery, $28 standing room avail

1/20, 7:30 PM salsa dura legend Jimmy “El Trombon Criollo” Bosch and the Salsa Masters Orchestra at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free

1/20-21, 8 PM incisive, latin-inspired sax improviser Maria Grand,at Seeds, $10. 1/20 she plays a duo set with pianist Maya Keren; 1/21 she leads a chordless trio

1/20, 8 PM haunting Middle Eastern jazz violinist Layale Chaker at the Owl

1/20, 8 PM Palestinian chanteuse and songwriter Mona Miari at Drom $25 adv tix rec

1/20, 8 PM ska-punks Skappository followed by the excellent, eclectic, noir-inspired ska/surf band Drop Party at Otto’s

1/20, 9 PM jazz crooner Richard Julian sings Mose Allison with John Chin on piano at Bar Lunatico

1/20, 9 PM twangy altcountryAmericana/psychedelic crew American String Conspiracy at Freddy’s

1/20, 10:30 PM  clever, purist B3 jazz organist Akiko Tsuruga at the Django, $25

1/21, 4 PM  energetic ragtime/Romany swing guitarist Felix Slim followed eventually at 9 by fiery electric bluegrass and C&W with Demolition String Band at Skinny Dennis

1/21, 6 PM versatile Nashville gothic/Americana/psychedelic band the Whiskey Charmers at the small room at the Rockwood

1/21, 9 PM slinky psychedelic Afrobeat band Super Yamba at Bar Lunatico

1/21, 10:30 PM noir-inspired alto saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton with his quartet at the Django, $25

1/22, 11 AM the Brentano String Quartet play a program tba at the Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, $25, adm incl coffee/breakfast snacks

1/22, 7 PM jangly New York original surf rock cult heroes the Supertones, followed by darkly cinematic, ornate instrumentalists the TarantinosNYC at Otto’s

1/22, 7:30 PM the Iraqi-inspired Moneka Arabic Jazz at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

1/23-24, 8/10:30 PM iconic bassist Ron Carter leads a quartet with Renee Roses, Payton Crossley, Jimmy Greene at the Blue Note, $34

1/23, 9 PM wildfire guitarist Brandon Seabrook with Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums at Bar Lunatico\

1/24, 8 PM bassist Michael Formanek’s Drome Trio featuring special guest pianist Angelica Sanchez at Roulette, $25 adv tix rec

1/25, 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 from over the centuries to the present day – back where they started at Branded Saloon

1/25, 7 PM elegantly lyrical Slavic jazz guitarist Martina Fiserova at the downstairs room at the Rockwood, free

1/25, 7:30 PM guitarist William Tyler and ubiquitous harpist Mary Lattimore play a live score to the documentary film Electric Appalachia at the World Financial Center, free

1/25, 7:30 PM sizzling postbop saxophonist Mike DiRubbo’s quartet followed by the somewhat calmer saxophonist TK Blue leading his at 10:30 at the Django, $25

1/25, 7:30 PM sharply lyrical, cinematic alto saxophonist Dave Pietro leads a quartet at Smalls, $25

1/25-28 8 PM  wildfire vibraphonist Joel Ross makes a live recording with a series of ensembles at Seeds, $10.

1/25, 8 PM colorful harpist Parker Ramsay improvises with Arnie Tanimoto on viola da gamba at Zurcher Gallery, $20

1/25, 9 PM  intense, charismatic oldschool soul belter Sami Stevens  with a string section at Bar Lunatico

1/26, 7 PM dark folk songwriter DW Hunter followed by brilliant psychedelic Great Plains gothic songstress Rose Thomas Bannister at Union Pool, $19

1/26, 7:30 PM Gabriel Martins, cello & Wynona Wang, piano play Saint-Saens’ iconic horror film theme The Swan plus works by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms at Merkin Concert Hall, $30

1/26, 8 PM  intense, fearlessly relevant Middle Eastern clarinetist Kinan Azmeh‘s City band at Drom, $15 adv tix re

1/26, 8 PM epic jazz guitarist Joel Harrison and the Alta String Quartet play the the premiere of his new suite Breath—a requiem but also an affirmation of “anima,” the essence of life, for choir and 15 piece jazz band – at Roulette, $25 adv tix rec

1/26, 8 PM Bhutanese guitarist and improviser Tashi Dorji  with muti-instrumentalist Alex Zhang Hungtai, assaultively amusing avant garde singer/composer C. Spencer Yeh and Kwami Winfield, and electroacoustic singer Ka Baird solo at First Unitarian Congregational Church, 119-121 Pierrepont St, downtown Brooklyn, any train to Borough Hall, $20

1/27, 7:30 PM the best singing pianist (and the best piano-playing singer) in jazz, Champian Fulton  followed at 10:30 by New Orleans reedman Craig Handy at the Django, $25

1/27-28. 7:30 PM incisive, bluesy jazz guitarist Dave Stryker leads his organ trio with Jared Gold on B3 at Smalls, $25

1/27, 7 PM moody, cinematic jazz singer Erika Matsuo and her band at the downstairs room at the Rockwood,$10

1/27, 8 PM tenor sax improv titan George Garzone at Bar Bayeux

1/27, 8 PM anthemic newgrass band Rachel Sumner & Traveling Light at the Owl

1/28. 7:30 PM edgy, versatile bassist Max Johnson  leads his trio at the Django, $25

1/28, 8:30 PM twangy Americana band Southpaw and highway rocker Dan Reardon at Hill Country, $26

1/28, 10 PM playful, sly retro 60s psych-pop band Cupid’s Nemesis followed by math-metal band Absurd Condition at the small room at the Rockwood

1/29, half past noon/2:30 PM clever, entertaining, cinematic saxophonist Daniel Bennett with his group at the Blue Note, $23

1/29, 3 PM the NJ Symphony Orchestra with violinist Hilary Hahn play works by Sibelius, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 at NJPAC in Newark, $25 tix avail

1/29, 3:30 PM the L Train Brass Band – which was out of service for a long time but is back in action – at Culture Lab, free

1/29, 9 PM a rare Brooklyn small club gig by paradigm-shifting pan Middle Eastern trumpeter/santoorist Amir Elsaffar at the Owl

1/30, 7:30 PM classy, cinematic, purist NZ jazz pianist Alan Broadbent  leads a trio at Mezzrow, $25

1/30, 8 PM legendary John Prine-esque urban country band Maynard & the Musties at Cowgirl Seahorse

1/30, 9 PM King Kozy with colorful tenor saxophonist Michael Blake guitarist Ed Cherry, drummer Allan Mednard, and bassist Tony Scherr at Bar Lunatico

1/30, 9 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band at Skinny Dennis

1/31, 9 PM singer Veronica Davila’s twangy, Bakersfield-flavored hard honkytonk band Low Roller at Skinny Dennis

2/1, 8:30 PM loop-driven art-rock instrumentalists Thee Reps at Sisters Brooklyn, 900 Fulton at Washington, A/C to Clinton-Washington, $10

2/4, 7 PM the world’s most unpredictably brilliant cinematic guitarist, Steve Ulrich plays his original scores from This American Life with a quartet followed by a set by his iconic film noir trio Big Lazy at the Sultan Room, $26

2/5, 2 PM Irish musicians Sean and Deirdre Murtha lead a sea chantey singalong at the South St. Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St north of the water, free

2/13, 7 PM the New York Composers Circle play new small ensemble music: David Picton’s Piano Sonata No. 1, Kevin McCarter’s Responding Variations for oboe and viola, Tamara Cashour’s This Is Not a Reimagining for piccolo and contrabassoon, and Timothy L. Miller’s Two Settings of Ogden Nash Poems for narrator and piano, U.S. premieres of Ukrainian composer Olga Victorova’s Magic Birds Phung Hoan, Andrei Bandura’s Sonata for Violin and Piano and the New York premiere of David Mecionis’s Trio in Two Parts with an Interval Between, Natalia Medvedovskaya’s Ragtimes for piano solo and Debra Kaye’s Submarine Dreams for bass flute and double bass at the National Opera Center, $20

2/14, half past noon, Italian organist Francesco Bongiorno plays a program tba at Central Synagogue, 54th/Lex, free

2/19, 3 PM the New York Virtuoso Singers perform American works including world premieres by Anthony Davis, Peter Zummo, Elena Ruehr, and William McClelland; New York premieres by Tania León, David Patterson, and Edie Hill as well as works by Florence Price, Annea Lockwood, Jessie Montgomery, Mari Esabel Valverde, and Nancy Wertsch, and 18th, 19th and 20th century choral works by William Billings, Charles Ives, at Christ & St Stephen’s Church. 120 W 69th St (bet Broadway and Columbus) $20. 2/25 at 7:30 they sing the choral movements from J.S. Bach’s Cantatas 148 through 177, with piano accompanist Will Healy at Merkin Concert Hall, $30

Winding Up 2022 With Stunning Beauty, Sheer Horror and Defiant Fun

In late 2021, this blog predicted that 2022 would be a much better year. For those who survived it, chances are it was. Here’s another prediction: good things are snowballing, and 2023 will be even better (or less lethal, depending on how you see it). The world is largely going to refuse the destruction of the cash economy, the forced implementation of digital coupons in place of money, and social credit scores. Big Finance will throw Big Pharma under the bus in a hail mary attempt to stay in power, but that won’t be enough. As control structures collapse, we will see whistleblowers and data leaks emerge from unexpected places. It is going to be an epic year.

Let’s look forward to that with a final collection of songs and visuals from 2022. As usual, click on artist names for their webpages, click on titles for watchable and listenable stuff.

At the top of the list, an absolutely harrowing painting, Apocalypse, from the brilliant artist Sasha Latypova, who is better known as a sharp-eyed analyst of Department of Defense biomedical crimes. As far as the apocalypse is concerned, Latypova reassures us that “I do not believe we are living through the real-deal one, only a theatrical performance scripted to look like one. It is fundamentally a bluff by a desperate (small) clique of deeply evil monsters. Do not fall for it.”

Another important investigative journalist and researcher who emerged in the spring of 2020, Tessa Lena is also a singer. She’s released a breathtaking new single, Kanchun Em, going to to the top of her stratospheric register for an impassioned take of this haunting old Armenian folk song, backed by elegant guitar, duduk and what sounds like a pandura.

On the baffling, creepy side, Andreas Oehler catches Tedros on camera: “Some Countries Are Using to Give Boosters to Kill Children.” ?!?!?! Is this a CYA move? By the way, these countries are Canada, the USA and Japan. “A small club,” as Oehler puts it.

For a world-class statistician unpacking global mortality data, Joel Smalley has a great sense of humor, and makes the occasional hilarious video. This is not one of the funny ones. It’s 1 minute 38 seconds of the Chopin Funeral March with graphics of a holocaust  unfolding over time.

Nicole Sirotek of America’s Frontline Nurses explains the difference between remdesivir and veklury, which is being offered to hospital patients who refuse “rundeathisnear.” Crucial information. 48 sec video via Karen Bracken‘s must-read Truth Bomb newsfeed.

Now let’s have some fun. Scroll to the bottom of this page for memestress and author Amy Sukwan‘s Pfizer rewards card.

Can you play the flute wearing two surgical masks? Super Sally in the Philippines shares this surreal, sick visual

The ThinkTwice Team specialize in memes that make fun of lockdowner propaganda posters. Abir Ballan, Andrea Bowler, David Charalambous & Sinéad Stringer are relentlessly funny and have a whole page of priceless parodies, with more on the way!

Here’s an intriguing new take on a classic album cover: Patrick Killelea‘s Sgt Pfizer’s Lonely Heart Clot Band

Visceral Adventure‘s Sayin’ a Lie is a snarky remake of a big BeeGees disco hit, frontwoman Tonika Todorova channeling calm defiance in a world where she’s “Got a dirty mask stuck on my shoe, and the nurses dancing in the ICU.”

Mark Oshinskie, one of the most painterly writers in the freedom movement, is also a punk rock songwriter. Don’t Gotta Go to Disney has one of the funniest videos in recent memory. Check out the shrine to the rat…and the other rat stuff.

Let’s wrap up the year with everybody’s favorite insane clown, Doctor Dr. McHonk-Honk doing Auld Jab Syne via Jeff Childers’ C&C News (scroll all the way down the page). Jeff’s provocative analysis of plandemic planning is also worth reading. Thanks to everybody, especially all you subscribers, for your support over the years and through this ordeal and see you next year!