New York Music Daily

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Tag: concert

Partying Around New York with Mames Babegenush

Danish klezmer band Mames Babegenush played Drom Friday night at around midnight. Saturday they were at Mehanata, the notorious Lower East Side Bulgarian bar, until the wee hours. Sunday they played an afternoon show in the basement of Gustavus Adolphus Church in Gramercy, then took the party a few blocks north to the Carlton Arms Hotel. They’d played the church in the past, beginning with the day after the honcho there had seen them late one Saturday night at the old Zebulon in Williamsburg – and invited them to play the next day. And they took that gig. Fatigue and alcohol do not seem to affect these guys at all.

Bracing Jewish minor-key folk dances are the loosely connecting thread among the band’s often exhilarating catalog of originals and popular standards from throughout Eastern Europe, Spain, the Middle East and the Balkans. Throughout about three hours of music yesterday, there were all sorts of wry conversations, lots of sparring, spine-tingling solos and a couple of sprints to the finish line. One of the best of the solos was a slinky, bristling chromatic series of climbs and descents, using a horn voicing, and played by bassist Andreas Mollerhoj. Bass solos are usually a bad idea; this guy got all of two throughout the afternoon and left you wanting more.

One of this band’s most distinctively unorthodox features is drummer Morten Aero’s kit. He kept a steady thud going with his right foot on a kickdrum, a snare and hi-hat set up to his left where he’d rattle off vaudevillian rimshots, often using his hands for hypnotic Middle Eastern beats. Straight in front of him was a tsmibl, the Ukrainian Jewish zither that may be the forerunner of both the Hungarian cimbalom and the Iraqi santoor. As he hammered the strings, they seemed both a little muted and a hair sharp, consistently across the scale, adding a subtle and absolutely otherworldly edge, especially in the music’s quieter moments.

Clarinetist and bandleader Emil Goldschmidt matched precision to dynamics, whether soloing or harmonizing with the sax and flugelhorn. Lukas Bjorn Rande shifted between a welcome, smoky grit on tenor sax and a gorgeously plaintive tone on alto, obviously influenced by the great Bulgarian player Yuri Yunakov, a guy he’d had the good fortune to study with. On flugelhorn, Bo Rande reached for the rafters with imploring, searing cadenzas and a handful of slithery, electrifying trills, often matched by accordionist Nikolai Kornerup.

Throughout the set, influences from Romanian brass music, to Andalucian balladry, Turkish laments, suspenseful Ukrainian horas and relentlessly flurrying Greek hill country music filtered through the songs, seldom staying in one place for long. Maybe the greatest thing of all about Jewish music is that it’s so well-traveled, and this group completely get that. The only weird thing was that nobody other than the band members were on their feet dancing (although this generation’s most dangerous American klezmer clarinetist, Michael Winograd, was in the house and bouncing in his seat). Mames Babegenush are at Golden Fest this coming Saturday night, Jan 18 at 8:55 PM (they run a tight ship there) in the big ballroom, among dozens of similarly high-voltage bands from across the Balkans, Mediterranean and Middle East.

Salsa and Other Trippy Dance Sounds at Lincoln Center

UPDATE: because of the water main break just down the block, the Lincoln Center atrium space is currently closed, check their website for updates on cancellations and rescheduled concerts.

If a band can really jam, they can keep a two-chord minor-key groove interesting for twenty minutes. A lot of the oldschool salsa bands who play Lincoln Center can do that. But at the most recent salsa dance party there last month, timbalero Carlitos Padron and his group Los Rumberos del Callejon came in with a next-level game plan. A setlist is an art and a science, and this careening unit took that view from five thousand feet, slowly unwinding a show that peaked at about the forty-five minute mark, took a dip and then rose up with a scorching clatter at the end. And that was just the first set.

Padron didn’t even move from his snare until the first number was almost done – and that took about twelve minutes. Great as Tito Puente was, too many players try to imitate him, leaping in at peak velocity and leaving no room to go any higher afterward. Padron’s approach was 180 degrees the opposite – having a great percussion section, with congas and cowbell and a fantastic bongo player he’d engage in some devious beatwise conversations throughout the show was a big part of it. And as the show went on, each guy got plenty of time in the spotlight.

They didn’t hit that classic Puerto Rican bump bump, bump-bump-bump rhythm until late in the set – and that got the Nuyorican posse clapping along. The ride to that point was just as entertaining. Padron would tease the crowd with tantalizingly brief solos that would go on for maybe four bars: he’d never start on the beat, he’d never end on it and used every texture on his kit, hinting at familiar riffs but hardly ever going there. The rest of the band was just as purposeful; there always seemed to be a place for everybody within this wild mesh of sound. The horns – including sax as well as trombone – punched hard in peak moments, the pianist brought frequent classical elegance to the tunes and the bass had a similar low-key slink.

There was a point toward the end where the group brought it down with a couple of 80s-style salsa romantica ballads, but even there the percussion didn’t pull back to the point where the music sank in a big tub of cheese. Part of the reason why Los Rumberos sounded so counterintuitive, at least to New York ears, is that that they’re Venezuelan. Being outside the usual Cuba-Puerto Rico-New York flight path, they’re not as bound by that tradition – one that produced such a vast, rich amount of music back in the 70s, but one that sometimes bands play as if they’re in a museum. Not these guys.

There isn’t another salsa dance party at the Lincoln Center atrium space on Broadway just north of 62nd St. until February, but there are a couple of shows coming up where the grooves are going to be hot, for very different reasons. Venezuelan cuatro shredder Jorge Glem is playing with his C4 Trio, who do everything from Thelonious Monk to cumbia, rescheduled to March 6 ay 7:30 PM.. The Jan 23rd show with Los Cumpleaños playing their Colombian-flavored mix of psychedelic cumbia, dub and other trippy dance sounds is up in the air at this point, stay tuned.

Transcendence and Trials at Winter Jazzfest 2020

One of the high points of Winter Jazzfest 2020 was a rock song.

Don’t read that the wrong way. Firing off clanging, reverb-fanged minor chords from her white Fender Jaguar, Becca Stevens sang her steadily crescendoing anthem I Will Avenge You with just enough distance to make the inevitable all the more grim. Connections to a famous hippie songwriter and steampunk Broadway show aside, it was validating to see her pack the Poisson Rouge to open last night’s Manhattan marathon of shows.

She’s lost none of the livewire intensity she had in the days when she used to front a surrealistically entertaining cover band, the Bjorkestra, ten-odd years ago. Her own material is just as artsy and outside-the-box: it’s what would have been called art-rock back in the 70s, but with a 90s trip-hop influence (Portishead at their most orchestral) instead of, say, Genesis. Drummer Jordan Perlson and bassist Chris Tordini gave a snap to the songs’ tricky metrics, lead guitarist Jan Esbra adding terse colors, keyboardist Michelle Willis bubbling and rippling and soaring with her vocal harmonies. The songs ranged from an uneasily dancing setting of a Shakespeare text from Romeo and Juliet, to a dizzyingly circling ukulele tune, to Tillery, the subtly soukous-inflected anthem that Stevens typically opens with. “Without love there is nothing,” was the singalong chorus. True enough: that’s why we do this stuff.

A few blocks east at the Zurcher Gallery, singer Sara Serpa raised the bar impossibly high for the rest of the night, or so it seemed at the moment. With barely a pause between songs, she led a tightly focused lustrous quartet – longtime partner and saturnine influence Andre Matos on guitar, Dov Manski on piano and analog synth, and Jesse Simpson on drums – through a glistening, sometimes pointillistic, sometimes shatteringly plaintive set of songs without words.

Serpa didn’t sing any actual lyrics until the unexpectedly playful final song, relying instead on her signature vocalese. While she’s best known as a purveyor of misty, airy, frequently noir sonics, she’s developed stunning new power, especially on the low end – although she used that very judiciously. The most haunting song of the night came across as a mashup of Chano Dominguez and Procol Harum at their most quietly brooding, with a ghostly avenger out front. Matos’ steady, purposeful, meticulously nuanced chords and fills anchored Manski’s often otherworldly textures and eerie belltones as Simpson maintained a steady, suspenseful flutter with his bundles.

Over at Zinc Bar, trumpeter Samantha Boshnack led a New York version of her Seismic Belt septet, playing shapeshiftingly emphatic, anthemic, eco-disaster themed material from her fantastic 2019 album of the same name. The music seemed to still be coalescing, but that observation might be colored by the situation where the bar wasn’t letting people stand in the inner room close to the band, as they had in the past, and what was being piped into the bar from a couple of tinny speakers wasn’t enough to compete with a chatty crowd. The bandleader’s soulful, cantabile tone rose and fell gracefully and mingled with the sometimes stark, occasionally lush textures of violinist Sarah Bernstein, violist Jessica Pavone, bassist Lisa Hoppe, expansively dynamic baritone saxophonist Chris Credit, pianist Kai Ono and drummer Jacob Shandling. Boshnack’s voice is full of color and sparkle, just like her horn: she should sing more. Chet Baker may have left us, but Boshnack would be a welcome addition to the trumpeter/singer demimonde.

That there would be such a packed house in the basement of a snooty new Lafayette Street tourist bar, gathered to see the debut of pedal steel paradigm-shifter Susan Alcorn‘s new quintet, speaks to the exponential increase in interest in improvisation at the highest level. That the band had such potent material to work with didn’t hurt. Alcorn’s tunesmithing can be as devastatingly sad as her stage presence and banter is devastatingly funny.

Drummer Ryan Sawyer – most recently witnessed swinging the hell out of a set by Rev. Vince Anderson a couple of weeks ago – sank his sticks into a diving bell of a press roll that Alcorn pulled shivering to the surface in a trail of sparks. Violinist Mark Feldman’s searingly precise downward cadenza out of a long, matter-of-factly circling Michael Formanek bass crescendo was just as much of a thrill. Guitarist Mary Halvorson echoed the bandleader’s sudden swells and sharply disappearing vistas with her volume pedal.

There was a lot of sublime new material in the set. They began with a poignant, 19th century gospel-infused minor-key number that disintegrated into a surreal reflecting pool before returning, austere and darkly ambered. An even more angst-fueled, lingering diptych began as a refection on a battle with food poisoning, Alcorn deadpanned: from the sound of that, it could have killed her. Later portraits of New Mexico mountain terrain and a Utah “circular ruin” gave the band plenty of room to expand on similarly stark themes. The coyly galloping romp out at the end of the catchy, concluding pastoral jazz number offered irresistibly amusing relief.

Winter Jazzfest has expanded to the point where it seems it’s now a lot easier to get in to see pretty much whoever you want to see – at least this year, from this point of view. Even so, there’s always triage. Matthew Shipp at the Nuyorican, what a serendipitous match…but the Nuyorican is a good fifteen-minute shlep from the Bleecker Street strip, just on the cusp of where a taxi driver would think you’re really lame for not hoofing it over to Alphabet City.

Cuban-born pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa and his irrepressible quartet at Subculture were much closer. There’s always been a fine line between salsa and jazz and for this show, this crew – with Mayquel Gonzalez on trumpet, Gaston Joya on five-string bass and the bandleader’s brother Ruy on drums – sided with bringing the first kind of party. In a spirited duet, it turned out that the bandleader’s bro is a more than competent and equally extrovert pianist, when he wasn’t riffing expertly on his snare like a timbalero. The group shifted from long, vampy, percussive cascades to classically-flavored interludes, including a catchy Leo Brouwer ballad that Lopez-Nussa used as a rollercoaster to engage the crowd. What a beautiful, sonically pristine venue, and what a shame that, beyond a weekly Sunday morning classical concert series, the space isn’t used for music anymore. They probably couldn’t put the Poisson Rouge out of business – who would want that bar’s cheesy Jersey cover bands, anyway – but they could steal all their classical and jazz acts.

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

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

If you don’t recognize a venue where a particular act is playing, check the comprehensive, recently updated list of over 200 New York City music venues at New York Music Daily’s sister blog Lucid Culture.

This is not a list of every show in town – it’s a carefully handpicked selection. If this calendar seems short on praise for bands and artists, it’s because every act here is recommended if you like their particular kind of music. Many different styles to choose from.

Showtimes listed here are set times, not the time doors open – if a listing says something like “9ish,” that means it’ll probably start later than advertised. If you see a show listed without the start time, that’s because either the artist, their publicist or the venue in question sent incomplete info – those acts are usually listed last on a particular date.  Always best to check with the venue for the latest information on set times and door charges, since that information is often published here weeks in advance.

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

Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar:

Daily in January, 2-5 PM Aki Onda restages radical Filipino composer José Maceda’s Ugnayan, “an expansive audience participatory work for radio which premiered at 6 PM on New Year’s Day, 1974. Arguably the most ambitious, provocative, and controversial work in his repertoire, the fifty-one-minute-long piece consisted of twenty separate tracks, each to be played on a different public radio frequency simultaneously, producing a musical atmosphere at the scale of the city. All thirty-seven radio stations in the metropolitan Manila area turned over their channel for Maceda’s sound diffusion, with some tracks playing from multiple stations. Millions of listeners tuned in. Manila’s parks, plazas, and street corners were converted into what the composer called “Ugnayan Centers”—142 locations in all. In one of the biggest, 15,000 people congregated, their personal radios creating a stunningly knotted mass of sounds. In addition to the 20 transmitters and 20 radios installed at the gallery, visitors are encouraged to bring their own FM transistor radios and contribute to the installation by tuning into one of the transmitting frequencies,” at the Fridman Gallery, 169 Bowery

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! This winter’s agenda is Childhood Classics: A series of three evenings featuring the music we were forced to play – music composed expressly for children, Bach to Kurtag, like it or not, and conversation about that experience, about the piano, and about ongoing musical growth…4 PM on January 19, February 16, and March 15, sug don, email for details/address

Mondays at 7 PM multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman’s popular western swing band Brain Cloud at Barbes followed at 9:30 PM by a variety of tropical bands playing cumbias, boogaloo, salsa, maybe all of the above.. Brain Cloud are also playing their 10th anniversary show on Nov 22 at 9 PM at the Jalopy for $20

Mondays at the Jazz Standard it’s all Mingus, whether with the Mingus Orchestra, Big Band or Mingus Dynasty: as jazz goes, it’s arguably the most exhilarating show of the week, every week. The first-rate players always rise to the level of the material. Sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 and worth it.

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

Mondays starting at 9:30 PM Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play two sets at Union Pool. The Rev. is one of the great keyboardists around, equally thrilling on organ or electric piano, an expert at Billy Preston style funk, honkytonk, gospel and blues. He writes very funny, very politically woke, sexy original songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the usual lead soloist on baritone sax, with frequent special guests. Sizzling guitarist Binky Griptite – Sharon Jones’ lead player – is also often there.

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

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

Most Thursdays at 8:30, the Brooklyn Raga Massive – a rotating cast of A-list Indian, jazz and rock musicians who love to jam out classic Indian themes from over the centuries to the present day – play the Jalopy, $15 adv tix at the bar at the main space. Tons of special guests followed by a wild raga jam!

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

Saturdays in January the only 4 PM free concert at Bargemusic; is on 1/4.  These are usually weekly and typically feature solo piano or small chamber ensembles. If you get lucky, you’ll catch pyrotechnic violinist/music director Mark Peskanov and/or the many members of his circle. Early arrival advised.

Saturdays in January, 6 PM wildly eclectic, edgy,lyrical soul/jazz cellist/singer Marika Hughes at Barbes

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

Sundays in January at 8 PM purist guitarist Peter Mazza – who gets the thumbs up from bop-era legend Gene Bertoncini – leads a series of groups at the Bar Next Door

Sundays at 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.

1/1-2 7:30 PM the core of the early 90s Smalls scene: Peter Bernstein (guitar), Aaron Goldberg (piano), Omer Avital (bass) at Mezzrow, $20

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

1/1, 9 PM sweeping, swinging vibraphonist Behn Gillece and group at the Fat Cat

1/2, 7 PM poignant, nuanced jazz singer Amy Cervini leads her quartet at 55 Bar

1/2, 7:30 PM ferocious rising star saxophonist Chet Doxas leads a trio at Smalls

1/2, 7:30 PM Alicia Olatuja at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised. The soul belter has been super popular since singing at the second Obama inauguration. Opinions vary on  the flash vs. substance factor

1/2-5, 7:30/9:30 PM purist trumpeter Sean Jones leads his acoustic “electric quartet” at the Jazz Standard, $30

1/2, 8 PM oldschool latin soul and upbeat Americana with Nikki and the Human Element at Otto’s

1/2. 8 PM ish grim slowcore band Cathari at St. Vitus, $10

1/2, 8 PM the Underground Spiritual Ground, a new supergroup and Anbessa Orchestra spinoff exploring the connection between African-American spirituals, Ethiopian and Caribbean music followed by purposefully atmospheric indie classical guitarist Gyan Riley at Barbes

1/2. 8:30 PM sitarist Galen Passen and band mash up Celtic and Indian themes at the Jalopy, $15

1/2. 8:30 ish psychedelic supergroup the Elgin Marbles feat. members of Love Camp 7, Dervisi and Peter Stampfel’s jug band at Troost

1/2-5, 8:30 PM a Herbie Nichols 100th bday celebration at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: the 1/5 show with Roswell Rudd’s Trombone Tribe plays Herbie Nichols with Deborah Weisz, Josh Roseman, Art Baron, Steve Swell (trombones) Bob Stewart (tuba) Steven Bernstein (conductor, trumpet)

1/2, 10 PM the great unsung NYC hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin is very busy early this month. He’s at the Fat Cat tonight, then back here on 1/7 at 7 followed at 9 by exploratory, brassy salsa dura band La Sonora Nuyorkina, then back on 1/14 at 7. He’s also at Smalls 1/3-4 at 7:30 PM where he’s followed at 10:30 by  sizzling postbop saxophonist Mike DiRubbo’s quartet with Brian Charette on organ.

1/3, 7:30 PM composers Fiona Gillespie and Elliot Cole premiere their new suite, a modern adaptation of the 18th-century Scottish ballad Tam Lin at 1 Rivington St., $15

1/3-4, 8 PM, repeating 1/4 also at 2 PM and 1/7 at 7:30 PM th NY Philharmonic play works by Mozart, Haydn and Respighi, $34 tix avail

1/3,  8 PM playfully lyrical, fearlessly political superduo Kill Henry Sugar – guitar/banjo mastermind Erik Della Penna and drummer Dean Sharenow – followed at 10 by Rana Santacruz – the Mexican Shane MacGowan, but without the booze if you can imagine that – at Barbes

1/3, 8 PM intense, soaring harmonium player/singer Elana Low at Branded Saloon

1/3, 8 PM the NJ Symphony Orchestra  with pianist Inon Barnatan play Smetana’s The Moldau, Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto and excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet at NJPAC in Newark, $20 tix avail

1/3, 8:30 PM hard-driving postbop tenor saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins‘ Wire quartet at Seeds, $15

1/3. 9 PM  moodily lyrical, politically savvy Irish folk-rocker Niall Connolly at the small room at the Rockwood. Fiery, psychedelically bluesy oldschool soul/roadhouse jamband Lizzie & the Makers  are just down the block at 10 at the big room

1/3. 10:30 PM catchy Booker T-esque soul jazz with the David Gibson/Jared Gold Hammond B3 organ band at the Fat Cat

1/4, 2:30 PM the NY Classical Players perform Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132 at the NYPL for the Performing Arts out back of Lincoln Center free

1/4, 6 PM wildly eclectic, edgy, lyrical soul/jazz cellist/singer Marika Hughes followed at 8 by the furry-suited, oldtimey jazz Xylopholks and at 10 by epic ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

1/4, 7:30 PM purposeful Chicago-style blues guitarslinger Bobby Radcliff – lots of notes but none of them wasted – at Terra Blues

1/4, 8 PM trippy, dubby roots reggae and ska sounds with Avo & Skalopy at the Jalopy Tavern

1/4, 8 PM darkly lyrical psychedelic pop songwriter Jennifer Hall at the Parkside

1/4-5, 8 PM playwright Sarah Krasnow and bassist James IIgenfritz at Honey’s, 93 Scott Ave, Bushwick, L to Jefferson St., $10

1/4, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s with wickedly jangly surf/twang/country instrumentalists the Bakersfield Breakers , at 10 exotic vibraphone-driven surf band the Vibro-jets, at 11 ageless, jangly, purist NY surf rock originals the Supertones

1/4, 9 PM impassioned, politically fearless soul/blues singer Kemp Harris and band at the big room at the Rockwood, $20

1/4, 8:30 PM the Delorean Sisters – who do funny oldtimey acoustic covers of cheesy 80s pop songs – at Freddy’s

1/4, 9ish  slinky, hypnotic, percussive Moroccan trance band Innov Gnawa at the Owl

1/4, 9ish pummeling oldschool Brit-style punk band Krimewatch plus shrieky, sludgy noise-doom band Skourge at St. Vitus, $12

1/4, 10:30 PM Los Cumpleanos – with Nestor Gomez – vox/percussion; Lautaro Burgos – drums; Eric Lane – keyboards; Alex Asher – trombone and others playing trippy, dubwise tropical psychedelia, and the latin/Balkan/New Orleans-tinged Underground Horns at Drom, $10\

1/5, 2 PM pianist Marika Bournaki plays Beethoven sonatas including the Hammerklavier at Bargemusic, $35/$30 sr/$20stud

1/5, 3 PM bassist Jeremy McCoy and pianist Aurelia Mika Chang perform works by Domenico Dragonetti, Reinhold Gliere, Arni Egilsson, and Vilmos Montag at St Pauls Chapel downtown, free, reception to follow

1/5, 4 PM  the intense, historically inspired oldtime blues/gospel Piedmont Blūz string band at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $10

1/5, 5:30 PM brilliant pianist Emilio Solla’s Tango Jazz Orchestra at Birdland, $30 gen adm. Followed at 9;30 (separate $30 adm) by the fearlessly relevant, toweringly intense Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, who are also back here on 1/19

1/5. 7ish metalcore shredders Steel Bearing Hand, the even faster death metal Vomit Forth and the murkier Frozen Soul at St. Vitus, $12

1/5, 7 PM Middle Eastern-inspired cellist Ian Maksin at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

1/5, 7 PM Wit & Daniel: – a new duo project featuring atmospheric jazz guitarist, Prawit Siriwat, and improvising bassist, Daniel Durst – plus the similarly ambient Matt Forker, guitar and compositions; Lesley Mok, drums; Jonah Wolfson, drums; Lisa Hoppe, bass; David Acevedo, trumpet; Gabe Fraivillig, trombone and Sonya Belaya at Spectrum, $15

1/5, 8 PM Monograms – who do as good a mid-80s Cure impression as any band alive – at Alphaville, $10

1/5, 8 PM eclectic jazz bassist Or Bareket leads his quartet at Seeds, $15

1/5, 8 PM perennially tuneful, pensively lyrical Americana janglerocker Mike Ferrio of Tandy and Good Luck Mountain at 11th St. Bar

1/5, 8:30ish satirical rock night: Chris Root‘s Lulu Temple Motor Unit (a Shriner joke) followed by gonzo storyteller Mike Edison‘s band which often features Jon Spencer on lead guitar

1/5, 8:30ish  cinematic guitarist Pat Irwin and boisterous swing/ska trombonist J. Walter Hawkes do their ambient thing at Troost

1/6, 7 PM sound artists including the ambient Ginny Benson, Dani Dobkin, and bassist Bernd Klug, at the Fridman Gallery 169 Bowery, $20

1/6, 7:30 PM the Parker Quartet with clarinetist Anthony McGill, clarinet play works by Mozart, Salonen and Shostakovich’s twistedly hilarious String Quartet No. 9 at Music Mondays, Advent Church, northwest corner of 93rd and Broadway, free

1/6-8, 8:30 PM the powerfully resonant multimedia concert Broken Silence with“Erin Rogers (tenor saxophone), Kristen McKeon (alto saxophone), Dan Joseph, Dev Ray and Alex Lahoski (ebow steel string acoustic guitars) and Craig Shepard (narrator) “present music supporting listeners to engage with text drawn from court testimony connected with the ongoing scandal in the Catholic Church:” a tthe DiMenna Center, The point is to create a sonically healing space. No charge for admission. Seating is limited rsvp req 

1/6, 8:30 PM cutting-edge vibraphonist Joel Ross plays a rare trio show at Seeds, $15

1/6, 9ish new Brookliyn honkytonk band Lissy & the Jacks at the Jalopy Tavern

1/6, 10 PM haphazard dark punkish female-fronted band Cruel Children at Muchmore’s

1/7, 7 PM JAV (guitar, Buenos Aires), Joanna Mattrey (viola), Andrew Drury (percussion) improvise at Soup & Sound ,sug don

1/7-8, 7:30-/9:30 PM Ryan Truesdell leads his big band playing an all Bob Brookmeyer program at the Jazz Standard, $30

1/7, 8 PM  multistylistic, lyrical, improvisational cellist Rufus Cappodocia solo followed by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes, $10

1/7, 8 PM Florida retro 60s soul/funk band Patrick & the Swayzees at the Mercury, $10. Followed at 10 ($10 separate admission) by  female-fronted stoner boogie band the Loud Soft Loud

1/7, 8 PM a killer trio twinbill: intensely tuneful baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton‘s Predicate Trio followed by  jazz cellist Tomeka Reid leading her similarly translucent, edgy one at Seeds, $15

1/7, 8 PM violinist Francisco Fullana, harpist Bridget Kibbey, clarinetist Louis Arques, and Metropolis Ensemble play works by Clarice Assad, JP Jofre and others at the Poisson Rouge, $10 adv tix rec

1/7, 9 PM wickedly jangly surf/twang/country instrumentalists the Bakersfield Breakers at 11th St Bar

1/7, 11 PM noir-tinged pianist Frank Kimbrough leads a trio at Birdland, $30 at the bar

1/8, 1 PM the Kila Quartet play Mozart: String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K 465 (“Dissonance”) and Bartók’s harrowing String Quartet No. 3 at the Greene Space, free w/rsvp

1/8, 7:30/9 PM playfully lyrical French jazz singer/composer Camille Bertault with similarly vivid pianist Leo Genovese at Mezzr0w, $20

1/8. 8 PM haunting, fearsomely powerful soul belter and noir Americana songstress Karen Dahlstrom at the Svendale Tasting Room, 486 Court St. (4th Pl/Luquer), Carroll Gardens, F to Carroll St

1/8, 8 PM otherworldly French-Algerian singer Ourida with her combo at Barbes

1/8, 8 PM ferociously powerful, politically fearless southern gothic guitar/banjo player Amythyst Kiah at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $20 gen adm

1/8, 9 PM Grace Kelly All Day – imagine the Talking Heads with genuine menace, echoes of dark punk and Laurel canyon psychedelia – at St. Vitus, $10

1/9, 7 PM soaringly explosive jazz composer/torch singer Nicole Zuraitis at 55 Bar

1/9-10, 7:30/930 PM  this era’s most cutting-edge, politically relevant large jazz ensemble, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society at the Jazz Gallery, $30

1/9, 7:30/9:30 PM  terse, purposeful rising star postbop saxophonist Melissa Aldana leads a quartet with Shai Maestro on piano at the Jazz Standard, $30

1/9, 1/12 and 1/15-17, 730 PM Garrett Fisher’s Indian and Japanese-inspired Blood Moon, “A contemporary response to a 15th century Noh play, Blood Moon uses choreography, puppetry, and a Taiko-infused score to create a meditation on the end of life, the nature of joy, regret, and whether atonement is possible,” at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, $35 tix avail

1/9, 7:30 PM, repeating 1/11 at 8 pianist Paul Lewis performs Grieg’s Romantic Piano Concerto with the NY Philharmonic who then tackle Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, $32 tix avail

1/9, 8 PM twinkly, chimey female-fronted dreampop/janglerock band Lunar Vacation at Baby’s All Right, $15

1/9, 8 PM bassist Michael Bates’ potentially incendiary chamber jazz band Acrobat with Mazz Swift-violin; Sara Schoenbeck-bassoon followed by eclectic violinist Dana Lyn’s protean, psychedelic, ecologically woke jazz project Mother Octopus at the Owl

1/9, 8 PM unpredictable sound sculptor Thessia Machado, electronic performer Melody Loveless, instrumental builder Viola Yip and flutist Roberta Michel explore diverse textures at Arete Gallery $15

1/9, 8:30pm cuatro shredder Jorge Glem & pianist Cesar Orozco ;9:15pm –  polymath latin jazz pianist Arturo O’Farrill leads a small group; 10:00pm – majestic, slinky cumbia accordionist/bandleader Gregorio Uribe ; 10:45pm Afro-Cuban salsa group Okan’11:45pm – psych-funk/disco group People of Earth at Drom, $15 adv tix rwc. Uribe and band are also here on 1/17 for the same deal, general admission

1/9, 7 PM eclectic indie classical/Americana banjo player Jayme Stone at the basement room at the Rockwood, $15. At 9 PM unpredictably fun, funny  art-rock/psychedelic soul band the Academy Blues Project  are at the small room there, and on 1/24 at 10 PM they’re at Shrine for $10

1/9, 10 PM feral bassist Brandon Lopez  and TAK Ensemble improvise at the Fridman Gallery, 169 Bowery, $20

1/9, 10:30 PM colorful bassist Joris Teepe leads a quintet with Wayne Escoffery on sax and Leo Genovese on piano at Smalls

1/10, 6 PM soaringly lyrical, fearlessly intense acoustic tunesmith Linda Draper at the American Folk Art Museum

1/10. 6 PM  irrepressible, historically informed, crystalline-voiced folk noir/art-rock/loopmusic songwriter Elisa Flynn and pensive lo-fi chamber pop band Teething Veils at Holo, sug don. 1/16 at 8 PM she’s at Lizzie King’s Parlor, 75A 5th Ave (Warren/St. Marks)., Park Slope, closest train is actually the 2/3 to Bergen St

1/10, 6 PM crystalline-voiced, noir-tinged third-stream jazz chanteuse Tessa Souter followed at 10 by maginative, purist jazz drummer Dan Pugach’s Nonet at 55 Bar

1/10, 7 PM playfully intense female-fronted Balkan band Blisk;  7:45pm flamenco funk guitarist Juan Carmona ; 8:30pm flamenco songstress/guitarist Mamselle Ruiz; 9:15pm Digging Roots – who mash up gutter blues, folk noir and dub reggae -10:00pm Haitian hip-hop artist Vox Sambou ; 10:45pm  kitchen sink Brazilian/C&W/funk/New Orleans band Nation Beat ;11:30pm Danish klezmer band Mames Babagenush at Drom, free

1/10, 7 PM a rare US performance by stark, hypnotic Siberian Sakha Republic folk artists and khomus players Yuliyana Krivoshapkina and Nachyn Choreve at the Rubin Museum of Art, $30

1/10, 7:30 PM Longleash play Beethoven’s Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1 No. 3 and Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 “Ghost” – paired with two contemporary responses: John Zorn’s Ghosts, and a Reiko Füting world premiere at Flushing Town Hall, $25/$15 stud/srs. The program repeats 1/12 at 3 at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, 921 Madison Ave, same deal

1/10, 7:30/9:30 PM purposeful Serbian composr Rale Micic on guitar with Jared Gold switching from organ to guitar – wow! – and Jason Tiemann on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12, should be interesting

1/10, 8 PM bassist Sean Lovato‘s Microcosms band with Patti Kilroy on violin and Santiago Liebson on piano followed by bassist Lisa Hoppe‘s Jein trio with Todd Neufeld on guitar at Scholes St Studios

1/10, 8 PM trumpeter Ben Holmes’ broodingly Middle Eastern/klezmer-tinged Naked Lore trio followed at 10 by followed at 10 by Super Yamba playing their bracingly psychedelic Afrobeat jams at Barbes

1/10, 8 PM charismatic loopmusic cellist Maya Beiser plays her new album Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar – a new cello arrangement of Bowie’s last album – at the World Financial Center, free

1/10, 8 PM ambitiously lyrical latin jazz pianist Aruan Ortiz at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery $20

1/10-11, 8 PM Jeremy Schonfeld’s epic 200-person rock opera Iron & Coal, exploring the death of his Holocaust survivor father at the Lynch Theatre at John Jay College, 524 W 59th St. $35 tix avail

1/10-11. 8 PM Eliza Bent’s Toilet Fire, “a ceremony and celebration of the one thing that unites us all. Using the structure of an ancient religious ritual to talk about matters of digestion, philosophy and faith, Toilet Fire explodes with song, story, audience participation, and unexpected textual twists,” i.e. the philosophy of potty jokes? at Vital Joint, 109 Meserole St., L to Montrose Ave $20

1/10, 9 PM a rare solo show by Girls on Grass’ psychedelic guitar goddess Barbara Endes followed by catchy funk-punk/new wave band Dolly Trolly at Branded Salooon

1/10, 9 PM in reverse order: gamelanesque percussion innovator Susie Ibarra and Dreamtime Ensemble; Allard van Hoorn transmits wavelength-patterns of his new photography series on a Moog synthesizer,at the Fridman Gallery 169 Bowery, $20

1/10 ,9 PM subtle, purposeful soul guitarist/singer Julia Ziwic at the small room at the Rockwood; at 11 PM lively oldtimey swing road warriors the Bumper Jacksons are at the basement room there for $15

1/10, 10 PM the Hillbenders play their deadpan hilarious bluegrass version of the Who’s Tommy followed by Celti-grass band We Banjo 3 at Iridium, $25

1/10, 11:30 PM brilliant Danish klezmer jazz ensemble Mames Babagenush at Drom, free. 1/11 at 8:30 they’re at Mehanata for $20, 1/12 at 2 PM they’re at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, 155 E 22nd St. ,then 1/13 at 7:30 they’re at the Manhattan JCC for $25, then 1/18 they’re at Golden Fest

1/11, 3 PM Music for 7 Violas by the Momenta Quartet‘s Stephanie Griffin and Tony Prabowo at the Andrew Freedman Home, 1125 Grand Concourse, between McClellan and East 166th, St D to 167th St, free

1/11, 5 PM chanteuse/uke player Dahlia Dumont’s Blue Dahlia playing edgy, smartly lyrically-fueled, jazz-infused tunes in English and French with classic chanson and Caribbean influences followed eventually at 7 by edgy dobro player and Americana/jazz singer  Abbie Gardner at the small room at the Rockwood. Lush, wildly eclectic pan-Mediterranean art-rock/latin/chanson ensemble Banda Magda play down the block at the big room at 9;30 for $15

1/11, 5 PM Sufi percussionist/vocalist Kamyar Arsani at the Center for Remembering and Sharing, $20

1/11, 7:15 ish dark psychedelic, ferociously entertaining acoustic blues/klezmer/reggae/soca jamband Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues.

1/11 ,7:30/9:30 PM ambitious, smart, noir-inclined tenor saxophonist Patrick Cornelius  with Rick Rosato on bass and Carl Allen on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12

1/11, 4 PM tango guitarist Adam Tully followed at 9:30 by  accordion genius Shoko Nagai’s haunting, increasingly loud and psychedelic Tokala Silk Road/klezmer mashup project and then at 11 by pyrotechnic singer Kamala Sankaram’s slinky, surfy, cinematic cumbia/Bollywood band Bombay Rickey at Barbes

1/11, 6 PM the Ekstasis cello-piano Duo play French chamber music by Faure, Ravel, Poulenc and others at Merkin Concert Hall, free

1/11, 7 PM Sounds of Siberia feat. Yuliyana and Nachyn; spellbinding Palestinian oudist Huda Asfour 7:45 PM ; Afro-latin jazz saxophonist Cochemea 8:30 PM;’ bhangra mastermind Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East 9:15 PM ; psychedelic latin soul band Alba and the Mighty Lions 10:00 PM excellent psychedelic tropicalia/live dub band Combo Lulo 10:45 PM’ Haitian conscious rapper Vox Sambou 11:30 PM; Lyon-based rai bandleader Sofiane Saidi and Mazalda 12:15 AM; more trippy dubwise tropical grooves with Los Cumpleaños 1:00 AM at Drom, $10

 1/11, 7 PM pensive Virginia Americana chanteuse Dori Freeman at the basement room at the Rockwood, $12

 1/11, 7:30/9:30 PM rapturous  pan-Asian singer/multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu plays her haunting, elegaic solo Zero Grasses suite at the Jazz Gallery, $30

1/11. 8 PM pensive, anthemic parlor pop songwriter Jess Clinton followed by the more trad front-porch style Diana Jones at the People’s Voice Cafe, sugg don, $20, “more if you choose; less if you can’t; no one turned away.”

1/11, 8 PM  soprano Lucy Dhegrae sings works on themes of trauma and triumph by Eve Beglarian, Osnat Netzer, Katherine Young plus pieces by Guillaume de Machaut, Poulenc and others at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

1/11, 9 PM explosive, theatrical, phantasmagorical indie/metal band A Deer A Horse followed by scampering, irrepressibly fun girlpunk/psychedelic band Sharkmuffin at the Broadway, $12. Sharkmuffin are also at Our Wicked Lady on 1/19 at 10:30 for $10

1/11, 10 PM Joanna Mattrey plays the album release for her new one with solo improvised and prepared viola pieces at the Fridman Gallery 169 Bowery, $20,

1/11, 10 PM sizzling electric bluegrass and C&W with Demolition String Band at Skinny Dennis

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

1/12, 2 PM exhilarating klezmer/latin/cumbia jamband Metropolitan Klezmer and their mostly-female sister band Isle of Klezbos at the Cutting Room, $20 adv tix rdc

1/12, 4 PM first-rate purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Cliff Westfall and his killer band at Skinny Dennis

1/12, 5 PM the Sometime Boys’ riveting, powerful, theatrical frontwoman Sarah Mucho at Freddy’s

1/12, 5 PM, repeating 1/15 at 7 fearless impresario/pianist Yelena Grinberg plays Handel keyboard suites  at her upper westside piano salon, reception to follow, $35, close to the 1/2/3 train at 96th St., deets here 

1/12, 5:30 PM fiery pianist Connie Han at Birdland, $30 at the bar. Followed at 7 (separate $20 adm) by whirlwind jazz drummer Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom

1/12, 6 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at 55 Bar

1/12, 7 PM the multimedia performance Come‘Round Right pairs sculptural set pieces by Mara Baldwin, inspired by Shaker furniture and crafts, with music by Sarah Hennies based on Shaker hymns, illustrating a Shaker ghost town and its legacy at National Sawdust, $25 adv  tix rec

1/12, 7ish eclectic Americana/front porch folk songstresss Mary-Elaine Jenkins, janglerock guitar maven Teddy Thompson at around 8, then a lame, fussy faux-soul duo and at 10 irrepressible, high-voltage Americana harmony trio Red Molly at Bowery Ballroom, $20 adv tix available at the Mercury

1/12, 7 PM soaring, politically relevant, brilliantly purposeful alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon with pianist Gerald Clayton at Teatro Latea 107 Suffolk St.,, $20/$15 stud

1/12. 8 PM sound artists Todd Barton, Rachelle Rahmé, and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe build a hypnotic dystopic dreamscape at Roulette, $18 adv tix rec

1/12, 8 PM a super rare NYC appearance by New Zealand’s trombone-driven Rodger Fox Big Band with singer Erna Ferry at Shapeshifter Lab, sug don

1/12, 8:30 PM articulate, lyrical third-stream jazz pianist Laila Biali at the basement room at the Rockwood, $10

1/13, 6 PM the Greenpoint Songwriters Exchange – a diverse bunch playing everything from folk noir to Costelloesque, literary rock to Indian ragas and oldschool soul – at Pete’s

1/13, 6:30 PM bassist Lisa Hoppe with Samantha Boshnak on trumpet and Stephen Boegehold on drums at the Bar Next Door, free wow

 1/13, 7 PM tuneful postbop pianist Jim Ridl leads his group from behind the Rhodesl at 55 Bar

1/13, 7:30 PM in reverse order at the Poisson Rouge: Kevin Eubanks and  erudite pianist Orrin Evans,, whirlwind jazz drummer Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom, plus allstar all-female jazz crew Artemis, $25 adv tix rec

1/13, 8 PM the String Orchestra of Brooklyn celebrate the release of their first studio album, afterimage, with a performance of Chris Cerrone’s High Windows and Jacob Cooper’s Stabat Mater Dolorosa at Roulette, $18 adv tix rec

1/13 8:30 PM exhilarating klezmer/latin/cumbia jamband Metropolitan Klezmer at Drom, free

1/13, midnight boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band at the Ear Inn

1/14, half past noon Italian organist Mario Verdicchio plays a program tba at Central Synagogue, Lex/54th, free

1/14, 7 PM dark cinematic klezmer art-rockers Barbez‘s Dan Kaufman in a rare duo with percussionist/vibraphonist John Bollinger followed by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes, $10

1/14, 7 PM eclectic, hard-hitting, lyrical composer/tenor saxophonist Stan Killian at 55 Bar

1/14-15, 7:30/930 PM  the haunting, smokily atmospheric Michael Leonhart Orchestra at the Jazz Standard, $30. Anat Cohen joins the band on the 14th!

1/14, 7:30 PM the Escher String Quartet with pianist Juho Pohjonen play the Debussy String Quartet plus works by Suk, Brahms and Janacek at Alice Tuly Hall, $34 tix avail

1/14, 8 PM the Istanbul Trio – who with oud, lyra, guitar, vocals, bass and percussion are really a sextet – at Sisters Brooklyn, 900 Fulton St, C to Clinton-Washington, sug don

1/14, 8 PM sizzling Hungarian punk-folk/art-rock string band Bohemian Betyars at Drom, $10 adv tix rec

1/14, 8 PM a good terse, minimalistically intense, lyrically haunting female songwriter twinbill: Erin Durant and Claire Cronin at Trans-Pecos, $10

1/15, 6 PM multistylistic jazz singer/bandleader Tammy Scheffer followed by hard-hitting bassist Dawn Drake & Zapote‘playing psychedelic Afrobeat and funk  at the small room at the Rockwood.  Pastoral gothic accordion art-rock band Sam Reider & the Human Hands are down the block at the big room for $15 at 7

1/15, 7:30 PM cutting-edge, fearlessly woke postbop jazz powerhouse the Curtis Bros. play the album release show for their new one at Dizzy’s Club, $35

1/15, 7:30 PM, 1/16-18 at 8 and 1/18 at 2 PM, “set in a graveyard filled with the persistent cries of visitors in mourning and the music of Zulu Isicathamiya singers , the death-fixated lamentation Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro draws inspiration from Zakes Mda’s novel,  Cion and Ravel’s Boléro” at the Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave, $35 tix avail

1/15, 8 PM darkly torchy southwestern gothic/Europolitan songwriter/guitarist Miwa Gemini  followed at 10 by energetic delta blues/Romany swing guitaris Felix Slim  at LIC Bar. He’s also there on 1/19 at 9

1/15, 8 PM feral guitarist Brandon Seabrook leads a trio wih Dan Levin – cello and Henry Fraser – bass at Barbes

1/15-18, 8 PM Deniz Khateri‘s new multimedia performance The Cellos’ Dialogue, “ tells the story of a woman from the Middle East who has immigrated to America and suddenly finds herself struggling with an unexpected pregnancy. Musical experimentation, puppetry, projections, poetic language and action paint an expressionistic portrait of the woman’s tortured psyche as she wrestles with her circumstance,” at Patch Works, 98 Moore St. (Graham/Humboldt), South Williamsburg, J/M to Lorimer St, $20

1/15-19, 8:30 PM darkly tuneful pianist Kris Davis leads a series of ensembles at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: the 1/18 show with Ingrid Laubrock (sax) Trevor Dunn (bass) Tom Rainey (drums) Mat Maneri (viola) and special guest Jen Shyu (voice)

 1/15, 8:30 PM pyrotechnic clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski’s of the NY Gypsy All-Stars with pianist Ruslan Agababayev at Drom, $10

1/15, 10 PM hotshot fiddler Josie Toney‘s oldtimey string band at Pete’s

 1/15, 10:30 PM tight doom metal band Eternal Black at Arlene’s, $10

 1/16, 7 PM uncluttered, darkly diverse Americana band Kaylor & the Tin Cans at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

1/16, 7:30/9:30 PM bassist Chris Tordini leads a quartet with Red Wierenga on accordion and Anna Webber on tenor sax at the Jazz Gallery, $15

1/16, 7:30 PM Nicaraguan crooner Luis Enrique and wild cuatro band C4 Trio at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/16-19, 7:30/9:30 PM pyrotechnic postbop tenor saxophonist  David Murray leads his explosive octet at the Jazz Standard, $30

1/16, 7:30 PM noir-tinged art-rock bandleader Agnes Obel at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

1/16, 7:30 PM pianist Per Tengstrand plays Beethoven’s Moonlight, Appasionnata and Pathetique Sonatas at Scandinavia House, $25

 1/16, 7:30 PM acerbic, enigmatic, Lynchian parlor pop/new wave/avant garde band Dollshot followedc by hypnotic minimalist postrockers Matt McBane & Build at Shapeshifter Lab, $tba

 1/16, 7:30 PM oldtime Americana maven Dom Flemons at Symphony Space, $20 for 30 and under, $30 otherwise

1/16, 8 PM feral guitarist Brandon Seabrook‘s twin-drum band Die Trommel Fatale at Nublu 151, $15

1/16, 8 PM edgy lead guitarist Damian Quinones and his psychedelic latin soul band followed by explosive, creepy, colorful psychedelic rembetiko metal band Greek Judas at Barbes

1/16, 8 PM a rare NYC performance by Luxemourg pianist Sabine Weyer with works by Bacri, Scriabin and Miaskovsky at Arete Gallery, $20

1/16, 8 PM the Furies perform their program “A Cure For Hysteria,” featuring 21st century works by Jennifer Walshe, Olga Neuwirth, Elizabeth A. Baker, Thundercunt, and Eve Beglarian; sax quartet Nois perform works by Viet Cuong, Emma O’Halloran, Pauline Oliveros, and Cassie Wieland at Scholes Street Studios, $15

1/16, 8:30 PM Dervisi feat. psychedelic guitarist George Sempepos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” and Middle Eastern flavored hash smoking anthems at Espresso 77, 35-57 77th Street (just off of 37th Avenue), Jackson Heights

1/16, 10 PM tight ghoulabilly/rockabilly road warriors Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones at Ten Hope, 10 Hope St. in Williamsburg, fre

1/17, 2 PM mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti workshops her forthcoming Cindy Sherman-inspired chamber opera exploring pivotal moments in a woman’s life, with music by Ellen Reid, Paola Prestini and Missy Mazzoli at National Sawdust, $20 adv tix rec

1/17, 6 PM composer-collective Oracle Hysterical, with collaborators Hub New Music, premiere “an evening-length collection of songs inspired by the expeditions of a wide-ranging group of ambitious, gritty – and often naive, cruel, and myopic explorers. Text comes from the journals of European ‘New World’ explorers like Columbus, Cortes, and de Soto; Puritan women on their new frontier; the naturalist John James Audubon; the ill-fated Arctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott (whose Terra Nova expedition party never made it home); the ancient king Gilgamesh and his quest to cheat death; and the Chinese mariner, treasure seeker, and builder of giant ships Zheng He” at 1 Rivington St., $15

1/17, 6 PM intense, wickedly tuneful jazz oudist/guitarist Gordon Grdina with his Nomad Trio with pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Jim Black, at the old Nublu, $10

1/17, 7ish entertainingly shuffling, harmony-driven jug band the Salt Cracker Crazies at Terra Blues

1/17, 7:30 PM and then 1/18 starting at 6 PM and going til maybe 3 in the morning, NYC’s funnest annual music festival, Golden Fest, with over a hundred Balkan, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and other dance bands throughout five different rooms at Grand Prospect Hall in Park Slope. Serbian sweets! Spinach pies! Various pickled munchies and more all included! R train to Prospect Ave, go up the hill, you can’t miss it.

1/17, 7 PM  jangly Laurel Canyon psych-folk songwriter Rebecca Turner at Buunni Performance Space, (4961 Broadway btw 207th Street and Isham in Inwood), $15

1/17, 7 PM, repeating 1/18 at 8 the fearlessly relevant, toweringly intense Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra at Symphony Space, $25 tix avail

1/17, 7:30 PM catchy, edgy, fiery tarantella and Romany-inspired jamband Newpoli at Drom, $20

1/17, 8 PM a great avant garde-ish twinbill: moody lo-fi keyboardist/singer Anni Rossi and klezmer-influenced singer/multi-instrumentalist Judith Berkson at the Old American Can Factory, 232 3rd St. in Gowanus,  $15

1/17, 8 PM American Contemporary Music Ensemble perform music of Gavin Bryars at the Tenri Institute, $25/$15 stud

1/17, 8 PM rustic Brazilian jungle guitar-and-accordion sounds with Regional de NY followed at 10 by  psychedelic salsa bandleader Zemog El Gallo Bueno at Barbes

1/17, 8 PM a festival of Tatar song with the Symphony Orchestra of Tatarstan and Eilenkrig Jazz Orchestra at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $25 tix avail

1/17-18, 8 PM polyrhythmic jams: Michael Formanek – bass; Mauricio Herrera – percussion; Noel Brennan – percussion; Patricia Brennan – vibraphone at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery, $20

1/17, 8 PM drummer Lesley Mok leads her quartet with Cory Smythe on piano followed by transgressively funny postbop saxophonist Jon Irabagon in a rare duo show with pianist Brian Marsella at Scholes Street Studios, $10

1/17, 9 PM one of the great saxophonists in the history of ska, Dave Hillyard leads his Quintet at Sunny’s. The next night 1/18, same time they’re at An Beal Bocht Cafe, 445 W 238th in the Bronx

 1/17, 9 PM the annual Dolly Parton bday singalong at the Jalopy, free

1/17, 9 PM noisy, unpredictably intense female-fronted guitar/drums/organ band Parlor Walls followed by punchy noiserockers Big Bliss at Alphaville, free

1/17, 9:30 PM fiery Portuguese twelve-string guitar sorceress Marta Pereira da Costa at Joe’s Pub, $25

1/17, 10 PM crunchy, individualistic fenale-fronted metal band Sister Thieves – guitar, synth and drums – at Arlene’s $10

1/17, 10:30 PM psychedelic janglerockers American String Conspiracy at Freddy’s

 1/17, 11 PM haphazard, unhinged doom metal band Ether Coven at St. Vitus, $12

1/18, 4 PM the Erik Satie Quartet – Ron Hay (trombone), Max Seigel (bass trombone), Ben Holmes (trumpet), and Andrew Hadro (bari sax) –reinvent classic and obscure Satie chamber pieces as well as rare compositions by his obscure contemporaries, followed at 6 by wildly eclectic, edgy,lyrical soul/jazz cellist/singer Marika Hughes followed at 8 by intense, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo leading his Tango Quartet and at 10 by ex-Chicha Libre keyboard sorcerer Josh Camp’s wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach at Barbes

1/18, 7 PM fiery ecological activist/bandleader Rev. Billy and his massive original gospel-style choir at Buunni Performance Space, (4961 Broadway btw 207th Street and Isham in Inwood), $10, “nobody turned away”

1/18, 7 PM  unusually adventurous indie classical ensembles Hotel Elefant &  eclectic indie classical piano trio Bearthoven  play music by Fjóla Evans and Leaha Maria Villarreal at Arete Gallery, sug don

1/18, 8 PM Matt Sargent and Zach Rowden‘s Tide for ten basses, whooooah, at Scholes St Studios, $10

1/18, 8ish atmospherically anthemic Indian-influenced spacerock band Humeysha at Elsewhere, $12

1/18. 9 PM hip-hop artist Major Taylor followed by scorching political punk band the 1865 at BAM Cafe, get there early

1/18. 9 PM pounding, hypnotic no wave/noisecore band Kralice at St. Vitus, $12

1/18 9 PM bass goddess/soul singer Felice Rosser’s ageless reggae-rock-groove band Faith at the Way Station

1/18, 10 PM amusing weedhead rapper Kaheim Rivera followed by messy, funny female-fronted punk/80s band Ashjesus at the Broadway, $12

1/19, 3 PM Jessica Park, violin; Benjamin Larsen, cello; Hyungjin Choi, piano play works by Natalie Dietterich, Robert Sirota, Frank Bridge and Mozart at Concerts on the Slope, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 139 St. John’s Place, downhill from 7th Ave, Park Slope, any train to Grand Army Plz, sugg don

1/19, 5 PM bassist Sam Suggs plays solo bass arrangements of famous and not so famous classical works tba at the Lounge at Hudson View Gardens, 128 Pinehurst Ave @ W 183rd St, A train or #1 train (to 181st St) or the M4 bus (to 183rd St), $15/$12 stud/srs

1/19, 5:30 PM lavish, slinky latin noir big band jazz with the  Scott Reeves Jazz orchestra at Birdland, $30

1/19, 6:30 PM haunting Middle Eastern jazz bassist Petros Klampanis and his group followed eventually by similarly haunting violinist Layale Chaker at Drom, $20

1/19, 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

1/19, 7 PM pianists Brian Mark, Isabelle “Izzy” O’Connell, and Kathleen Supové join to explore the subject of migration and human struggle in a multidisciplinary setting with flutist Tessa Brinckman playing works by Meredith Monk, Missy Mazzoli, Randall Woolf, Howie Kenty, and Mary Kouyoumdjian, among others plus world premieres by Valerie Coleman and Raymond Deane at Arete Gallery $15

1/19, 9 PM Slovenian saxophonist Jan Kus’ Slavo Rican Assembly at the big room at the Rockwood $10

1/20, 7 ish epic haunting goth-tinged slowcore band Vestments, moody lo-fi keyboardist/singer Anni Rossi and the darkly armospheric Sondra Sun-Odeon at St. Vitus, $10

1/20, 7:30 PM soprano sax star Sam Newsome leads a quartet with Angelica Sanchez on piano at Smalls

1/20, 8/10:30 PM cutting-edge vibraphonist Joel Ross’ genuinely Good Vibes band at the Blue Note, $20 at the bar

1/20, 9 PM deviously funny, satirically-inclined Americana rockers Whisperado play the album release show for their new one at Arlene’s, $10

1/20, 9;30 PM trumpeter Sonny Singh’s “revolutionary devotional Sikh music”project at Barbes

1/21, drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, violinist Lauren Cauley leads a 21st century music ensemble at the Miller Theatre, free

1/21, 7:30 PM this era’s most fearlessly relevant, hard-hitting tenor saxophonist, JD Allen leads his explosive new trio at Smalls followed at 10:30 by charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy

1/21, 7:30 PM pianist Xiaohui Yang plays works by Beethoven, Saint-Saens, Faure, Chopin, Shulamit Ran and others at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $20

 1/21, 7:30/9:30 PM purist postbop jazz guitarist Ed Cherry leads his organ trio with Kyle Koehler on the B3 at the Jazz Standard, $30

1/21-25, 8:30/11 PM iconic fire-and-ice jazz singer Karrin Allyson plays Mose Allison at Birdland, $30, wow, could be amazing

1/21, 9 PM drummer Arthur Vint & Associates reinvent classic Morricone spaghetti western soundtracksat Skinny Dennis

1/22, 7 PM pianist Lucas Debargue plays works by Ravel and Scarlatti at National Sawdust, $25 adv tic rec

 1/22, 7:30 PM bassist Alexis Cuadrado leads a group playing live film scores for Alice Guy-Blaché’s The Consequences of Feminism and Algie the Miner, Harold M. Shaw’s The Land Beyond the Sunset and Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant at the World Financial Center, free

1/22-25, 8 PM, also 1/25 at 3 not a music event but seems cool: Cameron Stuart’s new play Police in the Wilderness, “a narrative set in a future where burying or honoring the dead is illegal. Enforcers of these laws are agents of The Order, a cult that opposes symbols, language, and thinking. When an unmarked grave is discovered in the wilderness, a confrontation occurs between the local police and an old hermit. After a priest of The Order gets involved, a profane ritual unfolds with unforeseen consequences,” at Patch Works, 98 Moore St. (Graham/Humboldt), South Williamsburg, J/M to Lorimer St, $15

 1/22, 7 PM furious, politically fearless soul-punk/postrock band Algiers play the album release show for their new one at Rough Trade, free w/vinyl purchase

1/22, 8 PM singer Dida Pelled salutes obscure and cult favorite women songwriters including Connie Converse, Elizabeth Cotten, Molly Drake, Vashti Bunyan and Norma Tanega at Barbes

 1/22, 8 PM dark, savagely brilliant guitarist Ava Mendoza and viola sorceress Jessica Pavone at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery. They’re also there on 129

 1/22, 8:30 PM haunting Middle Eastern violinist Layale Chaker & Sarafand: Jake Charkey (cello) Phillip Golub (piano) Nick Dunston (bass) Adam Maalouf (percussion) at the Stone at the New School, $20

1/22, 9 PM lush, snidely lyrical parlor pop/new wave band Office Culture at the Sultan Room, $10

1/22, 9 PM slashing guitarist Steve Antonakos plays slide guitar blues with his band at Bar Chord

1/22, 10:30 PM shapeshifting pianist Sullivan Fortner solo at Mezzrow, $20

1/23, 7 PM plaintive Iranian classical songs with Amir Vahab and ensemble at the People’s Forum, 320 W 37th St, $15

1/23, 7 PM lustrous singer and badass cello-rock bandleader Serena Jost at Pangea

1/23, 7:30 PM plush, balmy, playful oldtimey uke swing band Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies at Symphony Space, $20 for 30 and under, $30 otherwise

1/23, 7:30 PM trippy dubwise tropical grooves with Los Cumpleaños at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/23. 7:30 PM organist Clara Gerdes plays her new arrangement of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe Suite No. 2, as well as Julius Reubke’s iconically venomous Sonata on the 94th Psalm at St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, free, wow

 1/23, 8 PM mutimedia artists and improvisers including  Sugar Vendil, Jean Carla Rodea, Popebama (Erin Rogers and Dennis Sullivan) play and debate the relevance of new music in a 21st century, historically-informed context at Arete Gallery, $15

1/23, 8 PM composer Scott Johnson and indie classical ensemble ensemble Contemporaneous  play relevant new works examining nationalism and racism, inspired by the sampled voices of immigrants to the US at Roulette, $18 adv tix rec

1/23-24, 8 PM hauntingly jangly noir Americana/surf/punkgrass band the Sadies  at Union Pool,$20, yessssss, they slayed here the last couple of times

 1/23, 8 PM brooding Bulgarian art-rock chanteuse Ruth Koleva at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

1/23, 8 PM pianist Tianqi Du performs 13 pieces  from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I & II, and Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op.87. at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $30 tix avail

1/23. 8 PM conversational pianist Jeffrey Siegel plays works by Grieg, Stenhammar, Sibelius, Nielsen, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff at Scandinavia House, $25

 1/23-26, 8:30 PM rapturous  pan-Asian singer/multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu leads a series of groups at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: 1/24 with violist Mat Maneri, remixed live by Ikue Mori

1/23, 8:30 PM Nick Cave-ish psychedelic bandleader J Hacha de Zolla followed by ferocious psychedelic guitarist Debra Devi at Headroom Bar & Social, 150 Bay St, Jersey City, $10, Path train to Grove St

1/23, 9ish wild live techno with sax-and-drums monsters Moon Hooch at Bowery Ballroom, $20 adv tix rec available at the Mercury

1/23, 9 PM Certain General guitarslinger Phil Gammage plays his dark Americana and blues at 11th St Bar

1/24, 7 PM trumpetert Kate Amrine plays the album release show for her new protest record with music by Gemma Peacocke, Kevin Joest, Jacob TV, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Ruby Fulton, Howie Kenty, and original compositions, joined by Ford Fourqurean on clarinet, Leanne Friedman on alto flute, and Richard Harris on trombone, t Spectrum, $15

1/24, 7 PM composer David ieri presents an “audacious” new live score for Carl Th. Dreyer’s 1928 silent film classic La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, at the Greene Space, $25

1/24, 7 PM not a music event but relevant: a screening of Astra Taylor’s provocative new documentary What Is Democracy followed by a book signing for her new book Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone. at Buuni, 4961 Broadway btw 207th Street and Isham in Inwood). Sug don

1/24, 7:30 PM the New Juilliard Ensemble play works by women composers Jacqueline Fontyn, Ursula Mamlok, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Elisabeth Lutyens, Galina Ustvolskaya at the Sharp Theatre at Juilliard, free, tix req 

1/2,4 8 PM best twinbill of the year so far: timeless, haunting, playful octogenarian Armenian jazz sage and multi-reedman Souren Baronian‘s Taksim followed by the world’s creepiest, slinkiest, most psychddelic crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy at Barbes

1/24-25, 8 PM the reliably entertaining, adventurous Chelsea Symphony play Jennifer Higdon’s elegiac blue cathedral, TCS’ first drumset concerto presentation, Just Say Yes, by Alexandra Gardner featuring Michael Blancaflor and Milhaud’s first cello concert with Kurt Behnke, both on Friday night’s performance. Saturday’s concert includes Sara Dudley’s soloist debut on the William Walton viola concerto; both shows conclude with Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 at the DiMenna Center $25

1/24, 9 PM amazingly versatile, genuinely Hendrixian guitar shredder Viva DeConcini followed by bass sax monster Stefen Zeniuk’s punk mambo crew the NY Fowl Harmonic at Branded Saloon

1/24, 10 PM allusively haunting, minimalist folk noir singer Belle-Skinner at the Owl

1/25, 4 PM high-energy Afro-Colombian trance-dance band Grupo Rebolu at Flushing Town Hall, $14

 1/25, 7 PM New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez‘ annual goodbye party – saluting some of those who’ve left us this year – at Pangea, $25

1/25, 7 PM Egyptian exile and firebrand songwriter Ramy Essam and visual artist Ganzeer team up with playwrights/ musicians The Lazours to commemorate and keep the hope of the Arab Spring alive .at National Sawdust, $20 adv tix rec

1/25, 7 PM four sets of improvisation til 11 starting with pianist Eric Zinman‘s New Language Collaborative +2, Matt Lavelle‘s Night River septet with the bandleader on bass clarinet, multi-reedman JD Parran sparring with guitarist Dave Ross and then at 10 another multireedman, Ras Moshe’s sextet at Scholes Street Studios, $10

1/25, 7:30 PM the Rosamunde String Quartet play works by Mendelssohn, Kevin Puts and Schubert at Washington Irving High School, 40 Irving Pl, $18

 1/25, 8 PM NY Baroque Incorporated sing works by Handel, Lully, Muffat and Telemann at the Miller Theatre, $30 seats aavil

1/25, 9 PM the Jaded Babies play their theatrical, quirky, comedic mashups of punk and art-rock at LP n Harmony, 683 Grand St in Williamsburg, free, take the G to Lorimer

1/25, 9 PM the Dirty Waltz Band- a seven-piece group playing more than a dozen instruments in 3/4 time from Balkan, Irish, jazz, blues and American folk traditions – at the Jalopy, $15

 1/25, 10 PM slinky, hypnotic percussive Moroccan trance band Innov Gnawa at Barbes

 1/25, 11 PM one of the great saxophonists in the history of ska, Dave Hillyard and the Rocksteady 7 at the Gutter, $7

 1/26, 2 PM a rare US appearance by raucous Chinese central plains party ensemble Zhou Family Band at Flushing Town Hall, $18

1/26, 6ish haunting folk noir/Americana songwriter Emily Frembgen at LIC Bar

1/26, 7 PM guitarists Jim Campilongo and Steve Cardenas duke it out followed by paradigm-shifting Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

1/26, 7 PM tenor saxophonist Sam Weinberg, feral guitarist Brandon Seabrook and bassist Henry Fraser duel; it out; then bassist Charlie Kirchen leads his Trio at Scholes Street Studios, $10

1/26, 8 PM high-voltage psychedelic cumbia/Afrobeat jamband MAKU Soundsystem  at C”Mon Everybody, $10

1/26, 8 PM pissed-off funny punkish music for the disenfranchised: irresistibly funny political all-female punk trio Witchslap, the even more pissed-off Bint, the even rougher Que Sick, the sardonically spot-on Anxious? Anxious!, haphazard dark punkish female-fronted band Cruel Children at Footlight Bar, $10

1/26, midnight psychedelic cinematic Italophile instrumentalists/parodists Tredici Bacci at the Mercury, $10 adv tix rec

1/27, 7 PM jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris and Blackout at the Schomburg Center, free

 1/27, 7 PM atmospheric, psychedelic violinist/singer Concetta Abbate and Rose Stoller pull “ambient lullabies” out of the ether at Footlight Bar, sug don

1/27, 10ish  feral singer Carolina Oliveros’ mighty 13-piece Afro-Colombian trance/dance choir Bulla en el Barrio at Barbes

1/28, 7:30 PM the New Juilliard Ensemble play works by female composers Vivian Fine ,Florence Price, Young-ja Lee, Priaulx Rainier and Mary Lou Williams at the Sharp Theatre at Juiliard, free , tix req 

1/28, 7:30 PM iconic art-rockers the Bang on a Can All-Stars play world premieres by Amanda Berlind, Alvin Curran, Hildur Guðnadóttir and Qasim Naqvi, plus Phil Kline’s Exquisite Corpses and Julius Eastman’s “super-groove” Stay on It at Merkin Concert Hall, $25

1/28, 8 PM haunting, magical Middle Eastern classical singer Shelley Thomas plays oud with classical ensemble Brooklyn Takht at Sisters Brooklyn, 900 Fulton St, C to Clinton-Washington, sug don

1/28, 8 PM a sizzling New Orleans brass night at Drom: the badass, original all-female Brass Queens, hip hop-influenced Flowingos and diverse, latin-influenced Brass Monkeys, $10 gen adm

1/28, 8 PM the hauntingly hallucinatory film Mother Sparrow by Sonya Belaya and Eryka Dellenbach plus live music performance by Belaya’s ensemble Dacha and a live dance performance of Make the Brutal Tender by Nola Sporn Smith and Dellenbach, at Roulette, $18 adv tix rec

1/29, 7 PM rainy-day art-rock/Balkan jazz singer Tamara Jokic followed at 8:30 by intense, rapturous Balkan/Middle Eastern ensemble the Secret Trio –Tamer Pinarbasi, Ismail Lumanovski & Ara Dinkjian – at Drom, $10

1/29, 7 PM Peter Abinger remixes Eric Wubbels’ piano live at the Austrian Cultural Center, free, res req. “Ablinger likes to think about Voices and Piano as his song-cycle, though nobody is singing in it: the voices are all spoken statements from speeches, interviews or readings. And the piano is not really accompanying the voices: the relation of the two components is to be seen more as a competition. Speech and music is being compared. We can also say: reality and perception. Reality/speech is continuous, perception/music is a grid, which tries to approach speech. Actually the piano part is the temporal and spectral scan of the respective voice, something like a coarse gridded photograph it is the analysis of the voice. Music analyses reality….”

1/29, 7:30 PM the New Juilliard Ensemble play works by female composers Miriam Gideon, Vítězslava Kapralova, Germaine Tailleferre, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Margaret Sutherland, Grete von Zieritz, at the Sharp Theatre at Juiliard, free , tix req

1/29-2/1, 7:30/9:30 PM this era’s most consistently interesting jazz pianist, Vijay Iyer at the Jazz Standard, $30. Solo on the 29th, with a trio the rest of the way plus special guest Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet on 2/1, wow

 1/29, 830 PM perennially interesting piano/percussion ensemble Yarn/Wire leads a series of groups at the Stone at the New School, $20. Choice pick: 1/31 with bassoonist Katie Young

1/29, 9 PM Melissa Gordon of Melissa & the Mannequins, one of the best purist janglerock songwriters in NYC, at LIC Bar

1/29 9ish ntense, wickedly tuneful jazz oudist/guitarist Gordon Grdina with his band at I-Beam, $15

 1/29, 9:30 PM ambient electroacoustic sitarist/composer Ami Dang at Joe’s Pub, $15

1/30, 7 PM thoughtfully explorator pianist Yoko MIwa leads her trio at Birdland, $20 at the bar

 1/30, 7:30 PM the New Juilliard Ensemble play works by female composers Lili Boulanger, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Johanna Magdalena Beyer, Louise Talma, Margaret Bonds, Myriam Marbe, Amy Beach and Ruth Zechlin at the Sharp Theatre at Juiliard, free , tix req 

1/30, 7:30 PM sprawling psychedelic funk jamband Burnt Sugar reinvent songs from Porgy & Bess at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

 1/30, 8 PM pianist Simone Dinnerstein leads a quartet playing Bach keyboard sonatas at the Miller Theatre, $30

1/30, 10 PM zabumba player Mike LaValle’s original forro band with Vitor Gonçalves on accordion at Barbes

1/30-31, 10 PM trip-metal doomscapers Wolf Eyes at Union Pool, $15

 1/31, 7 PM hard-hitting latin jazz pianist Donald Vega leads his trio at Birdland, $20 at the bar

 1/31, 7 PM the Neel Murgai Ensemble play the album release show for his new Indian string band record with amazing violin duo Arun Ramamurthy and Trina Basu at the Rubin Museum of Art, $30

 1/31, 7:30 PM the New Juilliard Ensemble play works by female composers Betsy Jolas, Grażyna Bacewicz, Ethel Smyth, Thea Musgrave, ​Sofia Gubaidulina with Raphael Vogl, organ at Alice Tully Hal, free , tix req at the box ofc

1/31, 7:30/9:30 PM Marcus Strickland, JD Allen and Stacy Dillard lead a ferocious tenor sax frontline with rhythm section at the Jazz Gallery, $30

1/31, 8 PM perennially sharp, hilarious avant garde icon Laurie Anderson at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery no joke, get there early, $20

1/31, 10 PM Cumbiagra – who’ve been going in a much more psychedelic, electric cumbia direction lately at Barbes

Full calendar for February coming 2/1

2/1, 2:30 PM the NY Classical Players perform the Debussy String Quartet, Dvorak’s American String Quartet and the Ravel Sonata for Violin and Cello at the NYPL for the Performing Arts out back of Lincoln Center free

2/1, 7:30 PM ruthlessly funny, politically satirical faux-folk duo Friends Who Folk (Rachel Wenitsky and Ned Riseley) at Union Hall,702 Union St. north of 7th Ave, R to Union St and walk uphill, $10

2/6, 7:30 PM the Telegraph Quartet play a program tba at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/6, 10ish explosive, creepy, colorful psychedelic rembetiko metal band Greek Judas at Niagara, Ave A/7th St

 2/13 ,7:30 PM hotshot, purist bassist Endea Owens leads her band at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/17, 7:30 PM vocal and piano group Mirror Visions Ensemble “explores The Disappearing Art of Letter Writing: letters of love and vengeance, reports from the North Pole, missives asking for money or forgiveness, including correspondence of Abraham Lincoln, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Gertrude Stein, and Sullivan Ballou. Tom Cipullo provides indispensable instruction with a newly commissioned Guide to Letter Writing, along with works by Gwyneth Walker, Cole Porter, Wolfgang Erich Korngold, Dominick Argento, Richard Pearson Thomas and Christopher Berg” at the Sheen Center, $25/$15 for students

2/20, 7:30 PM high-voltage oldschool salsa dura with longtime Tito Puente sideman John “Dandy” Rodriguez’s “Dream Team” at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/23, 5 PM the Fair Trade Trio with pianist Taisiya Pushkar play works by Faure, Schnittke and Jessica Meyer at Our Savior’s Atonement, 178 Bennett Ave (one block west of Broadway at 189th St, frees

2/24, drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, violinist Austin Wulliman & pianist Conrad Tao at the Miller Theatre, free

2/27, 7:30 PM intense, atmospheric chanteuse Imani Uzuri and ensemble “share an intimate chamber concert of compositions from her various works for voice, strings, flute and piano” at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

3/19-21 the NY premiere of Susan Kander and Roberta Gumbel’s new chamber opera DWB (Driving While Black) with live score by cello/percussion duo New Morse Code at the Bauch College auditorium, $36/$16 stud

3/31, drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, the new generation’s most eclectic jazz harpist, Brandee Younger & bassist Dezron Douglas at the Miller Theatre, free

4/14 drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, indie classical supergroup the Hands Free – James Moore, guitar & banjo; Caroline Shaw, violin Eleonore Oppenheim, bass; Nathan Koci, accordionat the Miller Theatre, free

The 30 Best NYC Concerts of 2019

Enormous triage was required to trim this down to a manageable number. Despite a desperate climate where practically every corner property in this city is being removed from the stock of housing and commercial space and handed over to speculators, thousands of stubborn musicians and patrons of the arts won’t leave this sinking ship.

Time to celebrate that tenacity! Consider this an informed survey rather than a definitive statement:  this is the most personal of all the year-end lists here. It’s impossible to count the number of shows over the past several years where this blog was in the house even though most New Yorkers couldn’t get there (or, more likely, couldn’t get home from there) because of the subway melting down at night and on the weekend. The reverse is just as true. You want FOMO? Move to Brooklyn.

The best show of 2019 was Rose Thomas Bannister‘s wedding, at Union Pool in late September, where the Great Plains gothic songstress sang her heart out on a killer festival bill which also included her polymath guitarist husband Bob Bannister, her bagpipe wizard dad Tom Campbell jamming with the mesmerizingly trippy 75 Dollar Bill, plus sets by psychedelic indie rockers PG Six and delirious Afrobeat crew Super Yamba. For anyone who might consider it pretentious to pick a private event as the year’s best concert…it wasn’t really private. Anybody who was at the bar, or just randomly walking by, could have come in and enjoyed the music – and as the night went on, a lot of people did.

Here’s the rest of the year, in chronological order:

House of Echo at Nublu 151, 1/15/19
French keyboardist Enzo Carniel’s hauntingly improvisational quartet built Lynchian ambience throughout a smoky, hypnotic series of cinematic tableaux.

Golden Fest, 1/18-19/19
Night one of the annual blockbuster South Park Slope festival of Balkan and Balkan-adjacent music was a delirious dance party with brass band Zlatne Uste, their smaller spinoff Kavala, pontic lyra player Dimitrios Stefanides and otherworldly Turkish oboe band Zurli Drustvo. Night two went for about nine hours with about a hundred bands. Some highights: chanteuse Eva Salina fronting the Balkan Doors, Choban Elektrik: Amir Vahab‘s plaintive Iranian ballads; Raya Brass Band‘s chandelier-shaking intensity; Souren Baronian‘s deep, soulful Near Eastern jazz; clarinetist Michael Winograd‘s lavish klezmer orchestra; and thunderous Rhode Island street band What Cheer Brigade closing the festivities

Ethel at the Jewish Museum, 2/28/19
It’s shocking that it took twenty years before there was ever a world premiere performance of the complete, witheringly intense Julia Wolfe string quartet cycle…and it’s a good thing these champions of 21st century music took the job

Hearing Things at Barbes, 3/1/19
Slinky, allusively sinister, Balkan and Doors-tinged organ-and-sax grooves with a surf beat: the crowd danced hard at this wild post-happy hour gig

Josh Sinton’s Krasa at Issue Project Room, 3/15/19
Seated with his back to the audience, pushing his contrabass clarinet to its extreme limits through a huge pedalboard, Sinton’s solo show was one of the most deliciously assaultive sets of the year, over and out in less than 40 minutes.

Girls on Grass and the Sadies at Union Pool, 4/2/19
Luscious clang and twang, some Nashville gothic and surf and a little punkgrass from the legendary, jangly psychedelic band who got their start in the 90s, with a similarly brilliant, psychedelic act they highly influenced opening the night

The Juilliard Trombone Choir at the Greene Space, 4/3/19
NY Philharmonic principal trombonist Joseph Alessi‘s explosive, wickedly tight band of future classical stars ripped and pulsed through irresistibly imaginative, sometimes amusing arrangements of works from Gabrieli to Beethoven to Warlock

Mary Lee’s Corvette at the Mercury, 4/13/19
With former Pogue Cait O’Riordan bopping and slinking around on bass, Mary Lee Kortes’ rivetingly lyrical, multistylistically jangly band brought equal parts ferocity and fun

The Coffin Daggers at Otto’s in the wee hours of 5/5/19
The undisputed kings of horror surf were as loud as ever and maybe even more murkily, assaultively psychedelic

Lee Narae at Lincoln Center, 5/9/19
Backed by a terse psychedelic folk band, the individualistic pansori singer unveiled a withering, provocatively feminist remake of the ancient Korean epic Byeongangsoe-ga, told from the long-suffering bride’s point of view

Greek Judas at Niagara, 5/9/19
A great night – this is the first time there have ever been two separate shows from a single evening on this list. Guitarists Wade Ripka and Adam Good sparred through one sinister chromatic Greek rembetiko metal hash-smoking anthem after another, over the supple groove of bassist Nick Cudahy and drummer Chris Stromquist

Kayhan Kalhor and Kiya Tabassian at CUNY’s Elebash Hall, 5/10/19
Kalhor is the renowed, intense master of the Iranian kamancheh fiddle; this evening was a very rare performance on setar lute, building serpentine, hauntingly relevant epics with his protege

Loreto Aramendi at Central Synagogue, 5/14/19
In a rare US appearance, the pioneering Spanish organist played wickedly imaginative arrangements of Rachmaninoff’s iconic C# Minor Prelude, Saint-Saens’ Halloween classic Danse Macabre and pieces by Buxtehude, Liszt and Ligeti

Bobtown at Rockwood Music Hall, 6/9/19
The iconic folk noir harmony band cheerily harmonized, slunk and bounded through a mix of somewhat less creepy material than usual, with lots of tunes from their new album Chasing the Sun, plus a brooding cameo from cellist Serena Jost

The New York Philharmonic in Prospect Park, 6/14/19
In his Brooklyn debut, maestro Jaap Van Zweden led this country’s flagship orchestra through a stunningly vivid, resolutely vindictive performance of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2

Chicha Libre at Barbes, 6/26/19
The psychedelic cumbia legends reunited and warmed up for a South American tour with a couple of shows on their home turf. This was the second night, the one this blog didn’t review, and it was even better than the first, beginning with the gleefully uneasy Papageno Electrico and closing after midnight with the group’s creepy electric bolero version of Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1

Nashaz and Gato Loco at Barbes, 7/5/19
Oudist Brian Prunka’s undulating Middle Eastern band jammed out both otherworldly Egyptian classics as well as similarly edgy, entrancing originals; afterward, multi-saxophonist Stefan Zeniuk’s mighty noir mambo band burned through an even more towering, angst-fueled set

Hannah vs. the Many and the Manimals at the Nest, 7/11/19
The most entertaining show of the year began with charismatic frontwoman Hannah Fairchild’s withering, torrentially lyrical noir punk band and ended with catchy powerposters the Manimals’ incendiary bandleader Haley Bowery skidding to the edge of the stage on her knees, seemingly covered with blood. Costumes and a quasi-satanic ritual were also involved.

Michael Winograd at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 7/28/19
The supersonic klezmer clarinetist and composer defied the heat, leading a similarly sizzling band through wildly cinematic originals from his new album Kosher Style

The Drive East Festival, 8/5-11/19
NYC’s annual celebration of traditional and cutting-edge Indian classical arts featured rapturous ragas from sitarist Hidayat Khan, hypnotic soundscapes by saxophonist Prasant Radhakrishnan, spellbinding violinists Trina Basu & Arun Ramamurthy’s Carnatic-inspired Nakshatra Quartet, and a sardonically riveting Metoo-themed dance performance by Rasika Kumar, festival creator Sahasra Sambamoorthi and Nadhi Thekkek, with a dynamic live score by Roopa Mahadevan

Looking at You at Here, 9/6/19
Kamala Sankaram and Rob Handel’s new opera, billed as a mashup of the Edward Snowden affair and Casablanca, is a satire of Silicon Valley technosupremacists falling for their own bullshit. It was as chillingly Orwellian as it was hilarious, with a subtly immersive live score .

Ben Holmes’ Naked Lore and Combo Lulo at Barbes, 9/14/19
The dynamic, resonant, klezmer and noir-inspired trumpeter, guitarist Brad Shepik and drummer Shane Shanahan built darkly chromatic mood pieces and more jaunty, acerbic tunes; it was a good setup for the organ-driven psychedelic cumbias, edgy Ethiopiques and trippy dub sounds afterward.

Wajde Ayub at Roulette, 9/28/19
The powerful Syrian baritone crooner – a protege of legendary Syrian tarab singer Sabah Fakhri – led a lavish, kinetic orchestra through a mix of harrowingly vivid, socially relevant anthems and ecstatic love ballads.

Nights one and two of the Momenta Festival, 10/15-16/19
To open their annual festival of underperformed and brand-new string quartet music at the Americas Society, the perennially relevant Momenta Quartet played a haunting Julian Carrillo microtonal piece, premiered a fierce, allusiveley political Alvin Singleton quartet as well as a more elegantly circling one by Roberto Sierra plus works by Ligeti and Mario Lavista.

The Takacs Quartet play the Bartok string quartet cycle at the 92nd St. Y, 10/18-20/19
A revelatory, slashingly energetic, insightful tour of some of the most harrowing, intense work for string quartet ever written

Big Lazy’s album release weekend at the American Can Co. building, 11/8-9/19
Bandleader and guitarist Steve Ulrich had lost his mom the night before the sold-out two-night stand started. He’d played Cole Porter’s I Love You to her that evening, and reprised the song on night one with his cinematic noir trio, bolstered by organist Marlysse Simmons, trumpeter Steven Bernstein and baritone saxophonist Peter Hess. Night two’s music was less mystical and pensive, more thrillingly, grittily menacing and macabre – when it wasn’t slinky and cynically playful.

Hamid Al-Saadi and Safaafir at Roulette, 11/23/19
The gritty, impassioned Iraqi crooner and this hemisphere’s only ensemble dedicated to classical Iraqi maqam music were tighter and more electric than they’d been at Lincoln Center in the spring, through a mix of metaphorically charged, socially relevant themes and more lively, traditional repertoire.

The Grasping Straws and Lorraine Leckie & Her Demons at the Mercury, 11/24/19
For anybody who might have missed seeing Patti Smith back in the 70s, or Jimi Hendrix in the 60s, this was a good substitute, the openers’ elegant, incisive lead guitarist Marcus Kitchen contrasting with the headliners’ feral, Hendrixian Hugh Pool

Karen Dahlstrom at Scratcher Bar, 12/8/19
The powerful, gospel-inspired singer and folk noir champion held the crowd rapt through brooding Old West narratives, wryly torchy blues, gorgeously plaintive laments and the fierce Metoo anthem No Man’s Land, the title track from her brilliant new album.

It’s Been a Typically Eclectic Year at Upper Manhattan’s Home for Adventurous New Classical Sounds

If new classical music is your thing, don’t let any possible twee, gentrifier associations scare you away from the Miller Theatre‘s series of so-called “pop-up” concerts. For almost a decade now, Columbia’s comfortable auditorium at the top of the stairs at the 116th St. stop on the 1 train has been home to an often spectacularly good series of free, early evening performances of 21st century works along with the occasional blast from the past. The name actually reflects how impromptu these shows were during the series’ first year, and while the schedule now extends several months ahead, new events still do pop up unexpectedly. Sometimes there’s free beer and wine, sometimes not, but that’s not the main attraction, testament to how consistently solid the programming here has become.

This past fall’s first concert was a revelatory world premiere of John Zorn’s new JMW Turner-inspired suite for solo piano, played with virtuosic verve by Steven Gosling; that one got a rave review here. The October episode, with indie classical chamber ensemble Counterinduction playing an acerbic, kinetic series of works by their charismatic violist Jessica Meyer, was also fantastic. Various permutations of the quintet, Meyer joined by violinist Miranda Cuckson, cellist Caleb van der Swaagh, clarinetist and bass clarinetist Benjamin Fingland and pianist Ning Yu began with the dappled shades of I Only Speak of the Sun, then brought to life the composer’s many colorful perspectives on Guadi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral in a dynamic, high-voltage partita. The most bracing number of the evening, Meyer explained, drew on a David Foster Wallace quote regarding how “ the truth will set you free, but not until it lets you go,”

There were many other memorable moments here throughout the past year. In February, Third Sound played an assured but deliciously restless take of Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1 along with a mixed bag of material from south of the border. A month later, pianist Marilyn Nonken parsed uneasily lingering works by Messiaen and Tristan Murail.

Then in April, Rebecca Fischer delivered a fascinating program of solo violin pieces along with some new arrangements. The highlight was a reinvention of Missy Mazzoli‘s incisively circling Death Valley Junction. Fischer also ran through an increasingly thorny, captivating Paola Prestini piece, along with brief, often striking works by Lisa Bielawa, Gabriela Lena Frank and Suzanne Farrin.

Last month, Tak Ensemble tackled elegantly minimalist chamber material by Tyshawn Sorey and Taylor Brook. And December’s concert featured firebrand harpist Bridget Kibbey, who played the Bach Toccata in D faster than any organist possibly could, then slowed down for simmering, relatively short pieces by Albeniz and Dvorak among others.

The next Miller Theatre “pop-up” concert on the calendar is next January 21 at 6 PM with violinist Lauren Cauley.

A Characteristically Rich, Diverse Year of Shows at Manhattan’s Best Venue for Acoustic and Folk Music

The American Folk Art Museum won the annual award for Best Manhattan Venue here back in 2016. It would be just as easy to say that again in 2019. Impresario Lara Ewen‘s mostly-weekly Free Music Fridays series is still the most transit-accessible way to discover new songwriting and traditional music talent in this city, artists from all over the world covet playing in the museum’s rich natural reverb…and you can get a glass of wine here for a third of what it would cost you at Rockwood Music Hall.

As you would expect at a museum whose equally amazing exhibits document folk art and outsider art spanning the past few centuries, there’s plenty of folk music here. But even the oldtime sounds extend well beyond the world of fingerpicked front-porch acoustic guitar tunes. The best traditional show here this year was by singer Vienna Carroll, a historian whose insights into a set of rousing blues, gospel and string band songs reflected the triumphs of African-Americans over 19th century slaveowner terrorism and racism rather than the more common narrative of endless suffering. Queen Esther, a Folk Art Museum regular, reaffirmed that same fearlessly subversive esthetic at a couple of shows in February and July, featuring both Eastern Seaboard blues and soul-tinged originals.

Other entertaining oldtime folk shows included sets by the harmony-driven Triboro in May, as well as Irish tunesmith Brendan O’Shea (whose defiant, populist originals were even better) in July. Of all the original songwriters here, the most shattering was Karen Dahlstrom, whose November set featured a lot of material from her latest release No Man’s Land (a lock for best short album of 2019).  With her fearsome but meticulously nuanced alto, she aired out the fiery, gospel-infused title track, a Metoo-era broadside, as well as the metaphorically haunting After the Flood – a look at both personal and global apocalypses – and a new number, My Benevolent Destroyer, a chilling portrait of a broken marriage through the prism of imperialist domination.

Joshua Garcia, with his flinty voice and harrowing, Phil Ochs-inspired narratives, put the struggles of new immigrants and battered women in potently political perspective, along with the most chillingly allusive song about the Hiroshima bombing ever written. Miriam Elhajli sang in both English and Spanish, looking outward at the grim political climate as well as more inwardly, with intricate guitar fingerpicking and some intriguing jazz and Latin American riffs.

Niall Connolly held the crowd rapt with his brooding, tersely crystallized songs of struggle and emotional abandonment and rage against the Trumpies (a reaction that ran high at practically every show here this year). Soulstress Dina Regine, who played here in both April and June, was much the same, thematically, although her music draws more on classic 1960s American grooves.

How torchy singer Jeanne Marie Boes managed to get so much epic power and range out of her tiny keyboard is a mystery, although her towering, angst-fueled ballads and a couple of detours into darkly majestic blues had a relentlessly direct intensity. With her resonant chorister’s voice and deadpan surrealism, cellist/singer Meaner Pencil a.k.a. Lenna M. Pierce (she got her stage name the online anagram generator, she explained) was just as gripping, in a completely different vein.

Songstress/acoustic guitarist Kalyani Singh illuminated a dark inner world with a similar, often minimalistic focus, while southwestern singer Kate Vargas got the crowd going with singalongs and innumerable chances to have fun with beats. And Feral Foster – who runs the Jalopy’s longtime Roots & Ruckus series – didn’t let being under the weather get in the way of a characteristically haunted, expertly fingerpicked set of grim Nashville gothic laments and ballads.

The American Folk Art Museum’s Free Music Fridays series resumes January 10 at 5:30 PM with the soaring, brilliantly lyrical Linda Draper. There’s also an ongoing free series of guitar jazz concerts most every Wednesday at 2 PM with Bill Wurtzel and bassist Jay Leonhart.

A Dreamy, Hypnotic Holiday Celebration with Roomful of Teeth and Tigue at the Guggenheim

Last night Roomful of Teeth sang a cocooning, dynamically pulsing, brilliantly conceived site-specific program, beneath and sometimes on the rotunda at the Guggenheim Museum. Conductor Brad Wells marveled at the space’s natural reverb, whose benefits were bolstered by the presence of percussion trio Tigue on several numbers.

The night’s most striking and hauntingly memorable song was Sarah Riskind‘s 2016 Hanerot Halalu, based on a stark melody in the chromatic Jewish freygish mode. Tynan Davis introduced that one from the second level of the balcony, the rest of the octet gathered on the ground-floor stage, Esteli Gomez eventually tossing the melody back up to her with similar elegance. Counterintuitively, the choir reconvened and followed with Gustav Holst’s wistful, folksy 1906 song In the Bleak Midwinter.

To open the evening, Tigue held the ground floor with their subtle, snowy accents while the choir, gathered four flights up on the balcony, delivered an emphatic, minimalistic new arrangement of Praetorius’ 1609 motet Lo, How a Rose. Caroline Shaw, who seems to have become the ringleader of this merry band, explained that the night’s bill was “A mix of the familiar and the unknown, by design,” works selected to rise up and ripple around the space. The two ensembles would come full circle at the end with more stately, reverent Praetorius, Tigue up on the balcony this time with handbells to add delicate tingle to the mix.

The night’s most dramatic, dynamically charged piece was Caleb Burhans‘ 2010 partita Beneath, ascending and falling with catchy, simple riffs punctuating slowly crescendoing, tectonic layers. Shaw described the world premiere of On Snow, which the Guggenheim’s Works and Process series (of which this concert was a part) had commissioned from her, as being “Music of the 17th century melting bit by bit.” The ensemble couldn’t conceal the fun they were having with the music’s coy, loopy, swoopy motives, bolstered by an elegant, slow crescendo by Tigue, from a ripple to a rumble.

Jeremy Faust’s Jubilo came across as a purposeful blend of minimalism and Renaissance polyphony. The choir followed the dreamy counterpoint of the 16th century Coventry Carol with the steady wave motion of Wells’ 2014 composition Render. Then Tigue built a matter-of-fact yet playful thicket of polyrhythms, the choir eventually interpolating airy swells and gentle gusts.

After the rhythmically pulsing variations of Judah Adashi‘s 2014 Bjork-inspired piece My Heart Comes Undone, the whole crew – also including baritone Jason Awbrey, bass Cameron Beauchamp, tenor Eric Dudley, baritone Jeffrey Gavett, sopranos Abigail Lennox  and Sarah Brailey – seemed to relish the wryly dipping, undulating quasi-mordents of Shaw’s Sarabande, from her Pulitzer Prizewinning 2011 suite.

This was the final concert at the Guggenheim this year. The museum’s events series continues next year with plenty of dance, opera and theatre as well.

Haunting Gravitas and Playful Beats with the Karuna Trio at Lincoln Center

This past evening at Lincoln Center, the Karuna Trio shifted between nocturnes and space jams. The nocturnes were intense and brooding, sometimes bordering on the macabre; the space jams ranged from starry effervescence to deep-nebula murk. Considering how many Euro-tourists pass through Jazz at Lincoln Center on any given night, free jazz like this would go over well at a space that so rarely programs it.

But it was great to see the trio of percussionist Adam Rudolph, drummer Hamid Drake and pianist Alexis Marcelo spinning all those sounds out of thin air, a couple of blocks to the north. Creative music tends to be all or nothing: when it’s good, there’s really nothing better. But free jazz also attracts some of the most annoyingly self-indulgent, pretentious players around. You know the type: they only play free jazz because if, perish the thought, they might actually have to say something meaningful, or acknowlege, let alone converse with their bandmates, that might limit their precious self-expression. So watching these three pros teaming up to build a majestic series of waves, and then ride them, was redemptive to say the least. Not to mention a lot of fun.

This was a leisurely, thoughtful performance, the three players leaving plenty of space for each other to think out where they’d go next, or respond to an idea that someone had thrown into the mix, and that empowered the audience just as much. Which made sense, considering Drake’s opening remarks that the spectators are just as integral to a concert as the musicians.

Marcelo played both the role of anchor and outlier. Opening with flickering, light-dappled phrases, then shifting to ominously resonant, vampy chromatic themes often enhanced by or echoing from a synthesizer perched above the keys, he was the dark knight of this soul. Other times, it was clear that the two drummer buds were going to lock in on a long series of subtly interwoven polyrhythms, with Marcelo adding color and texture, and after knocking at the door with one long hammering phrase, finally pulled the two percussionists back out of the sun and into the shadows.

There was also a playful, salsa-tinged interlude initiated by Marcelo; rippling echoes of Satie and the neoromantics; a pause for trinket noisemakers, an unselfconsciously funny one for singing bowls; hints of birdsong and deep-forest wildlife; and a final gnawa-influenced interlude with Rudolph on sintir and Drake on daf frame drum that was beside the point. Anyone in the house who was at this same space a couple of years ago to witness some of Morocco’s great maalems of gnawa music would have recognized that for the ersatz groove that it was. But the depth, and rapture, and generous interplay of the first four-fifths of the show lingered after the trio had left the stage.

Rudolph and his Go Organic Orchestra team up with the Brooklyn Raga Massive to create a monstrous, improvisational forty-person raga orchestra tomorrow night, Dec 13 at 7 PM at CUNY’s Elebash Hall at 365 5th Ave. just north of 34th St.; cover is $25. This year’s final free concert at Lincoln Center’s atrium space on Broadway just north of 62nd St. is on Dec 19 at 7:30 PM with Los Rumberos del Callejón bringing their oldschool salsa dura sound out of the alley. The salsa dance concerts here are insanely popular; showing up a half hour early wouldn’t be a bad idea

Best New York Concert of the Year

The best New York concert of 2019 was Rose Thomas Bannister‘s wedding. In case you think it’s elitist to choose a private event over something everybody in town theoretically could have gone to…you could have been there too if you happened to wander into Union Pool the night of September 29. “You thought you were coming to a wedding!” the protean, psychedelic Great Plains gothic lit-rock songwriter beamed. “I gave you a music festival!”

Super Yamba Band headlined. By that time, plenty of people had come out to the bar, with no idea that two of this era’s most formidable musical minds had just tied the knot. And soon there were plenty of random strangers getting down to slinky Afrobeat in the back room with all the wedding guests.

It’s probably safe to say that Super Yamba’s set was a mashup of their mid-July 2018 show on an old shipping pier by the water on the Upper West Side, and their gig at Barbes this past March. If there’s any band in town worth seeing more than once, it’s these guys. The pier show seemed to be louder and heavier on the horns, the keyboardist doing double duty on both, while the Barbes gig had more dynamics, instruments leaving and then rejoining the mix, Both shows were heavy on the minor-key, sometimes distantly, sometimes closely Ethiopian-tinged jams. Impassioned frontman Leon Ligan-Majek a.k.a. Kaleta did a long stint in Fela’s band toward the end, so he learned from the guy who invented Afrobeat. Cantering, undulating rhythms, sharply sparkly electric piano, looming organ and spicy, emphatic horns and brass filtered through the mix, sometimes for minutes on end, sometimes shifting quickly to a faster tempo or back the other way.

Super Yamba Band’s next gig is at 9 PM on Dec 14 at Bar Chord for the tip jar. For those who can’t make it to deep Brooklyn, they’re playing Symphony Space on Dec 19 at 7:30, where you can get in for $20 if you’re thirty and under.

The rest of the wedding was a mix of searing jams and savagely brilliant tunesmithing. The wildest jam was when Bannister’s virtuoso bagipiper dad Tom Campbell came up to the stage and joined 75 Dollar Bill for a hypnotic yet searing duel with guitarist Che Chen. It was as if the freedom fighters in Tinariwen had flown to Scotland for a predawn raid to liberate a Trump property.

Bannister has never sung more powerfully, or with more triumphant intensity. Which made sense in that marrying guitar polymath Bob Bannister was the crowning stroke in a career that began when she escaped from a Christian supremacist environment, driving off in a little car with her secret collection of forbidden secular cassettes. In that context, the sudden, wary martial flurry in the opening number, Ambition, made sense on every possible level: a word of warning, but also a vengeful, martial riff. Whichever motivation you might ascribe to the slowly crescendoing anthem – a portrait of greed, or revenge – it worked.

Working on only two rehearsals, drummer Rob Smith colored the music with his subtle brushwork and cymbals while the groom wove restlessly articulated webs of notes, from saturnine Richard Thompson-esque leads to lingering jangle and clang, austere blues, warmly soulful Beatlesque lines and even a little wry Tex-Mex. When bride and groom calmly matched voices in the stately, understated, Macbeth-inspired Lady M – “Your children will be kings” – there was no mistaking how much of a victory had been snatched from the jaws of defeat.

The rest of the set was a mix of the hypnotic and the ferocious. The Real Penelope, a mashup of Revolver Beatles psychedelia and Britfolk, was wistful yet guardedly optimistic, the future Mrs. Bannister realizing that she’d found the lead guitarist of her dreams. Same Name Blues, which she rarely plays live, had a seethingly sardonic edge, as did the most relevant song of the night, Heaven Is a Wall, a shapeshifting fable about border walls packed with the cynically appropriated Old Testament imagery that she loves to use to drive a point home. And Iowa, with its simple yet eerie Midwestern imagery and coda that fell away abruptly at the end, seemed to synopsize her flight from repression, knowing that there would be possibly apocalyptic consequences, both personally and globally,

After that, most of the band reconvened as PG Six, frontman/guitarist Pat Gubler a steely, dapperly suited presence out front. Debby Schwartz, fresh off a sizzling set with the Bannisters, was even more of a whirlwind, firing off incisive chords, raga riffs working around an open string and sinuous, soaring leads that gave the band a third lead player. Gubler’s resonant, darkly opaque chords and tersely circling lines rang out as Bannister’s leads slashed and wailed around them, sometimes bringing to mind Jerry Garcia in “on” mode, at other times veering closer to unhinged Sonic Youth territory. His bride eventually came up to sing harmonies, one of the great Brooklyn musical power couples reveling in making it official.