New York Music Daily

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Tag: concert

The Auspicious Future and Gloriously Melancholy Past of Americana Rock at Lincoln Center

For the last several years, the Americana Music Association has partnered to book the closing night of Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Yesterday’s festivities began with multi-instrumentalist Amanda Shires and her similarly brilliant band and closed soaringly and bittersweetly with the unselfconsciously gorgeous harmonies of the Jayhawks. There were other acts scheduled throughout the day, some of them rambunctious, one of them absolutely putrid, but if these two are the foundation and future of Americana, New York’s default listening music is in good hands.

Shires doesn’t exactly play violin like your typical Americana fiddler. From song to song, she’d fire off savage Romany chromatics, venomous tarantella riffs and stark blues along with plenty of extended technique, from muted pizzicato harmonics to slow, eerily surfacing glissandos. She’s also a hell of a storyteller, chooses her words and sings every song differently, in character. A brittle ingenue, wounded valkyrie and wistful red-dirt Texas songbird were just three of them.

She has a hell of a band. Her lead guitarist wove his way from biting minor-key blues, through menacingly Lynchian twang, often sparring with the bandleader. The bassist played what would have been new wave if the drummer hadn’t swung the music so hard: all those steady eighth notes and the occasional emphatic chord on the low end gave the music extra majesty.

They opened with My Love (The Storm), more or less a remake of Wayfaring Stranger, and brought the show full circle at the end, taking out Look Like a Bird with the day’s most searing guitar/violin duel. After a noir bolero and an amped-up romp through the sharp, bitter The Way It Dimmed, Shires told a funny story about an encounter with a Florida fan aromatic with “an herb that is legal in Colorado and other kind states.” He gave her a bag that turned out not to be filled with the obvious but with bits and pieces of a dead Siberian tiger – or so he said. “It’ll make you bulletproof!” he explained.

With that, Shires lit into  the song he inspired, which was funny for an instant but got dark quickly, a catalog of what might be worth protecting from gunfire, personal to political. A spare, lingering take of  Harmless, a cheating song that underscored dashed hopes rather than the potential fallout, contrasted with a loud, enigmatic rocker that brought to mind the Throwing Muses, then a loping, simmering Tex-Mex ballad that slowly crescendoed into growling psychedelia.

The Jayhawks have held up stunningly well since their glory days in the late 90s and early zeros. Frontman Gary Louris, pianist/organist Karen Grotberg and drummer Tim O’Reagan still blend voices for the most glistening harmonies this side of the Balkans, and bassist Marc Perlman still makes his slinky, seamlessly melodic lines look effortless. Meanwhile, the band’s newsboy-capped latest addition filled out the sound, switching between mandolin, airy violin lines, acoustic guitar and Telecaster.

In the years since the band’s legendary turn-of-the-century triptych of albums – 1997’s Sound of Lies, 2000’s Smile and 2003’s Rainy Day Music – Louris has grown into the lead guitar god he was struggling to be then. He’s switched out most of the screeching, Stoogoid dry-ice attack for a precise, meticulously dynamic, texturally rich volleys that varied from Mick Ronson heavy blues, to many subtle shades of clang and twang, enabled by fast footwork on a pedalboard. His signature sound – a little Beatles, a little Bowie and a whole lot of Big Star – has held up as well as the band.

They opened with the mighty, indomitable powerpop anthem I’m Gonna Make You Love Me and followed with an appropriately towering version of the evening’s best song, the angst-fueled individualist anthem The Man Who Loved Life and its bitter on-the-road narrative.

Trouble, the centerpiece of Sound of Lies’ thread of rejection and alienation, was as shattering as the album version, Louris hitting his flange for extra surrealism to raise the effect of being “Hung out to dry, backs against the wall, stoned out of our minds.”

The rest of the show followed a dynamic arc up to a big crescendo with Tailspin, its gloomy perspective muted within the framework of a mighty singalong anthem. O’Reagan took over lead vocals on the moody, C&W-fueled ballad Tampa to Tulsa. The material from the band’s latest album Paging Mr. Proust was surprisingly strong, including a vampy, vintage soul-inspired number that could have been the Zombies. Even the slighter, poppier material – like Angelyne and Save It For a Rainy Day – was fresh and forceful. How many other bands who’ve been around since the 80s still channel this much passion and intensity?

Lincoln Center Out of Doors wraps up tonight, August 13 at 6 PM out back in Damrosch Park with oldschool 70s soul man Don Bryant and then veteran blues guitarist Bonnie Raitt, And the atrium space just north of 62nd Street continues to program some of the most exhilaratingly diverse acts from around the globe. Next up there: a rare twinbill of hypnotic, otherworldly, intense Colombian bullerengue with singer and tambolero Emilsen Pacheco Blanco along with singer Carolina Oliveros’ mighty 13-piece vocal/percussion choir Bulla en el Barrio on August 24 at 7:30 PM. The show is free; the earlier you get there, the better.

A Spicy Midsummer Taste of Golden Fest at Lincoln Center Out of Doors

It’s a fair bet that rustic Carpathian acoustic music-and-dance ensemble the Cheres Folk Orchestra, Malika Kalontarova’s otherworldly tar lute-driven Tajik group, explosive Georgian crew the Dancing Crane Ensemble, and exhilarating Albanian music stars Merita Halili & the Raif Hyseni Orchestra have played Golden Fest, the nation’s most electrifying Balkan music festival, which takes place every January in Brooklyn. So it’s no surprise that these four acts’ show Sunday afternoon turned out to be the highlight of this year’s Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival so far.

The Tirana-born Halili has a wide-angle vibrato that she engages like a high-speed guitar tremolo for a spine-tingling effect that sparkles with microtones along the sharpest edges. Hyseni, who hails from Kosovo, played the entire show with a big smile on his face: if you had his speed on the accordion, you’d be smiling too. He saved his two most supersonic, almost menacingly chromatic flights for one tantalizingly brief solo, and an intro anchored by Halili’s stark vocalese,\ where the rest of the band looked at each other, amazed and mystified about where they were expected to leap in.

When the moment came, they were ready, every bit as adrenalizing as the vocals and accordion. Their reedman doubled on clarinet and alto sax, often playing each during parts of the same song with a relentlessly volleying, microtonal, melismatic attack. Their Albanian bassist and guitarist held the center throughout the tricky changes, propelled by a jazz drummer with a playfully uneasy, boomy thump on his toms. They opened with a brisk ba-bump number that edged from blithely major-key to bracingly minor, then later bounced their way through a dance tune that had a happy-go-lucky Mexican feel. But the best numbers were the wild ones in 7/8 time, the whole band stampeding furiously as if to get out of the way of the Soviet tanks that drove this music underground for so long.

Turbocharged Albanian folk has made a big comeback since the fall of the Iron Curtain, but many indigenous musicians steeped in dancer/bandleader Malika Kalontarova’s spare, hypnotically insistent Tajik Jewish repertoire have emigrated to Israel. This group is one of the few in this country to play this magical material. The group’s three tar lute players would often triple the lines of an allusively modal melody line over similarly stark drumbeats that varied from a straight-up thump to more intricate metrics. The effect was as exotic as it was antique: tar music from Iran and Kurdistan are reference points, but both of those cultures use scales closer to Arabic modes. It was easy to get lost in.

Both Cheres and the Dancing Crane Ensemble often took a seat when their dancers cavorted across the stage to recorded music; considering how fast this show was pulled together, there may not have been enough time to rehearse all the material. When the two groups played, drums and accordions figured heavily through a mix of spare mountain melodies and more straight-ahead minor-key material that edged toward the Balkans in places. The Ukrainians put rippling, incisive cimbalom front and center. The Georgians, in particular, took advantage of their time onstage to showcase the allusive tonalities of their brooding choral music, and the high-voltage moves of their dancers, guys in quasi-military getup with bullet embroidery, women floating and fluttering across the stage in a series of colorful long dresses.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors continues tomorrow, August 12 with afternoon performances on the plaza: picturesque Americana songwriter/fiddler Amanda Shires at 2 is the highlight. Then out back in Damrosch Park popular, lustrously harmony-driven Americana rock veterans the Jayhawks hit the stage at about 8. Avoid the atrocious 6 PM opening act – the worst band ever to get booked for a Lincoln Center show – at all costs, even if that means you don’t get a seat.

Win Free Tickets to This Year’s Awesome Drive East Festival of Indian Music and Dance

Do you love the soulful, rapturous, celestial sounds of Indian music? If you do, this year’s Drive East Festival of Indian music and dance on the Lower East Side is a can’t-miss event. What’s coolest about this year’s festival is that it’s a chance to catch a lot of rising star talent before they get famous. The Navatman Music Collective, the only carnatic choir outside of India, are staging the festival from Monday, August 21 through Sunday, August 27 in the comfortable, spacious theatre at Dixon Place, 161 Chrystie St. north of Delancey, just around the corner from Bowery Ballroom.

And for the second year in a row, New York Music Daily is giving away a pair of free tickets to each of this year’s music performances plus an intriguing dance performance on August 24.

Here’s what you can win: be the first person to email to claim your tickets. Only one entry per person, please. 

Monday, August 21
7:15 PM: Aashish Khan plays repertoire for the sarod

Tuesday, August 22
6 PM: Indrani Khare performs Hindustani vocal music
7:15 PM Kinnar Seen plays the sitar. “He’s a little more unknown, but if you know the scene you know he’s fantastic,” says one insider. Don’t miss this one!

Wednesday, August 23
8:30 PM: carnatic vocal music with Shankar Ramani 

Thursday, August 24
6 PM: rising star dancer/choreographer Pranamya Suri perform kuchipudi, the Indian dance form known for its fast footwork and elegant arm movements
8:30 PM: Ananya Ashok sings carnatic themes

Saturday, August 26
2:30 PM: up-and-coming classical crooner Shankhadip Chakraborty performs Hindustani music
3:45 PM: Carnatic Power play innovative carnatic electric guitar music!
8:30 PM  Rajasthani Caravan – electrifying Rajasthani folk music and dance

Sunday, August 27
2 PM: the Navatman Music Collective – one of the most innovative groups in Indian music sing their new arrangements of classic carnatic themes

See you lucky winners at Dixon Place in a couple of weeks!

A Brooding Live Film Score and New York’s Most Relevant Gospel Choir at Prospect Park

It wouldn’t be fair to let the month go by without mentioning the wickedly amusing, entertaining score that Sexmob played to the 1925 Italian silent film Maciste All’Inferno at Prospect Park Bandshell a couple of weeks ago. Another A-list jazz talent, pianist Jason Moran, teams up with the Wordless Music Orchestra there tonight, August 10 to play a live score to another more famous film. Selma. The Brooklyn United Marching Band opens the night at 7:30 PM, and if you’re going, you should get there on time.

It’s amazing what an epic sound trumpeter/bandleader Steven Bernstein manages to evince from the four voices in his long-running quartet, which also includes alto sax player Briggan Krauss, bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Part of the equation is long, desolate sustained tones; part is echo effects and the rest of it is the reverb on Wollesen’s drums, gongs and assorted percussive implements. On one hand, much of this score seemed like a remake of the band’s 2015 cult classic album Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti: Sexmob Plays Nino Rota, especially the brooding opening sequence. With a very close resemblance to Bernstein’s reinvention of the Amarcord main title theme, the band went slinking along on the moody but trebly pulse of Scherr’s incisive bass and Wollesen’s ominously muted and-four-and tom-tom hits.

Yet as much as the rest of this new score followed the same sonic formula (or tried to – as usual this year, the sound mix here was atrocious, bass and drums way too high in the mix), the themes were more playful than that album’s relentless noir ambience. At the same time, Bernstein’s uneasy but earthily rooted dynamics added a welcome gravitas to the movie’s vaudevillian charm. In brief (you can get the whole thing at IMDB): strongman Maciste, stalked by the devil, ends up in hell, fends off all sorts of cartoonish human/orc types and ends up having a potentially deadly flirtation. All the while, he’s missing his true love and family topside. Will he finally vanquish the hordes of tortured souls hell-bent into making him one of their own?

Wollesen built one of his typical, mystical temple-garden-in-the-mist tableaux with his gongs, and cymbals, and finally his toms, to open the score. It’s a catchy one, and the hooks were as hummable as the two main themes were expansive. In addition to the many variations on the title one, there was also a funky bass octave riff that subtly pushed the music into a similarly hummable uh-oh interlude and then back, spiced here and there with screaming unison riffs from the horns and one achingly menacing spot where Krauss mimicked guitar feedback. But the scrambling and scampering ultimately took a backseat to gloom. For this band, hell is more of a lake of ice than fire.

“Is this forest a Walmart now?” fearless ecological crusader Rev. Billy Talen asked midway through his incendiary opening set with his titanic, practically fifty-piece group the Stop Shopping Choir. That was his response to a security guard who’d told him the other night that the park was closed. For this Park Slope resident, not being able to connect with the nature he loves so much and has dedicated his life to protecting is an issue.

When he isn’t getting arrested for protesting against fracking, or clearcutting, or the use of the lethal herbicide Roundup in New York City parks, Rev. Billy makes albums of insightful, grimly funny faux-gospel music…and then goes up to the public park on the tenth floor of the Trump Tower to write more. And tells funny stories about all of that. He was in typically sardonic form, playing emcee as a rotating cast of impassioned singers from the choir took turns out front, through a lot of new material.

Pending apocalypse was a recurrent theme right from the pouncing, minor-key anthem that opened the set: “How can we tell the creatures it’s the end of the world?” was the recurrent question. Relax: they saw this coming a lot sooner than we did and they’ve all come south from the pole for one last feast on our polluted corpses. In between towering, angst-fueled contemplations of that eventuality, Rev. Billy and his crew took Devil Monsanto to task for its frankenseed assault on farmers, the environment, and ultimately the food chain. In the night’s most harrowing moment, they interrupted a towering, rising-and-falling anti-police brutality broadside with a long reading of names of young black and latino men murdered by police: Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo and many, many more.

Miking a choir is a tough job, no doubt, but the inept sound crew here didn’t help much making Talen and his singers audible over the sinewy piano/bass/drums trio behind them. And it wasn’t possible to get close to the stage to listen since all the front seats, almost all of them left empty, are all reserved for paying customers here now. Ever feel like you’re being pushed out of your own city?

Big Lazy at the Peak of Their Darkly Cinematic Power in Brooklyn This Saturday Night

Friday night at Barbes the room was packed and the girls in the front row were dancing up a storm through two slinky sets by Big Lazy. Less than 24 hours later, seeing Los Straitjackets – a similarly twangy, virtuosic guitar instrumental band who go far deeper into the surf than Big Lazy but are nowhere near as picturesque – raised the question of how many other bands are actually better now than they were twenty years ago.

The New York Philharmonic, maybe?

Big Lazy had already earned iconic status in noir music circles before the end of the 90s, and continued that streak with a reverb-drenched series of albums that combined elements of crime jazz, macabre boleros, Bernard Herrmann Hitchcock themes, horror surf, ghoulabilly and bittersweet big-sky tableaux. But this current edition of the band is their classic lineup. If you were around when they were playing Friday nights at midnight at Tonic during the early to mid-zeros, and you haven’t seen the band since, you’re missing out  on the best part of their career.And you have a rare chance to see a very intimate show when they play this August 12 at 8:30 PM at Bar Lunatico in Bed-Stuy.

Drummer Yuval Lion can be combustible, but Friday night he was in misterioso mode. These guys haven’t had someone so colorful, who can build suspense with every part of the kit as subtly as this guy does, since Willie Martinez left the original lineup when his latin music career got in the way. Bassist Andrew Hall co-founded the Moonlighters and plays with western swing band Brain Cloud, so he swings, hard. And he’s also the funniest bass player this band’s had. He’ll sometimes fake a charge into the crowd, or do a wry faux-rockabilly slap thing, and he likes glissandos and swoops and dives. He always seems to be at the center of the eye-rolling “gotcha” moments.

Guitarist/bandleader Steve Ulrich can also be hilarious, notwithstanding how bleak most of the band’s music can be. But they never play the same thing remotely the same way twice. This time out the recurrent, unexpecr\ted quotes he’d randomly slip in were from My Funny Valentine and It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To. A couple of months before, it was Mission Impossible. And just when it seemed he’d go off on a couple of long, savage scenery-chewing chord-chopping interludes, he stopped both cold, in midstream: he spars with the crowd as much as he does with his bandmates.

This was one of the band’s best setlists ever: top ten, by this blog’s standards, and this blog and Big Lazy go back to the very beginning. The lingering chromatics and morose washes were balanced by a droll go-go strut, lickety-split artful-dodger escapades and matter-of-factly perambulating but increasingly grey western sky pastorales. As much jagged menace as they brought to Skinless Boneless, one of their signature songs, the two best songs in the evening’s two full sets were both brand new. The first was awash in distant longing and echoes of sad Orbison noir pop, the second a bloodstained bolero and a platform for both some nimbly creepy tumbles from Lion, and sniper-in-the-shadows fire from Ulrich. Because the Bar Lunatico gig is happening so fresh on the heels of this one, you’re likely to hear all this and more this Saturday night.

Wild Balkan Band Tipsy Oxcart Bring Their Intensity to a Free Upper West Side Park Gig

Rule of thumb is that if a band is reasonably competent in daylight, they’re probably great after the sun goes down. Considering how wild Tipsy Oxcart can get at night, it was no surprise to see them kick out the jams last week at Madison Square Park despite taking the stage just after noon The fiery Balkan and Middle Eastern band have squeezed their way onto the summer parks concert circuit, and they’re doing that again this Wednesday, August 9 at 1 PM at the triangle at 66th and Broadway.

Their opening number was epic. Tricky syncopation, slashing chromatic edges, shifts into halfspeed, doublespeed, a tongue-in-cheek couple of reggae interludes and finally nto oldschool 70s disco were most of but not all of the picture. A big slowdown was punctuated by a feral, whirling Connell Thompson clarinet solo, the rampaging outro by a blistering  guitar solo.

Their second number had a flamenco-tinged pulse: the band ran its anthemically stairstepping hook up to a chilling, icy guitar solo played through a chorus pedal. Then the band switched up the rhythm artfully on the way out. They completely flipped the script with a slow, mournful Turkish-flavored number lowlit by the clarinet until the guitar and drums conspired to take it doublespeed just like the first song. By now, the park was full of black women pushing strollers full of white yuppie children; everybody danced as bassist Ayal Tsubery took a slinky snakecharmer solo that mimicked the blue notes of Thompson’s horn riffs.

The band hardly looked or sounded tired, but there was only so much showmanship they could indulge in: foot up on the monitor, looking mean, was about it. That was a far cry from their pre-album release show at Barbes right before Golden Fest, when Thompson and then accordionist Jeremy Bloom basically bumrushed the crowd: that was intense!

Microtonal trills from the clarinet, a bubbling-crude bass solo from Tsubery, more clever shifts between disco, funk and the Middle East from the drummer and  acidic atmospherics contrasting with blazing minor-key riffage from the accordion dominated the rest of the show. At least until the guitarist would take one of several feral machete-through-the-ganja-field chord-chopping solos. The only thing an onlooker could have possibly wished for was more volume, but there’s a legal limit to how much of that you can get in a public park when night shift people – if any still exist in the Flatiron District – are still asleep.

t the show up by Lincoln Center, the buildings are a lot closer to the little park, meaning more of an echo effect. If you’re in the area, it’s more fun than anything else you could probably do  on your lunch break. Is this blog going to be represented there? No. If you’re going to play hooky from work, you have to choose your spots.

Which makes the Madison Square Park series so tempting. They also have free evening shows there this month; the next one is jazz alto sax great Kenny Garrett, who’s there with his group on the 9th at 8:30 PM.

A History of Bollywood Music and Dance In Colorful 3-D Gets an Epic World Premiere at Lincoln Center

If you think it might be daunting to pull together a band who can competently reinvent seventy years worth of film themes by dozens of different composers, try choreographing every one of those songs for an ensemble comprising eighteen dancers. Heena Patel and Rushi Vakil pulled off that epic feat last night at Lincoln Center Out of Doors with the world premiere of their multimedia extravaganza Bollywood Boulevard. A lively and insightful capsule history of Indian cinema as well as a revealing immersion in cinematic cross-pollination and playful mass movement, the performance drew a similarly vast audience of New Yorkers, many of whom knew the songs and sang along lustily.

For those who didn’t know the words, or the source material, or the vernacular, it was still a lot of fun. The band was fantastic, bringing a dynamically shifting rock edge to a wildly eclectic mix of themes, from a couple of baroque-tinged songs from the 1940s, to the mighty, angst-fueled ballads of the golden age of Bollywood in the 50s and 60s, to the funk and disco of the 70s and 80s and finally the surreal mashups of the last three decades.

Raj Kapoor’s 1950s epics and adventure star Amitabh Bachchan’s 70s vehicles featured heavily in the mix as the band kept a steady beat, from ancient carnatic themes interspersed within Gabriel Faure-esque Romanticism, to even more towering Romantic heights, gritty funk, irresistibly cantering bhangra and finally hints of the Middle East, sung with raw gusto by one the guys. The crowd was also finally treated to a couple of verses of Dum Maro Dum, the iconic pot-smoking anthem: remember, marijuana is an Indian herb.

It was particularly fascinating to see singer Rini Raghavan – whose own music with her band Rini is as picturesque as anything on this bill, and rocks a lot harder – bring a gentle melismatic nuance and a striking upper register to much of the quieter material. Playing violin with similar subtlety and plaintiveness, she was as much of a lead soloist as anyone in the group.

It was just as much fun to watch Harshitha Krishnan tackle many of the more kinetic numbers in her majestic, wounded wail. Keyboardist Rohan Prebhudesai spun volleys of microtones, stately orchestral washes and spare piano lines with equal aplomb over the nimble acoustic and electric fretwork of guitarist Niranjan Nayar and bassist Achal Murthy, backed by drummer Varun Das and percussionist Sanjoy Karmakar. Baritone singers Krishna Sridharan and Neel Nadkarni took alternately droll and intense turns in the spotlight as well.

All the while, a pantheon of South Asian deities or facsimiles thereof twirled and pranced and lept and glided across the stage. It wa a nonstop procession of fire maidens, and archers, and warriors…and starcrossed lovers, as the narrative continued into the 90s and beyond. Historical sagas, mythological epics, crime dramas, buddy movies and an endless succession of chick flicks were represented among dozens of Bollywood historical landmarks flashing on the screen above the stage. Personalities and characters from over the decades were gamely represented in a constantly changing series of costumes, with goodnaturedly split-seoond timing, by a cast including but not limited to Aaliya Islam, Aria Dandawate, Avinaash Gabbeta, Geatali Tampy, Manav Gulati, Minal Mehta, Panav Kadakia, Poonam Desai, Proma Khosla, Rhea Gosh, Rohit Gajare, Rohit Thakre, Sean Kulsum, Barkha, Bhumit, Bindi and Pranav Patel.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors ocntinues tonight, August 4 at 7:30 PM with violinist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson leading a chamber orchestra through lavish new arrangements of J Dilla hip-hop tunes out back in Damrosch Park.

Lavishly Fun Camaraderie with Peter Apfelbaum’s New York Hieroglyphics at the Stone

Sunday night Peter Apfelbaum wrapped up a weeklong stand at the Stone with a sprawling, serpentine, unselfconsciously joyous (and surprisingly tight) performance by his long-running large ensemble the New York Hieroglyphics. It’s a fair guess that crowds outside of New York would pay obscenely to see such a pantheonic lineup, which also comprised trumpeter Steven Bernstein, trombonists Josh Roseman and Natalie Cressman, violinist Charlie Burnham. guitarist Will Bernard, tenor saxophonist Tony Jones, multi-reedman Norbert Stachel, bassist Brad Jones, drummer JT Lewis and singer Abdoulaye Diabate.

They played with the cameraderie of a group that’s existed, if on and off and bicoastally, for forty years, dating from Apfelbaum’s teenage years at UC/Berkeley. They’ve come a long way since the days when they had to rehearse in a local park since they “Couldn’t play if there were adults around,” as Apfelbaum wryly recounted: they were a lot further out back then.

Here the improvisation was more focused on solos and pairs than mass squall. In that context, Bernstein and Roseman played with a resonant restraint, eschewing the ripsnorting attack they could have pursued with this group in past decades. Violinist Charlie Burnham took a long, starkly emphatic wah-wah solo; bass and drums shifted the night’s final number further and further from Malian duskcore slink toward reggae but never actually landed in Kingston as they’d been hinting. Cressman – daughter of the group’s original trombonist, Jeff Cressman – played a clinic in slicing and dicing judicious blues phrases from the top to the bottom of the scale, and later sang a pretty straight-up oldschool 60s-style version of the Prince ballad Sometimes It Snows in April.

Apfelbaum began the set with one of his signature uneasy, acerbic piano figures, later switching to tenor sax as the composition shifted from an emphatically moody, Darcy James Argue-esque theme to something akin to Argue’s big band tackling the kind of Indian tunes that the Grateful Dead were pilfering in the 1960s. A big, bright, brassy false ending was the high point, echoed at the end of the show with a cantabile lustre that left the crowd wondering where the choir was hidden.

Apfelbaum opened that one solo on melodica before handing off its jauntily circling Tuareg rock riffage to Bernard, who turned in a performance worthy of Tinariwen: he really ha a feel for that stuff. In his impassioned tenor Diabate sang the lyric about a genie who hasn’t arrived yet, joined in a celebratory, seemingly impromptu singalong by the rest of the band.

In between, Apfelbaum led the group from tensely syncopated Afro-Cuban piano verses to expansive vistas that finally straightened out closer to Havana than Senegal. Much of this material, he said, is scheduled to be recorded soon: from this performance, it’s definitely ready.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn for August and September 2017

Free and cheap concerts in just about every neighborhood. If you’re leaving your hood, make sure you check for service changes considering how awful the trains have been lately.

Constant updates. Considering how Trump’s minions are hell-bent on slashing funding for the arts, this might be the last good season of free summer shows here for awhile. So you might want to bookmark this page and check back every so often – and then go out! If there was ever a summer in New York to check out some cool free live music, this is it!

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

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

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

On select 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. Up next: Bartok, Mozart and fascinating improvisations. Sugg don $10 (pay what you can), delicious gluten-free refreshments, beverages and lively conversation included! email for info/location.

Mondays at 7 PM multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman’s popular western swing band Brain Cloud at Barbes followed at 9:30 PM by a variety of south-of-the-border-style bands playing cumbias, boogaloo, salsa, maybe all of the above.

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

Also Monday and Tuesday nights Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, a boisterous horn-driven 11-piece 1920s/early 30’s band play Iguana, 240 W. 54th St ( Broadway/8th Ave) , 3 sets from 8 to 11, surprisingly cheap $15 cover plus $15 minimum considering what you’re getting. Even before the Flying Neutrinos or the Moonlighters, multi-instrumentalist Giordano was pioneering the oldtimey sound in New York; his long-running residency at the old Cajun on lower 8th Ave. is legendary. He also gets a ton of film work (Giordano wrote the satirical number that Willie Nelson famously sang in Wag the Dog).

Mondays at the Vanguard the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – composer Jim McNeely’s reliably good big band vehicle – plays 9/11 PM, $30 per set plus drink minimum.

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

Also Mondays in August, Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Union Pool in Williamsburg, two sets starting at 10:30 PM. The Rev. is one of the great keyboardists around, equally thrilling on organ or electric piano, an expert at Billy Preston style funk, honkytonk, gospel and blues. He writes very funny, very politically astute, sexy original songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax, with frequent special guests.

Tuesdays in August, 8:30 PM the George Gee Swing Orchestra play surprising new arrangements of old big band standards at Swing 46, 349 W 46th St,  $15

Tuesdays in August, clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  at 9 PM at Barbes. Get there as soon as you can as they’re very popular. $10 cover.

Tuesdays in August, 10:30 PM oldschool Texas-style fingerstyle acoustic blues with fantastic guitarist Noe Socha and Cliff Schmitt on bass at Pete’s. They’re also at Barbes on 8/13 at 7. 

Wednesdays at 8 the Brooklyn Raga Massive – a rotating cast of A-list Indian, jazz and rock musicians who love to jam out classic Indian themes from over the centuries to the present day – play the Owl, $15

Wednesdays in August, 8 PM 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

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

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

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

Saturdays at 4 PM at Bargemusic there are impromptu free classical concerts, usually solo piano or small chamber ensembles: if you get lucky, you’ll catch pyrotechnic violinist/music director Mark Peskanov and/or the many members of his circle. Early arrival advised.

Saturdays eclectic compelling Brazilian jazz chanteuse Marianni and her excellent band at Zinc Bar, three sets starting at 10 PM.

Sundays there’s a klezmer brunch at City Winery, show starts around 11:30 AM – 2 PM, $10 cover, no minimum, lots of good bands

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

8/1, 7:30 PM the East Coast Chamber Orchestra play works by Holst, Shostakovich and Bach at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, free

8/1, 8 PM hilarious jazz versions of Merle Haggard classics with Bryan & the Haggards – a Mostly Other People Do the Killing spinoff –  at Tiny Montgomery, 333 Douglass St. (the old Douglass St. collective), free

8/1, 8/9:30 PM the ageless Gene Bertoncini on guitar with bassist Josh Marcum at Mezzrow, $20

8/1, 8 PM indie classical chamber luminaries Talea Ensemble  play works by emerging composers Mayu Hirano, Hunjoo Jung, Chaya Czernowin, Jason Thorpe Buchanan, Martin Rane Bauck, Steven Kazuo Takasuga at the DiMenna Center, $20. 8/2 and 8/5, same time, the composers on the bill are Sam Salem, Christine Burke, Weston Olencki, Jeffery Shivers, Hans Tutschku

8/1, 9ish haunting string soundscapes and noir Americana from all-female harmony band Little Mazarn at Troost 

8/1, 9:30 PM a rare reunion of intense, brilliantly lyrical Jagged Leaves frontman Dan Penta’s haunting chamber rock group Heath at Sidewalk. Penta’s also here solo on 8/8 at 10:30

8/2, noon percussive, trance-inducing, bitingly tuneful, Middle Etstern-tinged female-fronted jamband SisterMonk at the triangle at 66th St. and Broadway

8/2, noon upbeat original ska with the Brown Rice Family at Madison Square Park, free

8/2, 6:30 PM Sonido Costeno mash up merengue, reggae and cuban son on the steps at the Brooklyn Public Library

8/2, 7 PM dark psychedelic soundtrack legends Morricone Youth at the long meadow in Prospect Park, closest train is actually the F/G to 15th St. 

8/2, 7 PM all-female Americana harmony trio the Wild Reeds at Madison Square Park, free

8/2, 7:30 PM Ibibio Sound Machine play EDM with hints of Afrobeat followed by Angelique Kidjo and band covering a crappy Talking Heads album at Damrosch Park

8/2, 8 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

8/2, 9 PM oldschool-style high plains C&W singer Hope Debates & North 40 at Bar Chord

8/2, 8:30 PM brilliant pedal steel player Mike Neer’s Steelonious – who do Monk covers in the same vein as Buddy Emmons – with vibraphonist Tom Beckham, bassist Andrew Hall and drummer Diego Voglino at Bar Lunatico

8/2. 9;30ish Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” at Troost

8/2, 9:30 PM twisted 80s style goth/postpunk band Midnight Crisis followed by stoner boogie band Ten Ton Mojo at the Delancey, $10 

8/2, 10 PM postbop trumpet star Jeremy Pelt leads a quartet at an especially intimate show at 55 Bar

8/3, 5 PM lBay Area latin soul legends Tower of Power at NJPAC in Newark, free

8/3, 7 PM catchy, intricate art-folk instrumental acoustic guitar/bass duo Endless Field followed by Awakening Orchestra playing their lush, angst-fueled post-election suite I Can See My Country From Here at Shapshifter Lab, $tba

8/3, 7:30 PM newschool cabaret agitator Nellie McKay followed by perennially fun, psychedelic banjo jamband leader Bela Fleck at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/3, 7;30 PM dance sequences from Bollywood film set to live music by a group TBA at Damrosch Park. Followed at 10:30 PM by a “silent screening” of The Big Lebowski where everybody wears headphones, supplied by the venue. Guess this means we have to text our buddies to share a laugh or two during the film.

8/3, 7:30 PM Fleur Seule play swing dance tunes from the 1940s on the water at Astoria Park, Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and the pool, about a 15-block walk from the Ditmars Blvd N station

8/3, 8 PM the Jack Quartet play the New York premiere of John Luther Adams’ Everything That Rises at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/3, 8 PM hard-charging trumpeter Jim Rotondi with David Hazeltine (piano), John Webber (bass) at Mezzrow, $20

8/3. 9 PM careening, charismatic, lyrically-fueled soul-rockers No Ice – arguably Brooklyn’s best band  – followed by ferociously populist Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires – the Alabama highway rock equivalent of the Clash –  at Union Pool, $12

8/3, 9:30 PM slinky original rocksteady with Osekre & the Lucky Bastards at Joe’s Pub, $15

8/3, 10 PM intense, intricately orchestrated, low register-loving psycho mambo band Gato Loco at Barbes

8/4, 5:30 PM Americana harmony band Triboro at the American Folk Art Museum 

8/4, 6 PM a tribute to third-stream luminary Billy Childs tribute with pianist Manuel Valera, the Triton Brass Quintet, the City of Tomorrow chamber ensemble, and Billy Childs’ own Quartet at Bryant Park, free

8/4, 7 PM fiery electric bluegrass and C&W with Demolition String Band  at Church Square Park, Park Ave at 4th St., Hoboken

8/4, 7;30 PM orchestral hip-hop: violinist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson leads a chamber orchestra playing a J Dilla tribute at Damrosch Park

8/4, 8 PM Quatuor Bozzini play works by Jürg Frey – Unhörbare Zeit (2004-06) and String Quartet 3 (2010-2014) – at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/4, 8ish violinist Dina Maccabee followed by haunting, purposeful violist Jessica Pavone’s improvisational string quartet with Maccabee, Robby Kraft (viola), Sarah Bernstein(violin) plus guest Nick Podgursky on synth at the Owl

8/4, 8 PM the Sad Bastards of Brooklyn – basically Spanking Charlene playing melancholy acoustic classics – at Sidewalk.

8/4-5, 8/10:30 PM legendary bassist Rufus Reid with Gary Versace on piano at Mezzrow, $20

8/4, 8 PM De Lautaros play cumbia and salsa at Guadalupe Inn

8/4-5, 8:30 PM Trigger play John Zorn Apparitions  (enigmata/valentines day) with Will Greene (guitar) Simon Hanes (bass) Aaron Edgcomb (drums) at the Glass Box Theatre at the New School, $20

8/4, 9:30 PM awesomely unhinged horror surf/hotrod instrumentalists the Mad Doctors  and stoner 70s Murder City style rockers  Sun Voyager at Brooklyn Bazaar, $10. The Mad Doctors are also at the Gutter on 8/10 at 10ish for half that.

8/4. 10 PM Hollywood’s Dan Finnerty leads his savagely hilarious top 40 parody group the Dan Band at Joe’s Pub, $25

8/4, 10 PM this era’s most chillingly cinematic, shadowy reverbtoned noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy at Barbes. 8/12, 8:30 PM they’re at Bar Lunatico 

8/4. 10:30 PMcutting-edge B3 organ and trombone soul/jazz grooves with the Jared Gold and Dave Gibson Band at the Fat Cat

8/5, 2 PM indie classical types Ashley Jackson, Helen Sung, Luciana Souza, Manhattan Chamber Players, Derek Bermel and Nate Smith, and Metropolis Ensemble play music by Bermel at Bryant Park, free

8/5, 3ish Orquesta Criolla Nacional de Puerto Rico on the plaza at Lincoln Center

8/5, 7 PM the original creepy circus punks, World Inferno at Brooklyn Bazaar, $17

8/5, 7 PM the CCB Reggae All-Stars at 96th St. Tennis Courts in Riverside Park. Bun de chalice, mon! 

8/5, 7:30 PM brilliant psychedelic desert rock/cantorial art-rock band Sway Machinery  at Drom, $10 adv tix rec

8/5, 7:30 PM sweeping, swinging vibraphonist Behn Gillece leads his quintet at Smalls

8/5, 7:30 PM second-wave surf rock icons Los Straitjackets and British roots-rock maven Nick Lowe at Damrosch Park

8/5, 8 PMpianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri playing their creepy Transylvanian jazz followed  at 10 by psychedelic latin bandleader Zemog El Galle Bueno at Barbes

8/5, 8 PM a killer triplebill: Nashville gothic band Karen & the Sorrows, first-rate purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Clifford Westfall and wickedly catchy Americana/paisley underground rockers Girls on Grass at Union Hall, $10

8/5, 8 PM crystalline, enigmatically enchanting jazz singer and vocalese specialist Aubrey Johnson leads her  leads her quintet at the Cell Theatre, $15

8/5, 8:30 PM ferociously fun, menacing psychobilly/horror rockers the Omega Men at Lucky 13 Saloon, $8

8/5, 8:30 PM funny, explosive oldschool style punk rockers the Live Ones  at the Gutter, $5

8/5, 8:30 PM pantheonic, eclectic guitar hero Nels Cline leads his big pastoral jazz band at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/5 Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s begins at 9 with the X-Wrays (guess who they cover), the majestic, cinematic TarantinosNYC  at 10, tunefully jangly Strange but Surf  at 11 and Blondie cover band SundayGirl at midnight 

8/5, 10 PM wild, noisy, genuinely Hendrixian virtuoso lead guitarist Viva DeConcini and her band   at the Way Station

8/6, 1 PM Albanian superstar vocal/accordion duo Merita Halili & Raif Hyseni and the Cheres Ukrainian Folk Ensemble on the plaza at Lincoln Center

8/6, 2 PM the surviving members of Reuben Wilson’s quartet play his distinctive B3 organ jazz at the Discovery Center (inside Central Park at 110th St between Lenox and Fifth Aves)

8/6, 5 PM hardcore late 90s hip-hop nostalgia with Jadakiss at Crotona Park North to South, Fulton Ave to Southern Blvd and Crotona Park East in the Bronx, 3 to Freeman St. 

8/6, 6 PM cleverly lyrical, edgily funny, spine-tingling powerpop/acoustic rock singer Tamara Hey at the small room at the Rockwood

8/6, 7 PM intense, edgily tuneful Texas tenor saxophonist Stan Killian leads his postbop quartet at 55 Bar

8/6, 7:30 PM New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez at Pangea, $20

8/7, 7:30 PM drummer/composer Rob Garcia  leads his trioplaying his fearlessly political, tuneful, relevant compositions at Smalls. Chanteuse Tammy Scheffer leads her sextet later at midnight

8/7, 8 PM wryly funny honkytonk steel guitar genius/crooner Junior Brown at City Winery, $22 standing room avail.

8/7, 8/10:30 PM ageless salsa jazz piano powerhouse Eddie Palmieri at the Blue Note. He’s back on the 28th.

8/7, 9ish magically luminescent pastoral jazz group Bryan and the Aardvarks at Tiny Montgomery, 333 Douglass St. in Gowanus, $15

8/7, 10 PM popular Israeli reggae/stoner rock crew Moshav Band at Highline Ballroom, $15 adv tix rec

8/8, 7 PM youngish hotshot bluegrass duo Jacob Jolliff (mandolin) & Max Johnson (double bass) followed at 9ish by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

 8/8, 7 PM Lincoln Center impresario Meera Dugal – one of this era’s small handful of genuine visionaries in NYC music programming  – and National Sawdust sound engineer Sascha von Oertzen lead a free roundtable discussion of the challenges of live sound, and being a woman in that field, at Pioneer Works

8/8-13, 7:30 PM Bill Frisell plays solo at the Stone, $20. OMFG, arguably the best jazz guitarist of the past 40 years, get there early. 

8/8. 7:30 PM charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy leads his quintet at Smalls

8/8, 9 PM blue-eyed soul guy Ernest Ernie & the Sincerities  at the Knitting Factory, $12 adv tix rec

8/8,  9:30 PM the Bronx Conexion play their mighty salsa big band jazz at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, $10

8/9, 1 PM high-voltage accordion-and-microtonal sax-fueled original Balkan tunes with Tipsy Oxcart at  at the triangle at 66th St. and Broadway

8/9, 6:30 PM darkly rustic danceable Brazilian rainforest folk (and John Zorn covers) with Forro in the Dark on the steps at the Brooklyn Public Library

8/9, 7 PM cleverly lyrical, coolly intriguing jazz chanteuse Dorian Devins leads her trio   at Flute Midtown, 205 W 54th St (between 7th Ave & Broadway), free

8/9, 7:30 PM theatrical, energetic Korean disco band Ssing Ssing at Joe’s Pub, $20

8/9, 7:30 PM spectacular, fiery Colombian jazz harpist Edmar Castanedafollowed by the swinging salsa dura sounds of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra at Damrosch Park

8/9, 8:30 PM alto sax icon Kenny Garrett and his band at Madison Square Park, free

8/9, 9ish wickedly lyrical, allusively menacing noir songstress Karla Rose – the missing link between Dorothy Parker and Neko Case – witih gonzo pianist Guyora Kats (who did a cameo on her cult classic debut album) at 11th St. Bar

8/9, 9 PM eclectic, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette‘s Mighty Grinders grind it out at Bar Chord

 8/9, 9:30 PM innovative alto saxophonist Hashem Assadullahi leads his quartet with Leornard Thompson, piano;  Peter Brendler, bass;  Vinnie Sperrazza, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

8/10, 7 PM drummer Dan Pugach leads his nonet with Nicole Zuraitis on the mic at 55 Bar

8/10, 7  PM lush improvising orchestra Burnt Sugar at East River Park, free. 8/23, 7/10 PM they’re at National Sawdust, $18 adv tix rec for those who prefer airconditioned shows

8/10, 7:30 PM the Brooklyn United Marching Band followed by jazz piano star Jason Moran and the Wordless Music Orchestra playing a live score to the film Selma at Prospect Park Bandshell

8/10, 7:30 PM meat-and-potatoes rock anthem bandleader DB Rielly – the Midwestern Willie Nile – on the water at Astoria Park, Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and the pool, N to Ditmars Blvd. and a 15-block walk more or less

8/10, 7:30.9:30 PM purposeful, smart, tuneful saxophonist Sharel Cassity & Elektra at Ginny’s Supper Club, $15

8/10, 9 PM haunting, intense ,soulful folk noir songwriter Holly Miranda – who’s as good on Telecaster as she is on piano – at Union Pool, $15

8/10, 9 PM smart, cleverly lyrical original swing chanteuse/songwriter/trombonist Emily Asher’s Garden Party at Radegast Hall. She’s also there an hour earlier on 8/15.

8/10, 9 PM fiery female-fronted powerpop band the Shondes at Union Hall, $10

 8/10, 10 PM agelessly soulful Armenian clarinetist Souren Baronian’s Taksim Middle Eastern jazz combo at Barbes

8/10, 10 PM charismatic, sultry, torchy Americana songwriter/chanteuse Julia Haltigan and her fiery band  at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10

8/10, 11:30 PM ferociously lyrical, politically spot-on acoustic blues/swing guitar genius Lenny Molotov at Sidewalk

8/11, 6 PM Andy Montanez,  El Godfather de la Salsa, Puerto Rican bolero singer/songwriter legend at East River Park

8/11, 6:30 PM intense, brilliantly lyrical, fearlessly political 1950s style original folk/blues singer Joshua Garcia at the American Folk Art Museum

8/11, 7:30/9:30 PM pianist Manuel Valera premieres his suite The Planets with his trio at the Jazz Gallery, $22

8/11. 8 PM playfully lyrical, fearlessly political superduo Kill Henry Sugar – guitar/banjo mastermind Erik Della Penna and drummer Dean Sharenow –followed at 10 by awesomely slinky, psychedelic Israeli Ethiopiques groove instrumentalists Anbessa Orchestra  at Barbes.

8/11, 8 PM edgy lefty guitarist Damian Quinones and his psychedelic latin soul band at  Pete’s. 8/29, 9 PM he’s at the Way Station

8/11, 8 PM Go-Go’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin & Elettrodomestico do their wry retro 80s new wave thing at Iridium,  $25 

8/11, 8:30 PM fun, catchy, noisy girlpunk band Sharkmuffin at Brooklyn Bazaar, $10

8/11-12, 8:30 PM perennially tuneful, lyrical piano improviser/composer Kris Davis leads a trio  at the Glass Box Theatre at the New School, 55 W 13th St., $20

 8/11, 9 PM Mischief Night – the Grasping Straws’ Mallory Feuer’s menacingly lo-fi guitar-drums duo – at Sidewalk

8/11, 9;30ish exotic vibraphone surf rock band the Vibro-jets – a Sea Devils spinoff – at Troost

8/11, 9:30 PM searing, theatrical Romany/Balkan punk rockers Bad Buka acoustic at Radegast Hall

 8/11, 10 PM somber, cinematic postrock soundscapes with the End of the Oceanat Alphaville, $10 

8/12, 10:30 AM (yup) the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York in Flushing Meadows Park to kick off the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

8/12, 1/3  PM indie classical ensemble Contemporaneous plays music by Ian Gottlieb, Emma O’Halloran and Finnegan Shanahan in Nolan Park in the middle of Governors Island, free

8/12, 2 PM vivid, subtly lyrical Americana fiddler and songwriter Amanda Shires solo on the plaza ar Lincoln Center

8/12, 2 PM haphazardly careening, occasionally theatrical dreampop/noiserockers Gold Dime  at Union Pool, free

8/12, 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 8 by eclectic, electric C&W/blues band the Jug Addicts and at 10 PM by Pangari & the Socialites playing classic ska and rocksteady – most of it from the 60s Skatalites catalog – at Barbes

8/12, 8 PM iconic 90s Americana janglerockers the Jayhawks at Damrosch Park. What’s this gonna be? The soaring, angst-fueled, harmony-driven post-Big Star anthems of late in the decade, or the more C&W ish stuff from their early days? 

8/12, 8 PM high voltage skiffle/Americana band the Salt Cracker Crazies  at the Way Station

8/12, 8 PM pianist Simona Premazzi leads her quintet playing the album release show for her new one at the Cell Theatre, $15

8/12, 9 PM intense charismatic danceable metal cumbia/skaragga/latin rockers Escarioka at Mehanta, $10

8/12, 10 PM jangly, sharply lyrical folk-rock/chamberpop band the Morning Sea– like a more stripped-down, less druggy Elliott Smith –  at the small room at the Rockwood.Miss Velvet & the Blue Wolf play quirky, torchy blue-eyed soul with incisively edgy, purist blues guitar next door at the big room, same time . Miss Velvet and pal are also here on 8/24.

8/13, 3 PM slinky, oud-fueled Middle Eastern/Nile Delta dance orchestra Alsarah & the Nubatones  at the Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Rd,, Long Island City,  N to Broadway and about a 15-block walk, free w/museum adm

8/13. 4 PM fiery, psychedelically bluesy oldschool soul/southern rockers Lizzie & the Makers  at LIC Bar outside

8/13, 7 PM Bonnie Raitt at Damrosch Park. Yeah, she never figured out how to write a song, but she’s still reputedly a hell of a blues guitarist. 

8/14, 6 PM the improvisationally-inclined Osso String Quartet f at the Fat Cat

8/14, 7 PMtuneful postbop pianist Jim Ridl leads his group from behind the Rhodes at 55 Bar

8/14, 8 PM a rare, free Brooklyn appearance by charmingly nuanced, erudite singer/pianist and Dinah Washington reinventor  Champian Fulton leading her trio at Radegast Hall. She’s also there on 8/21

8/14, 8/10 PM  ageless, perennially hard-hitting jazz piano sage and ex-Coltrane bandmate McCoy Tyner at the Blue Note, $30 standing room avail.

8/14, 9:30 PM Los Cumpleanos play psychedelic cumbias with new wave synths & retro organ, effect-laden trombone and trumpet as well as a three piece percussion section at Barbes

8/15, 7 PM eclectic original Middle Eastern and North African style oudist and kora player Brandon Terzic leads his group followed at 9 by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

8/15, 7 PM two generations of free newschool and oldschool postbop jazz: the Eric Person Band and Houston Person at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park

8/15, 8 PM hilarious, smartly political faux-French retro 60s psych-pop band les Sans Culottes  at St. Vitus, $8

8/15, 9 PM dynamic, fearlessly populist soul belter Stephanie Rooker at the Way Station

8/15, 10 PM brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet play classic salsa grooves at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

8/16, noon, Colombian sounds with Parranda Vallenata followed by feral sax/drums duo Receta Secreta at the triangle at 66th St. and Broadway 

8/16, 1 PM the intense, Middle Eastern-tinged, cinematic Eyal Vilner Big Band at St. Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex

8/16, 7 PM hard-driving, often noir-tinged swing pianist/singer Davina & the Vagabonds at Madison Square Park, free

8/17, 5 PM 90s hardcore Brooklyn hip-hop nostalgia: Black Sheep and Das EFX  at NJPAC in Newark, free

8/17, :30/9:30 PM bassist Ricky Rodriguez leads a killer quintet with John Ellis – tenor saxophone & bass clarinet ; Luis Perdomo – piano; Lage Lund – guitar ; Obed Calvaire – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $15

8/17, 8 PM hot 20s swing with trumpeter Jason Prover and his Sneak Thievery Orchestra at Radegast Hall

8/17, 8 PM John Hodel – the Bukowski of what’s left of the late 90s LES singer-songwriters – at Sidewalk. You know the song – Tuesday Morning in a Bar

8/17, 8:30 PM psychedelic stoner boogie band the Dead Daisies at Highline Ballroom, $20 adv tix rec

8/17, 9 PM Nina Diaz – of Girl in a Coma notoriety – does her angst-fueled noir soul thing at Rough Trade, $10 av tix re

8/17, 10 PM lyrical, Indian-influenced alto saxophonist Aakash Mittal leads his Quintet with a rare NYC appearance by Chicago trumpeter Brad Goode at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10

8/17, 10 pastoral gothic accordion art-rock with Sam Reider & the Human Hands at Barbes 

8/18, 6 PM bass goddess Felice Rosser’s ageless reggae-rock-groove band Faith at  at the small room at the Rockwood

8/18, 6 PM Los Hijos Del Agobio play 70s style Spanish-style art-rock and psychedelia at Shrine. 8/21 at 8:30 they’re at Pete’s  

8/18,  8 PM Brooklyn’s funnest band, psychedelic organ-driven Middle Eastern-tinged surf rock trio Hearing Things at Barbes

8/18, 8 PM a rare NYC appearance by Lynchian Americana duo the Whiskey Charmers at the Way Station

8/18, 8 PM popular bluegrass road warriors Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys at the big room at the Rockwood, $12

8/18, 8:30 PM El edgy female-fronted funk band Eliza & the Organix – feat. swirly alto sax player Kristen Tivey – at Freddy’s

8/18, 8:30 PM elegantly melodic, darkly counterintuitive pianist Sylvie Courvoisier  leads a pretty wild quintet with Ken Vandermark on tenor sax and Nate Wooley on trumpet at the  Glass Box Theatre at the New School, 55 W 13th St., $20

8/18. 10 PM reverb guitar heaven: Crampsy ghoul-surf/noir garage band Twin Guns  at Otto’s

8/18, 10:40 PM (not 10:40, mind you) Dalton Deschain & the Traveling Show play their creepy circus punk and arena rock followed by popular NYC folk noir songwriter Lorraine Leckie  at Sidewalk

8/19, 6 PM Skye Steele leads composers in the round with fellow innovative violinists Christina Courtin and Lily Henley and Christopher Hoffman, followed at 8 PM yaccordionist/sitarist Kamala Sankaram’s hot surfy Bollywood/cumbia/psychedelic rock project Bombay Rickey – a launching pad for her spellbinding four-octave voice –  followed by amazingly psychedelic,  mystical Moroccan trance-dance band Innov Gnawa at Barbes

8/19, 6 PM hypnotic, intricate, eclectically virtuosic fingerstyle guitar instrumentalist RD King – Fahey meets Kottke meets Dave Miller? – at the small room at the Rockwood

8/19, 7 PM Los Hermons Cintron play flamenco at the 96th Street Tennis Courts (n Riverside Park

8/19, 7:30 PM a killer female-fronted quadruplebill: trash-garage guitar maven Palmyra Delran,,well-liked, fearlessly political LES soul-rock songwriter/chanteuse Dina Regine, electric Americana chanteuse Diane Gentile and fiery, guitar-fueled Americana punks Spanking Charlene  at Bowery Electric, $15

8/19, 7:30/9:30 PM captivating, darkly tuneful  pianist Shai Maestro‘ plays solo at the Jazz Gallery, $22

8/19, 8 PMaccordionist/sitarist Kamala Sankaram’s hot surfy Bollywood/cumbia/psychedelic rock project Bombay Rickey – a launching pad for her spellbinding four-octave voice – followed at 10 by amazingly psychedelic,  mystical Moroccan trance-dance band Innov Gnawa at Barbes

8/19, 8/10:30 PM a rare duo set by two jazz icons: pianist Kenny Barron with bassist Ray Drummond at Mezzrow, $20 at the bar

8/19, 8:30 PM lustrous, harmony-driven, alternately haunting and badass oldschool honkytonk band the Sweetback Sisters at the Jalppy, $20

8/19, 8:30 PM avant garde monster surf jamband Abraxas with Aram Bajakian (guitar) Eyal Maoz (guitar) Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz (gimbri) Kenny Grohowski (drums)play John Zorn’s  Masada: Book of Angels Vol. 19 at the Stone, $20. 8/20 the material is Zorn’s Psychomagia

8/19, 11 PM ferociously dynamic, tuneful, female-fronted power trio Castle Black at Otto’s

8/19, 10 PM oldschool psychedelic soul/groove band Empire Beats  at the Way Station

8/19, 10:30 PM Sweet Tits – the “punk lesbian Spinal Tap” – at Freddy’s

8/20, 3 (three) PM fearlessly political janglerock songwriter Fred Gillen Jr  with the similarly fearless, even more lyrically brilliant Linda Draper at  at the small room at the Rockwood. A couple of doors down quirkily charismatic, powerful-voiced, kinetic avant-pop siren Grace McLean  plays the third stage at 7 for $10

8/20, 5 PM  in reverse order: the year’s best outdoor show with ageless Ethiopian jazz composer Mulatu Astatke, fiery Tunisian art-rocker Emel Mathlouthi and slinky Middle Eastern/Nile Delta band Alsarah & the Nubatones at Central Park Summerstage

8/20, 7 PM LES punk/surf guitar legend Simon Chardiet’s Rooftoppers – who give him a chance to show off his prowess with jazz and proto-rock and western swing –followed at 9:30 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

8/20, 7 PM haunting, cinematic, Middle Eastern-inspired bass clarinetist Todd Marcus leads his quartet at Shapeshifter Lab

8/20, 7:30 PM the Queensboro Symphony Chamber Orchestra play their new arrangement of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at St Ann’s Church, 58-02 146th St. (at 58th Ave.), Flushing,,  7 train to Flushing/Main St. and a comfortable ten-minute walk, or take the Q44 or Q20 bus

8/20, 10 PM menacing noir rock band Des Roar – the missing link between the Dead Boys and Jesus & Mary Chain – at Union Pool, $10

8/21, 7 PM intense, cinematic lapsteel virtuoso Raphael McGregor and probably some of his Brain Cloud western swing bandmates, followed at 9:30ish bypsychedelic cumbia band Yotoco at Barbes

8/21, 7:15 PM sarod virtuoso Aashish Khan at Dixon Place: part of this years’s Drive East Festival of Indian music at Dixon Place, $25 tix avail

8/21, 8:30 PM highly regarded soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome leads a quintet with special guest violinist Meg Okura at Bar Lunatico

 8/21-27 the amazing Drive East Festival of classical Indian music and dance moves into Dixon Place. Too many amazing acts to list – the whole lineup is here

8/22, 6 PM a fantastic Indian music twinbill: Hindustani singer Indrani Khare, $15, followed by rising star sitar player Kinnar Seen at Dixon Place, $20 separate adm – part of this years’s Drive East Festival of Indian music, $25 tix avail

8/22, 7:30/9:30 PM rising star jazz harpist Brandee Younger leads her quintet at the Jazz Standard, $25

8/22, 6 PM the Weekly Readers Village with Tom Beckham, vibes;  Janet Grice, bassoon;  Carlos Cuevas, melodica/piano;  Lee Tomboulian, accordion;  Dave Silllman, percussion;  Cliff Schmitt, bass play the album release show for their new one at Cornelia St. Cafe $10 + $10 mi. Followed at 9:30 by fearless avant garde singer Anaïs Maviel leading a trio with Alexis Marcelo, piano, keyboards;  Leonid Galaganov, drums, separate adm. 

8/22, 7 PM the So Wrong It’s Right trombone quartet with Dave Taylor, Kalun Leung, David Whitwell, Felix Del Tredici – at Shapeshifter Lab, $8

8/22-9/3, 8:10/10 PM postbop guitar master Kurt Rosenwinkel leads his trio and starting on the 29th, his quintet at the Vanguard, $30

8/22-27, 8:30 PM pantheonic, eclectic guitar hero Nels Cline leads a series of groups at the Stone, $20. Choice pick: opening night with Erik Friedlander (cello) Yuka C Honda (electronics, keys) Ikue Mori (laptop) Nels Cline (electric guitar)

 8/22, 7:30 PM fiery alto saxophonist Lucas Pino’s twin-guitar No No Nonet at Smalls

8/22, 9 PM sick noiserock fun with the Sediment Club at Alphaville, $10

8/22. 9 PM what’s left of 70s Jamaican roots reggae harmony band Culture with Joseph Hill’s son Kenyatta fronting the band, celebrating the 40th annniversary of the band’s roots reggae classic Two Sevens Clash at B.B. King’s, $15 adv tix rec

8/22, 9:30 PM cinematic Quincy Jones-style B3 gutbucket organ jazz with Underground System’s Colin Brown and his band at Freddy’s 

8/23, noon the eclectic, Balkan/latin/funk brass Underground Horns at the triangle at 66th St. and Broadway

8/23, 7:30 PM a Mannes College of Music ensemble with soloist Dave Glasser taking the role of Charlie Parker plays “Bird With Strings” in its entirety at Johnson/Kaplan Hall, 66 W12th St, free

8/23, 8 PM lyrical third-stream jazz pianist Vadim Neselovskyi with lustrous vocalese specialiast Aubrey Johnson, Dan Loomis, bass;  Ronen Itzik, drums, percussionat Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min. ollowed at 9:30 (separate adm) by haunting Hungarian folk-jazz chanteuse Júlia Karosi with Yago Vázquez, piano;  Ike Sturm, bass;  Peter Kronreif, drums

8/23, 8:30 carnatic singer Shankar Ramani – part of this years’s Drive East Festival of Indian music at Dixon Place – $20 tix avail

8/24, 5 PM conscious hip-hop icon Talib Kweli at NJPAC in Newark, free

 8/24, 6 PM plaintive songstress Jan Bell – who makes the connection between bluegrass and ancient English folk tunes – and her all-female band the Maybelles at Miraflores Community Garden, 900 Broadway in Bushwick, just a block from the Myrtle Ave. J/M station

8/24, 7 PM rambunctious oldtimey swing/Americana harmony band the Bumper Jacksons at the Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec

8/24, 7:30 PM a rare twinbill of hypnotic, otherworldly, intense Colombian bullerengue  with singer and tambolero Emilsen Pacheco Blanco followed by singer Carolina Oliveros’ mighty 13-piece vocal/percussion choir Bulla en el Barrio at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised. 8/28 at 10ish BEEB are at Barbes

8/24, 8 PM art-rocker Pierre de Gaillande’s Bad Reputation playing witty chamber pop English translations of Georges Brassens classics followed by Super Yamba playing their psychedelic Afrobeat jams at Barbes

8/24-27, 8/10:30 PM pyrotechnic soprano/tenor saxophonist James Carter and his band at the Blue Note, $20 standing room avail

8/24, 8:30 PM carnatic vocal star Ananya Ashok – part of this years’s Drive East Festival of Indian music at Dixon Place – $20 tix avail

8/24, 8:30 PM slyly lyrical New Orleans oldschool soul/groove/Americana crew the Nat Osborn Band at the third stage at the Rockwood, $12

8/24, 10 PM intense, haunting Americana/honkytonk singer Ruby Rae at Pete’s

8/24, 10 PM noir-inclined, bluesy guitarslinger Phil Gammage and band at 11th St. Bar

8/24, 11 PM high-voltage Venezuelan jazz singer/bandleader Eliana Cuevas at Shrine. 8/28 at 8 she’s at Silvana

 8/25, 7 PM the lavish, sax/clarinet-fueled Anat Cohen Tentet at Marcus Garvey Park

8/25, 7 PM 70s cult favorites the Shirts’ ageless, soaring, theatrical singer, Annie Golden at Joe’s Pub, $20

8/25, 8 PM rustic Brazilian jungle guitar-and-accordion sounds with Regional de NY followed at 10  by Felipe Fournier‘s Supermambo vibraphone band playing a Tito Puente tribute at Barbes

8/25. 8 PM hauntingly phantasmagorical art-rock/noir cabaret pianist/singer Anana Kaye at the small room at the Rockwood

8/25-26, 8:30 PM darkly incisive Middle Eastern-infused saxophonist Uri Gurvich and his Quartet  play the album release show for their new one at the  Glass Box Theatre at the New School, 55 W 13th St., $20

8/25, 10 PM irrepressibly funny, guitarishly erudite all-star Americana four-piece the Yayhoos – the Del-Lords’ Eric Ambel, the Georgia Satellites’ Dan Baird, bassist Keith Christopher and drummer/singer Terry Anderson – at Hill Country, $20

8/25, 10 PM 60s janglerock/psych-pop legends the Flamin Groovies at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $20 adv tix rec

8/25, 10 PM jangly New York original surf rock cult heroes the Supertones at Otto’s

8/25-26, 10:30 PM terse, purposeful rising star postbop saxophonist Melissa Aldana leads her quintet at Smalls

8/25, 10:30 PM anthemic, surfy chamame rock band Paracuta  at Pine Box Rock Shop

8/25, 11 PM ferociously dynamic, tuneful, female-fronted power trio Castle Black play the album release show for their new one at the Well

8/26, 2:30 PM young Hindustani crooner Shankhadip Chakraborty ($15) followed at 3:30 by Carnatic Power playing innovative Indian guitar music ($15 separate adm)- part of this years’s Drive East Festival of Indian music at Dixon Place

8/26, 3 PM in reverse order:  cool jazz legends the Lee Konitz Quartet, dynamic drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science, postbop drummer Louis Hayes and his group, and powerful belter – and Gil Scott-Heron reinventor –  Charenee Wade at Marcus Garvey Park

8/26, 6 PM brilliantly cinematic, kinetic violinist Dana Lyn  & guitarist Kyle Sanna do their Irish thing at Pete’s

8/26, 6 PM pianist Jesse Cook plays works by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Scarlatti, Beethoven and Faure at the DiMenna Center, $20

8/26, 7 PM creepy noir chamber pop/murder ballad duo Charming Disaster provide musical interludes for a cemetery stroll commemorating the Battle of Brooklyn, with18th century food and maybe a ghost or two at Green-Wood Cemetery, $25

8/26,  7:30 PM Syrian bandleader Yousef Shamoun & the Tarab Ensemble play lushly orchestrated Middle Eastern classics by Umm Kulthumm, Hafez and Mohammed Abdel Wahab at the Poisson Rouge, $20 standing room avail.

8/26, 8 PM eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo leads his Tango Quartet at Barbes

8/26, 8:30 PM a rare deep-Brooklyn appearance by the brilliant Greg Lewis Organ Monk Trio at Bar Lunatico

8/26, 9:30 PM concise, tuneful jazz pianist Marta Sanchez leads her quintet at the Cell Theatre, $15

8/26, midnight ferociously catchy. fearlessly populist ska-punk/latin rock band Outernational at the Mercury, $10 adv tix rec

8/27, 11:30AM ish eclectic mostly-female klezmer/cumbia/tango jamband Isle of Klezbos’ all-gal sextet ensemble  at City Winery, $10, no minimum, kids under 12 free

8/27, 2 PM the Navatman Music Collective – the only carnatic choir outside of India – sing their innovative, lustrous, lush new arrangements of ancient themes  – part of this years’s Drive East Festival of Indian music at Dixon Place – $25 tix avail

 8/27, 3 PM Cantata Profana perform works by Stravinsky, Brahms and Steven Hartke at Concerts on the Slope, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 139 St. John’s Place downhill from 7th Ave, sugg don

8/27, 4 PM in reverse order: state-of-the-art alto postbop with the Joshua Redman Quartet, oldschool soul-jazz man Lou Donaldson, and the ferociously intense, charismatic Tia Fuller at Tompkins Square Park

8/27, 4 PM New Asia Chamber Music Society play music of Patrick Zimmerli and Max Bruch at National Sawdust, $20 adv tix rec

8/27, 7 PM French violinist Eleonore Biezunski leads her Yerushe ensemble singing womens’ Yiddish folk songs followed at 9:30 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

8/27, 8 PM Silencio play Twin Peaks themes and originals in a similar creepy vein  at the Poisson Rouge, $12 adv tix rec

8/27, 8:30-/10 PM edgy, noir-inspired bassist Michael Blanco leads his quartet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

8/28. 7 PM pianist Taka Kigawa plays Olivier Messiaen’s birdcall-themed Catalogue d’Oiseaux at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

8/28, 8 PM dark, swirly lo-fi surf/garage band the Shivas – gotta love that name – at Alphaville, $10 

8/28, 9 PM trippy improvised sounds in reverse order: guitarist Chris Cochrane’s Collapsible Shoulder, haunting, purposeful violist Jessica Pavone’s improvisational string quartet, Booker Stardrum & vibraphonist/composer Sam Sowyrda at Secret Project Robot: 1186 Broadway, (Larayette/Van Buren), Bushwick, J/M to Kosciusio St., $10 adv tix avail at the Poisson Rouge box ofc

8/29-30, 5 PM velvety noir jazz singer (and Tickled Pinks co-founder) Stephanie Layton’s impressively eclectic torch/swing jazz band Eden Lane in the courtyard out back of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 455 Madison Ave., free

8/29, 7 PM perennially interesting, irrepressible Brooklyn Raga Massive honcho/drummer Sameer Gupta plays his Indian jazz project A Circle Has No Beginning  first with a violin/flute/percussion trio, then leading what’s basically the Massive itself at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

8/29, 7 PM a rare reunion of hilarious metal spoofers Satanicide – NYC’s answer to Spinal Tap – at the Mercury, $10

8/29, 7 PM Inkarayku play Peruvian psychedelic folk at Gantry Plaza State Park

8/30, noon a really good twinbill: dark latin/Russian ska/tropicalia band Karikatura and 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 at the triangle at 66th St. and Broadway

8/30, 7 PM intense, poignantly cutting-edge guitarist Mary Halvorson and adventurous  jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire premiere new duo pieces at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

8/30, 8/10:30 PM gonzo postbop piano with the Dred Scott Trio  at Mezzrow, $20

8/30, 8:30 PM dark, sardonic, brilliantly tuneful jazz pianist Danny Fox and his Trio at Bar Lunatico

8/30, 8:30 PM intense, lyrical tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss leads her quintet at  the third stage at the Rockwood, $10

8/30, 9 PM oldschool-style Texas honkytonk crooner Dale Watson  at Hill Country, $20

8/30, 9 PM flamenco guitarist Mariano Manzella at Freddy’s

8/31, 6 PM cleverly lyrical, coolly intriguing jazz chanteuse Dorian Devins leads her quartet  at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

8/31, 7 PM high-voltage accordion-and-microtonal sax-fueled original Balkan tunes with Tipsy Oxcart followed by creepy, psychedelic circus rock/Russian folk band Mad Meg at Bowery Electric, $10

8/31, 7:30 PMa very rare US appearance by the feral, improvisational Munich-based Jazzrausch Bigband at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

8/31, 8:30 PM darkly torchy southwestern gothic/Europolitan songwriter/guitarist Miwa Gemini at Freddy’s

8/31, 10 PM wryly funny, psychedelic covers of 60s Russian pop with the Eastern Blokhedz – who specialize in the catalog of legendary Polish singer Edita Piaha – at Barbes

8/31, 10 PM Chicago psychedelic cumbia band Dos Santos and Austin’s Money Chicha – maybe the heaviest cumbia band on the planet – at the Bell House, $12 adv tix rec

8/31, 10:30 PM catchy, cinematic, noir-inclined saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton leads his quintet at Smalls

9/1, if you’re going to the stadium to see the Yankees get their asses kicked by the Red Sox, get there early because the perennially intense, tuneful godfather of edgy, lyrical, anthemic downtown NYC rock, Willie Nile is playing at 5:45 for no extra charge.

9/26, 9 PM Australian psychedelic/art-rock legends the Church – minus 12-string guitar icon Marty Willson-Piper – make their Brooklyn debut at the Bell House, $30 adv tix rec

Le Trio Joubran Salute Their Late Collaborator Mahmoud Darwish With an Unforgettable, Intense Performance at the Lincoln Center Festival

There were innumerable long passages in Palestinian oud-playing brothers Le Trio Joubran’s multimedia performance last night at the Lincoln Center Festival that were absolutely shattering. Time stood still. When did Wish You Were Here, the stark, haunted dirge that the trio began with, end? After five minutes of hushed, bereaved minimalism, or closer to thirty? Realistically, it was on the shorter side, but it left a vast impact.

Yet moments like those were balanced by others that were ridiculously funny. Which ultimately came as no surprise, considering that the show was a homage to the group’’s late collaborator and countryman, poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Darwish saw himself as an exile. His childhood village was one of the hundreds bulldozed to make room for Israeli settlers in the wake of the 1948 war. In a country the size of South Carolina, that makes an awful lot of refugees. He returned as an adult, eventually joining the Palestinian government’s inner circle but then withdrawing, disillusioned: he had no tolerance for the hypocrisy of politics. Widely considered to be the voice of the Palestinian people, his richly ironic, fiercely proud, relentlessly defiant work speaks to anyone estranged from their home, physically or otherwise.

Darwish died in 2008: for the last twelve years of his life, Le Trio Joubran were his backing band and musical sparring partners. To play along with his recorded voice must have been a considerable emotional challenge for them, but this time they didn’t let on. Darwish was ailing when he made those recordings, but his voice was virile, supremely confident and as nuanced as his words, simultaneously projected in Arabic and English translation above the stage.

One of the group’s signature tropes is to play in unison with a flurrying, precise, tremoloing strum, a sepulchrally fluttering low-string section with an ancient resonance deeper than any western orchestra could achieve. They did that a lot, especially in the most somber passages. But the three oudists also lept, and bounded, and exchanged jaunty riffs, sometimes with an Andalucian flair, most notably in response to an innuendo-packed erotic poem ripe with surrealistic, irresistibly hilarious Freudian imagery.

The rest of the music was a dynamically shifting mirror for the poetry: Darwish zings you with a one-liner, then delivers a gutpunch. Fate and luck are fickle, at best, indelibly illustrated via excerpts from his epic The Dice Player. One of his characters misses his flight because he’s not a morning person, a good thing because it would have crashed with him onboard. In Darwish’s world, two things that make life worth living are invaders’ fear of memories, and tyrants’ fear of songs.

Samir Joubran played a slightly larger model than the instruments in the hands of his two younger brothers, Wissam and Adnan, taking the lowest descents of the night. Drummer Youssef Hbeisch began with a somber, boomy beat on daf frame drum and then moved behind a full kit, which he played with hands, maintaining a muted, subtly colored pulse – at least until a solo where the three brothers encircled him and added their own playful beats. They’d revisit that on the encores – after a warmly rousing singalong, Samir and Wissam played basslines on Adnan’s oud in perfect unison with their brother’s briskly chromatic, dancing lines. It’s impossible to imagine a concert by a single band in New York in 2017 any more riveting or thrilling than this.

This year’s Lincoln Center Festival is a wrap, but Lincoln Center Out of Doors – this city’s most consistently surprising and eclectic free concert series – is in full swing. Angelique Kidjo makes an appearance (but not singing her own material) on August 2; on August 3 at7:30 there’s a Bollywood music-and-dance extravaganza out back in Damrosch Park that looks enticing. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.