New York Music Daily

Global Music With a New York Edge

Tag: concert

Les Chauds Lapins For Virgins – Or Not

Les Chauds Lapins sing about drunk couples emerging disheveled from the bushes, expats missing Paris during the Nazi occupation, and sex. Lots of that. “You told me yes, you told me yes, you told me yes,” frontwoman Meg Reichardt sang in insistently cheery, carefully enunciated and pretty damn good French at the band’s most recent show at Barbes last month.

The material they cover – old French swing and chanson, mostly from the 30s and 40s, emphasis on the Charles Trenet catalog – is pretty radical compared to American pop from that era. Even today, these songs are racy. And as funny and clever as the wordplay is, the band’s sound is lush and swoony.  if you’re looking for a place to take your boo this Friday night, April 14, there’s no better place than Barbes at 8 PM where Les Chauds Lapins (“The Hot Rabbits,” as in “hot to trot”) will be picking up where they left off.

The music matched the lyrics, full of chipper, strutting, swinging tunes, glimmering strings from cellist Garo Yellin and violist Karen Waltuch and a wry basketball-courtside “let’s go” riff from clarinetist/frontman Kurt Hoffman at one point. And yet, there’s an underlying cynicism, and frequent yearning, in the lyrics, that often rears its head, just as the music isn’t all just soft edges either. Hearing the occasional austere minor-key blues phrase from either Waltuch or Yellin was a treat. Reichardt fired off a couple of stinging blues guitar solos when she wasn’t holding down rhythm on her hundred-year-old banjo uke and adding to the oldtimey atmosphere.

As the show went on, shivery strings paired off with a plaintive clarinet intro, there was an unexpected detour into quasi-funk fueled by a cello bassline, and eventually a long interlude straight out of Mood Indigo with a lustrous, moonlit clarinet solo from Hoffman. For those who don’t speak French, the show is best enjoyed as a long, sweet suite. As date-night music in New York in 2017, it’s unsurpassed. Without crossing the line into TMI, let’s say that after the show, the person you bring might be more likely to tell you, “Je t’adore,” instead of just a plain old “Je t’aime” See,“Je t’aime” doesn’t amount to much more than a peck on the cheek. “Je t’adore” is where the tongue gets involved. Just saying. Bonne chance à tout le monde demain soir.

Ethio-Jazz Soul Singer Meklit Airs Out Her Brilliant Forthcoming Album at Lincoln Center

Last night at Lincoln Center, Meklit came to conquer. Rocking a sassy kente cloth skirt and black top, the ex-Brooklynite Ethio-jazz belter bounded and whirled across the stage, singing in both English and Amharic, leading a tight six-piece band through a passionate, fiery, subtly relevant mix of mostly new songs from her forthcoming album When the People Move, the Music Moves Too. Freed from behind her acoustic guitar – at least for most of the set – she’s found new vocal power in her low register, and commands the stage like never before. It’s hard to believe that the artist formerly known as Meklit Hadero – her full name – got her start in the cautious, sedate world of singer-songwriters.

While her work has always drawn on her Ethiopian roots, her newest material goes deeper into that nation’s joyously cantering, brassy dance music from the 60s and 70s. “Ethio-jazz in 2017!” was the mantra throughout the night’s most explosively kinetic number, I Want to Sing For Them All, a shout-out to influences ranging from the golden-age hip-hop she grew up with and found kinship in, to Coltrane and Mulatu Astatke, among many others. Drummer Colin Douglas and percussionist Marco Peris Coppola negotiated the song’s twists and turns with a steely precision as bassist Sam Bevan bubbled behind the searing, thrilling, trilling chomatic harmonies of tenor saxophonist Howard Wiley and trumpeter DeAndre Schaifer. It was a visceral validation of George Clinton’s observation about how freedom begins in the lower extremities.

In between songs, there was silence, and Meklit let it linger, choosing her thoughts like she chooses her spots as a singer. “Welcome to my living room!” she beamed as the second line-tinged groove of You Are My Luck got underway, an irrepressibly shuffling shout-out to the power of love as fuel for the struggle. She bookended her roughly hourlong set with a couple of bracing Ethio-jazz numbers, the first with a trick ending and a tantalizingly brief Wiley solo, the closing number a careening, pulsing take of the first Ethiopian number Miriam Makeba learned for her initial trip to that country in the 1960s.

They reinvented an Erykah Badu pop hit as Ethiopiques, with a still, suspenseful intro that gave way to spine-tingling microtonal horn riffage. One of the new songs, Supernova was akin to the Sometime Boys tackling Ethiopian funk, with Meklit’s most powerful, dramatic vocal of the night. “In case you’re ever feeling ordinary, remember you were born in a supernova,” she mused beforehand.

Musically speaking, the high point of the evening was an insistent minor-key anthem, part Ethiopiques, part Aretha, with a long, feral, microtonal Wiley solo that began with aching sirening effects and eventually picked up with volley after volley of chromatics and microtones. Then Meklit plugged in her krar harp for a number she hoped would be as hypnotic to the crowd as it is to her, an argument that held. Then she flipped the script with her own wryly sunny happy-birthday song, a welcome alternative to what you hear blasting from the speakers in East Village Indian restaurants.

The triumphantly crescendoing, anthemic, soukous-tinged This Was Made Here peaked out with a long, riveting, trilling trumpet solo fueled by Schaifer’s circular breathing. “I’m not going to wait, and I’m not going away,” Meklit belted. Throughout the set, Bevan – switching from standup and five-string Fender, and then back – impressed with his ability to be busy but not obtrusive, playing lots of variations on bouncy octaves. Coppola, with a big Indian dhol bass drum slung over his shoulder, handled the tricky metrics in tandem with Douglas and Bevan. At one point the drummers left their posts to bang on the bass strings for a solo: this group has as much fun onstage as their bandleader. The next stop on their current US tour is tonight, April 7 at 8 PM at World Cafe, 500 N. Market St. in Wilmington, Delaware.

The atrium space at Lincoln Center is where most of the most happening shows there take place – it’s an easy place to call home away from home. The next one is on April 20 at 7:30 PM with psychedelic Colombian champeta dance band Tribu Baharu.

Dynamic, Exhilarating, Haunting New Armenian Sounds from Miqayel Voskanyan

Last night Drom was packed with a chatty, boisterous crowd who’d come to party and take in a surrealistic, often haunting, absolutely uncategorizable show by Yerevan-based tar lute player Miqayel Voskanyan and his band. Unlike your typical Iranian tar player, Voskanyan holds his high on his chest, like a giant ear of corn that he’s about to take a big bite out of. While there were a few crescendos during his roughly hourlong set that were packed with high-voltage flurries of tremolo-picking, Voskanyan plays with a great sense of touch and subtlety. He saved his wildest chord-chopping for when he really needed it, and even then, he didn’t give the impression that he was working that hard (beyond frequent trips to the side of the stage to guzzle water, anyway). Otherwise, his attack on the strings was nuanced, and judicious, with a masterful use of space. Guys who can play as fast as he does can’t usually chill with an equal degree of mystery.

Behind him, the trio of Arman Peshtmaljian on a Nord Stage 2 keyboard, Gurgen Ghazaryan on bass and Movses Ghazaryan on drums shifted between rhythms and idioms with a similar, understated dexterity. There were interludes that drew on Near Eastern art-rock, and folk-rock, along with frequent allusions to current-day Balkan turbo-folk and Romany dance music. And there were some moments, usually when Voskanyan left a verse or two to the band, that veered closer to jazz territory. Yet this isn’t a rock band, and it’s definitely not a folk band, even though they amped up a couple of singalong numbers with the crowd at the end.

Armenia is small, about the same size as Jamaica. Like reggae, Armenian music has a vast, global influence: Voskanyan’s compositions reflect that scope. He and the band opened with a pretty straight-up American funk tune, except that it sounded as if it was being played on a banjo. Then Voskanyan went up the fretboard, where the microtones of the Armenian scale creep in, and the effect was as magical as it was strange and unexpected. There were many, many moments like that throughout the rest of the the evening.

From there he sang vocalese over an uneasy, slow rainy-day theme that drew more heavily on chromatics and microtones. To western ears, his most riveting number was a slow, utterly inconsolable film noir-style chromatic instrumental that could have been a Steve Ulrich composition. Voskanyan’s songs without words are very evocative: a fireside tableau was more bittersweet than you might expect. The biggest hit with the crowd was a TGIF-themed epic that shifted from a brisk, flurrying 12/8 rhythm through all sorts of changes, a long keyboard break  – the only place where Voskanyan really lost the crowd – and then he brought them back in a split second with an enigmatic hailstorm of a tar solo. At the end of the set, he brought up accordionist Sevana Tchakerian, who alternated between terse washes of sound and a rhythmic pulse, and also provided spellbinding, acerbic vocals that were a perfect counterpart to Voskanyan’s confident baritone.

Voskanyan and band are currently on US tour, sponsored by AGBU-YPNC. The next stop is tomorrow night, April 7 at 9 PM at St. John Armenian Church, 275 Olympia Way in San Francisco; cover is $30/$20 stud. Drom, the East Village’s mecca for sounds from every part of the globe, has their usual slate of eclectic acts coming up. There’s a metal show tonight; Greek songwriter Kostis Maraveyas plays with his darkly bouncy rembetiko and latin-flavored band tomorrow night, April 7 at half past eleven for $20. 

Clarinet Titan Michael Winograd Plays a Full-Throttle Saturday Residency at Barbes This Month

If adrenaline is your thing, go see Michael Winograd this Saturday at Barbes. Even if you don’t know much about klezmer music, it’s worth the gamble. There is no Coney Island ride, with the possibility of the Cyclone, that can deliver thrills on the level of Winograd’s clarinet. And he makes it look easy. He’s got a silken, steady wind-tunnel tone, in the same vein as Rudresh Mahanthappa’s approach on the alto sax, and a Saturday 6 PM Barbes residency this month where he’s airing out a lot of new material. This Saturday, April 8 he’s doing “Order: A Musical Seder,” with singer/pianist Judith Berkson and Sandcatchers guitarist Yoshie Fruchter. Then Winograd plays with a large ensemble on the 15th and 29th, and with a quartet on the 22nd.

Last week’s show was packed with a mix of oldsters and kids who’d come out to see Winograd deliver an eclectic, dynamic set of new material from a forthcoming album, backed by a pretty sizeable group including accordion, piano, rhythm section (Zoe Guigueno on bass and Dave Licht on drums), plus Avi Fox-Rosen on banjo. The addition of that instrument turned out to be more of an extra textural treat than an attempt to be old-fashioned or go in a bluegrass direction like Andy Statman.

The new material is killer. The dark stuff came first, along with the biggest crescendos and slinkiest, rapidfire volleys of sixteenth notes from Winograd. Since these tunes are getting their first workouts from the band, he took most of the solos. They opened with a handful of chromatically bristling, Russian and Ukrainian-flavored numbers. There was a point early on where the flutter of the banjo against the steady chords of the piano amid the swells of the rest of the group had a bittersweet, achingly beautiful, Ellingtonian lushness.

Later in the set, they did a hora that started out all mysterious and then picked up with a bang, true to form. There was a doina that turned out to be the most exploratory number – some would say it was the the jazziest moment of the night. As the show went on, the songs got bouncier and sunnier. They closed with a catchy, anthemic tune that sounded like a classic from the Russian Jewish folk tradition but could have been an original: Winograd can be like that. And even back at the bar, the sound was good: hanging with friends, away from the crowd didn’t turn out to be an obstacle as far as listening was concerned. See you Saturday. 

An Unpredictably Fun Album Release Show by Changing Modes

It’s hard to imagine a New York band that has as much fun onstage as Changing Modes. Or a band anywhere who can negotiate the endlessly tricky metrics and serpentine twists and turns of their artsy, often new wave-tinged songs as tightly as they do. At their album release show for their new one, Goodbye Theodora at Webster Hall this past weekend, everybody in the band except for drummer Timur Yusef switched instruments.

Singer Wendy Griffiths is the best keyboardist in the band, but she played the better part of the set on bass – as it turns out, she’s also their most nimble bass player. Co-frontwoman Grace Pulliam is a guitarist, but she played keys and bass synth. Guitarist Yuzuru Sadashige took over bass duties early on and ended the show on keys. As usual, Griffiths and Pulliam took turns on lead vocals, often in the same song, Pulliam’s soul-infused lower register blending with Griffiths’ crisp, crystalline soprano for some unselfconsciously spine-tingling moments and some that were a lot more devious. Griffiths worked the mystery angle; everybody else in the band was pretty much grinning from ear to ear for the duration of the show. They’re bringing their multi-instrumental prowess, good cheer and darkly lyrical songs to the one-year anniversary celebration at the Muse Brooklyn at 350 Moffatt St. in Bushwick tonight, April 2 at 7:30 PM. Cover is $15; take the L to Wilson Ave.

It takes nerve to open with an instrumental, but that’s what Changing Modes did, tackling the creepy, futuristic tumbles and swells of 2-1/2 Minutes to Midnight without breaking a sweat. They kept the enigmatic, surreal atmosphere going with a swaying take of Mind Palace, the first of the tracks from the new album and followed with the sly noir swing romp Amanda’s House, which sounds suspiciously like a song somebody with that name might write.

Sadashige fired off some evil noiserock in between Pulliam and Griffiths’ vocal handoffs in Red, followed by the macabre, lingering anthem Arizona, the night’s best song. Fueled by Sadashige’s searing solo, they growled through the postapocalyptic allusions of Door, then had fun with Sharkbird, the night’s monster surf-tinged second instrumental.

After the uneasy dynamic shifts of Firestorm, they lightened the mood with Pulliam singing an Amy Winehouse-esque cover of Elle King’s Ex’s & Oh’s, and later elevated Radiohead’s Karma Police toward late Beatles grandeur. Too Far Gone – a co-write with their indie classical composer pal Denise Mei Yan Hofmann – made a detour back to grimly anthemic territory. They wound up the set with the poppy, bouncy Vital Signs and the woozy, fuzzy, older new wave song Pretty Vacant, which is nothing like the Sex Pistols. Changing Modes have a deep back catalog, seven albums worth of songs just as eclectic and unpredictably fun as these.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn for April and May 2017

Constant updates: you might want to bookmark this page and check back every so often. 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, Haydn, Brahms and Chopin. Sugg don $10 (pay what you can), delicious gluten-free refreshments, beverages and lively conversation included! email for info/location. Upcoming dates: Wednesdays at 7: Apr 19 , May 17,  June 21, and Sundays at 4:  Apr 23,  May 21,  June 25.

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 9 PM erudite, purist torchy jazz chanteuse Svetlana & the Delancey 5 at the Back Room, 102 Norfolk St just north of Delancey St, free

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

Also Mondays in April 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.

Mondays in March at midnight wild noir piano jazz with the Dred Scott Trio back at their old spot, the small room at the Rockwood. 3/27 they’re at Mezzrow at 9

Tuesdays in April, 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 April, 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.

Three Tuesdays in April: 4/11, 18 and 25, 10ish noisy, hazily jangly, psychedelic slowcore/free jazz/avant instrumentalists Sunwatchers at Union Pool, $10

Wednesdays at 8-ish, amazing, psychedelic instrumentalists Sandcatchers – who blend cinematic, pastoral Americana and Middle Eastern themes – at Cheryl’s Restaurant, 236 Underhill Ave. (Eastern Pkwy/Lincoln Pl.) in Ft. Greene. Closest train is actually the 2/3 to Brooklyn Museum.

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 Art Cafe, 884 Pacific St.(at Washington Ave) in Brooklyn, $15; closest train is the 2 to Bergen St.

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 in April, 6 PM pyrotechnic klezmer clarinetist and Dave Tarras protege Michael Winograd with several of his many similarly edgy collaborators at Barbes. Expect classics from across the Jewish music diaspora as well as slyly witty originals. 

Three Saturdays in April: 4/1, 4/15 and 4/29 epic minor-key New Orleans blues/klezmer/soca/reggae jamband Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues

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

Sundays in April, 7 PM spine-tingling darkly mystical art-rock/avant-garde/chamber pop songwriter Carol Lipnik – pretty much everybody’s choice for best singer in all of NYC – at Pangea

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

4/1, 4 PM composer/accordionist Michael Hearst’s Songs About Extraordinary People  – including the Iceman found more or less intact after 5300 years entombed in ice, and Marie Curie, whose radioactive notebooks are still lethal – followed at 6 by pyrotechnic klezmer clarinetist and Dave Tarras protege Michael Winograd and band playing music from a forthcoming album followed at 8 by pianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri playing their creepy Transylvanian jazz followed and at 10 by epic, sweeping, adventurous Sinaloa-style mariachi/ranchera brass group Banda de los Muertos at Barbes Whew.Songs About Extraordinary People are also here on 4/8 at 4 as well.

4/1, 4 PM the Dessoff Choir sings motets by Bach, Buxtehude and Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach at Union Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway, 1 train to 116th St, $25/$15 stud/srs

4/1, 7/9:30 PM Gil Scott-Heron’s longtime pianist Kim Jordan plays a GSH tribute at SOB’s, $20

4/1, 7 PM NY Turk Musiki Cemiyeti play classic and contemporary Turkish orchestral music for string ensemble and choir at Merkin Concert Hall, $25

4/1, 7 PM theatrical, psychedelic, ragtime/barrelhouse pianist/songwriter Jack Spann does double duty, playing his own art-rock and then with sardonically funny Beatlesque/Costelloesque powerpop songwriter Walter Ego at Sidewalk

4/1, 7 PM a free screening of the jazz documentary film Night Bird Song: The Incandescent Life of Thomas Chapin at Flushing Town Hall

4/1, 7:30 PM Aussie psychedelic stars King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – who are going in an amazing, Middle Eastern-flavored microtonal rock direction – at Webster Hall, $22

4/1, 7:30 PM the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra’s Anthony Marwood, violin and Aleksandar Madžar, piano play works by Janacek, Ravel, Beethoven and Prokofiev at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, 16th St./Irving Place, $15

4/1, 8 PM NYC’s goddess of garage guitar, Palmyra Delran opens for Radio Birdman mastermind Deniz Tek and Keith Streng of the Fleshtones’ reputedly sizzling new two-guitar band at Bowery Electric

4/1, 8 PM Middle Eastern-flavored psychedelic jams with Spaghetti Eastern Music at Silvana

4/1, 8 PM Misha Piatigorsky‘s tuneful, dynamic, wit-infused Sketchy Orkestra at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

4/1, 8:30 PM darkly Stonesy, slinky guitar band the Deadly Wights at Muchmore’s. Catch em now while they’re on the way up. 

4/1, 8:30 PM Greg Lewis’ innovative Organ Monk trio at Bar Lunatico

4/1, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s begins at 9 with brooding, stomping Russian prison songs reinvented as surf rock by the Vivisectors, the icy reverb-drenched Blue Wave Theory at 10, tunefully jangly Strange but Surf at 11 and allstar Link Wray cover band the Wraycyclers sometime around midnight.

4/1, 9 PM ten-piece country/carnivalesque/acoustic rock powerhouse M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy, $10

4/1, 9 PM eclectically tuneful swing/noir/pastoral jazz combo the Jazz Thieves followed by hard-hitting bassist Dawn Drake & Zapote playing hot Afrobeat-tinged funk grooves at the Way Station. The Jazz Thieves are also here on 4/8. 

4/1, 9:30 PM Cantata Profana perform clarinet and violin music by Kurtag, Bach, Claude Vivier and more at Joe’s Pub, $15

4/1, 10:30 PM the stomping, surprisingly energetic Earthmouth – pigsnorting vox, Sabbathy psychedelic guitars – at Lucky 13 Saloon, $10

4/1, 11 PM hard-hitting, noisy, catchy Japanese-flavored stoner boogie/hardcore/metal band Toranavox at Pine Box Rock Shop 

4/1, 11 PM slyly lyrical New Orleans oldschool soul/groove/Americana crew the Nat Osborn Band at the big room at the Rockwood, $12

4/2, 2 PM pianist Paul Lewis plays works by Weber, Beethoven, Chopin and Bach at the Town Hall, $20

4/2, 4 PM pianist Steven Masi continues his concert cycle of the Thirty Two Beethoven Sonatas  at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free, no under-sixes

4/2, 4 PM popular bluegrass road warriors James Reams & the Barnstormers at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $15

4/2, 4:30 PM pianist Jason Hardink plays Messiaen’s Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus at Spectrum, $15

4/2, 5 PM subtle, erudite retro swing singer Catherine Russell and her excellent band at St. Peter’s Church, free

4/2, 6 PM quirky, fun swing-infused songwriter Orly Bendavid & the Mona Dahls followed at 7 by darkly lyrical former Red Molly  multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Carolann Solebello, veteran politically-informed folksinger Bev Grant at 8 and at 9 by Lindsey Wilson and her shreddy, tuneful funk/soul band at Silvana 

4/2, 7 PM sharply lyrical southwestern gothic/Americana songwriter Tom Shaner at LIC Bar

4/2, 7 PM guitarist Tom Csatari – whose latest big band album is rapturously good and tuneful – leads his Uncivilized chamber jazz project playing Chico Hamilton tunes followed at 9ish by psychedelic/art-rock/ Romany guitar genius Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

4/2, 7 PM Skinny Lister – the Pogues of oldtime British folk music – at the Mercury, $15

4/2, 7 PM enigmatic, psychedelically-tinged, subtly sardonic jazz guitarist Jon Lundbom and Big V Chord at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

4/2, 7 PM percussive, trance-inducing, bitingly tuneful, Middle Eatstern-tinged female-fronted jamband SisterMonk at the small room at the Rockwood

4/2, 7:30 PM slyly cinematic, edgy downtown swing legends the Microscopic Septet play tunes from their surprisingly trad, straight-ahead new blues album at Smalls

4/2, 9 PM lyrical trumpet powerhouse Nadje Noordhuis leads a guitar-driven quartet at 55 Bar. 4/23 at 5 she leads a trio at St. Peter’s Church, free.

4/2, 9 PM hypnotic, pounding, surprisingly tuneful post-MBV dreampop band Ovlov at the Silent Barn, $8 

4/2, 9 PM Red Gretchen play their slowly undulating, doomy psychedelic/art-rock grooves at Otto’s. They’re also here on 4/9

4/2, 9:30 PM Annie Golden, soaring frontwoman of CBs powerpop legends the Shirts’ backed by a solid band including amazing guitarist Paul McKenzie at the Cutting Room, $15 adv tix rec

4/2, 11 PM slinky maracatu/New Orleans/surf rock mashups with Nation Beat at the big room at the Rockwood

4/3, 7:30 PM the Eroica Trio play works by Paul Schoenfield, Bruce Wolosoff, and Kevin Putsat Symphony Space, $20 adv tix rec

4/3, 9 PM awesomely slinky, psychedelic Israeli Ethiopiques groove instrumentalists Anbessa Orchestra followed eventually at 11 by the New York Chillharmonic – singer/keyboardist Sara McDonald’s lush 17-piece art-rock/chamber pop band with string quartet and big band jazz orchestration – at the Knitting Factory, $10 adv tix rec. Avoid the awful top 40 cover band in between at all costs.

4/3, 9 PM sweeping, swinging vibraphone jazz with Behn Gillece and his quartet at the Fat Cat. 4/22 at 7:30 they’re at Smalls

4/4, 7 PM the Silent Six – the Microscopic Septet’s Phillip Johnston (soprano sax), Joe Fiedler (trombone), Mike Hashim (baritone sax), Neal Kirkwood (piano), Dave Hofstra (bass), Rob Garcia (drums). A rare appearance! followed at 9 by ten-piece funky Balkan brass jazz monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

4/4, 7:30/9:30 PM a captivatingly intimate, darkly tuneful duo show with pianist Shai Maestro‘s quartet featuring saxophonist Mark Turner at the Jazz Galley, $22

4/4, 7:30 PM charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy leads his group at Smalls

4/4, 8 PM Americana rock guitar legend and former Lakeside Lounge honcho  Eric Ambel of the Del-Lords and formerly with Steve Earle –  who has a reputedly scorching new live album out – at Hifi Bar

4/4, 8:30 PM darkly minimalist, atmospheric chamber pop/art-rock chanteuse Nico Turner at Bar Lunatico

4/4, 10 PM wickedly tuneful, Zombies-esque psychedelic pop bandleader Sam Kogon at Union Pool, $10

4/5, 6 PM sitarist Anjana Roy with Polash Gomes on tabla at the Rubin Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

4/5, 6:30 PM magical, mystical Pakistani Sufi chanteuse Sanam Marvi and her band at the Asia Society, 725 Park Ave, $12/$10 stud/srs

4/5, 7 PM in homage to Paul Wittgenstein—the concert pianist who lost an arm in World War I and commissioned piano concerti for the left hand alone— an ensemble perform Sonate pour violon et piano (1917) by Debussy, D’un matin de printemps by Lili Boulanger, and Eric Korngold’s Suite pour 2 violons, violoncelle et piano op.23 at the Poisson Rouge, free

4/5, 7 PM violinist Miranda Cuckson plays the album release show for her ethereal new one with works by Wang Lu, Stefan Wolpe, Richard Barrett at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix rec

 4/5, 7:30/9:30 PM sitarist Abhik Mukherjee plays a duo show with Sameer Gupta on tabla at the Jazz Gallery, $15

4/5, 7:30 PM intense, politically inspired pianist Bobby Avey solo followed by trumpeter Matt Holman’s Tenth Muse at Greenwich House Music School, $15

4/5, 7:30 PM Armenian jazz tar lute player Miqayel Voskanyan and band with special guest darkly fiery accordionist Sevana Tchakerian at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

4/5, 8 PM iconic indie classical composer Phil Kline, his old bandmate pal filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Horner, fiery indie classical pianist Kathleen Supové, and Bang on a Can All-Stars percussionist David Cossin perform past, present, and future Kline works, including music from Kline’s upcoming album and two theater works-in-progress, “I Am Joan Crawford” and “Tesla” at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

4/5, 8 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

4/5, 8:30 PM guitarist Matt Munisteri and accordionist Will Holshouser’s shadowy Belgian barroom band Musette Explosion at Bar Lunatico

4/5-9, 8:30 PM bassist Greg Cohen plays a stand at the Stone with a variety of groups, $20. Choice pick: the 4/6 show: the Masada String Trio with Mark Feldman (violin) Erik Friedlander (cello) 

4/5, 9 PM haunting psychedelic/doom metal band Matte Black followed by horror surf legends the Coffin Daggers at the Parkside 

4/5, 9 PM Xylouris White – George Xylouris and the Dirty Three’s Jim White jamming out haunting themes on Cretan lute and drums – at the Park Church Coop in Greenpoint, $15 

4/5, 9 PM charismatic, eclectic cellist/songwriter Meaghan Burke at the Way Station

4/5, 9 PM 20s hot jazz revivalists Cait and the Critters at Radegast Hall

4/5, 10 PM epic Indian-inspired spacerock band Humeysha at Baby’s All Right, free

4/5, 10 PM fiery, charismatic soul siren Meah Pace and her oldschool band at the McKittrick Hotel

4/6, 1 PM the City of Tomorrow woodwind quintet explore futuristic water shortage-era themes at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, free

4/6, 7:30 PM a screening of the 1929 silent film Wings – the first-ever Academy Award-winner for Best Picture – with live accompaniment by the Prima Vista Quartet at the French Institute, 55 E 59th St., free

4/6, 7 PM historian Adrienne G. Alexanian reads from her new book, Forced into Genocide: Memoirs of an Armenian Soldier in the Ottoman Turkish Army at the Zohrab Center at the Armenian Church, 34th/2nd Ave., free, reception to follow

4/6, 7 PM composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa takes a turn as soloist, backed by the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) singing works including A Collective Cleansing (2000) for solo voice and digital audio, Graffiti Dell’amante (2010) for string quartet and soprano, Genesis Again (1998) for soprano and violin, and two arias from her episodic opera Vireo: “The Bat” and “The Dragon and the Girl, at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix avail

4/6, 7:30 PM trippy, otherworldly, ancient North African dance percussion ensemble Innov Gnawa  open for Malian guitar shredder Vieux Farka Toure at Bric Arts, $15 adv tix rec

4/6, 7:30  PM haunting Pakistani chanteuse Sanam Marvi at the Gilman Opera House at BAM, $30

4/6, 7:30 PM subtly edgy, jazz-tinged acoustic songstress Meklit plays the album release show for her new one at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

4/6-9, 7:30/9:30 PM ageeless North African-inspired jazz piano paradigm-shifter Randy Weston leads his African Rhythms Quintet at the Jazz Standard, $30

4/6, 7:30 PM pensive, imaginative Kosovo-based jazz guitarist Taulant Mehmeti leads his band at Club Bonafide, $10

4/6, 8 PM dark, charismatic, mischievously witty lyrical keyboardist/accordionist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez at Barbes

4/6, 8 PM Sharq Attack with Marandi Hostetter, 5 string violin; Brian Prunka, oud; John Murchison, double bass and Philip Mayer, percussion jam out classic Middle Eastern themes followed by intense Balkan chanteuse Jenny Luna‘s haunting, traditional Turkish band Dolunay  at the Owl, $10

4/6, 8 PM acclaimed Mexican poet and folk music legend Zenen Zeferino with NYC’s only original son jarocho party band, Radio Jarocho at Greenwich House Music School, $15

4/6, 8 PM magically nuanced drummer Carlo Costa  and one of his improvisational ensembles at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery

4/6, 8 PM indie chamber orchestra Contemporaneous plays new works by  Victor Baez, Derek Cooper, Max Grafe, Alyssa Weinberg, Harry Stafylakis and Nicole Murphy at the DiMenna Center, $20/$10 stud, includes open bar!?. On 4/11 at 8 they play microtonal works by Sean Jaeger, Kristofer Svensson and Katherine Balch at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec but no bar. 

4/6, 8:30 PM klezmer dancefloor madness: the New York Fidl Kapelye concert & tantshoyz w/Sarah Myerson, featuring Amy Zakar, Deborah Strauss, Jake Shulman-Ment, Keryn Kleiman, Lauren Brody, Aaron Alexander & more! at the Jalopy, $15

4/6, 8:30ish Gozu – who range from post-Sabbath doom to stoner boogie to long, bubonic stoner jams – at Drom, $12 adv tix rec 

4/6, 9:30 PM brilliantly lyrical dark oldtimey songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Pete Lanctot and the Stray Dogs at Hank’s

4/6, 10 PM explosive Neil Y/Crazy Horse-ish sounds and slinky desert rock with guitarist Marco with Love at the Delancey, $8

4/6, 10:30 PM intense, lyrical tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss leads her quintet at Smalls

4/7, 5:30 PM fiery Americana stringband duo the Berger Sisters at the American Folk Art Museum

4/7, 7 PM intense, legendary, noirish punk jazz sax/drum duo Iconoclast – Julie Joslyn and Leo Ciesa – play their joint 30th anniversary show and album release show for their new one at stage 2 at Michiko Studios, 149 W 46 St

4/7, 7:30 PM the American String Quartet play works by Berg, Beethoven and then the Schubert Quintet at Greenfield Hall at Manhattan School of Music, free

4/7, 7:30 PM the New World Trio play works by Debussy, Ravel, Fauré and Payette at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $20/$15 stud/srs

4/7, 8 PM NYC rock and swing guitar legend Steve Antonakos followed by Certain General guitarslinger Phil Gammage and his Quartet at Bowery Electric, free

4/7, 8 PM sitarist Alam Khan plays a bday tribute to his dad, Ali Akbar Khan with Nitin Mitta on tabla & the Om Gam Ensemble at the Poisson Rouge, $25 adv tix rec

4/7, 8 PM lyrical, lyrically-driven rising star jazz pianist Helen Sung and her trio at Mezzrow, $25

4/7, 8 PM the New Amsterdam Symphony play Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto no. 1  and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 at Symphony  Space, $25

4/7, 8 PM percussionist Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans play Puerto Rican jazz; and Masayo Ishigure and her group the Miyabi Koto Shamisen Ensemble add innovative jazz and western classical influences to traditional Japanese music at Flushing Town Hall,  $16/$10 stud, 13-19 free w/ID

4/7, 9 PM psychedelic Punjabi rock band Rhythm Tolee and Pakistani crooner Abdul Aziz Peerzada at BAM Cafe, free

4/7, 9 PM moodily lyrical, politically savvy Irish folk-rocker Niall Connolly at the small room at the Rockwood. He’s also here on 4/21

4/7, 9 PM a ghoulabilly monstrosity at Lucky 13 Saloon with the screaming, punkish Northern Wrecks, Fiddler & the Crossroads, crooner Sean Keshaw‘s creepy Serpentones, cowpunks Kings County Casket Co. and rockabilly hellraisers the Screaming Rebel Angels at Lucky 13 Saloon, $8

4/7, 10 PM Hollywood’s Dan Finnerty leads his savagely hilarious top 40 parody group the Dan Band at Joe’s Pub, $25

 4/7, 10 PM eclectic, soulful, lyrical original oldtime Americana/folk band the Woes at Sunny’s

4/7, 10 PM epic, cinematic Indian violin-fueled art-rock themes with Rini and her explosive band at the Way Station

4/7, 10 PM well-liked 90s alt-country vets Son Volt at Bowery Ballroom, $23 adv tix rec

4/7-8, 10:30 PM powerful, erudite, elegantly tuneful tenor saxman/composerNoah Preminger/plays the album release shows for the first genuine protest jazz album of 2017 at Smalls with his long-running quartet

4/7, 10:30 PM catchy Booker T-esque soul jazz with the David Gibson/Jared Gold, Hammond B3 organ band at the Fat Cat

4/8,11:30 AM  Malian-born griot Abdoulaye Diabaté and band at the Hostos Center, 450 Grand Concourse north of 146th St. in the Bronx, free, 2/5 to 149th St.

4/8, 5  PM cleverly lyrical, edgily funny, spine-tingling powerpop/acoustic rock singer Tamara Hey at the small room at the Rockwood

4/8, 7 PM Serbian-born jazz vocalist Alma Micic and her quartet at BMHC Lab, 1303 Louis Niné Blvd in the Bronx, free; 2 or 5 train to Freeman St

4/8, 7:30 PM incomparable country/jazz/janglerock icon Amy Allison at Dixon Place, free. Brilliant new material, all kinds of rarities and devastatingly funny between-song banter

4/8, 7:30 PM Linda Chatterton (flute), Rachel Brandwein (harp) and Aristo Sham (piano) perform works by contemporary Hong Kong composers with world premieres by Galison Lau and Ka-wai So, US premieres by Wendy Wan-Ki Lee, Cynthia Chi-Wing Wong and Chi-hin Leung, with additional works by Donald Yu and Austin Ho-Kwen Yip at the DiMenna Center

4/8, 7:30 PM smartly eclectic singer and vivid original jazz songwriter Allegra Levy celebrates the release of her new album Cities Between Us with her album bandmates, saxophonist Stephen Riley, cornetist Kirk Knuffke, pianist Carmen Staaf, drummer Jeff Davis, and bassist Jay Anderson at Club Bonafide

4/8, 8 PM Vishwa Mohan Bhatt with Subhen Chaterjee play Indian music for slide guitar (mohan veena) & tabla at Roulette, $30

4/8, 8 PM haunting pan-Asian avant-jazz songstress/composer Jen Shyu  solo at the Owl, $10

4/8, 8 PM pioneering composer and electronic musician Richard Teitelbaum with pianist Marilyn Crispell, cellist Leila Bordreuil & improviser Miguel Frasconi at Greenwich House Music School, $15/$10 stud/srs

4/8, 8:30 PM brilliant Americana jazz pedal steel player Susan Alcorn with elegantly melodic, darkly counterintuitive pianist Sylvie Courvoisier at I-Beam, $15

4/8, 8:30 PM Brooklyn jamband legends Plastic Beef and their many spinoffs/side projects – who hasn’t been a member of Plastic Beef at some point? – at Freddy’s

4/8, 8:30 PM the world’s most popular newschool jazz group, Kneebody at the Poisson Rouge, $17 adv tix rec

4/8, 8:30 PM Ensemble Signal plays a “composer portrait” of the darkly enigmatic, uneasily Schoenbergian Johannes Maria Staud at the Miller Theatre, $30/$20 stud

4/8, 9 PM haunting, theatrical Korean art-folk/dance ensemble Baraji at BAM Cafe, free

4/8, 9 PM Abraham’s River fka Mac McCarty & the Kidd Twist Band playing their fiery, sometimes unexpectedly poignant Pogues-ish punk and folk noir at Sidewalk

4/8, 9 PM wryly surreal prozac rock with duo the Dream Eaters playing the album release show for their new one at Halyards in Gowanus

4/8, 9 PM eclectically tuneful swing/noir/pastoral jazz combo the Jazz Thieves followed eventually at 11 by wild, noisy, genuinely Hendrixian virtuoso lead guitarist Viva DeConcini and her band  at the Way Station. Viva is also here on 4/13 at 8 followed by Dalton Deschain & the Traveling Show playing their creepy circus punk and arena rock and then on 4/29 at 10 followed by intense frontwoman Hannah Fairchild’s searingly lyrical punk/art-rock/noir cabaret band Hannah vs. the Many 

4/8, 9 PM perennially fun fourth-wave garage rockers Muck & the Mires at Bowery Electric, $12 adv tix rec

4/8, 10 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues”at Pan-Icarian Brotherhood Hall, 8722 52nd Ave., Flushing, M/R train to Grand Ave – Newtown. 4/12 at 9 they’re at Troost and 4/20 at 9 at Espresso 77, 35-57 77th Street, Jackson Hts.

4/8, 10ish keyboardist Manu Koch’s trippy, socially conscious Mediterranean/Near Eastern jazz/groove/funk band Filtron M play the album release show for their new one at Nublu 151 

4/8. 10:30 PM smart, cosmopolitan jazz chanteuse Svetlana & the Delancey 5  – Breakfast at Tiffany’s meets Some Like It Hot – at the Django, $10 standing room avail

4/8, 11:30 PM funny, explosive oldschool style punk rockers the Live Ones at Hank’s

4/8, midnight a mind-blowing, murky collaboration between spacerock/postrock guitarist David Grubbs and dark low-register composer Eli Keszler at the Knockdown Center, $10

4/9, 2 PM a rare free performance by Polish polka legends the Jimmy Sturr Orchestra at the Knockdown Center

4/9, 4 PM hip-hop brass band grooves with the Lowdown Brass Band  at BMHC Lab, 1303 Louis Niné Blvd in the Bronx; 2 or 5 train to Freeman St

4/9, 4:30 PM the UK Subs at Bowery Electric, $20 adv tix rec., be aware that the late show is sold out. Think about it: Charlie Harper is probably close to 80 right now and playing 2 sets of punk rock.

4/9, 6  PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at 55 Bar

4/9, 7 PM harpist Isabelle Olivier debuts a new trio with reed player Fraser Campbell and drummer Devin Gray followed by paradigm-shifting Romany jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel – who blends Django with ominous Pink Floyd art-rock and growling post-Velvets psychedelia – at Barbes

 4/9, 7 PM four basses in the same band: OMFG. Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic’s Bass Quartet with Nick Jozwick, Sean Ali and Zach Swanson at Downtown Music Gallery, free

4/9, 8 PM the guy who pretty much invented southwestern gothic, Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb opens for 90s indie crooner Mark Eitzel at Rough Trade, $18 adv tix rec. Should be the other way around

4/9, 8:30 PM Dance of Fury with Jason Yeager, piano;  Anna Webber, saxophone;  Nick Dunston, bass;  Samuel B, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

4/9, 9 PM edgy female-fronted funk band Eliza & the Organix – feat. swirly alto sax player Kristen Tivey – at Silvana

4/9, 9ish impassioned cantorially-inspired Sway Machinery singer Jeremiah Lockwood and delta blues/oldtime hillbilly music maven Mamie Minch  play their haunting original acoustic blues at the old Nublu at 62 Ave. C

4/10, 6 PM cleverly lyrical, coolly intriguing jazz chanteuse Dorian Devins leads her quartet with special guest Jamie Baum on flute at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

4/10, 7 PM tuneful postbop pianist Jim Ridl leads his group from behind the Rhodes at 55 Bar

4/10, 7:30 PM the Variation Trio – Jennifer Koh, violin; Scott St. John, viola; Wilhelmina Smith, cello and the Rhythm Method String Quartet – Leah Asher, violin; Maria Kifferstein, violin; Anne Lanzilotti, viola; Meaghan Burke, cello, plus Aaron Wunsch, piano play music of Andrew Norman, Kurtag, Bach and Dufay at Music Mondays, Advent Church, 93rd/Broadway, free, early arrival advised 

4/10, 8 PM Devin – the world’s funniest weedhead rapper, still smoking after 20 years – at B.B. King’s, $20 adv tix req

4/10, 9:30 PM psychedelic cumbia band Los Cumpleanos – new wave synths & retro organ sounds with effect-laden trombone and trumpet as well as a three piece percussion section – at Barbes

4/10, 10 PM explosive, creepy, colorful psychedelic rembetiko metal band Greek Judas at LIC Bar

4/11, drinks at 5:30, music at 6 PM So Percussion’s Jason Treuting + JACK Quartet at the Miller Theatre, free

4/11, 7 PM eclectic, hard-hitting, lyrical composer/tenor saxophonist Stan Killian and group followed at 10 by acerbic alto saxophonist David Binney leading his quartet at at 55 Bar

4/11, 8 PM haunting Iranian classical santoor player Sahba Sidzakhani opens for noisy, hazily jangly, psychedelic slowcore/free jazz/avant instrumentalists Sunwatchers at Union Pool, $10

4/11, 8 PM roaring 20s hot jazz with Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers at Radegast Hall

4/11, 8/9:30 PM pianist Steve Sandberg & Alaya play “music from a country I’ve never been to but always wanted to visit.” performances from the solo classical piano repertoire and continue with the quartet’s improvisations on originals on European, African, Latin, Balkan and Indian themes at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

4/11, 8:30 PM Argentine tango/folklorico singer Isabel de Sebastian at Bar Lunatico

4/11, 9ish enigmatically soaring, lyrically searing noir cinematic songwriter Karla Rose – whose most recent work rivals Steve Wynn – at 11th St. Bar

4/11, 9 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with Jack Grace solo at Bar Chord.

4/11, 9:30 PM the Bronx Conexion play their mighty salsa big band jazz at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

4/11, 9:30 PM wryly retro, period-perfect classic 60s style female-fronted honkytonk band the Bourbon Express at Pete’s

4/11, 9:30 PM tersely catchy latin Caribbean songwriter Alex Cuba at Joe’s Pub, $20

4/11, 11 PM ex-Belleville Outfit violinist Phoebe Hunt & the Gatherers play imaginative newgrass off their new album at the Rockwood

4/12, 6 PM Keisho Ohno on the tsugaru-shamisen at the Rubin Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

4/12, 7 PM hip-hop legend Uncle Ralph McDaniels hosts a live broadcast of the world’s longest-running and most influential rap tv show, Video Music Box at BRIC Arts, free w/rsvp 

4/12, 8 PM wry 70s style kraurtock disco band Automaatio followed by Lusterlit’s ominous, noirish literary chamber pop at the Well, 272 Meserole St, Bushwick, $8

4/12, 8 PM relentlessly dark, often creepy noir Americana with Joshua James at the Mercury, $15 adv tix rec

4/12, 8/9:30 PM unstoppable shredder Brandon Seabrook, guitar;  Daniel Levin, cello;  Henry Fraser, bass at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

4/12, 9:30 PM fiery garage rock band the NY Fowl Harmonic – a Gato Loco spinoff – at the Delancey

4/12, 10 PM hard-hitting original garage-psych bandleader Sallie Ford at the Bell House, $15

4/12, 11 PM theatrical, captivating art-rock/glamstress Kristeen Young at Bowery Electric, $10. She’s also here on 4/19, an hour earlier

4/13, 7 PM a rare solo show by iconic noir NYC saxophonist/raconteur and Jazz Passenger Roy Nathanson at the Bobst Library at NYU, 70 Washington Square South, free w/rsvp, reception to follow 

4/13, 7:30/9:30 PM rapturous carnatic-inspired singer Amirtha Kidambi with Matt Nelson – saxophone; Brandon Lopez – bass; Max Jaffe – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $15

4/13, 7:30 PM a rare bass-fronted large jazz ensemble (just like Mingus), the Ross Kratter Jazz Orchestra at Club Bonafide, $20

4/13, 8 PM playfully but also hauntingly eclectic pan-latin songstress Sofia Rei does her one-woman electroacoustic vocal thing at Greenwich House Music School, $15

4/13, 8/9:30 PM tuneful, terse third-stream jazz pianist Anat Fort with Chris Cheek, tenor sax;  Gary Wang, bass;  Francisco Mela, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

4/13, 8 PM violinist Maya Bennardo’s Arcus Collective play ten new works for trumpet and violin by Ashkan Behzadi, Agustí Charles, Nicoletta Chatzopoulou, Fjóla Evans, Texu Kim, Caroline Miller, Fernanda Navarro, Celeste Oram, Kristofer Svensson, and Sam the DiMenna Center, $10

4/13, 8:30 PM the Ternovka Ensemble, w/Pete Rushefsky, Zhenya Lopatnik, Jake Shulman-Ment, Zoe Aqua, Joanna Sternberg play darkly bristling Ukrainian-tinged klezmer sounds at the Jalopy, $15

4/13, 8/10:30 PM alto sax powerhouse Kenny Garrett leads a quintet at the Blue Note, $20 standing room avail

4/13, 8 PM plush, balmy, oldtimey uke swing band Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies at Barbes

4/13, 8:30 PM the irrepressible Jon Irabagon on sax with Gary Versace on organ and Dan Weiss on drums at the Bar Next Door

4/13, 9 PM hot 20s swing with trumpeter Jason Prover and his Sneak Thievery Orchestra at Radegast Hall

4/13, 10 PM fiery oldtimey 19th century style string band the Four O’Clock Flowers at Sunny’s

4/13, 10 PM torchy, eclectic jazz/Americana singer/dobro player Abbie Gardner (ex-Red Molly) at Pete’s

4/13, 10 PM simmering, nocturnal oldschool soul vocal/guitar duo Dwight & Nicole at the big room at the Rockwood, $12

4/13, 11 PM it’s a long way from the days at the back room at Black Betty: soaring, explosive singer Xenia Rubinos at Bowery Ballroom, $15

4/14, 1 PM a performance of Bach’s St. John Passion at St. Peter’s Church, free

4/14, 6 PM crystalline-voiced, noir-tinged third-stream jazz chanteuse Tessa Souter and her band at 55 Bar

4/14-15, 7:30/9:30 PM technically dazzling, smart rising star trumpeter Adam O’Farrill leads his octet at the Jazz Gallery, $22

4/14, 8 PM cutting-edge big band jazz crew the Jihye Lee Orchestra play the album release concert for their haunting new one, inspired by a Korean ferry disaster, at Symphony Space, $25

4/14, 8 PM sultry retro Franco-American torch jazz/chamber pop/ukulele swing band les Chauds Lapins at Barbes

4/14. 8 PM perennially torchy, coyly captivating oldtimey Americana/swing songwriter Jolie Holland at the Mercury, $15

4/14, 8 PM a good, mysterious twinbill: ethereally spooky pianist Rema Hasumi leads her trio followed by guitarist Todd Neufeld leading his at the Owl, $10

4/14 8:30 PM bad segue, great twinbill: fiery southwestern gothic/Romany rock band Butcher Knives followed by the stoner New Orleans soul/psych/circus rock grooves of the Dirty Bourbon River Show at the Knitting Factory, $12

4/14, 10 PM deviously fun oldtimey swing guitarist/crooner Seth Kessel & the Two Cent Band  at Sunny’s, 4/17, 8 PM he’s at Radegast Hall

4/14, 10:30 PM guitarist Alyse Lamb’s fiery, subtly witty tightly psychedelic jazz-inspired postpunk band Parlor Walls at Muchmore’s, $7

4/14, 11 PM lush, intense, artfully orchestrated psychedelic rockers Aunt Ange at the small room at the Rockwood

4/15, 2 PM edgy, lyrical rising star jazz singer/guitarist Rebecca Zola performs with her Zolaband: Nick Dunston on bass, Kalia Vandever on trombone, Lee Meadvin on guitar, and Connor Parks on drums.  She also plays guitar solo, and a duo with Theo Walentiny on piano at Mannes School of Jazz Performance Space, Arnhold Hall, 55 W13th St on the 5th floor, free 

4/15, 3 PM Blythe Gruda sings her enigmatic art-rock and parlor pop at Pete’s

4/15, 5 PM a free screening of Risha Gorig’s imagistically sobering new documentary The Changing Faces of Red Hook at the Jalopy 

4/15, 6 PM songstress Kim Monroe’s badass highway rock/classic 60s pop band Castle Creek at the small room at the Rockwood 

4/15, 7 PM fiery, guitar-fueled Americana punks Spanking Charlene, followed by longtime LES southwestern gothic/folk noir band Mad Juana and eventually former Willie Nile sideman/glamrocker Steve Conte at Bowery Electric, $10

4/15, 7:30 PM the darkly Middle Eastern-tinged Eyal Vilner Big Band at Ginny’s Supper Club, $15

4/15, 7:30 PM pianist Anna Fedorova plays works by Chopin, Scriabin, Mozart and others at at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, 16th St./Irving Place, $15

4/15, 8 PM superbly counterintuitive drummer/composer Vinnie Sperrazza leads his band followed by lyrical pianist Brian Marsella leading his at the Owl, $10

4/15, 9 PM searing, theatrical Romany/Balkan punk rockers Bad Buka at Mehanata, $10

4/15 10 PM long-running, perennially stomping post-new wavers the Wedding Present at the Bell House, $20

4/15, 11 PM sardonic, hard-hitting, noisy Japanese girlpunks the Hard Nips at the Cobra Club, $7

4/16, 1 PM a fundraiser for global women’s reproductive health organization Marie Stopes International at Corkscrew Wines, 489 Myrtle Ave, Ft. Greene with readings by Ariel Yelen, Phoebe Glick and Jasmine Dreame Wagner+ a few songs by haunting Great Plains gothic songwriter Rose Thomas Bannister, sugg don, potluck, sliding scale, contribute what you can, “nobody turned away,” C/G to Clinton-Washington

4/16, 6 PM edgy, lyrical, darkly kaleidoscopic original jazz pianist/singer/composer Alina Engibaryan at Shrine 

4/16, 7 PM accordionist Sam Reider’s “future folk music” band followed at 9ish by psychedelic/art-rock/ Romany guitar genius Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

4/16, 7:30 PM tersely incendiary Chicago blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker at B.B. King’s, $10 adv tix rec

4/16, 10 PM Dealer – who mix stoner boogie, doom metal and slower heavy psych sounds at the Silent Barn, $8 

4/17, 7:30 PM pyrotechnic vibraphonist Mark Sherman leads his quintet at Smalls

4/17, 8/10:30 PM ageless, perennially hard-hitting jazz piano sage and ex-Coltrane bandmate McCoy Tyner at the Blue Note, $30 standing room avail

4/17, 9 PM legendary dual-reedman George Braith – who can play two saxes at once better than most guys can play one – leading his quartet at the Fat Cat

4/17, 9:30 PM savagely lyrical original klezmer songwriter/bandleader Daniel Kahn & the Painted Bird at Joe’s Pub, $20

4/17, 9:30 PM Yotoco, “the bastard child of Umoja Orchestra, Bioritmo, and Cumbiagra plays a melange of salsa, Afro-Cuban rumba, boleros, and cumbia” at Barbes.

4/17, midnight noir piano jazz with the Dred Scott Trio back at their old spot, the small room at the Rockwood. They’re also here on 4/24

4/18, 7  PM brilliant pedal steel player Mike Neer’s Steelonious – who do Monk covers in the same vein as Buddy Emmons – followed at 9 by ten-piece funky Balkan brass jazz monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

4/18, 7 PM counterintuitive drummer/composer Vinnie Sperrazza ‘s trio with Jacob Sacks on piano and Chet Doxas on tenor plus bass wildman Moppa Elliott‘s Advancing on a Wild Pitch at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

4/18, 7:15 PM indie classical piano/percussion ensemble Bearthoven play the album release show for their new album featuring works by some excellent indie classical and up-and-coming composers – Ken Thomson, Brooks Frederickson, Brendon Randall-Myers, Fjóla Evans, Adrian Knight, and Anthony Vine – at the Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec

4/18, 7:30 PM fiery alto saxophonist Lucas Pino’s twin-guitar No No Nonet at Smalls

4/18, 8 PM popular indie classical orchestra the Knights play  music by Schubert, Mozart, Haydn, Stravinsky, Philip Glass at Bric Arts, $18 adv tix rec

4/18-19, 8/10:30 PM killer soprano saxophonist James Carter leads a quartet at the Blue Note, $20 standing room vail

4/18-23, 8:30 PM OMFG Wadada Leo Smith plays a stand at the Stone with a variety of groups, $20. Choice pick: all of them, but the real special one is 4/20 with his String Quartet No. 13 (for Four Violas with Trumpet and Electronics) performed with Stephanie Griffin (viola) Gwen Lester (viola) Tanya Kalmanovitch (viola) Jason Kao Hwang (viola) Hardedge (electronics)

4/18. 8:30 PMi ntense, rapturous Balkan/ Middle Eastern ensemble the Secret Trio –Tamer Pinarbasi, Ismail Lumanovski & Ara Dinkjian – at Bar Lunatico

4/18,  9 PM the Space Merchants – the missing link between the Stooges and X – at American Beauty, $10 adv tix req

4/19, 5 PM indie classical chamber luminaries Talea Ensemble with soprano Juliet Fraser perform John Zorn’s Alll Hallows Eve plus wotks by Olga Neuwirth, Beat Furrer and Steve Reich at the Austrian Cultural Forum 11 E 52nd St.,  free 

4/19, 6:30 PM  up-and-coming guitarist/songwriter Alicyn Yaffee -the rare artist who successfully bridges the gap between lyrically-fueled chamber pop and jazz – at the Bar Next Door, free

4/19, 7 PM a benefit for the NYC Immigration Coalition at Littlefield with the ethereal, Balkan-influenced Accord Treble Choir, badass resonator guitarist Mamie Minch, latin jazz accordionist/crooner Gregorio Uribe, Banda Nueva York and others, $20

4/19, 7:30/9:30 PM hardworking, perennially tuneful bassist/composer Linda Oh plays the album release show for her Marcel Marceau-inspired new one Walk Against Wind at the Jazz Standard, $25

4/19, 7:30 PM fiery postbop alto saxophonist/composer Hailey Niswanger leads her quartet at Smalls

 4/19, 7:30 PM Matuto mash up Brazilian forro and American bluegrass at Bric Arts, free w/rsvp 

4/19, 8 PM dangerously edgy jazz guitarist Sean Cronin‘s Animule at Barbes

4/19, 9 PM first-rate purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Clifford Westfall at 11th St. Bar

4/19, 9 PM smart, cleverly lyrical original swing chanteuse/songwriter/trombonist Emily Asher’s Garden Party at Radegast Hall

4/20, 1 PM Novus NY play Lou Harrison’s Solstice at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, free

4/20, 7:30 PM Colombian champeta party band Tribu Baharu at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

4/20 and 4/25, 7:30 PM, also 4/22 at 8 the NY Philharmonic and Jonathan Biss perform Beethoven’s dramatic Second Piano Concerto and Timo Andres’s new piano concerto – part of a project creating new concertos with each of Beethoven’s five – at Avery Fisher Hall, $30 tix avail

4/20, 7:30 PM violinist par excellence Anne Akiko Meyers plays works by Beethoven, Part, Rautavaara, Ravel, Lauridsen and a Ciupinski premiere at the 92nd St. Y, $25 tix avail

4/20, 8 PM the Machine do an amazingly close approximation of Pink Floyd classics and obscure material at B.B. King’s, , $25 adv tix rec.

4/20, 8 PM the only Moroccan gnawa band this side of the Atlantic, Innov Gnawa play extremely rare Moroccan Jewish trance music  at Greenwich House Music School, $15

4/20, 8 PM eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo and his Tango Quartet followed at 10 by intense, intricately orchestrated, low register-loving psycho mambo band Gato Loco at Barbes

4/20, 8 PM the lavish, kinetic Liberte Big Band led by pianist Liberté-Anne Lymberiou Liberté-Anne Lymberiou at the Wil;liamsburg Music Center, 367 Bedford Ave 

4/20, 8:30 PM bassist Brian Glassman’s Klezmer-Jazz Alliance at the Jalopy, $15

4/20, 9ish hilarious 70s metal parody band Mighty High at at Lucky 13 Saloon, $

4/20, 9 PM folk noir from across the pond: Adam Masterson at the small room at the Rockwood

4/20, 9:30 PM violinist Lisanne Tremblay leads a quartet with Liberty Ellman on guitar,John Hébert on bass, and E.J. Strickland on drums at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

4/20, 10  PM edgy lefty guitarist Damian Quinones and his psychedelic latin soul band at  Pete’s

4/20. 10:30 PM noir-inspired alto saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton leads his group at Smalls

4/21, 5:30 PM darkly lyrical indie folk/parlor pop crooner/songwriter Nathaniel Bellows – who validates the inevitable Leonard Cohen comparisons – followed eventually at 6:30ish by the similarly haunting, lyrical Carolann Solebello (ex-Red Molly) at the American Folk Art Museum 

4/21, 6:30 PM Black Marble perform 17th and 18th century violin music by Mozart, Leclair, Reger, Barbella, and others at the King Manor Museum in the middle of Rufus King Park in Jamaica, F to Sutphin Blvd, $15/$10 stud/srs

4/21, 7:30 PM, repeating 4/22 at 8:30 PM the reliably entertaining, adventurous Chelsea Symphony premieres Samuel Magrill’s Concerto Fantastique for flute and orchestra with soloist Mira Magrill;  Stephen McDougall-Graham solos on Henri Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto. Saturday’s concert welcomes back violinist Jenn Ahn as featured soloist, performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. The second half of both concerts features two 20th-century classics: Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks and the Prokofiev Classical Symphony at St. Paul’s Church, 315 W 22nd St., $20 sugg don

 4/21, 7:30 PM the Occasionalists play a revolution-themed live karaoke show at Littlefield, $12

4/21, 8 PM art-rocker Pierre de Gaillande’s Bad Reputation playing witty chamber pop English translations of Georges Brassens classics followed at 10 by energetic acoustic Veracruz-style folk-punk band Radio Jarocho at Barbes

4/21, 8 PM flutist Sylvain Leroux and Source play Malian folk music; brilliant, charismatic oudist Rachid Halihal and Fez play Moroccan and Middle Eastern classics at Flushing Town Hall,  $16/$10 stud, 13-19 free w/ID

4/21, 8/9:30 PM cinematic, nocturnally-inclined pastoral jazz vibraphonist Chris Dingman with Linda Oh, bass;  Kenny Wolleson, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

4/21, 9 PM stoner boogie/gutter blues band the Krystys (all dudes, fyi) followed eventually at midnight by the far darker, more psychedelic, intense, noisy female-fronted Vaureen – sort of a heavier Castle Black – at Muchmore’s, $5

4/21, 9 PM violinist Adrianna Mateo plays songs from her upcoming debut album and violin selections with guitarist Adam Bilchik at Bar Thalia adjacent to Symphony Space, free

4/21, 9 PM atmospheric Indian folk-inspired psychedelia with Tongues in Trees – vocalist Samita Sinha, drummer Sunny Jain of Red Baraat, and guitarist Grey McMurray from itsnotyouitsme – at BAM Cafe

 4/21, 10ish slow, crescendoing stoner dub jazz jams with Electric Red at Nublu 151 

4/21, 10 PM Lake Street Dive’s brilliant bassist Bridget Kearney with her irrepressibly fun new wave-tinged band at Rough Trade, $12 adv tix rec

4/21, 11 PM intense, charismatic folk noir chanteuse Lorraine Leckie at Sidewalk

4/22, 7ish Bobby Radcliff – the rare blues guitarist who plays a ton of notes but doesn’t waste them, sort of a funkier Stevie Ray Vaughan – with his trio at Terra Blues

4/22, 7:30 PM Christian Tetzlaff & Pamela Frank, violins play works by Bartok, De Beriot, Leclair and Prokofiev at at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, 16th St./Irving Place, $15

4/22, 8 PM playfully literate superduo Kill Henry Sugar – guitar/banjo mastermind Erik Della Penna and drummer Dean Sharenow – followed at 10 by hauntingly cinematic, harmony-driven Mexican nocturne band Las Rubias Del Norte at Barbes

4/22, 8 PM art-rock/parlor-pop pianist Elizabeth Ziman of Elizabeth & the Catapult – who may have catapulted the band out of existence and has officially gone solo – at the Owl

4/22, 8/9:30 PM crystalline, enigmatically enchanting jazz singer and vocalese specialist Aubrey Johnson  leads a fantastic band: Tomoko Omura, violin;  Michael Sachs, bass clarinet, alto sax;  Chris Ziemba, piano;  Matt Aronoff, bass;  Jeremy Noller, drums Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

4/22, 8:30 PM crystalline-voiced noir Americana songwriter Jessie Kilguss with her excellent band at Freddy’s

4/22, 8:30 PM if you got priced out of the Aimee Mann show this month, don’t stress: Andrea Wittgens is in the same league, and it won’t cost you as much to hear her at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10

4/22, 8:30 PM Random Test bring their roots reggae to SOB’s, $10

4/22, 9ish high-voltage psychedelic cumbia band MAKU Soundsystem – whose new album takes a detour toward Caribbean and African sounds – at C’Mon Everybody, $tba

4/22, 9:30 PM paisley underground/punk trio the Unknown Nobodies, followed by enigmatically careening,wickedly tuneful, intense female-fronted power trio Castle Black playing the release show for their third excellent album in year, at Matchless, $10

4/22. 10 PM careeningly bluesy post-Stooges psych/garage rockers Acid Dad at Rough Trade, $12 adv tix rec

4/22, 11 PM powerpop guitar hero Tobin Sprout of GBV leads his own powerpop band at the Bell House, $20

4/22, 11:30 PM twistedly phantasmagorical dark art-rock/circus rock band Chupacabra at Drom, $5 

4/23, 10 AM-8 PM the annual Mannes Chamber Music Bash, program TBA, free and open to the public, performances in the various auditoriums at Arnhold Hall, 55 W 13th St 

4/23, 5 PM intense, lyrical, smartly Waits/Dylanesque Americana songwriter Pete Lanctot with his excellent violinist wife Ginger Dolden at LIC Bar

4/23, 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 by multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman’s popular western swing band Brain Cloud playing the album release show for their new one Live at Barbes, at Barbes ($15 cover)

4/23, 7:15 PM Nazan Nihal and pianist/composer Utar Artun, with oudist Jussi Reijonen and multi-instrumentalist Bassam Saba play the album release show for their new one Anatolian Song at Drom, $10 adv tix rec

4/23, 8:30 PM chamber pop/Romany/Americana violinist/songwriter Sarah Alden at the big room at the Rockwood, $10

4/23, 9:30 PM ambitiously lyrical, cutting-edge rising star jazz composer/singer Annie Chen and her band at Shapeshifter Lab, $12

4/24, 7 PM violinist Ben Sutin’s high-voltage, eclectic klezmer jamband Klazz-Ma-Tazz at the small room at the Rockwood

4/24, 7 PM five new pieces by Huang Ruo performed by the Momenta Quartet and Ensemble FIRE and solo works performed by the composer himself at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

4/24, 7:30 PM wild, theatrical Japanese noir cabaret/klezmer/Romany accordion sister duo Charan-Po-Rantan w/ special guest violinist Alicia Svigals at Joe’s Pub, $20

4/24, 7:30 PM pianist Taka Kigawa and the String Orchestra of New York City split the bill on a concert of new music by Lisa Bielawa, Zosha Di Castri and Richard Carrick at Symphony Space, $20 adv tix rec

4/24, 9:30 PM Colombian cumbia band Bulla en el Barrio at Barbes

4/24, 10 PM Balkan powerhouse Tipsy Oxcart‘s bassist Ayal Tsubery plays with his own band at LIC Bar

4/25, 6 PM pianist Beatrice Long plays works by Scarlatti, Albeniz, Chopin and Ligeti at the Yamaha Piano Salon, $6

4/25, 7 PM big band jazz composer Amos Mitchell’s  Anomalous Ensemble plays their new album Anomalies all the way through at Shapeshifter Lab, $15

4/25, 7 PM the Orchestra of the SEM Ensemble play world premieres by George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Christian Wolff and Petr Bakla plus works by Muhal Richard Abrams, and Jackson MacLow with soloists Muhal Richard Abrams, Piano;Thomas Buckner, Voice; Claire Chase, Flute; Joseph Kubera, Piano; George Lewis, Trombone; Roscoe Mitchell, Saxophone and the Momenta Quartet at Bohemian National Hall, 321 E. 73rd St, sugg don

4/25, 8 PM haunting, crepuscular folk noir songwriter Erin Regan followed eventually at 10 by the similarly haunting, desperately dark folk noir band Jagged Leaves at Sidewalk

4/25, 8 PM for night one of this year’s MATA Festival, in their North American debut Danish indie classical luminaries SCENATET play new works by Eric Wubbels (USA), Yu Oda (Japan): Daniel Tacke (USA): Martin Grütter (Germany): Messer Engel Atem Kling; Christian Winther Christensen (Denmark): Kaj Duncan David (Denmark): Murat Çolak (Turkey)  at the Kitchen, $20

4/25, 8 PM International Contemporary Ensemble play spectral music: “three generations of French and American music, from Gérard Grisey’s Périodes to a new work by Christopher Trapani” at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

4/25, 9 PM Romany turbo-folk songbird Zana and band at Shrine

4/25 10 PM charismatic, sultry, torchy Americana songwriter/chanteuse Julia Haltigan and her fiery noir band  at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10

4/26, 7 PM hypnotic, psychedelic, playful new works for tabla and electronics by Suphala at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

4/26, 7:30/9:30 PM eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo and his Big Band at the Jazz Standard, $25

4/26, 8 PM clarinetist Andy Biskin‘s 16 Tons with John Carlson, Dave Smith, Kenny Warren – trumpets; Rob Garcia -drums at Barbes

4/26, 8 PM night two of this year’s MATA Festival features piano music: the Hocket piano duo, Sarah Brailey (soprano), Molly Herron Trio (Herron, piano; Pat Svoboda, bass; Amy Garapic, percussion), Bridget Kibbey (harp), Blair McMillen (piano), Adam Tendler (piano) performing works by  Charlie Sdraulig. Marina Poleukhina (Russia):Joseph Michaels; Michael Laurello; Karen Keyhani (Iran): Molly Herron; Sojourner Hodges at the Kitchen, $20

4/26, 8:30 PM darkly lyrical Americana/highway rock songwriter Jeffrey Foucault at City Vineyard, 233 West St. on the water, take Canal all the way west, $20

4/26, 8:30 PM the Ariel Quartet play works by Mohammed Fairouz, Menachem Weisenberg and Beethoven at the 92nd St. Y, $25

4/26, 9ish wild, trippy, hypnotically enveloping EWI and ambient electronics from Moist Paula Henderson and Nick Demopoulos on his keytar-like invention the SMOMID at Troost

4/27, 1 PM chamber ensemble Helicon play a water shortage-themed program tba at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, free

4/27, 7 PM intense theatrical Bartok-influenced drummer/composer Sean Noonan’s Soap trio with Alex Marcelo on piano, Peter Bitenc on bass at Barbes

4/27, 7:30/9:30 PM starry, hauntingly cinematic pastoral jazz group Bryan & the Aardvarks play the album release show for their new one at the Jazz Gallery, $15

4/27, 7:30 PM pianist Klara Min plays works by Scriabin, Messiaen, Mozart and the world premiere of Jean-Frédéric Neuberger’s Deux Etudes pour piano at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, $25 tix avail

4/27, 8 PM urban country fave Jack Grace – known for his boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic – plays the album release show for his long-awaited new one at Hifi Bar

4/27, 8 PM American Modern Ensemble perform new vocal works by Robert Paterson, Luna Pearl Woolf and Robert Maggio at Merkin Concert Hall, free

 4/27, 8 PM night three of this year’s MATA Festival at the Kitchen features works for viola, guitar and percussion by Lisa Hirsch, Samuel Cedillo, Karin Wetzel, Mikel Urquiza, Oleg Elagin and Nikolet Burzyńska, $20

4/27, 8 PM Sweden’s Ensemble SON and Either/Or  play music of Swedish-born, Netherlands-based composer Klas Torstensson at the Miller Theatre, $25

4/27, 9:30 PM ageless first-wave noise-punk trio the Bush Tetras at the Delancey, $12

4/27, 10 PM Super Yamba play their psychedelic Afrobeat jams at Barbes 

 4/27, 10 PM catchy, enigmatic female-fronted dreampop band Loosie play the album release show for their new one at Friends and Lovers at  

4/27, 10:30 PM riveting, smart, Indian-influenced psychedelic soul singer/bandleader Shilpa Ananth  – the Indian Sade, maybe? – at Pine Box Rock Shop

4/28, 5:30 PM catchy, soaring Swedish Americana singer Sofia Talvik at the American Folk Art Museum 

4/28, 7 PM violinist Rolf Schulte and pianist, Judith Olson play Beethovan sonatas at Bloomingdale School of Music, 323 W 108th St (off of Broadway), free

4/28-29, 7:30/9:30 PM dazzlingly eclectic purist jazz singer Brianna Thomas and her band at Ginny’s Supper Club, $20

4/28, 7:30 PM the debut of up-and-coming indie classical clarinet/violin/percussion trio F-Plus play works by Timo Andres, Nathan Hudson, Dylan Mattingly, Anna Meadors and Roger Zare at Scholes St. Studios, $10 

4/28, 8 PM a concert of magical, relevant Aleppian classical music with Syrian vocalist Wajdi Ayoub and the debut of the Takht Al-Nagham ensemble at Alwan for the Arts, $20/$15 stud/srs

4/28, 8 PM night four of this year’s MATA Festival at the Kitchen features Carl Bettendorf (conductor), Leah Asher (violin), Miranda Cuckson (violin), Isabel Lepanto Gleicher (flute), Hannah Levinson (viola), Carol McGonnell (clarinet), Isabelle O’Connell (piano), Mariel Roberts (cello) playing works by a global cast of composers: Francisco C. Goldschmidt, Giovanni Bertelli, Krists Auznieks and Siraseth Pantura-umporn, $20

4/28, 8 PM stomping Eastern European and Middle Eastern dance grooves with Balkan Beat Box at Brooklyn Steel, $25 adv tix avail. at the Mercury box ofc

4/28, 8 PM rustic Brazilian jungle sounds with Regional de NY followed at 10 by psychedelic latin bandleader Zemog El Galle Bueno at Barbes

4/28, 8 PM Chartwell Dutiro plays Zimbabwean mbira music with his band at Roulette, $25

4/28, 8:30 PM night one of this year’s Brooklyn Folk Festival. Two stages: show on the main one has  the hauntingly ethereal Ukrainian Village Voices, jugband legend Jim Kweskin at 9, the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers with songs and dances from the Mohawk, Hopi, Winnebago and other traditions at quarter to ten, at 10:20 Anna & Elizabeth, Feral Foster  at 11 and finally western swing band Tennessee Stiff Legs making their NYC debut. The second stage shows start at around 8:45 with St. Louis barrelhouse pianist Ethan Leinwand, followed by bluegrass band Cole Quest & the City Pickers, at 10:15 the Freakniks and at 11 classic ska covers with Skalopy at St. Ann’s Church, 157 Montague St, (btwn Henry St. & Clinton St.), downtown Brooklyn, any train to Borough Hall, $25.

4/28, 8:30 PM counterintuitive drummer/composer Vinnie Sperrazza plays solo drums at I-Beam, $15. Don’t laugh. Guy is good. Could be really fun.

4/28, 9 PM hypnotically funky psychedelic hammered dulcimer instrumentalists House of Waters at BAM Cafe, free

4/28, 9/10:30 PM drummer Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook-Up with Adam Hopkins, bass;  Mary Halvorson, guitar;  Brian Settles, tenor sax;  Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

4/28, 10 PM slinky original rocksteady with Osekre & the Lucky Bastards at Shrine

4/28, 10 PM oldschool Cuban country music with Los Hacheros at the Museum of the City of NY, $20

4/28, 10:30 PM careening, charismatic, lyrically-fueled soul-rockers No Ice – arguably Brooklyn’s best band – at the Mercury, $10

4/29, quarter to one PM, day two of this year’s Brooklyn Folk Festival at  St. Ann’s Church, 157 Montague St, (btwn Henry St. & Clinton St.), downtown Brooklyn, any train to Borough Hall, $25. The main stage show starts at 12:45 PM with Fada doing traditional French Occitane music followed at 1:30 by Martha Burns doing oldtimey mountain music, at 2:15 Memphis Jug Band reinventors theBrotherhood of the Jug Band Blues, at 3 the Spitzer Space Telescope’s fiddle tunes, 3:45 the original punkgrass guy Peter Stampfel & the Ether Frolic Mob, at 4:30 Clarence Ashley: at 5:15 Bill & the Belles and at 6 Johnson City, TN’s  Amythyst Kiah. The side stages features Ethan Leinwand playing barrelhouse blues piano, at 2:15 bluegrass with the Hayrollers at 3 Little Nora Brown and Friends, at 3:45 blues with Poorboy Kril,4:15 politically-fueled folk with Mat Callahan & Yvonne Moore. There’s also a workshop room for instrument builders, plus documentary films and book readings.

4/29, 6 PM pyrotechnic klezmer clarinetist Michael Winograd and his similarly amazing band play originals from his killer forthcoming album, followed at 8 by the Dirty Waltz Band- a seven-piece group playing more than a dozen instruments in 3/4 time in countless genres from Balkan, Irish, jazz, blues and American folk traditions –and then Yotoco playing psychedelic cumbias at 10 at Barbes 

4/29, 7 PM epic North African/Middle Eastern dance orchestra the Nile Project squeeze themselves into Joe’s Pub, $30

4/29, 7:30 PM PM, night two of this year’s Brooklyn Folk Festival at St. Ann’s Church, 157 Montague St, (btwn Henry St. & Clinton St.), downtown Brooklyn, any train to Borough Hall, $25. The main stage show starts at 7:15 with excellent all-female oldtime string band the Calamity Janes, at 8 blues mastermind Jerron “Blindboy” Paxton, at 8:45 PM ex-Old Crow Medicine Show’s Willie Watson  at 9:30 PM the titanic Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir doing their politically fearless original gospel, at 10:45 PM New Orleans western swing band the Big Dixie Swingers and then at 11:30 PM Jackson Lynch playing oldtime fiddle music. The side stage show starts at 7 with all-female accordion group the Main Squeeze Orchestra and their hilarious cover versions, at 8:30 PM barrelhouse pianist Ethan Leinwand and at 10:15 salsa dura with Willie Martinez and the NYC Salsa All Stars

4/29, 7:30 PM Quatuor Danel play works by Mendelssohn, Weinberg and Shostakovich at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, 16th St./Irving Place, $15

4/29, 8 PM hauntingly enveloping, kinetic Iranian art-rock/trance ensemble Niyaz at Roulette, $30

4/29, 8 PM irrepressible pan-latin singer Sofia Rei plays the album release show for her sensational new Violeta Parra tribute album El Gavilán with Marc Ribot & Jorge Glem at Subrosa

4/29, 8 PM adventurous indie classical piano/flute duo RighteousGirls play new works by works by Ambrose Akinmusire, Molly Joyce, Paula Matthusen, Masatora Goya, Vijay Iyer, and Andy Akiho at Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, free

4/29, 8 PM pianist Pablo Mayor’s Folklore Urbano Orchestra and Pajarillo Pinta’o dance company team up for a theatrical concert exploring global culture, immigration, tradition, and love at Flushing Town Hall,  $16/$10 stud, 13-19 free w/ID

4/29, 8 PM reliably acerbic jazz  cellist Hank Roberts leads his quintet at the Owl, $10

4/29, 8 PM night fiveof this year’s MATA Festival features Novus NY with the Le Boeuf Brothers playing works by a global cast of composers: Philip Venables; Kristina Wolfe; Dmitri Timofeev; Paul Pinto and Pascal Le Boeuf at the Kitchen, $20

4/29, 8:30 PM fiery Balkan sax master Yuri Yunakov with pyrotechnic clarinetist Sal Mamudoski play Romany dance music at Balkan Cafe at Hungarian House, 213 E 82nd St, $20

4/29, 10 PM ageless Japanese jangle-women Shonen Knife at Sunnyvale, $15

4/29, 11 PM high-voltage country blues and punkgrass with Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band at the Mercury, $15

4/30 is International Jazz Day. Stay tuned.

4/30, noon-10 PM the Queens Jazz OverGround festival at Flushing Town Hall, free, performers tba

4/30, 3:30 PM, day three of this year’s Brooklyn Folk Festival at St. Ann’s Church, 157 Montague St, (btwn Henry St. & Clinton St.), downtown Brooklyn, any train to Borough Hall, $25. The main stage features blues from Preachin’ in the Wilderness, at 4 wild 1800s style string band the Down Hill Strugglers with John Cohen, at 4:45 more blues with Meredith Axelrod, at 5:30 original gospel and blues with singer Queen Esther and at 6:14 Tenneesse group Locust Honey String Band. The side stage show starts at 2 with banjo player Hilary Hawke’s oldtime jam, at 3:15 the Gotham Jazzmen, at 4:45 the Jalopy Choir singing Balkan vocal music and at 5:30 a squardance with the 5-Mile String Band. There’s also a workshop room including a protest song workshop with Jan Bell at 3, at 4 a screening of the Mississippi Fred McDowell documentary Shake ‘Em On Down and at 5:30 an art installation and performance by Anna & Elizabeth and Tim Eriksen.

4/30, 4 PM a six hour immersion in magical, microtonal, blissful Middle Eastern tarab, featuring classical repertoires of Cairo, Aleppo, Baghdad and Yemen performed by Yemen’s Abdulrahman AlAkhfash with percussionist Ahmad Al Roudanil; haunting trumpeter/santoorist Amir ElSaffar; Layth Sid; the Firas Zreik Trio (Firas Zreik, Han Beyli  and Tariq Rantissi), and the Alwan Arab Music Ensemble at Alwan for the Arts, $30/$25 stud/srs

4/30, 4 PM classical chamber ensemble Counter)Induction play works by Faure, Bartok and a Jessica Meyer world premiere  at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free, no under-sixes

4/30, 5 PM  legendary, world renowned, Guinness-record-holding former long-term (1960-2009!) principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic, Stanley Drucker and his frequent sparring partner, pianist Kazuko Hayami play works by Chopin, Brahms, Debussy, Poulenc and Bernstein at the Lounge at Hudson View Gardens, 128 Pinehurst Ave at W183rd St, $12, reception to follow

4/30, 7 PM fiery, charismatic soul siren and songwriter Meah Pace and her oldschool band at plays her bday show at LIC Bar

4/30, 7 PM Colombian pianist and keyboardist Ricardo Gallo’s psychedelic cumbia trio Los Aliens followed at 9:30ish by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

4/30, 7:15 PM PM, night three of this year’s Brooklyn Folk Festival at St. Ann’s Church, 157 Montague St, (btwn Henry St. & Clinton St.), downtown Brooklyn, any train to Borough Hall, $25. The main stage opens with Papa Vega’s Dream Shadows Orchestra, at 8 Gil Scott-Heron contemporaries the Last Poets, at 8:45 Eva Salina & Peter Stan. at 9:30 PM guitarist Pat Conte and at 10:15 PM Jay Gandhi, Abhik Mukhejee and Ehren Hansen doing Indian classical and folk music. The one set on the small stage is by the Cat’s Meow playing Irish fiddle and accordion music

4/30, 7:30 PM pyrotechnic third-stream jazz pianist Laura Dubin leads her trio playing the album release show for her new one at Club Bonafide $10 

4/30, 8 PM trumpet luminary Jeremy Pelt with pianist Simona Premazzi at Mezzrow, $20

4/30, 8 PM jazz vibraphonista Yuhan Su with Matt Holman, trumpet;  Alex LoRe, alto sax;  tba, bass;  Allan Mednard, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

4/30, 8 PM hypnotic, swirling, ancient and brand-new Punjabi grooves with Riyaaz Qawwali at Roulette, $30

4/30, 9 PM roots reggae cult figure opens for an iconic one: Gary “Nesta” Pine and the Love Generation Band open for Black Uhuru’s Mykal Rose at B. B. King’s, $25 adv tix rec

5/1, 7 PM Finnish murder ballad singer Pekko Käppi leads his haunting, austere folk trio at the CUNY Grad Center, 365 5th Ave north of 34th, $25/$20 stud

5/2, 9 PM popular post-Velvets slowcore/psych band the Black Angels at Brooklyn Steel, $25

5/3, midnight, fun, catchy, noisy girlpunk band Sharkmuffin at Sunnyvale, $10

5/4, 6 PM one of the year’s best triplebills features sounds from across the Middle East: the hauntingly rustic, eclectic NY Andalus Ensemble, 1950s-60s Egyptian film music revivalists Zikrayat and enigmatic Iranian folk-rockers Vatan at Brooklyn Music School; 126 Saint Felix St, $15/$10 stud 

5/4, 7 PM an Annie Gosfield retrospective performed by Duo Cortona (singer Rachel Calloway, violinist Ari Streisfeld), guitarist Roger Kleier, percussionist Brian Chase, pianist Kathleen Supové, and Gosfield herself on keyboard, at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th, $15/$10 stud/srs. The program explores immigration, LES artistic milieux and possibly spy themes. 

5/4, 8 PM fiery fun violinist Chloe Swantner leads a Roger Miller cover night with a whole bunch of Americana peeps at a house concert at 169 Spencer at Willoughby, free

5/4, 9 PM inimitable, distantly ominous Japanese psychedelic folk/art-rock band Kikagaku Moyo at Rough Trade, $15

5/5, 8 PM saxophonist/singer Stephanie Chou and her band blend classical and Chinese influences with jazz; Jamaican artist Owen Romeo plays with his group Tribal Legacy at Flushing Town Hall, $16

5/6, 5 PM the Bang on a Can Marathon of indie classical and esoterica returns at the Brooklyn Museum, free: the highlight is at 8 PM with Amir ElSaffar’s 2 Rivers Ensemble doing their lush, haunting largescale Middle Eastern jazz soundscapes. Get there close to 5 or you may miss it. 

5/6, 7:30 PM Ba Ban Chinese Music Society play rarely heard, jazzy 1930s Shanghai film music themes at Flushing Town Hall, $16, kids 13-19 free w/id

5/7 explosive electric blues guitarist/songwriter Jackie Venson – arguably the best thing happening in Texas blues right now – at LIC Bar

5/8, 10:30 PM chanteuse/uke player Dahlia Dumont’s Blue Dahlia play edgy, smartly lyrically-fueled, jazz-infused tunes in English and French with classic chanson and Caribbean influences at Club Bonafide, $10 

5/12, 7 PM intense, politically fearless, frequently hilarious gothic Americana songwriter Rachael Kilgour at the Commons Cafe, 388 Atlantic Ave. in Cobble Hill, any train to Atlantic Ave; 5/13 she’s at Caffe Vivaldi at 8.

5/13, 8 PM quirky, fun swing-infused songwriter Orly Bendavid & the Mona Dahls open for powerful, fearlessly political, poignant Nashville gothic/Americana songwriter Rachael Kilgour at Caffe Vivaldi

5/14, 3 PM Alan Pierson conducts new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound in the NY premiere of John Luther Adams’ avian-inspired symphonic work Ten Thousand Birds in Morningside Park, free, follow the sound

5/15, 5:30 PM drinks at 5:30, music at 6 PM Michael Riesman and Ensemble Signal celebrate the music of Philip Glass at the Miller Theatre, free

5/19, 5:30 PM drinks at 5:30, music at 6 PM New York Polyphony “illuminate Bach and Luther’s German roots” at the Miller Theatre, free

5/20, 3 PM the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra play a world premiere by Music Director Chris Whittaker and close with Mendelssohn’s exuberant “Italian” Symphony, at Fort Washington Collegiate Church, 729 W. 181st St.,free, reception to follow  

5/24, 7:30 PM eclectic mostly-female klezmer/cumbia/tango jamband Isle of Klezbos’ all-gal sextet ensemble (including mesmerizing vocalist Melissa Fogarty), plus clips from bandleader Eve Sicular’s cinema history project, The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W 16th St. $25 adv tix req

6/4 7 PM individualistic, John Fahey-esque acoustic guitar instrumentalist David Rogers plays a mix of “Spanish, flamenco, uptempo Latin, Leonard Cohen, Rolling Stones, Tim Buckley, Roxy Music, Beatles, J.S. Bach and original compositions” at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10 

6/6, drinks at 5:30, music at 6 PM indie classical globetrotters International Contemporary Ensemble play animal behavior-inspired works at the Miller Theatre, free

6/13, drinks at 5:30, music at 6 PM the Mivos Quartet play a program TBA at the Miller Theatre, free

6/13, 8:30 PM popular newschool blue-eyed soul/Motown/swing band Lake Street Dive at Prospect Park Bandshell

A Contrast in Sonics: Matana Roberts and Supersilent at the Poisson Rouge Last Night

Matana Roberts stole the show at the Poisson Rouge last night. And she played solo, without the electronic rig she often employs. Purposefully, with a disarming, often shattering directness, she built songs without words, drawing on two centuries of gospel, blues and a little swing jazz. The first number was a matter-of-factly strolling gospel tune, more or less. After that, she developed a conversation for two or maybe even three voices, calm and resolute versus more agitated: Eric Dolphy and Coltrane together came to mind.

Although she has daunting extended technique and can squall with the best of them, the singing quality of her tone (which critics would have called cantabile in her days as a classical musician) along with her gentle melismatics told stories of hope and resilience rather than terror. In between numbers, sometimes mid-song, she talked to the crowd with a similarly intimate matter-of-factness. A shout-out to Bernie Sanders met with stony silence – this was a $20 ticket, after all, and beyond the means of a lot of 99-percenters – but by the end of the set, she’d won over everyone. “I don’t think Trump has four years in him,” she mused, which met with a roar of applause.

Roberts explained that for her dad, D.L. Roberts – whom she recently lost – music was an inspiration for political engagement. Her most recent solo album – streaming at Bandcamp – is dedicated to the activists at Standing Rock and has a subtle American Indian influence.

As she wound up her tantalizingly brief set, short of forty minutes onstage, she engaged the crowd, directing them to sing a single, rhythmic tone and then played judicious, sometimes stark phrases around it. In between riffs, she commented on how surreal the months since the election have been, fretted about touring internationally because she’s worried about what kind of trouble’s in store for her as an American, and pondered what it would take to bring a racist to New York to kill a random, innocent stranger. “I don’t think you know either, because we’re all in this together,” she said, unassumingly voicing the shock and horror of millions of New Yorkers – and Americans as well.

When Supersilent finally hit the stage for their second-ever New York concert, their first in thirteen years, the blend of Arve Henriksen’s desolate trumpet against the stygian, almost subsonic ambience of Ståle Storløkken’s vintage keyboards seemed like a perfect segue. Electronic music legend Helge Sten a.k.a. Deathprod (who has a show at around 9 tonight at Issue Project Room in downtown Brooklyn) mixed the brooding soundscape into a plaintive noir tableau with artful use of loops, reverb and delay, bringing to mind Bob Belden’s brilliant late-career soundtracks.

Then Storløkken hit a sudden, bunker-buster low-register chord that blasted through the club, following with one bone-crushing wave after another. The effect was visceral, and was loud to the point where Henriksen was pretty much lost in the mix. It was impossible to turn away from: pure bliss for fans of dark sonics.

That’s where the strobes began to flicker, and frantically shredded fragments of dialogue began to flit through the mix in tandem with a spastic, seemingly random rhythm. Was this fast-forward horror show a metaphor for how technology jerks us, and jerks us, and jerks us, and jerks us…? You get the picture. If that was Supersilent’s message, they made their point. But after thirty seconds, it was overkill. This may not be Aleppo, but in a different way we’ve also been tortured, and were being tortured as the PA continued to squawk and sputter. There’s no shame in assaulting an audience to get a point across, but a respite would have packed a mighty impact at that point. Matana Roberts knows a little something about that.

A Killer Triplebill Foreshadows a Great Psychedelic Show on the LES

This Thursday, March 30 at 8 PM there’s a rare, intimate performance by second-wave Los Angeles psychedelic legends the Jigsaw Seen at Bowery Electric. They’re followed by the much louder New York Junk, whose retro sound moves forward in time another ten years to the Max’s Kansas City early punk rock scene. Cover is a ridiculously cheap, CBGB-era $8.

The Jigsaw Seen’s latest album, streaming at Spotify, is aptly titled For the Discriminating Completist. It’s a collection of B-sides and rarities. There’s an album of new material in the works, and frontman Dennis Davison has also recently immersed himself in a brand-new dark acoustic project, Witchfinder Witch, a duo with New York folk noir icon Lorraine Leckie. Speaking of which, she has an incendiary new protest single, America Weeping, just out and available as a free download at Bandcamp

The two made their debut at Pete’s Candy Store on a Saturday night in January, Davison on acoustic guitar and Leckie on piano. The highlight of that gig was Cave Canem, a witheringly lyrical anthem that casts the history of dogs – and centuries of canine abuse – as a metaphor for humans’ crimes against their own species.

A few days later at Maxwell’s, the duo were the centerpiece of what’s arguably been the best triplebill of the year. Debby Schwartz opened the show, jangling adn clanging through a series of arcane British folk turnings on her hollowbody Gretsch, bolstered by Bob Bannister’s nuanced, artfully jeweled, Richard Thompson-esque Strat work, Rose Thomas Bannister supplying lush harmonies and percussion. Through neo-Britfolk and more dreampop-oriented material, Schwartz sang with her her soaring, diamond-cutter delivery, dreaming New York City in the middle of LA and finally closing with a stunning take of the psych-folk anthem Hills of Violent Green.

By now, Witchfinder Witch had shaken off whatever early jitters they might have had: they’d come to conquer. Davison spun bittersweet, pun-infused psych pop gems weighing the pros and cons of clinical depression (do it right and you get tons of songs out of it) and a couple of darkly allusive, mystically-tinged co-writes with Leckie. She charmed and seduced the crowd with blue-flame red-light cabaret tune or two, a jaunty S&M piano number that was so deadpan that it was creepily plausible, and a mysterious, hypnotic folk noir tableau that could have been about heroin, or simply death itself. The crowd was rapt.

The Pretty Babies headlined, putting a deliriously fun coda on what had been a low-key, entrancing evening up to then. Professional subversive and rockstar impersonator Tammy Faye Starlite – who’s channeling Nico on Thursdays in April at 7:30 PM at Pangea – led the world’s funniest Blondie cover band through a stampeding take of Dreaming as well as a surprising number of deeper cuts from the band’s early days when they rocked harder. If memory serves right, Tammy took a hilariously politically-fueled detour that eventually drove Call Me off the rails. Everybody in the band has a funny, punny Blondie name. Was bassist Monica Falcone – who absolutely nailed the wry disco lines in Heart of Glass – newly christened as Chrissie Stein? It’s hard to remember who else everybody else was: Heidi Lieb and Keith Hartel as Frank Infantes separated at birth, and expert standins for Jimmy Destri on keys and Clem Burke on drums. Hearing the Pretty Things and watching the crowd on their feet and bopping along was a jab in the ribs that said, hey, the original outfit was pretty good too. 

Olga Bell’s Irreverently Funny, Relevant Lincoln Center Debut Trumps Adversity

Olga Bell is hilarious. In her American Songbook debut at Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse last night, the Russian-born art-rock/avant garde keyboardist/singer validated a brave piece of booking, in the process triumphing over all sorts of adversity. This was a tough gig from the git-go. Cheefing on what seemed like a bottomless thermos til it was gone, then finally switching to water, she battled a cold along with some unfamiliar gear that malfunctioned to the point of threatening to completely derail her show. But she persevered, cheerfully breaking the fourth wall when she wasn’t mercilessly pillorying the yuppie careerism, incessant status-grubbing and money obsessions of gentrifier-era Brooklyn, which she now calls home.

And she did it with more than just her lyrical jabs, which turned out to be a lot subtler than her musical barbs. Those drew the heartiest laughs from a sold-out audience of well-heeled twentysomethings whose mere presence in Manhattan on a Friday night was something of a surprise: turns out that not everyone in zip code 11221 is petrified of being geotagged outside it.

When she hit her pitch pedal and ran her vocals through a toddler-voice patch to make fun of a guy who’s too big for his britches, and then a little later turned the kiss-off anthem Power User into phony hip-hop, the crowd roared. She had similar fun with her electronics and all the loops she’d stashed away in her sequencer, particularly a Bernie Worrell-style low bass synth setting that she worked for every droll riff she could think of.

Her between-song patter also had edge and bite. Acknowledging that for her, this gig spelled revenge for having been rejected by the Juilliard folks a few floors below, she played elegantly nuanced, neoromantically-tinged piano when she wasn’t fiddling with her mixer, or loading a stubborn loop device, or feeding layers of melody into an arpeggiator. Such things exist: clearly, there’s a market among players who prefer chords instead. She namechecked “aspirational hipsters,” including the guy at the corner bar who’s on the take more than he’s on the make.

“Wherefore art thou, Doppio?” she posed to another would-be romantic doofus. Even the simpler, techier, disco-oriented numbers were laced with taunts and sarcasm, particularly Stomach It and Your Life Is a Lie, among other tracks from her 2016 album Tempo. Toward the end of the show, she was joined by cellist Andrea Lee for a moody Russian border-rock ballad from the 2014 album Krai, and then soul singer Sarah Lucas, who belted out one of the more pop-oriented electronic numbers. Bell encored with a vaudevillian piano tune about finding romance on the L train, which she’d written in 2006 for the Rockwood Music Hall open mic. Who knew there was once such a thing – and who knew that somebody who played there would someday headline at Lincoln Center.

This year’s American Songbook series continues to venture much further afield than the theatre music and pop hits from the 1930s and 40s that it was created for almost twenty years ago. There are two Kaplan Penthouse shows next week that deserve special mention: on Tuesday, March 28 at 8 PM, the Cactus Blossoms, who have an eerie resemblance to the Everly Brothers, bring their rapturous harmonies and disconsolate Americana ballads. And the following night, March 29, powerhouse Ghanian-born oldschool soul belter Ruby Amanfu leads her band.

A Blissful Weekend of Otherworldly, Cutting-Edge Moroccan Trance Music

Every year, at the end of June, the Festival Gnaoua et des Musiques du Monde – the world’s largest performance of North African music – takes place in the coastal city of Essaouira, Morocco. Literally millions of people gather to watch dozens of the world’s most exciting and innovative acts in Moroccan and Middle Eastern sounds, to discover new bands, to dance or to be whirled into a trance state. By all accounts, Essaouira is a safer city than New York. With the strong dollar, it hasn’t been this inexpensive for Americans to visit in a long time. If you can afford to, you should go – in this political climate, your chance might be now or never, at least for the next few years.

This past weekend, three concerts in New York and one in Washington, DC celebrated the first-ever collaboration between the festival and Lincoln Center. Lincoln Center’s Meera Dugal and Samir LanGus, founder of the only American gnawa band, Innov Gnawa, came up with the idea while at the festival last summer, and the rest is history.  And historic as well: this series of shows marked the first time three of the great maalems (masters) of Moroccan gnawa music, Abdeslam Alikkane, Hamid El Kasri (who was making his North American debut) and New York-based Hassan Ben Jaafer, who leads Innov Gnawa, have ever appeared on the same stage.

About the music: gnawa was brought to Morocco by black slaves from sub-Saharan Africa. Gnawa music originated in pre-Islamic society as a healing ritual, fueled by the well-known calming and curative powers of low-register sonics. It’s typically sung by a maalem who plays a sintir bass lute, accompanied by a call-and-response chorus who add an often mesmerizing series of polyrhythms with a rustle and whirl of cast-metal qraqab castanets. The music’s migration north brought the invocation of Islamic saints and liturgy into the fold along with the traditional ancestral and nature spirits. Like American hip-hop or blues, it was considered ghetto for years before becoming Morocco’s best-known global music export over the past decade or so.

Thursday night at Lincoln Center was the big debut event. It’s safe to say that space was as packed as it’s ever been, an ecstatic, multicultural crowd that drew heavily on the Moroccan expat community, one of the many immigrant cultures that New York’s cultural mecca has reached out to in the recent past.

Alikkane was the first to take the stage, backed by a seven-piece qraqab choir. Rustic, tersely catchy, purposefully propulsive midtempo phrases flowed from his sintir while individual chorus members would spin out into the crowd, further energizing the audience. Would this hypnotically traditional performance be his signature style throughout the US tour? That answer wouldn’t reveal itself until the second night’s concert at the New School.

The atmosphere was electric when Ben Jaafer took the stage. Word on the street is that while audiences in Morocco miss him, there were some musicians who breathed a sigh of relief. At the moment he left for New York, seventeen years ago, he’d become such a popular touring artist that his departure opened up numerous opportunities for his fellow gnawis: he’d left big shoes to fill. Although the three New York concerts didn’t turn out to be cutting contests, per se, each maalem seemed fixated on taking his performance to the next level, and in this case, Alikkane had given Ben Jaafer a launching pad for some of the festival’s most exhilarating bass-string firepower.

Frequently interspersing unexpected, booming chords into his sinewy, serpentine volleys of notes, his strings crackled with ancient, blues scale-based riffage ornamented with contrastingly subtle, microtonal shades. His rugged baritone took on a regal resonance: the most powerful spirits of the night were definitely being invoked.

In his North American debut, El Kasri had a hard act to follow but ended up earning his headliner status. His sintir is flashier and has a grittier, more cutting tone than his colleagues’ models, closer to the sound of an overdriven bass guitar at times. Vocally, he turned out to be every bit the rockstar that Ben Jaafer is. By now, the crowd was amped to the point where they were making requests. With a triumphant grin, El Kasri seemed glad to give his people what they wanted: a chance to see one of the Essaouira festival’s most intense performers conquer a new continent.

The Friday night show at the New School was closer to the atmosphere of a lila, the ritualistic all-night trance ceremony and communal feast. Incense was burned and a platter of delicious dates made its way around as the room grew to capacity. Alikkane led the ensemble this time, a mix of Moroccans and expats, airing out his vast repertoire as the rhythms shifted from punchy and bouncy to a mystically shuffling hailstorm of qraqabs. He sent numerous shouts out to past masters of gnawa, made ancestral homages and kept the waves of reverent Sufi call-and-response going for about an hour and a half. At the end of the show, the great gnawa funk pioneer Hassan Hakmoun stepped in as translator, impromptu emcee, and took a turn on the sintir as well.

That this tour was able to sell out the big Pioneer Arts Center in remote Red Hook, of all places, on the final night speaks to how devoted the gnawa subculture has become. This wasn’t just an audience of expats: there were as many curious American kids, and couples, as there were Moroccans in the house. Alikkane again got to open the show and quickly picked up the pace as he’d done at the New School. He and the chorus were joined eventually by a crew of American jazz players including drummer Will Calhoun, bassist Jamaldeen Tacuma, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland and multi-keyboardist Marc Cary. Main themes aside, approximately eighty to ninety percent of gnawa is improvisational, key to its ongoing popularity with jazz musicians. To the credit of everybody onstage, there was cordial camaraderie rather than egocentricity, Alikkane setting up a friendly, low-key rhythmic framework that made room for Strickland and Cary to waft and weave their way through as Calhoun and Tacuma bolstered the simple, purposeful groove.

El Kasri took centerstage for the second set of the night: several of the cognoscenti in the crowd, who’d been to all of the New York shows, agreed that this was the high point of the tour. It wasn’t long before he introduced a number with a long, ominous, enigmatic taqsim, moving beyond the traditional modes that had dominated the show so far, toward Middle Eastern microtones. He shifted back and forth between the two idioms from that point forward: when the jazzcats joined him later, it turned out to be fertile terrain. Tacuma embraced the uneasy, moody modes while Cary added mystital ambience via string synth and echoey electric piano, while Strickland contributed a broodingly gorgeous, slowly crescendoing solo, reminding of Kenny Garrett’s late 90s work. By the end of the show, both Alikkane and Ben Jaafer had picked up their qraqabs and joined the melee onstage, a welcome evocation of North African sun on an unseasonably grim New York evening.

For New Yorkers who might have missed these historic events, there’s are a couple of enticing gnawa events coming up soon. This Saturday night, March 25 at around 9, Innov Gnawa – the only gnawa group on this side of the Atlantic – are playing a benefit for at Littlefield. The rapturous guitar/piano duo of Rafiq Bhatia and Chris Pattishall open the night at 8; members of long-running second-wave Afrobeat faves Antibalas headline at around 10. Depending on what you’d like to contribute, you can get in for $12, or more if you choose. And on April 20 at 8 at Greenwich House Music School in the West Village, Innov Gnawa are playing an extremely rare set of Moroccan Jewish gnawa tunes.