New York Music Daily

Global Music With a New York Edge

Tag: folk music

An Irresistible, Globally Eclectic Show by Elektra Kurtis and the PubliQuartet

Violinist Elektra Kurtis’ latest album  is a fiery, often explosive electric jazz record. But she has many different sides. Last night at the Cornelia Street Cafe, she showed off as much elegance as kinetic energy in a completely acoustic set featuring irrepressibly adventurous indie classical ensemble the PubliQuartet.

She opened solo with a bravura Mozart interlude and closed the night with a full quintet arrangement of one of her signature originals, blending elements of flamenco, Romany dances and tarantella into a lithely stormy, polyrhythmic exchange of voices. An earlier piece, also featuring the quintet, resembled the work of Per Norgard with its enigmatically eerie, steady microtonal motion.

After a couple of flamenco-flavored solo original miniatures, Kurtis brought up Publiquartet violinist Curtis Stewart, who played a raptly hazy solo pastorale: the video for the song made it into the Inwood Film Festival, which makes sense since that’s where he’s from. Then the two violinists exchanged voices deftly throughout a neo-baroque Kurtis piece.

She then left the stage to the quartet. Valencia, a North Atlantic seaside tableau by Caroline Shaw juxtaposed ethereal, saline astringencies with churning, subtly polyrhythmic riffage circulating throughout the ensemble – violinist Jannina Norpoth, violist Nick Revel and cellist Amanda Gookin – who then tackled the evening’s most surreal number, David Biedenbender‘s Surface Tension. It was inspired by a weird dream where a simple glass of water took on the texture of putty and other unexpected substances. Norpoth took care in explaining its strange elasticity, then the ensemble brought its slithery, uneasy shapeshifting trajectory to life, a showcase for pouncing, emphatic voices throughout the group.

Matthew Browne’s Great Danger, Keep Out illustrated what kind of havoc can result when a Tesla coil explodes: Norpoth called it “fiery” and she wasn’t kidding. The Publiquartet’s next gig is with wild, ambitiously carnivalesque large jazz ensemble the Cyborg Orchestra, led by Josh Green at National Sawdust at 7 PM on March 2; $30 advance tix are available. Kurtis plays frequently at the Cornelia; watch this space for upcoming dates. 

Poignant, Powerful Portuguese Fadista Gisela João Makes Her US Debut Downtown This Weekend

Fado is all about heartbreak. Like tango and the blues, it was dismissed for its ghetto origins long before it became more or less the national music of Portugal  Over the years, it’s gone transnational: you may not hear it on big stages in Paris or Berlin, but you will hear it wafting from maids’ quarters late at night in ritzy parts of town.

Charismatic singer Gisela João is just about the biggest thing in fado these days, making a lot of waves in the wake of the release of her latest album Nua (Naked), streaming at Spotify. She’s making her US debut on Feb 25 at 7 PM at the Schimmel Auditorium at Pace University downtown at 3 Spruce St. Tix are $30, and getting them in advance is a highly advised: this show is a big deal for expats across the tri-state area.Take the J/6 to Brooklyn Bridge.

João hardly fits the demure, doomed fado singer stereotype. Reputedly, she puts on a high-voltage show, and some of that energy translates on the album. Her voice has more than a tinge of smoke, and she often goes for the jugular with a wide-angle vibrato to drive a crescendo home. While that device is most closely associated with iconic fadista Amalia Rodrigues, João frequently evokes the darkest, most noirish side of the style. She’s got a fantastic band: Ricardo Parreira plays with a spiky virtuosity on the ringing, overtone-rich 12-string Portuguese guitar, Nelson Aleixo holding down the rhythm elegantly on classical guitar, along with Francisco Gaspar on acoustic bass. The overall ambience is both stately and impassioned.

Most of the tracks are popular standards with spare but dynamically textured arrangements, both retro and radical in an age where indigenous styles in so many parts of the world mimic the most cliched, techy American musical imperialism. Beatriz da Conceição’s Um Fado Para Este Noite (A Fado for Tonight) sets the stage with its ringing, rippling textures and João’s almost stern, angst-fueled delivery.

Há Palavras Que Nos Beijam (The Words That We Kiss) switches out the brooding lushness of the Mariza version for an oldschool, sparse interpretation. A little later, the group flips the script the opposite way with As Rosas Não Falam (Roses Don’t Tell), by Brazilian crooner Cartola. The first of the Rodrigues numbers, O Senhor Extraterrestre is a coyly bouncy, Veracruz folk-tinged tale which does not concern space aliens.

The album’s most recent number, Sombras do Passado (Shadows of the Past), is also arguably its most mutedly plaintive. Likewise, the rustically low-key, hushed take of the metaphorically-charged Rodrigues classic Naufrágio (Shipwreck). Then the group picks up the pace with the rustic Romany waltz Lá Na Minha Aldeia (There in My Village)

Another Cartola tune, O Mundo é um Moinho (The World Is a Windmill) brings back the crepuscular ambience, João channeling a low-key, world-weary cynicism. The band pull out all the stops with Labirinto Ou Não Foi Nada: (Labyrinth, or It Was Nothing): the twin guitars building a hypnotic, harpsichord-like backdrop for this slowly crescendoing lament for what could have been.

João saves her tenderest vocal for the last of the Rodrigues’ songs, Quando Os Outros Te Batem, Beijo-Te Eu (When the Others Hit You, I Kiss You). I In keeping with the album’s up-and-down dynamic shifts, João picks up the pace once again with the scampering, Romany-flavored party anthem Noite de São João

The album winds up with a desolate take of Argentina Santos’ Naquela Noite em Janeiro (On That Night in January) and then a wounded, gracefully lilting fado-ized version of the Mexican folk standard La Llorona. Awash in longing and despair, João’s new collection works both as a trip back in time for fado fans as well as a solid introduction to the style for newcomers from a purist who knows the music inside out.

Forro in the Dark Bring Their Hypnotically Psychedelic Grooves Home from the Upper West

Some beats are dancefloor crack. Cumbia always gets everybody up out of their seats; at last Thursday’s mostly-weekly dance party at Lincoln Center, it was maracatu that finally brought the population of twirling couples to critical mass. Before then, it had been a slow night. Since the election, crowds everywhere have been sparse. People are either out protesting, or cocooning and trying to figure out what to do next. So watching Forro in the Dark as their roughly hourlong set got underway felt almost like a private party, which was cool.But it was redeeming to see the crowd grow to capacity, which is almost always the case at the atrium space here.

Forro in the Dark are Lincoln Center regulars. Where does the hypnotically bouncy Brazilian rainforest art-folk dance band play when they’re not here? At some hostile, overpriced Live Nation venue, where the simple process of getting inside makes you feel like you’re trying to break into Rikers Island ? No. Forro in the Dark are in the midst of what’s been a long weekly residency at Nublu 151 in the East Village, a comfortable, sonically excellent split-level space that’s a lot bigger than the old Nublu – although that’s kind of like saying that it’s larger than a Smart car. They’re there Wednesdays at around 10 this month; cover is $10.

There’s no small irony in that Forro in the Dark didn’t used to have an accordion in the band, even though their style of music is usually played on one. At this show, they had two, played by their new guy and by a guest from Paris who supplied whirlwind leads as well as rapidfire, tonguetwisting auctioneer-style vocals on one of the songs midway through the set. Frontman/percussionist Mauro Refosco joked that neither he nor his new bandmate come from forro territory in their native Brazil. Which might be one explanation for the vast stylistic reach of their music – that, or the simple fact that in the tropics, all the best bands play a whole slew of styles. To put that in perspective, imagine what would happen if Brazil, or Colombia, or Peru closed their borders to immigration.

The best song of the night was a darkly careening, vamping minor-key cumbia that definitely wasn’t Colombian. and it wasn’t Peruvian chicha either: it was the band’s own creatiom, shuffling along with raw, rustically chattering accordions and violin. The two similarly bristling, rumbling maracatu numbers were also a blast of tropical heat. Their guitarist – who used the bottom strings of his baritone guitar for slinky basslines throughout most of the show – sang a lilting number in English that was practically rockabilly.

Another number sounded like a Brazilian take on 60s Jamaican rocksteady – or was it that the rocksteady guys were ripping off the Brazilians back then? Likewise, the show was full of rustic old riffs that British blues bands, and American soul-pop acts brought into the American mainstream fifty years ago. Whoever wrote that oldies hit by the Rascals was definitely listening to this stuff at the time!

The next one of these free dance events at the atrium space at Lincoln Center is Feb 24 at 7:30 PM with funky latin jazz faves the Pedrito Martinez Group. Show up on time or you might miss out.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn for February and March 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 Thursdays 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, 2/22 at 7 PM and 2/26 at 4.. 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: Mar 22,  Apr 19 , May 17,  June 21, and Sundays at 4:   Mar 26,  Apr 23,  May 21,  June 25.

Mondays in February 7 and 9 PM, erudite pianist Orrin Evans‘ richly tuneful, purist, stampeding Captain Black Big Band at Smoke

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

Tuesdays in February, 10 PM the great unsung hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin‘s Zebtet at the Fat Cat

Tuesdays in February, 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 February, 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.

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.

Wednesdays in February, 11ish darkly rustic danceable Brazilian rainforest folk (and John Zorn covers) with Forro in the Dark at Nublu 151

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

Saturday Feb 24, reverting to weekly Saturdays at 4 PM  beginning in March 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 February, 6 PM eclectic, vivid jazz cellist/singer Marika Hughes & Bottom Heavy at Barbes

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 February 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 at 3 PM at the Stone a rotating cast of familiar faces from John Zorn’s circle perform from Zorn’s characteristically exhaustive, marathon collection of 300 works titled Bagatelles, recently composed between March and May 2015. “Each concert will be introduced by John Zorn, often in conversation with the musicians,” $15

Sundays in February, 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 March, 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.

2/1, 6 PM works for two kotos played by Masayo Ishigure + Kyoko Kurokawa at the Rubin Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

2/1, 7:30 PM the purposefully intertwining postbop Melissa Aldana / Glenn Zaleski Sextet at the Jazz Gallery, $22

2/1, 8 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

2/1, 8 PM enigmatic, synthy, propulsive new wave act Decorum at the Silent Barn, $10

2/1, 8:30 PM tuneful, thoughtful, lyrical Colombian pianist and composer Carolina Calvache at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10

2/1, 9 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” at Troost

2/1, 9 PM first-class honkytonk cover band Scotch Bonnet play a ACLU benefit at 11th St. Bar

2/1 Gill Landry at Bowery Ballroom is sold out

2/2, 7 PM labyrinthine Nordic noir guitar and bass themes with Skúli Sverrisson at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix rec. Followed at 11 (separate $30 adv tix adm) by vibraphonist Nikara Warren (Kenny Barron’s granddaughter) and her group paying tribute to the survivors of the Greenwood, Oklahoma lynchings.

2/2, 7 PM pianist Brian Marsella’s tuneful, first-rate original postbop jazz sextet the Flail at the Fat Cat

2/2, 7:30 PM ethereally rustic sounds: “post-Americana” chamber rock ensemble Briars of North America followed by Late Bloomers’ Tommy Crane playing to projections by Tracy Maurice at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/2, 7:30 PM, repeating on 2/4 at 8 and 2/7 at 730 the NY Phil with soloist with Kirill Gerstein play Tschaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto & Manfred Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall, $31 tix avail

2/1, 9:30 PM Conscience Collective – a strikingly tuneful large-ish improvising ensemble – at Shapeshifter Lab, $8

2/1, 10:30 PM cutting-edge B3 jazz organist Jared Gold leads his trio at Smalls

2/2, 7 PM labyrinthine Nordic noir guitar and bass themes with Skúli Sverrisson at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix rec. Followed at 11 (separate $30 adv tix adm) by vibraphonist Nikara Warren (Kenny Barron’s granddaughter) and her group paying tribute to the survivors of the Greenwood, Oklahoma lynchings.

2/2, 7 PM André Laplante performs piano sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven alongside music of Liszt and Ravel. at Symphony Space, $15

2/2, 8 PM dark, charismatic, mischievously witty art-rock keyboardist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez  followed at 10 by by dark urbane Romany song maven (and Berthold Brecht descendant) Sanda Weigl and her band at Barbes

2/2, 8 PM  luminous, soulful pan-Latin jazz chanteuse Claudia Acuña with Pablo Vergara on piano at Mezzrow, $20

2/2, 8ish downtown guitar hero Elliott Sharp and fellow Stone legend, multi-reedist Doug Wieselman play intriguing, colorful solos & duos at the Owl, $10

2/2, 8 PM Richard Carrick conducts Either/Or in an all-Beat Furrer program of postminimalism at the Miller Theatre, $20 tix avail

2/2, 8:30 PM a characteristically propulsive klezmer dance party with T-Klez (w/Dena Ressler, Pesachya Septimus & David Licht)  at the Jalopy, $15

2/2, 8:30 PM long-running 90s alt-country favorites Rusty Truck at Hill Country, free

2/2, 9 PM darkly eclectic latin jazz/noir cabaret pianist/singer Cristina Morrison at Guadalupe Inn, $10 

2/2, 9 PM  incisive, darkly tuneful latin jazz pianist Aruan Ortiz leads his Trio at Bar Lunatico, $10. They’re also here on 2/16

2/2, 9 PM darkly eclectic latin jazz/noir cabaret pianist/singer Cristina Morrison at Guadalupe Inn, $10

2/2, 9 PM smart, cleverly lyrical original swing chanteuse/songwriter/trombonist Emily Asher’s Garden Party at at Radegast Hall. They’re also here on 2/28

2/2, 9:30 PM hauntingly phantasmagorical art-rock/noir cabaret pianist/singer Anana Kaye at Sidewalk

2/2,  10:30 PM unfailingly tuneful tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser leads a quintet at Smalls

2/3, 5:30 PM wild, spiraling, rare rustic minor-key Polesian klezmer dances and grooves with Litvakus  with special guest Sasha Lurje at the American Folk Art Museum

2/3, 7 PM magically lustrous indie classical choir the Crossing with Taylor Levine and James Moore, electric guitars play “Ted Hearne’s exploration of the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision. Hearne lifts texts from Jena Osman’s Corporate Relations, a collection of poems that follows the historical trajectory of corporate personhood in the United States. The five movements combine language taken from landmark Supreme Court Cases with words from ventriloquism textbooks “ no joke and a good time, at National Sawdust $25 adv tix rec

2/3-4, 7 PM popular lyrical pianist Bill Charlap plays solo piano at Mezzrow, $25

2/3, 7:30 PM slinky, carnivalesque Romany/Mediterranean band Dodo Orchestra at Club Bonafide, $15

2/3, 8 PM the magically haunting, soaring, eclectic all-female Mariachi Flor de Toloache at Maxwell’s, $10

2/3. 8 PM intense, eclectic klezmer/jazz/hip-hop violinist Benjamin Sutin and saxophonist Elijah Shiffer lead their respective groups at Scholes St. Studios

2/3, 8 PM Lakeside Lounge garage supergroup Los Dudes, NJ garage rock cult faves the Gripweeds and the current edition of legendary 80s LA powerpop band the Plimsouls at Bowery Electric, $10

2/3, 8:30ish steel pan wizard Jonathan Scales’ Fourchestra followed by Middle Eastern-inspired microtonal guitar god Dave Fiuczynski’s Kif at Drom, $12 adv tix rec

2/3-5, 9 PM Tredici Bacci – whose specialty is original psychedelic instrumentals inspired by Italian film soundtracks – at the Stone, $20. First and last night they’re doing their own stuff, on 2/4 they’re doing classic Morricone and Nino Rota themes and Thin Lizzy ?!?

2/3. 9 PM Middle Eastern-flavored psychedelic jams with Spaghetti Eastern Music at Silvana

2/3, 10 PM this era’s most chillingly cinematic, shadowy reverbtoned noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy at Barbes

2/3, 10 PM worst segue of the year but two Americana acts worth seeing: jugband legend Peter Stampfel and ferociously populist Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires – the Alabama highway rock version of the Clash – at the Knitting Factory, $15

2/3, 10 PM awesomely abrasive noise/drone band York Factory Complaint at Alphaville, $8

2/3, 10:30 PM female-fronted power trio Castle Black – who rampage between acidic Bush Tetras postpunk, stoner metal and more straight-up, sardonic punk at Lucky 13 Saloon in Gowanus

2/3, midnight Mimi Oz – a real kitchen-sink songwriter with soul and rock and darker sounds and an omnipresent sense of humor – followed by lush, intense, artfully orchestrated psychedelic rockers Aunt Ange at the small room at the Rockwood. Aunt Ange are also at the Mercury on 2/19 at 10:30 PM for $8, which is actually a better bargain.

2/4, 4 PM quirkily cinematic, psychedelic, family-friendly instrumentalists Songs for Extraordinary People followed at 6  by eclectic, vivid jazz cellist/singer Marika Hughes & Bottom Heavythen at 8 by the wildly fun, hypnotic Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars then at 10 by stormy Mexican ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

2/4, 7:30 PM Marja Kaisla, piano; Domenic Salerni, violin;  Benjamin Larsen, cello   play original works plus material by Ke-chao Chen, Kaila and Dvorak at Concerts on the Slope, St. John’s Episcopal Church 139 St. John’s Place downhill from 7th Ave

2/4, 7:30 PM the mesmerizing, eclectic Min Xiao-Fen – pipa, sanxian, ruan, voice, sound effects; Satoshi Takeishi – percussion and electronics plus WORKS: Michel Gentile – flute; Daniel Kelly – piano; Rob Garcia – drumsat the Brookliyn Conservatory of Music, $15

2/4, 8/10 PM  hard-hitting, brass-fueled newschool latin soul/boogaloo dance band Spanglish Fly at SOB’s, $10 av tix recs

2/4, 8 PM the Crown Heights Saxophone Quartet followed by the Stratus String Quartet at Scholes St. Studios

2/4, 8 PM Colibri – violinist Evelyn Petcher and pianist Hannah Mindeman – play Shostakovich’s Opus 134 plus Debussy violin-piano sonatas at the DiMenna Center, sugg don

2/4, 8 PM the Ureuk Symphony Orchestra play Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and the Tschaikovsky Violin Concerto with soloist Kyung Sun Lee at Merkin Concert Hall, $25 tix avail

2/4, 8 PM the Budapest Festival Orchestra perform the First and Fifth Symphony in an all-Beethoven program, plus pianist Richard Goode playing Piano Concerto No. 2 at NJPAC in Newark, $24 tix avail, kids free

2/4, 8PM purist jazz pianist Marcus Roberts leads his trio at the Miller Theatre, $20 tix avail

2/4 Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s begins at 9 with the Obsidians, at 10 the savagely Link Wray-inspired Howlin Thurstons, at 11 the purist reverbtoned Strange but Surf, and finally the monstrously creepy, awesome Inframen sometime after midnight.

2/4, 9 PM catchy, anthemic, charismatic folk noir band Thee Shambels – sort of the missing link between Nick Cave and the Pogues – followed by darkly torchy southwestern gothic/Europolitan songwriter/guitarist Miwa Gemini at Postmark Cafe, 326 6th St. north of 4th Ave in Park Slope, free

2/4, 9 PM ten-piece country/carnivalesque/acoustic rock powerhouse M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy, $10

2/4, 9 PM in reverse order at American Beauty: psychedelic funk band Kwame Binea Shakedown, roots reggae with Judah Tribe and tectonically shifting improvisational soundscapes with Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, $15

2/4, 9 PM first-call postbop tenor sax player John Ellis’ Double Wide at Bar Lunatico, $10. They’re also here on 2/18

2/4, 9:30 PM concise, tuneful jazz pianist Marta Sanchez leads a quintet at the Cell Theatre, $15

2/4, 10 PM careening, savage electric blues guitarist Jeremy Bar-Ilan at Arlene’s, $10

2/4, 11 PM wryly lyrical urban country pioneer Alex Battles & the Whiskey Rebellion celebrate six years of Freddy’s Bar at the current location

2/4 the Bush Tetras at Bowery Electric are sold out

2/5, 1 (one) PM a wild bunch of first-class improvisers from the Gold Bolus scene join forces in variously noisy collaborations: Anaïs Maviel, Angela Morris (Rallidae), Anne Rhodes (Broadcloth), Carl Testa, Daniel Levine (Knuckleball), Dave Ruder, ellen o, Erin Rogers (thingNY), Joe White, Lisa Dowling (kills to kisses), Matthew D. Gantt, Sam Sowyrda, at Footlight Bar, 465 Seneca Ave, Ridgewood, $8 

2/5, 2 PM LES outsider jazz hero Willie Klein channels Woody Guthrie with his acoustic songs for troubled times at Mayflower Bar, 132 Greene Ave in Ft. Greene, free

2/5, 2 PM pianist Alexander Melnikov plays Rachmaninoff: Variations on a Theme by Chopin, Op. 22 and Variations on a Theme by Corelli, Op. 42 [;is Debussy: Preludes for Piano, Book 2 at the Town Hall, $15 tix avail

2/5, 3 PM the Greenwich Village Orchestra play Sibelius – Swan of Tuonela;† R. Strauss – Don Jua; Debussy – Rhapsody; Ravel – Daphnis & Chloé Suite No. 2 at Washington Irving HS Auditorium, 16th St./Irving Place, $15 sugg don., reception to follow

2/5, 4 PM pianist Steven Masi plays Beeethoven sonatas at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free, no under-sixes.

2/5, 4 PM  Italienisches Liederbuch — a collection of 46 lieder by composer Hugo Wolf (1860-1903), sung by Jesse Blumberg, baritone, Donna Breitzer, mezzo-soprano with Grant Wenaus, piano at the Old Stone House in Park Slope, $20/$10 stud/srs

2/5, 5 PM intense, lyrical, smartly Waits/Dylanesque Americana songwriter Pete Lanctot with superb violinist Ginger Dolden at LIC Bar

2/5, 7 PM superbly counterintuitive drummer/composer Vinnie Sperrazza leads Apocryphal with Loren Stillman­ alto saxophone; Brandon Seabrook­ guitar; Eivind Opsvik­, bass followed at 9:30 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

2/5, 8 PM bracingly atmospheric art-rock guitarist Samara Lubelski at Union Pool, $15

2/5, 11 PM the darkly eclectic Merrymaker’s Orchestrina – who veer from catchy jangle uneasy cinematics to fullscale noir rock at Leftfield

2/6, 7 PM Allen Lewis Rickman directs a brand-new English version of Isaac Zolotarevsky’s ribald 1910 Yiddish play Money, Love, and Shame! starring Everett Quinton and Samantha Maurice.“Not for the weak of heart, it’s a wild ride with a group of dysfunctional Jewish immigrants. Though considered “shund” or “trash” by critics, it was one of the most popular and most often produced plays on the Yiddish stage.” At the Center for Jewish Culture, 15 W 16th St., $15/$10 stud/srs.

2/6, 8 PM performance artist Anya Liftig at the PPL Space, 104 Meserole St. in Bushwick, sugg don. This is the woman who made out with a cactus – for a long time. You can watch it on youtube if you have the nerve. Scary/powerful stuff. She also does somewhat more lighthearted things with food.

2/6, 8 PM the mighty 180-voice New York Choral Society sing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem with soloists Vanessa Vasquez, soprano, Abigail Fischer, mezzo-soprano, Zach Borichevsky, tenor, and Sava Vemic, bass. at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall , $30 tix avail

2/6-7, 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

2/6, 9:30 PM Level 5 play catchy, funky organ/guitar grooves, part vintage Meters, part JBs, with a psychedelic edge at the Bitter End. 2/20, 10 PM they’re at the small room at the Rockwood 

2/6, 10 PM explosive, theatrical, phantasmagorical indie/metal band A Deer A Horse at St. Vitus, free

2/6 10:30 PM JD Allen Trio – this era’s most important, and purposeful, and darkly intelligent tenor sax group – at Smalls

2/6, midnight noir piano jazz with the Dred Scott Trio back at their old spot, the small room at the Rockwood They’re here again on 2/26

2/7, 7 PM guitarist Jonathan Goldberger’s excellent, uneasy, Indian and Middle Eastern-tinged pastoral guitar jazz trio Surface to Air followed by explosive, wryly eclectic, Ellington/hip-hop influenced Balkan brass band Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

2/7, 7 PM the Manhattan Chamber Players revisit the heartbroken year of 1877 through Gabriel Faure’s music at the Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix avail

2/7 7:30/9:30 PM A-list avant crooner Theo Bleckmann leads his Elegy Quintet with Ben Monder – guitar; Shai Maestro – keyboard; Chris Tordini – bass; John Hollenbeck – drums at the Jazz Standard, $25

2/7, 7:30 PM the up-and-doing Verona Quartet performs works by Beethoven, Ravel, and a world premiere by Michael Gilbertson at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

2/7, 8 PM roaring 20s hot jazz with Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers at Radegast Hall

2/7-12 9 PM perennially tuneful, improvisational pianist Kris Davis leads a series of groups at the Stone, $20. Choice pick: 2/8 with mysterious, fearlessly relevant pan-Asian singer Jen Shyu

2/7-12, 9/11 PM the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra play a weeklong stand on their home turf featuring compositions by their founder Thad Jones, leaders Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely and others from their massive catalog of of over 300 tunes, $30

2/7, 9 PM edgy lefty guitarist Damian Quinones and his psychedelic latin soul band at Freddy’s

2/7, 9 PM conscious dancehall reggae star Anthony B – who still wants to burn down Babylon – at B.B. King’s, $25 adv tix rec

2/7, 9:30 PM the fascinating, tuneful Giacomo Merega plays solo bass at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

2/7, 10 PM majestic, cinematic surf instrumentalists the TarantinosNYC  at the Knitting Factory, $10

2/7, 10ish psychedelic, atmospheric downtown postpunk supergroup Heroes of Toolik at the Silent Barn, $10

2/7, 10:30 PM saxophone powerhouse Lucas Pino‘s two-guitar No No Nonet at Smalls

2/8, 7:30 PM amazing, eckectically kinetic Tunisian oudist/singer Dhaffer Yousef at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix avail

2/8, 8ish crystalline-voiced noir Americana songwriter Jessie Kilguss leads an all-star cast – Heather Eatman, Freddie Stevenson, Adam Rubenstein, John Brodeur, Jon Crider, Bird of Youth, John Wray, Hilary Downes, Cliff Westfall and others – singing a Leonard Cohen tribute at Hifi Bar

2/8, 8 PM gamelanesque downtown percussion icon Susie Ibarra‘s lustrously string-driven Dreamtime Ensemble at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

2/8 8:30 PM a short set fom brilliantly eclectic, cinematic cellist Emily Hope Price followed at 9 by ethereally enchanting art-folk autoharpist/singer Elizabeth Devlin,at Sidewalk

2/8, 11:30 PM intense art-funk/psychedelic soul chanteuse Imani Uzuri at Brownsville Recreation Center in Brownsville Playground, 1555 Linden Boulevard (Christopher/Mother Gaston), East New York, free, 4/5 to New Lots Ave

2/9,  7 PM soaringly explosive jazz composer/torch singer Nicole Zuraitis at 55 Bar

2/9 7:30 PM, repeating 2/10-11 at 8 Semyon Bychkov conducts the NY Phil playing Tschaikovskiy’s Pathetique Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall, $30 tix avail

2/9, 7:30 PM, the New Orford String Quartet play R. Murray Schafer: String Quartet No. 1; Beethoven: String Quartet in C major, Op. 59, No. 3 (“Razumovsky”) at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/9, 7:30 PM colorful drummer Aaron Alexander leads his Klez Messengers, with clarinet god Michael Winograd and the similarly pyrotechnic Patrick Farrell on accordion at the Jalopy, $15

2/9, 8 PM wild, intense, frequently satirical newgrass/oldtimey hellraisers the Dustbowl Revival at Union Pool, $15

2/9, 8 PM pianist Jihee Heo‘s lustrous, lush Passion Septet at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

2/9, 8 PM deep-space solo guitar epics with David Grubbs at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, $10

2/9, 8 PM plush singer Daria Grace’s torchy, delightful oldtime uke swing band the Pre-War Ponies Barbes

2/9, 8 PM intense, brilliantly lyrical, fearlessly political 1950s style original folk/blues singer Joshua Garcia at Caffe Vivaldi

2/9, 8:30 PM ethereal chamber pop songwriter/pianist Neha opens for the broodingly compelling, Elliott Smith-influenced Emily Mure at the third stage at the Rockwood, $15

2/9, 9 PM  hot 20s swing with trumpeter Jason Prover and his Sneak Thievery Orchestra at Radegast Hall

2/9, 9 PM wild, noisy, genuinely Hendrixian virtuoso lead guitarist Viva DeConcini and her band at the Way Station. She’s also there on 2/18 at 10

2/9, 10 PM ferociously catchy. fearlessly populiat ska-punk/latin rock band Outernational at Bowery Electric, $8

2/9, 10 PM unstoppably edgy, deservedly iconic, witty downtown guitarist  Marc Ribot  at Sunny’s. He’s also here on 2/23

2/9, 10:30 PM noir-inspired alto saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton leads his group at Smalls

2/9, 11 PM guitarslinger Mallory Feuer’s fiery power trio the Grasping Straws – sort of a mashup of Patti Smith and Hole’s first album – at Muchmore’s, $5

2/9, 11 PM high-voltage circus rock/Balkan brass monsters This Way to the Egress at Mehanata, free. Then they rush up to at the small room at the Rockwood for a midnight show

2/10, 6 PM  tuneful original delta blues and acoustic Americana from Jon LaDeau at the American Folk Art Museum

2/10, 6 PM crystalline-voiced, noir-tinged third-stream jazz chanteuse Tessa Souter and her band at 55 Bar

2/10, 6;30 PM jazz, oldtime folk and other material performed by an allstar band including jazz piano luminaries Bennett Paster and Deidre Rodman Struck and bassist Jim Whitney, M Shanghai String Band’s Philippa Thompson and many others plus guest drummer Scott Neumann at PS 130 Upper School Auditorium, 713 Caton Ave at E 7th St, Windsor Terrace; F to Ft. Hamilton Pkwy; Admission free, all donations benefit the PS 130 PTA

2/10, 7:30 PM short sets by high plainst gothic songstress, Karen Dahlstrom, art-rock pianist Greta Gertler, soaring cello rocker Serena Jost, Gato Loco low-register sax powerhouse Stefan Zeniuk, powerpop guitar genius Pete Galub, hypnotic art-rock pianist Matt Kanelos, folk noir piano songwriter Juliet Strong, jazz pianists Brittany Anjoy and Deidre Struck and maybe others at Greenwood Church, 461 6th St. (chapel entrance on 7th btw 5th/6th sts, Park Slope, $10 all proceeds to C.H.I/P.S, B/D/Q to 7th Ave

2/10, 7:30 PMsweeping, swinging vibraphone jazz with Behn Gillece and his quartet at Smalls

2/10, 7:30/9:30 PM pianist David Virelles leads his quartet with Roman Filiu on alto at the Jazz Gallery, $22

2/10, 8 PM  RighteousGIRLS – pianist Erika Dohi and flutist Gina Izzo – and cellist Jillian Blythe’s Love Every Note presents an anti-Valentine’s Day show with a program including Ravel’s Duo Sonata for Violin and Cello pllus works by Andy Akiho, Todd Reynolds and others at the Firehouse Space, $10

2/10, 8 PM pianist Thomas Sauer plays Joseph Haydn: Sonata in C major, H. XVI: 48 (1789); Hans Abrahamsen: Selections from Ten Studies for Piano (1984-1998); Stephen Hartke: Sonata for Solo Piano (1998;  Beethoven: Sonata in C Minor, Op. 111 (1821-22)at the New School auditorium at 66 W 12th St., free

2/10, 8:30 PM vicious noiserock jamband the the Skull Practitioners– led by Steve Wynn sparring partner/genius guitarist Jason Victor at Matchless, $8

2/10, 8:30 PM Anti-Social Music drinks alone with works by performs a set of solo pieces written by Patrick Castillo, Ty Citerman, Max Duykers, Andrea La Rose, Pat Muchmore, Ed RosenBerg and Charlie Waters. Performers include Ty Citerman (guitar), Domenica Fossati (flute), Steven Gosling (piano), Mihai Marica (cello), Pat Muchmore (cello), and Ed RosenBerg (reeds).followed by Josh Sinton‘s horn trio at I-Beam, $15

2/10, 9 PM enigmatic latin jazz singer Linda Briceno at Pine Box Rock Shop

2/10, 9 PM guitar mastermind Danny Weiss’ and magical Americana singer Mary Olive Smith’s soulful retro bluegrass band Stillhouse Serenade at the Jalopy, $10

2/10, 9 PM Brandi & the Alexanders play their torchy oldschool soul and groove music followed by blue-eyed soul guy Ernest Ernie & the Sincerities at the Bell House, $12 adv tix rec

2/10, 10 PM jaunty Hawaiian swing sounds with King Isto’s Tropical String Bandat Sunny’s. They’re also here on 2/16

2/10. 10:30 PM catchy, irresistibly fun female-fronted oldschool rocksteady/roots reggae band the Big Takeover at the big room at the Rockwood

2/10 11 PM awesomely unhinged horror surf/hotrod instrumentalists the Mad Doctors at the Gutter, $5

2/11, 10 AM (in the morning) a family-friendly interactive concert/jazz workshop for all ages by haunting oldtime gospel/blues/jazz group Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence at PS 130 Upper School Auditorium, 713 Caton Ave at E 7th St, Windsor Terrace; F to Ft. Hamilton Pkwy; Admission free, all donations benefit the PS 130 PTA

2/11, 1 PM the opening of the new exhiibit Brooklyn Abolitionists/In Pursuit of Freedom. Titled Weeksville: Transforming Community/In Pursuit Of Freedom, exploring the origins of one of the first free black communities in the country. Plus tours of the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses, a screening of “Digging For Black Pride” which chronicles the community centered archaeological dig of 1968, a family arts workshop, and BRIC’s “Black TV Matters”, a screening of community produced shorts that portray various facets of Black American life. At 2 pm, a deep listening session and discussion of oral histories collected as part of BHS’s Voices of Crown Heights public history project. at Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Ave at St. Marks, Crown Heights, A/C to Utica Ave, free

2/11, 3 PM the eclectic, Balkan/latin/funk brass Underground Horns at Radegast Hall. 2/24 they’re at Nublu 151 at around 10

2/11, 6 PM amazingly eclectic cellist and brilliant songwriter Marika Hughes  followed by badass resonator guitarist and delta blues/oldtime hillbilly music maven Mamie Minch  and then otherworldly Tuvan throat-singing group Alash,

2/11, 7 PM up-and-coming chamber music trio Longleash with guest violist Anne Lanzilotti perform works by Scandinavian composers Saariaho, Abrahamsen and Thorvaldsdottir paired with Americans Wollschleger and Marshall at Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave (37/38), $20

2/11, 7 PM lush string-driven Indian classical ensemble Akshara featuring powerhouse musicians Arun Ramamurthy, Dave Eggar and Kabilan Jeganathan perform along with dancers Sonali Skandan, Sahana Sridhar, Aishwarya Madhav and Janani Comar at Salaam Bombay, 319 Greenwich St at Reade, $25/$18 Seniors and Students/children under 12 free, 1 train to Chambers

2/11,7:30 PM incomparable country/jazz/janglerock icon Amy Allison with Lee Feldman on piano at Dixon Place. Briliant new material! Devastatingly funny between-song banter!

2/11, 7;30 PM powerhouse flamenco guitarist Javier Limon explores the roots of the style at Merkin Concert Hall, $25 tix avail

2/11, 7:30 PM the great unsung hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin‘ leads his Zeb Trio at Smalls

2/11, 7:30/9 PM Brooklyn’s own purist up-and-coming jazz chanteuse (and Gil Scott-Heron reinterpreter) Charenee Wade and her combo at Ginny’s Suppper Club, $20

2/11, 8 PM fiery southwestern gothic-inflected jazz guitarist Nick Millevoi’s Desertion Trio at Greenwich House Music School, $15/$12 stud/srs

2/11, 8 PM short sets from sardonically funny Beatlesque/Costelloesque powerpop songwriter Walter Ego – solo on piano – andMac McCarty of folk noir band Abraham’s River at Sidewalk

2/11, 8 PM the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble play a fantastic program of string quartets: Shostakovich – String Quartet no. 8, Rosciszewski – *String Quartets nos. 1 & 2 (world premieres); Gorecki – String Quartet no. 2 at the Staten Island Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Building “A”$15 

2/11, 8 PM Lauren Alfano-Ishida and Rachel Alexander play music for voice & violin by Blacher – Hovhannes – Vaughan-Williams –Villa-Lobos, at the DiMenna Center, $20

2/11, 8:30 PM pianist Yoon Sun Choi‘s Owls At Night trio followed by brilliantly cinematic, kinetic violinist Dana Lyn ‘s pssychedelic, ecolotically themed Mother Octopus quartet at I-Beam, $15

2/11, 9 PM intense charismatic danceable metal cumbia/skaragga/latin rockers Escarioka at Mehanata, $10

2/11, 9 PM fiery flamenco jazz with the James Labrosse Collective followed at 10 by oldschool psychedelic soul/groove band Empire Beats

2/11, 8ish intense, charismatic, fearlessly populist art-soul crooner/songwriter Chocolate Genius at the Owl, $10

2/11, 9 PM lyrical, soaring alt-country multi-instrumentalist/bandleader Alana Amram& the Rough Gems at Union Pool, $10

2/12, 2 PM elegant, atmospheric art-rock violinist/songwriter Concetta Abbate at Mayflower Bar in Ft. Greene

2/12, 6 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at 55 Bar

2/12, 6 PM erudite, witty art-rock pianist/songwriter/composer Lee Feldman at Cornelia St. Cafe, $20 incl a drink

2/12, 7 PM up-and-coming alto saxophonist Caroline Davis leads her quintet at the Fat Cat

2/12, 7:30 PM Unheard-of Ensemble perform Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time as a tribute to the place where many of New York’s great new music ensembles and new works got their start. at the Firehouse Space, $10

2/12, 8 PM perennially interesting improvisers: solo sets from Chris Pitsiokos, trumpeter Nate Wooley,bassist Leila Bordreuil at the Knockdown Center, $10

2/12, 8 PMeclectic, soulful, lyrical original oldtime Americana/folk band the Woes at the Mercury, $8

2/12, 8:15 PM the Amazonas Strings with guest pianist Cesar Orozco play elegant, enveloping latin pastoral jazz at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

2/12, 10 PM intense, hypnotic, otherworldly instrumental solo electric guitar blues with Catriona Sturton at Alphavilla, $8

2/13, 7 PM popular postrock/avant minimalists Bing & Ruth play their new album No Home of the Mind in its entirety at the Greene Space, free but res req 

2/13, 7 PM tuneful postbop pianist Jim Ridl leads his group from behind the Rhodes at 55 Bar

2/13, 8 PM American Contemporary Music Ensemble play featuring Meredith Monk’s Stringsongs plus music by Caroline Shaw, Caleb Burhans, and Timo Andres from ACME’s new album Thrive on Routine at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

2/13, 9 PM darkly jangly, catchy, new wave-ish rockers Melissa & the Mannequins followed at 10 by explosive, creepy, colorful psychedelic rembetiko metal band Greek Judas at LIC Bar

2/13, 9:30 PM Los Cumpleanos – new wave synths & retro organ sounds with effect-laden trombone and trumpet as well as a three piece percussion section – at Barbes

2/14, drinks at 5:30 PM, show at 6, all-female punk classical French horn quartet Genghis Barbie play works from Bizet to Queen to Badfinger at the Miller Theatre, free

2/14, 7 PM intense Balkan chanteuse Jenny Luna‘s haunting, traditional Turkish band Dolunay followed by ten-piece funky Balkan brass/Ellington jazz monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

2/14, 7 PMeclectic, hard-hitting, lyrical composer/tenor saxophonist Stan Killian and group at 55 Bar

2/14, 9 PM eclectic, paradigm-shifting B3 jazz organist Brian Charette‘s Mighty Grinders grind it out at Bar Chord

2/14, 8ish cinematic, eclectic Balkan- and latin-tinged string band Ljova & the Kontraband  at the Owl, $10

2/14-19, 9/11 PM state-of-the-art alto saxophonist/composer Miguel Zenon leads his quintet at the Vanguard, $30

2/14, 9:30 PM the Bronx Conexion play their mighty salsa big band jazz at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, $10

2/14, 10 PM excellent, purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Clifford Westfall at 11th St. Bar

2/15, 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

2/15. 8 PM retro continental swing sounds with singer Tatiana Eva-Marie & the Avalon Jazz Band at Guadalupe Inn, $5

2/15, 8 PM inspired, cutting-edge trombonist/composer Ryan Keberle & Catharsis  at Barbes

2/15, 8 PM  hauntingly phantasmagorical art-rock/noir cabaret pianist/singer Anana Kaye at LIC Bar

2/15, 8 PM powerhouse Nina Simone-influenced oldschool soul/jazz belter Spring Brooks at the Way Station 

2/15, 9 PM the Monk-inspired Greg Lewis Organ Trio featuring guitar monster Marc Ribot at Bar Lunatico, $10

2/15, 9ish epic Indian-inspired spacerock band Humeysha at Brooklyn Bazaar

2/16, 7 PM the all-female Ensemble Leonarda explore works by composers who sought out brave new worlds:  Handel (in England), Hotteterre (who went to Rome), & French baroque opera founder, Jean-Baptiste Lully (who emigrated from Florence, Italy to the French court of Louis XIV).  Plus a special rendition of Dvorak’s “Largo” from his “New World” Symphony, featuring hilarious performance artist Kelly Dwyer at the National Opera Center, 333 7th Ave, $25/$15 stud/srs 

2/16, 7 PM intense theatrical Bartok-influenced drummer/composer Sean Noonan’s “Soap” with Alex Marcelo piano Peter Bitenc bass at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

2/16, 7:30 PM rippling tsimbl dulcimer player Pete Rushefsky & the Ternovka Ensemble play eclectic Russian, Ukrainian and Eastern European klezmer sounds at the Jalopy, $15

2/16, 8 PM deviously lyrical, historically spot-on, cleverly sultry oldtimey/Americana songwriter/bandleader Robin Aigner and Parlour Game folllowed at 10 by brilliant klezmer reedman Matt Darriau’s Who Is Manny Blanc, a homage to the legendary/obscure LES psychedelic Jewish jazz/esoterica compose at Barbes

2/16, 8 PM shapeshifting indie classical luminaries Ensemble Mise-en with brilliant, lustrous clarinetist Vasko Dukovski showcase the works of Djuro Zivkovic and Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen in a double portrait concert at Scandinavia House, 37th St./Park Ave., $15/$10 stud

2/16, 8 PM deviously theatrical oldschool C&W/rockabilly parodists Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co at Otto’s

2/16, 9  PM stoner soul and classic blaxpolitation soundtrack grooves with vibraphone legend Roy Ayers at Bric Arts, $15 adv tix rec

2/16, 9 PM powerpopmeister Pete Galub followed eventually at around 11 by edgy, guitar-fueled peak era King Crimson-ish art-rockers Woodhead at Muchmore’s

2/16, 10 PM oldtime blues guitar/banjo/piano genius Jerron Blind Boy Paxton at Iridium, $25. He’s finally playing for the tourists now.

2/17, 6 PM author and record producer Ian Brennan – responsible for the Zomba Prison Project compilation, among others – discusses his book How Music Dies (or Lives)  at Arnhold Hall 55 West 13th Street, Room I-202, at the New School, free

2/17, 7 PM eclectic jazz/blues resonator guitarist Elizabeth Wise at Caffe Vivaldi

2/17, 7:30 PM organist Jason Roberts plays a live score to the Charlie Chaplin classic The Gold Rush at St. Bartholomew’s Church $20/$10 stud/srs

2/17-18, 7:30/9:30 PM a rare weekend engagement by the Mingus Big Band on their home turf at the Jazz Standard, $30

2/17, 7:30 PM catchy oldschool roots reggae jams with a fearlessly populist Senegalese feel from Meta & the Cornerstones at the Poisson Rouge, $12 adv tix rec

2/17, 8 PM Mike Rimbaud – NYC’s current powerpop/new wave counterpart to Joe Strummer – at Bowery Electric

2/17, 8 PM playfully literate superduo Kill Henry Sugar – guitar/banjo mastermind Erik Della Penna and drummer Dean Sharenow –at Barbes

2/17, 8 PM Nadya Meykson, violin; Andrey Tchekmazov, cello Victoria Schwartzman, piano play trios by Brahms and Shostakovich at Scholes St. Studios

2/17, 9 PM epic, cinematic Indian violin-fueled art-rock themes with Rini and her explosive band at Silvana

2/17, 9ish Barmaljova – irrepressiblle indie classical/art-rock/klezmer string band violist Ljova and his similarly amazing wife, singer Inna Barmash – at the Postcrypt Coffehouse

2/17, 9 PM brilliant extrovert jazz drummer Allison Miller leads her band at Bar Lunatico, $10

2/17, 9/10:30 PM ethereal, raptly haunting singer Sara Serpa  leads an unorthodox trio with Ingrid Laubrock, tenor sax;  Erik Friedlander, cello at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

2/17, 10 PM roots reggae group Royal Khaoz at Shrine

2/18 not a music event but important and relevant: the poignant photo exhibit Muslim in New York, covering from the 80s to the present opens at the Museum of the City of NY, 1220 5th Ave. $18/$12 stud, under 20, free 

2/18, 7:30 PM up-and-coming jazz violinists lead their groups, in reverse order: Tomoko Omura Roots and the  Lisanne Tremblay Trio at the Cell Theatre, $tba

2/18, 8ish  lyrical pianist Jacob Sacks’ Chamber Quartet with Miranda Sielaff – viola, Kristi Helberg – violin, Mike McGinnis – at the Owl, $10

2/18, 8 PM Michael Malis plays solo piano followed by kinetic, darkly incisive guitarist Jessica Ackerley leading her trio, playing the album release for her new one Coalesce at Scholes St. Studios, $10

2/18, 8 PM high-energy original Fairport Convention-stye Britfolk with Divining Rod at the Way Station 

2/18, 9 PM searing, theatrical Romany/Balkan guy/girl-fronted punk rockers Bad Buka at Mehanata

2/18, 9/10:30 PM intense, fearlessly relevant Middle Eastern clarinetist Kinan Azmeh‘s kinetic, picturesque City Band at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

2/18, 9:30 PM pensive, smart multi-instrumentalist Kristen Tivey – of the edgy female-fronted Talking Heads-ish Eliza & the Organix – fronts her own folk/jazz band followed eventually by her main act at Pine Box Rock Shop

2/18, 10 PM enigmatically jangly, female-fronted rainy-day lo-fi band Belle Mare at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $15

2/18, 10:30 PM singer Rev. Mary and her Blue Crew “unveil a steamy array of vintage bawdy blues, paying homage to performers like Mae West, Sophie Tucker, Bessie Smith, Rosa Henderson, Ruth Brown, Stella Johnson and Barrel House Annie, to name a few” at Freddy’s

2/19, 2:30 PM intense indie classical/art-rock cellist Leah Coloff at Mayflower Bar in Ft. Greene

2/19, 3 PM harpist Kate Sloat performs contemporary works for solo harp by Lowell Liebermann, Brian Erickson, and many more! at Spectrum, $15

2/19, 3 PM The North/South Chamber Orchestra play premieres by Arthur Gottschalk, David Maves, Winnie Yang , Margarita Zelenaia at Christ & St Stephen’s Church, 120 West 69th St, free

2/19, 4 PM the Emerson String Quartet’s Eugene Drucker, violin; Roberta Cooper, viola; and Gili Melamed Lev, piano; play works by Beethoven and Brahms at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free, no under-sixes

2/19, 5 PM brilliantly lyrical latin jazz pianist Luis Perdomo + the Controlling Ear Unit at St. Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex, free

2/19, 5:30  PM the fantastic and irrepressible Momenta Quartet play a fascinating program of new Japanese chamber music by Shoichi Yabuta, Yuta Bandoh and Yoshiaki Onishi, on a program also featuring Molly Morkoski, Miya Masaoka, Akikazu Nakamura, Elizabeth Brown, Wendy Stern, Brian Ellingsen and Eriko Sato in other works by Jo Kondo, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Shohei Amimori and Miya Masaoka at Scandinavia House, 37th St./Park Ave.$20/$15 stud/srs

2/19, 7  PM brilliant pedal steel player Mike Neer’s Steelonious – who do Monk covers in the same vein as Buddy Emmons – at Barbes

2/19, 9/10:30 PM the long-awaited return of the world’s funniest improvising ensemble, Mostly Other People Do the Killingplaying the album release hsow for their new one Loafer’s Hollow with Steven Bernstein on trumpet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

2/19,  10 PM the intoxicatingly clattering Moroccan trance grooves of Innov Gnawa; eclectic indie classical percussion ensemble Tigue open at 9 at Threes Brewing

2/20, 8 PM fiery, charismatic soul siren Meah Pace and her oldschool band at LIC Bar

2/20, 10 PM tuneful, state-of-the-art bassist Linda Oh leads her killer quartet with Jon Irabagon on alto sax at 55 Bar

2/21, 7 PM Carsie Blanton – who’s shifted her slinky act from oldtimey swing to torchy retro rock – at the Mercury, $12

2/21, 7:30 PM a fantastic Middle Eastern music benefit for the International Refugee Assistance Project from the seven banned countries featuring the Brooklyn Nomads feat. Hadi Eldebek, Mohammad Eldebek, Ramzi Edlibi, Nick Chbat and Shelley Thomas at the Poisson Rouge, $20 standing room avail

2/21, 7:30 PM the Mannes American Composers Ensemble play Andrew Norman: Try; Harrison Birtwistle: Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum; Louis Andriessen: Workers’ Union at r63 Fifth Avenue, Room U100 at the New School, free

2/21, 8 PM wickedly lyrical French chanson/Romany jazz/cinematic new wave band Paris Combo at City Winery, $25 standing room avail. 

2/21, 8 PM magicallly crepuscular, cinematic Montreal slowcore/postrock/pastoral jazz trio Desert Foxx followed by similar, hyperkinetiically shapeshifting multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Thana Iyer at Muchmore’s. Iyer is playing the album release show for her new one on 2/23 at midnight at the small room at the Rockwood 

2/21, 8 PM lyricallyy sharp chamber pop/art-rock/jazz songwriter Joanna Wallfisch with Kenny Werner on piano at Mezzrow, $20

2/21, 8 PM the Weasel Walter improvisational Large Ensemble featuring Steve Swell on trombone, Leila Bourdreuil on cello and Brandon Seabrook on guitar at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

2/21, 8/10:30 PM drummer Dan Weiss leads a tuneful trio with Jacob Sacks, piano;  Ben Street, bass at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

2/21-26, 9 PM vibraphonist Chris Dingman leads a series of ensembles at the Stone, $20. Choice pick: his cinematic, enveloping Subliminal & Sublime project on 2/23

2/21, 10:30 PM 10:30 PM charismatic, adventurous postbop/avant garde trombonist/crooner Frank Lacy leads his group at Smalls

2/21 Lake Street Dive at the Music Hall of Williamsburg is sold out

2/22, 7 PM smart, lyrically edgy Americana rock songstress/bandleader Abbie Barrett at the Mercury, $10

2/22-25, 7 PM Duchess – Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner and Melissa Stylianou – sing the album release stand for their new one Laughing at Life – their charming update on the Boswell Sisters’ harmony swing – backed by an excellent quintet at 55 Bar

2/22, 7 PM unstoppable guitar and banjo shredder Brandon Seabrookquartet with  Dan Levin- cello;Vinnie Sperrazza- drums and Henry Fraser – bass at Barbes

2/22, 7:30 PM, repeating on 2/25 at 8 the NY Phil play Beethoven Symphonies No. 8 and 8 at Avery Fisher Hall, $31 tix avail2/22, 9 PM singer Renee LoBue’s popular, catchy, anthemic early zeros powerpop/southwesten gothic band Elk City at Hifi Bar

2/22, 8 PM maybe the best big band jazz night of the year: violnist Meg Okura‘s Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble & the Erica Seguine/Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra – arguably the most original, interesting and shapeshiftingly fun, cinematic large jazz ensemble in NYC, right up there with Darcy James Argue –at Shapeshifter Lab, $tba

2/22, 10 PM fiery punk/blues/soul bandleader Black Joe Lewis – sort of a mashup of Iggy Pop and Albert Collins – at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $20 adv tix at the Mercury M-F 5-7 PM highly rec.

2/23, 7 PM riveting, smart, Indian-influenced psychecelic soul singer/bandleader Shilpa Ananth  – the Indian Sade, maybe – plays a rare trio show with piano and tabla at Kava Shteeble on 94 Ralph Ave, Brooklyn

2/23, 7 PM epic Indian-inspired spacerock band Humeysha at the Mercury, $10

2/23, 7 PM scorching female-fronted psychedelic doom metal band Electric Citizen open for the Crazy World of Arthur Brown – still crazy after all these years – at the Poisson Rouge, $25 adv tix avail

2/23, 7 PM pianist Yoonie Han performs the world premiere of Theodore Wiprud’s Miss Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth and selections from Enrique Granados’ Goyescas; plus the composer, pianist and art historian Professor Gail Levin all discuss the influence of visual art on music af the Recital Hall at Baruch College, E. 25th St between 3rd and Lexington Ave, use code CC20 for $20 tix

2/23, 7:30 PM the Catalyst Quartet play their string quartet arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/23, 8 PM charismatic, torchy, occasionally Lynchian jazz bassist/singer Kate Davis (of the Lady Bugs) with her combo followed at 10 by Chia’s Dance Party spinoff the Cumbia River Band playing rustic Colombian acoustic grooves at Barbes

2/23, 8 PM an explosive collaboration between drummer Greg Fox and low-register noise composer Eli Keszler at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

2/22, 8 PM ex-Dylan lead guitarist Larry Campbell with singer Teresa Williams and guest pianist Bill Payne of Little Feat at City Winery $22 standing room vail

 2/23, 9 PM ace drummer/bandleader Tim Kuhl and his enveloping John Hollenbeck-ish 1982 art-rock project at Troost

2/23, 9 PM soulful chanteuse Kelly Sloan’s cachy, kinetic downtempo/neosoul group K Sloan & the Melodics at the Bitter End

2/23, 9ish cleverly lyrical, murderously witty murder ballad/chamber pop allstars Charming Disaster  at the Jalopy

2/23, 10 PM intense, lyrical, smartly Waits/Dylanesque Americana songwriter Pete Lanctot at Pete’s

2/23, 10 PM tunefully simmerimg improvisations from drummer Nick Fraser with Pat Briener – saxophone, Myk Freedman – lap steel at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery

2/23, 10 PM hypnotic, catchy loopmusic cellist Laura Wolf at Pine Box Rock Shop

2/24, 7 PM brilliant, haunting oudist Ara Dinkjian and his legendary singer dad Onnik Dinkjian perform a rare Armenian and Turkish program at the CUNY Grad Center, 365 5th Ave north of 34th St;, $25

2/24, 7 PM the world premiere of the new global warming-themed opera Upon this Handful of Earth by Norwegian composer Gisle Kverndokk and librettist Aksel-Otto Bull at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Ave $25 tix avail

2/24-25, 7 PM Cantata Profana bings a brand new staging of Leos Janácek’s song cycle, The Diary of One Who Disappeared, and one of J.S.Bach’s most sublime cantatas, BWV170 “Vergnügte Ru” to Symphony Space, $20 adv tix rec

2/24, 7:30 PM Happy Traum’s multimedia event Coming of Age in the Greenwich Village Folk Revival and the Woodstock Scene (1954 – 1971): “With colorful anecdotes and incisive memories, and the aid of vintage photos and music clips, Traum relates some of his adventures as an active member of the New York folk revival; his participation in the “Great Folk Singers Riot” in Washington Square; and his friendships with some of the leading folk artists of the day such as Brownie McGhee, and a young Bob Dylan. Happy punctuates his remembrances with songs and guitar solos from the folk era and beyond,”  at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher St $25/$15 stud.

2/24, 7:30 PM high voltage latin jazz with the Pedrito Martinez Group at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/24, 8 PM fearless punk classical cellist Valerie Kuehne at the PPL Space, 104 Meserole St in Bushwick, sugg don. She’s at Spectrum the following night, 2/25 at 8:30 PM for $15

2/24, 8 PM soaring alto saxophonist/jazz chanteuse Grace Kelly leads her quartet at Flushing Town Hall, $16, free for teens age 13-19 with ID.

2/24, 8 PM 8 PM rustic Brazilian jungle sounds with Regional de NY at Barbes

2/24, 9 PM the Dirty Waltz Project- a seven-piece band playing more than a dozen instruments in 3/4 time in countless genres from Balkan, Irish, jazz, blues and American folk traditions – at the Jalopy, $10

2/24 9:30 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band and the Broken Mariachi Horns at Hill Country

2/24, 9 PM popular, shambling stoner boogie/Americana rockers Jeff the Brotherhood at Sunnyvale, $15

2/24, 9 PM tuneful, intriguing third-stream jazz pianist Noa Fort leads her trio at Pete’s

2/24, 9:30 PM intense, charismatic Tunisian art-rock songwriter – and Arab Spring heroine – Emel Mathlouthi at Joe’s Pub, $18

2/24, 10 PM jangly, sharply lyrical folk-rock/chamberpop band the Morning Sea – like a more stripped-down, less druggy Elliott Smith – at the small room at the Rockwood

2/24, 10 PM Dead Man Winter -Trampled By Turtles’ Dave Simonett’s second-generation Wallfowers rock side project – at Bowery Ballroom, $18

2/24, 11 PM high-voltage Tex-Mex and zydeco sounds with the Whiskey Killers at Guadalupe Inn, $5

2/25, 5 PM a free dance party with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra at the community center in the middle of Marcus Garvey Pak, free

2/25, 6 PM amazingly eclectic cellist and brilliant soul/art-rock/jazz songwriter Marika Hughes followed at 8 by eclectic, electric C&W/blues band the Jug Addicts and at 10 by trippy North African dance grooves from Innov Gnawa at Barbes

2/25, 7 PM percussionist Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence (ft. Chris Sholar & Jaleel Shaw) – who make haunting jazz soundscapes out of rustic African-American gospel themes – at the Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix avail

2/25, 7 PM enigmatic female-fronted psychedelic pop/new wave band the New Tarot play the album release show for their new one at Bowery Electric, $8

2/25, 7 PM Hollywood’s Dan Finnerty leads his savagely hilarious top 40 parody group the Dan Band at Joe’s Pub, $22

2/25, 7:30 PM intense, controversial Portuguese fado star Gisela João makes her US debut backed by a great acoustic band at the Schimmel Center at Pace University, 3 Spruce St, $30, 6/J/M to City Hall

2/25, 7:30 PM Victoria Schwartzman, piano ;Andrey Tchekmazov, cello; Nadya Meykson, violin play works  by Alfred Schnittke, Alban Berg, Arvo Pärt and Dmitry Shostakovich at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, $20 sugg don

2/25, 8/10 PM popular oldschool 70s stye psychedelic salsa dura band Bio Ritmo at Subrosa, 63 Gansevoort St., $15

2/25, 8 PM the enigmatic Moodswing Orchestra – drummer Ben Perowsky, keyboardist Glenn Patscha and guitar monster Oren Bloedow – at the Owl, $10

2/25, 8 PM rapturously textured British Renaissance choir Stile Antico sing a pretty wild program of classics and obscurities by Tallis, Clemens Non Papa, Tompkins, Vivanco, McCabe and others at at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 145 W 46th St between 6th and 7th aves, $30 seats avail

2/25, 8:30 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 at the Postcrypt Coffeehouse

2/25, 9 PM Emiliano Messiez, piano and Rodolfo Zanetti Via, bandoneon play classic tango at Caffe Vivaldi

2/25, 9:30 PM Washington DC psychedelic soul band Aztec Sun followed by Pitchblak Brass Band at the Hall at MP, $12 adv tix rec

2/25, 9:30 PM eclectic Americana/C&W rock band Spuyten Duyvil at the Jalopy, $12

2/25, 10ish a free dreampop night at Muchmore’s with the glimmering, ringing Beach Moon Peach Moon and then the Parrot Dream Band, who sound like a louder Cocteau Twins

2/26, 2:30 PM the Dessoff Choirs sing an all-French program with music of Marcel Dupré, Claude Debussy, Lili Boulanger, Reynaldo Hahn, Jean Langlais, and Francis Poulen accompanied by organist Ray Nagem at St. Jean Baptiste Church, 184 East 76th St, $25/$15 stud/srs

2/26, 3  PM pianist Imri Talgam plays music of Daniel Fox, Peter Kramer and Vicente Alexim at Spectrum, $15

2/26, 5 PM former Little Jimmy Scott tenor sax player TK Blue and band at St. Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex, free

2/26, 6 PM ferocious, Middle Eastern-inspired jazz violinist Elektra Kurtis with indie classical chamber ensemble the PubliQuartet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

2/26, 6 PM powerhouse multi-reedwoman Jenny Hill plays both sax and flute at the album release for her new one with her sextet at 55 Bar

2/26, 7ish vivid gothic Americana songstress Lara Ewen at Scratcher Bar on E 5th just off Bowery

2/26, 8:30ish dark, charismatic, mischievously witty art-rock keyboardist/chanteuse Rachelle Garniez, rockabilly/honkytonk guitar maven Monica Passin a.k.a. L’il Mo, Barbara Endes of wickedly catchy Americana/paisley underground rockers Girls on Grass and NYC C&W vet Jonathan Gregg at the Treehouse at 2A

2/26, 9 PM mart, politically-fueled Irish rocker Niall Connolly at at the small room at the Rockwood

2/27, 7:30 PM Damstadt Essential Music join forces to play Terry Riley’s In C – performers include Nick Hallett and Zach Layton leading an ensemble with Elliott Sharp, Peter Kotik, Pauline and Conrad Harris, David Grubbs, Laura Ortman, Roddy Bottum – at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix rec

2/27. 7:30 PM the Calefax Reed Quintet, organist Paul Jacobs, flutist Claire Chase, and the  Grand Electric ensemble play new arrangements of classic Bach workss at Music Mondays at Advent Church, 93rd/Broadway, free

2/28, 7 PMa ferocious update on a darkly classic sound: the Avi Fox-Rosen Electric Klezmer Trio with Dave Licht on drums,and Zoe Guigueno on bass play Dave Tarras tunes followed at 9 by ten-piece funky Balkan brass jazz monsters Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

2/28, 7 PM La Mecanica Popular play their original update on classic 70s Nuyorican salsa dura at Bric Arts, free w/rsvp 

2/28, 8 PM pianist/composer Richard Sussman’s Evolution Ensemble presents the lush, explosive Evolution Suite for jazz quintet, string quartet, and Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

2/28, 9 PM purist oldschool country songwriter/bandleader Michaela Anne a at the big room at the Rockwood, $12

2/28. 9 PM Brooklyn’s original punk Balkan horn group Hungry March Band,at the Bell House, $15

2/28, 10 PM brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet play classic salsa grooves at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

3/1, 7 PM PubliQuartet cellist Amanda Gookin plays electroacoustic piece by Leila Adu, Jessica Meyer, Allison Loggins-Hull, Morgan Krauss, Nathalie Joachim, and Amanda Feery from her new album at National Sawdust $30 adv tix rec

3/1, 8 PM a murderer’s row of first-rate singers including but not limited toErica Smith, Tammy Faye Starlite, Lizzie Edwards ofLizzie & the Makers play a Leonard Cohen tribute, backed by an all-star band at Bowery Electric, $8

3/1, 9 PM oldschool-style high plains C&W singer Hope Debates & North 40 at Bar Chord

3/2, 7 PM fearless Malian psychedelic desert rock bandleader/freedom fighter Noura Mint Seymali at Littlefield, $20 adv tix avail

3/2, 7 PM oldschool soul bandleader Eliza Neals and the Narcotics plays the album release show for her new one followed eventually at 10 by wryly trippy dub reggae bandleader Effie Liu at the Bitter End

3/2, 8:30 PM riveting, dynamic, poignant klazmer singer Inna Barmash and her similarly band sing “winkling klezmer lullabies, songs of love and love gone wrong” at the  Jalopy, $15

3/3, 7ish killer dark retro 60s psychedelic/stoner boogie/art-rock band Medusa’s Disco at Gussy’s Bar in Queens

3/3, 8:30 PM a benefit for the ACLU and Brooklyn-based immigrants rights group DRUM with the Occasionalists serving as the live band for revolutionary karaoke i.e. R.E.M.’s End of the World as We Know It to Bob Marley’s Redemption Song to the Beatles’ Revolution to Public Enemy’s Fight the Power to Bowie/Queen’s Under Pressure at Union Hall, $10

3/3, 10 PM New York City’s only Farsi funk group, the hauntingly psychedelic retro 60s/70s Iranian revivalists Mitra Sumara at Pete’s

3/4, 8:30 PM a benefit for Planned Parenthood with excellent, purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Clifford Westfall followed by Tatters & Rags and then the Space Merchants – the missing link between the Stooges and X – at Union Hall, $10

3/4, 9:30 PM smart, cosmopolitan jazz chanteuse Svetlana & the Delancey 5  – Breakfast at Tiffany’s meets Some Like It Hot – at Joe’s Pub

3/4, 10 PM Ensemble Mik Nawooj – who work the same classical/hip-hop turf as Yasiin Bey, often covering classic 90s joints from the Wu-tang Clan and others – at the Apollo Music Cafe, $20 tix avail at the Apollo box ofc

3/5, 2:30 PM the Apple Hill String Quartet play the world premiere of Presences by John Harbison for string quartet, cello, and bass  at St. Bartholomew’s Church, $25

3/5, 7:30 PM powerpop supergroup the Split Squad at Bowery Electric, $10

3/6, 6:30 PM violinist Kristin Lee, concertmaster of the Metropolis Ensemble plays the ep release show for composer Molly Joyce’s intense, acerbic new one; Joyce will also premiere a new work for toy organ and electronics, “Form and Deform.” at 1 Rivington St., free w/rsvp, reception to follow . 

3/7, 6 PM pianist Frank Levy plays works by Scarlatti, Mozart, Chopin, Bach/Marcello and Rachmaninov at the Yamaha Piano Salon, 689 Fifth Avenue (entrance on 54th street), $6 

3/7, 9:30 PM blazing Balkan/Romany rock/Middle Eastern/flamenco jamband Ventanas at Drom,  $10 adv tix rec

3/8, 9 PM a good Afrobeat twinbill in Greenpoint: the Super Yamba Band followed by the People’s Champs at Brooklyn Bazaar, $10 adv tix avail at the Poisson Rouge box ofc

3/9, 1 PM harpist Bridget Kibbey plays her arrangement of Debussy’s haunting prelude La Cathédrale engloutie at Trinity Church, free

3/9, 8 PM intense, funky Indian brass bhangra band Red Baraat play the album release show for their new one at Bric Arts, $15 adv tix rec. They’re at the Poisson Rouge on 3/16

3/10, 6:30 PM otherworldly Mongolian throat-singing folk ensemble Khusugtun at the Rubin Museum of Art, $30 adv tix rec

3/10, 7 PM hypnotic, richly tuneful Indian sounds: Rajasthani master of the Sindhi sarangi, Lakha Khan and ensemble at the CUNY Grad Center, 365 5th Ave north of 34th, $25/$20 stud

3/11, 7:30 PM dark Nordic chamber pop songbird Agnes Obel at the Poisson Rouge, $20 adv tix avail

3/14, 7 PM My Brightest Dimond’s Shara Nova and others backed by adventurous young orchestra the Knights  play Sarah Kirkland Snider‘s song suite  Unremembered, a hilling reminiscence of childhood traumas at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix a must

3/15, 8 PM Perl – former lead singer of Bulletproof Stockings, the Hasidic Sleater-Kinney – followed by fiery, brilliantly lyrical soul/rock songwriter Nehedar singing the album release show for her latest one, then she does double duty on vocals in powerpop bnd Fierce Love, then sardonic new wavers Blanket Statementstein at Bowery Electric

3/16, 1 PM Useful Chamber Orchestra play their arrangement of Debussy’s haunting prelude La Cathédrale engloutie at Trinity Church, free

3/16, 7:30 PM ancient, otherworldly trance beats: the first-ever US performance by the master musicians of the Festival Gnaoua et des Musiques du Monde in Essaouira, Morocco at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

3/17, 10 PM Pussy Riot at National Sawdust. Tix not avail yet – and might not be affordable – watch this space

3/19, 3:15 PM organist Karen Electra Christianson – one of the most electrifying church organists in the country – plays a program TBA at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

3/19, 4 PM the perennially witty Broken Reed Saxophone Quartet with pianist Roberta Piket at Sounds on Sackett at St. Agnes Church 433 Sackett St off of Hoyt St, Cobble Hill, any train to Atlantic Ave, $20, reception to follow

3/20, 8 PM the Bob Bennett Big Band with Erica Seguine on piano at Sir D’s Lounge, 837 Union St, south of 7th Ave, Park Slope, R to Union St.

3/23-24, 7:30 PM, repeating 3/25 at 8 and 3/26 at 3 PM Amy Beth Kirsten’s Quixote- a vividly original reimagining of the Cervantes classic, performed by the HOWL ensemble withLindsay Kesselman (soprano), Hai-Ting Chinn (mezzo-soprano), Kirsten Sollek (contralto), Mark DeChiazza and four singing players from Sandbox Percussion: Ian Rosenbaum, Victor Caccese, Terry Sweeney and Jonathan Allen at the Kasser Theatre, 1 Normal Ave, Montclair NJ, $20; catch the shuttle buss leaving from 41st behind Port Authority 

3/25, 8 PM standout British early music chamber ensemble the Orlando Consort perform the haunting Renaissance music of Loyset Compère at the auditorium at 150 W 83rd St., $30 tix avail at the Miller Theatre box ofc at 116th/Bwy, M-F noon-6

3/29, 8 PM haunting, intuitive cellist Inbal Segev opens for the String Orchestra of Brooklyn and Mivos Quartet performing works by Anna Clyne at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

3/30,1 PM lyrical jazz pianist Chris Pattishall and his group at Trinity Church, free

3/30, 8 PM the W4 New Music Collective premiere a collaboration between composers Matt Frey, Tim Hansen and Molly Herron exploring aspects of solitude at Roulette, $20 adv tix rec

3/31, 7 PM haunting Puerto Rican bolero revivalists – and Sylvia Rexach reinventors – Miramar at the CUNY Grad Center, 365 5th Ave north of 34th, $25/$20 stud

3/31, 8 PM the Argus String Quartet air out a mix of new and old works at Roulette, $20 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

Smart, Cutting-Edge Tunesmithing at Manhattan’s Most Comfortable Listening Room

Much as the world of singer-songwriters has shrunk, in the wake of the death of the big record labels – call it a market correction – Manhattan still has a great listening room for solo acoustic acts and small string bands. That venue is the American Folk Art Museum, just a few steps from the uptown 1 local to 66th Street, across the triangle from Lincoln Center. Their mostly-weekly Free Music Fridays series starts at 5:30 on the nose, goes to about quarter after seven and spans the world of folk music, from vintage Americana, gospel and blues to bluegrass, original songwriters and sounds from all over the world. That’s why this blog picked the museum as Manhattan’s best venue for 2016.

Jessi Robertson, with her harrowing narratives of angst and despair and her otherworldly, soul-infused wail, is the star of the show there on Friday the 29th. She’s a surprisingly funny performer for someone whose music is so dark and intense. She’s as captivating as the three best acts to play the space over the past few weeks: Joshua Garcia, Dina Regine and Anana Kaye.

Garcia held the crowd rapt throughout his brief set there last month. He has a flinty, clipped vocal delivery that’s bluesy without being cliched. He sounds like a throwback to the artists from the 1950s who influenced Dylan, but whom Dylan couldn’t quite figure out how to copy, at least vocally speaking. Along with a handful of populist anthems and nostalgic character studies, Garcia’s most riveting song was That’s the Way You Drop a Bomb. Told from the plainspoken perspective of one of the the crew of the Enola Gay, Garcia nailed every detail, right down to the pilot’s admonishment not to watch the explosion on the ground, the mushroom cloud or the firestorm afterward. Except that Garcia’s crewman had a conscience.

Dina Regine is best known as one of the pioneers of EDM, but her songwriting is vastly more interesting. On that same bill, she played solo acoustic on guitar, unselfconsciously making her way through a fearlessly populist set that made a great segue with Garcia. Shadowy vamping post-Lou Reed grit stood alongside warmly familiar retro 60s soul and doo-wop tunes, everything anchored in Regine’s background as a daughter of the Queens projects in the 1970s. She’s reputedly working on a new album which, if this set is any indication, promises to be just as eclectic and relevant as her last one.

Last week, Anana Kaye opened the night flanked by a couple of guys on rhythm and lead guitar. With her raccoon-eye makeup and circus rock outfit, she looked the part, but she transcends the theatrics of that cubculture (that’s a typo, but it works, right?). As a pianist, she really has a handle on uneasy, cinematic voicings that sometimes reach lurid, bloodcurdling depths. The best song in her tantalizingly brief set was Down the Ladder, a cruelly haunting desperation anthem. The most playful was Blueberry Fireworks, an aptly surrealistic shout-out to a gradeschool-aged friend with a vivid imagination. The more low-key material in her set reminded of Tom Waits while her upbeat, carnivalesque numbers reminded of a strummy, guitar-driven, lyrically infused Rasputina or female-fronted World Inferno. Kaye’s next gig is on Feb 15 at 8 PM at LIC Bar in Long Island City.

Three Nights in a Row at Drom: An Embarrassment of Riches

Last night at Drom, the crowd had reached critical mass by the time Innov Gnawa took the stage. It was the second weekend in a row that the seven-piece Moroccan trance-dance ensemble had packed a Manhattan club. This group is hot right now.

“What’s the appeal of this music?” the energetic, personable Virginia publicist asked the worn, haggard New York bass player.

“It’s the blues,” he replied, pulling himself out of a walking dream state. “You hear what the sintir player, the guy with the lute, is doing? He’s bouncing off an octave, but in between he’s playing a blues riff. Catchy, isn’t it? And I think that’s what people latch onto. That, and the castanets on the high end, and the bassline on the low, with the vocals in the middle. Total stereo from a thousand years ago.”

“I don’t really follow blues,” the publicist responded, guardedly. “I like Middle Eastern music.”

“Me too!” the bassist enthused. “This is the roots of Middle Eastern music, from North Africa. And my theory with the blues is that it’s in everybody’s DNA, everybody can resonate to it because the blues goes back to Ethiopia and that’s where the human species comes from.”

There were a lot of conversations like that over the course of the night. This weekend, the booking agents’ convention, a.k.a. APAP, is in town, which for ordinary people means that there are an unusual number of fantastic multiple-band bills happening for cheap or even free. The conventioneers call themselves presenters. Before you dismiss that as pretentious, consider that if you were a booker, you would probably prefer to be called a presenter. The mix of presenters, club people – the night was put on by the folks at Barbes, Brooklyn’s elite venue along with eclectic dance music label Electric Cowbell Records and Multiflora Productions – as well as random dancers got to enjoy a tantalizingly short set of shapeshifting, undulating grooves and energetic call-and-response chants in Arabic that began not onstage but on the floor in the middle of the crowd. What did it feel like to be literally rubbing elbows with bandleader Hassan Ben Jaafer, who, before he strapped on his sintir, walloped on a big bass drum slung over his shoulder? Thunderous fun. This music is obviously as adrenalizing to play as it is to be part of on the dance floor.

The previous band, Miramar, channeled a completely different kind of intensity. Singer Rei Alvarez rocked a sharp black suit, pairing off fire-and-dry-ice harmonies with his counterpart Laura Ann Singh, inscrutable in a vintage midnight blue pencil dress. The two looked like they just stepped out of a David Lynch or late-period Buñuel film, with music to match. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the most spellbinding performer of the night was keyboardist Marlysse Simmons, who played terse, elegant piano on several of the band’s moody boleros, including the opener, Sylvia Rexach’s classic Di Corazon, one of the saddest songs ever written. But it was her slinky, luridly tremoloing funeral organ on the band’s most haunting numbers, a mix of Rexach covers and originals that defines this band more than anything else. They made their way through a noir Vegas bossa that brought to mind Brooklyn art-rockers Tredici Bacci, a dramatic tango-flavored anthem with some rippling flamenco guitar lines, and a shattering version of Rexach’s Sin Ti. The rest of the material, afloat on a murky river of organ, channeled nonstop angst and longing. In all of latin music, the bolero is the ultimate expression of estrangement and angst: in the hands of this band, that atmosphere was relentless, and breathtaking, and in its own dark way as comforting as the Moroccan grooves afterward.

The night’s most dynamically captivating singer, among many, was Eva Salina, who’d been called in on short notice since Ethiopiques groovemeisters Feedel Band weren’t able to get up from Washington, DC in the snowstorm. Her longtime accordionist Peter Stan shifted from mournful ambience, to slithery cascades downward along with plenty of jaunty Balkan party riffage as the singer moved gracefully and eloquently from a brassy wedding theme, to a brooding abandoned-wife scenario, to an understatedly wrenching Saban Bajarmovic cover addressed to someone he never got the chance to say goodbye to. Eva Salina could front any Balkan band in the world she wants (one might say that she already has). Nobody works harder at getting the accents and ornaments right, or channeling the most minute expression of emotion or shade of irony. Midway through her set, she entreated the agents in the crowd to pair experienced artists with younger groups in order to keep the music fresh…and alive.

Alash were the funniest band of the night: the crowd loved them. The trio of multi-instrumentalist/singers Bady-Dorzhu Ondar, Ayan-Ool Sam and Ayan Shirizhik take their bandname from a river in their native Tuva in central Asia, and they backed that up with a couple of sweeping, uneasily rustic pastorales blending spare acoustic guitar with wood flute and the group’s signature, oscillating throat-singing harmonies. There was also a rather spare, severe number that could have easily passed for American gospel or blues from the 1800s if it had English lyrics. But the big crowd-pleasers were the funny stuff: a swaying drinking song, a tonguetwisting number that brought to mind an auctioneer’s rapidfire delivery, and the catchy, emphatic folk tunes that they began and ended with. “Shoot,” barked Ondar as each reached a sudden, cold ending: it’s a fair guess that means something more optimistic in Tuvan than it does in English.

And Ladama, a pan-latin, mostly female (hence the name) supergroup of sorts – assembled under the auspices of the US State Department under Obama – opened the evening with mix of upbeat folk-rock, a hint of tango and a couple of serpentine cumbias. The band’s not-so-secret weapon is Maria Fernanda Gonzalez, whose axe is the bandola llanera, which looks like a Mexican bajo sexto but sounds something like a baritone ukulele with more bite. Her fleet, flamencoish flurries on a handful of numbers made for some of the night’s most intense moments; otherwise, the band – including a couple of male ringers on accordion and bass, along with singer Sara Lucas, drummer Lara Klaus, conguera Daniela Serna and a violinist, kept a seamless bounce over beats from across South America, mirroring the band members’ diverse backgrounds. That was the night’s subtext. It’s hard to imagine the incoming Presidential administration having any interest in promoting music any more globally-inspired or edgy than Bon Jovi.

Four First-Class Female-Fronted Global Acts at Drom Last Night

Early into her second raga yesterday evening at Drom, Roopa Panesar took an impulsive slide up the neck of her sitar. Then another, then another, against the rumbling, rippling beat of both a tabla and a mridangam. That twin-percussion drive is unusual in Indian classical music, but it suited Panesar well. For somebody whose right hand was a blur much of the time, she plays with an economy of notes, letting the river of beats carry most of the weight while she ran through a deep catalog of centuries-old riffs and thoughtfully placed variations. None of the material in her tantalizingly brief set went on for much longer than about eight minutes, slowly crescendoing alaps (improvisational intros) included. Meanwhile, the mridangam anchored the music with a fat low end, sometimes in tandem with the tabla, at other times giving the tabla room to sail overhead with an extra layer of polyrhythms. Panesar could have gone on for three times as long as she did and the audience wouldn’t have complained.

Punjabi songwriter and ghazal reinventor Kiran Ahluwalia was next, fronting a fantastic band which included both her brilliant guitarist husband Rez Abbasi and accordionist Will Holshouser along with a rock rhythm section. Abbasi only took one detour into the raga jazz that he’s been exploring so memorably lately, but he really those adrenalizing upward flurries count. Holshouser and the bassist added more than a hint of roots reggae on one of the later numbers while the bandleader brought an especially vigorous edge to her lustrously entrancing songs. The most anthemic was Jane Na, which contemplates how to exorcise personal demons, she explained. The group closed with their bounciest number, a cover that gave Ahluwalia a chance to air out her nuanced but potently expressive upper register.

Quebecoise fiddler Briga and her band have lately shifted from the Balkan music that she first made a name for herself in, to embrace North African grooves and melodies. It’s a good fit all around. There were echoes of moody chaabi balladry, funky Nubian beats and plenty of enigmatic, Egyptian-tinged tunefulness in her kinetically pulsing mix of instrumentals and vocal numbers. Singing first in French in a cool, unaffected alto, she led her excellent band through a set which, like Panesar’s, could have gone on for much longer – but this weekend is the booking agents’ convention, necessitating a constant changeover between acts. Briga’s keyboardist shifted artfully from spacy P-Funk synth, to slithery accordion, to reverbtoned, Herbie Hancock-tinged electric piano psychedelia while her subtle, propulsive bassist and two percussionists wove an intricately boomy lattice of lows.

Eclectic cellist/banjo player Leyla McCalla enjoyed a warm homecoming set, joined by her husband Daniel Tremblay on five-string banjo and electric guitar, in addition to an inspired violinist playing under the name Free-For-All. McCalla’s biggest audience hit was a spare, bluesy, aphoristically minor-key number that she dedicated to “the President-Elect,” whose meaning essentially boiled down to “if you don’t have money, you’re no more than a dog.” That was the night’s most political moment. Otherwise, she switched between instruments, singing in a cool, clear voice in English, Cajun and Kreyol, reflecting her Haitian-American heritage. The spare, Caribbean folk-tinged Time For the Hunter, Time For the Prey, an early number, addressed the perils of Haitian immigration. There was also a lilting Haitian love song, a bouncy Acadian-flavored number along with distant references to zydeco and some deep blues. Hearing her play those spare, plaintively antique phrases way down low on her cello made for some of the night’s most texturally delicious moments, matched by her down-to-earth vocals.

This being booking agent weekend, there were other acts on the bill. The last time this blog was in the house at a Banda Magda show, it was the summer of 2015 on the Hudson River way up on the Upper West, rugrats were running all over the place and frontwoman Magda Giannikou entertained them with a mix of jaunty retro 60s-style French pop, Mediterranean ballads and some hauntingly shapeshifting, Middle Eastern-flavored material. And southwestern gothic avatars Orkesta Mendoza, who were scheduled to headline (after doing the same at a late show at the Mercury, no less), haunted and pulsed their way through a mighty set of noir mambos and bolero rock. That was a couple of weeks after the Banda Magda show and was a lot further inland, at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival. That band has a characteristically psychedelic, epic new album out; catch you next time around, amigos.

There’s another fantastic lineup starting at 7 PM tonight at Drom. With the snowstorm, this might be your chance to see an unusually intimate show featuring all kinds of global sounds from darkly slinky psychedelic boleros, to wild Ethiopian funk, to Moroccan trance grooves and more. Cover is an insanely cheap $10.

Darkly Hypnotic, Intense, Cross-Pollinated Hungarian Sounds at Drom Last Night

Last night’s concert at Drom hit a harrowing peak with Hungarian trance-dance band Meszecsinka‘s frontwoman Annamaria Olah hidden behind her mane of long, flowing hair, wailing and flailing and crying out on the beat as her own voice echoed low and ominously in response, through a loop pedal. Guitarist/keyboardist Emil Biljarszki had explained beforehand that the song addressed an ancient Christian theme that he didn’t bother to elaborate on any further. “You’ll get it,” Olah told the crowd with an enigmatically wistful smile before bassist Árpád Vajdovich and drummer Dávid Krolikowski kicked off the big, crescendoing minor-key anthem with a hypnotic, insistently swaying pulse. Although this was an intimate club gig with pristine sound, it was easy to imagine a hundred thousand people at some European summer festival flailing and swaying in unison in response to Olah’s passion onstage. Whatever awestruck terror the song was meant to evoke – the apocalypse? A martyr meeting a particularly grisly fate? – it was impossible to turn away from

Earlier in the evening, two darkly psychedelic, Balkan-tinged folk-jazz acts – accordionist David Yengibarian and his trio, and Borbély Mihály Polygon – followed their respective opening jams with similarly captivating, disquieting numbers, albeit much more slowly and quietly. The opening trio’s was a mournful dirge that imbued a stark Hungarian folk theme with a haunted they-burned-down-my-shtetl resonance straight out of klezmer music. Saxophonist Mihály Borbély’s three-piece unit with pyrotechnic cimbalom player Miklós Lukács and drummer András Dés built shadowy noir cinematics that they slowly took in a slightly brighter, more improvisational direction. That they’d begun their set with a mashup of wild downtown John Zorn-style New York jazz and surf rock is just one example of how wildly eclectic the night was.

That a concert like this could be staged at at moment where nationalist extremists threaten to wall off the kind of transnational cross-pollination responsible for such  riveting musical hybridization speaks to the potential power of resistance. Millions of people resonate to these sounds far more than to strident racist rhetoric or Twitter demagoguery. It’s up to us to mobilize and create an opposition to ensure that this kind of artistry, and the hope it represents, has the opportunity to move forward.

Because it would be a crime not to be able to witness Lukacs playing elegant blues, or channeling Carla Bley with a feral attack on the low strings of his of his ringing, overtone-laden Hungarian zither. What a shame it would have been to miss being able to enjoy the endlessly clever, tongue-in-cheek volleys of deadpan humor that Yengibarian’s drummer, Mark Badics, engaged in throughout the group’s tantalizingly short set – he’s ever bit as formidable as any of his American jazz counterparts, Tain Watts and Rudy Royston included. Or for that matter, to miss out on the chance to get lost in Meszecsinka’s mesmerizing mashups of otherworldly Bulgarian folk and lush European art-rock over irresistibly undulating beats.

This concert was staged by Music Export Budapest along with the Hungarian National Trading House, and the Balassi Institute, one of New York’s most vital cultural organizations, who champion Hungarian music, film, visual art and more. If you’re a true cosmopolitan New Yorker and you’re not on their email list, you’re missing out. In addition, this weekend’s slate of shows at Drom – Manhattan’s global music mecca – continues tonight and tomorrow with everything from darkly slinky psychedelic boleros, to Moroccan trance grooves, to classical Indian sitar music. Cover is only $10 each night; music starts at 7 and goes til past midnight.

Kaia Kater Brings Her Individualistic Update on Classic Americana to a Couple of New York Shows

Banjo player/multi-instrumentalist Kaia Kater ranks in the vanguard of roots musicians inspired by classic Americana but not constrainted by it. Her debut album, Sorrow Bound encompassed oldtime Appalachian sounds, bluegrass and newgrass. Her latest album, Nine Pin – streaming at her music page – is considerably starker, darker and more blues-based. You’ve got a couple of chances to check her out live this week (see below: she’s on a couple of cool multiple-act bills). Give the album a spin and chances are you will be drawn in by her purist, rustic sensibility as much as by her commitment to age-old populist themes that have become especially relevant in these horribly surreal, pre-inauguration times.

The opening track, Saint Elizabeth – an Elizabeth Cotten shout-out, maybe? sets the stage. It’s mostly just Kater’s stark vocals and banjo over minimal washes of bass until Caleb Hamilton’s trumpet kicks in at the end. “Can’t you hear me calling to you, with black and broken teeth?” her grim narrator implores.

Likewise, Little Pink is a morosely swaying field-holler style vamp,  Hamilton’s spare trumpet contrasting with ringing electric guitar that adds an unexpected Malian desert rock duskiness. Paradise Fell brings an antique Appalachian-style tune into the 21st century, lowlit with resonant steel guitar: “Paradise fell, and the tenements grew,” Kater muses.

Rising Down hypnotically blends spiky banjo and pizzicato fiddle textures, fluttery trumpet on the top end balanced by low washes of steel: “I will stand with my people as one,” Kater intones matter-of-factly. Harlem’s Little Blackbird is a moody jump-rope rhyme of sorts, while the album’s title track broodingly contemplates the “evils of the setting sun,” in a down-and-out milieu. After all this dirgelike ambience, the aptly titled, spare instrumental Fun Times At Our House makes a sharp contrast.

The ominously spare piano waltz Viper’s Nest edges into minimalist art-rock, followed by White, a more sprightly, trickily syncopated, oldtimey banjo tune with gospel-flavored harmonies. Kater takes the music into warmly nocturnal territory with Harvest and the Plow and then after the last of a handful of improvisational miniatures that pepper the album, she winds it up with the jaunty Hangman’s Reel: this executioner is obviously having fun, maybe sarcastically.

Kater’s on the bill this Jan 5 at the Jalopy at a little after 8 on a great bill assembled by first-class Alaskan fiddler Ken Waldman along with several other artists: Nic Gareiss and Maeve Gilchrist doing their folk dance and harp act; Wild Hog with Thomas Bailey, Aaron Jonah Lewis and Max Johnson; Brian Vollmer & Claire Byrne playing oldtimey guitar-and-fiddle music; the fiddle-fueled trio of Chris Miller, Audrey Knuth and Mark Kilianski; and individualistic string band Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards. Cover is $15. You can also catch Kater at the small room at the Rockwood on Jan 8 at about 8:30 PM followed by thoughtful newschool Americana songstress Kristin Andreassen and charming antique Appalachian folk duo Anna & Elizabeth.

Innov Gnawa Pack the House in the East Village With Their Intoxicating, Ancient Dance Grooves

Friday night, Ilhan Ersahin’s swanky Nublu 151 club was packed with a crowd of dancers representing just about every ethnic background and language spoken in New York. They’d come to get down to Innov Gnawa, who sing Muslim devotional chants in Arabic and Bambara over grooves which are as sophisticated as they are ancient. Gnawa is commonly used throughout Morocco as part of a healing ritual, and is unsurpassed as dance music. Its roots go back centuries before Islam.

Bandleader Maalem Hassan Ben Jaafer opened by pounding out an indomitable, insistent beat on the big bass drum slung around his neck, summoning his choir of percussionists: Samir Langus, Amino Belyamani, Said Bourhana, Nawfal Atiq and guest Ahmed Habibi. Then the seven-piece group launched into the first hypnotically shapeshifting number of the evening, the mesmerizing clickety-clack of the chorus’ cast-metal qraqab castanets balanced with the fat low end booming from Ben Jaafer’s three-string sintir lute – it’s the godfather of this era’s funk bass. His tersely bluesy riffs lept, and pounced, and bounced off the walls as the qraqab players suddenly shifted to doublespeed and then back, drawing a chorus of whoops from the women in the crowd. In the far right corner, Ahmed Jeriouda boosted the low end with his circling beats on a cajon.

For awhile it was a lot of fun trying to figure out what the rhythm was: there were a couple of grooves in 6/8, maybe another couple in 12/8, a couple of triplet beats that brought to mind Malian desert music, and some straight-up 4/4 shuffles. Polyrhythms were everywhere, whether in the call-and-response between leader and chorus, between the sintir and the qraqabs, or in an implied beat left for the dancers to fill out themselves.

Ben Jaafer passed the sintir to his protege Langus to open the second set, a rare occurrence in this kind of music. Traditionally, a master doesn’t share the stage with an apprentice, but Langus held up his end seamlessly with a similarly slinky, kinetic drive. Then he went back into the chorus. The night’s most intense and gripping interlude might have been when Ben Jaafer left the world of gnawa for a bit to sing a hammadcha number, his voice taking on added grit and enigmatic growl as the melody introduced some similarly uneasy Middle Eastern microtones.

It was both a mecca and medina of the mind: visions of olives, and pomegranates, and harissa wafting in on a balmy Mediterranean breeze. Up on the balcony behind the stage, a silhouetted, undulating couple put on a sexy shadowplay. Back by the door, a couple of fratboys jumped around randomly, testament to this music’s ability to grab just about anybody. A little further to the front, a nightcrawler still nursing a nasty injury to the lower extremities joined the dancers, glad to be pain-free for the duration of the set. There definitely is something to this music’s curative power.

Innov Gnawa have a couple of enticing shows coming up. Jan 7 they’re at Drom at around 10 on a ridiculously good multiple-act bill starting at 7 PM with all-female pan-latin group Ladama,  otherworldly Tuvan throat-singing ensemble Alash, legendary Ethiopiques jazz artist Girma Beyene with psychedelic Ethiopian groove orchestra Feedel Band, haunting Puerto Rican bolero revivalists  Miramar, latin rockers the Battle of Santiago, African dance-rappers Janka Nabay, and Afrobeat band Underground System. Cover is a measly ten bucks. Then on Jan 21 Innov Gnawa are at C’Mon Everybody in Crown Heights with the Pogues of populist Veracruz folk music, Radio Jarocho.