New York Music Daily

Global Music With a New York Edge

Tag: latin music

Austin’s Best Band Comes to Brooklyn’s Best Venue This Saturday Night

Is Money Chicha’s album Echo en Mexico the heaviest cumbia ever made? Decide for yourself – it’s streaming at Soundcloud.  Just listen, for example, to the string-torturing axe-murderer guitar solo at the end of their version of Juaneco Y Su Combo’s classic, wordless elegy for a plane crash,  Lamento En La Selva, which opens the album. If psychedelic music, the magically trebly, trippy sounds of 1970s Peru, or the idea of dancing your ass off are your thing, get that ass down to Barbes this Saturday night at 10 PM where this Austin band – a Grupo Fantasma spinoff – are headlining. A near-capacity crowd crammed into the place last night to see Locobeach – another spinoff of a famous band, in this case cumbia icons Chicha Libre – and they were playing mostly covers. So you’d better get there early.

What’s coolest about this band is how they cycle through just about every kind of psychedelic cumbia ever made: the brisk vamps of Juaneco’s cumbia selvetica; the allusive menace of Lima bands like Los Mirlos; the eclectic sparkle of Los Destellos and the outside-the-box surrealism of Chicha Libre, probably the band they ultimately resemble the most.

The album’s  second track, Level One Sound’s Quieren Efectos, has everything you could want from a classic cumbia jam: catchy minor-key tune, woozy wah guitar, a slinky groove, bright rat-tail organ riffs, trippy dub echoes and a suspenseful timbale beat that threatens to break completely loose but never does.

The title cut shuffles along briskly toward the graveyard, awash in reverb, haunted roller-rink organ and evil flangey guitar. The majestic, metallic guitar solo midway through reminds that the core of this band also play in Black Sabbath reinventors Brownout. Then they completely flip the script with the playful, cartoonish Animalitos: tiny elephants made from sweet crunchy dough = gourmet stoner munchies, no?

Cosa Verde, built around a simple, emphatic riff, looks back to the harder-rocking, classic Lima bands of the late 60s and early 70s like Los Diablo Rojos: the warpy tremoloing guitars really nail that era’s tinny studio sonics, beefed up with fat current-era low end and an unexpectedly dark bridge.

Cumbia Familiar is a very thinly disguised remake of a famous island tv theme first surfed out by the Ventures; this one has all kinds of spacy dub touches wafting through the mix. The album’s best track, Chicha Negra is also is darkest, simmering and swooshing with evil chromatics, serpentine organ and warptone guitar. Its mirror image is the Chicha Libre classic Papageno Electrico, a picture that completes itself when the organ joins the guitar duel at the end.

Yo No Soy Turku is a mashup of the blippy Mediterranean psychedelia of bands like Annabouboula and the macabre Turkish surf rock of Beninghove’s Hangmen. Likewise, the tricky, constantly shifting metrics and horror movie organ of 3 Balls continue the sinister tangent through a strange, dubby outro.

Cumbia Del Tamborcito is the album’s most dubwise and epic track, veering from a staggering intro, back and forth through gritty guitar-fueled intensity and lushly enveloping, nebulously smoky sonics. The final cut is La Cordillera, a deliciously doomy flamenco-metal song in cumbia disguise. Is the coolest album of the last several months or what?

An Insider Look at This Year’s Amazing Accordion Festival at Bryant Park

The annual accordion festival at Bryant Park continues with a couple of amazing shows tomorrow, July 19 at 6 PM and then the grand finale, which starts at 5 on Friday the 21st with the haunting Lebanese sounds of the Bil Afrah Project ,with Gregorio Uribe headlining and leading a wild celebration of Colombian Independence Day at 9 PM.

If you’ve spent any time at the festival over the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed a tall blonde woman calmly making her way across the park, taking lots of pictures and getting lots of hugs from accordionists. She always seems to have a Mona Lisa smile on her face. Then again, you’d be smiling too, if you ran an accordion festival.

That irrepressible impresario is Ariana Hellerman, who’s also the publisher of the indispensable Ariana’s List of free summer concerts and events all over New York. Backstage Sunday night at the Innov Gnawa show on the Upper West Side, Hellerman shared some history and some secrets:

New York Music Daily: First, I just want to say thanks for finding so much sonic bliss, and sharing it with us. I think your festival should be a yearlong event. Any hope for making it longer this year?

Ariana Hellerman: I have ideas, but nothing is set in stone – yet. Stay tuned!

But in general, my work is around making arts accessible to people and I get most pleasure from producing in public space – parks, plazas, etcetera. Because of winter weather, it becomes more difficult to work in these places. I’m beginning to think about public spaces that exist indoors. If anyone has ideas, I’m always open.

NYMD: How do you find these people? Other than googling “accordionist NYC”?

AH: I have a few sources. Before I was invited to help design this series, Bryant Park had lone accordionists strolling around the park once a week. The Park had about fifteen people on their roster. When I came on board with the “Accordions Around the World” idea – and with the hopes of making the series more of a destination for the park -, I brainstormed all the local accordionists I knew in New York. Because my interest is mainly music from around the world, I tried to think of all the bands I knew who had accordion – and there were quite a few. In addition, I racked the brains of others and scanned the webpages of some of my favorite venues and festivals – Barbes in Brooklyn and the annual Balkan music festival, Golden Fest were amongst the lot.

In 2013, the first year of this incarnation of the series, I was able to find thirty additional accordionists. I continue to do this type of research regularly so that we can be more inclusive of new styles and musicians. But because the series is becoming more of a destination, many people have begun to reach out to me. Over the last five editions, my list has grown to 470 accordionists!

NYMD: Does you own personal taste in accordion music include tango, cumbia, klezmer, Middle Eastern, tarantella, Celtic, cajun and jazz?

AH: Yes. While I like some genres more than others, my priority is sharing culture. Even if my ears don’t agree with the sound, I continue to be inclusive because this is “Accordions Around the World” and we want as many styles of music represented in the series.

NYMD: I always find myself having to explain to people why I think the accordion is one of the three coolest instruments in the world – the oud and the church organ being the other two. Do you find yourself having to do the same sort of thing? What do you tell people?

AH: When I tell people I curate an accordion festival, I’m usually met with a “Really????,” followed by a surprised or disgusted look, and then a sheepish giggle. My usual spiel in response is: “You know, when Americans usually think of the accordion, they think of polka, Lawrence Welk, and yesteryear kitsch. But, in many parts of the world, it’s one of the most important instruments to convey the sound of the region. And in New York, we are lucky to have access to many of these cultures.” And then I outline the cultures.

I also think the accordion is cool because it’s an instrument of immigration, migration, and connections. You can hear similar sounds in Cajun music – which traveled from Quebec to Louisiana with obvious French influence prior – and forró from the northeast of Brazil. Many immigrants from all over Europe – Italian, German, Jewish, Polish, etcetera – came to the US in the late 19th/early 20th century and brought their music forms with them. This continues today with more recent immigrant communities such as Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Accordion usually sparks conversation and each week in the park, I almost always hear “You know, my grandfather/grandmother/father/mother/aunt/uncle played the accordion.” I like that many people of very different backgrounds have a personal connection to the instrument.

NYMD: Can you give us a capsule history of the Bryant Park Accordion Festival? How did it start? You’ve been doing it for four years now….

AH: Dan Biederman, the president of Bryant Park, took a trip to France and stumbled upon an accordionist in a park and was enchanted. Since Bryant Park has Parisian elements, the experience made him want to create a similar, serendipitous experience. For a few summers, a accordionist would stroll around for a few hours. It was nice, but people weren’t coming to chase after the lone musician.

I have a blog, arianaslist.com, where I share free cultural events in New York. Many people in the field read the blog since I write about their events and because I provide ideas on how to make the arts more accessible to audiences. In spring of 2013, Ethan Lercher, the executive producer of Bryant Park Presents, their cultural arm, contacted me. He had read one of my blog posts that described my experience at the Festival Vallenato in Valledupar, Colombia. I had just come back from living in Colombia and had attended a festival of Vallenato music, a Colombian genre that focuses on the accordion. He asked, “what do you know about accordion?” He wanted to make the accordion more prominent in the Park’s programming. My response was, “I don’t know that much but what fascinates me about the instrument is how it’s played in so many cultures.” From there, we began to explore the idea of “Accordions Around the World.”

NYMD: Are you happy with how the festival has gone this year, with rescheduling and all?

AH: It’s been wonderful. This is the first season that we’ve had our “Accordion Picnic” format for the entirety of the series. In the past, the audience and passer-bys were invited to stroll around to see accordionists play two-hour sets in different pockets of the park. This year, the accordionists come to the audiences: each accordionist plays a 15 minute set before another comes in. This way, if an audience member sets up shop in one location, they will hear eight styles of music over the two hour span. There are also six stations around the park so people can “chase” the music or artist they would like to hear.

Since we’re eager to provide a good experience for audience members, Bryant Park provides blankets to borrow, encourages picnics, and even sells alcoholic beverages that can be consumed on the lawn. It’s lovely and we’ve noticed an uptick in attendance.

NYMD: Yeah, I should say. Another thing I want to mention is that there’s no sonic competition with shrieking alarms on city buses. And it’s also a lot easier now that you don’t have to chase the accordionist.

AH: With this format, the artists are also able to engage with the other accordionists, and see other styles of music on the accordion. My secret hope is that I’m sparking relationships between accordionists ,and new, exciting projects will come from this!

NYMD: What highlights do you have to share? I’ve seen so many great acts – Rachelle Garniez, Simon Moushabeck ,Guillermo Vaisman,,Melissa Elledge , so many others. Who have you seen that really floored you this year?

AH: We have incredible artists in the series. I can’t choose one! They’re all near and dear to my heart. In this moment, the Brazilian artists in this series really stand out: I love Felipe Hostins who is from Santa Catarina, Brazil. He grew up playing polkas, which was the main accordion music in his hometown in the south of Brazil. Today he is helping to lead the forró movement in New York. Vitor Gonçalves has been playing choro, an instrumental genre which originated in 19th century Rio de Janeiro, his hometown. As a trained jazz musician, he also incorporates a lot jazz into his sets. Eduardo de Carvalho lives in Newark and has mainly played restaurant gigs to date. He is ready for a bigger stage with his incredibly strong sertanejo and forro. Rob Curto grew up in a Sicilian family but spent many years living in Brazil. Today he shares his blend of bluegrass and forró with us. These four players are so incredibly strong. But again, we have so many incredible artists in these series. If we had time, I would tell you about each and every one!

NYMD: Can I ask you, you’re a pianist. Why aren’t you an accordionist, you obviously love the instrument so much…and it’s a lot easier to take an accordion with you when you move. I realize also that this isn’t a fair question, you could ask me the same thing and I wouldn’t have a really good answer for you…

AH: Accordion never even seemed to be an option while I was studying classical piano. And now I’m a music appreciator more than a musician. Though because I know so many accordionists, it has crossed my mind to take up lessons and to become (or more likely, fail at becoming) the singer-songwriter-rockstar I am in my dreams. 

NYMD: You lived in Colombia and Argentina. To what degree did that influence your accordion fixation?

AH: Obviously living in Colombia became the inspiration for this series, as you know. And while I knew tango and the bandoneón – the free reed instrument played for tango – before living in Argentina, I was introduced to chamamé, a folk music genre from northeast Argentina, while living there. It is a fusion of Guaraní  – the indigenous population from this part of the world –  Spanish, German, Polish, and Ukrainian music. There were a lot of Eastern European immigrants to this region in the early 20th century. I’m thrilled that we have our first chamamé artist, Guillermo Vaisman in the series this season.

NYMD: Do you have a desert island accordion song? Or album? Or accordion song you’d want somebody to play at your wedding?

AH: No. Though I just stumbled upon a short clip I recorded of Felipe Hostins from last week’s edition and I’ve been listening to it on loop. He says its his original composition called “Minh’alma” (My Soul) and it’s chamamé – our artists are obviously inspired by all forms of music! It’s so good.

While I love accordion and I can identify when the music is really good, for me, this is about sharing culture with the people of New York. My work is all about creating live performance opportunities for artists and audiences alike. I get joy from seeing these connections made and the joy it brings others.

NYMD: What’s your alltime favorite accordion concert?

AH: Our Accordions Around the World Festival is always a highlight, obviously. But outside of the performances I curate… I always love Lila Downs and we’re lucky to have her accordionist, George Saenz in our series!

NYMD: Just saw her at Prospect Park at the end of last month. Amazing. Nice work getting him!

AH: Another experience that comes to mind – when I was in Argentina, one of my colleagues connected me to Chango Spasiuk, who is one of the most famous musicians down there, who is known for chamamé. He picked me up in a limo, along with his bandmates, and I got to watch his whole show from backstage. The experience was pretty cool!

NYMD: Tell me about closing night on the 21st, this Friday.Is this a bunch of debuts? Has the Bil Afrah project ever played anywhere elase before? How about Peter Stan’s new band? It’s gonna be amazing!

AH: The Bil Afrah Project has performed before but not in a setting that can yield this large of an audience – in past years, we’ve had about four thousand people. It’s very exciting. We’ve put the word out to the Lebanese and Arab community and we hope they will come out. Ziad Rahbani is one of the most important and known composers from the Arab World, son of the famous Fairuz.

Peter Stan’s Zlatni Balkan Zvuk is brand new and will be debuting at the Festival. In talking with Peter – of Slavic Soul Party fame – I asked him if he ever played traditional Serbian music since SSP is more of a jazz/funk Balkan brass group. He told me he didn’t think there would be a market for it. After he shared more information and shared examples of Balkan wedding music, I chose to disagree! All of the musicians in this group are from the Balkans  – including Peter’s son who is also an accordionist! – and have been rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing. I’m really excited to welcome them, and was happy to provide the opportunity to Peter to be a bandleader for the first time. Given how amazing Peter is, I know this is just the beginning for them. 

Pokey LaFarge Brings His Ruggedly Individualistic Americana to Williamsburg Tonight

Last night in between sets at Bowery Ballroom the PA played Los Mirlos’ creepy, otherworldly version of Sonido Amazonico, which is both the national anthem of cumbia and sort of the Peruvian equivalent of Take Five. A little later, the song was Don Gibson’s 60s country-pop hit Sea of Heartbreak. Both perfectly foreshadowed a deliriously fun show by rugged Americana individualist Pokey LaFarge and his fantastic seven-piece band.

On one level, what LaFarge plays is retro to the extreme, a mashup of early 50s hillbilly boogie, western swing, hot 20s jazz, vintage New Orleans soul, honkytonk, Tom Waits, Tex-Mex, mambo and a little southwestern gothic and noir bolero for deliciously dark contrast. On the other hand, there’s no one in the world who sounds like LaFarge: he’s taking a bunch of well-worn, familiar styles and creating something brand spanking new.

His band is amazing. Drummer Matthew Meyer energized the crowd with a pummeling Wipeout interlude. Bassist Joey Glynn drew a lot of chuckles with a punchy solo that quoted both the Who and the Violent Femmes. Midway through the set, LaFarge explained that he’s hardly the only good songwriter in the band, then left the stage for a smoke break or something. So banjo player Ryan Koenig switched to electric guitar and played one of the night’s best numbers, a gorgeously rueful oldschool honkytonk song about smalltown anomie titled This Main Drag (or something close to that).

Saxophonist Ryan Weisheit switched from alto to smoky baritone, to maybe tenor – it was hard to see through the crowd. Trumpeter Luc Klein played all sorts of wry effects with his mute. And lead guitarist Adam Hoskins adrenalized the audience with axe-murderer volleys of tremolo-picking, masterfully precise bluegrass flatpicking and fiery blues.

The songs really ran the gamut. With his matter-of-fact baritone, LaFarge doesn’t overemote. He added a little twang on the country numbers, and took a few Roy Orbison slides upward in one of the sad ballads, but he doesn’t try to sound like anybody else. And he only took a couple of guitar solos, but he made those count. A lot of the material was from LaFarge’s latest album Manic Revelations, including the title track, an unapologetic populist anthem, and the more upbeat but even more savage Silent Movies, a jauntily swinging nonconformist manifesto for an age where the performer onstage is reduced to a pretext for the selfie clusterfuck on the floor. Just so you know, there was none of that at this show.

Something in the Water – a subtly gospel-infused portrait of a hoosier chick who “drinks malt liquor for lunch and dinner,” and Manic Revelations, the title track to LaFarge’s previous album – went over well with the crowd, a refreshingly muiti-generational, multicultural mix of typical 99-percenter New Yorkers.

The band did Actin’ a Fool closer to subterranean homesick Dylan than the oldtimey swing of the album version. One of the night’s high points was a slowly crescendoing, blue-flame take of the flamenco-infused waltz Goodbye Barcelona. After LaFarge brought the lights down with a muted solo fingerpicked version of the cautionary ballad Far Away. “They’’ll lure with their eyes, and trap you with their thighs,” LaFarge intoned. He wound up the set with a rapidfire take of the triumphantly scampering Drinking Whiskey.

The encores were just as energetic and businesslike: an Allen Toussaint/Lee Dorsey soul-shout, and a choogling cover of Chuck Berry’s You Never Can Tell. They’re doing this again tonight at around 10 at Rough Trade. If you want a rare asshole-free night out in that neighborhood, this is it. Tix are $25 at the door and worth it.

The Spellbinding Rachelle Garniez Tops the Bill at This Year’s Bryant Park Accordion Festival

What’s the likelihood of being able to get what amounts to an intimate, personal show from the world’s greatest English-language songwriter? A handful of New Yorkers got to experience that at last night’s edition of the ongoing Bryant Park Accordion Festival, following Rachelle Garniez across the park to various stations for tantalizingly brief fifteen-minute mini-sets.

Even though there were two dozen other accordionists playing in the park’s four corners and next to the fountain on the Sixth Avenue side, it was impossible to resist taking in two sets from Garniez. What was most fascinating was to watch her mash up elements of latin, klezmer, zydeco, classical, punk rock and even a bit of opera, banging out one song after another without the hilariously surreal, politically-charged stream-of-consciousness intros and jams that have made her legendary among New York performers.

The best song of the night was Tourmaline, a bittersweet waltz that works on innumerable levels: ultimately, it’s about rugged individuality triumphing against all odds. Without any more fanfare, Garniez let the rest of her songs speak for themselves.

The funniest moment was during Jean-Claude Van Damme, a tongue-in-cheek shout-out to a pitchman for antidepressants. She got everybody laughing when she reached the part about certain personality traits that have to be brought under control – then hammered that word again, and again, until everybody within earshot got the message. The faux-operatic outro, where she took a flying leap to the very top of her formidable four-octave vocal range, was pretty funny too.

She also played the jaunty, cabaret-infused Just Because You Can (Doesn’t Mean You Should), whose corollary is “just because you should doesn’t mean you can,” along with the slyly strutting, seductive Medicine Man, packed with all kinds of coy double entendres. She’s emceeing the festival’s closing night a week from today on June 21 at 6 PM, which might be the single best concert of the year, a bill that includes the Bil Afrah Project, who recreate iconic Lebanese composer Ziad Rahbani’s legendary 1975 Bil Afrah album; pyrotechnic Romany accordionist Peter Stan’s new band Zlatni Balkan Zvuk, Brazilian accordionist Felipe Hostins’ new forro group Osnelda; and cumbia accordionist/crooner Gregorio Uribe leading his slinky big band in celebration of Colombian Independence Day.

The festival’s only drawback is that it’s such a feast that there isn’t time to see everybody on the bill. It was awfully cool last night to watch accordionist Simon Moushabeck make his way through Arabic modes with all sorts of enigmatic passing tones, in two abbreviated duo sets with oudist Brian Prunka, mixing up steady, serpentine originals with a Fairouz cover or two.

Further to the west, Sadys Rodrigo Espitia played equally slinky, catchy cumbia and vallenato numbers. When he forgot the words to the hit Cumbia Del Oriente, a woman in the crowd sauntered over to the mic: and sang them with serious Colombian pride.

It was also cool to get to watch popular busker and Thee Shambels accordionist Melissa Elledge jam out cinematic themes and a Johnny Cash classic, then make noir blues out of Beethoven. Late one night a couple of years ago in the Second Avenue F train station, after a Bowery Ballroom show, Elledge played what had to be the most heartwrenchingly gorgeous version of Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1 ever. So it was refreshing to be able to just chill on the grass and hear her think outside the box without the usual subway stresses. Garniez may be the world’s most brilliantly eclectic songwriter, but as an instrumentalist, Elledge is on the same page.

Before the big blowout on the 21st, there’s another night of mini-sets from another amazing cast of accordionists at Bryant Park on July 19 starting at 6 PM, with a lineup including avant garde and klezzmer player Shoko Nagai, pan-Mediterranean wizard Ismail Butera, jazz luminary Will Holshouser and Ed Goldberg & the Odessa Klezmer Band.

An Improbable, Magic Comeback Album From Psychedelic Cumbia Legends Los Wembler’s

The best short album of 2017 is by a band from the 1960s who until now have never released a record outside Peru. Los Wembler’s de Iquitos play chicha, the surfy, reverb-drenched psychedelic cumbias that were all the rage from Lima to the Amazon from the late 60s til the early 80s, and thanks to Chicha Libre have become arguably the world’s default party music. But unlike so many of their more urban colleagues, Los Wembler’s (the apostrophe is probably just bad English) never got soft with synthesizers or drum machines. Their new ep Ikaro Del Amor – streaming at Spotify  – captures the band pretty much as feral and surreal as they were almost fifty years ago, except with good production values. And producer/Chicha Lilbre bandleader Olivier Conan gives the band a chance to tune their guitars, something they didn’t get to do when recording their big Amazonian hit La Danza Del Petrolero, which first reached a global audience via the first of Barbes’ Records’ two indispensable Roots of Chicha compilations.

The only band member who didn’t live to see this is family patriarch and bounder Salomon Sanchez Casanova. Otherwise, this is most of the original members, on guitars, bass and multi-percussion. The opening title track, a chicha standard, comes across as a bizarrely catchy mashup of ska rhythm, tropical mosquito guitar, Ventures surf twang and a little C&W. There’s a mysterious shout-out to Brooklyn in there too.

The centerpiece is a sprawling, phantasmagorical take of Sonido Amazonico, later simplified into a one-chord jam (and a big hit) by Lima band Los Mirlos, then recorded almost forty years later by Chicha Libre as the title track to their first album. Over time, the song has become as iconic as Pipeline is to surf rock fans, or Anarchy in the UK is to punks. Awash in resonant jangle, wah-wah riffs and endless permutations on an ominous chromatic melody, it’s the creepiest, slinkiest, trippiest jam of the year.

There are two other tracks. The epic La Mentecata has a wryly expanding, Twelve Days of Xmas style series of verses, a bubbly, almost Cuban guitar hook and a steady clave on the woodblock. The final cut is Dos Amores, lead guitarist Alberto Sanchez Casanova airing out every sound in his effects boxes, from a fair approximation of an electric accordion to the kind of low-budget electric piano one might have found in a ramshackle recording studio in the band’s halcyon days.

That this album exists at all boggles the mind; until being rediscovered in the early part of this decade the band would regroup for the occasional block party, but that’s about it. And now they’re wrapping up their first European tour. Big up to Conan and Barbes Records for having the foresight to bring them to the mass audience they deserve.

A Ferocious Brooklyn Celebration of Diverse Mexican Sounds

Thursday night at Prospect Park Bandshell, Lila Downs and her lavish twelve-piece band put on a show that was as American as America gets these days. Early in the set, the intense, impassioned singer and bandleader explained that Mexican music is a joint celebration of three cultures, African, Spanish and Native American. Then, addressing the Mexican contingent in Spanish, she made it clear that this was in defiance of the demagogue in the Oval Office. Even the non-Spanish speakers figured that one out – and roared their approval.

The red-flare trumpet cadenza that her Mexico City-based trumpeter fired off to open a duel with his American jazz counterpart, Josh Deutsch? Spanish flamenco, but with the biting chromatics of North Africa and the Middle East hovering in the distance. But then Deutsch took it straight into volleys of African-American jazz.

The insistent, off-kilter metrics of a couple of mariachi songs drew a dotted line across the water to Africa, while their bouncy melodies were pure, native Mexican. And the overtone-rich jangle of the Rickenbacker guitar – when it could be heard ringing through an awful sound mix – was pure heartland America, or Liverpool, if you go back a little further.

Downs’ latest album Salon, Lagrimas y Deseo goes deeply into the mariachi tradition, but as the show went on, she also took on the role of angst-ridden ranchera diva, cumbia siren and wounded Mexican film ingenue. Over the keening strings and frequently spine-tingling flights of a trio of members of New York’s own all-female Mariachi Flor de Toloache, she belted with characteristic raw power in her low register, and took a couple of dramatic flights up to the very top where she held on for dear life – and held the crowd breathless with how long she managed to stay up there.

There are many cultures in Mexico, but one common quality is resilience: the Mexican people have been through a lot, especially lately, and Downs’ songs reflect that. It would be an overstatement to say that love under an occupation is one of her themes, but any Spanish-speaking American can relate to her irony-infused narratives of trying to keep things together on a personal level while embattled from all sides. Minor keys soared and pulsed, guitars and cuatros  rippled and strummed amidst blazing brass and undulating, eclectic grooves. Downs hadn’t been here in awhile, was psyched to be back and everybody was glad to have her here.

Another band who’re taking Mexican music to new places, Orkesta Mendoza, opened, cursed with an even worse sound mix. Yet while they were also missing their usual secret weapons – baritone saxophonist Marco Rosano and lapsteel player Joe Novelli – their songs proved to be so strong, and catchy, that they stood alone with just a guitar-bass-drums setup frequently spiced with trumpet, clarinet or creepily carnivalesque roller-rink organ. Like Downs, they played a bunch of slinky cumbias; at one point, leader Sergio Mendoza tried to get the sleepy early early-evening crowd to count down a number, James Brown style, but they weren’t having it. Charismatic baritone singer Salvador Duran worked up a sweat punching out the beat with his shakers while Mendoza switched back and forth between acoustic guitar and organ and their multi-instrumentalist played just about everything else And bassist Adam Rogers sang a number that was part latin soul, part Thirteenth Floor Elevators. Which makes sense: the Elevators were a Texas band.

The afterparty was at Barbes, and was even wilder. With their biting, chiming, punchy acoustic guitars and singer/dancer Julia del Palacio firing off machinegunning beats with her tap shoes, Radio Jarocho celebrated the pan-latin sounds that have steamed into Veracruz over the past many decades. With their colleagues Mariachi  Flor de Toloache in the house, New York’s only original son jarocho band sprinted through a mix of funny, often smutty, wryly aphoristic songs about drinking, chasing women and smoking weed. Yet just when it seemed the party had reached its peak, they completely flipped the script with the best song of the night, a gorgeously stark, bolero-ish minor-key lament. This is what Trump wants to keep out of the country with his wall? Put a wall around this, wigface. Happy Fourth of July, everybody.

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

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

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

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

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

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

On select Wednesdays and Sundays, an intimate, growing piano music salon on the Upper West Side featuring iconoclastically insightful, lyrical pianist Nancy Garniez – a cult favorite with an extraordinarily fluid, singing, legato style – exploring the delicious minutiae of works from across the centuries. Up next: Bartok, Mozart and fascinating improvisations. Sugg don $10 (pay what you can), delicious gluten-free refreshments, beverages and lively conversation included! email for info/location.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mondays in July at midnight wild noir piano jazz with the Dred Scott Trio back at their old spot, the small room at the Rockwood.

Tuesdays in July, 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  July, 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 6 PM a wild tribe of accordionists take over Bryant Park, performers scattered throughout the space, booked by the brilliant Ariana Hellerman of Ariana’s List. Too many amazing players to list. Choice pick: the July 5 lineup with Melissa ElledgeShoko Nagai and Sam Reider, wow!

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

Wednesdays in  July, 8 PM the Binky Griptite Orchestra (formerly Sharon Jones’ brilliant oldschool soul backing band) at Threes Brewing Outpost, 113 Franklin St (Greenpoint/Kent Aves) in Greenpoint, free

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

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

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

Fridays in July, 9 PM Bulgarian Romany sax legend Yuri Yunakov with his wild but haunting band at Mehanata

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

Saturdays in July, 6 PM Book of J – Sway Machinery frontman/guitarslinger Jeremiah Lockwood and Jewlia Eisenberg of Charming Hostess – “take inspiration from the intersection of the sacred and the radical to create hit songs from the depths of American psalmody, Yiddish folklore, and international Jewish liturgical traditions” at Barbes. i.e. sacred and possibly profane.

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

7/1, noon the Reggay Lords at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar in the Rockaways, get to the beach and follow the sound Take the ferry straight to the beach for $2.75 

7/1, 3ish boogaloo legend Joe Bataan outdoors at Union Pool, free. 7/7 at 7:30 he and the band are at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, $17

7/1, 5 PM in reverse order: NYC’s arguably finest oldtime swing band Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, the charming, female-fronted cosmopolitan swing crew Avalon Jazz Band and 20s jazz chanteuse Aurora Nealand at Central Park Summerstage

7/1, 6 PM Book of J – Sway Machinery frontman/guitarslinger Jeremiah Lockwood and Jewlia Eisenberg of Charming Hostess – followed at 8 by eclectic, electric C&W/blues band the Jug Addicts  and then at 10 by epic ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes. The Jug Addicts are at Bar Chord at 10 on 7/7

7/1, 7:30 PM the Binky Griptite Orchestra – the late, great Sharon Jones’ backing band – at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, $17

7/1, 7/9:30 PM perennially lyrical, prolific tenor postbop tenor saxophonist/composer Tom Tallitsch and his group at Minton’s, $15

7/1, 8 PM Iranian art-rock/avant garde violinist Parnaz Partovi and Electric Monks at Drom, $20 adv tix rec

7/1, 8 PM high voltage skiffle/Americana band the Salt Cracker Crazies followed at 9 PM by Divining Rod – who work the furthest open-tuned corners of 70s Britfolk – and then at 11 PM by oldschool psychedelic soul/groove band Empire Beats at the Way Station. Empire Beats are also here on 7/7 at 10

7/1, 8 PM classic 30s swing with the Rob Stoneback Big Band with vocalists Kathy Jenkins & Rob Kevlin at Kingsborough Colllege Lighthouse Bandshell, 2001 Oriental Boulevard (at Oxford), Manhattan Beach, B/Q to Brighton Beach, free

7/1, 8 PM oldtime blues guitar/banjo/piano genius Jerron Blind Boy Paxton at Iridium, $25. He’s finally playing for the tourists now.

7/1, 8:30 PM the world’s creepiest crime jazz/film noir band, Big Lazy at Bar Lunatico

7/1, 8:30 PM perennially fresh jazz trumpet star Dave Douglas and his quartet play the album release show for his new one Riverside: A New National Anthem at the New School’s Glass Box Performance Space, 55 W 13th St, $20

7/1, 8:30 PM darkly growling jazz guitarist Joe Morris with lustrously lyrical pianist Sylvie Courvoisier. At 9:30 he plays a duo set with haunting violinis Mark Feldman, $15

7/1, 8:30 PM popular 90s chamber pop/Americana songsmith David Poe at the third stage at the Rockwood, $15

7/1, 9 PM sweeping, kinetic, Mediterranean and Andalucian string sounds with the Maureen Choi Quartet at Terraza 7, 40-19 Gleane St, Queens, $10

7/1, 9 PM haunting, cinematic noir guitar soundscaper/loopmusic songwriter Ben Von Wildenhaus with his “professional band” at Bellocq Tea Atelier, 104 West St in Greenpoint. 7/6 they’re at the McKittrick Hotel at 10, 7/8 at 10 at Troost and on 7/12 back in Greenpoint again at 9ish at a semi-private show at the luncheonette at Nassau Ave and Russell

7/1, 9 PM Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s begins at 9 with surfed-up tv themes from Commercial Interruption, Link Wray covers by the Wraycyclers and at midnight by majestic, cinematic surf instrumentalists the TarantinosNYC  

7/1, 9/10:30 PM state-of-the-art melodic postbop trumpet: Russ Johnson leads a quartet with  Aruan Ortiz, piano;  Michael Formanek, bass;  Gerald Cleaver, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

7/1, 10:30 PM tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser leads his band at Smalls. Jukebox jazz in a JD Allen vein but not as dark and more straight-ahead/groove-oriented: as postbop party music goes, nobody’s writing better than this guy right now.

7/1, 11 PM lush, intense, artfully orchestrated psychedelic rockers Aunt Ange  at the small room at the Rockwood

7/2, noon jangly New York surf rock cult heroes the Supertones at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar in the Rockaways, get to the beach and follow the sound Take the ferry straight to the beach for $2.75 

7/2, 8 PM bassist Andrew Sheron and Tuvan folk ensemble Alash mash up otherworldly, stark Central Asian and bluegrass sounds at Joe’s Pub, $25

7/2, 9 PM Romany jazz guitar powerhouse Olli Soikkeli pinch-hits for Stephane Wrembel at Barbes. He’s also here on 7/9

7/2, 10:30 PM keyboardist and occasional Karla Rose collaborator Frank LoCrasto‘s cinematic organ sounds at Pete’s

7/2, 10:30 PM tuneful soul-jazz trombonist David Gibson leads his  quintet at Smalls

7/3, 8 PM minimalistic postrock/thrash instrumentalists the Austerity Program followed by retro 80s goths and Fields of the Nephilim soundalikes Fotocrime at St. Vitus, free   

7/3, 8 PM fiery, deviously fun oldtimey swing guitarist/crooner Seth Kessel & the Two Cent Band at Sunny’s

7/3, 8 PM indie classical guitarist Dan Lippel plays a program TBA at Branded Saloon of all places

7/3, 9 PM Lowpines play their low-key Elliott Smith soundalike psych-pop at Pete’s 

7/3, 9:30 PM El Imperio play Afrobeat at Barbes

7/4, 2 PM awesomely unhinged horror surf/hotrod instrumentalists the Mad Doctors  open an allday bill, with Carolina Oliveros’ trippy tropicalia band Combo Chimbita – who mash up cumbia, salsa, champeta and a whole bunch of other south of the border styles – and then finally careening noise/psych/doom band Stuyedeyed headlining at around 10 at Sunnyvale, $10 

7/4, 3 PM perennially fiery, relevant guitarist Marc Ribot’s Songs of Resistance Project – Civil Rights, WWII European partisan resistance songs, plus originals, with vocalist Fay Victor, James Brandon Lewis (sax), Gintas Janusonis (drums), Josh Werner (bass) and Davi Viera (perc) to create “something that encourages people to engage in resistance” followed by high-voltage psychedelic cumbia band MAKU Soundsystem – whose new album takes a detour toward Caribbean and African sounds – at the Knockdown Center, $15

7/4, 6:45 PM catchy, funky hip-hop brass band the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble at South St. Seaport

7/4, 7 PM torchy singer Aurora Nealand ’s New Orleans swing band the Royal Roses followed by careening ten-piece Balkan brass band Veveritse – a more trad  Slavic Soul Party – followed at 11 by that group’s multi-saxman Peter Hess and drummer Matt Moran wailing on Balkan themes at Barbes

7/4, this era’s most cutting-edge, politically relevant large jazz ensemble,Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society  plays the most confrontationally cool 4th of July show anywhere in town, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard, $25

7/4, 7:30 PM David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong repertory big band at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, $17

7/4, 9:30 PM the first of three very rare NYC shows by haunting psychedelic bandleader and Nick Cave soundalike Weinf, who brings to mind the Doors, Blue Oyster Cult and maybe the Frank Flight Band, at Sidewalk. He’s back there on 7/6 at 10 and then plays a house concert on 7/7 at 8, email for info/location 

7/4, 10:30 PM snarling female-fronted Nashville gutter blues band Thelma & the Sleaze at Baby’s All Right, $10. They’re at the Mercury the following night, 7/12 at 10 for the same price 

7/5, 1 PM jazz pianist Eugene Marlow’s lush, darkly eclectic, latin-tinged Heritage Ensemble at St. Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex, free

7/5, 6 PM ambitiously lyrical, cutting-edge rising star jazz composer/singer Annie Chen and her septet at at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

7/5 inspired, cutting-edge trombonist/composer Ryan Keberle & Catharsis play the album release show for their incendiary, politically-fueled new one, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard, $25

7/5, 7:30 PM a rare, killer B3 organ twinbill:Jared Gold with his trio followed by Brian Charette with his quartet at Smalls. Charette’s also here on 7/6, same time

7/5, 7:30 PM the Isaac Delgado Orchestra play their mighty Afro-Cuban salsa at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, $17

7/5, 8 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10

7/5, 8 PM a free screening of Pink Floyd’s The Wall at Brooklyn Bazaar, rsvp reqd 

 7/5, 9 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” at Troost 

7/6. 6:30 PM cellist Nioka Workman’s intense Firey String Sistas chamber jazz project at Socrates Sculpture Park, Broadway at Vernon Blvd in Long Island City, G to 21st St.

7/6, 7 PM ageless Mexican folk-rock jamband Los Lobos at Wagner Park just north of Battery Park on the water

7/6, 7:30 PM lush, dynamically eclectic Korean folk/art-rock band Coreyah mash up lustrous, often plaintive themes with hard-charging hip-hop and dance tunes at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

7/6, 7:30 PM the Peekaboos – a large allstar NYC cast including but not limited to guitarist Oren Bloedow, singer Michelle Casillas and saxophonist Briggan Krauss – play rocksteady classics at the Owl

7/6, 8 PM Brooklyn’s funnest new band, psychedelic organ-driven Middle Eastern-tinged surf rock trio Hearing Things followed at 10 by epic, cinematic guitar soundtrack composer Christina Courtin at Barbes

7/6, 8 PM confrontational Iranian singer/violinist Sadaf H. Nava collaborates with artist Evan Caminiti and filmmaker Paul Clipson in a multimedia exploration of the general toxicity of urban areas at Issue Project Room, $15

7/6, 8 PM elegant, sharply lyrical parlor pop stylist Heather Eatman at Hifi Bar

7/6, 8 PM smartly populist oldtimey-flavored Americana band 2/3 Goat and long-running 90s alt-country favorites Rusty Truck at Hill Country

7/6, 8/9:30 PM Romany jazz accordionist Julien Labro and guitarist Olli Soikkeli lead their quartet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

7/6, 9 PM Quantum Peruvian – who blend jangly Plan 9 psychedelia, GBV scruffiness and a little glam – at the Delancey 

7/6, 8:30 PM the lyrical Caroline Davis on saxophone with Pablo Menares on bass and Kenneth Salters on drums at the Bar Next Door, $12

7/6, 9ish noir-tinged crooner/guitarslinger  Phil Gammage leads his four-piece band at the Parkside

7/6, 9 PM the darkly eclectic, enigmatic Lorraine Leckie  – equally adept at Slavic and Americana noir and dark cabaret – at Pete’s. 7/25 at 9 she’s solo at Lovecraft Bar on the LES; 7/21 at 11 she’s at Sidewalk with her fiery Americana band the Demons.

7/6, 10 PM slyly lyrical New Orleans oldschool soul/groove/Americana crew the Nat Osborn Band at Rough Trade, $12 adv tix rec

7/6, 10 PM Hollywood’s Dan Finnerty leads his savagely hilarious top 40 parody group the Dan Band at Joe’s Pub, $25

7/6, 10 PM Of Clocks & Clouds play their twisted postrock and goth-tinged post-new wave anthems at Bowery Electric, $12

7/7, 7:30 PM psychedelic funk and Afrobeat with the People’s Champs at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/7, 8 PM the Ulysses Quartet play works by Schubert, Golijov, Turina and Janacek’s harrowing String Quartet No. 2 at Scholes St. Studios

7/7, 8:30 PM the fifteen-piece Makrokosmos Orchestra with jazz singer Christine Correa play compositions by Tim O’Dell and Richard Nelson at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

7/7, 9:30 PM elegantly exhilarating tarantella/Neapolitan folk jamband Newpoli at Joe’s Pub, $15 adv tix rec

7/7, 9:30 PM violinist Dana Lyn’s shapeshifting, powerfully relevant, cinematic-jazz improvisers Mother Octopus at I-Beam, $15

7/7, 10 PM intense charismatic danceable metal cumbia/skaragga/latin rockers Escarioka at at Bar Chord, free. They’re at Mehanata the following night, 7/8 at 9 for $10

7/7, 10 PM noir soul and groove themes with the Ghost Funk Orchestra at the Gutter, $10 

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

7/7, 10 PM this era’s most chillingly cinematic, shadowy reverbtoned noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy at Barbes

7/7, 10 PM bizarre segue, good twinbill: guitar genius Lenny Molotov’s torchy, lyrically smashing original female-fronted oldtimey swing crew the Fascinators  followed at 11 by ska-punks the Horsewater Skanks at Sidewalk  

7/7, 11 PM haunting, psychedelic doom metal band Matte Black at Hank’s, $8

7/7, midnight ferociously noisy punk power trio Metorana at the Bitter End 

7/7, 1 AM (actually wee hours of 7/8), psychedelic downtempo jazz quartet Mute the Commercials at the small room at the Rockwood 

7/8, 1/3 PM pioneering downtown avant garde vocalist Pamela Z in Nolan Park in the middle of Governors Island, free

7/8, 5 PM the Jimmy Heath Big Band at Springfield Park, 184th St. & 146th Terrace in Springfield Gardens, Queens

7/8, 6 PM Book of J –Sway Machinery frontman/guitarslinger Jeremiah Lockwood and Jewlia Eisenberg of Charming Hostess – followed at 8 by charismatic, fearlessly political, lurid noir Americana songwriter and banjoist Curtis Eller and at 9 by awesomely slinky, psychedelic Israeli Ethiopiques groove instrumentalists Anbessa Orchestra at Barbes

7/8, 6 PM the haunting, eclectic, harmonically rich all-female Mariachi Flor de Toloache and legendary Colombian Caribbean singer Totó La Momposina at Central Park Summerstage

7/8, 6 PM Adam Klipple‘s Organ Soul Explosion with Al Street on guitar and Curtis Fowlkes on trombone at 55 Bar

7/8, 7 PM spot-on Fela cover band Chop & Quench followed by Jamaican dancehall hitmaker Chronixx at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/8, 8 PM trombone man Wycliffe Gordon and His International All-Stars at Kingsborough Colllege Lighthouse Bandshell, 2001 Oriental Boulevard (at Oxford), Manhattan Beach, B/Q to Brighton Beach, free

7/8, 8 PM eclectic, richly pensive chamber works by Michal Raymond Massoud performed by an ensemble TBA at Scholes st. Studios 

7/8, 8:30 PM violin/accordion band the Ghosts of Indecision play a wild mix of Balkan and klezmer sounds at the Owl

7/8, 8:30 PM state-of-the-art postbop guitarist Will Bernard leads his band at Bar Lunatico

7/8, 9 PM intense, brilliantly lyrical, fearlessly political 1950s style original folk/blues singer Joshua Garcia at Caffe Vivaldi

7/8, 9/10:30 PM bassist Peter Brendler leads his postbop quartet with Rich Perry, tenor sax;  Gary Versace, piano;  Vinnie Sperrazza, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

7/8, 10 PM darkwave and carnivalesque art-rock with Children Having Children at the Cobra Club, $tba   

7/8, 10 PM jangly female-fronted latin lounge/80s chime pop band Parrot Dream at Footlight Bar, $10

7/8, 11PM Haakon’s Fault – who mash up stoner boogie, ornate keyboard-driven art-rock and a litle psych-funk – at the Bitter End 

 7/9, 5 PM vintage soul band Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue followed by 70s disco hitmakers the Ohio Players at Springfield Park, 184th St. & 146th Terrace  in Springfield Gardens, Queens

7/9, 7 PM Lyla Cante play their fiery, kinetic blend of flamenco and Sephardic sounds at Pier One on the upper west side 

7/9, 7:30 PM crystalline-voiced noir Americana songwriter Jessie Kilguss followed eventually by excellent, purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Clifford Westfall at Union Hall, $12

7/9, 8 PM a killer duo project: fiery, eclectic, torchy Nicole Zuraitis  on vocals and Helen Sung on piano at Mezzrow, $20

7/9, 8:30 PM haunting dark Americana songwriter/soul belter Jessi Robertson followed eventually at 10:30 PM by edgy, broodingly tuneful, jangly female-fronted trio Shadow Monsters at Pine Box Rock Shop 

7/10, 8:30 PM smart, darkly pensive third-stream jazz pianist Noa Fort leads her quartet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

7/10, 9 PM 90s West Coast hip-hop nostalgia: the fearlessly political Rass Kassand the always hilarious, surprisingly lucid Alkaholiks at B.B. King’s, $20 adv tix rec

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

7//10, 7 PM charming, irrepressible oldtimey swing maven Tamar Korn’s Kornucopia followed at 10 by Maku Soundsystem and Combo Chimbita spinoff Dilemasronauta y Los Sabrosos Cosmicos playing psychedelic cumbias and tropicalia at Barbes 

7/10, 11 PM eclectically tuneful swing/noir/pastoral jazz combo the Jazz Thieves  at the small room at the Rockwood. They’re also at the Way Station on 7/29 at 9

7/11, 7 PM the Bushwick Book Club – a collective of incredibly diverse, typically excellent songwriters including irrepressibly fun ringleader Susan Hwang, the haunting Jessie Kilguss, and Ellia Bisker of parlor pop mavens Sweet Soubrette – followed at 9ish by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  at Barbes

7/11, 7:30 PM popular indie classical orchestra the Knights play works by Mozart (Symphony No. 40), Purcell and John Adams at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, free

7/11, 7:30 PM conguero Eddie Montalvo and his salsa band at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, $17

7/11, 7:30/9:30 PM drummer Simon Barker leads an intriguing quartet with Jen Shyu – vocals; Tony Malaby – tenor saxophone; Marc Hannaford – piano at the Jazz Gallery, $15/$10 stud

7/11, 8 PM purposeful, pensive Slavic jazz guitarist Martina Fiserova at the Way Station

7/11, 9 PM edgy female-fronted funk band Eliza & the Organix – feat. swirly alto sax player Kristen Tivey followed by anthemic, surfy chamame rock band Paracuta at Shrine. Eliza and crew are also here on 7/18 at 9

7/11, 9 PM purist oldschool guitarist Dap King Joe, “the Staten Island Soul Junkie” (aka Joe Crispiano of the Dap Kings) and band at Freddy’s

7/11, 9:30 PM lyrical, cinematic pianist Julian Shore leads his quartet with Dayna Stephens, tenor sax;  Petros Klampanis, bass;  Colin Stranahan, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

7/12, 5 PM the charming, female-fronted cosmopolitan swing crew Avalon Jazz Band  outdoors on the river behind the World Financial Center

7/12, 6:30 PM ace drummer Art Lillard’s Blue Heaven Swing Sextet on the plaza at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza

7/12, 7:30 PM Michael Gentile & the Rhythm Serenaders play hot 20s swing at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, $17

 7/12, 7:309:30 PM pianist Jacob Sacks’ excellent 40420 Quartet with Jacob Garchik on trombone at the Jazz Gallery, $15/$10 stud

7/12-13, 7:30 PM ex-Dylan lead guitarist Larry Campbell with singer Teresa Williams at Joe’s Pub, $27

7/12, 8 PM popular psych-folk band the Cave Singers at the Mercury, $15. Purist retro dark Americana harmony band the Cactus Blossoms are also there that night at 11, $12 separate adv tix rec

7/12. 8 PM dynamic, fearlessly populist soul belter Stephanie Rooker at the Way Station

7/12, 8 PM a rare reunion of trombonist Curtis Hasselbring’s long-running cinematic jazz group the New Mellow Edwards (who aren’t that mellow) at Barbes

7/12, 9 PM saxophonist Danny Lipsitz & His Brass Tacks play hot 20s inspired swing at LIC Bar

7/12, 8:30 PM wickedly catchy Americana/paisley underground rockers Girls on Grass at Hifi Bar

7/12, 8:30 PM savage stoner boogie/doom/NWOBHM metal band Horseburnerat St. Vitus, $8 

7/12, 9:30 PM kinetic jazz vibraphonista Yuhan Su leads her quartet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

7/12, 10 PM oldschool dub and hip-hop influenced roots reggae with horns with the Merry Rockers at Silvana 

7/12, 10 PM stoner 70s Murder City style rockers Sun Voyager  followed by stoner boogie band Dead Things at Alphaville, $10 

7/12, 10 PM Waits-ish noir Americana songwriter Pokey LaFarge at Bowery Ballroom, $20 adv tix rec. 7/13 at 10 he’s at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, same deal

7/13, 7:30 PM Astoria Tango Orchestra’s ace bassist Pablo Aslan’s Aces of Rhythm pays tribute to the innovative style of legendary Argentinian bandleader Juan D’Arienzo – “El Rey del Compás” – at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, $17

7/13, 7:30 PM Blick Bassy – Cameroonian crooner/songwriter who adds nifty bluegrass touches to his wildly eclectic but subtle acoustic songs – at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

 7/13, 8 PM the scuffily catchy, jangly, all-male Britanys at Baby’s All Right, $12. Avoid the sucky poser-rock band afterward

7/13, 8 PM plush, balmy, oldtimey uke swing band Daria Grace & the Pre-War Ponies followed at 10 by cinematic, brilliantly guitar-fueled Colombian art-rock band Los Crema Paraiso at Barbes

7/13, 8 PM a rare, excellent quadruplebill: garage punks QWAM, explosively theatrical, phantasmagorical indie/metal trio A Deer A Horse , the Lounge Act – who veer between dark 60s psych-pop and slicker 80s new wave – and then reverb guitar-driven janglerockers Color Tongue at Brooklyn Bazaar, $10

7/13, 8 PM tuneful, purposeful, edgy guitarist Amanda Monaco plays the album release show for her new one at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum.Followed at 9:30 by tenor saxophonist Aaron Burnett & the Big Machine: Peter Evans, trumpet;  Carlos Homs, piano;  Nick Jozwiak, bass;  Colin Stranahan, drums; separate adm and min.

 7/13, 8:30 PM ornate, theatrical metal band Cave of Swimmers at Gold Sounds, $12

7/13, 8:30 PM tuneful, cutting-edge, subtly Indian classical-influenced alto sax jazz with  Aakash Mittal‘s quartet featuring trumpeter Aaron Shraggeat i-Beam, $15

7/13, 10:30 PM sweeping, swinging vibraphonist Behn Gillece leads his quintet at Smalls

7/13, 11 PM expansive brass-fueled Afrobeat jams with the Brighton Beat at American Beauty, $10

7/13, midnight exotic surf rock band the Vibro-jets – a Sea Devils spinoff – at the Way Station. They’re also at Troost the following night, 7/14 at 9

7/14, 7:30 PM a Texas honkytonk twinbill with Asleep at the Wheel‘s Ray Benson and Dale Watson at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, $17

7/14-15, 7:30/9:30 PM elegant pianist Aaron Parks leads a quintet with Maria Grand – saxophone; Chris Dingman – vibraphone; Matt Penman – bass; Anwar Marshall – drums at the Jazz Gallery, $22

7/14, 8 PM art-rocker Pierre de Gaillande’s Bad Reputation playing witty chamber pop English translations of Georges Brassens classics at Barbes

7/14-15, 8 PM Gong Linna and the Bang on a Can All-Stars play her new Chinese mythology-themed art-song suite Cloud River Mountain at the Lynch Theater at John Jay College,524 W 59th St,, $25 seats avail

7/14-15, 8 PM suave, smoky tenor saxophonist Harry Allen leads a trio with Rossano Sportiello (piano), Joel Forbes (bass)at Mezzrow, $20

7/14, 8:30 PM progressive jazz sax legend Steve Coleman at the New School’s Glass Box Performance Space, 55 W 13th St, $20

7/14, 9 PM Cleveland metal band and Iron Maiden soundalikes Sunless Sky at St. Vitus, $15

7/14, 10 PM powerhouse oldschool soul band the One and Nines – NJ’s counterpart to Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – at the Park Tavern, 725 West Side Ave. in Jersey City, free

7/14, 10 PM the Revolutionary Council Afrobeat Sextet at Bar Chord

7/14, 10 PM wryly surreal prozac rock  duo the Dream Eaters at Pete’s

7/14, 10 PM guitar mastermind Danny Weiss’ and magical Americana singer Mary Olive Smith’s soulful retro bluegrass band Stillhouse Serenade at Sunny’s

7/15, 1 PM Uncle Ralph McDaniels hosts the annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival with acts in reverse order: DMX, The Lox, Stretch & Bobbito, Mack Wilds, Oshun, DJ Rob Swift, and more at Brooklyn Bridge Park

7/15, 2 PM in reverse order: popular 80s Argentine janglerockers Los Pericos, LA psychedelic latin soul stars Chicano Batman and La Vida Bohéme at Central Park Summerstage 

7/15, 7 PM sax-fueled psychedelic cumbia band Consumata Sonidera at Starlight Park South Entrance, 1480 Sheridan Expressway, the Bronx, 2/5 to Freeman St and go east

7/15, 7:30 PM the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra at Damrosch Park out back of Lincoln Center, $17

7/15, 7:30 PM eclectic postbop drummer Sylvia Cuenca leads her quartet at Smalls

7/15, 8 PM captivating, wildly eclectic Afro-Peruvian/classical/art-rock singer/pianist Chi-Chi Glass at Barbes 

7/15, 8 PM aphoristic, catchy, smart Nashville folk-rock songwriter Ali Sperry at Pete’s 

7/15, 8 PM roots reggae band the Far East open for one of the several incarnation of Bob Marley’s backing band the Wailers – this one with bassist Family Man Barrett, fronted by Junior Marvin – at Highline Ballroom, $25 adv tix vec

7/15. 8 PM New Orleans-flavored swing with Dan Levinson’s Gotham Sophisticats featuring vocalist Molly Ryan at Kingsborough Colllege Lighthouse Bandshell, 2001 Oriental Boulevard (at Oxford), Manhattan Beach, B/Q to Brighton Beach, free

7/15, 9/10:30 PM drummer Dan Weiss leads his tuneful postbop trio with Jacob Sacks, piano;  Thomas Morgan, bass at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

7/15, 11:30 PM Cleveland punk cult hero Frank Secich (the Dead Boys’ Stiv Bators’ lead guitarist) followed by fuzztone garage rockers Room Full of Strangers at the Mercury, $10 adv tix rec /album/bad-vacation-lp

7/15, midnight the haunting, eclectic, harmonically rich all-female Mariachi Flor de Toloache  at Joe’s Pub, $25

7/16, 4ish in reverse order: cinematic vibraphone soul legend Roy Ayers, Afrobeat dance band Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 and Brooklyn’s Underground System at Central Park Summerstage

7/16, 7 PM the intoxicatingly clattering, sintir bass lute fueled Moroccan trance grooves of Innov Gnawa  at Pier One on the upper west side

7/16, 7 PM witty Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester followed at 9:30isy by Romany guitar legend Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

7/16, 7 PM pianist Zack Clarke’s Communer with Charlotte Greve, sax; Chris Irvine, cello ; Evan Crane, bass; Leonid Galaganov, drums followed by playful improvising quartet Bright Dog Red – “Digable Planets meets Mahavisnhu” – at Shapeshifter Lab, $15

7/16, 8:30 PM art-rockers the Tea Club play their wild, eighteen-minute, early Genesis-esque epics at the Knitting Factory, $12 adv tix rec

7/17, 7 PM New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez  at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10

7/17, 7:30 PM the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra play Bach Brandenburg Concertos at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, free

7/17, 8ish 90s noiserock/janglerock icons Yo La Tengo – as vital as ever – at Central Park Summerstage

7/17, 8 PM the Ed Palermo Big Band – whose jazz reinventions of 60s and 70s British psychedelic rock can be hilariously fun – at Iridium, $25

7/17, 8 PM the New Alchemy Jazz Orchestra, featuring trumpeter Terell Stafford at the Cutting Room, $20 adv tix rec

7/17, 8:30 PM golden age Argentine tango with

7/17, 8:30 PM golden age Argentine tango with Malena Dayen, vocals;  David Rosenmeyer, piano at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

7/17, 9:30 ish Yotoco play psychedelic cumbia and boleros at Barbes

7/17, 10 PM darkly jangly, catchy, new wave-ish rockers Melissa & the Mannequins at LIC Bar

7/17, 11 PM strange but excellent segue:  tuneful pastoral jazz guitarist Cameron Mizell leads his trio followed by gonzo noir postbop pianist Dred Scott leading his at the small room at the Rockwood

7/18, 7 PM Triple Paste play hot 20s jazz and parse the Lennie Tristano’s songbook, featuring Eric Pakula, Matt Darriau, Katie Down, Rafe D’Lugoff, Arthur Kell and Vinnie Sperazza followed at 9:30 by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

 7/18, 7:30 PM badass, purposeful electric blues guitarist and compelling, eclectic singer Christina Apostolopoulos at Pete’s

7/19, 7:30 PM rising star postbop trumpeter Ryan Kisor leads his quintet at Smalls

7/18-19, 7:30/9:30 PM Ravi Coltrane leads a quintet with Brandee Younger – harp; David Virelles – Wurlitzer organ; Rashaan Carter – bass; Johnathan Blake – drums celebrating the work of his mom Alice Coltrane at the Jazz Gallery, $22

7/19, 8 PM Tredici Bacci play original psychedelic instrumentals inspired by Italian film themes from the 60s and 70s at Barbes

7/18-23, 8:30/10:30 PM guitarist Mary Halvorson – arguably this era’s best six-string player not named Bill Frisell – and her lush, rapturously good octet at the Vanguard, $30

7/19, 6 PM innovative pipa virtuoso Jiaju Shen plays electroacoustic pieces at the  Rubin Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

7/19, 9:30 PM smartly eclectic pastoral jazz songsmiths Max Hatt & Edda Glass at Bar Lunatico

7/19 Count Vaseline play their undulating post-Velvets spacerock at Harefield Road, 769 Metropolitan Ave (Humboldt/Graham) in Williamsburg 

7/20, noon New Orleans’ darkly shuffling, explosively funky Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn

7/20, 5 PM first-wave hip-hop: Kurtis Blow and Universal Hip-Hop Museum at NJPAC in Newark, free

7/20, 8 PM state-of-the-art postbop guitarist Will Bernard  & the BK Strays followed by Super Yamba playing their psychedelic Afrobeat jams at Barbes

7/20, 8 PM cleverly lyrical, murderously witty murder ballad/chamber pop allstars Charming Disaster  at Joe’s Pub, $15

7/20, 8:30  PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play haunting underground Greek  revolutionary anthems and hash-smoking songs from the 20s and 30s at Espresso 77, 35-57 77th Street, Jackson Hts.

7/20, 9 PM edgy lefty guitarist Damian Quinones and his psychedelic latin soul band at Bar Chord

7/20, 11 PM the Nuclears – who veer between galloping stoner boogie and slower doomier 70s metal – at the Gutter 

7/21, 5 PM a wild night of accordionists and accordion bands hosted by New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez featuring the iconic Middle Eastern Bil Afrah Project, the haunting sounds of Zlatni Balkan Zvuk, Brazilian rainforest group Osnelda, cumbia crooner Gregorio Uribe, and special guests at Bryant Park, free

7/21, 6 PM incisive, fearlessly populist, catchy Irish chamber-pop songwriter August Wells at the American Folk Art Museum 

7/21, 6 PM vintage soul band Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue and ageless boogaloo bandleader Joe Bataan at Corporal Thompson Park, Broadway btwn Markham Rd. & Wayne St., Staten Island

7/21, 7:30 PM trippy, otherworldly, ancient North African dance percussion ensemble Innov Gnawa  open for intense, psychedelic Malian microtonal guitar-and-vocal band Amadou & Mariam at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/21, 7:30/9:30 PM pyrotechnic Indian classical singer Roopa Mahadevan leads a trio with violinist Anjna Swaminathan and percussionist Abhinav Seetharaman at the Jazz Gallery, $22

7/21. 8 PM a rare appearance by poignantly sweeping Syrian orchestra Yousef Shamoun & the Tarab Ensemble at the Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec

7/21, 8 PM boisterously funny oldschool 60s C&W and brooding southwestern gothic with the Jack Grace Band followed by Pangari & the Socialites playing classic ska and rocksteady – most of it from the 60s Skatalites catalog –  at Barbes

7/21, 8 PM haunting dark Americana songwriter/belter Jessi Robertson followed eventually at 10 by wild oldschool Houston soul brass band the Nightowls at Union Hall, $10

7/21, 9 PM ferocious, twin guitar-fueled, Radio Birdman-esque psychedelic punks the Electric Mess and garage/Merseybeat rockers the Above  at the Gutter

7/21, 9 PM noiserock guitar icon Thurston Moore and group at Bowery Ballroom, $20 adv tix rec. Why isn’t this guy playing Madison Square Garden, he’s popular enough…

7/21, 10:30 PM intense, haunting Americana/honkytonk singer Ruby Rae followed by similarly intense,more  blues-oriented Americana songstress Alice & the Underground at Pine Box Rock Shop 

7/22, 5 PM trippy Afrobeat group Budos Band on their  home tuft at Corporal Thompson Park, Broadway btwn Markham Rd. & Wayne St., Staten Island

7/22, 6 PM Book of J – Sway Machinery frontman/guitarslinger Jeremiah Lockwood and Jewlia Eisenberg of Charming Hostess – followed at 8 by edgy lefty guitarist Damian Quinones and his psychedelic latin soul band and then at 10 by Felipe Fournier’s Tito Puente vibraphone tribute at Barbes

7/22, 6 PM the album release show from multimedia improvisers Irrevery plus sets by dangerous folk noir chanteuse Larkin Grimm  – who’s gone in a psychedelic Indian direction lately – purist, straightforward, warmly tuneful front-porch folk songwriter Joanna Sternberg and Flower Girl at City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Ave across from the Knitting Factory, Williamsburg, $10

7/22, 7:30 PM psychedelic, relentlessly kinetic piano-driven dancefloor postrockers Dawn of Midi followed by Beirut Middle Eastern/postrock band Mashrou’ Leila at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/22, 8 PM playful, improvisationally-inclined swing band Swingadelic at Kingsborough Colllege Lighthouse Bandshell, 2001 Oriental Boulevard (atOxford), Manhattan Beach, B/Q to Brighton Beach, free

7/22, 8 PM pianist Oliver Hagen leads a quintet playing music of Schubert, Bartok and Mozart at the DiMenna Center, $10, refreshments included

7/22, 9 PM the noisy, herky-jerky mid-80 Sonic Youth-ish Dead Tenants followed by guitarist Alyse Lamb’s fiery, subtly witty tightly psychedelic jazz-inspired postpunk band Parlor Walls at the Gutter 

7/22, 9/10:30 PM the Chopin Poject with Noah Preminger, tenor sax;  Nate Radley, guitar;  Kim Cass, bass;  Rob Garcia, drumsat Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum. They’ve done Bartok so this should be a walk in the park!

7/22, 9 PM eclectic psychedelic riff-rockers Lemon Sky – who mix stoner boogie, a little flamenco and twisted Britfolk into the mix – at Arlene’s, $10 

7/22, 10 PM ferociously dynamic, tuneful, female-fronted power trio Castle Black  at Lantern Hall, 52 Harrison Pl, (Grattan/Ingraham) in Bushwick, free, L to Morgan Ave. 

7/22, 10 PM ferocious, politically fearless soul-punk/new wave/postrock band Algiers at Baby’s All Right is SOLD OUT – no sruprise

7/23, 2 PM oldschool 70s style Cuban psychedelic salsa band Ola Fresca at at the Central Park Discovery Center, 110th St between Lenox and Fifth Aves

7/23, 5 PM hauntingly phantasmagorical art-rock/noir cabaret pianist/singer Anana Kaye at LIC Bar

7/23, 5 PM the Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA at Corporal Thompson Park, Broadway btwn Markham Rd. & Wayne St., Staten Island

7/23, 6 PM erudite, witty art-rock pianist/songwriter/composer Lee Feldman with special guest, Americana icon Amy Allison at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum. Followed at 8 by quartet Anouman playing Django guitar jazz, separate cover and min.

7/23, 6 PM witty Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester  leads his quintet at Silvana. Will anybody actually shut up and listen there? 

7/23, 7 PM ferociously lyrical, Macbeth-inspired art-rock/psychedelic songwriter Rose Thomas Bannister followed by banjo player Stephanie Jenkins from the charming, oldtimey Pearly Snaps at Corkscrew Wines, 489 Myrtle Ave in Ft. Greene, A/C to Clinton-Washington

7/23, 7 PM killer dark retro 60s psychedelic/stoner boogie/art-rock band Medusa’s Disco at Gussy’s Bar in Queens

7/23, 7 PM lustrous, Lynchian swing chanteuse Heather Holloway & the Heebie-Jeebies at Radegast Hall

7/23, 7 PM chanteuse/uke player Dahlia Dumont’s Blue Dahlia play edgy, smartly lyrically-fueled, jazz-infused tunes in English and French with classic chanson and Caribbean influences at Pier One on the upper west side

7/23, 8 PM the Verona Quartet play US premieres by Teizō Matsumura, Alejandro Cardona and Elżbieta Sikora at MOMA Summergarden, enter on 54th St., free, early arrival encouraged

7/23, 8:30ish fiery New York-centric purist janglerock/folk harmony duo the Kennedys at the Treehouse at 2A

7/25, 7:30 PM fiery alto saxophonist Lucas Pino’s twin-guitar No No Nonet at Smalls

7/25, 8 PM Brooklyn’s funnest new band, psychedelic organ-driven Middle Eastern-tinged surf rock trio Hearing Things at Barbes

7/25-30, 8:30/10:30 lyrical jazz piano icon Fred Hersch leads his trio at the Vanguard, $30

7/25, 9 PM darkly jangly, catchy, new wave-ish rockers Melissa & the Mannequins at the Way Station

7/25, 9:30 PM cinematic Quincy Jones-style B3 gutbucket organ jazz with Colin Brown and his band at Freddy’s 

 7/25, 11:30 PM hard-hitting garage-punks the Falling Birds – like a minor-league Radio Birdman or OBNIIIs – at the Knitting Factory, $12 

7/26, noon high-voltage accordion-and-microtonal sax-fueled original Balkan tunes with Tipsy Oxcart at Madison Square Park, free

7/26, 7 PM intoxicatingly fun, bouncy Colombian coastal dance grooves with Tribu Baharu at Madison Square Park, free

7/26, 7:30 PM tersely incendiary Chicago blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker  at B.B. King’s, $15

7/26 irrepressible, transgressively funny saxophonist Jon Irabagon  leads an organ trio with Gary Versace on B3 and Nasheet Waits on drums, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard, $25

7/26, 8 PM eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo leads his Tango Quartet followed at 10 by accordionist/sitarist Kamala Sankaram’s hot surfy Bollywood/cumbia/psychedelic rock project Bombay Rickey – a launching pad for her spellbinding four-octave voice – at Barbes

7/26, 8:30 PM fearlessly haunting, dynamic, charismatic Romany/Balkan chaunteuse Eva Salina  at Bar Lunatico

7/26, 9 PM charmingly catchy, new wave-tinged female-fronted Minneapolis band Bad Bad Hats at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $12

7/26, 9:30 PM Renata Zeiguer’s trippy, creepy Prozac rock project Cantina followed by dangerous folk noir chanteuse Larkin Grimm  – who’s gone in a psychedelic Indian direction lately – at Footlight Bar, $10

7/26, 9:30 PM lustrous, darkly enigmatic singer/composer Song Yi Jeon leads her quintet with Kenji Herbert, guitar;  Vitor Gonçalves, piano;  Matt Aronoff, bass;  Jongkuk Kim, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum

7/27, 5 PM a rare appearance by Cuban son legends Septeto Santiaguero at NJPAC in Newark, free

7/27, 7 PM in reverse order at Damrosch Park: fearlessly populist LA folk-punks Las Cafeteras, our own Alynda Segarra aka Hurray For the Riff Raff,, trippy downtempo guy Helado Negro and fiery, dramatic belter Xenia Rubinos

7/27, 7 PM baritone sax goddess Moist Paula does double duty, first with her electroacoustic project Bliss Station and then with powerhouse Aussie hokum blues songwriter/revivalist CW Stoneking – who schools a lot of the Americans mining the genre –at the Mercury, $15

7/27, 7:30 PM fiery agitator Rev. Billy & the Church of  Stop Shopping Choir – sort of the Dead Kennedys or Public Enemy of original, politically spot-on original gospel music – followed bytrumpeter Steven Bernstein’s legendary noir jazz outfit Sexmob playing a live score to the 1926 silent film Maciste All’Inferno at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/27, 7:30 PM kinetic, fearlessly populist oldtime Americana songwriter/banjoist Kaia Kater at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

7/27, 7:30 PM catchy, cinematic, noir-inclined saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton leads his quintet at Smalls

7/27 lyrical jazz pianist Christian Sands leads his trio, 7:30/9:30 PM at the Jazz Standard, $30

7/27, 8 PM shamisen player/singer/improviser Emi Makabe leads a trio with Vitor Gonçalves on piano and accordion at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum. Followed at 9:30 by violinist Tomoko Omura and her quintet, separate cover and min.

7/27, 9:30 PM singer Sofia Tosello’s magically shapeshiftting, kinetic pan-latin folk project Chuno at Terraza 7, $10 

7/27, 9 PM wryly retro, period-perfect classic 60s style female-fronted honkytonk band the Bourbon Express at Pete’s

7/27, 9 PM darkly intense bassist Dana Schechter’s hauntingly cinematic slowcore/art-rock project Insect Ark at Matchless, $10

7/27, 10 PM powerpop cult heroes Dany Laj & the Looks at Hank’s, $8

7/28, 5:30 PM elegant, jazz-tinged acoustic songwriter Kalyani Singh followed eventually at 6:30 by brilliant accordionist/raconteuse/urbane lyrical eclecticist Rachelle Garniez  at the American Folk Art Museum 

7/28, 6 PM pianist Dongfeng Liu leads his trio through a mix of Chinese and latin-tinged originals  at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 cover plus $10 minimum. Followed by the Bryan Landrus Orchestra playing the album release show for their new lush, resonant new one, separate adm and min. Landrus is also here on 7/29

7/28, 6 PM popular salsa songstress La India at St. Mary’s Park, St Mary’s St bet. St Ann’s Ave and Jackson Ave in the Bronx, 2/5 to Jackson Ave

7/28, 7 PM Eljuri play their ferocious, brilliantly guitar-driven, fearlessly populist rock en Espanol at the park at 125th St. and the Hudson

7/28, 7 PM darkly intense ex-Band of Susans guitarist/songwriter Anne Husicksolo followed by noir-tinged crooner/guitarslinger  Phil Gammage leading his four-piece band at Sidewalk

7/28, 7 PM International Contemporary Ensemble plays Pauline Oliveros’ Applebox Double, Heart of Tones and One Hundred Meeting Places  on the plaza at Lincoln Center

7/28, 7:30 PM popular jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding and band followed by chamber pop/lit-rock icon Andrew Bird at Prospect Park Bandshell

7/28, 7:30 PM charming oldtime swing harmony trio Duchess – Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner and Melissa Stylianou – sing Andrews Sisters tunes to accompany a dance performance at Damrosch Park

7/28, 7:30/9:30 PM a rare appearance by Cuban son legends Septeto Santiagueroat Joe’s Pub, $15 adv tix rec

7/28, 8ish irresistibly named, darkly sizzling psychedelic garage punk rockers Anderson Council  at  Hank’s

7/28, 8:30 PM Chicago improvisational sax icon Ken Vandermark leads his group at the New School’s Glass Box Performance Space, 55 W 13th St, $20

7/28, 10 PM intense frontwoman Hannah Fairchild’s searingly lyrical punk/art-rock/noir cabaret band Hannah vs. the Many – this blog’s current favorite group – at the Way Station

7/29, 6 PM Taiwanese bands in reverse order: catchy pop-punks Fire Ex, low-key folksinger Dadado Huang + Berry j and Sangpuy at Central Park Summerstage

7/29, 7:30 PM would you sit (or, more likely, snooze) through a set by a British pop moppet at Damrosch Park just to see Dionne Warwick play a handful of songs? Maybe we should call the psychic hotline and find out!

7/29, 8 PM harrowing Palestinian oud ensemble Le Trio Joubran play the US premiere of their elegaic suite of settings of Mahmoud Darwish poems on themes of exile and resistance at the Lynch Theater at John Jay College,524 W 59th St, $30 seats avail

7/29,9 PM deviously lyrical cult favorite Americana soul/punk songwriter Marcellus Hall at Pete’s. Last time he was there he had Ambrosia Parsley on harmonies, a great band, and he slayed. 

7/29, 9:30 PM catchy, fun indie soul band Sunshine Nights at Freddy’s

7/29. 10 PM awesome Austin psychedelic cumbia band Money Chicha at Barbes

7/29, 10 PM hilarious, smartly political faux-French retro 60s psych-pop band les Sans Culottes at Bar Chord

7/29, 10ish fearless punk classical cellist Valerie Kuehne at Spectrum, $15

7/30, 5ish pioneering golden-age female hip-hop star MC Lyte at Central Park Summerstage

7/30, 7 PM fiery, charismatic soul siren Meah Pace and her oldschool band outdoors at LIC Bar

7/30, 7 PM pastoral gothic accordion art-rock with Sam Reider & the Human Hands at Barbes followed by Romany jazz guitar and psychedelic powerhouse Stephane Wrembel at around 9:30 

7/30, 7 PM La Mecanica Popular play their original, psychedelic update on classic 70s Nuyorican salsa dura at Pier One on the upper west side

7/31, 8 PM bass clarinetist Madison Greenstone plays new solo works by Rebecca Saunders, Martin Bauck and Lauri Supponen at Scholes st. Studios 

7/31, 10 PM haunting, powerful Afro-Colombian trance choir Bulla en El Barrio at Barbes 

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

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

 8/1, 10 PM the original cello rockers, Rasputina, as fearless and funny and relevant as ever,  at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, $17 adv rix rec

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8/5 fiery, eclectic, purposeful pianist Helen Sung leads her poetic, powerfully relevant, vivid Sung With Words project at Bryant Park

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

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

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

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

8/10, 7  PM lush improvising orchestra Burnt Sugar at East River Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bryant Park Accordion Festival – Pure Sonic Bliss

Wednesday night, the four corners of Bryant Park were awash in the blissful, plaintive, bittersweet and sometimes boisterously pulsing tones of many of New York’s most captivating accordionists. Booked by Ariana Hellerman, publisher of the irreplaceable free events and concert guide Ariana’s List – a primary source for a lot of what you find on the monthly NYC concert calendar here – opening night of this year’s Bryant Park Accordion Festival featured music from France, Russia, Colombia, Ireland, Brazil, many other countries and all over the US as well. Hellerman’s setup – a single accordionist or small group situated in every corner of the park, as well as over by the fountain on the west side, works out perfectly since each act is far enough away from the others to ensure that there’s no sonic competition.

Performances are staggered, Golden Fest style, with brief fifteen minute sets and virtually no time lost between acts. Some of the accordionists rotate, so that you can catch more of them if fifteen minutes isn’t enough for you  – seriously, is fifteen minutes of accordion music ever enough?

A tour of the festival’s first hour was as rapturously good as expected. It was tempting to pull up a seat in the shade to be serenaded by the Wisterians’ poignant French musettes, or the great Ismail Butera’s edgy, supersonic take on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean sounds, or Phil Passantino‘s wildly spiraling Cajun songs. But just like Golden Fest, it’s like being a kid in a candy store here, a great way to discover dozens of new artists. For starters, Mindra Sahadeo played calmly lustrousIndian carnatic music, singing in a sonorous baritone and accompanied by his mom on mridangam, another woman to his right adding vocals. He was a ringer, considering that he was playing harmonium (there were also a couple of others on the bill playing the concertina).

Next, in the northeast corner, the charismatic Alan Morrow entertained the crowd. Is there anything this guy can’t play? Segueing breathlessly between styles, he fired off bits and pieces of songs across pretty much every conceivable genre. About a minute after Dave Brubeck, we got James Brown: “Say it loud, I’m a New Yorker and I’m proud,” Morrow grinned, and the audience agreed. By then he’d already made his way through classical, ragtime, jazz, hints of klezmer and finally the longest number of his set, the Moody Blues’ Nights in White Satin, which turned out perfect for the accordion – and for a second seemed that he was going to do the whole album version, complete with hazy string-and-poetry interlude.

The highlight of the hour – at least from this perspective – turned out to be Guillermo Vaisman, who played a tantalizingly brief set of chamame tunes. It’s a popular folk style that’s common on the Uruguay-Brazil border, like tango but less classically-tinged, or a more lively counterpart to candombe. And it’s hard to find in New York. Vaisman’s elegance and dynamics throughout a mix of waltzes and more upbeat material put him on the map as someone who would be even more enjoyable to see stretching out with a longer set.

The festival continues for the next two Wednesdays, starting at 6 PM. The July 5 show features, among others, the haunting and amazingly eclectic Melissa Elledge, playful avant garde jazz and Romany accordionist Shoko Nagai, and Jordan Shapiro, better known as the organist in Choban Elektrik, the Balkan Doors. Closing night is Friday, July 21 at 8, hosted by the mesmerizing Rachelle Garniez, featuring Middle Eastern, Brazilian and Colombian music, to name just three styles. And it’s free.      

The Maureen Choi Quartet Bring Their Dynamic Flamenco String Sounds to Queen

Violinist Maureen Choi began her career as a singer; as the story goes, she switched to violin after a brush with death. She lives in Spain now, where she and her quartet play a passionate, dynamic blend of Andalucian, flamenco, Romany and South American sounds. The band’s latest album Ida y Vuelta (Round Trip) is streaming at Spotify; they’ve got a show coming up tomorrow night, July 1 at 8 at Terrazza 7, 40-19 Gleane St. just off Baxter in Elmhurst; cover is $10.  Take the 7 to 82nd St.

Choi plays the album’s Django-influenced opening, title track with a lingering restraint echoed by pianist Daniel Garcia Diego’s elegantly climbing lines until drummer Michael Olivera picks up the pace, and they wind their way up to a big crescendo….then they’re off again,

Bassist Mario Carrillo grounds the neoromantically biting waltz Vals O Vienes with a gritty pulse, Diego glimmering uneasily and then adding a little blues, Choi growing starker and more kinetic as the band takes it deeper into flamenco. The catchy, folk-tinged tango Valentia grows both more lush and propusive as Choi leaps and bounds, with a playful salsa interlude midway through, Choi’s plaintively sailing melody contasts with the low-key but balletesque elegance of Bolero Del Alba. A tightly wound remake of Besame Mucho, Elizabeth eventually diverges into flamenco jazz, Diego gracefully handing off to Choi’s achingly melismatic attack.

Choi’s remake of Mercedes Sosa’s Alfonsina y El Mar is a sweepingly dancing duet with guest bassist Javier Colina. Choi’s steely resonance and Carrillo’s growling, prowling drive pair off in Negra Presuntuosa, a trickily rhythmic Peruvian lando. Pianist Pepe Rivero gives the bolero Dama De Noche and understated bounce while Choi digs in hard, up to a wry trick ending that’s 180 degrees from the rest of the song

The album’s most lighthearted cut is Bilongo, a cha-cha. The quartet reinvent Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol as a martial shuffle and then fllamenco jazz;. They close the album with Gracias A La Vida, the Violeta Parra ballad made famous by Sosa, Choi’s spare, prayerful lead paired with Diego’s delicate, wistful piano. If flamenco fire, south-of-the-border melancholy or Romany rambunctiousness are your thing, you can’t go wrong with this band.

Orkesta Mendoza Bring Their Slinky Cumbias and Noir Desert Rock to Prospect Park

Tucson-based bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Sergio Mendoza leads Orkesta Mendoza, who might be the most epic psychedelic cumbia band on the planet. When they’re firing on all 24 cylinders – the cast of characters varies, but this is a BIG band – they come across as a slinky, brass-spiced mashup of Chicha Libre and Cab Calloway. They’re connoisseurs of noir, and they do a whole bunch of other styles as well: serpentine mambos, haunting boleros, and latin soul among them. Their latest album ¡Vamos A Guarachar! is streaming at Spotify (with a couple of tracks up at Bandcamp). They’re opening what will be a wildly attended twinbill at Prospect Park Bandshell on June 29 at 7:30 PM; populiat Mexican-American songstress Lila Downs headlines at around 9. You’d better get there early.

The album opens with, Cumbia Volcadora, which perfectly capsulizes why this band is so popular. Mendoza’s creepy roller-rink organ flickers and bends and Marco Rosano’s blazing multitracked horn section punches in over Sean Rogers’ fat chicha bassline, Salvador Duran’s irrepressible vocals out in front. Mendoza plays pretty much everything else.

Then the band immediately filps the script with Redoble, an uneasily scampering mashup of Morricone spaghetti western and Ventures spacerock, the band’s not-so-secret weapon, steel guitarist Joe Novelli’s keening lines floating uneasily as the song rises to fever pitch.

Awash in an ocean of strings, Misterio majestically validates its title, Mendoza’s Lynchian guitar glimmering behind Duran’s angst-fueled baritone and the Calexics rhythm section: bassist John Convertino and drummer Joey Burns. Wryly spacy 80s organ contrasts with burning guitars and brass in Mapache, a bouncy chicha tune with a tongue-in-cheek Ventures reference. Duran’s wounded vocals add extra longing to the angst throughout Cumbia Amor De Lejos over a web of accordion, funereal strings and ominous tremolo guitar.

The band switches back and forth between a frantic pulse and lingering noir in Mambo A La Rosano, which wouldn’t be out of place in the Gato Loco songbook. By contrast, the big audience hit Caramelos keeps the red-neon intensity going at full gas; Mendoza sets up a tantalizingly brief guitar solo with a more enigmatic one on organ.Then they follow the clip-clip folk-rock miniature No Volvere (Not Going Back) with the album’s centerpiece, Contra La Marea (Against the Tide), a briskly strutting noir showstopper, Rosano’s brooding baritone sax and clarinet alongside Mendoza’s reverberating guitar layers.

Mutedly twinkling vibraphone – most likely Convertino – infuses the enigmatically lilting Igual Que Ayer (Same as Yesterday). Mendoza’s insistent wah-wah guitar takes centerstage in the trippy, moody Nada Te Debo (I Don’t Owe You Anything) Rogers sings the album’s final cut, the psychedelic latin soul anthem Shadows of the Mind. Best darkly glimmering party album of the year – and maybe the only one. Hopefully they’ll get the chance to stretch some of these out and get really psychedelic at the Brooklyn show.