See the previous week's performances.  October 05-October 12, 2009 See the next week's performances.

See the previous week's performances. October, 2009 See the next week's performances.
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Oct 05
Tulis McCall, host

Shy people break out of their performance inhibitions, extending the borders of mental health.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
8:30PM  AMRAM & CO
David Amram, piano, french horn, flutes, composition & surprises;  Kevin Twigg, drums, glockenspiel;  John de Witt, bass;  Adam Amram, percussion;  John Ventimiglia, actor
AMRAM & CO image
This series explores in his highly personable, generous and informal style the astonishing variety of David Amram's interests and accomplishments--renowned composer of symphonic classical music, jazz compositions, improvisation, spoken word, scat, he sits at the piano, schmoozes about music, about the greats, the beats, the obscure, the legendary; plays the French horn, pulls out all kinds of instruments (flutes, drums, horns) gathered from his many circumnavigations of the globe, pulls in guests drawn from just about every artistic walk of life.
 Cover $10
Oct 06

Kathleen Frazier reads from a work in progress, Molly’s Story, an historical novel and second book in the Irish American Maguire family series. It is told through the eyes of a sixteen year old ghost who immigrated to New York in 1899. Meet up with silkies, stowaways and the kindness of strangers.

"I've just returned from an all too brief visit to Dublin and can't wait to hear yet again Kathleen's beautiful Irish lilt." _Angelo Verga (Poet Laureate of The Cornelia Street Cafe)
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Sharon Spell, host

Tracy Rowland Allen Norvick Andy Christie David Wolkin Kambri Crews James Braly
SPEAKEASY: Stories from the Backroom image
SpeakEasy is . . .

A new twist on the ancient tradition of oral history.

SpeakEasy is people telling stories-- true stories. Period. No scripts. No crib notes. No rehearsals. SpeakEasy has a dynamic and constantly changing cast of storytellers that include such greats as Mike Daisey, Jonathan Ames, and Reno, along with homemakers, lawyers, dog walkers, street magicians and writers

You never know what you'll hear. So join us for what could be a life changing experience!

 Cover $10

Wednesday Oct 07 6:00PM  FREE RANGE READINGS
Mira Ptacin, host

Our favorite newly wed orchestrates a somewhat new genre with many young clever practitioners. As sexy as it sounds.

October 7th readers include: Among the readers this month are the lovely and talented Claudia Cortese, Aldina Kennedy, and Claire Shefchik

Featuring :

Jeffrey Gustavson, the editor of Epiphany magazine. He will be reading from “The Little Iceberg; or, Can You Say ‘Solipsism’?,” an autobiographical essay.

as well as American novelist Mark Childress, author of six novels: A World Made of Fire, V for Victor, Tender, Crazy in Alabama, Gone for Good, and One Mississippi. Mark is a native of Alabama and now lives in New York and Key West.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Elektra Kurtis, violin;  Curtis Stewart, violin;  Lefteris Bournias, clarinet;  Stuart Popejoy, bass;  Kahlil Kwame Bell, drums;  Babatunde Don Eaton, percussion
Ensemble Elektra image
Ensemble Elektra brings a fresh perspective to jazz and world music, blending the modern beat of New York City’s life with its leader's multi-ethnic roots. The all star musicians’ repertoire of original compositions and improvisations fuses contemporary jazz and western classical music forms, with funk and ethnic music from Greece, the Mediterranean and North Africa. Musicians: Elektra Kurtis, violin, Curtis Stewart, violin, Lefteris Bournias, clarinet, Stuart Popejoy, bass, Kahlil Kwame Bell, drums and Babatunde Don Eaton, percussion play with both a nod toward tradition and a flair for the new. Visit us at:

Ensemble Elektra’s music was recently called by the audience "Mediterranean Dixieland" and described by All About Jazz as “profound yearning, ecstatic wailing, and an aching beauty.
 Cover $12

Oct 08
Rigoberto Gonzales, host

An extraordinary reading put together by one of our most gifted hosts, too bad we can't get him back to NYC on a regular basis.

BLAS FALCONER, A Question of Gravity and Light

TYEHIMBA JESS, leadbelly

HELENA MESA, Horse Dance Underwater


 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

David Devoe, curator

Deadra Hart, voice;  Zach Brock, violin;  Jim Ridl, piano;  Matt Clohesy, bass;  Fred Kennedy, drums;  Mel Flannery, voice;  Lee Pardini, piano;  Matt Aronoff, bass;  Danny Sher, drums
Gnu Vox: Deadra Hart & Mel Flannery image
Regarded by fellow jazz singers as “a dynamic improviser who interprets a lyric with sincerity and a beautiful sense of style,” Deadra Hart’s unique, crystal-clear voice breathes new life into music. This New York City –based vocalist has lived and performed all over the world, from Los Angeles to the Midwest and from Amsterdam to Ecuador. Deadra is an active performer, leading a jazz quartet that mixes traditional jazz elements with gorgeous, original melodies. Her debut album, Wherever I Go has already sold hundreds of copies and can be heard on jazz radio stations as far away as Indonesia and Australia. Deadra has recently been exploring her newfound passion for the songs of South America with her Latin jazz trio, Ligaçao. She has been praised by critics and musicians alike as “a woman who sings with sophistication” (Cincinnati Post) and “a superb musician with exquisite taste” (Paris Rutherford – Vocal Jazz Arranger).

Since 2003, Mel Flannery Trucking Co. has carved a home for themselves in New York's most influential independent and jazz venues including Joe's Pub, the Cutting Room and Rockwood Music Hall. Defining what it is to be a 'band' and not a group of hired musicians, Mel Flannery Trucking Co. has developed an organic and nuanced sound that comes on easy, but leaves one breathless in its wake. The songwriting of frontwoman and namesake, Mel Flannery (with the occasional co-writing of pianist Lee Pardini) is an exercise in balance; blending complexity and accessibility, heartbreak and humor, wisdom and youth. MFTC injects electricity and fire in their live performances, shunning the notion that a jazz is ‘background music.’ Playing songs off their two acclaimed self-produced records, MFTC is an unforgettable event of jazz for a new audience.
 Cover $10

Oct 09
Jackie Sheeler, host

The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

 Cover $7

Bill McHenry, tenor saxophone;  Ben Waltzer, piano;  Matt Penman, bass;  Gerald Cleaver, drums
Ben Waltzer Gorup image
This no-nonsense jazz pianist in the Ellington and Monk vein (who has occasionally written for Arts & Leisure) gets a big, ringing sound out of the extreme registers of the instrument; he also takes a decisive stand against the ultra-sensitive, lush-harmony tendency of so many young jazz composers. "One Hundred Dreams Ago" (Fresh Sound), with a trio including the bassist Matt Penman and the drummer Gerald Cleaver, is by far the best thing he's done, but he hasn't been making records for very long.” --NYTimes

“Brilliantly performed…very impressive.”
- Ahmad Jamal, jazz piano legend, of Waltzer's ‘100 Dreams Ago.’

"In the era of concept records, this startling young pianist has flipped the script: the message behind One Hundred Dreams Ago is ‘let's just play.’ Accordingly the trio gets its bustle on. Ellington's small groups are in the air here, and the pleasure Waltzer generates is bountiful.”
- Jim Macnie, the Village Voice
 Cover $12

Oct 10
Maria Lisella, Gil Fagiani, hosts

Italian American Writers Association, featured readers are: TBA, plus open mic, 5 minute limit.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
James Shipp , vibraphone, percussion, shrutis;  Jo Lawry, voice, mandolin, melodica;  Gilad Hekselman, guitar;  Rogerio Boccato, percussion/drums
James Shipp’s Nós Novo: CD release party for “Strange Sweethearts in America” image
Nós Novo is vibraphonist/percussionist James Shipp’s vehicle for the exploring Celtic musics and their connections to Afro-Brazilian grooves and modern, open-minded jazz improvisation. The ensemble is made up of vibes, voice, guitar, and percussion; instrumentation that offers a wide spectrum of timbres and configurations, but few opportunities to fall into conventional role-playing. Their treatments of Irish reels, jigs, and sean-nós songs both celebrate and deconstruct traditional folk musics -- Irish repertoire comes out sounding like it’s from elsewhere, and their renditions of songs by artists like Björk, José González, and Milton Nascimento end up sounding Irish.

Nós Novo’s new recording, “Strange Sweethearts in America”, is an eclectic mix that crosses cultural and stylistic boundaries in an effort to bring universal themes to the surface. As one listener remarked upon hearing it: ” I love how effortlessly [Nós Novo has] blended Dublin, Rio, and Istanbul into one unified vibe. You'd think it was a no-brainer after hearing this record!”
 Cover $10

Oct 11
Kirpal Gordon, poet;  Steve Elmer, piano
Poetry & Jazz image
The return of jazz pianist Steve Elmer and jazz writer Kirpal Gordon to the Cornelia Street Café.

For a YouTube preview of their amazing wedding of word and song, go to BeBopElmo.

The critics say:

---Elmer’s Fire Down Below, “The music is gorgeous. You get wrapped up in each song like it's a novel you don't want to put down.” ---Gray Hunter, BlogCritics.Org

---Gordon’s Speak-Spake Spoke, “Precise of word and rhyme and ready of wit, his poetry aligns closely to jazz music.” ---Fred Bouchard, All About Jazz

 Cover $10 (includes one house drink)

Kris Davis, piano;  Eivind Opsvik, bass;  Tom Rainey, drums
Kris Davis Trio image
Performing new compositions from Davis' soon to be release trio record- Good Citizen- on Fresh Sound records. Expect to hear intricate forms with explosive improvisation. Featuring Tom Rainey and Eivind Opsvik.

"Davis' compositions are carefully drawn but explosive."-Jazz Times
 Cover $10

Oct 12
co-curated by Angelo Nikolopoulos and Mark Rice

Mark Bibbins Bianca Stone Guillermo Castro Michael Montlack
The White Swallow Reading Series, featuring Bianca Stone, Guillermo Castro, Michael Montlack, and Mark Bibbins.

The White Swallow Reading Series is a forum for queer, queer-friendly, and outspoken poets and prose writers who explore issues of identity in an honest, bold way. We welcome writers who explore the boundaries of language, take risks, and challenge traditional definitions of gender. Co-hosted by Angelo Nikolopoulos and Monica McClure.


Bianca Stone is the co-curator of the Ladder Poetry Reading Series and received her MFA from NYU’s creative writing program in poetry. She is also a freelance illustrator and her most recent poetry publications include The Patterson Literary Review, Fou, Agriculture Reader and Elimae. Her blog is called Poetry Comics. She lives in Brooklyn.

Guillermo Castro’s work is forthcoming or appears in Quarterly West, The Bellevue Literary Review, The Brooklyn Rail, LaFovea, EOAGH, Nthposition, Barrow St, among others, and the anthologies My Diva, This Full Green Hour, My Diva, Saints of Hysteria, and more. His translations of Olga Orozco, in collaboration with Ron Drummond, appear in Guernica, U.S. Latino Review and Visions. He lives in New York City and is a native of Argentina.

Michael Montlack is the editor of the essay anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them and the author of three poetry chapbooks: Cover Charge (Winner of the 2007 Gertrude Prize); Girls, Girls, Girls; and The Slip. His work has appeared in Cimarron Review, Swink, New York Quarterly, Poet Lore, Court Green, Columbia Poetry Review, and other journals. Recently he was awarded residencies from Ucross, Soul Mountain Retreat, VCCA and Lambda Literary Retreat. He splits his time between New York City and San Francisco.

Mark Bibbins lives in New York City and teaches at The New School and Columbia University. He is the founding editor of The New School's LIT magazine. He has been published in journals including Poetry, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Boston Review and in anthologies such as Take Three: 3. He is the author of Sky Lounge, which received a Lambda Literary Award, and The Dance of No Hard Feelings.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Jed Distler, host

Stephanie Kai-win Saar Ahuvia Deborah Atherton Momenta Quartet
Serial Underground, “the subversive nightclub series” (Time Out NY)
Allan Kozinn (New York Times) contextualizes CCi’s monthly performances in the basement of the Cornelia Street Cafe – “... part of the ecology of urban night life.” CCi artistic director, Jed Distler, curates the programs abetted by director Arnold Barkus and lighting designer David Lovett.

The Stephanie & Saar DUO return for a Serial Underground residency, with works ranging from Conlon Nancarrow’s wildest excursions to Bill Evans’ most urgently lyrical inspirations (piano duo).

Writer/reader Deborah Atherton waxes upon Columbus Day and Halloween

Momenta Quartet plays Gordon Beeferman’s String Quartet (chamber danger).

Box office: 212.663.1967 (advance purchase discount available)
Admission at the door: $15 gen’l, $10 student/sr + one drink minimum

Drum kit donated by

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Cover is given where known
Many spoken words events are free
There is always a one-drink minimum per set; times are door opening times