See the previous week's performances.  November 27-December 04, 2010 See the next week's performances.

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Nov 27
Raymond Hammond, host

Donald Lev
Friends will celebrate the life & work of a fine poet, editor, feminist, and scholar.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
John McNeil, trumpet;  Kenny Pexton, tenor, clarinet;  Steve Cardenas, guitar;  Ben Allison, bass;  Rodney Green, drums
John McNeil's Urban Legend has been in existence for a half dozen years and is planning to record their first album in 2011. The original two members are John and versatile guitarist Steve Cardenas. They'll be joined by veteran bassist and composer Ben Allison, everybody's favorite drummer Rodney Green and newcomer to the New York scene Kenny Pexton on tenor sax and clarinet. The tunes are eclectic, ranging from atonal country-western to ECM-like grooves. The music is tuneful and there's something for everyone. You're sure to have a great time.
 Cover $10 (includes one house drink)
John McNeil's Urban Legend image
Nov 28
Hosted by Andrey Gritsman and Elizabeth Hodges, hosts

Gordon Walmsley Alex Cigale Alexey Tsvetkov TBA
Presentation of Interpoezia and Saint Petersburg Review, with special guest from Copenhagen Review poet Gordon Walmsley.

Alex Cigale was born in Chernovtsy, Ukraine. He spent most of the 80s in Ann Arbor, where he completed a BA in Russian Studies and Slavic Languages and Literatures and an MFA in Poetry at the University of Michigan. Since 1990 he has lived in New York City. His translations from the Russian are in Crossing Centuries: the New Generation in Russian Poetry, in The Manhattan, St. Ann's, and Yellow Medicine reviews. He was a contributor to the Anthology Stranger at Home (American Poetry with an Accent).

One of the most eminent Russian poets Alexei Tsvetkov was born in 1947 and grew up in Zaporozhe, Ukraine. In Moscow he was a leading member of the underground poetry group Moscow Time (Moskovskoe vremia). He writes in Russian and in English and was a contributor to the Anthology Stranger at Home (American Poetry with an Accent).

New Orleans born poet Gordon Walmsley has lived in Copenhagen for twenty of so years. He is the editor of an online literary magazine in five languages (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German and English). He is the author of five books of poems, publishes in Ireland. His latest book of poems is Touchstones, a journey through poem in xenophobic times, published two years ago by Salmon Publishing. He has translated a number of Scandinavia poets and is the editor of Fire and Ice, Nine Poets from Scandinavia and the North.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone;  Michael Dessen, trombone;  Denman Maroney, hyperpiano;  Tom Rainey, drums;  Mark Dresser, bass
Mark Dresser Quintet image
Mark Dresser will be presenting a full evening of his most recent compositions with a band of distinguished improvisers who share many years of musical experience together.

"Mr. Dresser, a bassist who is one of the great instrumental forces in recent American jazz outside of the mainstream...New York Times

“Mark Dresser needs no introduction. From his work in the ‘80s with the now “classic” Forces in Motion Braxton Quartet to his “90’s work with Zorn and Threadgill and as a part of the Dave Douglas String Project, Dresser seems to be always at the center of what’s happening next.....Complex but clear and emotional, edgy but tonal, always telling a story, this is perhaps as good as post-Free Jazz gets....Dresser may be among the premier Jazz bassists of our time.. Cadence Magazine
 Cover $15 (includes one house drink)

Nov 29
Brant Lyon, host

Cyndi Dawson The No Chance Ensemble
Hydro Juke rocks November with the ever-popular house improv band, The Neerdowells (, two great featured acts, and the Open Mic.

$7 includes 1 house drink

Brant Lyon, host

Please arrive early to make Open Mic sign-up list.

International wordrocker Cyndi Dawson has been mixing up poetry and music on stage, radio, and the NYC club scene since the 80s, when she shook the Soho with artist Rene I.A.T.B.A. Published in over 50 anthologies and mags in the US, UK, Australia and other places, Ivan Kral (Pattie Smith, Iggy and the Stooges) has said her words are “charged with fire, wisdom, but also a child-like wonder.” The night’s performance will include reading from her chap, “Outside Girl” (Poets Wear Prada Press 2010). cyndidawsonwordrocker

Bruce Weber’s No Chance Ensemble, combining the talents of poet-writer Bruce Weber, fiction writer/visual artist Joanne Pagano Weber, poet Bob Hart, and musician Nelson Alexander, have been performing their unique blend of spoken word, dance/movement, acoustic guitar-riffology, and oration since 1996 in venues all over NYC, including Dixon Place, The St. Marks Poetry Project, HERE Theatre, and elsewhere in the metropolitan area. The Ensemble will perform selections from “The Further Adventures of Belinda and Mark”, a collaborative poetic novel written by them and accompanied by Nelson’s brilliantly quirky guitar work.

“POEMusic exploded on the tongue.”

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Nate Wooley, trumpet;  Matt Bauder, tenor saxophone;  Chris Dingman, vibraphone;  Eivind Opsvik, bass;  Harris Eisenstadt, drums, compositions
Harris Eisenstadt and Canada Day image ©Scott Friedlander
"One of the new generation’s leading composers,” AllAboutJazz, Troy Collins, Harris Eisenstadt’s working quintet Canada Day features some of the most distinctive young musicians on the New York scene. Canada Day’s eponymous debut on the Portuguese label Clean Feed made numerous Best of 2009 lists, including the Village Voice, All About Jazz New York, Jazzhouse, WFMU, Ni Kantu, CKUT, Dusted Magazine, and Time Out Lisbon. Days after their gig at Cornelia, the group goes into the studio to record their second record for release summer 2011 on the Songlines label.

“He’s a true jazz composer, without being pretentious about it.” Hank Shteamer, Time Out New York.

 Cover $10 (includes one house drink)

Nov 30
Joe Alterman, piano;  Andrea Veneziani,, bass;  Alex Raderman, drums
Joe Alterman is a jazz pianist whose playing is a joyous throwback to the keyboard stylists of the 1950s. His remarkable debut CD, "Piano Tracks (Vol. 1)," was recorded in 2009 and skillfully revives the art of graceful improvisation. On the album’s five standards, Alterman mixes the tasteful phrasings of Red Garland, Ahmad Jamal, Billy Taylor and other piano legends with his own distinct approach. The result is that classics such as "I Cover the Waterfront," "I’ve Got a Crush On You" and "Days of Wine and Roses" sound perfectly fresh and new.

"Joe Alterman has tremendous taste and a passionate respect for swing and space. His touch on the keyboard is reminiscent of pianists from earlier years who listened carefully, felt expressively and actually cared about what the listener heard. Joe is a remarkable swinger and poet." — Marc Myers,
 Cover $10 (includes one house drink)

Joe Alterman Trio image
Jonathan Kreisberg, guitar;  Will Vinson, saxophone;  Matt Penman, bass;  Mark Ferber, drums
Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet image
With a busy touring schedule and rave reviews from the press and his peers, Jonathan Kreisberg is steadily becoming one of the most exciting new faces on the international Jazz scene. He has studied a wide range of music and performed in many eclectic situations. His compositions have been performed by his group on five continents.

He has performed 20th century works with the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas. He has performed/performs as a sideman in the groups of Dr. Lonnie Smith, Joe Locke, Lee Konitz, Don Friedman, Stefano DiBatista and Ari Hoenig as well as leading his own groups including such notables as Larry Grenadier, Bill stewart and Scott Wendholt. He has released 5 critically acclaimed CD's on the Criss Cross and Mel Bay Labels. The band will be performing music from the upcoming release SHADOWLESS this evening.
 Cover $10 (includes one house drink)

Wednesday Dec 01 6:00PM  FREE RANGE READINGS
Mira Ptacin, host

Sander Hicks Kim Kupperman Darin Strau
A monthly nonfiction reading series that brings together up-and-coming and established writers to share their work with the rest of the world. Freerange practices the method of literary husbandry where the authors are permitted to write, read, and roam freely instead of being constrained by traditional categories or labels of their genre. This principle is to allow the writers as much freedom as possible, to live out their instinctual behaviors in a reasonably natural way, regardless of whether or not they are eventually killed for meat.

Art is a lie that makes us realize truth. -- Pablo Picasso
 Cover $7

Brad Shepik, guitar;  Tom Beckham, vibraphone;  Jorge Roeder, bass;  Mark Guiliana, drums
Brad Shepik Quartet image
Brad Shepik who has spent time in a host of groups led by luminaries (Paul Motian, Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Dave Douglas, Joey Baron, Pachora) will perform with his new quartet music from their upcoming CD “Across the Way” (Songlines).

“Downtown guitarist Brad Shepik goes far too long between albums; the best way to keep tabs on this compelling melodist, nimble improviser and thoughtful composer is to catch him on the bandstand.” Time Out NY
 Cover $10 (includes one house drink)

Dec 02
Robin, Angelo, Tom, & Josh, hosts

This is a monthly opportunity for artists associated with the cafe--from every genre and every generation, past, present, and future--to gather informally, schmooze, re-invent the world, and hoist a glass of quelque chose (the only kind of chose to hoist). Our glorious curators are present, you can buttonhole them to find out what's cooking, you can introduce yourself to other toilers in the vineyard, invent projects and discover collaborators. All are welcome.
Scott Lee, bass, compositions;  Billy Drewes, reeds;  Gary Versace, piano;  Jeff Hirshfield, drums
Scott Lee Group image
Bassist/Composer Scott Lee has been leading a group of close musical friends to experiment in different forms and new ways of improvising. Scott will be performing music from his new cd "Leaving" (Steeplechase Records).

" This is the heart and soul of Jazz and improvised music - Scott, with Billy Drewes, Gary Versace and Jeff Hirshfield, capture your attention and take you places....They are some of my favorite improvisers, Beautiful!" Joe Lovano

"Maybe the annual jazz awards need to add a new category for musicians like Scott Lee. It could be titled "master musicians deserving of wider recognition." Mark Corrotto, All About Jazz
 Cover $10 (includes one house drink)

Dec 03
Ken Filiano, bass;  Frank London , trumpet;  John Rangel, piano
Davida Singer & Friends: Khupe & Beyond image
'khupe' is the hebrew word for marriage canopy.  khupe & beyond is the join of poetry and music (jazz and klezmer), in which each has its own integrity and voice.  The two meet through harmonies and textural blend, expanded by improvisational riffs. Thus, no two performances are exactly alike. There is always the journey but each flight is unique, spontaneous and filled with magic and surprise.

Davida Singer is a poet/performance artist, whose writing is infused with an intensity of rhythm and sounds. She has done numerous performances highlighting improvisation with spoken word and music -- especially jazz and klezmer. Her first collection, Shelter Island Poems (Canio’s Editions), led to a project in collaboration with five musicians (including Frank London & Ken Filiano), titled khupe, which was performed at downtown Manhattan venues, including The Kitchen and Cornelia Street Café. Davida is the recipient of a 2004, 2005 and 2006 Fellowship from the Helen Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. This past summer, as part of the SOMOS Writers Series in Taos, she did an acclaimed poetry performance with Santa Fe pianist and composer John Rangel. She has published in numerous journals, including Feminist Studies, Sinister Wisdom, and Response, and has read extensively in the metropolitan area and elsewhere in the country.  Currently, Davida is editing her soon-to-be-published, 2nd poetry collection, Port of Call, and working on a multimedia play titled The Hospital Class. She teaches creative writing and literature at Hunter College and School of Visual Arts, and has been running a private creative writing workshop for the past 12 years.

Ken Filiano performs throughout the world, playing and recording with leading artists in jazz, spontaneous improvisation, classical, and traditional music, fusing the rich traditions of the double bass with his own seemingly limitless inventiveness. Ken's solo bass CD, subvenire (NineWinds), received unanimous critical praise.  For this and numerous other recordings, critics have called Ken a "creative virtuoso," a "master of technique" . . .  "a paradigm of that type of artist. . . who can play anything in any context and make it work, simply because he puts the music first and leaves peripheral considerations behind." His latest release, Dreams From a Clown Car (Clean Feed), features Ken’s compositions for his quartet with with Michael Attias, Tony Malaby, and Michael T.A. Thompson. Ken is on the faculty of Mansfield University (PA), has a private bass studio at his home in New York, and teaches master classes in bass and improvisation.

Trumpeter/composer Frank London is a member of the Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, and his Klezmer Brass Allstars. He has performed with John Zorn, LL Cool J, Itzhak Perlman, Mel Tormé, Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5, Mark Ribot, Iggy Pop, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gal Costa and others, and is featured on over 300 cds. A Grammy winner, his CD “Carnival Conspiracy” was Rolling Stone’s #1 Non - English Recording of 2006.He has collaborated with musicians from around the world and is known for his large projects that negotiate, blend, meld and integrate cultures and genres. His own recordings include Invocations, Hazonos, Di Shikere Kapelye, Brotherhood of Brass, Nigunim, the Zmiros Project, The Debt, The Shekhina Big Band, the soundtrack to "The Shvitz" and to Pearl Gluck's Divan.

A native New Yorker, pianist and composer John Rangel has been a professional musician for over twenty years.  He has lived in Orlando, where he performed with Nat Adderley, Rosemary Clooney, Sam Rivers, and in Los Angeles, where he worked with Dwight Trible , Marcus Printup, Billy Higgins, Willie Jones III, Phil Vieux, Joe La Barbera, James Leary, and Dr. Art Davis. Some of John's performance highlights include Inntone Jazz Festival in Austria, Carnegie Hall in NY, Royce Hall in LA, Gene Harris Jazz Festival in Idaho, the Playboy Jazz Festival, LA County Museum of Art, MOCA, Central Avenue Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott's and Jazz Café in London, North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, and various venues in Japan. As a composer, John has written hundreds of works ranging from jazz to classical compositions, and his recording of Hillary Smith’s “No Easy Way," won five 2009 New Mexico Music Awards including Cd and Producer of the year. John currently lives in Santa Fe.

$10 cover plus $7 food or drink minimum.
 Cover $10

Jean Carla Rodea, vocals;  Andrew Bishop, reeds;  Dave Ballou, trumpet;  Chris Lightcap, bass;  Gerald Cleaver, drums
Gerald Cleaver Group  image Patricia Lay-Dorsey
Gerald Cleaver, born in Detroit in 1963, began playing drums, trumpet, and violin at an early age. He earned a BA in music education from University of Michigan and, while there, was awarded a National Endowment For The Arts Jazz Study Fellowship to study with Victor Lewis. He worked as a band teacher in Detroit, Lecturer at Michigan State University and Assistant Professor at University of Michigan before relocating to New York. Over the years he has worked with Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Hank Jones, Joe Morris, Craig Taborn, William Parker, and Miroslav Vitous, to name only a few. In 2002, Cleaver's Veil of Names, featuring Mat Maneri, Ben Monder, Andrew Bishop, Craig Taborn, and Reid Anderson, received a Best Debut Recording nomination from the Jazz Journalists Association for their album Adjust. Cleaver also leads the bands Uncle June, Violet Hour, and Farmers By Nature. Cleaver has assembled some of the top musicians to work in this group.

Vocalist Jean Carla Rodea has worked with Joe Morris, William Parker, Joachim Badenhorst, Pascal Niggenkemper, Javier Moreno, Kyoko Kitamura, Devin Gray, Juan Pablo Carletti, and Brian Questa in her groups Jean Carla Rodea's Azares, the Jean Carla Rodea Group, and the Jean Carla Rodea Trio.

Composer and trumpeter Dave Ballou has performed and/or recorded with Kevin Norton, Andrew Hill, Dave Liebman, Oliver Lake, Steely Dan, Drew Gress, Tom Rainey, Tony Malaby, John Hollenbeck, Mario Pavone, Karl Berger, Daniel Levin, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Spokane Symphony and many others.

Composer, saxophonist, and clarinetist Andrew Bishop has worked with Karl Berger, Drew Gress, Chris Lightcap, Mat Maneri, Tony Malaby, John Zorn, The Either Orchestra, and many others.

Bassist and composer Chris Lightcap has collaborated with Marc Ribot, Regina Carter, Craig Taborn, Mark Turner, Joe Morris, Sheila Jordan, James Carter, Butch Morris, Ben Monder and Tom Harrell. Since 1998 he has also led his own groups and produced two critically acclaimed albums of original music for the Spanish label Fresh Sound New Talent, “Lay-Up”, and “Big Mouth”.
 Cover $10 (includes one house drink)

Dec 04
Andy Christie, host

MARTIN DOCKERY , "Fantastic!" - The NY Times ;  PETER LUBELL , IFC producer ;  OPHIRA EISENBERG , Comedy Central; VH1 ;  JIM OGRADY , NY Times; Moth GrandSlam Champion ;  with host ANDY CHRISTIE , NY TIMES; NPR
Seek Truth. Get a T-Shirt.

4 Storytellers, 3 True Stories, 1 Pack of Lies. Uncover the liar and win a prize worth its weight in fool's gold.

 Cover $15 (includes one house drink)

Joel Harrison, guitar;  Zach Brock, violin;  Donny McCaslin, saxophones;  Dana Leong, cello;  Gary Versace, piano;  Stephan Crump, bass;  Clarence Penn, drums
Joel Harrison Septet: Singularity image
Guitarist, composer, and Guggenheim Fellow Joel Harrison debuts a new project this fall entitled Singularity, featuring a septet of top-notch New York jazz musicians, including Zach Brock (violin), Donny McCaslin (saxophone), Dana Leong (cello), Gary Versace (piano), Stephan Crump (bass), and Clarence Penn (drums). These new compositions were commissioned by Chamber Music America’s “New Works” program.

Harrison’s compositional influences span the globe. It’s only appropriate then, that for the Singularity jazz project, he’s made use of techniques employed by classical composers like John Adams, Charles Ives, and Olivier Messiaen. Singularity merges Harrison’s wealth of experience in jazz and world styles with his longstanding interest in contemporary composition to create a sound that’s often described as “chamber jazz”.

Singularity has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America’s 2009 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
 Cover $15 (includes one house drink)

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