See the previous week's performances.  December 11-December 18, 2009 See the next week's performances.

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Dec 11
Jackie Sheeler, host

Dawson/Scott, music and spoken word
Son of Pony image
The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Tony Malaby, saxophones;  Ingebrigt Hacker Flatten, bass;  Eivind Opsvik, bass;  Tyshawn Sorey, drums
Tony Malaby's double Heart  image
This is what Andrey Henkin, All About Jazz wrote about their last appearance at the cafe in April:

The heart and pulse are often used as musical symbols for beat and rhythm. Make then what you will of saxophonist Tony Malaby's Exploding Heart with William Parker and Nasheet Waits. His Double Heart Band, a conceptual variation of that group as well as his recent Cello Trio, performed a remarkable set at Cornelia Street Cafe Apr. 12th. That it was Easter Sunday may have subconsciously contributed to the solemnity of some of the music but more likely it was Malaby laying back, reveling in the double double basses of Norwegians Eivind Opsvik and Ingebrigt Hacker Flaten, two sides of the same kroner. When Malaby plays a set (solely on tenor in this case) with his eyes mostly shut, listeners should know they are seeing him at his most focused. That was the case during the first set as he either floated nebulously over the dense weave of the two uprights, communed with one or the other or just stood motionless, smiling at the thrum. Drummer Tom Rainey laid his rhythms adroitly between Flaten and Opsvik, punctuating Malaby's lines. Visually, the quartet seemed like a plane: Malaby in the cockpit, Rainey the crucial tailfin, the two bassists coasting through the air currents. The material was taken from the albums featuring Exploding Heart (Flaten subbed for Parker on a tour) and Cello Trio as well as four new pieces. Apart from the opener, the rest of the 65-minute set was played as a delicious medley, Malaby more interesting in braising than flambéing.
--Andrey Henkin, All About Jazz, May 2009
 Cover $10

Dec 12
Maria Lisella, Gil Fagiani, hosts

Italian American Writers Association, featured readers are: Michael Steffen & Barbara Fragoletti Hoffman, plus dynamic open mic, 5 minute limit.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Tony Malaby, tenor saxophone;  Drew Gress, bass;  Tom Rainey, drums;  John Hollenbeck, drums

Tony Malaby's Apparitions featuring two drummers — Tom Rainey and John Hollenbeck — along with a bassist, Drew Gress

....."The process began a couple of years ago when he performed several times with two drummers and loved it: "It's just the most comfortable couch, or like taking a warm bath, just being surrounded by that sound and falling into it." He soon knew who the band was going be; having played together a lot in various other combinations, they already had a shared vocabulary to build on. They worked with Tony's structural concepts more than with written-out compositions: "I decided to try to create platforms for my favorite 'zones' that we'd developed or would hit on. So for example, a multi-layered zone where the four of us are each playing in our own pulse or dimension in time, or a very transparent zone where it's cymbals/mallets/brushes and I'm playing flute-like and Drew's playing arco. And the question is: how am I going to get this into a composition, how am I going to structure it?"
- read more:
- listen:
 Cover $10

Dec 13
Angelo Verga, host

Nelida Tirado, dancer;  Pedro Cortes Jr. , guitar;  David M Castellano , Singer/Guitarist
Nelida Tirado Flamenco image
A beautiful dancer, an intimate setting, our new stage gets the work out it deserves. ole!

Nelida Tirado recently hailed as “magnificent” from The New York Times is known for her intense grace and powerful style. She began her formal training at Ballet Hispanico of NY, training in classical ballet, graham, Spanish dance/ flamenco. At 19 she toured the US with Jose Molina Bailes Espanoles. She was a soloist and dance captain of Carlota Santana’s “Flamenco Vivo and an original member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Spanish Ballet in Franco Zeferelli’s production of “Carmen”. Her studies led her to Spain where performed in World Music Institue’s “Gypsy Caravan 1” with Antonio El Pipa and was soloist /dance captain of “Compania Maria Pages” performing throughout Europe, Asia and the Flamenco Festival USA 2001 and 2002. Upon arrival to the US, shes worked with Noche Flamenca, and was featured solo flamenco dancer in “Riverdance On Broadway”. She was awarded the BRIO award 2007 for artistic excellence from Bronx Council of the Arts and featured in Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” for 2007.

As a self-taught singer, David M Castellano has established himself in the United States as one of the top flamenco singers. He began singing and playing professionally since the age of 20. His world-wide performances include a variety of musical venues and theaters in places such as Mexico, Paris, India, Russia, Puerto Rico and Israel to name a few. His talent has led him to perform with such great artists such as Pilar Rioja (The Queen of Spanish Dance), middle eastern pop fusion group - Alabina, Omayra Amaya, Nelida Tirado and Carlota Santana Flamenco Vivo as well as television spots and commercial compositions. In the past four years, he has also been musical director of Flamenco Si, a New Jersey based theater company. Currently David resides in New York and performs locally and world wide.

 Cover $15 (includes one house drink)

Tony Malaby , tenor saxophone;  Angelica Sanchez, piano;  Tom Rainey, drums
Malaby-Sanchez-Rainey image
Even without settling into typical rhythmic patterns or harmonic frameworks, the trio manages to insinuate forward momentum with a linear logic that reveals abstract lyricism. Working collectively, Malaby's horn stands on equal footing with Sanchez's electric piano, and Rainey's drums provide as much harmonic color and texture as they do fluctuating rhythm. Conversational in the extreme, this is one trio that listens as well as it plays.
Troy Collins on Malaby-Sanchez-Rainey
 Cover $10
Dec 14
Angelo Verga, host

Eric Plaks , piano;  Vincent Chancey, french horn;  Barry Wallenstein, poet;  Chris Brandt, guest poet;  & Guest Musicians (TBA)
Barry Wallenstein & freinds image
Back from a well deserved respite Professor Wallenstein previews his latest book of poems.

 Cover $12 (includes one house drink)

Jed Distler, host

Jenny Lin, piano;  Charles Williams, voice;  Tom Teasley, percussion
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.

Jenny Lin, piano solo.
"She has it all: intelligence, technique, imagination, curiosity, expressive intensity, and a willingness to take risks." -David Hurwitz,
More info:

Word-Beat is singer-actor Charles Williams and global-jazz percussionist Tom Teasley
"Their collaboration transcends form and culture, radiating a universal power and hope." - Mike Joyce, Washington Post
More info:

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

Dec 15
Liz Sherman, host

Susan Buttenwieser Patricia Lawler Kenet Betty Shamieh
New York's venerable urban writers' colony presents a monthly reading of new work.

Susan Buttenwieser's fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in 3am, KGB Literary Magazine, Failbetter and other publications. She has been awarded several fiction fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and teaches writing in organizations for underserved communities including incarcerated women and youth at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and Rikers Island. Susan will be reading an excerpt from her novel, The Mystery Year.

Patricia Lawler Kenet was a practicing attorney in the field of litigation before she set her sights on literary pursuits. She began her career as a journalist working for The Las Vegas Sun and then worked in television and broadcasting, specializing in medical reporting for New Jersey Network Public Television, Court TV and Medical News Network. She is the author of two non-fiction books, Saving Your Skin and How to Wash Your Face. In addition she has written essays for The New York Times and New York Newsday. She has a column, "Booktot," on She is working on a memoir entitled Crossing the Delaware and a legal thriller, South Broad.

Betty Shamieh is a playwright and performer. Her recent off-Broadway productions include The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop) and Roar (The New Group). She will be reading an excerpt from her solo show, The Alter-Ego of an Arab-American Assimilationist.

 Cover $7

Sherry Weaver, host

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

George Wallace, host

Martha Arboleda Karen Blomain Andrew Kaufman
George also conducts a spirited open mic.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Jason Rigby , tenor saxophone;  Cameron Brown, bass;  Gerald Cleaver, drums
Jason Rigby Trio image
Jason Rigby has been hailed as “a truly lyrical musician" and "New York's rising star of tenor sax." His unique voice deftly combines many influences – critics recognize the creative mindset of Wayne Shorter, the energy of John Coltrane, and the elasticity and compositional style of Ornette Coleman and Paul Motian – emerging as something wholly new, compelling and yet recognizable. His leader releases "Translucent Space" (2006) and "The Sage" (2009), Fresh Sound Records, received stellar reviews and feature Rigby originals in a larger format, the latter of a quintet. This TRIO outing features a whole new collection of compositions penned exclusively for this band, and brings forth a fresh expression of the celebrated tradition of tenor trio.

"...the saxophonist's quintet sustains a daunting finesse while swinging full tilt on the new The Sage."
- Jim Macnie, The Village Voice
 Cover $10

Dec 17
Golda Solomon, host

Po'Jazz image

 Cover $15 (includes one house drink)
David Devoe, host

Amanda Baisinger, voice;  Mike Moreno, guitar;  Pete Rende, piano;  Peter Slavov, bass;  Jordan Perlson, drums
Gnu Vox: Amanda Baisinger  image
Amanda Baisinger has vivid recollections of a concert she sang at age 11 in her living room. That was the beginning of a passion for music that led her from her hometown of Sunnyvale, CA to Berklee College of Music, where she received a degree in Professional Music. Since then, Baisinger has moved to New York City where she performs regularly with her band at venues such as the Rockwood Music Hall, 55 Bar, The Cutting Room and Cornelia Street Café. In 2005, she released Short Songs, an album of original music featuring an all-star cast of emerging New York jazz musicians. Baisinger’s songs are poetic expressions of personal experiences, her mellow combination of jazz and pop create a warm and romantic atmosphere. Her influences range from Milton Nacimento to Billie Holiday but her singing style and story telling are most reminiscent of Joni Mitchell.
 Cover $10
Dec 18
Kat Georges, host

Feature: Jaqueline Leon & whoever reads a Neruda poem , will receive a green pen
Son of Pony image
The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Jacqueline Leon was born in Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico. Since kindergarden, even before she knew how to read, she would memorize poems and recite. In elementary school and secondary school, she was chosen for to read in poetry contests, and won a few awards. She was also selected to recite poetry at numerous festivals. She moved to Cancun in her 20s and started writing her own poems. In 2002, she moved to New York, and within a few years, began reading her work at numerous local venues. "I like to write about my experiences on life, try to laugh at the bad, and analyze and investigate things, from love and passion to injustice."

Chilean-born poet Pablo Neruda is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century. He always wrote in green ink because it was the color of Esperanza (hope). Celebrate hope for the new year at the final Son of a Pony reading of 2009 by sharing your favorite Neruda poem in English or Spanish or both. Everyone who reads a Neruda poem will receive a green pen.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Gerald Cleaver, drums;  Chris Lightcap, bass;  Ben Waltzer, piano;  JD Allen, tenor saxophone
Gerald Cleaver and Violet Hour image
Gerald Cleaver and Violet Hour
Drummer and composer Gerald Cleaver Cleaver and this two-tenor version of Violet Hour play new music and selections from their latest Fresh Sound New Talent release, “Gerald Cleaver’s Detroit”. This music is inspired by the soulful power and grandeur of The American Industrial City. This version of VH features , JD Allenon tenor saxophone on friday, and Wayne Escoffery,tenor saxophone on Saturday
 Cover $10
Drum kit donated by

See the previous week's performances. PREVIOUS WEEK         Scheduled performances from December 11-December 18, 2009         NEXT WEEK See the next week's performances.

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