See the previous week's performances.  December 04-December 11, 2009 See the next week's performances.

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Dec 04
Kat Georges, host

Feature: Maria Gregorio
The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Maria Gregorio writes in a subtly sensual tone, covering the themes of loss, love, family, relationships, violence in the home and in the world. She also brings issues of politics, race and immigration into a vivid palate which pushes us to consider the point of view of the poem, weather one agrees with it or not. Gregorio published three poems in Voices of Brooklyn: Writings from the Women of Color Writers’ Workshop, published by Face2Face press in September 2000. In November 2000, she was awarded honorarium by the New School University Writing Program and was a featured poet for the publication. She works as a social worker and has performed her poetry to a wide range of audiences in London and New York City. She has recently recorded a CD of her work.
 Cover $7

Ellery Eskelin, tenor saxophone;  Oscar Noriega, alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet;  Terrence McManus, guitar;  Kermit Driscoll , el/ac bass;  Gerry Hemingway, drums
Gerry Hemingway quintet image photo by Lucy McManus
The quintet appearing on December 4th has evolved from Hemingway's long standing compositional platform that began in 1985 with the recording of "Outerbridge Crossing" and has enjoyed numerous incarnations while retaining its penchant for an integrative compositional/improvisational ensemble approach. What that adds up to is a compositional practice that has refined a way to frame the individual member's unique sonic, interpretive and improvisational vocabulary with pieces that are detailed, structured and rich with content. The character of the music is multi-faceted, from coloristic subtlety to visceral intensity, sometimes the groove is deep and other times the rhythmic interplay is elaborate and mischievous.

The quintet will be premiering new material as well as presenting some re-arrangments of previous quintet material for this new instrumentation and personnel which combines players from ongoing & previous quartet and quintet projects. The group will be going in to the recording studio the following morning.

"Hemingway is going where few jazz musicians have gone before, and he's doing it with rare intelligence and musical sophistication. In fact, this album is so good, I'm inspired to dust off the most hackneyed two-word phrase in the critic's lexicon: "highly recommended." Seldom has its use been more apt."
Chris Kelsey, CounterCurrents - JazzTimes

"This finely attuned fivesome under the percussionist's leadership developed a powerful group empathy without submerging individual qualities. At their best, the band eschews conventional fireworks for a deft ensemble cohesion and interaction."
- Art Lange collaborations with some of the world’s most outstanding improvisers and composers including Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Anthony Davis, George Lewis, Derek Bailey, Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Kenny Wheeler, Frank Gratkowski, John Cale, Marilyn Crispell, Michael Moore and many others.
 Cover $10

Dec 05
Andy Christie

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.

With stories by

JEFF SIMMERMON - NPR'S "This American Life"

ELICIA BERGER - Huffington Post

CARTER EDWARDS - Upright Citizens Brigade

LESLIE GOSHKO - Manhattan Monologue Slam Champion


 Cover $12 (includes one house drink)

Todd Neufeld, guitar;  Michael Adkins, saxophone;  Loren Stillman, saxophone;  Russ Lossing, piano;  Billy Mintz, drums;  Aidan O'Donnell, bass
Michael Adkins Group image
"An important new voice has arrived." -Le JazzHot

"Certainly one of the most innovative young saxophonists in jazz today." -UK JazzWise

" A jazz composer to watch." -Stuart Broomer

"When one hears Michael Adkins for the first time, there’s a certain shock, not just at the presence of a new voice but that such a musician might arrive fully formed. There’s something unexpected in the sheer weight of his sound and depths of meaning that impinge in his lines."
 Cover $10

Dec 06
Roald Hoffmann

Entertaining Science -- YOU SEE WHAT YOUR BRAIN WANTS YOU TO SEE image

Do we see what is real? Or is what we see a construction of our brain? What convinces us that what seems so, is in fact so? The eyes are notorious liars. We are repeatedly fooled by appearances. The more we learn about the brain, the more it appears that what we take as reality is indeed construed by the brain.

Anna Ipata, of the Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University, will tell us how the brain discounts much visual information, and selects only what it needs to obtain a certain kind of knowledge of the world.

Apposite music will be provided by PewPew and the QQ's, a New York garage band that demonstrates what happens when neuroscientists stop paying attention to their science.
 Cover $10

Mark Helias, bass;  Gerry Hemingway, drums;  Ray Anderson, trombone
Bass-Drum-Bone image
BassDrumBone, now enjoying it's 32nd year of performing their collective and diverse repertoire of original work together will make an all too rare appearance Sunday December 6th at the earlier starting time of 8:30. The longevity of this trio seems to retains it strength from the individual evolution of these three bandleader/composer's music which ranges from hard swinging blues and second line to the far reaches of color, texture and rigorous compositional structure. The gazillions of miles this trio accrued playing for audiences all over the world has heightened what began as a natural and immediate chemistry in 1977. For more on the band's voluminous history visit The music will draw from this history and feature some of their newer works commissioned by Chamber Music America
 Cover $10
Dec 07
Tulis McCall, host

Actors, poets, car dealers, defrocked clergy, bond traders, everyone has a brief in-character story to tell.
 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
Dec 08
Barbara Aliprantis

New York Story Exchange image
Storytelling occurs the second Tuesday of every month.

FORMAT: A night of cameos, including one by the illustrious curator/host of this series BARBARA ALIPRANTIS

This December eve gathering will feature a cornacopia of poignant, heartwarming stories, including The Christmas Truce (a WWI peace story) with a great message for modern times!

ERICA LANN-CLARK grew up listening to stories. Born on the eve of the Holocaust, baby Erica escaped with her Viennese Jewish family across an ocean and landed in Brooklyn’s cultural hotbed. Her immigrant mama and papa spun passionate tales to bring their history alive with tears and gales of laughter. Everything that happened was seed for a future story. These memories inspire Erica's powerful stories. She tells to honor the past and bless the future.

KURT GERSTMANN was smuggled out of Germany through a network of Catholic safe houses to the Holy Land prior to WWII. At the age of 14 he joined the Hagana Underground and at 16 joined the just born Israeli Army. After Medical Studies in Switzerland, he immigrated to the US where he spent his adult life as a Pathologist in the NYC area. His stories are drawn from that background and are in turn funny and poignant.

JIM HAWKINS, beloved Irish-American Storyteller/Actor/Musician and gifted teacher, charms audiences and lifts our spirits with his stories and songs, including memories of his childhood spent in the Midlands of Ireland and on the stoops and concrete sidewalks of Astoria, Queens.

ELIZABETH ROWE, storyteller/actor/writer and teacher, performs in English and French! Her repertoire includes a rich blend of family stories, world folktales, myths, legends and literary stories. Tonight she’ll tell her Scottish father's first hand account of The Christmas Truce (a WWI peace story).

"'Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost, so bitter hung. The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung..." - Christmas in The Trenches, Words & Music by John McCutcheon

"...Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write for only in such response do we find truth." - Madeleine L'Engle (Reflections on a Writing Life)

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Liam Sillery, trumpet;  Matt Blostein, alto saxophone;  Jesse Stacken, piano;  Michael Bates, bass;  Vinnie Sperrazza, drums
Liam Sillery's Outskirts image
Trumpeter Liam Sillery/ Outskirts seeks the aural confines outside of the comfortable ordinary. He extends this journey in the title of his third OA2 release, Outskirts. This disc is about exacting composition within non-standard time signatures, making for craggy, inventive music that satisfies without bewildering. It is an evolution from his previous On The Fly (OA2, 2005) and Minor Changes (OA2, 2004) where Sillery's stark, tart trumpet chips precise pieces from the compositions he is sculpting. Alto saxophonist Matt Blotstein likewise follows Sillery with a precise and defined tone; nevertheless providing Sillery is musical foil. Sillery's rhythm section is top notch, as would be required for such richly complex music.

“Sillery, although influenced a little by Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, and Wynton Marsalis, has his own approach and displays lots of potential.”
-Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
 Cover $10

Ted Jonathan, host

Leslieann Hobayan Shya Scanlon Douglas Treem
Our end of year bonus to all our poetry mavens, NYQuarterly hosts two events this month.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Valerie Ghent

Celia Chavez Valerie Ghent Amanda Homi Bernard Davis
The Songwriter's Beat 9th Anniversary Concert image

Tonight we celebrate the 9th Anniversary of The Songwriter's Beat with performances by Amanda Homi, Celia Chavez, Valerie Ghent & Bernard Davis.

In the past nine years, over 280 songwriters, five week-long festivals and hundreds of new songs have graced The Songwriter's Beat stage! Tonight we enter our 10th year of presenting top performing songwriters in the intimate and supportive listening environment found only at The Cornelia Street Cafe.

More information on tonight's performers:

Amanda Homi

Celia Chavez

Valerie Ghent

Bernard Davis

The Songwriter's Beat is New York's premiere performing songwriter series. Hosted and founded by Valerie Ghent, four up-and-coming songwriters perform new material in a supportive and intimate atmosphere. This month's celebration evening features Amanda Homi, Valerie Ghent, and special guests.

Founded in 2000, The Songwriter's Beat has presented over 275 songwriters from the Tri-State area as well as visiting songwriters from other parts of the United States, Canada, France, the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Cuba and Japan. Every third Wednesday of the month, four songwriters of varying musical styles perform original songs and are encouraged to try out their newest material and arrangements. The series culminates in a week-long songwriters festival each July, featuring performers from throughout the years.

The Songwriter's Beat welcomes songwriters from around the world, so when planning your trip to New York, allow time for The Songwriter's Beat!

The Songwriter's Beat is honored to receive support from The ASCAP Foundation.

 Cover $10

Dec 10
P J Escobio, host

Carey Van Driest Shad Ramsey Marni Penning P. J. Escobio
Shakespeare Anyone? image
Strange Bedfellows is the theme this go around.

We'll be looking at the literal (Cleopatra's death, and Marina's first night at the Brothel) and the metaphorical (The Tempest's clowns, and the Roman triumvirate from Ceasar), plenty of odd relationships (Richard and Anne, Kate and Petruchio, Bertram and Diana) and of course a surprise or two!

The Shakespeare Anyone? Players have collectively performed in over 75 productions of and have over 50 years experience with the Bard.

So come and join us for some mirth and mayhem!
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

David Devoe, host

Andy Bey, voice, piano;  Joe Martin, bass;  Vito Lesczak , drums
Gnu Vox: Andy Bey image
After a twenty two year absence from recording Andy Bey returned with four albums that have become a permanent part of the musical landscape. The 2005 Grammy Nominated American Song is a delicious celebration of one of America’s great gifts to the music world: The American Songbook. On his latest release Ain’t Necessarily So Bey brings the energy of live performance to compositions by the gods of American Songwriting. Insiders have always known about Andy Bey. Given his limited output of studio recordings, live performances were the source of Bey’s reputation as singer. Aretha Franklin reminisces about the nights when Andy and The Bey Sisters worked the Village in New York: “Soon as I finished my gig I’d run over to hear them. Andy never got the recognition he deserved . . . jazz originals . . . brilliant and precious.” Like the playground legend who never made it to the NBA, Andy Bey was almost consigned to the fading murmurs of those who caught him in Paris in ‘59, or Birdland in the mid ‘60s. There are few left who remember when Lena, Nina and Carmen crowded into Harlem’s Shalimar to hear Bey light it up. That tantalizing footage of Andy Bey and his sisters delighting a crowd of Parisian partygoers in the Chet Baker documentary Let’s Get Lost, gives us a clue of the years of brilliance that were never committed to vinyl. One can only imagine what we’ve missed. But, we have been blessed with four records that have changed how we think of Jazz vocals. Decades intervened between those after hours below the radar sessions and the 1996 recordings presented on Ain’t Necessarily So. But the vivid performances haven’t dimmed. Like so many before him, British vocalist Jamie Cullum described what it’s like to fall under Bey’s spell: “Andy Bey was at Ronnie Scott’s and I saw him six nights in a row. I got into a huge amount of debt going to see Andy Bey. What I love about him is that he creates an atmosphere. As soon as he opens his mouth, you’re transported to another place.”

 Cover $15

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

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