See the previous week's performances.  March 30-April 06, 2009 See the next week's performances.

See the previous week's performances. March, 2009 See the next week's performances.
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* Cover is given where known

* There is a one-drink
minimum per set
* Reservations for shows downstairs can only be made by phone:


Mar 30
Angelo Verga, host

Phil Fried, editor, poet
Book Party & Reading image
Longtime editor of Manhattan Review presents his new book of poems,"Cohort," a sonnet sequence for the digital age.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Amanda Monaco, guitar, compositions;  Michaël Attias, alto & baritone saxophone;  Sean Conly , bass ;  Tony Moreno, drums
Amanda Monaco's Deathblow image
Playing guitar has led Amanda Monaco to perform at the Blue Note, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Birdland, Tonic, Joe’s Pub, and the JVC Jazz Festival, as well as other venues in the United States and Europe. Amanda’s new CD, "I Think I’ll Keep You", was released in Japan on LateSet Records in January 2009 and is available for download from iTunes and

"Playfully restive compositions" - The New York Times "A cliché-free, inventive player" - Jazz Times

Mar 31
Kate Gale, host

Lyn Lifshin Brendan Constantine Jamey Hecht Amy Lemmon
Lyn Lifshin has written more than 125 books and edited 4 anthologies of women writers. Her poems have appeared in most poetry and literary magazines in the U.S.A, and her work has been included in virtually every major anthology of recent writing by women. She has given more than 700 readings across the U.S.A. and has appeared at Dartmouth and Skidmore colleges, Cornell University, the Shakespeare Library, Whitney Museum, and Huntington Library. Lyn Lifshin has also taught poetry and prose writing for many years at universities, colleges and high schools, and has been Poet in Residence at the University of Rochester, Antioch, and Colorado Mountain College. Winner of numerous awards including the Jack Kerouac Award for her book Kiss The Skin Off, Lyn is the subject of the documentary film Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass. For her absolute dedication to the small presses which first published her, and for managing to survive on her own apart from any major publishing house or academic institution, Lifshin has earned the distinction "Queen of the Small Presses." Her most recent collection Persephone was published by Red Hen Press in 2008.

Brendan Constantine was born in Los Angeles and grew up there, the second child of two working actors. Before pursuing his MFA degree at Vermont college Constantine had already toured the US and Europe. His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Ploughshares, The Los Angeles Review, Artlife, The Cortland Review, The Cider Press Review, Directions, RUNES, and the LA Times Best-seller The Underground Guide To Los Angeles. The creator of Industrial Poetry, a workshop for adults and teens struggling with writer's block, Constantine is currently poet in residence at both the Windward School in west Los Angeles and the Idyllwild Arts Summer Youth Writing program. His first official book-length collection, Letters To Guns, is due out this Spring from Red Hen Press. He is a three time finalist for the National Poetry Series and in 2002 was nominated by the Poetry Super Highway for poet laureate of the state of California.

Jamey Hecht was born in 1968, between the murders of Dr. King and RFK. He's the author of Plato's Symposium: Eros and the Human Predicament (Twayne, 1999) and a translation, Sophocles' Three Theban Plays: Antigone, Oedipus the Tyrant, Oedipus at Colonus (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature, 2004). He has edited the books Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil by Michael C. Ruppert, and Someone Would Have Talked: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Conspiracy to Mislead History by Larry Hancock. Hecht's poetry and prose have been published in a variety of scholarly journals and literary magazines.

Amy Lemmon is the author of two poetry collections: Fine Motor (Sow's Ear Poetry Review Press, 2008) and Saint Nobody (Red Hen Press, 2009). Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Verse, Court Green, The Journal, Barrow Street, and many other magazines and anthologies. Amy holds a PhD in English/Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati. She is Associate Professor of English at the Fashion Institute of Technology and lives with her two children in Astoria, Queens. ,

Greg Ruggiero, guitar, compositions;  Frank LoCrasto, piano;  Chris Tordini, bass;  Tommy Crane, drums
Greg Ruggiero Group image
Tonight features two young bandleaders/composers, first
9PM Greg Ruggiero Group
- Playing some of Greg's Original compositions, A fresh sound for the new generation of guitarist, and listeners a like...

Warm and liquid, the music of jazz guitarist Greg Ruggiero slides into the ear so easily, you don’t notice until it’s already had its way with you. The first signs include a slowing of the breath, a relaxed attentiveness and a heightened awareness of one’s blessings.
- WEEKLY ALIBI ARTICLE V.16 No.50 | December 13 - 19, 2007 Albuquerque, New Mexico
 Cover $8

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

Hsin-ya Chow Mary Ellen Marks Vijay Seshadri Abigail Thomas
What exactly is creative non-fiction? Think Joan Didion, Matt Talibi. Think Mira Ptacin.

This installment of April's Freerange Readings will be quite extraordinary! We'll be featuring the very talented writers Hsin-ya Chow and Mary Ellen Marks, as well as my yogi Vijay Seshadri, former editor at The New Yorker; essayist and book reviewer in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Threepenny Review, The American Scholar,and author of Wild Kingdom and The Long Meadow (poetry collections).

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!!! We are blessed to have Abigail Thomas, author of Safekeeping; A Three Dog Life; and Thinking About Memoir join us as well! By the way, A Three Dog Life was chosen one of the best books of 2006 by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. It will be a night more memorable than your high school prom.

Hsin-ya Chow has worked for magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Time Out NY, and Luck. She was a ghost writer for Xaviera Hollander’s Penthouse column “Call Me Madam.” For money, she has held a series of dumb jobs like coat checking in clubs, cleaning apartments, and hostessing at the Soho Grand Hotel. She lives in the East Village with three cats.

Mary Ellen Marks is the Nonfiction Editor of Lumina, the Sarah Lawrence Literary Journal, and she works for the college as a Student Admissions Liaison. Her nonfiction piece, Child of the Sea, is published in the University of California at Santa Barbara’s 2008 Spectrum Anthology. She’s writing a memoir that chronicles her former experiences as a dental hygienist and college instructor. Raised on the island Walt Whitman affectionately calls Paumanok, she’d always rather be at the beach. A 2009 Creative Nonfiction MFA candidate at Sarah Lawrence College, she currently resides in Rockland County, New York with her husband of thirty-four years and their two children.

Vijay Seshadri was born in India and came to the United States in 1959, at the age of five. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and has lived in many parts of the country, including the Northwest, where he spent five years working in the fishing industry, and the Upper West Side, where he was a sometime graduate student in Columbia’s Ph.D. program in Middle Eastern Languages and Literature.He is the author of Wild Kingdom and The Long Meadow (poetry collections); former editor at The New Yorker; essayist and book reviewer in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Threepenny Review, The American Scholar, and various literary quarterlies; recipient of the James Laughlin Prize of the Academy of American Poets, MacDowell Colony’s Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement, The Paris Review’s Bernard F. Conners Long Poem Prize, New York Foundation for the Arts grant, National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial fellowship and area studies fellowships from Columbia University.

Abigail Thomas has published two short story collections, a novel, and three memoirs: Safekeeping; A Three Dog Life; and Thinking About Memoir (which is kind of a how-to). A Three Dog Life was chosen one of the best books of 2006 by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. She teaches privately and does the occasional summer gig.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Daniel Carter, saxophones, clarinet, flute, trumpet;  James Keepnews, acoustic guitar;  Rebecca Schmoyer, classical guitar;  Izzi Ramkissoon, bass and laptop;  Gonzalo Martinez de la Cotera, drums;  Rami ElAsser, Egyptian percussion;  Cristian Amigo, electric guitars and soundcapes
Cristian Amigo presents: Chemistry Set and Kingdom of Jones image

Chemistry Set

Chemistry Set is a new improvising chamber trio featuring:

Rebecca Schmoyer - classical guitar
James Keepnews - acoustic guitar
Daniel Carter - saxophones, clarinet, flute and trumpet

Rebecca Schmoyer has previously performed as an electric guitarist in the noise band 5Chin400 and in the ensemble The Aquartet with Sabir Mateen on reeds and featuring Schmoyer's 5Chin bandmates Paul Geluso on bass and Michael Lopez on drums. More recently, Schmoyer has as performed in master classes with classical guitarists Dominic Frasca, Laura Oltman and Ana Vidovic and is also a member of the Harry Partch Ensemble.

James Keepnews leads the groups People's Revolutionary Party and Stalker. He is best known as an electric guitarist who improvises in computer-interactive contexts, but he began life as a guitarist as a student of Guitar Craft, performing with such NYC-based Crafty ensembles as The New York Chapter of Crafty Guitarists, Chapter Two and The New York Guitar Project. This debut performance with Chemistry Set will be Keepnews' first public performance on acoustic guitar in over 15 years.

Daniel Carter is one of the legendary masters of creative music. Born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania in 1945. He has performed or recorded over the past three decades with such artists as: Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Billy Bang, William Parker, Roy Campbell, Sabir Mateen, Sonic Youth, Simone Forti, Joan Miller, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Nayo Takasaki, Earl Freeman, Dewey Johnson, Nami Yamamoto, Matthew Shipp, Billy Martin, John Medeski, Wilber Morris, Denis Charles, Butch Morris, TEST, Other Dimensions In Music, One World Ensemble, Saturnalia String Trio, Levitation Unit, Wet Paint and countless others.

- more info: 9:45PM

Cristian Amigo and Kingdom of Jones.

Guggenheimer Cristian Amigo (Innova Recordings) has distinguished himself as a guitarist and creator of innovative music ranging from string quartets through Latin music through opera. Tonight, Amigo leads the improv-heavy Kingdom of Jones ensemble through planes of soulful sounds. Come recognize yourself in Jone's joyful din. Izzi Ramkissoon: bass and laptop; Gonzalo Martinez de la Cotera: drums, Rami ElAsser:Egyptian percussion; Amigo: electric guitars and soundcapes.

" Guitarist-composer Cristian Amigo straddles the contemporary-classical, improv and rock worlds; no wonder he calls his Kingdom of Jones a “new music jam-band.” During any given performance, Messiaen grapples with Led Zeppelin while Perez Prado teaches Stravinsky to mambo."

“ I kind of hate myself for digging this abrasive clatter [War is Good for Business] because it’s galaxies away from my Beatles- and Beethoven-forged sense of composition. But it rocks real hard against its orchestra of bloops and bleeps, and then breaks down to a mournful sound collage. A great theme for Halliburton’s symphony of opportunism."

-“Blistering guitar work”
 Cover $10

Apr 02
Robin, Angelo, Poul, and David, 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.
David Devoe, host

Zack Foley , voice;  Jesse Elder, piano;  Chris Tordini, bass;  Tyshawn Sorey, drums;  Cecilia Stalin, voice
Gnu Vox: Zack Foley and Cecilia Stalin image
Zack Foley grew up singing in community theaters, school and church choirs, coffee shops and country clubs. He graduated from the Highschool for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas, and went on to study with the fabulous Peter Eldridge at the Manhattan School of Music. After years of exploring different avant garde styles, Zack has returned to the roots of vocal jazz, singing standards 3 nights a week at Destino, a lovely Itialian bar and eatery with the amazing pianist/composer Jesse Elder. As a side project, he uses a vocal effects proccessor to take his voice down an octave and shave off 'vocal' sounds so he may function as a bassist. Zack is the musical director of The Family Tree CoLLective, an up and coming group of artsists/friends who create original theatrical works intimately fused with live, jazz oriented music.

Cecilia Stalín, who got her largest breakthrough in her collaboration with the nu-jazz duo Koop and their song ‘Waltz for Koop’ which was made soundtrack to Woody Allens film Match Point, has worked in different constellations over her years in the business, amongst them Charles Tolliver Big band. First and foremost she has focused on her own ensembles; She recorded her debut cd ‘Straight Up’, as soon as she was done with college, with her Swedish quintet in 2005 witch was released in Japan and USA in 2006. At the same time she has been involved in a large number of different collaborations and this combined has given her an international breakthrough. In her music, Cecilia Stalín explores genres like nu-jazz and bop/swing through the more classical traditions. Her voice is her trademark and differs through a wide spectra off closeness and fragility to great willpower.
 Cover $10

Apr 03
Kathi Georges, host

Son of Pony image
The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Feature: Ben Mazer

Ben Mazer's poems have appeared in Fulcrum, Harvard Review, Stand, Jacket, Verse and many other international periodicals. He is the author of The Foundations of Poetry Mathematics (Cannibal Books). He is the editor of Landis Everson's Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005 (Graywolf Press), which won the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Foundation, and a contributing editor to Fulcrum: An Annual of Poetry and Aesthetics.

"Like fragments of old photographs happened on in a drawer, Ben Mazer's poems tap enigmatic bits of the past that suddenly come to life again. To read him is to follow him along a dreamlike corridor where everything is beautiful and nothing is as it seems." --John Ashbery
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Simon Mulligan, piano;  Peter Slavov, bass;  Ronen Itzhik., drums
Simon Mulligan Trio image
“You have a phenomenal touch, man!”
- Herbie Hancock

“The most abundantly gifted of pianists”
- The Times of London

Although many jazz musicians are also trained classical musicians, it is unusual for a musician to manage successful careers in both fields. Pianist Simon Mulligan certainly has. At the age of 19 he recorded his first classical CD under the direction of Yehudi Menuhin, with whom he was later to successfully work. Since that time he has produced 15 highly regarded CD's, and has established himself as a soloist and chamber musician, with recitals and concerto appearances at many of the world’s major concert halls. Intriguingly, Simon's jazz credentials and improvisational abilities are equally as strong, as is his composing work, which includes numerous compositions for both TV and Film. His recent signing to Sony Masterworks will see the release later this year of ‘Playlist’ – an album of original compositions with his UK-based jazz quartet.
 Cover $10

Apr 04
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. Admission
 Cover $12 (includes one house drink)

Bob Stewart, tuba;  Bruce Williams, saxophones;  Joe Fiedler, trombone;  Brandon Lewis, drums;  Lucian Ban, piano
Led by Romanian expat pianist Lucian Ban, TUBA PROJECT is a unique ensemble built around the sound of one of the greatest tuba players in jazz – Mr. BOB STEWART. Founded in 2004 by Lucian Ban and baritone saxist Alex Harding the Tuba Project released an acclaimed album in 2006, featuring J.D.Allen on tenor, Derrek Phillips on drums along with Mr Ban, Harding and Bob Stewart and has since performed hundred concerts in US and Europe. Tonight the ensemble features some of the finest improvisers on the scene – Bruce Williams on alto sax & flute and Joe Fiedler on trombone. Pulsating blues, new orleans riffs, post bop lines, funk grooves and free jazz outbursts can be found in their music but the sound of the group goes well beyond all those to become a voice of its own. playing original music the four musicians have to be seen and heard to get the full picture. NOT TO BE MISSED !

Bob Stewart is one of the best tuba players ever to come in jazz. A virtuoso tuba player, Bob Stewart's solos explore his instrument's full range and show its ability to serve as both lead and support within the jazz ensemble Since his groundbreaking recordings with altoist Arthur Blythe for Columbia Records Mr. Stewart has proved to be an unique and outstanding musician on his instrument. - Mr. Stewart has performed/recorded with an extraordinary list of musicians among them: Gil Evans, Charles Mingus, Dave Burrell, Howard Johnson, Arthur Blythe, Jerome Harris, Graham Haynes, Steve Turre, Carlos Ward, and the list goes on.

Originally from Romania pianist & composer LUCIAN BAN now lives in NYC where is considered to be “one of the most gifted and talented pianist to come to NY in the past decade” (Bruce Lee Gallanter). The Hans Koller Foundation and the Austrian Culture Department nominated him twice in 2005 & 2006 for “Best European Jazz Musician”. He has recorded 6 albums as a leader for labels in US and Europe. He leads several of his own projects in NY and tours with them internationally. His group Lumination featuring drum legend Barry Altschul was voted “Best Show of 2003 “ by All About Jazz NY. He also writes music for theatre, film and dance and his music for ‘Philosopher Fox’ was nominated for the prestigious Innovative Theatre Award in NYC in 2004. Mr. Ban has worked or recorded with such musicians as: Alex Harding, Barry Altschul, Gerald Cleaver, Nasheet Waits, Sam Newsome, Art Baron, Chris Dahlgren, Abraham Burton, Pheeroan AkLaff, Willard Dyson, John Hebert, Jorge Sylvester, Sanda Weigl, Charkes Burnham, Derrek Phillips, etc.

Terrell Holmes writes All About Jazz NY "Ban plays with a fluency and sensibility that recalls Vladimir Horowitz as much as McCoy Tyner ”

All About Jazz says about Tuba Project “ … The Tuba Project is hard to resist. This music is so alive and full of spirit that it will demand and get your willing attention as you travel emotionally with the band. The trip is well worth every minute…”

Budd Kopman writes ” … with The Tuba Project, Lucian Ban and Alex Harding have put together a raucous, bluesy, energetic, and at times ecstatic album. Drawing from deep roots in jazz and Afro-American music, these musicians play with a contagious abandon….”
 Cover $12

Apr 05
Roald Hoffmann

Nidhal Guessoum, astrophysicist ;  Fred Buchholz , special effects man;  Mark Mitton , magician
This month's theme: ANNIHILATION!

There seems to be no shortage of ways to end things. Yet endings may be beginnings as well. Astrophysicist Nidhal Guessoum, also a writer and thinker on issues of science and religion in the world of Islam, will show the many ways of annihilation - from his work on matter and antimatter in the universe, to PET, a remarkable medical diagnosis tool based on the tell-tale signs of annihilation, through mysticism to video games bent on destroying worlds, and new ideas on rocket propulsion.

Did you know that 10 billion tons of antimatter are produced and annihilated each second in our galaxy -- and astrophysicists can't figure out where that comes from?!

Fred Buchholz is a special effects man, with a very interesting career. That he has an ATF Permit to use High Explosives and is a licensed New York City Pyrotechnic hint at one side of what he does; his remarkable effects for the Muppets, TV and Film show other ways of inducing people to suspend disbelief.

Fred will show some clips from his work with the Muppets, The Sopranos, as well as several feature films and talk about his work.

And magician extraordinaire Mark Mitton will annihilate things for sure. Watch out, it may be you!
 Cover $10

Entertaining Science -- ANNIHILATION! image
Ricardo Gallo, piano, compositions;  Ray Anderson, trombone;  Dan Blake, saxophones;  Mark Helias, bass;  Satoshi Takeishi, drums
Ricardo Gallo's Tierra de Nadie image
Ricardo Gallo's "Tierra de Nadie" performs original music that explores areas in between musical idiosyncrasies. This "No man's land", as a sort of imaginary musical folklore, is the intriguing basis for exploratory improvisations. Featuring in this occasion Mark Helias on bass, Satoshi Takeishi on drums, Ray Anderson on trombone and Dan Blake on saxophone, pianist Ricardo Gallo aims for a vivid collective sound, rooting the music with lush compositions. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Ricardo Gallo is active as a composer of contemporary concert music, and as a pianist performing jazz and improvised music. He leads different projects that relate aspects of Colombian folklore to contemporary musical expressions.

"Here we have another example of what a fusion of different music with jazz really means: the creation of something new that no longer belongs to its original world (Colombia) and yet still maintains some of its recognizable characteristics (rhythms and folk song feel), while being truly jazz-like in its daring, unpredictability and spirit."
- Budd Kopman, All About Jazz
 Cover $10

Apr 06
Tulis McCall, host

 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
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