See the previous week's performances.  April 26-May 03, 2009 See the next week's performances.

See the previous week's performances. April, 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:


Apr 26
Angelo Verga, host

Karen Swensen Steve Huff
Poetry image
Karen Swenson's first book was published by Doubleday back in the days when that sort of thing happened. This is her fifth book which has been published by the excellent new press, Tiger Bark, up in Rochester, run by Steve Huff. She has taught as Poet-in-Residence all over the US and most recently in NYC at Barnard. For the last 25 years she has traveled in Asia every year for two months.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Mike Baggetta, guitar;  Jason Rigby, saxophone;  Eivind Opsvik, bass;  George Schuller, drums
Mike Baggetta Quartet  image
Mike Baggetta Quartet CD RELEASE PERFORMANCE for SMALL SPACES (Fresh Sound New Talent)

Come celebrate the release of "Small Spaces" (Fresh Sound New Talent), the debut recording from the Mike Baggetta Quartet. This group seeks to reinterpret the state of the American Song through Baggetta's original works inspired by the likes of Keith Jarrett's American Quartet, Leonard Cohen, Claude Debussy and Edward Hopper. The group's strengths lie in its ability to interpret Mike's original songs as deeply familiar environments with each player's creative approach to the music being at the core of its aesthetic.

Winner of the 2009 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards
"A strong, wiry nature...Rare is the young musician who fuses avant garde and postbop mettles so effortlessly - Small Spaces is a refreshingly unsafe approach to modern jazz."
- Clifford Allen, All About Jazz NY

"As he demonstrates on his solid new album, “Small Spaces” (Fresh Sound New Talent), the guitarist Mike Baggetta seeks an adventurous but accessible dynamic in his music..."
- Nate Chinen, NY Times
 Cover $10

Apr 27
Paul Hecht, presenter

Barbara Feldon Michael Cumpsty Paul Hecht Roberta Maxwell Sylvain Bergeron, lutenist
Happy Birthday, William image
We celebrate the 445th birthday of William Shakespeare. OK, we know his real birthdate is April 23rd but this is the bard's birthday observed, and anyhow actors this accomplished are only free to work our stage on Mondays. Drama, comedy, sonnets, music, merriment.

MICHAEL CUMPSTY's Broadway credits include: Sunday in the Park with George, The Constant Wife, Democracy, Copenhagen, Enchanted April, 42nd Street, Electra, 1776, Racing Demon, The Heiress, Translations, La Bete, Timon of Athens, Artist Descending a Staircase. For CSC: Hamlet (Obie award), Richard ll, Richard lll. Seven Shakespeares for the Public Theater. A Winter’s Tale at the RSC. And in film, : The Ice Storm, Fatal Instinct, State of Grace, Flags of our Fathers, The Ex, Starting Out in the Evening, The Visitor. Michael is a veteran of last year's Shakespeare celebration and most recently appeared here as Satan in a celebration of Milton's 400th birthday.

PAUL HECHT has starred on Broadway opposite such actors as Rex Harrison and Maggie Smith, was a Tony nominee for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and received an OBIE for the title role in Pirandello's Henry IV. He has a long and varied career in film and television and has directed and appeared in many literary events in NYC, including at least a dozen at Cornelia Street. including last year's Shakespeare celebration and, in an inspired stroke of typecasting, God in Milton's Paradise Lost.

BARBARA FELDON is best known as “99”--the secret Agent on the TV series, Get Smart. During her career she has performed in television films, variety shows, and motion pictures, (only one of which she wishes to remember). On stage she was in the Circle in the Square production of Past Tense, the off Broadway musical Cut the Ribbons, and her one woman show, Love for Better or Verse. Over the years she has developed a number of poetry and prose readings: Great Love Poetry, Pablo Neruda in His Own Words, Jane Austin, and Virginia Woolf. From 1982 to 1984 she hosted The 80’s Woman on Lifetime Network. She has served on the boards of Screen Actors Guild, The Orchestra of St. Lukes, and The Poetry Society of America. She lectures on women’s issues and is a passionate supporter of Girls Inc., an organization created to help underprivileged girls develop options. Her book of essays, Living alone--and Loving it! was published in 2003 by Simon and Schuster. She is a veteran of last year's Shakespeare celebration at the cafe

ROBERTA MAXWELLis a Canadian actress. She began studying for the stage at the age of 12. At the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, she appeared as Ursula in Much Ado About Nothing, Lady Anne in Richard III, Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Anne in The Merry Wives of Windsor, before going on to England, where she spent 3 years in repertory and made her West End debut with Robert Morley and Molly Picon in A Majority of One. She debuted on Broadway in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 1968, going on to 5 more plays with the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. In 1974 she was back on Broadway playing the role of Jill in Equus, which starred Anthony Hopkins. Those, and many more plays, took her on to a successful television and film career, including the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain.

SYLVAIN BERGERON's childhood ambition of becoming an archeologist was eventually replaced by his interest in music, which like most teenage boys, started with the guitar, and eventually transferred itself to the lute and its family of instruments. In 1991 he co-founded the ensemble La Nef and directed many of their productions, including Perceval, The Quest for the Holy Grail, Montsegur, The Garden of Delights and Music for Joan the Mad. He has performed and recorded with such stars as Dame Emma Kirkby, David Daniels, Daniel Taylor, Suzie LeBlanc, Vivica Genaux, Agnès Mellon, and Charles Daniels.

 Cover $10

Ljova, viola & famiola;  Inna Barmash, vocals;  Patrick Farrell, accordion;  Mathias Kunzli, percussion;  Mike Savino, bass;  w/ Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, vocals
21st schizoid music presents: Ljova image
LJOVA AND THE KONTRABAND -- is original chamber/jam music for the "remix generation". As if by alchemy, Eastern-European and Gypsy melodies, Latin rhythms, Jazz-inspired improvisations, and deeply rooted Classical forms are given new meanings in original compositions that fearlessly forge a new direction, with a nostalgic gaze towards the past.
Founded by the maverick film composer, arranger, and violist Lev 'LJOVA' Zhurbin --- hailed by Billboard magazine as "one of New York's fastest rising composers and instrumentalists" -- the ensemble also features his close collaborators on vocals, accordion, bass and percussion. Inspired by his collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Osvaldo Golijov, the Kronos Quartet, the rapper Jay-Z and others, Ljova's compositions dazzle with intricate textures, odd rhythms and lilting melodies, creating music that is both fresh and timeless. The Kontraband's debut CD, "MNEMOSYNE", featuring special guests Frank London, William Schimmel, Uli Geissendoerfer, Alon Yavnai and Marcus Rojas, was released on September 28, 2008.

"Quick, name a violist, any violist! [There is] nobody quite like the polymath Lev ['Ljova'] Zhurbin...The music he writes and plays is full of Brahmsian tone, Bartok lines, hiccupping Hungarian rhythms, Klezmer soul and the sexy plaintiveness of tango and the blues."
-- Justin Davidson, Newsday (now New York Magazine)
 Cover $10

Apr 28
Alissa Heyman, host

Victoria McCoy, Sarah Lawrence College;  Rebekah Sankey, Sarah Lawrence College;  Gillian Cummings, Sarah Lawrence College;  Angelo Nikolopoulos, New York University
Tomorrow's poets today.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Marc Maron, host

Marc Maron John Oliver
Comedy: Marc Maron and Friends image
Marc Maron, the dark Byronic poet of American political comedy, has appeared on Letterman, Conan, HBO, Comedy Central, Air America Radio, not to mention (at) the Cornelia Street Cafe. He can also be found at with Marc Maron and Sam Seder. In this new series he hangs out on stage with some of the most creative comedians in the country.

John Oliver, the Dr. Jekyll to Marc Maron's Mr. Hyde, a man who can make the impending nuclear holocaust seem like a night on the pier at Blackpool, can be seen erratically as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

 Cover $15

Wednesday Apr 29 6:00PM  PERFECT SENSE
Alissa Heyman & Hila Ratzabi, co-host

Maya Pindyck Anna Cantone Vijay Seshadri

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Reut Regev, trombone;  David Phelps, guitar;  Brad Jones, bass;  Igal Foni, drums
Reut Regev's This is R*time - CD RElease image
This is R*time is Reut Regev's debut recording as a leader, and this special night at Cornelia will celebrate the release of the recording on Ropeadope. Reut, who was voted Best new talent by all about jazz magazine 2004, is in demand in New York's Jazz Scene for her advanced rhythmic concepts, melodic imagination, and utter commitment to the musical moment at hand. She has worked and recorded with such luminary firgures as Anthony Braxton, Butch Morris, Frank London , Joe Bataan and many others, and is frequently spotted playing with NYC's top jazz, avant guard, klezmer, and cuban bands, is finally making her own statement. Joined by a group of excellent musicians, Reut's music is soulful and exploring, an eclectic mix of jazz, Latin and funk.

"...funk-driven trombonist Reut Regev -- could signal the beginnings of the jazz equivalent of alternative rock's Riot Grrrl phenomenon of the early 1990's."
- The New York Times
 Cover $10

Apr 30
Shelley Stenhouse, host

Ryan J. Davidson Angelo Verga Alethea Black
Two Dashing Poets with a dramatic side of Melodic Prose image
Ryan J. Davidson is a Scottish-American poet living in New York. His work has appeared or is fothcoming in Mastodon Dentist, The Arabesques Review, The Ampersand Review, FLESH, and By-line Magazine. His first book "Under What Stars" is forthcoming in the summer from Ampersand Press.

Angelo Verga is the author of six collections of poetry, widely published in leading literary journals both here and abroad. His most recent claim to fame was an excessively flattering photo in a giveaway tabloid.

Verga lives and works with one eye on the Statue of Liberty and another wary orb observing the Deutsche Bank tower disappear. In his spare time our poet laureate coordinates spoken word programs at Cornelia Street.

Alethea Black was born in Boston and graduated from Harvard College in 1991. Her father was a mathematician, and for a long time she believed her name, the Greek word for truth, was his way of tipping his cap to the idea of absolutes. Then one day her mother overheard her and said, “No, we got your name from a TV show.” (Judd, for the Defense.) Her first published story was chosen by Joan Silber to win the Grand Prize in Inkwell's 2007 Fiction Competition. The winner of the 2008 Arts & Letters Prize, she has performed her own stories on stage as part of a trio known as "Partial Nudity, Partial Sanity, Partial Sobriety." This spring a dramatic reading of two of her stories, collectively titled "Marriage and Other Odd Occurrences," will be performed at RiverSpace and as part of the Insights & Revelations performance series. She is currently at work on a novel the subject of which she still believes to be top secret. She lives with her dachshund Zoë in Pawling, NY.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Nora McCarthy, voice;  Joshua Wolff , piano;  Jeffrey Carney , bass;  Tony Jefferson , drums;  Jorge Sylvester , alto sax
Nora McCarthy's qu'ART'tet image
Vocal Artist, Composer, Poet, Lyricist, Nora McCarthy leads an organic modern jazz group that goes from conventionality to improvisation, from standards to blues, from tonal adherence to form to freedom. McCarthy’s musical journey has taken her from the Standards to the Avant Garde and everything in between. Her newly released duo CD, Circle Completing, is garnering critical acclaim both nationally and internationally. The Nora McCarthy Qu’ART’et – possesses a fearless daring intimacy that is palpable, imaginative and extremely musical.
May 01
Kathi Georges, host

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

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.


May Day, May Day. Celebrate May Day with a great reading by an incredible poet!

Elizabeth Harrington’s poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Field, Nimrod, The Sun, Rattapallax, and other journals, and in an anthology about divorce. She was a winner of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and second place winner in The Ledge Poetry Contest. Her chapbook “Earth’s Milk” was first runner-up in the Main Street Rag Chapbook Poetry contest. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology and works at a market research company in New York. Elizabeth Harrington’s poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Field, Nimrod, The Sun, Rattapallax, and other journals, and in an anthology about divorce. She was a winner of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and second place winner in The Ledge Poetry Contest. Her chapbook “Earth’s Milk” was first runner-up in the Main Street Rag Chapbook Poetry contest. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology and works at a market research company in New York.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Rory Stuart, guitar & compositions;  Mark Shim, tenor saxophone;  Chris Tordini, bass;  Ari Hoenig, drums
The Rory Stuart Quartet   image
Described by JAZZ TIMES as “perhaps THE most innovative straight-ahead jazz guitarist to emerge in years,” Rory Stuart brings his quartet with tenor saxophonist Mark Shim, acoustic bassist Chris Tordini, and drummer Ari Hoenig to the Cornelia Street Café on Friday, May 1, 2009.

Rory Stuart has performed as a sideman with a remarkable range of jazz artists, from Charlie Rouse to Errol Parker, Steve Coleman’s Five Elements with Cassandra Wilson and Geri Allen to the Cadence All Stars, and has led highly-praised Quartets of his own. For his complete bio, album reviews and photos, please visit

Check out also “So Rise Up,” the new release on SmartCatMusic. “rhythmic acrobats … tricky unison lines and extended, explorative solos… Combining the old and the new, and mixing it up just right” – Mark F. Turner “All About Jazz” (2008). Please join us!

cover $12/$9 w/ student ID

May 02
Lili Añel Ansel Matthews
Lili Añel Solo + Ansel Matthews  image
Lili Añel, the now-Philadelphia based singer/songwriter, draws varied comparisons - from the Beatles to Joni Mitchell to Steely Dan. Strange combination, no? Surprisingly, these influences and more are easily audible in her diverse and original repertoire. This Beatles-inspired artist's forward and wide-open vocals are refreshing, while the melodic hooks of her fearless songs never cease to amaze. Añel honed her songwriting skills in New York City's Greenwich Village's thriving music scene, both displaying and developing her musical sensibilities, with and without a band. These skills had her nominated for a 1987 "Best Songwriter" New York Music Award, and put a 1989 "Best Unsigned Artist" award in her hands. Her first CD, Laughed Last, was distributed internationally and Lili toured extensively in its support. The combination of the influences in her music have allowed her pairing as a support act with the blues stylings of Etta James, the rock stylings of Graham Parker to the more alternative/jazz stylings of Vinx. After a five-year hiatus from 1997 to 2001, Añel reentered the studio in late 2001 to produce Hi-Octane Coffee. After her move to Philadelphia and working with bassist Cooke Harvey, they collaborated on her most recent CD Dream Again, her finest work to date. In 2008, she signed with German label ESC records. Life or Death a CD containing a compilation of songs from “Hi-Octane Coffee” and current release “Dream Again”, Lili’s music has been released throughout Europe and Japan. Reviews have been excellent and a tour is in the works. Lili is currently recording her next CD under the direction of Grammy award winning producer, Glenn Barratt at Morningstar Studios.

"...her songs are consistently excellent..." - JazzTimes

A veteran of the New York City Music Scene, Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Ansel Matthews feels blessed to have learnt and grown in one of the world's richest musical confluences. He arrived in NYC on a bus in the 80s fresh out of college with an all consuming passion, a passion similarly seen in the multitudes that arrive each season. But unlike the majority who come then leave or the few lucky enough to be received on a mass level, He has remained enduring the ebb and flow that this great city produces. This has left its mark, producing a richly vibriant music, complex in structure yet simple in sound. It is roots-oriented, original acoustic music with beautiful mellifluous melodies and well-crafted lyrics, sung by an artist with a heartfelt baritone voice that extends though and reaches beyond the genres of folk, jazz, blues and the unknown.

"A powerful performer who brings a lot of soul and passion to every song he sings!"
Singout Magazine

"i can't get your songs out of my head, what beauty and truth"
--Pete Seeger

- more info:
 Cover $10

Jeremy Udden, alto & soprano saxophones;  Pete Rende, pump organ, rhodes;  Brandon Seabrook, banjo, guitar;  Eivind Opsvik, bass;  Matt Wilson, drums
Jeremy Udden's Plainville image
Celebrating their new CD on Fresh Sound!

"With an uncommon instrumentation and a pluralistic stylistic orientation (rock, free, folk build upon the underlying jazz), Udden's group creates a resolutely new music where eclecticism and personal experience play an important role." - JAZZ MAN (FRANCE) Also described as "an appealingly dreamy roots-jazz combo" (Hank Shteamer, Time Out New York), the group, named for Udden's home town, will release it's first for Fresh Sound New Talent in March, marking Udden's second as a leader for the label.
 Cover $10

May 03
Roald Hoffmann


Over millions of years, bacterial pathogens have co-evolved with their hosts, i.e. us! The biochemical interactions between microbes and the proteins in our cells are remarkable, intricate, a dance of sorts. Cindy Quezada, of the Stebbins Laboratory at Rockefeller University, will tell us about a newly discovered class of tools (NEL domains) used by some pathogens to take over ubiquitination, a key biological process. Ubiquitin can tell a protein where to go, what to do, and who to mingle with in the cell.

Nelida Tirado, hailed as “magnificent” by the New York Times and featured as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” leading dancers in 2007, will culminate the evening by illustrating (accompanied by Cristian Puig on guitar/vocals and Peter Basil on cajon) intricate interactions of a different kind - those evolving between a dancer, singer, and guitarist in flamenco. Just like ubiquitin, a flamenco dancer signals - the spontaneous communication that arises between the dancer and musicians results in an emotional, passionate and improvised performance. Join us for a night of dancing…in the gut and from the gut. ¡Olé!
 Cover $10

Entertaining Science -- EL BAILE BACTERIANO! image
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