See the previous week's performances.  May 01-May 08, 2010 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:


May 01
Andy Christie

PETER LUBELL , Writer/Producer, NPR; IFC;  DANIELLA SCHILLER , Neuroscientist. No kidding!;  PETER AGUERO , Moth Urban Storytelling GrandSlam Champion;  LESLIE GOSHKO, Manhattan Monologue Slam Champion
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.

DANIELLA SCHILLER - Neuroscientist. No kidding! PETER AGUERO - Moth Urban Storytelling GrandSlam Champion LESLIE GOSHKO - Manhattan Monologue Slam Champion PETER LUBELL - Writer/Producer, NPR; IFC

Host, ANDY CHRISTIE - NPR's The Moth Radio Hour
 Cover $15 (includes one house drink)

Ellery Eskelin, tenor saxophone;  Ray Anderson, trombone;  Tom Rainey, drums;  Mark Helias, bass
Mark Helias QUartet image
Composer/bassist Mark Helias assembles a super group of improvisers to explore New and Old Compositions and improvisational strategies. The players need no introduction for the illuminati, but for those others, these musicians have performed with everyone from Carmen McCrae & Anthony Braxton to Dr. John & Maceo Parker.
 Cover $10
May 02
Stuart Firestein, host

Mark Moffett April Gornik
Entertaining Science image
The intrepid international explorer, biologist, and photographer MARK W. MOFFETT, "the Indiana Jones of entomology," takes us around the globe on a strange and wonderful journey in search of the hidden worlds of ants based on his just-released book, Adventures Among Ants. In tales from Nigeria, Indonesia, the Amazon, Australia, California, and elsewhere, Moffett recounts his exploits and provides fascinating details on how ants live and how they dominate their ecosystems, displaying behaviors strikingly like those of humans-yet on a different scale and at a faster tempo. Moffett's spectacular close-up photographs show us ants acting in familiar roles: as warriors, builders, big-game hunters, and slave owners. We find them engaged in market economies and production lines and dealing with issues we think of as uniquely human-including hygiene, recycling, and warfare. Adventures among Ants introduces some of the world's most awe-inspiring species and offers a startling perspective, including new ideas and discoveries on the workings of both ant and human societies.

Moffett has received the Explorers Club's Lowell Thomas Award, the Distinguished Explorer Award from the Roy Chapman Andrews Society, Yale University's Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, Harvard's Bowdoin Prize for writing, and many international photography awards.

One of America's most respected landscape painters, APRIL GORNIK has work in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, and many others. April will show a selection of her paintings and describe how they reflect her fascination with science, and her response to conservation issues and humankind's relationship to the environment in general.
 Cover $10

Roy Zimmerman, vocals, guitar, compositions, lyrics
Roy Zimmerman image
What's funny about war, poverty, ignorance, greed, lust and fear? Ask Roy Zimmerman.

We are delighted to welcome back to New York from his aerie in San Francisco perhaps the most sophisticated political wit of our generation

The Los Angeles Times says, "Zimmerman displays a lacerating wit and keen awareness of society's foibles that bring to mind a latter-day Tom Lehrer."

Tom Lehrer himself says, "I congratulate Roy Zimmerman on reintroducing literacy to comedy songs. And the rhymes actually rhyme, they don't just 'rhyne.'"

Joni Mitchell says, "Roy's lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection."

May 03
Tulis McCall, host

Monologues & Madness image
Actors, time limits, laughter, tears, our floorboards are used to perfection.

An Evening of Original Monologues. No slamming, no judges, just great material, excellent actors and YOU.

Come See These Amazing Daredevils Perform Without a Net!!!

 Cover $10 (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
May 04

Ned Balbo's latest collection is the Finishing Line chapbook Something Must Happen. His second of two full-length collections, Lives of the Sleepers (University of Notre Dame Press) received the Ernest Sandeen Prize and was a ForeWord Book of the Year in poetry.

George Held's Finishing Line Press books are Grounded (2005) and The Art Of Writing (2007). His poems, stories, and book reviews appear regularly online and in print.

Maria Lisella has written two chapbooks, Amore on Hope Street (Finishing Line Press) and Two Naked Feet (Poets Wear Prada). She is a member of the online poetry circle, Brevitas and is the Program Coordinator for the Italian American Writers Association's readings at Cornelia St. Café.

Katrinka Moore's chapbook, This is Not a Story, won the New Women's Voices prize and was published by Finishing Line Press in 2003. Her latest book, Thief was a runner-up for the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize and a finalist in the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and Cleveland State UFirst Book competitions.

Leah Maines is former Poet-in-Residence of Northern Kentucky University, is the author of the Cincinnati/Tri-State Best Seller Looking to the East with Western Eyes (Finishing Line Press, 1998), and Beyond the River (KWC Press, 2002), winner of the Kentucky Writers' Coalition Poetry Chapbook Competition. She is currently Senior Editor of Finishing Line Press.

Linda Leedy Schneider is the editor of Mentor's Bouquet, Finishing Line Press, March 2010. She is a poetry and writing mentor, Pushcart nominee, and psychotherapist in private practice and has written five collections of poetry including Through My Window: Poetry of a Psychotherapist.

Melora Walters is the author of the forthcoming Sonnets and Failures, Finishing Line Press, winner of the 2010 Starting Gate Award. She is also an actress who plays Wanda Henrickson on the HBO hit series, Big Love.

Maria Terrone is the author of two poetry collections: A Secret Room in Fall (McGovern Prize winner, Ashland Poetry Press, 2006) and The Bodies We Were Loaned (The Word Works, 2002) as well as a recently published chapbook, American Gothic, Take 2 (Finishing Line Press).


David Smith, trumpet;  Nate Radley, guitar;  Garry Wang, bass;  Greg Ritchie, drums;  Kenji Omae, saxophone
David Smith Group<br>celebrating the CD <i>Anticipation</i> image
Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records proudly releases the new recording, Anticipation, from the Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based trumpeter/composer David Smith. The album features an outstanding rhythm section that has been Smith's working unit for the past several years, Nate Radley on guitar, the much in demand Gary Wang on bass, and fellow Canadian Greg Ritchie on drums; plus an old friend on saxophone, longtime musical colleague Kenji Omae. As you can hear on Anticipation, these are musicians with whom Smith shares a special camaraderie.

Anticipation, the follow up recording to Smith's debut recording Circumstance (2006, FSNT),is largely about the experiences in Smith's life surrounding the birth of his daughter Hannah (who appears on the cover and inside). The recording opens with the title track, which refers to "the feelings, and to some degree anxiety I felt about impending fatherhood, but also the word as a musical term." Smith explains further, "the tune is built around a three-part counterpoint in the guitar with each resulting chord anticipating the beginning and middle of each measure which ends up making for a somewhat relentless and perpetual motion throughout the song."

Cover $12 includes the new CD

Wednesday May 05 6:00PM  FREE RANGE READINGS
Mira Ptacin, host

Meaking Armstrong, featured reader;  David Boger Lisa Kunick Katie McDonough
Meakin is a freelance writer, an adjunct professor of English, a former employee at The New Yorker, and the fiction editor at Guernica Magazine. His work has appeared in Noö Journal, elimae, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, Our Stories Literary Journal, InDigest, Sweeeeet, and three fiction anthologies. His nonfiction has been featured in,, Time Out New York, USAir Magazine, and in the books, New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg and Museyon Guides Film + Travel North America. In 2007, Meakin received a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarship.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Tracy Bonham, vocals, violin, guitar, piano;  Rhett Miller, vocals, guitar
Tracy Bonham & Company image
Join multi instrumentalist Tracy Bonham for new music from her upcoming release Masts Of Manhattan as well as old favorites and covers with new twists. Tracy weaves in and out of alternative rock, where she is most commonly known, to bright moments of Classical, Eastern European, and Gypsy music in just a few brushstrokes. Tracy and her band will be joined by special guest Rhett Miller

Come join Tracy and her friends every first Wednesday of each month for the next four months, and watch collaborations unfold.

This classically trained Boston singer-songwriter sets meandering Aimee Mann-like melodies over bright electro-pop folk with string-laden atmospherics.
-Rolling Stone

 Cover $15

May 06
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

Brenda Earle, voice and piano;  Jesse Lewis, guitar;  Ike Sturm, bass;  Jared Schonig, drums
Gnu Vox: Brenda Earle  image
Jazz pianist/vocalist/composer Brenda Earle debuts new works for her quartet, including new originals and fresh arrangements of works by Canadian songwriters.

“…the first to stand out was pianist-singer Brenda Earle, whose talent gracefully bridges jazz and pop.” – The Washington Post

“…a breezy delight.” – Time Out New York

“Her keyboard work throughtout embodies lyrical melody, deft harmonie and smart pacing…” – The Toronto Star
 Cover $10

May 07
Kat Georges, host

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

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Featured Readers: ICE & Robert Gibbons

ICE is a New York based multi media artist. The producer, author, of a self named cd and dvd purchase on and film with a strong focus on performance, she’s a founding editor of Uphookpress, an annual judge and feature at Cuny college Poetry Festival, and she annually attends Juniper summer writers institute at UMass.

ROBERT GIBBONS is a unique spoken word artist who frequents many hot spots on the New York poetry scene. He has more than 15 years of teaching experience as a classroom teacher, and presently is a curriculum writer for the New York Junior Tennis League.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Clean Feed's annual NYC FEstival image
In 2007 Cornelia Street Cafe had the pleasure of hosting the 2nd Clean Feed Festival and this coming May they will again present the fifth edition of the Festival. There couldn’t be a better venue than the Cornelia Street Cafe, as it is one of the best places in New York for this kind of music. The interest manifested in the past four years by the New York audiences in relation to the music released and staged by the Portuguese jazz label Clean Feed is more than a sufficient motive to keep it going on, and here we are again bringing to the Big Apple a bit of the enthusiasm lived now in Portugal in what concerns to jazz and improvised music.

8:30 Peter Van Huffel / Sophie Tassignon "Hufflignon"
Sophie Tassignon, voice; Peter Van Huffel, alto and soprano saxophones; Samuel Blaser, trombone; Michael Bates, bass

You may not be familiar with van Huffel's and Tassignon's names, but don't direct your attention to something else so quickly. Why? Because you're gonna hear about the saxophonist and the singer very often in the years to come. Both are values in fast ascension in the international scene and it's best to follow their tracks since the beginning. The Canadian, but living in New York, Peter van Huffel is a student of tenor great Tony Malaby, and only that information would be sufficient to have an idea of his profile – the words “powerful” and “lyrical” come to mind. But we have more data about him: he played already with people like Chris Potter, Clarence Penn and Danny McCaslin, and knowing this is enlightening. Belgian of origin and a former student of David Linx, Sophie Tassignon is getting more famous in Europe because of her very personal and unique way to deal with “unsingable melodies” and her quick and inventive reactions in improvising situations. And she's not shy at all doing so, as we can verify listening to the vocal band she co-founded, Screaming Bitches. Trombonist Samuel Blaser and bassist Michael Bates are their partners in the quartet effort titled “HuffLiGNon”, and the same we have to say about them: watch out!

9:45 - Ivo Perelman / Daniel Levin / Reuben Radding "Soulstorm"
As Charles Gayle, Ivo Perelman brought to our days the same concept as John Coltrane and Albert Ayler had for the tenor saxophone: make this instrument the ideal vehicle for a more visceral expression, though sublimated by all the unspoken spirituality. As a painter, his other artistic activity, it is clear alignment of the Brazilian musician for the abstract expressionism, very marked by the colors of the tropics, but by the music he recorded is equally clear that its adoption of the coordinates of the "new thing" serve him the same aesthetic purposes. The "scream" was once the most striking feature of his personal style, but as in Gayle, Coltrane and Ayler, this is not an expression of anger. These days in Perelman's music, the lyricism gets a rawness and a grain that the Romantics of the nineteenth century could not have imagined as a possibility. The sounds come to you from the depths of his soul and body, and to that extent a reflection of an enormous humanity. But not only: as happens on screen painting, Brazil is in the music that he gives us to listen. Evocations of bossa nova and choro themes emerge from the trio with the cellist Daniel Levin and bassist Reuben Radding (subbing for Torbjörn Zetterberg who's on the CF CD of this trio). All this makes this trio proposes so unique and inimitable, coming to our ears with the relevance of something that had inevitably to exist.
Ivo Perelman, tenor saxophone; Reuben Radding, double bass; Daniel Levin, cello

11:00 – RED trio + Nate Wooley "RED trio"
Rodrigo Pinheiro, piano; Hernani Faustino, double bass; Gabriel Ferrandini, drums; Nate Wooley, trumpet

The Red Trio is quite a unique case in the Portuguese jazz and improvised music scene. The free music played by Rodrigo Pinheiro (piano, prepared piano), Hernâni Faustino (double bass), and Gabriel Ferrandini (drums, percussion) have no attachment to anything else presented in the little European country known for its unusually dynamic jazz, improvised and experimental scenes. And even considering a wider scenario, few piano trios existing in the world can be comparable to what we find in their debut CD. Firstly, because this isn't really a piano trio. The pianist is not the central figure here, even if we imediatly recognise Pinheiro's resourceful and virtuosistic capacities, and the rhythm section, well, isn't in fact a rhythm section, the bass and the drums always intervening side-by-side with the harmonic instrument. This is indeed collective music, with no hierarchical roles for the intervenients, and conventions like melody and pulse are generally subverted, or replaced by textural instant constructions. In the middle of all the abstractions created, the connections with jazz are not lost – truth is they surface with a welcomed evidence. Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor are recognisable, if distant, influences. The same we can say about the references to contemporary classical music, and namely to Messiaen and Ligeti. This is very intense music, sometimes even violent, but with space for detail. On this very special occasion trumpeter Nate Wooley will join them for a very special set of music.

Cover $10 per set/$20 for the whole night

May 08
Maria Lisella, host

Italian American Writers Association, featured readers are: Michael La Sorsa Steffen & Nancy Carnevale, plus open mic, 5 minute limit.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Clean Feed's annual NYC FEstival image
In 2007 Cornelia Street Cafe had the pleasure of hosting the 2nd Clean Feed Festival and this coming May they will again present the fifth edition of the Festival. There couldn’t be a better venue than the Cornelia Street Cafe, as it is one of the best places in New York for this kind of music. The interest manifested in the past four years by the New York audiences in relation to the music released and staged by the Portuguese jazz label Clean Feed is more than a sufficient motive to keep it going on, and here we are again bringing to the Big Apple a bit of the enthusiasm lived now in Portugal in what concerns to jazz and improvised music.

8:30 – Samuel Blaser Quartet “Pieces of Old Sky"
Samuel Blaser, trombone; Todd Neufeld, guitar; Eivind Opsvik, double bass; Billy Mintz, drums

The fertile ground between hard bop and free jazz continues to attract the next generation of jazz artists, most notably trombonist Samuel Blaser. On Pieces of Old Sky, his first CD on Clean Feed, the Swiss-born and New York-developed brassman (now residing in Berlin) shows off the fruits of his rapid development as a bandleader and instrumentalist. In a quartet featuring three like-minded collaborators—guitarist Todd Neufeld, bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Billy Mintz — Blaser delivers a work that is both imaginative and forceful. Earning serious attention and enthusiastic praise over the last few years for his daring virtuosity and engaging improvisations, Blaser is a prolific talent with a truly collaborative spirit. In listening to his spectral trombone playing you hear tradition, finesse and questing innovation. With an astute command of rhythm and an impeccable ear for melody and harmony, Blaser fashions entertaining original compositions that emphasize his versatile playing and deep commitment to the jazz aesthetic. Blaser was born and raised in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and became a truly devoted musical student, entering the local conservatory at 14 and graduating seven years later in 2002. During this time he won numerous awards for both his classical and jazz performances, including the Benny Golson Prize in 2000, and was able to work in various big bands featuring guest luminaries like Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Buddy DeFranco and Jim McNeely. A restless, questing individual, Blaser released numerous highly acclaimed CDs including “7th Heaven,” on Between the Lines (2008), “Yay” with the Braaf Blaser Duo on Fresh Sound New Talent (2008), and Solo Bone on Slam Productions (2009), among others. Recent sideman work has found the trombonist sharing the stage with Renee Rosnes, Hal Galper and David Taylor.

9:45 – Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet “Things Have Got to Change”
Marty Ehrlich, alto saxophone; James Zollar, trumpet; Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Sarin, drums

Things Have Got To Change is Marty Ehrlich’s dynamic CD featuring his Rites Quartet, on Clean Feed. Inspired by the sound of Julius Hemphill’s landmark recording “Dogon A.D.”, Ehrlich presents five new compositions, ranging from the urgent to the reflective in mood. Joined by long time musical colleagues James Zollar on trumpet, Erik Friedlander on cello, and Pheeroan AkLaff (here we will listen to the great Michael Sarin) on drums. The music moves from dance rhythms into elegiac chorales, tied together by Ehrlich’s distinctive voice on alto sax. Two previously unrecorded compostions by Julius Hemphill’s are brought to light by the Rites Quartet on the CD, as well as a rocking version of his signature work Dogon A.D. The CD’s title points both inward and outward, to the task of keeping the past alive in the present, and as one of Ehrlich’s pieces “Song For Tomorrow” expresses, keeping our sights forward.

11:00 – Tom Rainey Trio "Pool School”
Tom Rainey, drums; Mary Halvorson, guitar; Ingrid Laubrock, tenor saxophone

This is the very first with Tom Rainey’s name on the cover. Yes, what everybody wished for is finally happening: the drummer who picked our common attention behind such different musicians like John Abercrombie, Ray Anderson, Jane Ira Bloom, Ted Curson, Tim Berne, George Gruntz, Mark Helias, Fred Hersch, Andy Laster, Simon Nabatov, Joe Lovano, Carmen McRae, Tony Malaby, Matthias Schubert, and Ken Werner is leading his own band. And the music has nothing to do with anything else recorded before by Rainey as a sideman. “Pool School” confirms that there was always a composer in the person handling the drumsticks: the music here may be organic, because that’s the nature of his playing, but it’s also surprisingly elaborated, elegant, even refined. Not in the way you can imagine, and that’s why Tom Rainey chose guitarist Mary Halvorson and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock to accompany him. Each in her own way, and very much like Rainey himself, they’re known for the capacity to refuse the obvious and for their adventurous personalities. And that means being experimental or straight-ahead when one thing and the other seems to be appropriate, or being jazzy or rock-oriented or whatever when the music benefits from it. Take note: in years to come, this CD will be referred as a historic mark.

Cover $10 per set/$20 for the whole night

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