See the previous week's performances.  May 02-May 09, 2009 See the next week's performances.

See the previous week's performances. May, 2009 See the next week's performances.
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
26 27 28 29 30 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

* Cover is given where known

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


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
May 04
Tulis McCall, host

Monologues & Madness image
Sexy actors, great scripts, spotlights, floorboards, adoring fans.
 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
May 05
Gene Albertelli and Teresa Giordano, host

Michele Herman Joanne Naiman Elena Sigman
Michele Herman has published numerous short stories in magazines, most of which are still actually in business. These include The Sun, Columbia: A Journal of Literature & Art and the Worcester Review. She's also a long-time magazine feature writer and essayist, with recent pieces in The Sun, The Sunday New York Times and The Villager. She teaches level 1 fiction and poetry in the online program of The Writers Studio.

She will be reading from her novel, Save the Village.

Joanne Naiman is a long time faculty member of The Writers Studio, teaching classes and working one-on-one with writers to help them develop their novels, memoirs and short story collections. A Clarion Award winner, she has both journalism and law degrees, but has been running from the law for 20 years. Instead, she has just opened her divorce mediation practice. The piece she's reading tonight is from a short-story collection in progress.

The name of the story she’s reading is "With Tits Come Responsibilities"

Elena Sigman writes fiction and non-fiction and dabbles in midrash. Her work has appeared online on Salon and The Jew & The Carrot blog and in The Bark, Hadassah Magazine, Another Chicago Magazine, and other publications. Her essay “The Existence of Dog” appears in the anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World’s Oldest Friendship.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Sherry Weaver, host

Tracy Rowland Martin Dockery Jennifer Glick Valerie Gilbert Margot Leitman Gerry Seidman Melanie Hamlett
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

Wednesday May 06 6:00PM  FREE RANGE READINGS
Mira Ptacin, host

Ellen O'Connell Jessica Nelson Thomas Sayers Ellis Rob Spillman Abigail Thomas
Thomas Sayers Ellis: His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Poetry, Grand Street, Tin House, Ploughshares and The Best American Poetry, 1997 and 2001. He has received fellowships and grants from The Fine Arts Work Center, the Ohio Arts Council, Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony. Mr. Ellis is a contributing editor to Callaloo and Poets and Writers. In 2005 he was awarded a Mrs. Giles Whiting Writers’ Award. His first, full collection, The Maverick Room, was published by Graywolf Press in 2005 and awarded The 2006 John C. Zacharis First Book Award. He is also the author of The Good Junk (Take Three #1, Graywolf 1996); a chapbook The Genuine Negro Hero (Kent State University Press, 2001) and the chaplet Song On (WinteRed Press 2005). An Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College and a faculty member of The Lesley University low-residency M.F.A program (Cambridge, Massachusetts), his Breakfast and Blackfist: Notes for Black Poets is also forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press, Poets on Poetry Series.

Rob Spillman: Editor and co-founder of Tin House, a ten-year-old bi-coastal (Brooklyn, New York and Portland, Oregon) literary magazine. Tin House has been honored in Best American Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, O’Henry Prize Stories, the Pushcart Prize Anthology and numerous other anthologies. He is also the Executive Editor of Tin House Books and co-founder of the Tin House Literary Festival, now in its sixth year. His writing has appeared in BookForum, the Boston Review, Connoisseur, Details, GQ, Nerve, the New York Times Book Review, Real Simple, Rolling Stone, Salon, Spin, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Worth, among other magazines, newspapers, and essay collections. He is also the editor of Gods and Soldiers: the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing, which was just published.

And, the lovely Abigail Thomas: Abigail has published two short story collections, a novel and three memoirs: Safekeeping; A Three Dog Life; and Thinking About Memoir. A Three Dog Life was chosen as one of the best books of 2006 by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Jacob Sacks, piano;  Thomas Morgan, piano;  Dan Weiss, drums
Dan Weiss Trio image
The Dan Weiss Trio has been performing together for over ten years. This night they will perform a new ten part suite composed by Dan Weiss. The suite highlights the highly evolved improvisational dialogue the trio posseses, as well as the intricate, yet melodic through composed material the trio draws on.

"There's little precedent in improvised music for what this trio does"
John Kelman - all about jazz
 Cover $10

May 07
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

Theo Bleckmann, voice;  Ben Monder, guitar;  Cymin Samawatie, voice;  Benedikt Jahnel, piano;  Ralf Schwarz, bass;  Ketan Bhatti, drums
Gnu Vox: Theo Bleckmann/Ben Monder Duo & Cyminology -- ECM Records CD Release  image
Genre -bending, -skipping and -skirting vocalist and composer, Theo Bleckmann has been a steady force in the music scene in New York for over 15 years, forging his own sound in jazz and contemporary music today incorporating jazz, ambient and electronic music as well as performance art. He has performed worldwide on some of the great stages including Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, the Sydney Opera House, L.A.’s Disney Hall, The Whitney Museum and the new Library in Alexandria, Egypt with artists like Laurie Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Ben Monder, Meredith Monk, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bang On A Can All-stars and John Zorn.
The New Yorker called him a “local cult favorite”, Downbeat a “ “mad” genius”, The New York Times “excellent” and according to OUT Magazine, Bleckmann is “a singer who has only recently fallen to earth.“Recently, Bleckmann was interviewed by Terry Gross for NPR’s Fresh Air. A Winter and Winter recording artist Bleckmann's releases include Las Vegas Rhapsody, "Berlin" and the upcoming "12 Ives songs" (with Kneebody) as well as refuge trio's frist recording. “Origami” (on Songlines), his first recording as a leader, received 4 +1/2 stars (out of 5) from Downbeat Magazine. His voice can be heard on over 40 recordings found on ECM, CRI, Label Bleu, Polygram, Songlines, Traumton and Winter&Winter.

Berlin based CYMINOLOGY are known for bringing to the musical stage an intercultural view of life by painting unique musical horizons with the use of a variety of musical influences. The band members include decedents of Iran, France, Germany and India and are touted to showcase a phenomenal international sound.

“As Ney” is the ECM debut of this unique band. The subtle yet dynamic, softly-pulsating music of Cyminology takes its cue from the sound of the Persian language.

“Cymin and her band perform an adventurous balancing act by combining age-old Persian poetry with chamber music jazz, thus reconciling the tales of 1001 nights with urban, metropolitan sound…” (Welt am Sonntag)

May 08
Jackie Sheeler, host

Meagan Brothers
The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Jackie's feature is the soulful Meagan Brothers.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Noah Preminger, tenor saxophone;  George Garzone, tenor saxophone;  Ben Monder, guitar;  John Hébert, bass;  Ted Poor , drums
Noah Preminger Group image
Noah Preminger Group with Special Guest George Garzone

Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, jazz saxophonist Noah Preminger has been receiving stellar recognition almost immediately after hitting the scene. Ben Ratliff of the New York Times raves about Preminger's debut recording, Dry Bridge Road: "More than just a promising starting point, this is a display of integrity; here’s a musician you feel you can trust.” It is Preminger's uniqueness that sets him aside from other musicians: "He plays with not just chops and composure, but already a distinct voice."- S. Mitter, Boston Globe. Noah's debut album, Dry Bridge Road, considered as "Jazz Debut of the Year" by New York City's Village Voice, and numerous others, is available on the Nowt Records label.

Noah has had the opportunity to perform and work with Dave Liebman, John McNeil, Steve Davis, Dave Douglas, Joel Frahm, Dave Holland, Wynton Marsalis, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Kendra Shank, Jim McNeely, Roscoe Mitchell, Cecil McBee, Bob Moses and many others. Please don't miss this special performance with special guest, George Garzone.

"Preminger seems to have arrived on the scene fully-formed, with incisive musical instincts, a distinctive personal sound, and an ability to write great tunes... I was totally taken aback by Preminger's fearless, assured, and cliché-free soloing... The compositions are fresh, the band provides totally committed, no-holds-barred backing and truly inspired solos... On the basis of repeated listens to 'Dry Bridge Road', I can safely conclude that Noah Preminger is definitely for real." - David Wayne, Jazz Review

“Saxophone phenom...” - Doug Fischer, Ottawa Citizen

“His [Preminger’s] debut recording and the music should turn listeners' heads and ears... one is immediately struck by the maturity of the compositions...” - Richard Kamins, Hartford Couran
 Cover $10

May 09
Maria Lisella, Gil Fagiani, hosts

Italian American Writers Association, featured readers are: Mary Ann Mannino and Maria Mazziotti Gillan, plus open mic, 5 minute limit.

Two award-winning authors: Maria Mazziotti Gillan, who is often identified as a leader of the multicultural turn in North American poetry and is the recent recipient of the 28th Annual American Book Award from the Columbus Foundation, will be joined by scholar, fiction writer and poet Mary Ann Mannino.

Maria Mazziotti Gillan has published eight books of poetry, including The Weather of Old Seasons (Cross-Cultural Communications, 1988), Where I Come From (1995) and Things My Mother Told Me (Guernica Editions,1998). Her latest book is Italian Women in Black Dresses (Guernica, 2002). She is co-editor with her daughter Jennifer of three anthologies published by Penguin/Putnam: Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, and Growing up Ethnic in America.

She is the editor of the award-winning Paterson Literary Review. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, the New York Times, Poetry Ireland, Connecticut Review, LIPS, and Rattle, as well as in numerous other journals and anthologies. She has won the Angelie Lauri award, the John Fante Award, May Sarton Award, the Fearing Houghton Award, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowships in Poetry, and the American Literary Translator's Award through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to being the Founder and the Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, she is also a Professor and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University-State University of New York .

Mary Ann Mannino: is a fiction writer and poet. Her poem, “Jimmy Fahey,” took first place in the 2001 Allen Ginsberg poetry awards. She was the first fiction writer to be featured in the Painted Bride Quarterly. She has published several short stories and poems in literary magazines in both England and the United States. Her work has appeared regularly in the Paterson Review, Philadelphia Poets and VIA as well as the Alabama Review.

By day, Mannino is an Assistant Professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 2003, with Justin Vitiello, she co-edited an anthology, Breaking Open, published by Purdue University Press, of Italian American women writers discussing ethnic influences on their creative works. Her essay Thomas Wolfe's Ambivalence Toward Women in The Web and the Rock was selected by the Thomas Wolfe Society as one of the twenty best essays on Thomas Wolfe in the last twenty years.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Ryan Blotnick, guitar & compositions;  Joachim Badenhorst, clarinet, saxophones;  Perry Wortman, bass;  Jeff Williams, drums;  Michael Blake, saxophone
Ryan Blotnick Band featuring Michael Blake image Ryan by Nathaniel Peluga/Michael by Josephine Ochej
Ryan Blotnick has just finished his second album for Songlines, featuring Belgian clarinetist Joachim Badenhorst of the Han Bennink Trio, and drum legend Jeff Williams. The audience can expect much of the "lyrical, almost nostalgic tone" of Blotnick's first project, but with a new palette of effects, vamp, and drones. This special concert will feature Blotnick's long time collaborator Michael Blake on Saxophone, the final concert of the group's four-day Northeast tour.

"Guitarist Ryan Blotnick plays with a warm tone, a relaxed cadence and a smart but unassuming air. Born and reared in Maine, he is now based in Brooklyn. On his engagingly pensive debut, Music Needs You (Songlines), Mr. Blotnick presents a handful of original compositions. There's a sense of something natural unfolding as he and his band mates elaborate on his themes."
- Nate Chinen, New York Times, 3/7/08
 Cover $10

Drum kit donated by

See the previous week's performances. PREVIOUS WEEK         Scheduled performances from May 02-May 09, 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