See the previous week's performances.  May 23-May 30, 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:


May 23
Andy Christie, host

RYAN BRITT,;  TRACY ROWLAND, NBC; The Moth;  PETER AGUERO, BTK Band;The Moth;  MR. Z, The Moth GrandSlam Champion
Listen to four personal stories that will make you laugh, make you think, and possibly make you glad you don't live with these people. Three stories are true. One is a complete fabrication. Interrogate the cast and expose the fraud to win and unbelievable prize.

"A Winner. 4 Stars." The Scotsman, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

TimeOut NY Critics Pick,p> "A night of solid fun. " - BroadwayBaby
 Cover $5

9:00PM & 10:30PM  MARK HELIAS
Mark Helias, bass;  Tom Rainey, drums;  Ellery Eskelin, saxophone
Mark Helias image
Open Loose - Chapter 1

"This is the original lineup of Open Loose, comprising Mark Helias - bass, Tom Rainey - drums and Ellery Eskelin - tenor saxophone. As an aficionado of long-term friendships and musical collaboration, I find it inspiring to revisit past formations and continue the conversation. Surprises abound!"
 Cover $10

May 24
Karen Gormandy, host

INKWELL MAGAZINE (Manhattanville College Master of Arts in Writing Program)COMPETITION WINNERS

Jacob Appel, "Post Mortem"

Dan Preniszni will be reading "Elvis, Fat Vicky, and the Night I Learned About S-E-X."

Joanna Herman, "On a Brown Street"

Louis Reyes Rivera, excerpts from "Jazz in Jail"

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Michael Musillami, guitar, compositions;  Joe Fonda, bass;  Matt WIlson, drums;  w/ Ralph Alessi, trumpet;  Marty Ehrlich, saxophone, flute;  Matt Moran, vibraphone
Michael Musillami Trio + 3 - CD RElease image
The Michael Musillami Trio + 3is celebrating the release of From Seeds on Playscape Recordings. The Michael Musillami Trio + 3 augments Musillami's longstanding core trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Matt Wilson, with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist Matt Moran.

"Guitarist Musillami is really on a roll lately, documenting a number of high quality sessions on his Playscape label," declared Cadence reviewer Jason Bivins. Critics called his latest, 2007's The Treatment, featuring his trio with violinist Mark Feldman, "scintillating and provocative" (Bill Milkowski, Absolute Sound), "an intensely rewarding and conceptually promising avenue for the future of jazz" (Troy Collins, and "as convincing a statement of what’s still possible with the instrumentation as anything I’ve heard in years" (Brian Morton, It was also included in best-of-the-year lists in, Cadence, Coda, the Hartford Courant, Jazz Review and the Village Voice.

Musillami himself has been called “a superior guitarist” (John McDonough, DownBeat), "an adroit and creative musician" (Michael J. West, JazzTimes), "a fine composer of notable original music" (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide) and "a modern-day jazz master" (Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal). "His compositions develop in leisurely style from quiet simplicity to intricate complexity," explained Jack Massarik in Jazzwise, "and the ensemble playing is civilized, sophisticated and clean." The Boston Phoenix's Jon Garelick adds, "Musillami sounds familiar—this is swinging jazz guitar, after all—but not quite like anyone else."

In a career that spans more than 25 years, Musillami has worked extensively as a performer, bandleader/composer and educator. In addition to his flagship trio with Fonda and Schuller, which has performed in the U.S., Canada and Europe and released three CDs since 2002, he has earned critical notice as the leader of groups ranging from duo to octet featuring such prominent collaborators as Cameron Brown, Thomas Chapin, Drew Gress, Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin and Matt Wilson. He is also the longtime Director of Jazz Studies at The Hotchkiss School and founder/director of the acclaimed Playscape Recordings label, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2009.

May 25
Drink, Blaspheme, F^^^ image
A New Show by Lisa Faith Phillips & Benefit for the Dr. Faith Legal Defense Fund.

As her friends talked about applying for jobs with the exciting new Obama administration, Dr Faith realized she could not follow her calling to help her country, she would never pass the vetting. There was her arrest record, her part time job on the Penthouse phone sex line, her summer job as a stripper to put herself through graduate school at the London School of Economics, the recent lawsuit filed against her for the show now referred to as "the show formerly known as Prince" for trademark infringement by Franklincovey, owners of trademarks for 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

And that didn't even touch on the drugs - she had inhaled - everything.

Raised in a test site for cable television, Dr. Faith was bred to be a couch potato, but she knew that there had to be something more. Outrageous, poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, follow her journey to Europe, China and the Middle East where she ends up a prisioner of love in Abu Dhabi.

Show starts at 6:30, doors open at 6:00.
 Cover $15

Gretta Harley, composer, piano, guitar;  Sarah Rudinoff, vocals
21st schizoid music presents: Gretta Harley / We Are Golden image
Gretta Harley is a composer and performer who lives in Seattle and works in various genres, including theater, concert music, electronic music and rock/pop. She is on the faculty, and is the composer-in-residence in the theatre department at the prestigious Cornish College of the Arts. Gretta also has a 7 piece soul/pop band (with classical arrangements) called, We Are Golden with singer, actress, Sarah Rudinoff.

Gretta’s music was most recently heard during the production of “Good Person of Szechwan” (directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian) in April; and UMO Ensemble’s “Rubble Women” (directed by Sheila Daniels) in March. She was recently commissioned to write music for the upcoming show, “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” at the Tony Award winning theater, Intiman Theater ( this Autumn.

Gretta is honored to come to NYC to perform her music at the Schizoid Music Series at Cornelia Street Café on Memorial Day. The first set of music will focus the pop/soul music she writes for We Are Golden. Singing sensation (“with pipes to die for”- Seattle Weekly), Sarah Rudinoff is flying in with her to play the show ( The second set will be a self- contained “schizoid” set of her theatre music, music for injured pianists, piano reductions of chamber compositions, harmonic singing and improvisation.

We Are Golden is a band on the rise in Seattle, WA. Their debut EP includes Seattle music luminaries, and includes virtuoso cellist, Joshua Roman. The founders, writers and arrangers are Gretta Harley (piano / guitar) and singer, Sarah Rudinoff. Sarah’s voice has been called “The best set of pipes in Seattle” (Hannah Levine, KEXP FM); “Pipes to die for” (Seattle Weekly), and she was called one of the two best voices in Seattle next to Ernestine Anderson by Seattle Magazine. Gretta Harley is on the faculty at the prestigious Seattle school, Cornish College of the Arts where she is composer-in-residence in the theater department; and she has a long and deep connection to the rock and avante garde music scenes in Seattle; She is co-founder of Home Alive and produced “Home Alive: The Art of Self-Defense” on Sony Records. Joining We Are Golden this summer is drummer, Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees, Mad Season, Tuataro).

Meet the Band here:

and here:
 Cover $10

May 26
Alissa Heyman, host

Eugenia Chung, Sarah Lawrence College;  Lauren McClung, New York University

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Robin Hirsch
Our Minister of Culture writes:

Sorry for the late notice, but I'm leaping in for the absent Marc Maron, whose comedy series has been a highlight of the last few months, and whose shoes I am not in any way attempting to fill.

Over the last few months, mostly as a last-minute pinch hitter, I have read/performed pieces from my memoir, LAST DANCE AT THE HOTEL KEMPINSKI. I also read a piece called Pleasant Dreams, accompanied by the marvelous Frank London on trumpet and Ken Filiano on bass. Last month I took that piece up to Middlebury, Vermont, and read it as part of a Yom HaShoah (Holocaust) memorial service at Middlebury College. My son, Sasha, played piano, which made it an extraordinarily moving occasion for me.

Pleasant Dreams is one of a series of cafe stories, which are slowly coagulating into another book, a kind of autobiography by other means, tentatively entitled THE WHOLE WORLD PASSES THROUGH. It is in some ways a sequel to Kempinski, i.e., what happens to a Wandering Jew when he finally stands still and opens the doors. This is what I did thirty-two years ago at Number 29 Cornelia Street.

I will be reading three short pieces and one longer one, which capture different moments in the history of this little joint.

I do hope you can join me.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Wednesday May 27 6:00PM  POETRY
Cindy Savett Nick Samaras Maggie Schwed
Cindy Savett teaches poetry workshops at psychiatric institutions in the Philadelphia area to both acute short-term and residential patients. Her book, Child in the Road, was recently released. She is published in numerous print and on-line journals, including Margie, Heliotrope, LIT, The Marlboro Review, 26 Magazine, Cutbank, and Free Verse. She spent fifteen years in the retail business, traveling extensively overseas. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, she currently lives in Merion, Pennsylvania with her husband and children.

Nicholas Samaras is from Patmos, Greece (the “Island of the Apocalypse”), and was brought in exile to be raised further in America. He's lived in Greece, England, Wales, Switzerland, Austria, Yugoslavia, Jerusalem, and he write from a place of permanent exile.

His first book won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award (Hands of the Saddlemaker).

Maggie Schwed’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Western Humanities Review, Raritan, Nimrod, Commonweal, Pleiades, Barrow Street, as well as other magazines, on-line publications, and anthologies. She was a finalist for the 2006 Morton Marr Poetry Prize and for the 2008 Erskine J. Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, Out of Season, was published in 2008 by Finishing Line Press. Her master’s degree is from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought. She lives with her husband in New York City. For the past four years, she has been learning to farm, first with Bobolink Dairy and now with the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Jon Sobel, host

Emily Hurd Carol Thomas Hot Monkey Love
8:30 - Emily Hurd

9:15 - Carol Thomas

10 - Hot Monkey Love

 Cover $10

May 28
Lucinda Karter, host

You think Michelle Obama was a big hit in Paris? French Writers in New York is tres chic also.

Syngué Sabour by Atiq Rahimi (Winner of the 2008 Goncourt Prize)

Dans la luge d'Arthur Schopenhauer by Yasmina Reza

Mari et Femme (cont.) by Régis de Sá Moreira

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Lainie Cooke, vocals;  Peter Zak, piano;  Cameron Brown, bass;  Quincy Davis, drums
Lainie Cooke image
Sophisticated jazz from - to use that old cliche - one of the best kept secrets in the city. Harlemwood Records recording artist Lainie Cooke has been singing in New York and LA for two decades, but is best known for her voice-over work on some of your very favorite commercials. She is joined as always by some of the most talented musicians in the business who obviously enjoy making music with her. Her CD, "It's Always You" justifies the acclaim Lainie has received from people who know a "jazz singer" when they hear one. In fact, an evening with Lainie is just simply a good time. Tonight Lainie returns to Cornelia St Cafe with Peter Zak, Cameron Brown Quincy Davis
"no hype or attitude just the pure emotion that only true life experience can endow in an artist"

"This lady can sing the Blues. And ballads, and...well just about anything."
Bob Gish, Jazz Improv Magazine, June 2008
 Cover $15

May 29
Kat Georges, host

Son of A Pony image
It's the fifth Friday this month, but who's counting?

Kat's feature is Dafna Rosenblum, open mic sign up starts 5:45pm.

Dafna Rosenblum grew up in Chile. She started writing poetry at the age of 10 when she fell in love with Pablo Neruda and Nicanor Parra. She was published in Chile and has read her works in San Francisco, Woodstock and New York City. She is also a dancer and choreographer. At the moment, she is working on the integration of the 2 art forms.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

John Hébert, bass;  Eric McPherson, drums;  Loren Stillman, alto saxophone;  Russ Lossing, piano
John Hébert Group image
hat happens when poise meets pluck? From his eloquence with Andrew Hill to his energy with Mary Halvorson, this bassist has proven himself as left-leaning mainstreamer who works a poetic lingo while still keeping things engaged. His Hat Hut duets with pianist Russ Lossing are good example of rumination with results. Lossing's part of this squad, a foursome of dudes who deserve to have their individual praises sung. Watch how much saxophonist Loren Stillman finds ways to tunnel through the action. - JIM MACNIE
 Cover $10
May 30
Jane Ormerod, host

R. Nemo Hill Precious Jones Jennifer L. Knox Jason Schneiderman
R. Nemo Hill lives in New York City, but travels extensively in Southeast Asia each year, where his experiences have run the gamut from intestinal bleeding to intellectual ecstasy. He is convinced that during a violent thunderstorm in Bali (which blew everyone’s roof off but his own), his house in the rice paddies was struck by lightning. That might explain the fact that he is the author of a novel, Pilgrim’s Feather (Quantuck Lane Press, 2002), a narrative poem, The Strange Music of Erich Zann (Hippocampus Press, 2004), and a chapbook, Prolegomena To An Essay On Satire (Modern Metrics, 2006); his poetry and fiction have appeared in Sulfur, Smartish Pace, Shit Creek Review, The Chimaera, and Big City Lit. During the storm, the single bulb on the porch, extinguished at the time, crackled with light, then went dark once more. Nothing was ever the same again.

Native Brooklynite Precious Jones's work has been published by print and online publications such as WordRiot, Gay Black Female Magazine, and 1-42 Magazine, and is forthcoming in the Brownstone Poets Anthology. She has featured at numerous venues and events including the Fashion Institute of Technology, and "Art Stroll" in celebration of Washington Heights Her writing tackles issues of race, sex, and sexuality with honesty and wit. She gives thanks to June Jordan, Chrystos, and Neruda.

Jennifer L. Knox is the author of two books of poems in English, Drunk by Noon and A Gringo Like Me. Her selected work has also been translated into a book in German, Wir Fürchten Uns. Her poems have appeared in three editions of the Best American Poetry series (1997, 2003 and 2006), as well as the anthologies Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to Present, and Best American Erotic Poetry. She lives in Brooklyn.

Jason Schneiderman is the author of Sublimation Point, a Stahlecker Selection from Four Way Books. His poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Tin House, Best American Poetry (2005), Poetry London, and The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, among other journals and anthologies. He has received fellowships from Yaddo, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Ray Anderson, trombone;  Brad Jones, bass;  Gerry Hemmingway, drums
Ray Anderson Group image
Ray Anderson
"has a fluency and range on the instrument that would have seemed impossible a few years a trombone version of John Coltrane's tenor saxophone sound." (Robert Palmer, NY Times). "Anderson is a true and total original." (Fred Bouchard, Jazz Times)

"Ray's chops are phenomenal - from swooping legato to breakneck staccato, from the nastiest growls to the sweetest whimpers - but it's evident that he's not about technique, that he'll sometimes altogether forget technique. It's the feeling he's playing,..." (Michael Bourne, Downbeat)

Percussionist Gerry Hemingway has been making a living as a composer and performer solo and ensemble music since 1974. He is well known for his eleven years in the Anthony Braxton Quartet, and his many 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.

New York born bassist/composer, Brad Jones, has worked with a wide variety of artists representing different genres of music that include Ornette Coleman, Elvis Costello, Elvin Jones, Deborah Harry, Muhal Richard Abrams, Uri Caine, John Zorn,David Byrne, Carlos Garnett, Marc Ribot, Vernon Reid, and the Jazz Passengers. In the past few years, he has been mainly touring and recording with trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas in several of his projects as well as playing in the groups of guitarist/composer David Gilmore, and pianist/composer Anthony Coleman.

 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