See the previous week's performances.  May 08-May 15, 2009 See the next week's performances.

See the previous week's performances. May, 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 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

May 10
Ken Corsbie Poez
Two Storytellers, No Waiting image
The authentic and complete Caribbean Storyteller, standup comic, poetry performer, workshop leader --teller of folk tales, literary and personal stories. He brings the sound, the sun and the songs of the islands; he brings the rivers of the rainforest; he brings the rhymes and rhythms; he brings the voices and variety of the Caribbean...

“All of Ken's stories - personal, literary, traditional, his singing, dancing, stand-up - shine with honesty, joy and warmth” Robin Bady, Director - Storytelling Center of New York City.

Ken's repertoire spans folk, literary and personal stories, performance poetry and song - all from the English speaking Caribbean - from Guyana in the South to Belize via the entire island chain. His personal stories are of living in and leaving the Caribbean and arriving and adapting (or not) to North America. Literary tales come from short stories of Island writers while the poetry he "performs" are narrative and dramatic by the very best regional poets. He is also a recognized stand-up comedian in the Caribbean and the North American diaspora.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Todd Neufeld, guitar;  Michael Adkins, saxophone;  Russ Lossing, piano;  Billy Mintz, drums;  John Hebert, bass
Michael Adkins Group image
"When one hears Michael Adkins for the first time, there's a certain shock, not just at the presence of a new voice but that such a musician might arrive fully formed. There's something unexpected in the sheer weight of his sound and depths of meaning that impinge in his lines. It might be noted that Adkins presents himself here as a tenor saxophonist, without that usual leap to the soprano or something else, a movement almost expected of those setting out to play jazz's dominant horn. Now that suggests a player very deeply involved in the formation of his own voice, a preoccupation to which this session attests, even to a concern with an authentic sense of speech," says Stuart Broomer.

"Certainly one of the most innovative young saxophonists in jazz today." - JazzHot

" A jazz composer to watch." -JazzWise

"Adkins sounds unlike anyone you've ever heard- but at the same time, like someone who's always been with us." - Chris May AllAboutJazz

 Cover $10

May 11
Angelo Verga, host

Susan Hoover Will Nixon Bruce Weber
Bruce Weber is the author of four published books of poetry, most recently Poetic Justice (Icon Press, 2004). He is the organizer of the Unorganicized Sunday Reading at ABC NO RIO, the chief editor of the broadside Stained Sheets, and the producer of the 15 years running Alternative New Year’s Day Spoken Word/Performance Extravaganza. He moves between the city and upstate New York, where he has a small house in the woods of West Saugerties.

In 1996 Will Nixon quit a midtown Manhattan apartment for a Catskills log cabin, a move that helped make him a poet. He's the author of My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse (FootHills Publishing) plus two chapbooks, When I Had It Made (Pudding House) and The Fish Are Laughing (Pavement Saw). His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and listed in The Best American Essays 2003. He now lives in Woodstock.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Jed Distler Momenta Quartet Rachelle Garniez Deborah Atherton
Serial Underground, “the subversive nightclub series” (Time Out NY)

Allan Kozinn (New York Times) contextualizes CCi’s monthly performances in the basement of the Cornelia Street Cafe – “... part of the ecology of urban night life.” CCi artistic director, Jed Distler, curates the programs abetted by director Arnold Barkus and lighting designer David Lovett.

more of the artists you love, plus the diva with a difference, Rachelle Garniez
Bartleby - new opera/preview by composer Melissa Pausina for the Momenta Quartet
Jed Distler - counteRevolution, new BIG work for piano
Deborah Atherton - reads Pearls, a story for Mother's Day

Box office: 212.663.1967 (advance purchase discount available)
Admission at the door: $15 gen’l, $10 student/sr + one drink minimum

May 12
Barbara Aliprantis, Curator/Emcee

Storytelling occurs the second Tuesday of every month.

Featured: Linda H. Humes

"The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter." - Mark Twain

LINDA H. HUMES believes that the power of laughter cannot be undermined. Sometimes a good laugh makes every challenge a bit easier to overcome. Celebrate Spring with stories that make us laugh, warm our hearts and lift our spirits.

Actress/Storyteller Linda H. Humes is the founder and artistic director of Yaffa Cultural Arts Inc., a non-profit organization based in New York City that specializes in multicultural folk arts. She also performs nationally and internationally as The Urban Griot (French term for storyteller) and facilitates workshops for children and adults. As an actress, she has appeared on the Larry Bud Melman show, in The Cotton Club, Desperately Seeking Susan, and Malcom X and many other commercial and industrial films. Ms. Humes has also written on entertainment for PM Magazine.

Open Telling (5-6 minute limit), followed by Featured tellers.

Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

John Morrison, host

John Morrison's monthly comedy quickie--some of the smartest, most politically savvy comedians in or passing through New York make and unmake their bed here before some soon to be deported illegal third world alien comes in to clean it all up . . .

 Cover $10

Kurt Brown, host

Laure-Anne Bosselaar Andrey Gritsman Doug Goetsch Philip Dacey Lee Bricceti Martha Rhodes Deborah Landau Kimiko Hahn Angelo Verga Karen Swenson
WE HOPE TO RESCHEDULE THIS EVENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE Hard times in the small press world? Some of our favorite poets commiserate by way of sharing new work produced over the recent winter of our massive discontent. A possible bright spot: President Obama may prove to be a theme.

NIGHT OF THE POETS : Please come and celebrate the ongoing creative process.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

James Westfall , vibraphone;  Dan Loomis, bass;  Jared Schonig, drums
The Wee Trio  image
Out of the uber-fertile creative music scene of Brooklyn, NY, The Wee Trio, featuring James Westfall from Houston, TX (vibes), Dan Loomis from St. Louis, MO (bass) and Jared Schonig from Los Angeles, CA (drums), joined forces for a one time tour (and a university artist residency), that quickly mushroomed into a brilliant collaborative musical exploration. Like many of the most revered ensembles in jazz that have thrilled audiences and critics over the years, The Wee Trio came together simply to work, yet emerged from this time together with an instantly identifiable sound, and a prodigious rapport. On their debut recording, Capitol Diner Vol. 1 (in stores and online on September 8, 2008), their superb original compositions, and “standards” by composers Kurt Cobain, Sufjan Stevens, and Thelonious Monk, are brought to life with an ingenious combination of jazz, rock, fusion, post-punk, and references to other genres thrown in for good measure. The best part is, it all “swings” like nobody’s business. This is a band born and raised in Brooklyn, with their first recording brilliantly embodying the borough’s energy, eclecticism and excellence.

"With James Westfall's vibes in the forefront, the group has a fresh sound, and bassist Dan Loomis and drummer Jared Schonig flow like the tides. Wee's sound is not wee, it's huge."
- SF Chronicle
"Bring a teen."
 Cover $10

May 14
Jonathan Escobio, host

Marni Penning James Knight Carey Van Driest P.J. Escobio
Shakespeare Anyone? image
"For Love or Money"

Why do we do what we do? Shakespeare asked that same question of many of his characters. In this installment of Shakespeare Anyone? we will be exploring two of the driving factors in human decision making.

We'll be taking a close look at Iago and his relationship with Rodorigo and Emelia as well as the marriage proposal of Henry V, Portia and Nerissa's view on suitors from The Merchant of Venice, Mistress's Page and Ford (The Merry Wives of Windsor) on middle age romance, The deceiving of Malvolio by the clowns in Twelfth Night, Posthumus and Iachimo's (Cymbeline) wager on Imogen's Purity as well as a few surprises.

The Shakespeare Anyone? Players for this night's work are all veterans of the classical stage with over 75 productions worth of Shakespearian experience!

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Grayson Hugh, piano, vocals;  Polly Messer, vocals;  Valerie Ghent, piano, vocals;  Tinker Barfield, bass;  Robin Macatangay, guitar;  Clayton Bryant, vocals
Night of the Killer Keyboarders: Grayson Hugh & Valerie Ghent image

"Have I heard any newcomer in the last decade who excites me as much as this guy? No." (Leonard Pitts Jr., 2004 Pultizer Prize winner, writing in The Miami Herald, Nov. 18,1992)

Grayson Hugh is an internationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter. His debut release "Blind To Reason" (RCA 1988) earned two gold records, in Australia and the U.S., and garnered several international radio hits. His songs are a unique combination of highly poetic lyrics set to a fascinating blend of folk, bluegrass, clasic soul and rock 'n roll. His rhythmic piano playing owes as much to his study of African Drumming (with John Chernoff at Wesleyan University) as to his experience as a pianist for a gospel church in Hartford, Ct. His second record "Road To Freedom" was called one of 1992's top-ten albums by Billboard Magazine. Two of his songs from that record were featured in Ridley Scott's hit film "Thelma & Louise" in 1991. In the same year Hugh arranged and recorded a version of Bob Dylan's "I'll Remember You" for the end-title song to the film "Fried Green Tomatoes". The result was a gospel-styled performance featuring Grayson singing and playing Hammond B3 organ, a recording "that could raise the dead" (The Cleveland Free Times). Grayson taught songwriting at Berklee College Of Music in Boston and has composed, performed and recorded several scores for modern dance choreographers, notably for the late Viola Farber and Prometheus Dance in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This Spring Grayson is releasing the eagerly-anticipated "An American Record" on his website, It is his first record in fifteen years.

Polly Messer began her career as a singer with the Connecticut swing band Eight To The Bar, in 1977. While touring up and down the east coast with them, she met Grayson in a recording studio and, soon after, began singing backup vocals in his band The Wildtones, in 1982. She performed with him throughout the mid-eighties, until he moved to New York in 1986. During the nineties, Polly sang with the rockabilly band Eugene Chrysler. She also returned to school where she obtained a bachelor's degree with a triple major in art at Western Connecticut State University. In 2007, she teamed up with Grayson once again to sing on his new record. She and Grayson were married in August 2008.

Here is a rare opportunity to hear Grayson Hugh and Polly Messer perform some of Grayson's new songs from "An American Record", as well as past radio hits and previously unreleased songs, in an intimate, acoustic setting.

VALERIE GHENT is a singer-songwriter, musician and founder of two nonprofits: The Songwriter's Beat and Feel the Music!. Known for her passionate artistry - a strikingly powerful and emotive voice, piano chops to match and "soul-stirring, uplifting songs full of vitality and joy", Val also performs with songwriting legends Ashford & Simpson and can be seen in the acclaimed live A+S DVD, "The Real Thing". Born and raised in NYC, Valerie has released three independent CD's, composed music for two acclaimed off-off-Broadway musicals and is the recipient of multiple grants and awards, including the Betances Center Award for Service to the Arts. Valerie founded The Songwriter's Beat in 2000 and the annual Songwriter's Beat Festival in 2005, supporting and encouraging hundreds of songwriters. She founded Feel the Music! after her work as a WTC volunteer during the 9/11 recovery. Valerie has performed, toured, recorded and/or engineered with Deborah Harry (Blondie), Dr. Maya Angelou, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, Billy Preston, TM Stevens, Defunkt, Grayson Hugh and many other artists.

Tonight Val will perform with Eluriel "Tinker" Barfield on bass, Robin Macatangay on guitar and Clayton Bryant on backing vocals.

 Cover $10

May 15
Kathi Georges, host

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

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Featured poet tonight is Lisa Grunberger. Lisa Grunberger's poems come at you from all angles, then seem to zero in on that part of you that most desires to be fulfilled. Sex and food--the eroticism and spirituality of daily life--are her themes. Her poems are accessible, witty, tender and full of love, addressing the human drama from adoption to grief, from making pickles to baking bread. She has published widely in journals including The Paterson LIterary Review, Mudfish, Nimrod and The Drunken Boat.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Tony Malaby, saxophone;  Ben Monder, guitar;  Eivind Opsvik, bass;  Nasheet Waits, drums
Tony Malaby's  Paloma Recio - CD Release image
Come and celebrate the new release on New World Records!

A vibrant exploration of the open-ended nature of melody, harmony and rhythm, Malaby's Paloma Recio quartet has delivered one of the most luxuriant and bracing albums of 2009.
- Troy Collins
 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