See the previous week's performances.  July 10-July 17, 2010 See the next week's performances.

See the previous week's performances. July, 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:


Jul 10
Maria Lisella, Gil Fagiani, hosts

Michael LaSorsa Steffen Joel Alegretti
Italian American Writers Association, featured readers are: Bordighera Poetry Prize Winner Michael LaSorsa Steffen and Performance Poet, Joel Alegretti

plus open mic, 5 minute limit.

“Irony is largely absent from poetry these days,” says Pam Bernard, author of Across the Dark (Main Street Rag Press, 2002), “which is why Michael Steffen's unblinking observations of the tart and quirky human condition emerge from the blur. At once ravenous and tender, these poems are utterly original and immensely satisfying. This voice moves us out, toward larger meaning, and back to the everyday, refreshed and enlightened.”

Of Joel Alegretti's most recent poetry collection Thrum, Raymond Hammond, editor of The New York Quarterly called it “an intriguing and must read for anyone who has a sense of all that culminates in the commingling of the arts.” Indeed, last year Kean University in New Jersey presented the world premiere of a song cycle based on Allegretti's poetry. A Cycle by the Sea by Frank Ezra Levy, for decades a cellist with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra and whose symphonic work is in the American Classics series on the Naxos label.
 Cover $7

Fabian Almazan, piano;  Linda Oh, bass;  Kendrick Scott, drums
Fabian Almazan TRio image
Pianist Fabian Almazan has gained high visibility for the last two years as a member of Terence Blanchard's acclaimed quintet. He appears on Blanchard's latest disc Choices as well as the soundtrack for the Spike Lee joint "Miracle at St. Anna". A native of Cuba now residing in New York, Fabian attended the New World School of the Arts High School in Miami. After graduation in 2002 he soon migrated to the Brubeck Institute in California, and finally Manhattan School of Music where he recently completed his Masters; a path that entailed private study with Jason Moran. In addition to his work with Blanchard, he has performed with Gretchen Parlato, Lionel Loueke, Ambrose Akinmusire, Walter Smith, Derrick Hodge, Chris Dingman, E.J. Strickland and Bilal, among others. This week the brilliant emerging pianist leads a trio with Linda Oh and Kendrick Scott, both highly respected and familiar New York musicians.

"Fabian Almazan is the latest pianistic prodigy... a Cuban-born dazzler with a melodic instinct to match his technique."
- New York Times
 Cover $10

Jul 11
Judith Kampfner, host

Radio scripts on stage.

Oligarchs, Circuses and Trial by TV

Russian Contemporary Society as revealed in 3 new plays for BBC Radio

Hear excerpts of sneak previews of the plays and meet the cast of actors - all Russian speakers - who are based in New York. Judith Kampfner the director will host a Q and A

This is an opportunity to hear new writing about Russia which is fresh and authentic. The stories are all from Russian sources but adapted by English writers.

Sunday 11: The Moscow Prodigal - Vasily returns to his native town after living in London and finds his best friends involved in racist bullying and corruption. A political thriller

Sunday 25: Circus Train - Two Performers who miss their train, travel the remote countryside meeting eccentric characters who are working out ways to survive in the new Russia.

The Target Audience - a model, a businesswoman and an investigative journalist invite an oligarch to talk on their hot TV show but the outcome of their trial by TV is hotter than they could have predicted. The Russian writer is from a corporate business background and writes as an insider.

We will play audio excerpts, the actors will read short scenes and we will discuss the process of establishing a repertory radio company in New York for these radio plays. Radio drama is more like film than theater and we will demonstrate our production values and the dramatic thrills.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Dan Tepfer, piano;  Ben Wendel, tenor saxophone
Dan Tepfer/Ben Wendel Duo image
This will be the second concert of a new monthly series of duos at Cornelia Street Cafe led by pianist Dan Tepfer. Joining him on this occasion, Ben Wendel is one of the most exciting young saxophonists on the scene, a founding member of the grammy-nominated group Kneebody and a recent collaborator of Cuban drumming legend Ignacio Berroa's, Thelonius Monk Piano Competition Winner Tigran Hamasyan's, Electronica artist Daedelus' and Hip Hop artist Snoop Dogg's. Ben Wendel is also an accomplished bassoonist. The paired-down environment of the duo offers the chance for a rare, spontaneous musical intimacy; here Wendel and Tepfer will explore this terrain mainly through each other's compositions, some of which have been written specially for this concert.

"Dan Tepfer is a sharp young talent, rugged and emphatic... An intently modern pianist who is also drawn to the deeper currents of melody." New York Times

"Dan Tepfer is an exceptional young player who has made an indelible impact on the local scene",Time Out NY
 Cover $10

Jul 12
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)

Bala Skandan, mridangam, kanjira;  Nitin Mitta, tabla;  Arun Ramamurthy, violin;  Trina Basu, violin;  Amaili Premawardhana, cello
Akshara Percussion Ensemble image
Akshara is an exciting new percussion group rooted in Indian classical musical traditions. Comprised of virtuosic performers in Carnatic and Hindustani classical genres, Akshara performs an energetic blend of classical Indian melody and rhythm highlighted with solo and scale-based improvisations. The group performs original compositions by Bala Skandan, demonstrating the powerful and complex rhythmic structures inherent in South Indian classical music. The leading instrument is Mridangam, a double-barreled drum that produces a deep rich tone and played with both hands to produce powerful and complex rhythm patterns. Other percussion instruments include Tabla, the main Hindustani percussion instrument North Indian equivalent of Mridangam, and Kanjira, the South Indian frame drum with a bass tone. Melodic accompaniment is provided using Carnatic Violins and Cello.
 Cover $10
Jul 13
Barbara Aliprantis

Storytelling occurs the second Tuesday of the month

New York STORY Exchange

FORMAT: Special Storytelling Olio!


Bob "Bobaloo" Basey, NYC's storytelling troubadour tells stories with music and song, accompanied by musician/songwriter Tracy Wright.

Ken Corsbie, the authentic and complete Caribbean Storyteller, stand-up comic, poetry performer, Dramatist – teller of personal stories/folktales – to sum up: an entertainer!

Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi spins “Tales of Imagination and Inspiration” that touch the heart!

Raj Varma is a New Zealand born Indian who came to America for love. Tonight he shares with you why he left Paradise for the Big Apple!

Nicholas Zaharakos, a short story writer, cooks up O’Henry-style New York tales, flavored with a unique ethnic spice.

"...Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write for only in such response do we find truth." - Madeleine L'Engle (Reflections on a Writing Life)

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Christian Coleman, drums, compositions;  Mike Dopazo, alto saxophone;  Broc Hempel, piano;  Dan Fabricatore, bass
Christian Coleman Quartet image
Drummer Christian Coleman hails from Nebraska and moved to New York last summer. Since his arrival in New York, he has been steadily gigging throughout the boroughs, bringing his elegant sensibilities to the groups of Steve Blanco, Pat O'Leary and Amanda Monaco. His debut album, 5th St. Stoop, will be released this month and features Coleman's original compositions interpreted by a quartet that includes famed Australian saxophonist and Art Blakey alumnus Dale Barlow.

"Another aspect of Coleman's musicianship that adds to his improvisational ability is a unique blend: a very finely honed sensitivity towards other musicians combined with an independent exploratory streak that can urge fellow musicians onto greater heights."

More info:
 Cover $10

Peter Brendler, bass;  Rich Perry, tenor saxophone;  Jeff Davis, drums
Peter Brendler Trio image
Bassist Peter Brendler brings an exciting new trio to Cornelia Street Café. The group features Rich Perry on tenor saxophone and Jeff Davis on drums. The band will be exploring some daring new compositions which reflect Brendler’s vast and varied influences and which were written specifically for this fantastic new trio.

Press quote: On Peter Brendler’s playing with the John Abercrombie trio: “…able trio mate Peter Brendler played sensitive solos that were particularly well received by the audience.” -Ralph A. Miriello (

More info:
 Cover $10

Wednesday Jul 14
Jennifer Rawlings, comic, writer, filmmaker, and a kick-ass mom;  Michèle LaRue, actress
Performance image
Award winning performer Jennifer Rawlings presents readings from her one - woman show " I Only Smoke in War Zones" - a collection of true stories from the battlefield (both at home and abroad.)

LaRue tours nationally with several one-woman plays--The Yellow Wallpaper (dramatized and directed by Warren Kliewer from Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1890 feminist horror story), Someone Must Wash the Dishes: An Anti-Suffrage Monologue (Marie Jenney Howe's 1912 satire), Eve's Diary (Gayle Stahlhuth's adaptation of several Mark Twain stories), Places, Please, Act One, Kliewer's vibrant "poems around and about theatres," and a varied repertoire of American short stories written at the turn of the previous century. She has played over 200 performances of these productions in 12 states, from Maine to Oklahoma, Minnesota to Virginia.

In the vibrant tradition of Charles Dickens’ public readings, Michele LaRue brings to life turn-of-the-century American short stories, by authors ranging from the well-remembered (Twain and O. Henry) to the undeservedly “lost” (Mary Wilkins Freeman, Alice Brown, Edith Wyatt …). Michele’s series of Tales Well Told is your great-great-grandparents’ Selected Shorts.

In this, her fourth appearance at the Cafe, Michele presents Miss Jewett’s Miss Esther’s Guest: a sweet summer tale of country mouse meets city mouse … with a twist.
 Cover $8

Dan Weiss, drums, compositions;  Jacob Sacks, piano;  Thomas Morgan, bass
Dan Weiss Trio image
Dan Weiss has proved indispensable to a number of groundbreaking bands, including David Binney's Balance, Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition and Quartet, Miles Okazaki's Generations group, Ohad Talmor's Newsreel, Rez Abbasi's ensembles and many more. But Dan also has a growing list of accomplishments as a leader. He has studied tabla extensively with Pandit Samir Chatterjee, and his 2005 release Tintal Drumset Solo and forthcoming Jhaptal Drumset Solo reveal an innovator's mind at work, as he transplants classical Indian rhythmic concepts to the drumset, a practice that has begun to inform his work in a wide variety of jazz contexts.

In addition, Dan's trio endeavors with pianist Jacob Sacks and bassist Thomas Morgan have been documented on their 2006 debut Now Yes When and the brand new Sunnyside release Timshel, which they gather to celebrate this week. The trio first played here in April 2008, and Dan returned for a fascinating duo encounter with Jason Lindner in September '09.

The New York Times Jazz Listings:
DAN WEISS TRIO (Saturday) "Dan Weiss is a drummer of adaptable flow and microscopic focus, as he has shown in a range of instrumental settings. His own working trio, with the pianist Jacob Sacks and the bassist Thomas Morgan, just released its first album, “Timshel” (Sunnyside), proof that Mr. Weiss is on equally sound footing as a bandleader."
More info:
 Cover $10

Jul 15
Darcy Dunn, mezzo-soprano;  Mark Singer, baritone;  Mimi Stern-Wolfe, piano
This program features the music of the legendary Kurt Weill, Leonard Bernstein, and the beautiful and lyrical melodies of contemporary composer, Mira J. Spektor. They are sung by the husband and wife vocal team of Darcy Dunn, mezzo-soprano, and Mark Singer, baritone, under the musical direction of pianist, Mimi Stern-Wolfe.
 Cover $10
Matt Darriau, winds;  Pablo Aslan, bass;  Katie Down, flute, percussion, ukulele;  Sam Bardfeld, violin;  Jofre Romarion, bandoneon
Matt Darriau and Pablo Aslan - World Tango Project image
"A long time simmering collaboration between the clarinet world music maven Matt Darriau (Klezmatics, Paradox, Ballin' The Jack) and the argentine bassist and tango jazz pioneer Pablo Aslan (Avantango, Paquito D'Rivera, NY Tango Trio). They zero in on international 1930's tango songs as a point of departure. Expect no drums but lots of rhythm, a chamber jazz world music sound from the heart of Brooklyn..."
 Cover $10
Jul 16
Kat Georges, host

The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Aruan Ortiz, piano;  Jeremy Pelt, trumpet;  David Gilmore, guitar;  Rashaan Carter, bass;  Eric McPherson, drums
Aruan Ortiz: The Quintet image
The Quintet, a group lead by the pianist Aruán Ortiz, is inspired by eccletic influences such as Afro-Cuban music, jazz, contemporary classical composition and visual arts, etc. as the impetus for generating musical material. The idea of creating an ensemble that pushes boundaries and expands the language of the music from the foundation of jazz has been Aruán's goal since its beginning. The Quintet strives to be a source for open-minded composers and musicians from different backgrounds to interact and create a multicultural language that can only be expressed by the sounds of contemporary music.

Jazz fans applaud, and novices mark your calendars. Aruán Ortiz, critically acclaimed Cuban pianist is a must see,” New
York Post
 Cover $20

Jul 17
Tony Moreno, drums, cymbals, compositions;  Ron Horton, trumpet;  Marc Mommaas, saxophone;  Johannes Weidenmuller, bass;  Gary Varsace, piano
Tony Moreno Group image
This Quintet is composed around a very special group of musicians. Everyone is both a wonderful performer and composer and bandleader in their own right. The repertoire is based on originals contributed from various band members. In addition, adding some compositions from Paul Motian, Gordon Parish and perhaps some standards.

The drummer Tony Moreno seeks a supple flow in his music, but also a subtle tension...
- New York Times More info:
 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