See the previous week's performances.  July 30-August 06, 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 30
Jackie Sheeler, host

Clara Hsu, featured poet
We love months with five Fridays because Ms Sheeler hosts our Pony open mic an extra night. Is this a wonderful world or is this a wonderful world?
 Cover $7
Son of Pony image
Jacam Manricks, saxophones, compositions;  Joe Martin, bass;  Ari Hoenig, drums;  George Colligan, piano
Jacam Manricks group - CD release for Trigonometry image
Saxophonist Jacám Manricks takes us along a new Jazz tangent on his breathtaking tour de force release "Trigonometry." This exciting musical program covers all the angles as Manricks' brilliant original compositions will be presented by an amazing group of players, including celebrated drummer Ari Hoenig , steadfast bassist Joe Martin, and the ever bombastic George Colligan on piano.

"Superb saxophone work, intellectually stimulating writing and ingeniously dovetailed rhythmic lines are the three sides that form the musical shape on Trigonometry"
- All About Jazz

What is said about Manricks' first CD, Labyrinth:

“mellifluous…meditative…beautifully contoured… “An impressive collection of pieces...“A composer beyond the confines of genre perception” 4 stars!
Downbeat Magazine

“Labyrinth is a piece of work that does for jazz what author Walt Whitman did for existentialism, he gives the genre meaning that people can relate to and apply to their own lives.” JazzTimes
 Cover $10

Jul 31
Brant Lyon, host

Poetry-Music Reading Series with the Hydro Juke improv band, The Ne'er-do-wells.

Open mic-sign up (arrive early to make the list).

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Kris Davis, piano, compositions;  John Hébert, bass;  Tom Rainey, drums
Kris Davis/John Hébert/Tom Rainey image
CD RELEASE for Good Citizen on Fresh Sound Records

Good Citizen is Davis' fourth release on Fresh Sound Records as a leader. The music she composed for the trio, featuring John Hebert and Tom Rainey, creates short, concise pieces, and focuses on the interplay within the trio.

Ingrid Laubrock, saxophones;  Tyshawn Sorey, drums;  Kris Davis, piano
Ingrid Laubrock/Tyshawn Sorey/Kris Davis image
CD RELEASE for Paradoxical Frog on Clean Feed Records

This exciting new trio release sees Drummer Tyshawn Sorey, pianist Kris Davis and reedist Ingrid Laubrock, all extremely thoughtful and engaging composer-improvisers, join forces.
- read more:

[…] a wowingly sensitive encounter with mostly-free but sometimes creatively structured music of the moment, and one of the most memorable sets of the festival.
Joseph Woodard /Jazz Times

Aug 01

Kirk Nurock orchestrated for Leonard Bernstein, Dizzy Gillespie and Meredith Monk, composed a work for 2O voices and 3 canines which he conducted at Carnegie Hall, and won a scholarship at age 16, awarded by Duke Ellington. But when he sits down to a piano, strange universes collide. Nurock deconstructs standards and jazz classics through a highly personal post-modernism. Keyboard Magazine called him "joyously iconoclastic" and the Village Voice said “Nurock is a composer-pianist who has always defied categorization.” Come hear why!!
 Cover $10 (includes one house drink)
Kirk Nurock, solo jazz pianist image
Eri Yamamoto, piano;  David Ambrosio, bass;  Ikuo Takeuchi, drums
Eri Yamamoto Trio  image
This new album of her all-new, all-original pieces are all brought to life with ebullience and deep sensitivity by her long-running Trio partners, bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi. Half of these pieces were composed as a new soundtrack suite to the 1932 silent film,"I was born, but...", by Japanese director asujiro Ozu, one of the most important filmmakers in cinema history. The film deals with the unchanging human situation that we don't choose which family we're born into, and the problems that come with this. While Ozu's film is serious and sometimes heartbreaking, it also has lightness and humor; Yamamoto's compositions accentuate this emotional complexity. The other five pieces, equally compelling and far ranging in mood, were composed through capturing Eri's experiences living in NYC and her touring around the world over the last two years.
 Cover $10
Aug 02
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)

Vic Juris, guitar;  Mary Halvorsen, guitar
Guitarist/composer and guest curator Joel Harrison has assembled some of the world’s finest improvising guitarists for a three day festival at Cornelia St. Café focusing on duos that bring together unusual, (mostly) first-time, pairings. The emphasis is on fearless innovators and improvisers- jazz, country, blues, rock, prog, noise, Indian, and classical will seamlessly meld together. Surprise will be the order of the day.

Mr. Harrison on the players:
Vic Juris is, to me, a master guitarist. He plays jazz standards as well as anyone alive, but also veers into all kinds of surprising modernism. His nylon string playing is lovely, and his feel and imagination are incredible. Mary Halvorsen is a fresh face on the scene, a Braxton acolyte, with a fiercely independent style. I have no idea what these two will sound like together which is absolutely enticing. I have a feeling they won’t play Stella by Starlight but if they do you may not know it.

(NB: $10 cover includes both sets).
 Cover $10

Pete McCann, guitar;  Adam Rodgers, guitar
The players, according to Harrison: Pete McCann: Pete is the Clark Kent of guitar- watch out when he steps in the phone booth. Whether playing his own compositions, Mahavishnu music, or Jazz tunes, he uses deadly force with a smile. Adam Rogers…what can I say about a guy who soloed next to Michael Brecker for many years? Everything he does comes out sounding perfect. Adam’s technique extends into so many avenues of guitar playing it’s silly. He is an encyclopedia of guitar.

(NB: $10 cover includes both sets.)
 Cover $10

Aug 03
Rez Abbasi, guitar;  Brad Shepik, guitar
Guest curator Joel Harrison has assembled some of the world’s finest improvising guitarists for a three day festival at Cornelia St. Café focusing on duos that bring together unusual, (mostly) first-time, pairings. The emphasis is on fearless innovators and improvisers- jazz, country, blues, rock, prog, noise, Indian, and classical will seamlessly meld together. Surprise will be the order of the day. The players, according to Harrison:

Rez Abbasi is one of the most lyrical jazz players alive. His ability to play long, beautiful phrases, using complex harmony is amazing. I love his tone and touch. His forays into Indian music will be met head on by Brad Shepik.

(NB: $15 cover includes both sets.)
 Cover $15

Brandon Ross, guitar;  Michael Gregory, guitar
Brandon Ross first caught my ear in Cassandra Wilson’s band, but since then I have seen him in numerous settings. His commitment to individuality and new sounds, as well as his awareness of the history of Black Music, are rare. I mean it as a high compliment when I say his take on music is odd and unpredictable. He is joined by one of my primary early influences Michael Gregory. I first heard Michael in the late 70’s with Oliver Lake, and it was life-changing. One thing I loved was that he sang as well as played. This is something he shares in common with Brandon.

(NB: $15 cover includes both sets.)
 Cover $15

Wednesday Aug 04
David Burke, author

New York Writers in Paris: Literary Lives in the City of Light image
David Burke is a writer and documentary filmmaker who went to Paris in 1986 for what he thopught would be a brief stay, but he lived there for twenty years, and now divides his time between Paris and New York.

The writers Burke will treat of are Henry James and Edith Wharton,

Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin (who spent her adolescence and married in New York before going to Paris),

Richard Wright (who lived in the Village before he split for Paris) and James Baldwin,

and Allen Ginsberg and his iconic cronies at “The Beat Hotel.”
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Joel Harrison, steel guitar;  Anupam Shobhakar, sarod
Guest curator Joel Harrison has assembled some of the world’s finest improvising guitarists for a three day festival at Cornelia St. Cafe focusing on duos that bring together unusual, (mostly) first-time, pairings. The emphasis is on fearless innovators and improvisers- jazz, country, blues, rock, prog, noise, Indian, and classical will seamlessly meld together. Surprise will be the order of the day.

Joel Harrison is not going to write about himself! But he (I) can say that the pairing with sarod fulfills a lifelong dream to collaborate with an Indian classical musician. I plan to play mostly National Steel Guitar, using slide. These instruments, the multi-stringed sarod and National Steel, are like long lost brothers. We'll play original pieces as well as arrangements of traditional American and Indian music. Anupam Shobhakar, from Bombay, is a young master of his instrument, an immense talent, and the great nephew of the best-known sarodist of the past 50 years, Ali Akbar Khan.

(NB: $15 cover includes both sets.)
 Cover $15

Elliott Sharp, guitar;  Marc Ribot, guitar
Elliot Sharp defines the word “innovative”. His bag of tricks on guitar is truly deep. Whether tapping, skronking, wacking, pulling, or caressing the instrument, it’s always unique and in your face. Marc Ribot is one of the few players who crosses over from absolutely insane new music to absolutely lyrical American roots music. It's nice to know that the same guy who played with John Zorn for so many years also played on the grammy winning Alison Krauss/ Robert Plant disc.

(NB: $15 cover includes both sets.)
 Cover $15

Aug 05
Robin, Angelo, and Tom, 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.
Mary Halvorson , guitar;  John Hebert, bass;  Ches Smith, drums
Mary Halvorson Trio image
The success of her acclaimed 2008 debut, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records), led critics to call Ms. Halvorson “probably the most original jazz guitarist to emerge this decade” Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader and “the freshest, busiest, most critically acclaimed guitar-slinger out of downtown Manhattan/Brooklyn right now” Howard Mandel,Jazz Beyond Jazz. “A singular talent,” adds’s Troy Collins, “Brooklyn-based guitarist Mary Halvorson has come into her own as a composer and improviser…light years ahead of her peers, she is the most impressive guitarist of her generation. The future of jazz guitar starts here.”
 Cover $10
Aug 06
Kat Georges, host

The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Featured: Peter Chelnik, accompanied by Tenor Sax man Bob Feldman
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Michael Feinberg, bass;  Logan Richardson, sax;  Tommy Crane, drums;  Julian Shore, piano
A vibrant young bassist/composer whose voice conveys a distinct musical vision, Michael Feinberg continues to bring fresh ideas to life with music that incorporates jazz, hip hop, and rock, as well as influences from his Middle Eastern and Eastern European heritage. Feinberg's music oscillates with new and exciting vibrations that include sounds from the East to the West, the fiery spirits of Charles Mingus, Jimmy Garrison, and others, as he aspires "to challenge the limitations of jazz while returning to its most basic elements of improvisation, creativity, and a fusion of cultures and sounds.

". . .embracing elements of both pop music and the avant-garde with a strong flare for jazz music. . . of the here and now." Chad Radford Creative Loafing Atlanta.
 Cover $10

Michael Feinberg Quartet image
Jason Rigby, tenor saxophone;  Russ Johnson, trumpet;  Cameron Brown, bass;  Jeff Davis, drums;  Mike Holber, piano
Jason Rigby Quintet image
The Jason Rigby Quintet is a powerhouse ensemble formed to explore group improvisation with the twists and turns of a two-horn front line. The group was formed conceptually out of the influences of Ornette Coleman's explorations with Don Cherry and Dewey Redman, Jack DeJohnette's early 70's work, and Miles' 70's electric bands - culminating in a modern mixture of grooves, free melodies, psychedelic sounds and angular horn harmonies.

Tenor saxophonist Jason Rigby has been hailed as "a truly lyrical musician" and "New York's rising star of tenor sax." an earthy voice that deftly combines many influences, Rigby is rapidly attracting the attention of the music world as a saxophonist and composer who has something important to say. Both of his leader releases on Fresh Sound Records (Translucent Space, 2006 and The Sage, 2009) received widespread critical acclaim.

"Aggressive doesn't necessarily mean wild, and somehow the saxophonists quintet sustains a daunting finesse while swinging full tilt on the new The Sage."Jim Macnie, The Village Voice

"Rigby's burly tenor tone and searching improvisations recall the expressionistic flights of Ornette Coleman and Joe Henderson." John Murph, Downbeat
 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