See the previous week's performances.  August 11-August 18, 2009 See the next week's performances.

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Aug 11
Jed Distler, curator

Sachiko Kato, piano;  Taka Kigawa, piano
Sachiko Kato and Taka Kigawa team up for an evening of solos and duos, including Satie’s Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear, Poulenc’s Sonata and Beethoven’s own four-hand arrangement of his gnarly Gosse Fugue for String Quartet.

A winner of the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition and the Pro-Piano Recital Series Audition, Sachiko Kato has performed extensively both as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Japan ever since making her debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in 1994. She also is artistic director of the critically acclaimed New York concert series Weaving Japanese Sounds.

Taka Nigawa has garnered a formidable reputation for his sharply honed technique and unusually wide repertoire, and won the praise of difficult-to-please former New York Times critic Paul Griffith for performing Pierre Boulez’ Third Piano Sonata by memory.
 Cover $8

Jed Distler, host

Joshua Fried, electro stuff;  Jed Distler, piano
piano festival: Composers Collaborative Special image
"No Soap Radio Wonderland," starring Joshua Fried's live electronics, steering wheel and shoes, with Jed Distler at the piano

Joshua Fried’s Live FM radio boombox, steering wheel, shoes and laptop merge into recombinant funk and rhythmic text twisting, partnered by Jed Distler, acoustic and unplugged at the Yamaha grand. If you close your eyes, you’d be hard pressed to determine who’s playing what.

“RADIO WONDERLAND is me, Joshua Fried, performing solo live sound processing by drumming on old shoes (I'm a drummer) and manipulating a steering wheel (I'm a, er, wheel player). RADIO WONDERLAND turns live commercial FM radio into recombinant funk.

All the sounds originate from an old boombox, playing radio LIVE. Nothing is pre-recorded; anything picked up during the performance is fair game until the end. All the processing is by custom software I wrote in the MaxMSP programming environment. But I hardly touch the laptop. My controllers really are a vintage Buick steering wheel, old shoes mounted on stands, and some gizmos. You'll hear me build grooves, step by step, out of recognizable radio, and even UN-wind my grooves back to the original radio source.

I walk on with a boom box, playing FM radio LIVE. Once onstage, I plug it into my system and start slicing up radio. I arrange those slices both rhythmically, and, by playing them at different speeds, melodically as well, all according to what I hear. I call this process the RE-SHUFFLER. With another algorithm, which I call my RE-ESSER, (studio nerds will recognize this as a joke on de-esser), I isolate the sibilance, so I can compose on the spot with those S, T, K, Sh, etc. sounds, just like programming a drum machine. The ANYTHING-KICK morphs a bit of radio in the direction of a kick drum.”
 Cover $8

Jed Distler, curator

Anna Smirny Taka Kigawa Luis Andrei Cobo Joseph Pehrson
New and provocative keyboard fare with pianists Anna Smirny, Luis Andrei Cobo, Taka Kigawa and Joseph Pehrson. Works include Alexander Kataenko’s Visions of the Blind, Luis Andrei Cobo’s Slow Motion, Joseph Pehrson’s Prudendurance, Alvin Brehm’s By the Numbers, and Gene Pritsker’s Dissecting Rembrandt for one piano eight hands. Expect a few surprises along the way
 Cover $8
Jed Distler, curator

Kirk Nurock, piano
Composer-pianist Kirk Nurock is refreshingly hard to pin down. He arranged for both Dizzy Gillespie and Leonard Bernstein, orchestrated for Meredith Monk composed a work for 20 voices and 3 canines (which he conducted at Carnegie Hall) and won a scholarship at age 16, awarded by Duke Ellington. Now a veteran of 30 years in the music world, Nurock makes a rare NYC solo foray this evening. For the full picture of his rich musical life, visit
 Cover $8
Aug 13
Jed Distler, curator

Matt Aucoin, piano;  Jed Distler, piano
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for piano duet.

Matt Aucoin and Jed Distler, piano four hands

Before recordings and radio, the piano was the home entertainment center, where family members and friends gathered to play through thousands of symphonic, chamber, choral and opera works available in piano duet arrangements. Tonight guest curator Jed Distler and the remarkable 19-year-old composer/pianist/opera coach Matt Aucoin “de-orchestrate” Beethoven’s groundbreaking Symphony No. 9 in D Minor Op. 125. Although we have no vocal soloists and chorus, audience members are welcome to sing along.
 Cover $8

Frank LoCrasto, piano, Prophet 5;  Josh Mease, vocals, bass, guitar, Juno 60
Piano festival: Frank LoCrasto-Josh Mease image
Frank LoCrasto, has been hailed by the New York Times as "a pianist-composer of modernity and promise." While studying at the New Schools jazz program, he began turning heads as pianist for the acclaimed trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. He has also racked up credits with the likes of Pat Martino, Wallace Roney, Greg Osby, Nicholas Payton and more. In 2006, he debuted as a leader with the stirring Maxjazz album When You're There, revealing influences that span the jazz and modern pop landscape.
Nikolaj Hess, piano;  Mikkel Hess, drums;  Cameron Brown, bass
Nikolaj Hess Trio

Danish pianist Nikolaj Hess,/b> has often been heard in quartet settings like Global Motion, but has a growing reputation as a trio pianist as well, not least in Europe. Here he plays with his New York pianotrio featuring his brother Mikkel Hess on drums, displaying their almost telepathic, precise, abstract and playful communication and interplay, and their hypnotic swing and virtuosity.

The repertoire will be a mix of originals by Hess, and a couple of standards both from the danish folk tradition and the great American songbook.

The music of Hess is an original mix of the beautiful Scandinavian lyricism and simplicity and a strong influence from American jazz and the complex and spellbinding rhythms of African music.

Nikolaj Hess won the RAI competion best young European jazzpianoplayer when he was 22, and gold medal in Berlingskes Rytmiske musikkonkurrence. He has been very succesful on the European Jazz scene the past many years, and is now based in New York, getting a growing recognition on the scene here, also from his collaboration with dutch sax player Marc Mommaas in the band Global Motion, in the Hessismore band, Nikolaj Hess Trio and others. NH has also worked with Lee Konitz, Chris Cheek, Greg Hutchinson, Ben Allison, Benny Golson, Fela Kuti, Robert Wilson, Marilyn Mazur, Palle Mikkelborg, Caroline Henderson, Robert Wilson, Hal Wilner, Christian McBride Jay Anderson and many others.

Aug 14
Jed Distler, curator

Jung Lin, piano;  Jed Distler, piano
Jung Lin and Jed Distler - Simeon ten Holt's Canto Ostinato, version for piano duet

If you missed the New York premier of Simeon Ten Holt’s minimalist manifesto Canto Ostinato with four pianos this past June 21st, outdoors on Cornelia Street (, pianists Jung Lin and Jed Distler offer its piano duet version as an encore. Imagine Philip Glass and Sergei Rachmaninov’s love child, and you’ll have an idea of what this epic, mesmerizing and touchingly lyrical music sounds like. Better still, come hear Jung and Jed and find out for yourself!

Acclaimed for her poetic and virtuosic pianism. Taiwan born Jung Lin conducted her own orchestral works at age 12, won numerous competitions in her native country, and was featured on Taiwan’s major news program “90 minutes.” At sixteen her symphonic poem, “The Black Wedding” was given its premiere by the Juilliard Symphony under Miguel Harth-Bedoya. While at Juilliard Ms. Lin studied composition with the renowned American composer David Diamond, and for six years, piano with the Martin Canin . In 1999, the 150th anniversary of Chopin’s death, she was heard at such prestigious venues as the International Keyboard Institute and Festival, the Summit Festival, and the Kosciuszko Polish Foundation. Other recent New York appearances have included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bargemusic, and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival. She recently recorded solo works of Medtner for Naxos, and maintains a lively website

Since 2004 Jed Distler has hosted ComposersCollaborative’s Serial Underground at Cornelia Street Café, a new music variety show each second Monday of the month Called “an altogether extraordinary pianist” by the Newark Star-Ledger, Jed’s recitals have taken him back and across the US and Europe. He recently was featured in a BBC documentary on the Joyce Hatto scandal, which he helped expose in 2007 For everything you’ve always wanted to know about Jed, visit the ComposersCollaborative website , or read his CD reviews via and .
 Cover $8

Jacob Sacks, piano;  Yoon Sun Choi, voice;  Russ Lossing, piano;  Mat Maneri , viola;  Hankus Netsky, piano;  Marty Ehrlich, woodwinds
Piano festival - duos image
9PM Jacob Sacks/Yoon Sun Choi
10PM Russ Lossing/Mat Manieri
11PM Marty Ehrlich/Hankus Netsky

9PM Jacob Sacks/Yoon Sun Choi
Jacob will play a small solo set, and thereafter, with vocalist Yoon Sun Choi, new works based on poems by emily dickenson

“Choi and Sacks are not the typical duo,” declared AllAboutJazz- New York’s Andrey Henkin after a live performance of this music at Manhattan’s intimate 5C Café. “Choi effortlessly mixes tradi- tional jazz vocals with a sultrier approach or the gymnastics of the avant garde. Sacks never plays the straight man, abstracting the melodies enough to keep each turn interesting.”

Yoon Sun Choi
Ms. Choi, a native of Toronto, is a performer, composer and educator who has lived and worked in New York since 2000. Since that time she has worked with such internationally renowned musicians as Cameron Brown, Steve Coleman, Mark Dresser, Joe Maneri and Kenny Werner. A classically trained pianist turned vocalist, her eclectic resume also includes projects ranging from jazz opera to improvised music theater to microtonal vocal music. In addition to her eight year-old duo with Sacks, she currently leads/co-leads 4inObjects, The E-String Band, The Restless Spirits and The Joe Raposo Project.

Jacob Sacks
A 1999 Thelonious Monk Competition finalist and former Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Sacks is a pianist who has performed with Terumasa Hino, the Mingus Big Band, Tony Malaby, Ben Monder, Angelica Sanchez and Matt Wilson among many others. His most recent release is 2007’s Two Miles A Day (Yeah Yeah Records/Loyal Label), featuring Mat Maneri, Paul Motian and Eivind Opsvik.

10PM Russ Lossing/Mat Manieri

Russ Lossing
American jazz pianist, composer and recording artist Russ Lossing is on the leading edge of the New York jazz scene where he is known for his highly personal and unique improvising voice. Lossing has composed over 300 works, 21 film scores, and has an international reputation as a world class improviser. Paul Motian, Dave Liebman and John Abercrombie are among the many musicians he has performed and recorded with. Lossing has seven releases as leader on Hat Hut, Clean Feed, Fresh Sound, Double Time and OmniTone record labels. His critically acclaimed new solo piano release “All Things Arise” on Hat Hut Records “bridges the worlds of jazz and new music, the pieces feeling as if they arise out of the primal silence of the universe. Even the ‘standards’ feel as if they’re emerging newly formed from a magnificent world of thought and impulse. Lossing’s ‘As It Grows’ on hatOLOGY with Paul Motian and his Clean Feed Records cd ‘Metal Rat’ with Mat Maneri and Mark Dresser have been hailed as “modern masterpieces that blend improvisation and composition seamlessly.”

“Russ Lossing is a pianist of extreme depth and intensity with playing of amazing dexterity and a feeling of total control.”
– All About Jazz

Mat Maneri
Mat Maneri has recorded with Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris, Joe Maneri, Gerald Cleaver, Tim Berne, Borah Bergman, Mark Dresser, William Parker, Michael Formanek, John Lockwood, as well as with his own trio, quartet, and quintet. He has also played on various band releases: Club d'Elf, Decoupage, Brewed by Noon, Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, Buffalo Collision. Maneri has worked with Ed Schuller, John Medeski, Roy Campbell, Paul Motian, Tomasz Stanko, Robin Williamson, Drew Gress, Tony Malaby, Ben Monder, Barre Phillips, Joëlle Léandre, Marilyn Crispell, Craig Taborn, Ethan Iverson, David King and many others. Maneri has released recordings on labels such as Thirsty Ear, HatHut and EC 11PM Marty Ehrlich/Hankus Netsky

Marty Ehrlich
Marty Ehrlich is one of the most celebrated artists of his generation, critically acclaimed as both composer and player. Equally fluent on clarinet, saxophone, and flutes, Ehrlich was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Composition in 2004. His diversity has taken him to stages across the world from Israel to London to New York City to California. Marty’s latest recording on Palmetto Records, “Spark!” is a duo outing with pianist Myra Melford that was included in the 2008 DownBeat Critic’s Poll for “Album of the Year”. Marty is also a Professor of Music at Hampshire College.
-more info

Hankus Netsky
A multi-instrumentalist, composer, scholar and educator, Hankus Netsky is chair of the Contemporary Improvisation Department at the New England Conservatory in Boston and founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, America’s premiere klezmer and Yiddish repertory ensemble. He has composed extensively for film and television, and collaborated closely with such artists as Robin Williams, Joel Grey, Theodore Bikel and Itzhak Perlman. He has produced numerous recordings, including ten by the Klezmer Conservatory Band.

Cover $10 per show, two for $16, three for $25

Aug 15
Chris Sullivan, guest host

Christopher Dean Sullivan , bass;  Joe Giardullo , reedist;  Golda Solomon, special guest poet
Bass Artisan Christopher Dean Sullivan & Multi-Reedist Joe Giardullo In an Evening of Improvisation

Bass Artisan Christopher Dean Sullivan is a highly versed bassist of many musical languages: reggae, Caribbean, Indian, African, and Eurocentric perceptions and more. Chris is well traveled throughout the U.S., the Caribbean Islands and Europe. He has shared the stage and / or recorded with Freddie Hubbard, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Joe McPhee, Sonny Simmons, Yusef Lateef, Horace Parlan, Archie Schepp, Joe Lovano, Roy Campbell Jr., to name a few, and led his own ensembles as well. Christopher Dean Sullivan's approach is heartfelt and is accessed first of all by intensive listening to the elemental structure of a composition, to the soul of his fellow musicians, and to his own quest for the purest, more direct expression of sound and feeling.

Multi-reedist Joe Giardullo is one of the worlds’ foremost free and open instrumentalist within the American classical music art form. He has performed throughout the US, Canada and Europe with artists constituents Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, The Deep Listening Band, Joe McPhee, Steve Lacy, Carlos Zingaro, Milford Graves, Bill Dixon, Marilyn Crispell, Vinny Golia, Bobby Bradford, Thomas Buckner, and Lori Freedman, among many others, including Lester Lanin and Peg Leg Bates.

Poet Solomon...Think of it as Jack Kerouac revisiting the Mile High City and grabbing a sandwich at the New York Deli while in town. ~ Norman Provizer, Rocky Mountain News

 Cover $15 (includes one house drink)

George Colligan, piano;  Jon Cowherd, piano;  Eri Yamamoto, piano;  w/David Ambrosio, bass;  Ikuo Takeuchi, drums
Piano festival - solos - and a trio image
9PM George Colligan
10PM Jon Cowherd
11PM Eri Yamamoto Trio

9PM George Colligan

George Colligan is a New York based pianist, organist,drummer, trumpeter, teacher, and bandleader, who is one of the most original and compelling jazz artists of his generation .An award-winning composer (Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation grant recipient) and player (winner, Jazz Competition), Colligan is highly in demand as a sideman, having worked with players like Cassandra Wilson, Don Byron, Buster Williams, and Lonnie Plaxico, both on the bandstand and in recording sessions (appearing on over 100 CDs). He has released17 recordings full of his intelligent writing and impressive technique.
-more info:

10PM Jon Cowherd
Jon Cowherd is on the cutting edge of today’s rogressive music movement. His artistic vision and passion takes on many different roles including pianist, composer, rranager, and producer. Perhaps most highly acclaimed for his work with the Brian Blade Fellowship (BBF), Cowherd’s continuum of texture, rhythm, and pure emotion is astounding and limitless.
--more info:

11PM Eri Yamamoto Trio

Eri Yamamoto, piano; David Ambrosio, bass; Ikuo Takeuchi, drums

Her regular working trio of longtime compatriots, bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi, Eri’s distinctly invigorating approach to the jazz trio and remarkable gift for indelible melodies
-more info:

Cover $10 per show, two for $16, three for $25

Aug 16
Eric Plaks, piano;  Don Chapman, Alan Davis, saxophones;  Leco Reis, bass;  Jon Panikkar, drums
The Eric Plaks Quintet celebrates the upcoming release of its first CD on Cadence (CJR 1223), Love Thy Neighbour, a fascinating exploration of the intersection of swing and free improv.

 Cover $10

Andy LaVerne, piano;  Bill Zavatsky, poet;  Jed DIstler, piano;  Simon Mulligan, piano;  Daniela Schächter, piano;  Vadim Neselovskyi, piano;  Poul Weis, trumpet
Piano festival - Bill Evans's 80th Birthday celebration image
We end the Grand Piano Festival celebrating what would have been Bill Evans's 80th Birthday.

Pianist Andy LaVerne, Jed Distler, poet and pianist Bill Zavatsky and others who knew and worked with Bill Evans + yet another bunch of players whom Bill influenced and inspired through his music, will pay and play a tribute. "Until We Meet Again"
 Cover $8

Aug 17
Joel Allegretti, playwright

Davidson Garrett LuLu LoLo Jane Titus
Songs, text, actors, fans kneel at the feet of the Canadian bard.


A Tribute to Leonard Cohen by Joel Allegretti

The set: the stage at the Cornelia Street Café cabaret. The piano stands at stage left, against the wall. The guitarist and harmonica player sit on a stool at the rear of the stage, to the right of the piano. The man in the black suit and the woman in the cocktail dress stand at the front of the stage. The woman in white leotards sits on a stool at stage right, legs crossed, left over right. The man in the grey pinstripe suit is at the first table, stage right. He sits alone at a chair on the aisle. On the table are an untouched glass of red wine and a black Bible. He leans over the table, reading the Bible, which is open to the Song of Solomon.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Brad Shepik, guitar;  Tom Beckham, vibraphone;  Jorge Roeder, bass;  Mark Guiliana, drums
GUITAR FESTIVAL: Brad Shepik Quartet image
A new quartet playing recent compositions by Shepik.

“A virtuosic guitarist, Shepik plays with a clean linearity.”

“Shepik has fashioned a musical odyssey that is at once compelling and rapturous.”

Brad Shepik
In addition to leading the groups The Brad Shepik Trio, The Commuters and Human Activity Suite, Shepik has also performed with Paul Motian, Joey Baron, Carla Bley, Charlie Haden, Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Douglas, oud/violin virtuoso Simon Shaheen, Yuri Yunakov’s Bulgarian Wedding Band, Matt Darriau’s Paradox Trio, Pachora, BABKAS, Tridruga, Arthur Kell, Alexis Cuadrado, George Schuller and others.

Shepik’s most recent recording is “Human Activity Suite” on Songlines Recordings. It features Shepik on guitars, saz and tambura as well as Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Gary Versace (piano, organ, accordion), Drew Gress (bass) and Tom Rainey (drums).

Aug 18
Bill Zinsser, piano;  Arnie Roth, sax
Two of our favorite musicians with day jobs delight us with show tunes and the hits of every era.

William Zinsser, as every teacher of writing well knows, is the author of several of the best primers on writing effective prose.

Arnold Roth, as every reader of The New Yorker well knows, is a brilliant cartoonist.
 Cover $7

Corey King, trombone/compositions;  Rafiq Bhatia, guitar/compositions;  Logan Richardson, alto saxophone;  Kyle Wilson, tenor saxophone;  Jackson Hill, bass;  Tommy Crane, drums
GUITAR FESTIVAL: Chrysalis image
The brainchild of emergent composer-performers Corey King (trombone) and Rafiq Bhatia (guitar), Chrysalis is an exposition of the common thread permeating creative traditions in jazz, hip-hop, electronica, drone music, South Asian music, experimental music, and popular songwriting.

Corey King was born in Houston, Texas. He started playing classical trombone at age 11 and discovered jazz a few years later when he enrolled in The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. While King was in high school, he had the opportunity to play in the Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble, The Gibson Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensemble and won an outstanding soloist award from Down Beat Magazine in 2004. In the fall of 2004, King earned a scholarship to study at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, where he studied with Anne Drummond, Stefon Harris, Vincent Gardner, and Laurie Fink. While in New York, King has had the opportunity to play with Jason Moran, Dave Binney, Mos Def, Bilal, Elizabeth and the Catapult, Wyclef Jean, The Mettawee River Theater company under Ralph Lee, and has recorded for Mark Ronson. In 2006, Corey went to Senegal, Africa to perform with R&B artist Lauren Hill and performed with rap artist Ludacris on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The David Letterman Show. King is currently leading his own band, and working to make a name for himself in New York.

Rafiq Bhatia is a 21-year old East-African Indian American guitarist/composer seeking to synthesize a genre-bending musical lexicon informed by the traditions of his transmigratory heritage. A first-generation American, Bhatia is currently completing an interdisciplinary honors degree in economics and cognitive science at Oberlin College. He is also associated with the world-renowned Oberlin Conservatory, where his concept quickly caught the attention of prolific drummer Billy Hart, who decided to include Bhatia in his new project, The Billy Hart Laboratory. Besides apprenticing under Hart and Cleveland-based drummer Paul Samuels (Greg Osby), Bhatia is the artist-in-residence at The Feve, an Oberlin mainstay, where his group has attracted a loyal fan-base and critical acclaim for their weekly performances. He also frequently returns to New York, performing with the Rafiq Bhatia Collective and studying with Downbeat magazine's "Rising Star Jazz Pianist/Composer" Vijay Iyer.

"A contemporary mind with the true potential of the future, Rafiq Bhatia is definitely an artist to look forward to hearing."
—Billy Hart, legendary jazz drummer

$10 ($5/students)

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