See the previous week's performances.  August 27-September 03, 2009 See the next week's performances.

See the previous week's performances. August, 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:


Aug 27
Alice Tassel hosts for Lucinda Karter

"Dans le café de la jeunesse perdue" by Patrick Modiano, Translated by Benjamin Korones

"L’élégance du hérisson" by Muriel Barbery, Translated by Alison Anderson

"Mari et femme" by Régis de Sa Moreira, Translated by Jeff Rubenstein

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

David Devoe, host

Heather Masse, voice;  Kyle Sanna, guitar;  Carmen Staaf, piano/accordian;  Mike Savino, bass;  Joel Arnow, drums;  Elam Blackman, voice and guitar
Gnu Vox Festival: Heather Masse & Elam Blackman image
New York-based singer song-maker Heather Masse grew up in rural Maine and began singing at an early age. Having taken a degree in Jazz Voice from the New England Conservatory of Music, Heather is steeped in the jazz tradition, which informs her distinct approach to singing music of all sorts. She is a member of the acclaimed Juno-award winning Canadian band “The Wailin' Jennys,” and has performed at 100s of venues across Europe, Canada, and the states. She has appeared regularly on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, where she was privileged to share the stage with Wynton Marsalis, Elvis Costello, and Tom Rush. She has performed with the bluegrass band "The Wayfaring Strangers” on NPR's World Cafe, and at Boston's Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Heather also performs locally with a Brooklyn-based collaboration, “Heather & the Barbarians.” She recently released “Many Moons” an E.P. of jazz-inspired folk duets with pianist Jed Wilson. Heather’s rich, soulful, voice elegantly moves through numerous styles organically and with sincerity- a quality learned from some of her early influences disparate as Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell, and Chet Baker. Heather’s newest project, The Heather Masse Band plans to release a full-length album of Heather’s original songs and music this coming fall.

Elam Blackman is a gifted singer-songwriter firmly planted in the folk tradition, whose songs delight and touch the listener. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes melancholy, often longing, he invites his listeners to journey with him. His easy going manner and warm stage presence draw people in and establishes an easy rapport with his audience.
 Cover $10

Aug 28
Miriam Stanley, host

The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Featured poets Ron Bass & Farid Bitar.

And a very special bon voyage/swan song appearance of bartender/musician/tri-athelete Dan McCarthy who will make his debut as a spoken word poet.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

David Devoe, host

Rebecca Martin, voice, guitar;  Larry Grenadier, bass
Gnu Vox Festival: Rebecca Martin image
"I met Rebecca about ten years ago, sitting upstairs at a club with guitarist John Scofield and bass player Larry Grenadier. She and Larry were just married, or about to be...they couldn't stop looking at each other. No one mentioned that Rebecca was a singer. They didn't have to. It wasn't just the soft lilt of her voice, but the way she held onto words for an extra beat and then let them tumble out in a rush of soft exclamations. Even when she was in the background, it was hard not to see her as being centerstage.

I found out more later. She had come down to New York from rural Maine and had a band called ONCE BLUE with singer guitarist Jesse Harris. Their album on EMI still sounds playful and timeless, as if Blossom Dearie had recorded with Steely Dan. But the confines of a band, even a casual one, was out of character for Rebecca, just as it would be out of character for Georgia O'Keefe, Amelia Earheart or Joni Mitchell. She moved out of the band the way you'd move out of an apartment that was too small or too noisy and moved into a new space."

 Cover $10

Aug 29
Andy Christie

Adam Wade Peter Aguero Dina Pearlman Juliet Wayne , The Moth
Four writers, actors & comics tell short personal stories. But one of them is making it all up. Interrogate the cast to expose the lie and win an unbelievable T-shirt.

"A Winner. 4 Stars." 2008 Edinburgh Festival

TimeOut NY Critics Pick

 Cover $10

David Devoe, host

Sheila Jordan, voice;  Cameron Brown, bass;  Jay Clayton, voice;  Jack Wilkins, guitar
Gnu Vox Festival: Sheila Jordan & Jay Clayton image
One of the most consistently creative of all jazz singers, Sheila Jordan has a relatively small voice, but has done the maximum with her instrument. She is one of the few vocalists who can improvise logical lyrics (which often rhyme), she is a superb scat singer, and is also an emotional interpreter of ballads. During her formative years spent in Detroit, she performed with a bebop vocal trio Skeeter, Mitch and Jean. Jordan moved to New York in the 1950s, was married to Duke Jordan (1952-62), studied with Lennie Tristano, and worked in New York clubs. George Russell used her on an unusual recording of "You Are My Sunshine" and she became one of the few singers to lead her own Blue Note album, Portrait Of Sheila (1962). However, it would be a decade before she appeared on records again, working with Carla Bley, Roswell Rudd, and co-leading a group with Steve Kuhn in the late '70s. Jordan recorded a memorable duet album, Sheila with bassist Arild Andersen for SteepleChase in 1977, and then teamed up with bassist Harvie Swartz for several recordings. By the 1980s, Sheila Jordan was finally performing jazz on a full-time basis and gaining the recognition she deserved 20 years earlier. She recorded as a leader (in addition to the Blue Note session) for East Wind, Grapevine, SteepleChase, Palo Alto, Blackhawk, and Muse. Her preference to the bass and voice set led to another remarkable collaboration with bassist Cameron Brown, whom she has been performing with all over the world for more than ten years so far and they have released the live albums “I’ve Grown Accustomed to the Bass” and “Celebration”. Entirely non-derivative, Jordan is one of only a tiny handful of jazz singers who fully deserve the appellation and for whom no other term will do.

Jay Clayton is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer, and educator, whose work boldly spans the terrain between jazz and new music. Clayton's pioneering vocal explorations placed her at the forefront of the free jazz movement and loft scene in the 1970s, where she counted among the first singers to incorporate poetry and electronics into her improvisations. She formed a long-term association with renowned minimalist composer Steve Reich. Clayton's versatility would also lead her to make some of the first recordings of composer John Cage's vocal music. With more than 40 recordings to her credit, Clayton has appeared alongside such formidable artists as Muhal Richard Abrams, Julian Priester, George Cables, Lee Konitz, Gary Bartz, and Kirk Nurock, as well as fellow vocalists Jeanne Lee, Norma Winstone, Urszula Dudziak, and Bobby McFerrin. Her many accomplishments include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, CAPS and Chamber Music America (2004). Her book, Sing Your Story: A Practical Guide for Learning and Teaching the Art of Jazz Singing, was published by Advance Music in 2001. Jack Wilkins is considered "A superior, slightly underrated improviser" (Scott Yanow - All Music Guide) who has recorded with Jack DeJohnette, Eddie Gomez, Phil Woods, Harvie Swartz and the Brecker Brothers. This concert will celebrate over 20 years of collaboration between Clayton and Wilkins, being one of the first ensembles Clayton assembled in New York City. The repertoire for the evening will include standards, originals and some poetry "along the way."

Aug 30
Andy Christie

Jim O'Grady, NY Times;  Jeff Simmermon , The Moth;  Mike Albo, author;  Nancy Balbirer , author
Four writers, actors & comics tell short personal stories. But one of them is making it all up. Interrogate the cast to expose the lie and win an unbelievable T-shirt.

"A Winner. 4 Stars." 2008 Edinburgh Festival

TimeOut NY Critics Pick

 Cover $10   http://www.The

Mark Crispin Miller
Twilight Time image
At this moment of amazing "change," Mark Crispin Miller takes a careful look around, and tells us how we got where we are now (wherever that is).

An evening of strong laughs, some fresh perceptions, and a lot of news about as hard as you can stand it.

Mark Crispin Miller is a media critic and pro-democratic activist, renowned throughout the nation and the world (against all odds). His books include Boxed In: The Culture of TV, The Bush Dyslexicon, Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order and Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform. He wrote and performed A Patriot Act at the New York Theater Workshop in the summer of 2004, and since then has appeared on that stage and others, doing stand-up that, he hopes, may help to bring democracy to the United States. He lives in Manhattan, where he works as a professor of media studies at New York University.
 Cover $10

Aug 31
Andy Christie

Ophira Eisenberg, Comedy Central;  Andy Christie, NY Times; WFUV;  James Braly, NPR; ;  Taffy Jaffe, Monologist
Four writers, actors & comics tell short personal stories. But one of them is making it all up. Interrogate the cast to expose the lie and win an unbelievable T-shirt.

"A Winner. 4 Stars." 2008 Edinburgh Festival

TimeOut NY Critics Pick

 Cover $10

Andy Hunter, trombone;  Danny Fischer, drums;  Dan Loomis, bass;  Justin Wood, saxophone
Spoke image
With their debut release, Spoke has created a truly post-modern yet beautifully melodic album incorporating diverse influences from 1960s free-bop, contemporary classical, funk and Chinese pop music. Paul Blair from Hot House Magazine gives special praise to Spoke’s debut, calling it ‘one of the most inventive records I’ve heard all year’.

The members of Spoke came from across the globe and united in Brooklyn. Andy Hunter, originally from northern Michigan, has been awarded numerous prizes throughout the years including first prize in the 2002 International Jazz Trombone Association Jazz Competition, the 2005 Antti Rissanen International Jazz Competition in Helsinki Finland and was a popular finalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz competition of 2003. He is a prolific composer and versatile soloist who performs regularly with the Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty, Mingus Orchestra and the Dave Binney Big Band; and has appeared on Saturday Night live. Danny Fischer, the Australian, left a huge gap in the music scene of his native Melbourne when he relocated to New York in 2004. ‘Danny is possibly the most in-demand jazz drummer in Melbourne, having worked with a long list of Australian and international musicians including Barney McAll, Gary Bartz, James Williams, Paul Bollenbeck.....’ said Irena Begelfor of Sorrelli Productions in 2002. Since arriving here, he has been hugely in demand as a sideman, having just recently returned from a tour of Australia with Kurt Rosenwinkel and Barney McAll and has performed at Radio City Music Hall alongside Patty LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight and Diana Ross. Bassist, Dan Loomis moved to New York from St. Louis via Eastman School of Music. An exceptionally adaptable bass/cello player, Mr. Loomis, in his short time in New York, has already appeared on over 20 recordings ranging from indie-pop to instrumental to original jazz including two CDs under his own name and one from the highly acclaimed collaborative group, The Wee Trio – all featuring his own original compositions. Justin Wood, hailing from the frozen Northeast of Presque Isle, Maine, after graduating from Harvard University, quickly established a presence in New York as a highly versatile, creative instrumentalist working in styles as diverse as free-improvisation, folkloric Columbian, conduction and straight-ahead jazz . In addition to his performing, Justin works tirelessly to promote and encourage performance opportunities for numerous ensembles in vital, underground venues in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.

Sep 01
Russ Marshalek, host

Emily Flake Michelle Green Maud Newton D. E. Rasso

with essays by Junot Diaz, Kate Christensen, Gary Shteyngart, Lynda Barry, Dan Kennedy, and 18 more,

with an Intro. by Neal Pollack.

“A book full of hits . . . Breakups are hard to forget, and this collection—surprisingly restrained yet full of emotion—is equally memorable.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Honest, sad, witty, and fierce, here is a breakup anthology that will break your heart.” —ZZ PACKER, author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Sherry Weaver, host

Andy Christie Dave Dickerson Eileen Kelly John Flynn Tracy Rowland Ryan Paulson
SPEAKEASY: Stories from the Backroom image
SpeakEasy is . . .

A new twist on the ancient tradition of oral history.

SpeakEasy is people telling stories-- true stories. Period. No scripts. No crib notes. No rehearsals. SpeakEasy has a dynamic and constantly changing cast of storytellers that include such greats as Mike Daisey, Jonathan Ames, and Reno, along with homemakers, lawyers, dog walkers, street magicians and writers

You never know what you'll hear. So join us for what could be a life changing experience!

 Cover $10

Wednesday Sep 02
Angelo Verga, host

Sanford Fraser Dorothea Scher Christian Garaud
Poetry image
Three brilliant practitioners of the short poem display their craft.

Fraser's new collection "Tourist" featured.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Tom Chang, guitar & compositions;  Jeff Davis, drums;  Dan Loomis, bass;  Michael Attias, alto saxophone
Tom Chang Group image
NY Jazz Guitarist Tom Chang has performed and or recorded with Greg Osby, Joey Calderazzo, Rich Perry, Tom Rainey as well as pop icons the Supremes, Luther Vandross and Southern Indian Percussion Master Subash Chandra.His newly formed unit will perform original contemporary jazz compositions influenced by Southern Indian Karnatic concepts as well as Contemporary Classical music.
 Cover $10
Sep 03
Robin, Angelo, Poul, and David

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.
David Devoe, host

Richard Roland, voice;  Michael Cabe, piano;  Mark Lau, bass;  Ernesto Cervini, drums
Gnu Vox: Richard Roland sings Marty Paich and Mel Torme image
Richard Roland, actor, director, singer and vocal arranger, is a native New Yorker, having grown up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He a fourth-generation performer; the son of two Broadway veterans: Steve Roland and Liz Roland (nee Nelson).

Richard has made his own mark on the Broadway and National Tour Stages: he made his debut in the original Broadway production of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (version 1.0), then played Young Ben in the 2001 Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's FOLLIES. He most recently understudied (and performed many times) the role of Jimmy in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, subsequently taking over the role on the National Tour for the summer of 2004. He also toured the US from 1998 to 2000 as Jim Farrell, then as Barrett the Stoker in TITANIC.

His off-Broadway credits began with FOREVER PLAID, then moved on to THE FANTASTICKS. He created the role of Jonny in the rock musical ZOMBIE PROM, which didn't run very long at the Variety Arts Theatre, but lives on through the recording. Immediately following that he originated the role of Bob in THE COCOANUTS at the American Jewish Theatre.

 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