See the previous week's performances.  August 03-August 10, 2010 See the next week's performances.

See the previous week's performances. August, 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:


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

Aug 07
Andy Christie

Seek Truth. Get a T-Shirt.

4 Storytellers, 3 True Stories, 1 Pack of Lies.

Uncover the liar and win a prize worth its weight in fool's gold.

PETER AGUERO - The Moth Host and Grandslam Champion

JIM O'GRADY - New YorkTimes; Huffington Post

MICHELE CARL - Author, Fish Out Of Agua

DAN ALLEN - Comedy Central
 Cover $15 (includes one house drink)

Curtis Macdonald, alto saxophone, compositions;  David Miralles, keys;  Cody Brown, drums;  Jeremy Viner, tenor saxophone;  Greg Chudzik, bass
Curtis Macdonald Group image
Curtis Macdonald is a saxophonist, composer and sound designer based in New York City. He graduated cum laude from the New School University in 2007 where he immediately became faculty.

Along with developing a sizable repertoire for the modern jazz ensemble, Curtis’ music has taken form in many a medium. In the past 3 years he has composed music and sound for film, dance, games and chamber ensembles. His production savvy can be heard on numerous new music and modern jazz recordings where he incorporates improvisation, sound art and digital technology.

“Music should put a spell on you, and guide you into the eye of the storm…” says Curtis Macdonald with a grin when reflecting on his music.

While Curtis’ music is drawn from a variety of influences, he remains most allured by the emotive sounds of saxophonists past; yet still attracted to today’s most explosive voices, Curtis draws a new melodic virtuosity based not only on harmony, but also more abstract and philosophical models. Many have cited his sound to be a myriad of forms respecting the likes of Lee Konitz, Paul Desmond and Steve Coleman. His influences are not limited to jazz – he admires the refined rhythmic placement in underground hip hop, and borrows their intricate production techniques in his recorded music. Curtis’ versatility incorporates listening with the ears of a sound designer, playing the saxophone to capture a sense of fluid serenity and composing to tickle the mind, all without losing a sense of unity.
 Cover $10

Logan Richardson, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone;  Damion Reid , drums;  Matt Brewer, bass
Logan Richardson Trio image
Being a native son of Kansas City, Missouri (b1980) Logan Richardson has always understood the importance of observing, learning, and loving the process of tradition, and all that it entails. Kansas City, a city that propelled the development of improvised music as a whole (1925-38). Creating a nest for the individual artist to develop, in a vibrant economy, and musical social structure that lends itself to create a huge igniting of musical styles largely based around a strong swing and blues element.

Logan began playing music at the age of twelve. Of the very first educational experiences in improvised music included learning from the likes of- Max Roach, Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Clark Terry, Ray Brown Shirley Scott, Sir Roland Hanna, Marcus Belgrave, Richard Davis… At the age of sixteen Logan was a featured soloist performing in concert with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Within that same time frame Logan worked with Jimmy Heath in Concert in Small group as well as a Big Band setting. Having the great honor of taking part at The Smithsonian (D.C.) in honor of Duke Ellington’s 100th birthday celebration (’99) as well as being noted in Downbeat Magazine (’99) as “up and coming “

Logan’s first year of post secondary work was done on scholarship attending Berklee College of Music (Boston). Upon completion of his first year he was awarded the Zoot Sims Scholarship (full music scholarship) to attend The New School University in New York, New York (’01). Along with Logan’s musical studies, and development he has apprenticed, studied, and professionally performed woodwind repair on Saxophones, and other woodwind instruments in NYC since 2004.

Working in Carl Allen’s “New Spirit” band (’02), Greg Tardy Band (’03-05), Joe Chambers “The Outlaw” Band (’05-07) Nasheet Waits “Equality”(’07-present), Jason Moran “Big Band Wagon”(’07-present) As a consequence Logan has recorded as a sideman on –Joe Chambers “The Outlaw”(’05) Greg Tardy’s “ Steps of Faith (’06) Nasheet Waits “Live From MPC (‘09) NYC Town Hall (’09) Jason Moran’s Big Band Wagon -50th anniversary of Thelonius Monks historic NY TOWN HALL performance. Logan has composed and recorded two albums of original music, and toured as a leader since 2006; his two albums are titled -“ETHOS”(Inner Circle Music); CEREBRAL FLOW”(Fresh Sound-New Talent-).

Logan was most recently featured in a full page spread in the August 2009 edition of “ DOWN BEAT MAGAZINE”.French magazine “JAZZ MAN” did a feature in July ’07 including him as “one of 10 burning alto saxophonist worldwide”. German Magazine “SONIC MAGAZINE” wrote a feature on him titled “Revolution by Evolution “in the October ’08

Logan has played major festivals all over the world such as: JVC Jazz Fest (NYC 2004): Knitting Factory Winter Jazz Fest. (NYC 2005); Terni Jazz Festival (Italy2007); Foggia Jazz Fest (Italy 2007); The North Sea Jazz Festival (Rotterdam, UK 2008), Ferrara Jazz Festival (Italy 2009); San Francisco Jazz Fest (California2008); Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy2007); Amazon Jazz Fest (Brazil 2009); Jazz a’ Vienne (France2009); Jazz Baltic (Germany2009); Fiemme Jazz Festival (Italy2007); Terrassa Jazz Festival (Italy 2008); Kansas City Blues and Jazz Fest (Kansas City 2001); Marostica Jazz Festival (Italy 2007); Aspen Jazz Festival (Colorado2004)
 Cover $10

Aug 08
Chris Belden

The return of GUITAR & PEN! Chris Belden reads from his new novel-in-progress--the funniest story of infanticide you've ever heard--& follows up with a batch of original tunes.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Dan Tepfer , piano;  Richie Barshay , percussion
Dan Tepfer / Richie Barshay duo image
Dan Tepfer is a New York-based pianist and composer and one of the most formidable jazz musicians on the international stage — hailed as “brilliant” by The Boston Globe, “remarkable” by The Washington Post , a “rugged and emphatic” player by the New York Times, “a new knight of the keys” by BSC News France.

By age 28, he has performed the world over in contexts ranging from solo piano to full orchestra, chronicling his talents on the solo disc Twelve Improvisations in Twelve Keys (2009) as well as the trio sessions Before the Storm (2005), Oxygen (2007) and his forthcoming 2010 Sunnyside release with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Ted Poor. Dan has also had the extraordinary privilege of a sustained, ongoing duo partnership with alto saxophonist and jazz luminary Lee Konitz, documented on the acclaimed 2009 Sunnyside CD Duos With Lee (“a benchmark of human potential” – JazzInsideNY. As France’s Jazz Magazine has noted, Dan is “gifted with a heightened sense for form and an extraordinary confidence in his angles of attack.” His playing, whatever the context, is a model of fluidity and steady, effortless motion, immersed in jazz history but creating new history in turn.

Percussionist Richie Barshay, most noted for his work with the Herbie Hancock Quartet, has established himself as a prominent musical voice of his generation and is regarded as "a player to watch" by JazzTimes Magazine. On tour and on recordings his eclectic resume so far includes Hancock, Chick Corea, Natalie Merchant, Lee Konitz, The Klezmatics, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, David Krakauer, Fred Wesley, Claudia Acuña and Pete Seeger among others. In 2004 he was named an American Musical Envoy by the U.S. State Department for outreach tours in Asia, South America, and Europe. Now based in New York City, Richie began playing Jazz and Afro-Carribean music during his youth and has expanded his focus to Indian rhythmic concepts and tabla, inspiring his 2007 recording debutHomework on Ayva Records. “Homework introduces a major rhythm voice on the rise” says Downbeat magazine, and The Guardian (UK) praises “the arrival of a major innovator who also knows how to have fun.”
 Cover $10

Aug 09
Angelo Nikolopoulos, host

Paul Lisicky Billy Merrell Matthew Hittinger Lonely Christopher
White Swallow Reading Series:   image
The White Swallow Reading Series


LONELY CHRISTOPHER writes outside and across forms. His documents include poetry, fiction, dramatic work, and blog posts. His first collection of short fiction, The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse, is forthcoming in 2011 from Akashic’s Little House on the Bowery imprint, edited by Dennis Cooper. Into, a collection of long-form verse with Robert Snyderman and Christopher Sweeney, was released in April from Seven CirclePress. His poetry was first collected in the chapbook Satan by Small Anchor Press (2007); Small Anchor also released Gay Plays (2009), the first two plays in a trilogy of linguistic investigations into the queer situation, and later published the title in a Mandarin translation. His second poetry collection Wow, Where Do You Come from, Upside-Down Land? was released as part of The Corresponding Society’s “No Know” chapbook series (2009).

MATTHEW HITTINGER is the author of the chapbooks Pear Slip (Spire Press, 2007) winner of the Spire 2006 Chapbook Award, Narcissus Resists (GOSS183/MiPOesias, 2009), and Platos de Sal (Seven Kitchens Press, 2009). Matthew received his MFA from the University of Michigan where he won a Hopwood Award for Poetry and The Helen S. and John Wagner Prize. His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets 2005.

BILLY MERRELL is the author of Talking in the Dark, a poetry memoir (Scholastic, 2003), and a co-editor for The Full Spectrum (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2006), which received a 2006 Lambda Literary Award. Most recently, he is co-author of Go Ahead, Ask Me (Simon & Schuster, 2009). He received his M.F.A. in Poetry from Columbia University and is currently the Web Developer of, the website of the Academy of American Poets.

PAUL LISICKY is the author of Lawnboy, Famous Builder, and the forthcoming books The Burning House (2011) and Unbuilt Projects (2012). His work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Iowa Review,StoryQuarterly, The Seattle Review, Five Points, Subtropics, Gulf Coast, and many other anthologies and magazines. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he’s the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, the Henfield Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was twice a fellow. He lives in New York City and Springs, New York, and has taught in the graduate writing programs at Cornell University, Rutgers-Newark, and Sarah Lawrence College. He currently teaches at NYU.

Angelo Nikolopoulos is a retired high school teacher currently pursuing an MA at NYU’s creative writing program, where he also serves as the managing editor of the Washington Square Review. He also works as a writing fellow at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island and is the founder of The White Swallow reading series.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)


Aug 10

poet Eve Rifkah Michael Milligan , guitar
Michael Milligan has been making music as long as he can remember. Since his parents wouldn’t let him have a drum kit he tortured them with stringed instruments. Guitarist for The Thin Middle and 3 Shy, he counts among his many influences West African griots, flamenco gypsies, garage band saints and funk shamans. What kind of music does he make? Something nameless that sounds nothing like the previous list. This will be an acoustic guitar performance.

In reading from her book Outcasts, poet Eve Rifkah brings you into the world of the patients of the Penikese Island Leper Hospital breathing out the voices for the long forgotten, stigmatized people exiled to a tiny, bit of island off the coast of Cape Cod, MA.

In her book Dear Suzanne she recreates the life of model/artist Suzanne Valadon, the favorite model of Renoir, Lautrec and many other impressionists, who also became a highly respected force in the art world. Valadon was the first woman in Paris to exhibit in the Salon and paint the male nude and children of the underclass. Reading is accompanied by a visual presentation.
 Cover $10 (includes one house drink)

Jed Distler, piano;  Jung Lin, piano
Three of today’s most forceful yet utterly distinct piano personalities preside over the Cornelia Street Café’s Yamaha grand (loaned by Jed, by the way) over two evenings.

Jed Distler and Jung Lin reunite to collaborate with Mozart’s Sonata in D Major K. 381 and Schubert’s Fantasia in F Minor D. 940, plus solo works by Schumann, Rzewski, Godowsky, Rachmaninov & Distler.

Jed Distler and Jung Lin participated in Cornelia Street’s 2009 outdoor Make Music New York premier of Simeon ten Holt’s Canto Ostinato for Four Pianos. They join up again this summer for two pillars of the duet repertoire by Mozart and Schubert, with solos in between. The Simon Mulligan/Jed Distler duo, by contrast, is based on both pianists’ informal Café encounters, where they’ve been known to sight-read overtures and improvise on just about anything at the drop of a hat.

Known for her poetic and virtuosic pianism, Taiwan native 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. In addition to numerousall-Chopin recitals played all over the world, Jung’s fervent and highly acclaimed championing of Nicolas Medtner’s resulted in a forthcoming recording for Naxos. In addition to three New York Botanical Garden recitals broadcast on WQXR, other recent appearances include Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bargemusic, and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival.
 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