See the previous week's performances.  September 10-September 17, 2009 See the next week's performances.

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Sep 10
Hosted by Luigi Bonaffini and Gil Fagiani

Emelise Aleandri Luigi Bonaffini Gaetano Cipolla Nino Del Duca Gil Fagiani Fiorentina Russo Joseph Tusiani Marisa Marcelli
A bilingual reading (dialect and English translation) of dialect poetry from Italy. Poems in Sicilian, Neapolitan, Calabrese, Abruzzese, Romanesco and other dialects.

David Devoe, host

Deanna Witkowski, voice and piano;  Ike Sturm, bass;  Scott Latzky, drums;  Brenda Earle, voice and piano;  Amy Cervini, voice;  John McMahon, voice;  Jonathan Kline, voice;  Keith Ganz, guitar;  Jared Schonig, drums
Gnu Vox: Sacred Jazz--Deanna Witkowski & Brenda Earle  image
For pianist/composer/vocalist Deanna Witkowski, the paths of practicing the disciplines of living as a jazz musician and as a person of faith have converged in her beautiful, genre-defying fourth recording, From This Place. Marrying ancient and modern sacred texts with the richness of jazz, Ms. Witkowski has saved her most honest and soulful music for this new release. With its emphasis on breathing new life into texts from nineteenth century poets, the Mass, scriptures, and her own pen, Ms. Witkowski shows another side of her considerable talent: a stunning gift to find the essence of a text and to translate that essence into sound along with a contemplative spirit as an original lyricist.

Witkowski is solid as a modern vocalist but exquisite as pianist and composer, in any context. -JazzPolice

Witkowski's playing is consistently thrilling, and her musical imagination seems boundless. -All Music Guide

Witkowski continues the work of Mary Lou Williams...this music is "healing to the soul." -Fr. Peter F. O'Brien, Executive Director of the Mary Lou Williams Foundation

Originally trained as a pianist, Brenda Earle started singing in her early twenties in an effort to better connect to her songs and audiences. As a pianist, she has performed and/or recorded with Donny McCaslin, the Numinous Ensemble, Dick Oatts, John Riley, Wycliffe Gordon and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra. In 2007, Earle¹s piano playing was recognized when she was selected as a finalist at the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Ravinia Festival, the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival and in clubs and festivals across the US, Canada and New Zealand. Earle¹s Sacred Voices Project encompasses original settings of Psalms, the Catholic Mass, gospel music and unique arrangements of spiritual works, which combine her diverse influences which range from jazz to rock to Brazilian and classical traditions. Her exciting and intriguing vocal writing features some of the top emerging artists in New York City.

“…the first to stand out was pianist-singer Brenda Earle, whose talent gracefully bridges jazz and pop.” – The Washington Post

“Her keyboard work throughtout embodies lyrical melody, deft harmonie and smart pacing…” – The Toronto Star
 Cover $10

Sep 11
Jackie Sheeler, host

The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Our intrepid host features herself on the occasion of her birthday.

"Jackie Sheeler is the People's Poet Laureate of NYC. I would not miss one of her shows for anything." — Bill DiFazio, WBAI radio 99.5 FM - NYC

 Cover $7

Son of Pony image
Theo Bleckmann, voice;  Ellery Eskelin, tenor saxophone;  John Hollenbeck, drums;  Tony Malaby, tenor saxophone;  Gary Varsace, piano
FUTURE QUEST: re-imagining the music of Meredith Monk image
FUTURE QUEST: re-imagining the music of Meredith Monk

Composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music theater works, films and installations, Meredith Monk is a pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance”. She creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which we have no words. During a career that spans more than 40 years she has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts. In short, Meredith Monk has created her own world, her own genre, her own music, uniquely.

Meredith Monk’s work is seemingly simple but poses musical and emotional challenges so complex and mysterious that others most often shy away from performing or re-contextualizing it. Meredith Monk’s musical catalogue is full of beauty and complexity, astounding accessibility, and stirring, often wordless feelings. Musical structures merge with emotional specificity and come to life best when discipline and freedom have a place to flourish. Jazz music, with its own “ying & yang” of structure and improvisation, is a close relative to Ms. Monk's aesthetic.

For over 15 years Theo Bleckmann and John Hollenbeck have been part of Meredith Monk’s close-knit Vocal Ensemble and are both acclaimed jazz performers who are genre-defying in their own rights. For Meredith Monk’s 40th anniversary at the Whitney Museum, Hollenbeck and Bleckmann put together “Future Quest,” a group of like minded musicians able to deal with the immense set of emotional and musical challenges at hand: Pianist Gary Versace, whom Bleckmann and Hollenbeck perform with regularly in their collective, refuge trio, and with whom Bleckmann put together a duo evening of exclusively Meredith Monk’s music at Brooklyn Academy of Music (receiving a “Best of 2005” from New York Magazine), and saxophonists, Ellery Eskelin and Tony Malaby, both highly acclaimed improvisers, composers and soloists who truly understand Monk's discipline use of structure and sound.

Rarely has Meredith Monk’s (no relation to Thelonius Monk) music been placed in a jazz context with such care and understanding of her idiom. This is not only a tribute to her music but an opening of a door where her music can be taken to new places, encouraging an expansion of her legacy to many others.
 Cover $10

Sep 12
Maria Lisella

John Domini Mark Saba
Italian American Writers Association, featured readers are: Fiction Authors, John Domini and Mark Saba, plus open mic, 5 minute limit.

John Domini has won awards in all genres, publishing fiction in Paris Review, Ploughshares, and anthologies, and non-fiction in GQ, The New York Times, and elsewhere, including Italian journals. The New York Times has praised his work as "dreamlike… grabs hold of both reader and character," and Alan Cheuse, of NPR's "All Things Considered," described it as "witty and biting." Domini has worked as a visiting writer at many universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, and Grinnell. Italian publication for Earthquake I.D., is through the publishing house that first translated Don DeLillo's work, and it is one of five finalists for the distinguished Domenico Rea Prize, in Italy. A Tomb on the Periphery is under contract for translation in 2010.

Mark Saba grew up in Pittsburgh but his roots are in Sardinia. Initially he studied pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh, but switched majors once he arrived at Wesleyan University where he began to write. During his graduate work at Hollins College, he won the Andrew James Purdy fiction award as well as an award from the Academy of American Poets. Last year his novella, "Thaddeus Olsen," appeared in the anthology Desperate Remedies from Apis Books (UK). He is the author of a novel, The Landscapes of Pater, published by The Vineyard Press (NY, 2004), which follows the main character's question of identity to the island of Sardinia. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in literary magazines many anthologies worldwide, most recently Connecticut Review, Poetic Voices Without Borders 2 (Gival Press), Steam Ticket, and Feile-Festa. Saba's epic poem, "Judith of the Lights," won an award from the Mellen Poetry Press and was published by them in 1996. Saba lives with his family in New Haven, where he works as a medical illustrator and graphic designer at Yale University.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Liberty Ellman, acoustic guitar;  Jamie Fox, acoustic guitar;  Stephan Crump, acoustic bass & compositions
Stephan Crump's ROSETTA TRIO  image
Memphis-bred bassist/composer Stephan Crump is among the latest generation of up-and-coming players on the NYC jazz scene. As a longtime sideman with adventurous jazz composers Vijay Iyer and Joel Harrison as well as singer-songwriters like Lucy Kaplansky and Jen Chapin, he has become known for the elegance and purposeful groove of his acoustic and electric bass playing. As a composer, he is emerging as a singular voice, avoiding obvious routes yet always finding honesty and lyricism. After many years of varied collaboration with critically-acclaimed guitarists Jamie Fox and Liberty Ellman (in both of whose groups he performs), Crump brought together this all-string chamber trio for the first time in 2005 to record an album of pieces written in the aftermath of 9/11. That album, Rosetta, was released in 2006 and greeted with inclusion on multiple top ten lists and other ecstatic reviews for its narrative depth and outstanding performances. Fresh out of the studio for their Cornelia St. performance, the trio will include tunes from Rosetta with emphasis on brand new material just recorded for their next release, including an extended work commissioned by the 92nd St. Y and NY Guitar Festival.

“Here is a string ensemble for the new century!” Donald Elfman, AllAboutJazz-NY • your www-address
 Cover $12

Sep 13
Angelo Verga, host

Naturi Thomas Doug Collura Susan Scutti
Naturi Thomas, who writes fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry, has just signed with an agent to represent her memoir. One of the poems she'll be reading tonight will be featured in an upcoming issue of Barrow Street. She's currently a student at New School University, where she double majors in writing and increasing her student loan debt.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Luca Ciarla, violin & loop machine;  Keziat, visual arts
Luca Ciarla's FIDDLER IN THE LOOP image
Luca Ciarla comes on stage with his violin, a loop machine and the surprising video images made by Keziat. Music is the result of the superimposition of tracks recorded live and played by the loop machine. Many alter ego of the violinist that step by step adds new virtuosisms; music is never the same, absolutely unpredictable, in symbiosis with the visionary art of Keziat. “Luca Ciarla has wooed the classical, jazz and folk crowds with his originality.” Cover Magazine (Hong Kong)

Violinist, pianist and composer Luca Ciarla is one of the most original artists of his generation. His music digs its roots into contemporary jazz but takes color also from ethnic and classical music, giving life to a fascinating new acoustic sound.

A native of Termoli, Italy, Luca began playing violin and piano at the age of eight. By twelve he was studying at the conservatory and already exploring jazz and improvisation. He received the “Diploma di Violino” in 1993 and then studied at the Fiesole School of Music and the European Community’s Music School of Saluzzo. In 1996 Luca moved to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree at the Indiana University, studying also jazz with David Baker. Subsequently he completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Arizona where he has taught violin and improvisation for several years. Winner of several competitions in Italy and abroad, in 1999 he has been awarded by New York-based Chamber Music America.
 Cover $10

Sep 14
Tulis McCall, host

An open mic for actors, playwrights, and other stage struck performers, fast paced and fun.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Jed Distler, host

Stephanie Kai-win Saar Ahuvia Joshua Fried Jed Distler
Serial Underground, “the subversive nightclub series” (Time Out NY)
Allan Kozinn (New York Times) contextualizes CCi’s monthly performances in the basement of the Cornelia Street Cafe – “... part of the ecology of urban night life.” CCi artistic director, Jed Distler, curates the programs abetted by director Arnold Barkus and lighting designer David Lovett.

The Stephanie & Saar DUO return for a Serial Underground residency, with works ranging from Conlon Nancarrow’s wildest excursions to Bill Evans’ most urgently lyrical inspirations (piano duo).

No Soap Radio Wonderland features Joshua Fried with a Buick steering wheel and old shoes hit with sticks that control the audio processing as he turns live radio into recombinant funk, abetted by CCi Artistic Director Jed Distler unplugged at the Cornelia Street Café Yamaha “Grand Upright,” as he processes everything around him with brain, fingers, and the skin of his teeth (electro-acoustic improvisation).

Box office: 212.663.1967 (advance purchase discount available)
Admission at the door: $15 gen’l, $10 student/sr + one drink minimum

Sep 15
Bob Quatrone, host

Among Bob's invited poets are Robert Gibbons, Eve Packer, Ocean Vuong, Madeline Artenberg, Iris N. Schwartz, Frank Simone, and Michael Cook.
 Cover $7
Sherry Weaver, host

Giulia Rozzi Katie Northlick Margot Leitman Nikole Beckwith Brian Longwell Margot Leitman
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 16
Kate Gale, host

Red Hen Press image John Bowers
John Bowers, Kathleen Driskell, Annie Finch, Gary Lemons, and Deena Metzger.

A fine press & publisher from the left coast visits NYC with some of her most interesting writers in tow.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Valerie Ghent, host

Robert Hill Lauren Echo db leonard Jason Consolacion
The Songwriter's Beat image

Now in its 9th year, The Songwriter's Beat is New York's premiere performing songwriter series. Hosted and founded by Valerie Ghent, four up-and-coming songwriters perform new material in a supportive and intimate atmosphere.

Founded in 2000, The Songwriter's Beat has presented over 270 songwriters from the Tri-State area as well as visiting songwriters from other parts of the United States, Canada, France, the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Cuba and Japan. Every third Wednesday of the month, four songwriters of varying musical styles perform original songs and are encouraged to try out their newest material and arrangements. The series culminates in a week-long songwriters festival each July, featuring performers from throughout the years.

The Songwriter's Beat welcomes songwriters from around the world, so when planning your trip to New York, allow time for The Songwriter's Beat!

The Songwriter's Beat is honored to receive support from The ASCAP Foundation.

 Cover $10

Sep 17
Golda Solomon, host

Kathleen Sheeder, poetry;  DoubleSharps , jazz;  Rodger Lowenthal, poet;  Ernesto Lara, poet;  Adrienne Hernandez , poet
Po'Jazz image
The Brooklyn cowgirl returns with guests, and music & words.

Kathleen Sheeder, author of Slamming Open The Door ”.. A gift of power, truth, rage and beauty.” Sharon Olds

The jazz will be the DoubleSharps “The Double Sharps continue to wow with their commitment to keeping our music and history intact Doors Open at 5:30 and jazz begins at 5:45

Student price of 10$ (including a beverage) and 15$ for regular admission.

 Cover $15 (includes one house drink)

David Devoe, host

Sunny Kim, voice;  Ben Monder, guitar;  Brian Adler, drums;  Sara Serpa, voice;  Andre Matos, guitar;  Kris Davis, piano;  John Hebert, bass;  Ted Poor, drums
Gnu Vox: Prana Trio featuring Ben Monder & Sara Serpa Band image
Prana is a Sanskrit word translating into breath, vital energy, or life force. Yet, its actual meaning goes beyond these descriptions; it is the primary energy of the universe.

Prana Trio was established to transfer this universal idea of breath into a format based around musical improvisation. Since 2003, the group has been dedicated to exploring original compositions and improvisations based on the texts of Rumi, Hafiz, Lao Tzu, Kukai, Shankarcarya, Kabir, Issa as well as others. They have toured throughout the United States and Germany and have had the honor of playing with Ran Blake, Frank Carlberg, Dave Fiuczynski, and Stomu Takeishi. Described as "beautiful... magical..." by pianist Marilyn Crispell, the trio has released two albums on Circavision Productions: Pranam (2006) and After Dark (2004). Their third album is expected to be released in the winter of 2009.

"Like fine jewelers, Prana Trio craft's perfect settings for these poems." ~David Dupont, Cadence Magazine.

“The group is a nightmare journey from SoHo to Twin Peaks.” ~Ran Blake--pianist, writer of Primacy of the Ear.

Sara Serpa is a vocalist wielding an instrument as favorably unadorned and pure as any in jazz. She's the freshest vocalist on the scene at the moment, not just because she's new to it at age 28. It's certainly not because of the way she delivers a lyric, since there usually aren't any. Being from Portugal is also irrelevant, for like much of the great jazz coming our way in the past few years from Lisbon, there is nothing overtly ethnic about the music; it's sensuous, transporting, sultry and warm.

A main reason is that with one recording in, she raises profound questions regarding the previous role of the vocalist in jazz. What's radical, is that it's not about the ridiculous chops or inhuman gymnastic training or trickery. She sings as an instrumentalist, as a member of an ensemble with a bold conception, moving seamlessly as would a saxophonist from melodist to soloist, or from a front line horn to an ensemble voice—not the star of some show. Serpa sounds as if she's talking right to you, even though she's singing, not just in terms of the intimacy quotient, but in terms of the actual sound of it—literally, she sounds as if she must sing whenever she speaks." (Phil DiPietro,All About Jazz)
 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