See the previous week's performances.  September 17-September 24, 2009 See the next week's performances.

See the previous week's performances. September, 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:


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

Sep 18
Kathi Georges, host

Edwin Torres
Son of Pony image
The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Tonight we feature the powerful Edwin Torres.

Edwin Torres is a highly respected New York-based spoken word poet known best for creating a movement which he called "Interactive Eclectrcism", which combines movement, audience participation, music and songs. Torres also created the "Poets Neurotica", where dancers and musicians performed alongside two to four poets. Torres has represented New York in the 1992 National Poetry Slam, and he has won the Nuyorican Poets Cafe First Annual Prize for Poetry with his poem "Po-Mo Griot". He has also appeared on MTV's Spoken Word Unplugged and the Charlie Rose Show and been featured on Newsweek, in Rolling Stone Magazine and in New York Magazine. His poem, "I Saw Your Empire State Building" was included in the book, Words In Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam in the chapter which dealt with the poetry slam community's response to 9/11.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Rory Stuart, guitar & compositions;  Will Vinson, tenor saxophone;  Chris Smith, bass;  Marcus Gilmore, drums
The Rory Stuart Quartet   image
Described by JAZZ TIMES as “perhaps THE most innovative straight-ahead jazz guitarist to emerge in years,” Rory Stuart brings his quartet with saxophonist Will Vinson, acoustic bassist Chris Smith, and drummer Marcus Gilmore to the Cornelia Street Café on Friday, May 1, 2009.

Rory Stuart has performed as a sideman with a remarkable range of jazz artists, from Charlie Rouse to Errol Parker, Steve Coleman’s Five Elements with Cassandra Wilson and Geri Allen to the Cadence All Stars, and has led highly-praised Quartets of his own. For his complete bio, album reviews and photos, please visit

Check out also “So Rise Up,” the new release on SmartCatMusic. “rhythmic acrobats … tricky unison lines and extended, explorative solos… Combining the old and the new, and mixing it up just right” – Mark F. Turner “All About Jazz” (2008). Please join us!

cover $12/$9 w/ student ID

Sep 19
Dean Kostos, host

Nikos Alexiou Lisette Martinez Jackie Morfesis Sylvia Mouzourou
Our great & good friend Dean Kostos kicks off another season at the cafe with a quartet of poets 7 writers.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
John O'Gallagher, saxophone;  Masa Kamaguchi, bass;  Jeff Williams, drums
John O'Gallagher Trio: CD Release for <i>Dirty Hands</i> image
You always get your hands dirty with hard work and indeed the John O'Gallagher Trio does just that.

The music played by the alto saxophonist, with Masa Kamaguchi on bass and Jeff Williams on drums, is one of effortless beauty as a result of years of working together. For O'Gallagher, a composition is much more than a vehicle to improvise on; it is the source of the improvisation. Whether playing free improvisations or original compositions, the truth is that everything here is meticulously structured.
So, we have a composer in the good-old Duke Ellington way: he writes for the musicians who play with him, partly knowing by anticipation what to expect, and partly challenging them (and himself) to always go further. Very influenced by contemporary classical music, its solutions and ideas are used by the leader of this trio with a nod to the past in a genre known for its assimilation of elements coming from other musical languages. O'Gallagher speaks of 'opening new doors', and that's something jazz always did. Another particularity of this music is its visual character - the pieces function audibly like moving abstract images. The sense of space, line, color and density we find in painting is what this band translates to the art of sounds. "There definitely are parallels in painting and playing. When I improvise and compose, I'm influenced by a visual sense of trying to create objects and color," John O'Gallagher said in an interview to All About Jazz. "Dirty Hands" is the clear confirmation of that statement and is a recording not to be missed.
 Cover $10

Sep 20
Wayne Miller Mario Bibbins
Mark Bibbins is the author of two collections of poems, The Dance of No Hard Feelings (Copper Canyon, 2009) and the Lambda Award-winning Sky Lounge. A former New York Foundation for the Arts fellow, his work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, Tin House, Boston Review, New England Review, Legitmate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century, and two editions of The Best American Poetry. He teaches in the graduate writing programs at The New School and Columbia University.

Wayne Miller is the author of two poetry collections, The Book of Props (Milkweed, 2009) and Only the Senses Sleep (New Issues, 2006), and the forthcoming chapbook O City (Cinematheque, 2009). He is also coeditor of New European Poets (Graywolf, 2008) and translator of Moikom Zeqo's I Don't Believe in Ghosts (BOA, 2007). He lives in Kansas City and edits Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Andrew Green, guitar;  Noah Preminger, tenor saxophone;  JC Sandford, trombone;  Russ Johnson, trumpet;  Kermit Driscoll, bass;  Mike Sarin, drums
ANdrew Green sextet: CD Release for <i>Narrow MArgin</i> image
Narrow Margin is the title of a 1952 B-movie noir, and film noir is used as a loosely unifying thread for the group. The music is not based on noir soundtracks however; it is a diverse group of compositions that draw from lyrical jazz, free jazz, bebop, a smattering of rock, cop show themes and the lone cover tune "Taxi Driver" by Bernard Herrmann. The writing and the solos are woven into a unified whole designed to keep the listener engaged and surprised.

the compositional skill displayed by the sonic brush Green paints the tunes with will make you soon realize that your ears are in the presence of a master! ...this is high talent playing that will be enjoyed by jazz listeners of all stripes on through the next couple of decades! I give this one a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
- Dick Metcalf- zzaj.freehostia

Narrow Margin is hard-edged music about hard-edged cinema and, like the best noir characters, the music packs a wallop. ...Green's compositions have got all the stopping power of a blazing Tommy Gun.
- J Hunter - all about
 Cover $10

Sep 21
Ted Jonathan, host

Kristin Bock Angelo Verga Fred Yannanuono
New York Quarterly image
Back from a summer break the editors present three stalwarts from the pages of a leading American magazine devoted to the craft of poetry.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Joachim Badenhorst, clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone;  Ryan Blotnick, guitar;  Simon Jermyn, bass, effects;  Perry Wortman, bass;  Jeff Williams, drums;  Ben Monder, guitar;  Bill McHenry, tenor saxophone
Ryan Blotnick: cd release for <i>Everything Forgets</i>  image
8:30PM Ryan Blotnick "Everything Forgets" CD Release Party

...Blotnick's thoughtful compositions and warm-toned improvisations are showcased on this superb debut....graceful, evocative..."
- Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times

Since the release of his widely acclaimed Songlines CD Music Needs You in 2007, the New York based guitarist Ryan Blotnick has been performing with Michael Blake Band, Pete Robbins & Centric, and gigging in England and Europe. While there he met the Belgian reed player Joachim Badenhorst, Irish electric bassist Simon Jermyn, and NY drummer Jeff Williams. The impromptu quartet made a mostly free-form demo ("it had this kind of 70s rock vibe mixed with a more modern 'Icelandic' soundscape kind of thing," says Blotnick). When Badenhorst moved to New York last fall, Jermyn came over as well and the quartet did a tour and recording session, focusing on improvs as well as new pieces Blotnick had composed for his NY trio. In early 2009, on tour in Spain with 3/5 of the Music Needs You band (Barcelona-based US drummer Joe Smith and NY bassist Perry Wortman), the trio re-recorded those tunes. This CD selects the best takes from the two sessions and sequences them into two album sides. The lighter, groovier post-jazz trio tracks foreground Ryan's improvising on his compositions, while the quartet often has a heavier, freer avantrock/new music feel. The alternation sets up a series of contrasts and complementarities that make this a more provocatively organized and musically/emotionally diverse record than Music Needs You.

What one especially takes away from Everything Forgets is an appreciation for Blotnick's melodic gift (both in the writing and improvising), and how this music indeed evokes a range of feelings with grace and humanity. In the Songlines interview Ryan acknowledges his indebtedness in different pieces to Sonny Rollins, Benoît Delbecq, Skúli Sverrisson, and friends/colleagues Michael Blake, Bill McHenry, and Eivind Opsvik among others, but his music makes a true statement of its own.

-more info:

10:00pm Ben Monder & Bill McHenry Duo

Monder and McHenry are united for their first duo set since the recording of "Bloom" ten years ago. These two widely-acclaimed musicians have worked together in Bill's quartet with Paul Motian and numerous other projects over the years.

"Broad 21st century jazz style expressions meet open sound landscapes on these soothing moods. The music takes you to a relaxed world, whether getting away from the daily reality or just enjoying art at its highest"
-All About Jazz

"...McHenry possesses a gift for unspooling elliptical melodies that nonetheless linger in the mind's ear, which are then wrapped in Monder's dense chords or caressed by his throaty lines."
-by Steve Smith, Music Editor Time Out NY

More info:
 Cover $10

Sep 22
Autumn Giles & Martin Rock, host

Cathy Che, NYU;  Eugenia Chung, SLC;  Adam Fitzgerald, Columbia;  Simone Kearney, Hunter
New semester, new hosts, same tried and true program, fledgling poets from many of the area MFA departments fly on our stage.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Tyler Blanton, vibraphone, compositions;  Aidan Carroll, bass;  Richie Barshay, drums;  + special guest; Seamus Blake, saxophone
Tyler Blanton Trio +1 image
Lead by vibraphonist and composer Tyler Blanton, and supported by a prodigious rhythm section of percussionist Richie Barshay and bassist Aidan Carroll, this acoustic jazz trio effortlessly weaves their way through imaginative compositions. Blanton's original material runs the gamut from swinging and visceral, to intricate and modern, all of which is executed with a sense of comfort and fluidity. On this night, the trio will be joined by saxophone powerhouse Seamus Blake for a what promises to be a remarkable night of music.

"Blanton's music is sophisticated, swinging, and modern in the right ways, yet gutsy"
-Josef Woodard
 Cover $10

Wednesday Sep 23 6:00PM  FLASH FICTION
Nancy Kline Kate Hill Cantrill
We like prose, especially when it's swift and crafted.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Jon Sobel, host

Willie McBlind Jeff Norwood The Freeloaders

8:30 - Willie McBlind The band Willie McBlind plays "an unorthodox style of psychedelic blues-rock that is surprisingly artsy and quirky but still shows plenty of blues grit. Drawing on influences ranging from Robert Johnson to John Lee Hooker to Jimi Hendrix, they have no problem being both rootsy and artsy...well worth exploring if one is seeking something fresh and unconventional from blues-rock." ~ Alex Henderson, All Music Guide

9:15 - Jeff Norwood This young South Carolina solo artist plays in the authentic Mississippi Delta blues style, singing about the Devil and everyone else interesting.

10 - The Freeloaders Raw Zeppelin power mixed with cool Motown swagger.

 Cover $10

Sep 24
Lucinda Karter, host

Is that contemporary French literature we're hearing or the Rhone Valley wine singing in our ears?
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
David Devoe, host

Mike Merenda, vocals, guitar;  Ruth Ungar Merenda, vocals, fiddle, ukulele
Gnu Vox: Mike & Ruthy image
An americana songwriting duo with a growing following on the acoustic folk scene, Mike & Ruthy are focused on recording and touring clubs and festivals. With a repertoire of old-timey twang, topical folk, and just plain love songs, their heartfelt vocal duets intertwine with lively fiddle & banjo.

When Mike met Ruthy he'd already written a hundred songs - some of which he no longer remembers. When Ruthy met Mike she'd already decided against being a musician like her parents - a rebellious stance that quickly faded in the musical excitement.

A mutual friend had the bright idea that they should sing together, and one very late evening, down in the tiniest factory/apartment building in New York City's looming financial district, they first combined their talents over cheap beer and not much else. The results were magic.

Since that first night in 1998, their writing, singing, and musicianship have grown to match their enthusiasm. And some of Mike's very old songs are working their way back into the setlist - along side Ruth's sparkling versions of soul and folk classics, and their new and original creations that hint at love, pain, and beauty.

 Cover $10

Drum kit donated by

See the previous week's performances. PREVIOUS WEEK         Scheduled performances from September 17-September 24, 2009         NEXT WEEK See the next week's performances.

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