See the previous week's performances.  September 26-October 03, 2009 See the next week's performances.

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Sep 26
Andy Christie, host

ROB GORDEN, Spike TV;  SHERRI ELDIN, Osbornes: Reloaded; The Moth;  MATT BRESLER, Theater Arts teacher, NYC;  MELANIE HAMLETT, Moth GrandSlam;
The Liar Show image
Part game show, part storytelling, all good fun, with a T-shirt giveaway.

THE LIAR SHOW : Seek Truth. Get A T-Shirt.

Four writers and comics tell extremely personal stories, but one is a complete fabrication. Interrogate the cast. Expose the fraud. Win a T-Shirt. Hosted by Andy Christie (NY Times, Thomas Beller's "Lost And Found: Stories From New York")

 Cover $12 (includes one house drink)

John Hébert, bass;  Tony Malaby, soprano & tenor saxophone;  Michäel Attias, alto & barrytone saxophone;  Adam Kolker, flute & bass clarinet;  Satoshi Takeishi, percussion;  Mike Sarin, drums
John Hébert's Byzantine Monkey: CD release image
Byzantine Monkey, bassist/composer John Hébert’s long-awaited debut recording as a bandleader, documents his New York-based sextet of the same name featuring frequent collaborators Michaël Attias, Tony Malaby, Adam Kolker, Nasheet Waits and Satoshi Takeishi.

Hébert’s original compositions for the group take their inspiration from a variety of sources, including his interest in Cajun music, his travels to different parts of the world and his gratitude and respect

New Orleans native John Hébert is one of the busiest bassists in New York and a regular in the Rising Star Acoustic Bass category of DownBeat’s annual Critics Poll for the past three years. His discography features more than 45 recordings since 2000, including titles by Dave Ballou, Uri Caine, Steve Lehman, Andrew Rathbun, Dave Scott and Gebhard Ullmann. He’s also the bassist on Andrew Hill’s final recording for Blue Note, 2006’s Time Lines.

Learn more at for his mentor, legendary pianist/composer Andrew Hill, with whom Hébert worked from 2001 until his death in 2007. The musicians bringing that music to life in Byzantine Monkey have all worked extensively with Hébert in other ensembles, including Attias, Kolker and Malaby’s own groups and Hill’s trio and quintet. “Byzantine Monkey is me, and Byzantine Monkey is the band,” writes Hébert in the liner notes. “All of our voices together, telling one story.” Firehouse 12 Records FH12-04-01-010
 Cover $10

Sep 27
6:00PM  LEAP
Elizabeth Haukaas Idris Anderson
Poet reads from her most recent collection, "Leap." As we say in The Bronx, if you're felling froggy......

Elizabeth Haukaas poetry collection, Leap, was published by Texas Tech University Press in February 2009 and won the Walt McDonald Poetry Award 2008. She received the MFA in poetry from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers in 2006. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Crab Orchard Review, The New England Review, North American Review, William and Mary Review, and others. She lives in Manhattan.

And Ms Haukaas will be joined ny Idris Anderson, whose collection of poems, Mrs. Ramsay's Knee, was chosen by Harold Bloom for the May Swenson Poetry Award 2008. Anderson earned the MFA in poetry from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers in 2006. She has published poems in The Hudson Review, Ontario Review, Paris Review, The Nation, ZYZZYVA and other journals and has won a Pushcart Prize. She lives in San Francisco.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Karen Bach (DK), piano;  Erik Olevik (S), bass;  Ian Froman (US), drums
Karen Bach Trio feat. Ian Froman  image
Last summer this special trio went on a Scandinavian tour, which was a result of many years of cooperation over seas, and the first time for the three musicians to meet on stage in Europe. And so began a Nordic journey through open musical landscapes, with Karen Bach’s original compositions, and formed on stage as intense dialogue between piano, bass and drums. And now, it is time for them to meet again – this time in the heart of New York.

Since 2001, pianist Karen Bach has visited the US several times each year to play and develop her music with one of New York’s busiest drummers, Ian Froman. Bach is known as one of the new promising pianists in Danish Jazz. She has played the scenes and festivals of Scandinavia and Germany with her Danish Karen Bach Trio, and received grants and prices from various Jazz and Composer’s Unions. Since the beginning, Swedish bassplayer Olevik has been her musical companion. Karen Bach met Froman in 2001, where she was the first piano student to attend classes at The Collective School of Music in New York. Over the years they went from teacher-student to equal professional companions, as they continued to play and develop new music together.

Finally in 2008, the three met on the Scandinavian summer stages to play a tour of concerts, based on the musical conversation between three nationalities, and with the purpose of opening the traditional jazz format, and make it more attractive to a wider audience, no matter age or cultural background. And so, the trio is now moving on to the rest of the world.

All music is based on compositions by Karen Bach. Inspired by her annual trips to New York as well as a natural relation to the Scandinavia where she grew up, she has developed a music that combines elements from: the traditional European classical music, the energetic and freely improvised modern jazz, the melodic and singable pop, and the steady beats and forms of rock. This is a colourful extension and a bold interpretation of the European jazz tradition, combined with Fromans well-known New York intensity, and with roots burried deep in the Nordic ground.

Sep 28
Shelley Stenhouse, host

Judy Rhodes Elizabeth Schoettle Shelley Stenhouse
ELIZABETH SCHOETTLE is a collage artist and fiction writer. Her solo show at the Meredith Ward Gallery ran for several months last summer. Her fiction appeared recently in Mr. Beller's Neighborhood. She is a fan of Sylvia Plath's journals.

JUDY RHODES is currently writing a memoir. A professional actor, Judy brought her one-woman Charles Dickens show to Scotland’s Edinburgh Festival. She is an avid traveler; exhibits and sells her travel photography. Judy is also a certified Kripalu yoga teacher.

SHELLEY STENHOUSE was a finalist in the 2009 National Poetry Series. She has won a NYFA Fellowship; an Allen Ginsberg Award; is published in the current New York Quarterly; appeared in The Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Brooklyn Rail and many others. She works one-on-one with writers.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Sep 29
Stan Rifken Stan Baker
The Two Stans image
The Two Stans: Comedy with Stan Rifken and Stan Baker (The Human TV)

Two veterans of the downtown comedy scene bring their new acts to the place where it all started. Eras ago, Stan and Stan met as street performers in Washington Square Park and quickly moved indoors to the Cornelia Street Café. They return tonight, older, wiser, and yet sillier.

Stan Baker watched street comics Charlie Barnett, Rick Aviles, and Stan Rifken do comedy in Washington Square one summer and joined them that fall, when the weather was nicer. Since then he has performed his act The Human TV at numerous clubs, theatres, colleges and even on real TV. The Village Voice called him, “Clever, subversive, and gut-bucket funny.”

Stan Rifken has been sharing his hysterical observations of life in New York, and the cosmos in general, on stages – and websites – for what seems like decades. Okay, it has been decades, but he’s still a hunk. Catch his recent spot on The Colbert Report as “Karl Marx Santa” where he takes gifts from Stephen to give to lazy people who don't deserve nice things.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Attaboy: Qarin Wikstrom, voice;  Thomas Caudery, trumpet;  Erik Olevik, bass;  Ulrik Brohuus, drums;  special guest: Ellery Eskelin, saxophone;  A Mown Lawn: Jacob Wick, trumpet;  Katie Young, bassoon;  Curtis Hasselbring, trombone;  Josh Sinton, bass clarinet/baritone sax
attaboy/A Mown Lawn image

"Music which is above genre, pluralistic and minimalist ... A delightfully surprising acquaintance" -Ole Nimand, JazzSpecial

"An excellent live album which really brings new things to a Scandinavian jazz"
-Frithjof Strauss, Jazz Podium German, on 'Slowmotion Jogging

In 2001, four young musicians from Sweden, Denmark and England/France formed Attaboy to explore the sounds of chordless music. Today, their style has evolved into lyrical jazz that dares to include a punk attitude, simple melodies and a chaotic pop sensibility. Improvisation is an important part of the music, while poetry that speaks to the trials of everyday life, sung both in Swedish and English, is a central element of Attaboy's style and sound. The group is a strong part of the Danish jazz scene and has performed jazz festivals in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, New York City and Paris, as well as on Swedish and Danish national radio programs. Their debut album, Overkliga Saker, was released to critical acclaim on Chairless Records in 2004.

In 2005, Attaboy met three American/Canadian string players whose sound and energy inspired the music into new colours and textures. This collaboration led to the relese of their newest album 'Slowmotion Jogging' in 2007, which features live performances with strings. Since then, Attaboy has initiated a number of projects featuring guests musicians on laptop, reeds, and larger ensembles. Their return to New York City will highlight these ongoing projects and also introduce new collaborations with some very special New York City-based guests.

A Mown Lawn



Over the summer we presented a series of mini-festivals, a multitudinous array which included Songwriters, Saxophones, Guitars, Drums, Liars, Storytellers, Monologues, Blues, Cowgirls, Comedy, & 21st Century Schizoid Music. Those of you who are regulars will recognize some of these as recurring series. Others were attempts to lend at least a semblance of coherence and thematic unity to the disparate array of stuff we present in the course of the average year about 700 shows.

If we were to single out one festival, it would probably be the Piano Festival, which consumed us for the first two weeks of August. Amongst other things we managed to maneuver a grand piano down these narrow stairs and when it was set up it answered the perennial question about the ship in the bottle. On this piano, Simon Mulligan played Rachmaninoff, Audrey St. Gil accompanied Paul Hecht in Richard Strauss's setting of Tennys Enoch Arden to celebrate the poet's 200th birthday, the legendary Andy Bey accompanied himself as he sang, and all kinds of jazz pianists disported themselves.

Perhaps nobody disported himself to greater and more variegated effect than Jed Distler, who presides over the monthly Composers Collaborative series here on the second Monday of every month. The programming included everything from two to eight hands, not to mention a four hand version of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the young pianist Matt Aucoin.

We all felt blessed by the presence of a grand piano and now, in an act of supreme and serendipitous generosity, Jed has offered us his own beautiful Yamaha G2 Grand Piano on permanent loan. And we have gratefully accepted.

Hence our closing on the 30th. We'll be back in business on the 1st. Thank you, Jed!

Oct 01
Robin, Angelo, Poul, and David, hosts

Artists’ Salon image
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.

Arrive early, first ten people in the room constitute a minyan.

Pete Rende, piano;  Bill McHenry, tenor sax;  Matt Brewer , bass;  Ted Poor , drums
Pete Rende image
On the inaugural night of our new grand piano and stage, we proudly present Pete Rende in a rare appearance, leading his own group.

Pete Rende was born in Lone Jack, Missouri in 1972. He began to study piano at the age of 6. He learned how to shuck corn at the age of 3. He learned about engines at the age of 10. He learned slowly how to dodge cow patties when hurled at seventy-five miles an hour. He left home to study music at Berklee College of music. After a hazy 4 years, he moved to New York where he plays piano, writes music, makes records, makes wine and drinks beer. He hates bios. He has played with Mark Turner, Bill McHenry, Chris Cheek, Rebecca Martin, Chiara Civello, Jen Chapin and a thousand other folks.
 Cover $10

Oct 02
Kathi Georges, host

Orion 0.62, Not banned @ Cornelia
Son of Pony image
The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

This is the night many of us have anticipated for years, the extraordinary Orion 062 is our feature.

Orion 0.62 is a Swiss-born, Israeli-raised poet who came to America at the age of 12. He's the author of approximately 30,000 poems, many of which explore socially-taboo topics. He's has published two collections of his works, including "A Dozen Brutes" and "Don't Call Me Harvey," a collaboration with Margueritte.

In addition to several torrid affairs with the glitterati, Orion claims that he has singularly participated in more open poetry readings than anyone in history. He's currently banned from several venues for various reasons. In addition to creating intellectually sizzling abstract & philosophical works, Orion also frequently explores extreme concepts of sexual prowess and deviancy. This reading may contain poetry of an extremely graphic nature and is not recommended for anyone who may find this offensive.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Tony Malaby, tenor saxophone;  Ralph Alessi, trumpet;  Drew Gress, bass;  Billy Drummund, drums
Tony Malaby Quartet image
Saxophonist Tony Malaby, is one of the most compelling living voices on his instrument who is able to musically expand in multiple musical directions. Whether it is in a modern harmonic linear approach or a sonic approach. His is not an eclectic style, but an authentic language in which he is able to create meaning and communicate feeling through the primal power of sound and rhythm.
- Mark Dresser (July 2008)

Malaby is joined by some of his favorite NY improvisers - Advanced Reservations recommended.
 Cover $10

Oct 03
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.

Admission $12 which includes a drink.

Featued on October 3 are

DAVID ELLIS DICKERSON, Author, "House Of Cards"; NPR's This American Life

ELNA BAKER, Author, "The NY Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance"

RYAN BRITT, "10 Best of 2008

DJ HAZARD, Fuel TV's "American Misfits"

 Cover $5

Tony Malaby, tenor saxophone;  Ralph Alessi, trumpet;  Drew Gress, bass;  Billy Drummund, drums
Tony Malaby Quartet image
Saxophonist Tony Malaby, is one of the most compelling living voices on his instrument who is able to musically expand in multiple musical directions. Whether it is in a modern harmonic linear approach or a sonic approach. His is not an eclectic style, but an authentic language in which he is able to create meaning and communicate feeling through the primal power of sound and rhythm.
- Mark Dresser (July 2008)

Malaby is joined by some of his favorite NY improvisers - Advanced Reservations recommended.
 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