See the previous week's performances.  September 29-October 06, 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 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

Oct 04
Roald Hoffmann

Lisa Karrer, composer, vocalist and multi-media performance artist;  David Simons, composer/musician ;  Shahid Naeem , biologist, Columbia University
Entertaining Science -- NATURAL LAW: DARWIN'S TANGLED BANK image

Charles Darwin's last sentence in The Origin of the Species reads: "There is grandeur in this view of life…from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved." Grandeur indeed. To celebrate, and to preserve.

Lisa Karrer is an internationally celebrated composer, vocalist and multi-media performance artist. She brings us "Schismism: Natural Law", a solo performance inspired by Darwin's exploration of evolution and universal connectedness, in collaboration with composer/musician David Simons. In the spirit of natural selection, the audience will decide the sequence of events in real-time during the performance.

And Shahid Naeem from Columbia University will join us reflecting on the consequences of the modern day unraveling of the entanglement of biological diversity evolution has spun over the last 3.5 billion years. His laboratory's motto is "Ecology With No Apology," and explores the environmental consequences of widespread losses in biodiversity, or the disentanglement of what Darwin called, the "entangled bank."
 Cover $10

Lou, accordion, vocals, songwriter;  Peter, 12 string guitar, vocals, lyrics
Lou and Peter Berryman image
Knee-Slapping Folk: Wedded bliss went south for Lou & Peter Berryman, but their musical relationship has grown over the past twenty years. Their off-kilter harmonies buoyed by accordion and guitar back some of the best lyric zingers and funniest songs to come out of the Midwest. The Berrymans (who long ago married other partners) continue to write and sing songs that poke fun at the human plight, idiosyncrasies of living in America, sports, and painting the living room when the world is crumbling around them and us. As silly as they sometimes get, love comes through, adding warmth and depth and turning what could have been a comedy act into an evening of insight.
 Cover $15
Oct 05
Tulis McCall, host

Shy people break out of their performance inhibitions, extending the borders of mental health.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
8:30PM  AMRAM & CO
David Amram, piano, french horn, flutes, composition & surprises;  Kevin Twigg, drums, glockenspiel;  John de Witt, bass;  Adam Amram, percussion;  John Ventimiglia, actor
AMRAM & CO image
This series explores in his highly personable, generous and informal style the astonishing variety of David Amram's interests and accomplishments--renowned composer of symphonic classical music, jazz compositions, improvisation, spoken word, scat, he sits at the piano, schmoozes about music, about the greats, the beats, the obscure, the legendary; plays the French horn, pulls out all kinds of instruments (flutes, drums, horns) gathered from his many circumnavigations of the globe, pulls in guests drawn from just about every artistic walk of life.
 Cover $10
Oct 06

Kathleen Frazier reads from a work in progress, Molly’s Story, an historical novel and second book in the Irish American Maguire family series. It is told through the eyes of a sixteen year old ghost who immigrated to New York in 1899. Meet up with silkies, stowaways and the kindness of strangers.

"I've just returned from an all too brief visit to Dublin and can't wait to hear yet again Kathleen's beautiful Irish lilt." _Angelo Verga (Poet Laureate of The Cornelia Street Cafe)
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Sharon Spell, host

Tracy Rowland Allen Norvick Andy Christie David Wolkin Kambri Crews James Braly
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

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