See the previous week's performances.  September 06-September 13, 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 06
Roald Hoffmann, host, with K.C.Cole and Oliver Sacks

Entertaining Science -- THE WORLDS WE MAKE UP image

People make up worlds out of bricks, molecules, words, thoughts. There's probably no better example than Entertaining Science itself--created 7 years ago when K.C. and Roald and Oliver and the Minister of Culture of this temple, Robin, concocted a program on the art and science of nothingness. (That in turn inspired the creation of yet another made-up world--KC's Categorically Not! series in Santa Monica--another story.) This is our reunion!

The constraints of the so-called “real world” seem limiting to people. But as the late physicist Frank Oppenheimer pointed out: There is no “real world” except as we make it up. Largely in response to his horror at the bombing of civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Frank created a “museum of human awareness” – the Exploratorium in San Francisco —a place where art and science allow people to discover that they can understand the complex world around them. Author and USC professor K.C. Cole will tell the story of the “other Oppenheimer” and the world he created, drawing on her new book: Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up.

Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks will speak about how the brain, like nature, abhors a vacuum--and how, for instance, if there is no visual perception, as in the blind spot which all of us have, or in those who have lost their sight, the brain will create its own virtual reality by images or hallucinations. And Roald will ponder why we think up new molecules.
 Cover $10

Michaël Attias, alto saxophone;  Ralph Alessi, trumpet;  John Hébert, bass;  Tom Rainey, drums

New music, new band.... Weaving sun light and green cells to make a tree rise and dance in the ear! Molecular maze, dance of the atoms, reed brass wood metal...

Critics have called Attias “a significant new voice on the alto saxophone” (Michael McCaw, and “an emphatically cosmopolitan saxophonist and composer” (Nate Chinen, New York Times). The All Music Guide’s Scott Yanow adds, “His playing is both lyrical and explorative. While technically avant-garde, Attias does not neglect melodic development, close interplay with his sidemen, and swinging in his own fashion. ”

An Israeli-born son of Moroccan parents who was raised in Paris and the American Midwest, Attias has built a career as diverse as his background. Based in New York since 1994, he has led a variety of his own groups, worked as a sideman in many others and composed scores for theater and dance. He's performed and recorded with wide span of bandleaders such as Paul Motian, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Butch Morris, Oliver Lake and many others. Upcoming releases include the second album of his trio Renku with John Hébert and Satoshi Takeishi as well as the debut of his quintet, Twines of Colesion, which builds on his trio with the addition of Tony Malaby and Russ Lossing. Both will be released in 2009 on the Clean Feed label.
 Cover $10

Sep 07
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
Sep 08
Barbara Aliprantis, curator/host

Rachel Rose Reid Jennifer Rawlings
Storytelling occurs the second Tuesday of every month.

Featured Teller: Rachel Rose Reid, award-winning Storyteller/Aural Alchemist from Across the Pond!

Cameo Feature: Jennifer Rawlings, award-winning "globe-trotting" Storyteller/Comic returns by popular demand!

FORMAT: Open Telling - no contest, no judging, just plain fun! (5-6 minute limit) Followed by Featured Tellers

Rachel Rose Reid, Storyteller/Aural Alchemist: Merging ancient myth and legend, contemporary theatre and spoken word with her own modern urban point of view, she has performed at prestigious festivals and venues around the world, from her home base in London to as far away as Bankok, Thailand. She has collaborated with Darfuri refugees recreating folktales from their homeland and was the first storyteller to work with political theatre company Nabokov on their popular Present: Tense performance projects. ”Magical...all of London held its breath!” - Jumoke Fashola, BBC London Radio. This September, she comes to Cornelia Street directly from the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock Desert, Gerlach, Nevada!!

"Rachel Rose Reid…breaking through boundaries of storytelling, crashing through walls of spoken word, RRR delivers a treat for the senses, and for the mind's eye.” Imogen Butler-Cole, Cutlery Bowl Productions, UK

Jennifer Rawlings, writer, comic, filmmaker, and self-proclaimed kick-ass mom of four, gives new meaning to the words "world traveler." A native of Salina Kansas, she has entertained our troops in over 300 military shows in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Djibouti, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Korea, Kwajelean, Guam, Japan, Iceland and other countries. An award-winning story writer, Jennifer has written for numerous publications and television shows. This past spring she made her directorial debut in the film, "Forgotten Voices: Women in Bosnia." In addition, she is tickling the funny bone of folks across the country with her unique perspective on everyday life as a mom, comedian, and activist.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

John Morrison, host

Al Lubel Liam McEneaney Thomas Middleditch Maureen Langa + more to follow
John Morrison's monthly comedy quickie--some of the smartest, most politically savvy comedians in or passing through New York make and unmake their bed here before some soon to be deported illegal third world alien comes in to clean it all up . . .

Tonight's headliner is Al Lubel
 Cover $10

Wednesday Sep 09 6:00PM  FREE RANGE READINGS
Mira Ptacin, host

Roseanne Reed-Motti Emily Seibert Douglas Rogers Nicholas Dawidoff
Douglas Rogers is the author of the recently published book: The Last Resort: A Memoir of Zimbabwe.

Nicholas Dawidoff, author of four books including The Fly Swatter, a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His latest book is The Crowd Sounds Happy: A Story of Love, Madness and Baseball. Nicholas writes for the New Yorker and teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

**Freerange is a method of literary husbandry where the authors are permitted to write, read, and roam freely instead of being contained in any manner. The principle is to allow the writers as much freedom as possible, to live out their instinctual behaviors in a reasonably natural way, regardless of whether or not they are eventually killed for meat. In practice, there are few regulations imposed on what can be called "free range," and the term may be used misleadingly to imply that the writing product has been produced more humanely than it actually has been.**
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Sarah Manning, alto saxophone, compositions;  Linda Oh, bass;  Art Hirahara, piano;  Kyle Struve, drums;  Sean Nowell, tenor saxophone, compositions;  Will Martina, cello;  Art Hirahara, piano;  Thomson Kneeland, bass;  Joe Abba, drums
Sarah Manning's Shatter the Glass/Sean Nowell Group image
Sarah Manning's Shatter the Glass debuts at the Cornelia Street Café in Manhattan’s West Village. Catching fire on the West Coast, alto saxophonist Sarah Manning was recently reborn from the ashes onto the New York scene. With bassist Linda Oh, pianist Art Hirahara and drummer Kyle Struve, the group will deconstruct and reconstruct Manning’s compositions against the red velvet backdrop of the Cornelia Street stage.

According to Grammy nominated pianist Jessica Williams, “If there is to be jazz in our future, it'll be because of musicians like saxophonist and composer Sarah Manning. She’s a player to listen to, starting right now.” This young artist has produced two albums of her original compositions and headlined top venues from Yoshi’s in Oakland, California to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz. On occasion, she can also be found busking in underground train stations. Manning’s last release, “Live at Yoshi’s: Two Rooms Same Door” (ArtistShare), led to a June 2007 profile in Down Beat Magazine. In the liner notes to her first album Nat Hentoff commented, “Sarah Manning can swing as naturally as she breathes…Manning plays – and writes – in what is unmistakably her own voice.”

At 10PM, tenor saxophonist Sean Nowell leads his group with Art Hirahara on piano, Thomson Kneeland on bass, Will Martina on cello and Joe Abba on drums. A tenor saxophonist and composer from Birmingham, Alabama, Nowell comes steeped in the southern traditions of blues, gospel, jazz, and funk - infused with the complex harmonic and world rhythmic concepts that permeate the music of New York City. They will be performing selections from his new release from Posi-Tone Records, “The Seeker".

"Originally from Birmingham, Alabama and influenced by the southern tradition of blues, gospel and jazz, tenor saxophonist and composer Sean Nowell unleashes his second project for the Posi-Tone Records with a command performance in a fiery passion-filled eight-piece barn-burner of a recording with “The Seeker.” Playing with the sophistication of a John Coltrane and the grace of a Lee Konitz, Nowell unfurls the sax for intense tenor work dominating the band and delivering an excellent session of straight ahead contemporary jazz elevating “The Seeker” to an elite category."
-Edward Blanco EJAZZ NEWS

With a double bill, Cornelia Street Cafe presents the opportunity to hear two artists with two very distinct voices, united in purpose by their quest to expand the boundaries of jazz
 Cover $10

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

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