Jazz

A Casually Sophisticated Night of Music, Food and the Four Elements at National Sawdust

Singer Magos Hererra and the musical ensemble during the third course FIRE, during Elements of Time + Taste at National Sawdust. Photo: Megan Penmann
Singer Magos Herrera and the musical ensemble during the third course FIRE, during Elements of Time + Taste at National Sawdust.

Earth, air, fire and water: the vital components that make up our living world were the inspiration for a special night at National Sawdust (80 N 6th St) last Thursday, where musicians collaborated with acclaimed chef Patrick Connolly of neighboring restaurant Rider and mixologist Allen Katz (NY Distilling Company) to compose an immersive performance harmonized with food and drink. The inventive evening included avant-garde music spanning several genres (jazz, electronic, folk, world), eclectic performers, and an exceptional food and cocktail pairing set in an informal salon atmosphere.

National Sawdust. Photo: Megan Penmann
Before the show, National Sawdust.

National Sawdust is a beautifully designed black box theatre with acoustics that rival the Sydney Opera House. If you’ve been to NS more than once, you’ve likely experienced a variety of stage setups. The auditorium layout was designed to play a little Tetris, with the stage location and seating arrangement tailored to each performance and always sounding incredible no matter what the scenario. Last week’s show was no different; with tables and chairs arranged cabaret-style to face the stage and corn husks as our plates, the night had a casual vibe nestled in an intimate high-end venue. Continue reading

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A Night of Experimental Jazz & Lydia Lunch at the Park Church Co-Op

Lydia Lunch performs, speaking about misogyny and today’s pessimistic world. Photo: Angelica Hill

Last Thursday, artist Martynka Wawrzyniak hosted “A Night of Experimental Jazz & Lydia Lunch” at the Park Church Co-Op (129 Russell Street) to support her McGolrick Park community art installation, Ziemia.  Ziemia, when finished, will consist of a large ceramic orb made from soil from across the globe and placed in a carefully cultivated meadow in McGolrick Park, adjacent to Russell Street between Nassau Ave and Driggs Ave.

The Park Church Co-Op was dimly lit, the stage awash with red and blue light. Meditative electronic new-age music played as the image of Jesus on the crucifix centered on the back wall looked over the scene. It may not seem like the most likely venue for a night of experimental jazz, but Pastor Amy Kienzle remarked that this event was part of the church’s larger event series that supports community art. And with Wawrzyniak being such an enthusiastic member of the church she felt it was important to support. She added that the church “believes in art and it being spiritually beneficial.” Continue reading

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Rock Your Tastebuds at National Sawdust’s Food/Drinks/Music Pairing Event Next Thursday (9/28)!

Next Thursday evening (9/28) at 7:30pm, National Sawdust (80 N 6th St) is presenting a night of inspired food, mixology and music as they pair up small bites and cocktails with custom-composed music to simultaneously tickle your ears and your tastebuds.

James Beard Award-winning chef Patrick Connolly of Rider (National Sawdust’s sister restaurant) and “cocktail world enigma” Allen Katz, mixologist and local distiller at New York Distilling Company (79 Richardson St), will create the tantalizing culinary experience, which will offer four canapés (three h’ors doeuvres + dessert) and five cocktails on tap.

Multi-instrumentalist Yuka C. Honda, who will premiere Chopping Music. Photo by Nathan West.
Multi-instrumentalist Yuka Honda, who will premiere Chopping Music. Photo by Nathan West.

Musicians include jazz singer Magos Herrera, multi-instrumentalist Yuka C. Honda (of Cibo Matto), and pianist Oded Lev-Ari, who will lead the ensemble in a program ranging from tango to electronic music to Mexican folk song, including the world premiere of Chopping Music and a piece inspired by the humble juniper berry.

And, audience members get 20% off their bill at Rider after the event. Advance tickets are $70 and available here. Continue reading

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The Evolution of Jazz with Angela Morris

Angela Morris at Legion, photo by Peter Gannushkin.

If you’ve heard live music in Brooklyn, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the multi-hyphenate and chameleon performer Angela Morris. She often performs around North Brooklyn, playing places like Silent Barn, Trans Pecos, and Legion, among others, and also frequented the now-closed Sunview Luncheonette and Manhattan Inn. Blurring musical genres and marrying avant jazz with pop, her music is at once whimsy but wise, stirring yet relaxing. But labeling Morris’s style may be futile; her timbre shifts depending on the night and her role. Morris plays across various venues with almost as many bands — including Rallidae, TMT Trio, and Pep Talk — all the while conducting, singing, or playing the saxophone or violin. Here, she discusses her move from Toronto, Brooklyn’s evergreen music scene, and — despite the unspoken truths of an instrumental’s injury — what continually motivates her to share her music. Continue reading

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Weekend Music for Cool Kids and Weirdos Too (12/1 – 12/4)

Reverend Horton Heat

Here are some famous acts playing this weekend.

Don’t worry, we also save room in the back for unsung heroes.

The Hold Steady have three sold-out Brooklyn Bowl shows beginning tonight. Additional tickets will be released at 6 PM each night.

Rockabilly’s Reverend Horton Heat is at Warsaw on Saturday and as usual he’s got a full coterie of highly disreputable opening acts, like Unknown Hinson and Nashville Pussy. Tickets are $22 and still available online.

If you joined the Standing Rock protest bandwagon there’s a benefit at Sunnyvale on Saturday at 8 PM and all the bands playing have suitably passive-aggressive names.

Weirdos like me who like classic Latin jazz and folky cabaret somehow find local options around town too. Continue reading

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Matt Siffert: Folk Songwriting with Jazz and Classical Instrumentation at Pete’s Candy Store 10pm Tonight

For Matt Siffert, a junior semester abroad provided the impetus for choosing the life of a songwriter. He studied music and psychology at the University of Havana in the spring of 2008. With less classwork in Havana than in the Iron City confines of Carnegie Mellon, he finally had the chance to explore his love of music, photography, and poetry, and to develop his confidence as an artist.

“It was one of the most important experiences of my life; I grew up a lot and came to embrace my artistic side,” he said. Back home, he had too often let creativity take a back burner to his academic interests.

Siffert has four works as a solo artist, Morningside (2012), Cold Songs (2012), Rise (2013) and Punch, and has performed nationally and internationally. Listen to Siffert perform his original songs infused with folk, jazz, and classical sensibilities tonight at 10pm at Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St.).

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Sachal’s Slow Motion Miracles at the Living Room, 9pm on June 23

Sachal performing live © Leonardo Mascaro

Richly layered with afro-beats, jazz rhythms, pop hooks, and Sachal Vasandani’s opalescent vocal timbre, the ten anfractuous and soulful tracks of sophisti-pop on Slow Motion Miracles flow like one body of water into another.

Sachal will perform at the Living Room (134 Metropolitan Ave) on Tuesday, June 23 at 9:00pm. Continue reading

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Sweet Megg & The Wayfarers Bring Hot Jazz to Greenpoint Every Other Friday

Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers performing at The Standard Hotel.
Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers performing at The Standard Hotel.

With her hair pulled back, dressed in a spaghetti-strap deep plunge little black dress, a double strand of pearls, and a shimmering vintage ring-to-wrist bracelet, Sweet Megg looks like she is visiting us from the Prohibition era that shapes her music. Her voice envelops the room and invokes that same decadent, idealistic atmosphere as she and her Wayfarers perform (Up) a Lazy River to a buzzing audience at the Top of the Standard on a Saturday night.

Last week, Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers added a fifth residency to their calendar by performing their hot jazz, blues, and swing at Le Fanfare in Greenpoint, where they will play every first and third Friday of each month from 8:30-10:30pm. Every Thursday, they will host a weekly jam session at Amancay’s Diner in Bushwick. Their first record, Please Tell Me Everyone’s in Love, was released last summer.

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New Italian ‘Le Fanfare’ Serves up Dinner with a Side of Jazz

Le_fanfare_greenpoint_rosie_de_bIn a neighborhood largely under occupation by the Haslegrave brothers, we walked into new bar and restaurant Le Fanfare to the pleasant surprise that it wasn’t another one of theirs. The design of the space is comfortable and coherent, from the sharply-painted facade to the sequin-lined stage. Attention to detail pervades everything; the printing on each page of the menu lines up perfectly with the stenciled text on the board holding it, for example. This careful attention to detail appears throughout the restaurant: ingredients, furnishing, music, and even the staff have been chosen and integrated carefully by people who realize that it only takes one cut corner to cheapen the whole experience.

Our night at Le Fanfare (1103 Manhattan Ave) began at the small round bar up front, where we were warmly welcomed by an easygoing and friendly staff. The cocktail list is short and classic, with drinks around $11, and the bar is comfortable and pleasantly backlit by a clouded mirror studded with star-like lights. I sometimes find that I mentally rank spaces like these by how badly they make me wish I could still spend long nights smoking inside at them, and this bar gets pretty high marks there. Continue reading

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Bon Appétit Greenpoint Grub Crawl 2-for-1 Ticket Offer! (06/21)

Baked_Eggs_with_Chorizo_Coco
Coco's Baked Eggs with Chorizo

“Do you always look for the longest day of the year and then miss it?” asked The Great Gatsby’s Daisy. Well there’ll be no missing it this year, not if you choose to mark the day by partaking in Bon Appétit’s Greenpoint Grub Crawl which, betwixt the hours of 11.30am-5pm, will take punters on a tour of some of the most exciting foody hotspots in the area.

And, for a very limited time, there’s a ‘buy one get one free’ deal on tickets when you use the code BAGCGO at checkout. Continue reading

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