Cornelia Street Cafe Presents John McNeil-Billy Hart Quintet And More This Weekend

Cornelia Street Cafe announces upcoming schedule for Fri Mar 26 9 & 10:30PM at 9:00PM & 10:30PM HOT & COOL: NEC JAZZ 40TH: JOHN MCNEIL-BILL MCHENRY QUINTET with John McNeil, trumpet; Bill Mchenry, tenor saxophone; Billy Hart, drums; Ethan Iverson, piano; Matt Penman, bass. 

Hot & Cool: NEC Jazz 40th and the Cornelia Street Café present the John McNeil-Bill McHenry Quartet featuring the legendary jazz drummer Billy Hart and pianist Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus, and Matt Penman, bass. Both McNeil and Hart are faculty icons at NEC and McHenry is a '91 grad.

"Mr. McNeil, a trumpeter, and Mr. McHenry, a tenor saxophonist, hail from different generations but share an attraction to unfettered harmonic terrain."
- Nate Chinen, New York Times "A mix of wit and glee is fetching-one reason why this multi-generational trumpet-tenor team has seemed so inspired of late."
- Jim Macnie, Village Voice

John McNeil is one of the most original and creative jazz artists in the world today. For over three decades John has toured with his own groups and has received widespread acclaim as both a player and composer. His highly personal trumpet style communicates across the full range of contemporary jazz, and his compositions combine harmonic freedom with melodic accessibility. John's restless experimentation has kept him on the cutting edge of new music and has kept him from being easily categorized.

Billy Hart is widely regarded as one of the most capable of modern-jazz drummers; he is equally at home in electronic and rock-influenced styles, in free jazz, and in bop. He's played with a veritable who's who of jazz - everyone from Shirley Horn to Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock to Larry Coryell and is featured on over 500 CDs.

Saxophonist/composer Bill McHenry is known for his melodic/free form composing and improvising. As New York Times critic Ben Ratliff writes: "There are tons of young jazz saxophonists out there pursuing ideas of harmony and structure and rhythm, but he has something rare going for him. He has a sound. Mr. McHenry is a fresh new voice. Lyrical is probably the most overused word in jazz criticism, but if anyone deserves the word, Mr. McHenry is the one."

Ethan Iverson is most widely known as a member of the groundbreaking trio The Bad Plus. Prior to TBP, he was the musical director for the Mark Morris Dance Group and has worked with Dave Douglas, Dewey Redman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Yo-Yo Ma, Mark Padmore, Paul Motian and Charlie Haden.

Matt Penman hails from Auckland, New Zealand. Residing in New York, he is currently an established member of the SFJazz Collective. He also performs regularly with John Scofield; in his trio-plus-horns formation, and in a quartet with Joe Lovano and Matt Wilson and the Joshua Redman trio. Past collaborators and projects include Kurt Rosenwinkel's Heartcore band, Kenny Werner, Brad Mehldau, Chris Cheek, Brian Blade, Seamus Blake, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Mark Turner, Guillermo Klein, Rebecca Martin, Eric Truffaz, Nicholas Payton, and from 2004-2006 he toured extensively with the singer Madeleine Peyroux.

This performance is part of a week-long New York celebration of NEC's first-in-the-nation Jazz Studies program. With a faculty that has included 5 MacArthur "genius" grant winners and 4 NEA Jazz Masters, and alumni that reads like a who's who of jazz, NEC's Jazz Studies Program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: "Four decades after its founding, NEC's jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni."
Cover $10

Sat Mar 27 9:00PM & 10:30PM
(Anat Fort, piano, composer; Gary Wang, bass; Lieven Venken, drums)

"Fresh from mixing her new trio record in Oslo, Anat Fort returns to the beloved basement of Cornelia St. Café. This festive event features with with long time trio member Gary Wang on bass, and relatively new collaborator Lieven Venken on drums. And the material: her oldies and newbies compositions with the usual ever-growing space for improvisation".
Cover $10

Sun Mar 28
(Russ Johnson, trumpet & flugelhorn; Krzysztof Medyna, saxophone; Andrzej Winnicki, piano; Don Falzone, bass; Jeff Davis, drums)

Join the as they celebrate the release of their second CD Requiem. Plenty has been written about European musicians approaching the American jazz tradition; it's far rarer to hear about American musicians bringing their heritage to distinctly European projects. Capitalizing on the critical acclaim for its debut Crazy Girl, pianist/composer/arranger Andrzej Winnicki and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna - the driving force behind Komeda Project - bring trumpeter Russ Johnson back for their new CD Requiem. What makes Requiem different, however, and a significant evolution over Crazy Girl, is the enlistment of über-bassist Scott Colley and the equally ubiquitous drummer Nasheet Waits. The CD was released October 20 2009 on WM Records. Like Crazy Girl, Requiem's primary focus is to bring the music of the late, legendary Polish film composer/jazz pianist Krzysztof Komeda (Rosemary's Baby; Knife in the Water; Fearless Vampire Killers, among others) into the new millennium with fresh arrangements, but this time the approach is far more open-ended - a record of unmistakably European jazz played with the swing and unmistakable conviction of an American rhythm section. With Requiem, Komeda Project ups the ante on the promise of Crazy Girl on a program of boldly thematic and challenging charts that still possess the underlying freedom required to encourage unpredictability, even within the most scripted of arrangements and paying reverent homage to one of the 20th Century's great composers while bringing modernistic edge, reckless abandon, and unmistakable swing to this profoundly moving set of starkly beautiful music.
• website info:
Cover $10

Mon Mar 29
The Lady Got Chops Women's Month Music and Art Festival
8:30 vocalist Keisha St. Joan with Bertha Hope, piano
10pm vocalist Candace Jones with Jessica Jones and friends

Performing since she was four, the now 27-year-old Candace Jones has an array of awards and accomplishments behind her in classical, jazz and R&B music. Candace counts among her influences John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Stevie Wonder among others. Born in New York City and raised in the jazz-rich culture of California's Bay Area, she won local talent competitions and by the age of 11, secured a seat with the highly heralded Young Musicians program in the University of California where she trained as a classical vocalist. By the time she was 18, Candace had garnering a slew of accolades including full scholarships to Berklee and Stanford Jazz Camps, a first place award from the NAACP Act-So competition in classical voice, membership in the San Francisco Grammy® Choir, and a lead role in a 6-week professional musical in San Francisco (fulltime, while still attending high school).
Now, based out of Brooklyn, New York, Candace has been working in a variety of musical genres over the last 6 years, recording her own pop and R&B originals, starring in touring companies of Dream Girls, Ain't Misbehavin', Hair and Fame, and singing regularly with her parents band, The Jessica Jones Quartet, singing original music by Candace and other members of the family. The set at Cornelia Street will feature music of Jessica and Candace Jones as well as gems from the jazz canon.

"Her voice slinks around the words perfectly, her savvy recalling various significant jazz vocalists."
-Michael P. Gladstone,

"...will take your breath away..."-

Keisha St. Joan
"When the great Lionel Hampton suggested that the unrivaled "Ella Fitzgerald move over", he meant just that! Because the charismatic Keisha St. Joan was gliding onto the jazz scene with her soothing, angelic, soul-captivating voice that conjures up the dreams pains and joy that only an angel can preside over.."
-Carole Leverett

Spoken Word

Fri Mar 26
The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.
Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Bowery Poetry Books author ("The Poetry Dollars") and performer of poetry ("The Monotone," CD from Artsider Studios) Paul L. Mills a k a Poez has been called at different times by The New York Times "a sonic fantasia" and "a spoken-word pioneer." He began in the late 70s performing classic and original poetry in the streets of Harvard Square and Manhattan, soon performing in cafes, clubs, theaters, concert halls, on radio and television, opening for the likes of William Burroughs, Richard Hell, and Mose Allison -- all long before "spoken word poetry" became fashionable. Thirty years later, the verdict of Le Figaro (Paris) still applies: "etonnant et imprevu."
Jackie Sheeler, host. Cover $7

Sat Mar 27
(PETER LUBELL, IFC; NPR; MARGOT LEITMAN, Stripped Stories; ANDY CHRISTIE, NPR; Moth GrandSlam Champion; PETER AGUERO, The Moth GrandSlam Champion)
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.
Andy Christie. Cover $15

Sun Mar 28
(Special guests Stanley Moss; Nina Cassian; Isaiah Sheffer; with Maurice Edwards; & Christina Sunnerstam)
Rock and Dew by Carmen Firan (Selected Poems, Sheep Meadow Press, 2010).
translations from Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin, Andrei Codrescu and Isaiah Sheffer

"Carmen Firan has many voice -almost a choir-which she controls equally, be they lyrical or realistically uttered, ideas turning to poetry, and poetry breathing ideas. That's the strength and originality of her Rock and Dew." - Nina Cassian

"Since moving to New York Carmen Firan has been writing poems that explore the New World with an exciting view of life, love, and the meaning of existence, through the eyes of a renowned East European poet." - Andrei Codrescu

"Carmen Firan's beautiful and powerful poems, charged with gloom and passion, recreate her struggles not only with life and love, with her history and ours (and ‘its bloody hangover of the senses'), but with the beasts of language, whether invasive or voracious or fugitive. In this war of words, armed with her ‘dialect of Old Angelic,' she indisputably wins."-Harry Mathews

CARMEN FIRAN, born in Romania, has published twenty books including poetry, novels, essays, and short stories. She has been living in New York since 2000. Her most recent book published in the US is Words & Flesh, Talisman Publishers.

Cover $7

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