See the previous week's performances.  July 11-July 18, 2008 See the next week's performances.

See the previous week's performances. July, 2008 See the next week's performances.
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2

* Cover is given where known

* There is a one-drink
minimum per set
* Reservations for shows downstairs can only be made by phone:


Mixed Media by LENNY ACHAN

All art is for sale. Please inquire

Jul 11
Roxanne Hoffman, host

The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Long time open mic favorite NGOMA features.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

9:00PM & 10:30PM  X-MAN AND THE BOYS.
X-Man (Matt Miller), saxophone;  Leif Arntzen , trumpet/euphonium;  Brian Harding, trombone;  Bill Ware, vibes;  Miles Arntzen, drums;  Andrew Hall , bass
X-MAN and The Boys. image
Brian and Leif are from Vancouver, Miles and Bill and Andrew are from New York, and the mystery X-Man is from everywhere. We're all %&^% great, and play the usual suspects: Coltrane/Davis/Ellington/Monk/The Meters....did you say The Meters? Yes the funk. Ok.

More info on:
Bill Ware
Leif Arntzen or on myspace....
Miles Arntzen
 Cover $10

Jul 12
Maria Lisella, Gil Fagiani, hosts

Italian American Writers Association, featured readers are Perillo Prize Winners - Carmela Palazzo Hakan, Miriam Polli, Kathleen Gerard Villano plus a vivacious open mic, 5 minute limit.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
John McNeil, trumpet;  Tom Beckham, vibraphone;  Nate Radley , guitar;  Jorge Roeder , bass
The John McNeil Harmonic Extravaganza !  image
The John McNeil Harmonic Extravaganza !

More chords! More harmony! More funny-sounding stuff!

Tired of going out to hear bands that have no chordal instrument and rely on one lousy sad-ass bass player who doesn't know any tunes to provide all the harmonic color? Well, now's your chance to cancel out those experiences with a tsunami of tone poems, a plethora of progressions, a virtual vat of voicings -- all produced by not one but TWO (2) chordal instruments! Plus a bass player who knows everything!
 Cover $10

Jul 13
Nina Moffitt, voice;  Rafiq Bhatia, guitar, loops;  Kyle Wilson, saxophones;  Corey King, trombone;  Jackson Hill, bass;  Alex Ritz, drums
Nina Moffitt is a Brooklyn-born vocalist who uses an instrumental approach to interpret music from a distinctive, genre-bending perspective. While currently studying cultural anthropology at Oberlin College, Nina also studies with Professor Lorraine Manz, mezzo soprano, and jazz studies professors Wendell Logan, Robert Ferrazza, and Marcus Belgrave at the Oberlin Conservatory. Among many influences, Nina's singing is greatly inspired by the work of Sarah Vaughan, Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, and Nina Simone (for whom she is named). Bossa nova and samba phrasing have also become pervasive in Nina's musical concept since she studied Portuguese in Brazil in 2007. Among other projects, Nina works regularly with a Brazilian music group, sings with the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble, and performs in the New York area with her own quartet.

Rafiq Bhatia is an East-African Indian American guitarist/composer seeking to synthesize a genre-bending musical lexicon informed by the traditions of his transmigratory heritage. A first-generation American, Bhatia is currently completing an interdisciplinary honors degree in economics and cognitive science at Oberlin College. He is also associated with the world-renowned Oberlin Conservatory, where his concept quickly caught the attention of prolific drummer Billy Hart (Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis). Besides apprenticing under Hart and Cleveland-based drummer Paul Samuels (Greg Osby), Bhatia is the artist-in-residence at The Feve, an Oberlin mainstay, where his group has attracted a loyal fan-base and critical acclaim for their weekly performances. He also frequently returns to New York, performing with the Rafiq Bhatia Collective and studying with Downbeat magazine's "Rising Star Jazz Pianist/Composer" Vijay Iyer.

"A contemporary mind with the true potential of the future, Rafiq Bhatia is definitely an artist to look forward to hearing."
--Billy Hart, legendary jazz drummer

cover: $13/$7 for students

Jul 14

Paul Hecht, convener

Paul Hecht Quentin Mare Sonia Manzano Charlotte Parry Cristian Amigo, guitar
Happy Birthday Pablo Neruda, <br>Happy Birthday Hart Crane image Sonia Manzano
The first (and second) Poet's Birthday Bash, celebrating in this case the unlikely astrological convergence of Pablo Neruda and Hart Crane. Watch for Edna St. Vincent Millay on August 11 and John Milton's 400th birthday on December 8.

PAUL HECHT has assembled many literary events for the cafe. He has starred on Broadway opposite such actors as Rex Harrison and Maggie Smith. He received a Tony nomination for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and an Obie for Pirandello's Henry IV.

QUENTIN MARE was most recently seen on Broadway in Tom Stoppard's "Rock N Roll", "Coram Boy", "Julius Caesar" with Denzel Washington, "King Lear" with Christopher Plummer and "A Little Night Music" at the New York State Theatre. He'd like to dedicate his participation in this evening to the memory of actor and friend John Seitz, whose poetry readings in this venue were Mr. Maré's first introduction to Cornelia Street Café.

SONIA MANZANO has played Maria on Sesame Street for over thirty-five years. She has earned fifteen Emmys as a writer for that show and is now writing children's books. Visit her at

CHARLOTTE PARRY has performed in a wide range of theater in New York including 'The Real Thing' and 'Coram Boy' on Broadway, 'Howard Katz' at the Roundabout, two seasons with the Sir Peter Hall Company at BAM and, most recently, 'Rainbow Kiss' at 59E59 and the world premiere of Albee's 'Me Myself and I'. Extensive West End and regional theater and TV in the UK, and a wide variety of audio book narrations.

CRISTIAN AMIGO is an award-winning composer (Guggenheim fellowship, Meet the Composer, among others) and guitarist living in New York City. His new CD Kingdom of Jones is on the innova Recordings label. For more information and sounds, please go to

 Cover $10

Jul 15
J.C. Todd Diane Lockward
Poetry image
J. C. Todd’s newest collection of poetry, What Space This Body, was published by Wind Publications in 2008. She has two chapbooks and poems in the Paris Review,American Poetry Review, SHADE, 2004 and many other journals. Among her awards are a Pennsylvania Individual Artist Fellowship and an international exchange fellowship from VCCA. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Bryn Mawr College. “Here is the sacred body Whitman celebrated, but taken to a deeper intimacy in both sensual and scientific knowing.” –Eleanor Wilner, MacArthur Fellow

Diane Lockward's second collection, What Feeds Us (Wind Publications), received the 2006 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize. Her poems appear in Garrison Keillor's Good Poems for Hard Times and in such journals as Poet Lore, Beloit Poetry Journal, Seattle Review, and Prairie Schooner. A former high school English teacher, Diane now works as a poet-in-the-schools.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Eri Yamamoto, piano;  William Parker, bass;  Daniel Carter , horns
Eri Yamamoto  image
Duologue is Eri Yamamoto’s first album as a leader outside of the piano trio format. Each piece was composed by her specifically with each duo partner in mind (Daniel Carter, William Parker, Hamid Drake, Federico Ughi) and each piece is informed and suffused by their respective musical/personal essences. Eri writes incredibly beautiful songs. Contemplative, jubilant, mesmerizing songs. Songs which we’ve found increasingly rewarding with each successive listen. Her improvisations within them, guided by the rhythm as much as the melody, are invitingly exploratory. We’re proud as ever to present this great work from an especially gifted new creative entity, in communion with already established masters of the form of music which brings forth beauty through sound. Steven Joerg (Aum Fidelity Label)
 Cover $10 www.myspace/com/eriyamamoto

Our favorite laureate on Long Island, GEORGE WALLACE hosts an evening of jazz and poetry featuring KIRPAL GORDON, LORRAINE CONLIN, and from the UK, GERALDINE GREEN, plus surprise guests, and an open mic.

music by Steve Elmer.

Samuel Blaser, trombone;  Todd Neufeld , guitar;  Thomas Morgan, bass;  Tyshawn Sorey , drums
Samuel Blaser Quartet - 7th Heaven CD release party image
Samuel Blaser already turned his back on his home country Switzerland quite a few years ago and settled in New York - still the city where the heart of jazz beats in the most varied ways and most vitally. He already took the first steps in his career in Europe, among others as a member of the Vienna Art Orchestra, but he was only able to form a quartet in New York of highest quality, which understands his compositions and arrangements and is able to wear it as if custom-tailored. Samuel Blaser developed his overpowering playing technique, but also his variable sound, which ranges from warm, gentle tones to hands-on, strong attack in numerous bands. His experience ranges from Big Bands, which accompanied Phil Woods, Clark Terry or the New York Voices, all the way to bands with names such as Hal Galper, Adam Nussbaum and Miles Evans. But his own project is dedicated to new sound experiences. He is finally able to explore rhythmic and tonal limits and demonstrate his very individual view of music between composition and improvisation there. Blaser's profound knowledge of modern classical composition techniques and his studies of modern composers make him able to compose complexly structured arrangements, but with the required strictness that does not permit any arbitrariness or a lack of goal. On the other hand, the result does not sound artificial in any sense, but instead radiates a relaxed mood that makes listening a pleasure. The fact that his trio is composed of tried-and-tested musicians, who have all already made good names for themselves, is demonstration of the great deal of respect that this musician from the Alps enjoys on the other side of the Atlantic.

“...Even if Samuel Blaser has obviously assimilated the language of the contemporary jazz trombone player, he has his own way to play the instrument...”
Impartial, 2004

“....The perfect occasion to penetrate into the beautiful and lyrical musical universe of the trombone player. This music reminds me of the sound of trumpet player Thomas Stanko...”
Alexandre Caldara, l’Express 2005
 Cover $10

Jul 17
Barbara Sfraga, host

A MERGE Convergence: MERGE founding members Erik Lawrence and Cassandra Cleghorn return to the Cornelia Street Café with guest musicians and special special guest poet Jeffrey Levine to present an evening of poetry and music. Hosted by Barbara Sfraga, for Golda Solomon.

Moving beyond conventional roles, the members of this ensemble take part in the true jazz tradition in which each player assumes equal responsibility as supporter and soloist: the drummer plays a melody from a Bach cello suite, the bassist taps on his instrument like a drum, the poet creates an underlying pulse for the saxophonist’s vocal line.

Winner of the Transcontinental Poetry Award, as well as the Larry Levis Poetry Award, the Mississippi Review Poetry Prize, the Kestral Poetry Prize, and the New Jersey Skyland Writers and Artists Association Award, Jeffrey Levine is the Founder, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press in Dorset, Vermont.

"Merge is an exciting and highly creative new collaboration between the intimate and innovative poetry of Cassandra Cleghorn and the brilliant supportive music created on the spot by Erik Lawrence and members of his band Hipmotism. In an era when Spoken Word has finally come to fruition, the spirit of ensemble and spontaneity that Jack Kerouac and I pioneered in NYC’s first-ever jazz poetry reading in 1957 is now reaching new plateaus. Merge is another step forward in celebrating the marriage of poetry and music." ~ David Amram
 Cover $15 (includes one house drink)

Lainie Cooke, vocals;  Peter Zak, piano;  Cameron Brown, bass;  Matt Wilson, drums;  Roland Barber, trombone
Lainie Cooke image
Sophisticated jazz from - to use that old cliche - one of the best kept secrets in the city. Harlemwood Records recording artist Lainie Cooke has been singing in New York and LA for two decades, but is best known for her voice-over work on some of your very favorite commercials. She is joined as always by some of the most talented musicians in the business who obviously enjoy making music with her. Her recently released CD, "It's Always You" justifies the acclaim Lainie has received from people who know a "jazz singer" when they hear one. In fact, an evening with Lainie is just simply a good time. Tonight Lainie returns to Cornelia St Cafe with Peter Zak, Cameron Brown and Matt Wilson to celebrate her birthday (which is next week), with songs that are classic and timeless. Exactly like Lainie. Be sure to come and celebrate with her.
"no hype or attitude just the pure emotion that only true life experience can endow in an artist"

"This lady can sing the Blues. And ballads, and...well just about anything."
Bob Gish, Jazz Improv Magazine, June 2008
 Cover $15

Jul 18
Kathi Georges, host

Son of Pony image
The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

Featured : AURAL Heather

AURAL Heather is Heather Haley, Roderick Shoolbraid and "a unique, sublime fusion of song and spoken word."

Shoolbraid is a dazzling guitarist, composer, sound designer and DJ. Old School and proud of it, Haley is a maverick poet, singer, author and media artist often found pushing boundaries and always on the vanguard.

"A Canadian national treasure," Haley started writing verse in high school influenced by poets like bp Nichol, ee cummings and Susan Musgrave. Her life as a bona fide artist began on the stage of the infamous Smilin’ Buddha fronting the all-girl punk band the Zellots. She was a member of The 45s with Randy Rampage and Brad Kent of DOA and the Avengers. Later she formed HHZ-Heather Haley & the Zellots-praised by LA Weekly music critic Craig Lee as one of the city’s "Ten Great Bands".
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Chuck MacKinnon, trumpet, flugelhorn, arrangements;  Douglas Yates, alto saxophone, bass clarinet;  Kenny Brooks , tenor saxophone;  Brian Charette, organ;  George Schuller, drums
Chuck MacKinnon's Mactet image
In his Cornelia Street debut, trumpeter and composer Chuck MacKinnon's lastest project, as reflected on his recent CD, New Transmission, represents a return to his acoustic jazz roots, with hard-hitting arrangements for an aggressive 3-horn front line. His tuneful writing has been described as a modern extension of the 1960's Bluenote sound. MacKinnon, a San Francisco native who came of age performing with the working bands of Mark Levine, Bruce Forman, Charlie Hunter, and John Mayer has in the last nine years forged a respected place in the demanding New York City music world. Douglas Yates and Kenny Brooks are two of the most accomplished exponents of the Garzone tradition and will be featured extensively.

5) press quote: "With a player like Chuck MacKinnon on trumpet, who puts fuel into the tank with his power playing, the results are first rate."
- Michael Handler (Downbeat,
 Cover $10

Drum kit donated by

See the previous week's performances. PREVIOUS WEEK         Scheduled performances from July 11-July 18, 2008         NEXT WEEK See the next week's performances.

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