See the previous week's performances.  March 24-March 31, 2009 See the next week's performances.
See the previous week's performances. March, 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:


Tuesday,  Mar 24
Alissa Heyman, host

Sarah Dimick—New York University

Autumn Giles—Sarah Lawrence College

Victoria McCoy—Sarah Lawrence College

Martin Rock—New York University

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Tuesday,  Mar 24
Marc Maron, host

Marc Maron Janeane Garofalo Tom Shillue
Comedy: Marc Maron and Friends image
Marc Maron, the dark Byronic poet of American political comedy, has appeared on Letterman, Conan, HBO, Comedy Central, Air America Radio, not to mention (at) the Cornelia Street Cafe. In this new series he hangs out on stage with some of the most creative comedians in the country.
 Cover $15
Wednesday,  Mar 25
Nancy Agabian, host

Nishan Akgulian Nora Armani Kevork Kalayjian, Jr. Lola Koundakjian
3rd Anniversary of the Armenian Poetry Project image
Gartal invites you to celebrate the third anniversary of the Armenian Poetry Project with a reading produced by APP curator Lola Koundakjian.

NISHAN AKGULIAN is an artist living in Woodside, Queens. He was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin and is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. His illustrations have appeared in numerous editorial publications throughout the world and his client list includes many major international corporations, greeting card companies and book publishers. His essay, "No More Survivors" is part of a series of writings he has been working on for several years.

NORA ARMANI is a performer and writer born in Egypt of Armenian parents. Her own stage creations Sojourn at Ararat, Nannto, Nannto and On the Couch with Nora Armani have earned international accolades during extensive tours on four continents in over twenty five cities. In addition to her previous publications and French radio broadcast, two of her poems were recently published in the UK, and her short story ‘Waiting to Arrive’ will appear in the U.S. anthology, “In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself - Volume 8” in May 2009. Recently, she created and performed ‘Evocations of Armenia’, a duo with David Bakamjian (cello) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Nora Armani is based in New York City.

KEVORK K. KALAYJIAN, JR. was born in Azez, Syria (near Aleppo), and is a graduate of the Melkonian Educational Institute of Nicosia, Cyprus. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a M. Ed. in Counseling Psychology, from William Paterson University. He is a descendant of survivors of the Genocide from the Town of Kilis, in the Cilician region of Occupied Armenia. An accountant by profession, he also paints and writes. Kevork resides in NY with his wife Maral, and three sons Aramazt, Tro, and Ohanes.

LOLA KOUNDAKJIAN has served on the board of Ararat Literary Quarterly and freelanced for the Armenian Reporter, and, the Armenian Weekly. Lola runs the Dead Armenian Poets’ society and the Armenian Poetry Project. She is hoping to print her first collection of bilingual poems. The “Armenian Poetry Project, which she curates and produces in New York, is an online resource provides free audio and text RSS feeds on the internet and podcasts on Apple’s iTunes. Lola researches and records poems in Armenian, English and French, including works written from the late 19th century to the present.

ABOUT GARTAL: Since December 2002, Gartal ("to read" in Armenian) has been an independent forum for both established and emerging writers of Armenian descent and/or writers dealing with Armenian themes to read their poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and dramatic texts to the public. Coordinated by writer Nancy Agabian, Gartal brings together, via the dual acts of reading and listening, diverse Armenian constituencies, from the progressive to the traditional. A particular effort is made to give voice to Armenian stories that haven't been widely heard, including those of mixed race, various religions, different economic backgrounds, and queer Armenians.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Wednesday,  Mar 25
Jon Sobel, host

Caleb Hawley Kings County Blues Band
At 8:30 - CALEB HAWLEY Funky, soulful singer-songwriter Caleb Hawley has always wanted to be a professional baseball player. However, life did not grant him big muscles and outstanding eye contact. Instead, he was dealt the gift of fast fingers and massive vocal chords.

At 9:30 - KINGS COUNTY BLUES BAND Soul of the Blues' house band tops off the night with a tasty mix of Chicago blues, hard-hitting blues-rock, funk, and soul. The repertoire ranges from Freddie King to Bonnie Raitt, from Paul Butterfield to the Meters, and from Johnnie Taylor to Johnny Winter, plus a few punchy originals. Each set is a satisfying medley of authentic American sounds, distilled through a gritty New York City attitude.
 Cover $10

Thursday,  Mar 26
Lucinda Karter, host

Contemporary French writing in English & French, presented by translators and actors. Wine & cheese, anyone?

Mari et Femme by Regis de Sa Moreira

Moi non by Patrick Goujon (Published in 2003 by Editions Gallimard)

Le Jour où Nina Simone a cessé de chanter by Darina Al-Joundi

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Thursday,  Mar 26
Rafiq Bhatia, guitar;  Miller Tinkerhess, trumpet & flugelfhorn;  Chris Pattishall, piano;  Jackson Hill, bass;  Alex Ritz, drums
The Rafiq Bhatia Collective image
Rafiq Bhatia is a 21-year old 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. 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 $10

Friday,  Mar 27
Eve Packer, host

The Friday night legendary open mic poetry series.

Eve's feature is Tsaurah Litzky.

Arrive before 6 pm to sign up.

 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Friday,  Mar 27
Russ Lossing, piano;  Mat Maneri, viola;  Tony Malaby, tenor saxophone;  Thomas Morgan, bass;  Randy Peterson, drums
Russ Lossing's Red Shift image
American jazz pianist, composer and recording artist Russ Lossing is on the leading edge of the New York jazz scene where he is known for his highly personal and unique improvising voice. Lossing has composed over 300 works, 21 film scores, and has an international reputation as a world class improviser. Paul Motian, Dave Liebman and John Abercrombie are among the many musicians he has performed and recorded with. Lossing has seven releases as leader on Hat Hut, Clean Feed, Fresh Sound, Double Time and OmniTone record labels. His critically acclaimed new solo piano release “All Things Arise” on Hat Hut Records “bridges the worlds of jazz and new music, the pieces feeling as if they arise out of the primal silence of the universe. Even the ‘standards’ feel as if they’re emerging newly formed from a magnificent world of thought and impulse. Lossing’s ‘As It Grows’ on hatOLOGY with Paul Motian and his Clean Feed Records cd ‘Metal Rat’ with Mat Maneri and Mark Dresser have been hailed as “modern masterpieces that blend improvisation and composition seamlessly.”

“…The pianist illuminates the silence, suspends the time, and intensifies the collective flux. The wealth of his harmonic knowledge, the fluidity of his phrasing and his attention to the weight of every single note creates a sound palette for endless pleasures.”
--- JazzMan Magazine (France)
 Cover $10

Saturday,  Mar 28
Andy Christie, host

Sometimes it's hard to figure out who's gaming you. We award t-shirts to those who successfully negotiate the thicket of lies.
 Cover $12 (includes one house drink)
Saturday,  Mar 28
Brad Shepik, electric and acoustic guitars, tambura, electric saz;  Ralph Alessi, trumpet;  Gary Versace, paino, organ, accordion;  Drew Gress, bass;  Tom Rainey, drums
Brad Shepik's Human Activity Suite image
“[Shepik] is pushing the genre forward with his harmonically complex but grounded guitar style and a creative restlessness that has motivated him to absorb elements of rock, free improv, reggae, 20th century classical, as well as traditional music of nearly every stripe....Rich musicality and intelligent grooves....”

“[He] not only conveys wildly different locales but also the wealth of emotions that surround the getting there and back…. Shepik seems guided by the joy of the moment more than anything. And that’s a place you won’t ever want to leave.”
– Time Out Chicago

Growing up outside Seattle in the ’70s and ’80s, Brad Shepik spent a lot of time outdoors, hiking, camping, skiing, fly fishing and sailing. Later, as a New York based guitarist fascinated by traditional world music, he traveled in Bali, Morocco, the middle East, South America, and Europe, experiencing the natural beauty and cultures of those places. Human Activity Suite: Sounding a Response to Climate Change is a personal statement about his concern for our future: “I wanted to connect my musical expression to how I felt about the earth and the environment we are creating for ourselves as a result of how we live. The idea to do that had been brewing in me for a long time.” Commissioned by Chamber Music America, the suite was premiered and recorded in New York in June 2008.

Shepik is among the most versatile and distinctive guitarists of his generation, having recorded extensively as a leader and performed and recorded with Joey Baron, Dave Douglas, Carla Bley and Paul Motian. He is equally acclaimed for his work in various styles of world-jazz with groups such as Pachora, Tridruga, the Paradox Trio, Yuri Yunakov’s Bulgarian Wedding Band, and his own band the Commuters, as well as with oud and violin virtuoso Simon Shaheen. Shepik conceived Human Activity Suite for his current working trio (Places You Go, Songlines SA1562) plus trumpet and bass. The instrumentation offered an expanded palette to develop music that would “take the listener on a journey around the globe, and focus on how these issues affect us as people living on the earth rather than people living in a nation. Instrumental music can’t really address this subject in a concrete way, but my hope is that it can provide an opportunity for greater awareness, and that it get echoed from other directions. Humans have to actively and creatively work together to reverse the trend and figure out a way we can live on the planet or perish.”

The basic concept was to write a piece for each of the seven continents, and other pieces about factors and effects of climate change such as carbon, desertification, and changing ocean currents. But the suite moves beyond its programmatic framework to embrace Brad’s vision of a musical world without borders: “How can one term, ‘world music,’ cover such a range of human expression in sound? When I use it I’m referring to folk music that is indigenous to a certain area and transmitted through mostly an oral tradition. But I meet musicians and music lovers from different parts of the world who listen to and are informed by everything under the sun…. Ultimately it all gets filtered through my own sensibility. I think we can assume that music is expressing something sub- or beyond verbal, no matter what program we attach to it. And in jazz we improvise, we tell our own story. I tried to set up situations for that, within the context of the individual movements. My musicians are all great improvisers, and they brought the project to life through their creative powers.” The result, enhanced by audiophile production, is a recording whose open-hearted beauty, variety, humor and broad stylistic reach is one artist’s appeal to engage in global thinking and living.
 Cover $10

Sunday,  Mar 29
Elaine Sexton, host

Sandra Beasley Myronn Hardy Alexander Long Elaine Sexton Matthew Thorburn
New Issues Poetry & Prose, a nonprofit, university-based publisher, was established in 1996 by Editor Herbert S. Scott. New Issues publishes eight to twelve new titles each year with a focus on contemporary poetry. The Editor is William Olsen; Managing Editor is Marianne Swierenga. Advisory editors are Stuart Dybek, Nancy Eimers, Jaimy Gordon, Mark Halliday, and J. Allyn Rosser.

Elaine Sexton is the author of two collections of poetry, CAUSEWAY published in 2008, and SLEUTH in 2003, both with New Issues. Her poems, essays, art and book reviews have been published in numerous journals including American Poetry Review, Poetry, Art in America, O! the Oprah Magazine, and the Lambda Book Report. She teaches at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)

Sunday,  Mar 29
Matteo Sabattini, alto sax;  Lage Lund, guitar;  Alex Pryrodnyy, piano;  Luques Curtis, bass;  Obed Calvaire, drums
MSNYQ image
With a range of influences from Charlie Parker to Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman, but an emerging original voice of his own, Italian-born alto saxophonist Matteo Sabattini lives in New York City, where he performs with some of the other rising young stars of jazz. Matteo combines the passionate, romantic Italian sense of melody with the polyrhythmic energy of the New York attitude. His group, the Matteo Sabattini New York Quartet (MSNYQ) has toured extensively in Europe (Veneto Jazz 2005/6, Panic Jazz Club in Marostica 2007, Jazz Im Quadrat Festival in Mannheim 2007, Cantina Bentivoglio in Bologna in 2008) and USA (Sweet Rhythm NY 2007).

“Matteo’s music is energetic, refreshing and at the same time ‘smooth around the edges.’ I find that his compositions are sincere and gallant in their explorative nature. It feels to me metaphorically as if “in flight toward new horizons, eagles and doves soar together.”
- Billy Harper

 Cover $10

Monday,  Mar 30
Angelo Verga, host

Phil Fried, editor, poet
Book Party & Reading image
Longtime editor of Manhattan Review presents his new book of poems,"Cohort," a sonnet sequence for the digital age.
 Cover $7 (includes one house drink)
Monday,  Mar 30
Amanda Monaco, guitar, compositions;  Michaël Attias, alto & baritone saxophone;  Sean Conly , bass ;  Tony Moreno, drums
Amanda Monaco's Deathblow image
Playing guitar has led Amanda Monaco to perform at the Blue Note, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Birdland, Tonic, Joe’s Pub, and the JVC Jazz Festival, as well as other venues in the United States and Europe. Amanda’s new CD, "I Think I’ll Keep You", was released in Japan on LateSet Records in January 2009 and is available for download from iTunes and

"Playfully restive compositions" - The New York Times "A cliché-free, inventive player" - Jazz Times

Tuesday,  Mar 31
Kate Gale, host

Lyn Lifshin Brendan Constantine Jamey Hecht Amy Lemmon
Lyn Lifshin has written more than 125 books and edited 4 anthologies of women writers. Her poems have appeared in most poetry and literary magazines in the U.S.A, and her work has been included in virtually every major anthology of recent writing by women. She has given more than 700 readings across the U.S.A. and has appeared at Dartmouth and Skidmore colleges, Cornell University, the Shakespeare Library, Whitney Museum, and Huntington Library. Lyn Lifshin has also taught poetry and prose writing for many years at universities, colleges and high schools, and has been Poet in Residence at the University of Rochester, Antioch, and Colorado Mountain College. Winner of numerous awards including the Jack Kerouac Award for her book Kiss The Skin Off, Lyn is the subject of the documentary film Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass. For her absolute dedication to the small presses which first published her, and for managing to survive on her own apart from any major publishing house or academic institution, Lifshin has earned the distinction "Queen of the Small Presses." Her most recent collection Persephone was published by Red Hen Press in 2008.

Brendan Constantine was born in Los Angeles and grew up there, the second child of two working actors. Before pursuing his MFA degree at Vermont college Constantine had already toured the US and Europe. His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Ploughshares, The Los Angeles Review, Artlife, The Cortland Review, The Cider Press Review, Directions, RUNES, and the LA Times Best-seller The Underground Guide To Los Angeles. The creator of Industrial Poetry, a workshop for adults and teens struggling with writer's block, Constantine is currently poet in residence at both the Windward School in west Los Angeles and the Idyllwild Arts Summer Youth Writing program. His first official book-length collection, Letters To Guns, is due out this Spring from Red Hen Press. He is a three time finalist for the National Poetry Series and in 2002 was nominated by the Poetry Super Highway for poet laureate of the state of California.

Jamey Hecht was born in 1968, between the murders of Dr. King and RFK. He's the author of Plato's Symposium: Eros and the Human Predicament (Twayne, 1999) and a translation, Sophocles' Three Theban Plays: Antigone, Oedipus the Tyrant, Oedipus at Colonus (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature, 2004). He has edited the books Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil by Michael C. Ruppert, and Someone Would Have Talked: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Conspiracy to Mislead History by Larry Hancock. Hecht's poetry and prose have been published in a variety of scholarly journals and literary magazines.

Amy Lemmon is the author of two poetry collections: Fine Motor (Sow's Ear Poetry Review Press, 2008) and Saint Nobody (Red Hen Press, 2009). Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Verse, Court Green, The Journal, Barrow Street, and many other magazines and anthologies. Amy holds a PhD in English/Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati. She is Associate Professor of English at the Fashion Institute of Technology and lives with her two children in Astoria, Queens. ,

Tuesday,  Mar 31
Greg Ruggiero, guitar, compositions;  Frank LoCrasto, piano;  Chris Tordini, bass;  Tommy Crane, drums
Greg Ruggiero Group image
Tonight features two young bandleaders/composers, first
9PM Greg Ruggiero Group
- Playing some of Greg's Original compositions, A fresh sound for the new generation of guitarist, and listeners a like...

Warm and liquid, the music of jazz guitarist Greg Ruggiero slides into the ear so easily, you don’t notice until it’s already had its way with you. The first signs include a slowing of the breath, a relaxed attentiveness and a heightened awareness of one’s blessings.
- WEEKLY ALIBI ARTICLE V.16 No.50 | December 13 - 19, 2007 Albuquerque, New Mexico
 Cover $8

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