Music Listings – 12/14 through 12/20/2015

1. The Brooklyn Experimental Song Revival

Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Time: 8pm
Venue: Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY, Phone: 917-515-5444)
Ticket: donation
Genre: modern music/Sprechgesang

This past fall: the super coda & naked roots conducive hosted the first edition of the Brooklyn experimental song carnival, featuring over 20 artists performing within & against the space between sound and narrative. there was catharsis. there was shock. there was gut-splitting beauty & probably grace.

December 15th : we continue the search for new organs, catharsis, some god-forsaken nexus, the proverbial ghost-in-the-machine. you know, songs & shit.


Natalia Steinbach

Alex Cohen/Michael F. Dailey Jr.

Julia Santoli

Lynn Wright

Leah Coloff

Lorene Bouboushian/Kaia Gilje/Valerie Kuehne
peanut butter/celine dion


Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: 647 Columbus Ave near W 92nd st (Goddard Riverside)
Ticket: donation
Genre: Cuban/Latin music

Joaquin Pozo (congas) with Marcelo Casagrandi (piano), Carlos Mena (bass), and special guests on horns and timbales

“Fiery, elegant, lyrical, and impossibly virtuosic” – such has been said of Joaquín Pozo’s style. Known to many as “El Pulpo” (The Octopus) because of his incredible facility with the congas, Pozo comes from a long line of Cuban artists, namely his father, Jorge Pozo Sayu, who was very influential in the shaping of Afro-Latin jazz and Joaquín’s sound. Pozo is an heir of the rumba tradition, which he learned at home and in the streets of Havana from a young age and then transferred to a new Latin sound which he’s showcased throughout Latin America, Europe and Africa, becoming a revered figure in the world of Cuban music. Pozo stands out both for the depth of his sound, which reverberates with traditional and modern echoes, but also for his unique vision of the congas (or tumbadoras as they are known in Cuba) as the melodic instrument in the band. Whether he is taking a monumental solo (such as the ten-minute tour de force “Momentos,” from his album Descarga Cubana), or driving the band with athletic vigor in both traditional numbers and creative originals, Pozo demonstrates his broad musical vision with what could be coldly described as impeccable rigor, were it not for the playfulness and sheer joy that radiate from his performance.

3. Butcher Brown / Maria Grand Duo / Ignabu x Pawan Benjamin

Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: Palisades (906 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York 11206)
Ticket: $8
Genre: nu jazz

Cadence Collective presents: ~HRPHNY~ with:
//// Butcher Brown
/// Maria Grand Duo
// Ignabu x Pawan Benjamin

4. Brooklyn Raga Massive feat. Orakel

Date: Wednesesday, December 16, 2015
Time: 8pm
Venue: ShapeShifter Lab (18 Whitwell Pl, Brooklyn, New York 11215)
Tickets: $10
Genre: Indian classical percussion and Kora repertoire

‘Orakel’ is an electro-acoustic project of Kora/oud player, Kane Mathis and tabla player, Roshni Samlal, who began their collaboration at the Brooklyn Raga Massive. Using electronic compositional elements of sound design, field recordings, and drones, they create a new context for traditional elements of Indian classical percussion and Kora repertoire.

This performance will be organized into two suites of three songs each. The first an exploration of the traditional vocabulary of each instrument as they encounter one another. The second surrounds this conversation with a third element of electronic semi-fixed media. Both traditions contain philosophies of improvising within rhythmic structures and this performance explores the ways in which each tradition’s canon is complimentary to the other’s.

All of the 6 pieces are based on “taals” or rhythmic cycles found in Indian classical music. The kora adds its own idiomatic rhythmic statements called “kumbengo” to the interaction. Breaks and arrangements draw alternately from both traditions.

KANE MATHIS began making trips to The Gambia, Africa in 1996 to live with a family of hereditary musicians studying primarily with Malamini Jobarteh. Kane holds a diploma from The Tiramang Traditional music school in The Gambia and has performed on the country’s national television and radio. In 2011 Kane became the first non-African to be endorsed by the Gambian National Center For Arts and Culture. Kane has also studied at Istanbul’s I.T.U. conservatory before a 5 year apprenticeship with Oud virtuoso Münir Beken. Kane is regularly commissioned to create original works for dance, theater, and instrumental ensembles, his newer works focus on electronic fixed media. Kane is a 2010 Earshot Jazz album of the year winner and a recipient of the 2012 Chamber Music America grant.

Listen here:

ROSHNI THOMPSON is a New York‒based tabla player who hails from the West Indies, where she was initiated into the tradition of Indian classical music by her vocalist father, Mukund Samlal, and the scholar H. S. Adesh. She continued her tutelage in the Benares style of tabla playing under Shri Tapan Modak and is currently a student of the epic Farukhbad exponent Pt. Anindo Chatterjee. She is an actively collaborating member of the Brooklyn Raga Massive.

5. Sara McDonald’s NYChillharmonic

Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (61 W 62nd St, New York, New York 10023)
Tickets: free (sponsored concert)
Genre: big band that spans progressive rock, indie-pop, and classical music

Founded by Brooklyn-based vocalist/composer/arranger/French horn player Sara McDonald in 2014, this 22-piece collective is a multi-genre big band that spans progressive rock, indie-pop, and classical music. Well-known in venues across the five boroughs, the Chillharmonic’s music has been featured on WNYC Soundcheck, WBAI NY, Buzz Artist, All About Jazz, ARTE, Divergent Paths with Dan Dunford, and been performed by the Urbana Pops Symphony, the Jazz Composers Big Band, and various ensembles in Germany.

6. Dervisi

Date:  Thursday, December 17, 2015
Time: 8:30pm
Venue:  Espresso 77 (35-57 77th Street, Jackson Heights, NY  11372)
Ticket: donation
Genre: Greek Blues/Rembetika music

DERVISI performing exotic Greek Gangsta Blues called Rembetika. Rembetika originally the songs of hashish clans and outlaws; and Smyrnaika, the elaborate oriental cafe music of the refugees from Greek Asia minor.

CHECK them out on SoundCloud:

7. Shelley Thomas with Brian Prunka and Zafer Tawil at Tagine Fine Moroccan Cuisine

Date: Friday, December 18, 2015
Time: 9:30pm
Venue: Tagine Fine Moroccan Cuisine (221 W 38th St, New York, New York 10018)
Tickets: t.b.a.
Genre: Arabic music

Shelley will sing from the classic Arabic songbook, drawing from Oum Kalthoum, Layla Mourad, Fairuz and others, accompanied by Brian Prunka on oud and Zafer Tawil on percussion.

Dubbed “One of the most eclectic of New York’s elite singers” by NY Music Daily, Shelley Thomas is a professional vocalist specializing in Eastern European and Arabic styles. She sings in over fifteen languages and has taught workshops, recorded, performed and toured nationally and internationally with various folk ensembles, choirs, and world music artists including Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, Hassan Hakmoun, the New York Arabic Orchestra, Vlada Tomova’s Bulgarian Voices Trio, and Black Sea Hotel. She has performed at festivals such as Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Vancouver Island Music Festival, and Abu Dhabi Festival. She was a recipient of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts’ Traditional Arts Development Grant in 2012 and recently attended the Canadian BANFF Centre’s Persian & Eastern Traditions Artist Residency.

Brian Prunka composes and performs jazz and middle-eastern influenced music with his own projects (such as Nashaz and the Near East River Ensemble). In addition, he currently performs with The New York Arabic Orchestra, Simon Shaheen, Zikrayat, the Bil Afrah Project and others. Although he spent his musically formative years immersed in the jazz community of New Orleans, for the past decade Brian has been based in Brooklyn. Always drawn to a wide range of music without regard to boundaries, national or otherwise, Brian began his deep study of Arabic music over 15 years ago when he began playing the oud. His many diverse compositions and distinct improvisational style express his personal musical journey. He has performed throughout the U.S. and internationally with Simon Shaheen, Michael Bates, Ravish Momin, the New York Arabic Orchestra, The Vancouver International Orchestra, Zikrayat, The Near East River Ensemble, and others. In addition to national and international events, he has performed in New York at The Stone, Tonic, the Knitting Factory, the River to River Festival, Symphony Space, Alwan for the Arts, Trinity Church, and CBGBs, among others.

Zafer Tawil is a virtuoso on ‘oud, violin, and qanun, and a master of Arab percussion. Zafer has performed in concerts across the country, including performances with numerous musicians ranging from Sting to Arab music virtuosos Chab Mami, Simon Shaheen, Bassam Saba and George Ziadeh, to avant-garde composer/ performer Elliot Sharpe. He was a featured composer and performer in acclaimed director Jonathan Demme’s Oscar-nominated film Rachel Getting Married and Zeitoun, based on Dave Eggers’ book about Abdulrahman Zeitoun’s post-Hurricane Katrina odyssey. Zafer has worked on many collaborative concerts involving classical Indian and Persian music, Arabic/jazz fusion, and Arabic music at many institutions and universities across the United States. A native of Jerusalem, Palestine, he resides in New York City.