Birthed in the 1950s Beat movement and cutting its teeth on Bob Dylan ballads, Greenwich Village’s reputation became synonymous with what was hip in music scene on the East coast during the late 20th century. Seventy years later the Village still serves as a musical mecca, with a variety of venues, performers and styles covering nearly every music genre. This summer season, the pavement won’t be the only thing that’s hot in Manhattan. Musical venues throughout the Village are cueing up artists and performances guaranteed to put some sizzle into your summer.
Blue Note Jazz Club 131 West Third St.
Known as the premiere Jazz venue in the Village, the Blue Note has a steady stream of talent scheduled throughout the summer months. Some upcoming artists include saxophonist Kenny G, who will be performing from June 27-30. Since the mid-80s, Kenny G has captivated audiences with his smooth style that’s only improved with age. Mid-July will bring a series of shows by Life Cycles running from July 18-21. This co-operative ensemble is composed of individual artists with their own impressive accolades including: Brian Blade on drums, Rogério Boccato on percussion, Jon Cowherd on piano, Monte Croft on vocals/vibraphone, John Hart on guitar, Myron Walden on woodwinds, and Doug Weiss on bass. Late summer brings the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, playing August 13-18. The band bears the name of the late, great Dizzy Gillespie and features current Jazz masters such as Jimmy Heath, Roy Hargrove, Roberta Gambarini, Cyrus Chestnut, Steve Davis, Lewis Nash, and John Lee—all artists, band leaders or educators in their own right. Click on the venue above for a link to artists and full schedules; or to make reservations and purchase tickets. Click on the artist to link to watch a music video for a “sound check”.
Cafe Wha? 115 Macdougal St.
With its roots in the 60s, Cafe Wha? boasts a list of celebrity alumni including Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen. Today, Cafe Wha? has become a music venue staple for residents and tourists alike. The club regularly showcases musical talent with its first-rate house bands and has a series of upcoming summer tributes to music greats including The Beatles, the Temptations, Patti Labelle and more. Feeling Funky? Tuesday is Funk Night with the Café Wha? Funk Band playing soul music and favorite funk. The Cafe Wha? House Band plays Wednesday thru Sundays covering popular music genres ranging from reggae to rock. The venue is known for surprise performances from famous musicians sitting in for a set or the evening—so you never know who you might see. Click on the venue link above to find out more about the house bands, see schedules, make reservations or to purchase tickets.
Le Poisson Rogue 158 Bleecker St.
Since it opened in 2008, Le Poisson Rouge has been a Village hot spot. Shows range from a collection of individual artists and bands to nostalgic 80s and 90s dance parties. There truly is something for everyone this summer. Check out the rich vocals of the Urban Choir Project on June 18 in the Main Space. Perhaps the July 13 show by Latin indie pop singer/songwriter, Alex Anwandter, has more appeal. Rock and R&B fans won’t want to miss Vintage Trouble with special guest Joanna Teters on August 23. Click on the venue above to see the summer “play list”, find out more about performers, or to purchase tickets to shows. Click on the artist to hear a sampling of their sound.
The Bitter End 146 Bleecker St.
Touted as New York’s oldest rock club, The Bitter End has a 58 year history of presenting legendary artists like Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Jackson Browne, Neil Diamond and many more. Open daily, patrons can expect to hear live music every night. The venue hosts solo artists to bands—playing alternative, blues, country, funk, hip-hop, jazz, rock, and more. The club hosts open jam sessions for new and aspiring musicians every Monday and every other Sunday. The website offers a live stream look into the club, and provides a monthly schedule of performers. Always eclectic and appealing to an array of sounds, the schedule for June 21 includes performers from Music Makers NY, plus the rock sounds of The Dives and Nigerian hip-hop artist Olamide. Don’t miss former saxophonist for Billy Joel—Richie Canatta’s Monday Night Jams! Cover charges range from $5-$10. Family friendly, the club welcomes minors accompanied by a parent. Click on the link to the venue above for more information, or call the club direct at (212) 673-7030 for specifics.
North Square 103 Waverly Place
Guests at the Washington Square Hotel have to look no further for a chance to hear great music than to the on-site lounge at the North Square restaurant. On the second Sunday of every month the restaurant sponsors Village Nights hosted by Richard Barone, a Greenwich Village resident and acclaimed recording artist, performer, producer and author.
The venue’s July 14 show includes Colin Gilmore & Adam Traum. Gilmore, the son of country singer/songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore, was reared on great music. Inspired by Buddy Holly, Townes Van Zandt, and the Clash, this talented artist has put out three full length albums and is currently working on a fourth. Adam Traum is the son of Greenwich Village’s own singer/songwriter Happy Traum. The younger Traum draws on folk, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly and country blues music to bring his own unique sound to his appreciative audiences. Click here to purchase tickets for the July 14 through Eventbrite.com.
If you’re more of an early bird than an evening owl, the restaurant’s Jazz Brunch Sunday’s at 12:30 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. might be a perfect match! Click on the restaurant link above for a schedule of performers. Call (212) 254-1200 to make reservations and please mention that you’re planning to attend the Jazz Brunch!
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Joe’s Pub 425 Lafayette St.
Joe’s Pub is a non-profit music venue and program of the Public Theater, with a mission to support artists through every stage of their careers. Offering an array of genres from jazz to literary readings to burlesque, Joe’s offers a different show every evening. Dinner and drinks are part of the show, so the Pub recommends arriving no later than thirty minutes before show time to place food and beverage orders. Chefs Andrew Carmellini and John Ramirez created an eclectic, American menu of bar snacks, shareable appetizers, sandwiches, dinner plates and desserts sourcing local ingredients and New York influence. Please note there is a $12 food minimum or two drink minimum in the room. Check out their calendar for this summer’s lineup.
City Winery 155 Varick St.
The City Wintery is offering a series of intimate concert events throughout the summer in The Loft. Though their website offers a an eclectic collection of musical genres, folk fans won’t want to miss Tom Chapin and the Chapin Sisters on June 30. The 3:00 p.m. show features this Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and brother of the late Harry Chapin, along with Tom’s two daughters, Lily and Abigail. The three continue the family’s musical legacy with folksy harmonies guaranteed to sooth the soul. Later in the summer, don’t miss the Aztec Two-Step 2.0 featuring Rex Fowler and Friends July 20 at 8 p.m. The original band emerged on the scent in the early 70s with its folk-rock music. Rex’s partner Neal Shulman retired, and this new era ensemble expands on the band’s historical sound, recapturing its original essence and covering new and pleasing musical ground.