Who: Chris Botti, Vittorio Grigolo, Darlene Love, Idina Menzel, Ronnie Spector, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, James Taylor, more
What: Biannual benefit for the Rainforest Fund
Where: Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall,
When: Wednesday, December 14, $150 - $600, 7:00
Why: Founded in 1989 by Trudie Styler and Sting, the Rainforest Fund “supports programs that cover a range of issues from protection of civil and political rights of indigenous and tribal peoples, to the promotion and defense of their social, economic and cultural rights, including the protection of rights to their land and against the destructiveness of resource exploitation.” Every other year the man also known as Gordon Sumner leads a rousing benefit at Carnegie Hall to raise money and awareness for the organization, which must be cheering the recent news about the potential move of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The stellar lineup for the December 14 show, “Baby It’s Cold Outside”: The Revlon Concert for the Rainforest Fund, features jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo, legendary vocalists Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector, Broadway superstar Idina Menzel, bestselling author Bruce Springsteen, singer-songwriter James Taylor, and Sting, in addition to surprise guests. Previous shows, which used to be known as Rock for the Rainforest, have included performances by Paul Simon, Whitney Houston, Stephen Stills, Dionne Warwick, Billy Joel, Renée Fleming, Elton John, Natalie Cole, George Michael, Gladys Knight, Tom Jones, Macy Gray, Ravi Shankar, Sheryl Crow, and Stevie Wonder, mixing multiple genres and resulting in fab finales with everyone onstage joining in on classic tunes.
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, December 3, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum honors World AIDS Day with its free First Saturday programming on December 3. There will be live performances by MC and producer SCIENZE, the Brooklyn Ballet (The Brooklyn Nutcracker), and DJ Sabine Blaizin; a curator tour of “Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty,” led by assistant curator Carmen Hermo; a Community Resource Fair focusing on political advocacy; a hands-on sketching workshop with live clothed models; pop-art talks of “Infinite Blue” led by teen museum apprentices; a Day With(out) Art / Visual AIDS screening of the video compilation Compulsive Practice, followed by a discussion with Juanita Mohammed of the Women’s AIDS Video Enterprise, feminist writer and Brooklyn College film department chair Alexandra Juhasz, and HIV and gay civil rights activist Justin B. Terry-Smith; and a screening of David Kornfield’s The Red Umbrella Diaries, followed by a talkback with documentary subjects Dale Corvino and Essence. In addition, you can check out such exhibits as “Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller,” “Beverly Buchanan — Ruins and Rituals,” “The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago,” “Life, Death, and Transformation in the Americas,” “Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty,” and “Infinite Blue”; admission to “Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present” requires a discounted admission fee of $10.
Who: John Zorn
What: Music for Agnes Martin
Where: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. at 89th St., 212-423-3587
When: Thursday, December 1, and Friday, December 2, 7:00
Why: In 1995, avant-garde legend John Zorn released Redbird, a pair of compositions inspired by Canadian-American abstract painter Agnes Martin. The album consisted of the nine-minute “Dark River” and the forty-one-minute title opus, featuring harp, cello, and percussion. On December 1 and 2, Zorn, who last month played and discussed his “Commedia dell’arte” suite as part of the Guggenheim’s “Works & Process” series, will perform in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum rotunda in conjunction with the current exhibition, “Agnes Martin,” which continues through January 11. The evening comprises four Zorn compositions: “Dark River,” with William Winant and Ches Smith on bass drums; 1977’s “Curling” (yes, based on the Olympic sport), performed by Dither (guitarists James Moore, Gyan Riley, Taylor Levine, and Josh Lopez); and the premiere of two new Martin-inspired works, “Praise,” with Carol Emanuel on harp, Ikue Mori on electronics, and Winant and Zorn on vibraphone and percussion, and “Blue Stratagem, performed by the American Brass Quintet (Kevin Cobb and Louis Hanzlik on trumpet, Eric Reed on horn, Michael Powell on trombone, and John Rojak on bass trombone). Advance tickets are sold out, but standby tickets will be available starting at 6:50 each night; after the performance, attendees are invited to view the exhibition.
Who: Jimmy Heath, Barry Harris, Jimmy Owens, George Coleman, Jimmy Cobb, David Wong
What: Historic all-star jazz concert
Where: Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., 718-463-7700 x222
When: Friday, November 18, $20-$42 (standing room $20), 8:00
Why: Since 1982, more than 150 musicians have been named Jazz Masters by the National Endowment for the Arts, honoring “living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.” On November 18, five such living legends will perform together at Flushing Town Hall: saxophonists Jimmy Heath (inducted 2003) and George Coleman (2015), pianist Barry Harris (1989), trumpeter Jimmy Owens (2012), and drummer Jimmy Cobb (2009), joined by bassist David Wong. It’s quite a lineup, and although all the seats are sold out, standing room tickets are still available, at a mere twenty bucks, to catch this very special show.
After a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, Molly Surno and Cinema 16 are back, taking part in the Mono X Festival, Mono No Aware’s tenth annual Cinema Arts Festival. Continuing the tradition of staging happenings built around experimental films, started by Amos and Marcia Vogel in 1947, Surno pairs avant-garde works with live music. On November 12, C16 will inaugurate the new 99 Scott space in Brooklyn with twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace of Blonde Redhead playing a commissioned score to Norman McLaren’s 1952 A Phantasy of Color, Jordan Belson’s 1972 Chakra, Malcom Le Grice’s 1970 Berlin Horse, Sarah Petty’s 1981 Furies, Charles and Ray Eames’s 1977 Powers of Ten, Naomi Uman’s 1999 Removed, Adam Beckett’s 1974 Flesh Flows, and Scott Bartlett’s 1968 OffOn. Started in November 2007, Mono No Aware “is a cinema-arts nonprofit organization working to promote connectivity through the cinematic experience and preserve the technologies of traditional motion picture filmmaking, [seeking] to build the first nonprofit motion picture lab in the United States.” The Mono X Festival continues through December 3 with such other programs as “Expanded Cinema from the UK” at the Firehouse, “A New York 8mm Minute: Reduce to Cognition” at Spectacle, “Never – Still” at the CAVE home of LEIMAY, and “Mono Made, 2009-2016” at BRIC.
Who: Tony Bennett, Scott Simon
What: Author event
When: Monday, November 14, free, 7:00
Where: Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 East Seventeenth St. at Union Square North, 212-253-0810
Why: Anthony Dominick Benedetto from Astoria, better known as Tony Bennett, may have turned ninety in August, but according to the title of his latest book, he’s Just Getting Started (HarperCollins, November 15, $27.99). In this follow-up to 2012’s Life Is a Gift, the ever-positive painter and crooner pays tribute to a wide range of people who have had an impact on him, including Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Cole Porter, Amy Winehouse, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lady Gaga, and Charlie Chaplin. On November 14, Bennett will be at the Union Square Barnes & Noble, in conversation with his cowriter, NPR host Scott Simon, author of such memoirs as Home and Away and Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime and the novel Pretty Birds. Wristbands will be given out beginning at 9:00 am for the 7:00 pm event, for those who purchase the book at that store; Mr. Benedetto will not be personalizing books, posing for photos, or signing any memorabilia. But just to be in the same room as that voice and smile. . . .