Spreading the Warmth

This has been a whirlwind week: historic, heady and crazy beautiful. The spirited energy continues in NYC tonight with the endeavors of some of my favorite people. From 7-9pm at the Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE), 15-year-old bassist, Jahi Nielsen will along with the ICE band, perform with the legendary Deborah “Blondie” Harry in a fundraiser for the school’s band program.

In an evening of “sacred and secular enlightenment,” at Joe’s Pub, Toshi Reagon performs at 9pm the first in a series (Jan 22-25) of her annual birthday concerts with BIGLovely, featuring Gina Breedlove, Robert “Chicken” Burke, Fred Cash, Catherine Russell, Judith Casselberry, Marcelle Davies Lashley, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Adam Widoff and…you.

Visionary multi-hyphenate artist Malik Yusef Cumbo invites us to “plant artistic seeds in the Avant Yard,” a blossoming garden of the arts underground “with a dynamic mix of painting, photography and photo-illustration, installation art, film and music aimed at shattering socio-political boundaries.” Avant Yard is held every other Thursday at Rehab, 25 Avenue B between 2nd and 3rd Streets and is free before 9pm, a mere $5 thereafter. Tonight’s event, featuring images (painted as well as photographed) of American pop culture icons, gives both the early bird and night owl a chance to take it all in from 7pm to 3am.

The genre-bending Contramano, fronted by Pablo Cubarle, takes the stage at 10pm as the headlining band for tonight’s multi-band music fest at Highline Ballroom. Performances begin at 7pm and include among others, Medicine Stick, led by Muzz Skillings, original bassist for Living Colour and coincidentally, Jahi’s bass teacher (Alas, the master and protege on competing schedules.)

Check with each venue for ticket availability.

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Photo credits: Jahi, Frederick V. Nielsen; Toshi, JOMOTO; Malik, MY Werkz; Contramano, Erin Patrice O’Brien.

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