Five Spring concert picks in NYC offer something for everyone

Among the wide variety of musical offerings in NYC this spring are five selections that range from morning and afternoon to evening and late-night concerts, from classical and jazz to pop and Caribbean traditions, from one-night-only and limited-run engagements to a bi-weekly series and residencies by popular artists at top cabaret venues, with something to fit every taste and schedule.

Photo courtesy of The Boy Band Project.

Boy Band Brunch – The Boy Band Project continues to heat up sold-out rooms of ecstatic fans in their residency at City Winery, 25 11th Avenue, every other Saturday through June 29, starting at noon (doors open at 11 am). Recipients of three BroadwayWorld cabaret awards, the rotating group of musical-theater stars from Broadway and beyond, founded and led by Travis Nesbitt, brings their sensational voices, harmonies, and moves, tongue-in-cheek humor and sizzling sex appeal to the top hits of the most popular guy groups of the millennial generation, including favorites by NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, One Direction, Hanson, 98 Degrees, O-town, BoyzIIMen, Jonas Brothers, and more, along with their own original songs, composed by Michael Mott.

In addition to the phenomenal high energy they generate on stage, the show includes video projections of the era, dazzling costume changes, all the feelings of the boy-band archetypes (the Sporty One, the Sensitive One, the Boy Next Door, and the Bad Boy), audience interaction, and post-show photo ops with the Boys before you say “Bye, Bye, Bye.” Please note that brunch is not included in the ticket price, but food and drinks are available for purchase at the all-ages event; no minimum is required. The next Boy Band Brunch at City Winery is April 20; for the full monthly schedule and tickets (priced at $35 for general admission), click here.

Photo courtesy of GatherNYC.

GatherNYC – Founded in 2018 by cellist Laura Metcalf and guitarist Rupert Boyd, the unique one-hour experience, held every other Sunday, continues its 2023-24 season through May at the series’ home venue in the theater of the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), located at 2 Columbus Circle. Offering complimentary artisanal coffee and pastries before each performance at 10:30 am, the live classical music begins at 11, with spoken word segments at the midpoint of each performance, and a brief two minutes of silence with the lights turned down before the music starts again, all designed to create a welcoming and centered communal environment in the intimate setting.

The upcoming schedule features Celtic harpist and composer Maeve Gilchrist on April 14; Majel Connery + Felix Fan: Rivers Are our Brothers, an electronic song cycle on ecological responsibility, on April 28; harpist Megan Conley joined by several of her colleagues for Ocean Music Action: Honoring Mother Earth, a special concert paired with a volunteer day of climate action, on Mother’s Day, May 12; and violinist Kristin Lee & Friends concluding the series on May 26. For more information and tickets (priced at $30, free for children under 12), go online.

Photo by Christopher Boudewyns.

Jim Caruso & Billy Stritch at Bemelmans Bar – Starting on April 7, the duo of Jim Caruso & Billy Stritch, joined again by bassist Steve Doyle, returns to the legendary Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel, at 35 East 76th Street, for the thirteenth year of entertaining on Sunday nights from 9 pm to midnight with their set list of swinging standards. Caruso, the winner of six MAC Awards and nine BroadwayWorld Awards for his nightclub and virtual performances, and Stritch, one of the premier singer-pianists on the jazz and cabaret scenes in NYC and around the country, are widely acclaimed as the host and musical director of Birdland Jazz Club’s Monday night open mic show Cast Party, as well as for their CD The Sunday Set on the Club 44 record label.

Bemelmans Bar has a smart dress code policy; collared shirts are required for men and no shorts or hats are allowed. Reservations are not accepted; tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a per person cover charge ($25-35 for tables, $15-20 at the bar). For additional information, visit The Carlyle website.

Photo courtesy of Jenna Pastuszek.

Me, Myself & Barbra – Singer, actor, and creator Jenna Pastuszek, accompanied by music director and pianist Joshua Zecher-Ross (a fellow alumnus of NYU’s Steinhardt School), brings her blockbuster tribute to the career, personality, and inspiration of Barbra Streisand to The Yale Club of New York City, a block from Grand Central Station at 50 Vanderbilt Avenue, on Monday, April 15. Featuring a set list of Streisand’s early hits like “Happy Days Are Here Again,” “Miss Marmelstein,” “Bewitched,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” and more, the 75-minute concert is interspersed with personal stories of how Barbra’s self-confidence, power, and unique panache inspired a young Pastuszek to get out of her own way and to embrace her own kooky self, weird last name and all.

Doors to the Club’s Library open at 6:30 pm, for a reception with complimentary light refreshments; the show begins at 7. Business attire or business casual dress is required. Tickets are currently sold out; for more information or to inquire about cancellations, go online. If you can’t get into this one, Pastuszek will be performing Me, Myself & Barbra at Connecticut’s Little Theatre of Manchester on Sunday, May 12, starting at 2 pm. For that and other upcoming dates and venues, click onto her website.

The Braata Singers. Photo by JohnEli DaCosta.

The Braata Singers: Still Standing – To mark the fifteenth anniversary of their founding, the Caribbean folk group, under the direction of AUDELCO Award winner Andrew Clarke, will present a highly theatrical and jubilant concert that pays tribute to the rich musical traditions, cultures, folklore, and independence milestones of the islands of Grenada (50 years), St. Lucia (45 years), St. Vincent (45 years), and Haiti (220 years), from May 6-19, at the new venue 154 on Christopher in Greenwich Village.

Through the power of music, the show, with a production team that includes script writer Karl O’Brian Williams, musical director Joel Edwards, and movement director Jermaine Rowe, will explore the stories, rhythms, and melodies that have shaped the island nations, and the spirit of resilience, pride, and joy that characterizes their people. The program will include a medley of songs by Jamaican reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, the Haitian folk song “Yellow Bird,” a Bob Marley medley featuring “One Love,” the inspirational “He Reigns Forever,” and “The Impossible Dream” from Broadway’s Man of La Mancha, among many others (in keeping with the name Braata, a Jamaican colloquial term meaning more). For tickets (priced at $59.15, including fees), go online.


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