After the pandemic, a lot of New Yorkers may be hooked on outdoor shows. And have they not done something to remind us of how deeply nestled music is into the city’s identity? At the same time, some old pillars of the scene remain in place — and with clubs open at full capacity, watching Greenwich Village rev back to life is a welcome sight.
On West Third Street, the storied Blue Note reopened last week. At 8 and 10:30 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday and at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, Ravi Coltrane will play sets there with a newish quartet, whose first-rate lineup had come together not long before the pandemic struck: Orrin Evans on piano, Dezron Douglas on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums.
Coltrane’s improvising can be mischievous and dark, sometimes both at once. Especially over the past 10 years, he has established a musical disposition that’s thoroughly his own, indebted to but independent of his parentage. His quartet appears as part of the 2021 Blue Note Jazz Festival, running through Aug. 15.
On the side of a townhouse near the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Fort Greene Place in Brooklyn, at the future site of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art’s sculpture garden, Helina Metaferia recently unveiled the first mural of Not a Monolith, a five-borough public art initiative. Metaferia’s piece, “Headdress 21,” is a towering image of a fellow artist, Wildcat Ebony Brown, crowned with a collage of civil rights imagery — an ode to Black female activism throughout history.
Organized by Facebook Open Arts in partnership with We the Culture and ArtBridge, Not a Monolith was established to show the heterogeneity of Black art. Each month through October, two new works from an emerging artist will go up on buildings around the city. Metaferia is scheduled to install her second mural at Dream Yard in the Bronx in the next week or so. In the coming months, expect pieces from Glori J. Tuitt, Jeff Kasper, Dana Robinson and Paul Deo. As each mural is unveiled, its location will be added to a map at art-bridge.org.
From Martians to Malcolm X
When New York movie theaters reopened in March, the Museum of Modern Art kept its auditoriums closed. That quietly changed on Wednesday when MoMA showed Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!” in its series Wynn Thomas, Production Designer. The retrospective honors a craftsman perhaps best known for his enduring collaboration with Spike Lee, a partnership that started with “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986) and was still going as of “Da 5 Bloods” (2020).
“Mars Attacks!” screens again on Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m., and offers an opportunity to see how Thomas blended 1950s and ’60s flying-saucer kitsch into Burton’s pastiche. The series continues in theater with Lee’s “Malcolm X” (on Wednesday and July 1 and 2), which found Thomas recreating a swath of American history, from Boston during World War II to New York in that era through Malcolm X’s death in 1965. Other titles (“Do the Right Thing,” “Crooklyn”) are or will be available at MoMA’s website for its members to stream.
Pride Month may be ending, but the quest for equality continues. This weekend offers ways that young L.G.B.T.Q. strivers can celebrate their identities — and their differences.
On Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. Eastern time, Youth Pride, a free virtual event, will feature recorded presentations for teenagers by singers, rappers, dancers, D.J.s and community activists. Hosted by Amber Whittington and Jorge Wright (a.k.a. Gitoo), the program will stream nationwide on NYC Pride’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. (An R.S.V.P. is encouraged.)
The many participants will include Kat Cunning singing a new single, “Boys”; Tarriona Ball, leader of the band Tank and the Bangas, delivering a poem; and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performing “The Hunt.”
For younger children, L.G.B.T.Q. members of the Story Pirates will showcase their improv talents on Friday at 7 p.m. During this free livestreaming Zoom edition of the show “Story Creation Zone” (registration is on the troupe’s website), actors will weave little viewers’ own ideas into a music-filled — and Prideful — tale.
Corporate Wokeness, Roasted
You’ve likely seen New Yorkers display an abundance of rainbow flags and memes lately in celebration of Pride Month. But what about corporations? Aren’t they people, too?
Jes Tom and Tessa Skara are recognizing the contributions of multinational conglomerates with “The Favorites Presents: Corporate Pride.” The comedy and drag show will not only make fun of how companies bend over backward to adapt their marketing to please customers who support civil rights, it will also serve as an introduction to Tom and Skara’s new podcast series, “The Favorites.” The comedians will be joined by Larry Owens, Celeste Yim, Jay Jurden, Irene Tu and the Illustrious Pearl.