Cheap New York: Affordable live-music concerts

Enjoying live music on the cheap in New York is easy—if you follow our handy, continually updated guide.

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Lia Ices live at Mercury Lounge

Lia Ices live at Mercury Lounge Photograph: wagz2it

Looking for a cheap New York City concert? Of course you are! Check out our genre-spanning list of inexpensive gigs going on around town—and don’t forget about these free venues. Who knows—you could catch the next big thing.


RECOMMENDED: Full list of cheap things to do in NYC


Turkuaz

  • Price band: 1/4

Nine-piece funk and soul outfit Turkuaz sets out with the goal of making people dance—and the fat bass lines and retro-synth–fueled grooves on the band's latest, Future 86, seem custom-built to ensure that outcome.

  1. Brooklyn Bowl 61 Wythe Ave, at North 11th St, 11211
  2. Wed Aug 27
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Mostly Other People Do the Killing

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Mostly Other People Do the Killing has been on a tear in recent years, demonstrating anew why it's one of the most appealing jazz ensembles in town. The local quartet—led by bassist Moppa Elliott and featuring trumpeter Peter Evans, saxist Jon Irabagon and drummer Kevin Shea—has as much fun laying down a funky, whimsical groove as it does

  1. Cornelia Street Café 29 Cornelia St, between Bleecker and W 4th Sts, 10014
  2. Wed Aug 27
More info

The Mandingo Ambassadors

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Guitarist Mamady Kouyaté formed the Mandingo Ambassadors in Guinea in the late ’60s. Now living in New York, Kouyaté leads a new version of the outfit through funky, festive West African tunes every Wednesday night at Barbès.

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave, 11215
  2. Wed Aug 27
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Oyen Sings Oyen

  • Price band: 1/4
  1. Don’t Tell Mama 343 W 46th St , between Eighth and Ninth Aves, 10036
  2. Thu Aug 28
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The David Ullmann 8

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Guitarist David Ulmann presents his luminous compositions at a release party for new album Corduroy, which features smooth, songful pieces inspired by ’70s-TV themes. Count on the heavy supporting cast, including clarinetist Chris Speed, vibraphonist Chris Dingman and trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, to bring these plush works to vivid life.

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave, 11215
  2. Thu Aug 28
More info

Tongues

  • Price band: 1/4

Tongues, a series that draws connections between Indian classical music and experimental improv, presents a striking bill featuring solo sets by local avant-jazz luminaries Matana Roberts and Peter Evans, as well as the duo of violinist Arun Ramamurthy and mridangam player Akshay Anantapadmanabhan and a group featuring vocalist Shubhangi Sakhalkar.

  1. Silent Barn 603 Bushwick Ave, between Jefferson and Melrose Sts, 11206
  2. Thu Aug 28
More info

Irabagon Festival

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

A saxophonist who quietly refuses to conform to jazz orthodoxy, of either the mainstream or avant-garde variety, Jon Irabagon presents the latest in a series of multinight fests at the Café. He's booked three killer lineups: a new quartet with pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Rudy Royston (Aug 28); his powerhouse working

  1. Cornelia Street Café 29 Cornelia St, between Bleecker and W 4th Sts, 10014
  2. Thu Aug 28 - Sat Aug 30
More info

Molly Pope

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Molly Pope is the next big thing of 1963: Her viscerally thrilling alto is a rich gusher of sound that emerges like a full-on blast from the past. For the past few years she has been applying her Ed Sullivan Show style to contemporary pop at showcases like Our Hit Parade and the Meeting*; tonight she goes solo with an eclectic set.

  1. 42West 514 W 42nd St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves, 10036
  2. Thu Aug 28
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Jack Grace

  • Price band: 1/4

Jack Grace has a croon that almost qualifies as velvety, but he pushes and pulls it all over the spectrum of what could be called honky-tonk country. The local favorite drops by a trusty Park Slope haunt.

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave, 11215
  2. Thu Aug 28
More info

Broadway Sessions with Ben Cameron

  • Price band: 1/4

Ben Cameron hosts this weekly après-theater variety show, which begins with special guests from the world of musical theater at 11pm and then morphs into an open-mike show-tune night.

  1. Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café 407 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves, downstairs, 10036
  2. Thu Aug 28
More info
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