HOUSING WORKS BENEFIT: “UKULELE HERO” JAKE SHIMABUKURO “If everyone played the ukulele,” asserts, “the world would be a better place.” Few, however, are likely to reach the lofty heights of technical virtuosity and genre versatility that our man Jake has brought to the four-stringed, pluck-friendly miniature guitar. No matter. His sunny disposition is contagious, and his heart is in the right place. Ditto for Housing Works — whose mission to end AIDS and homelessness gets a ukulele-infused boost, in the form of a benefit concert taking place on the very date that Shimabukuro’s latest recording is released. Produced in collaboration with Alan Parsons (engineer of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”), “Grand Ukulele” bends the already flexible instrument to the will of classical, blues, flamenco, rockabilly and surf rock.
Tues., Oct. 2 at 8pm (doors open at 7:30pm). At Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby St., btw. Houston & Prince Sts.). $15 tickets guarantee admission, but not seating. Limited seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. To purchase tickets, visit housingworksbookstore.org. For info, call 212-334-3324. Also visit jakeshimabukuro.com.
Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper of Russ & Daughters
CULINARY CONVERSATIONS Humankind cannot live by bread alone…and with that in mind, those deep thinkers at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum have come up with a new way to nourish both body and soul. Hosted by Jane Ziegelman (author of “97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement”), the 10-part “Culinary Conversations” series pairs Ziegelman with movers, shakers and bakers from the world of NYC food. Conversation, demonstrations and tastings ensue. First up, on Thurs., Oct. 4, “Back to the Store” looks at immigrant offspring who leave the nest to pursue careers in high status fields — only to return to the family food business. Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper of Russ & Daughters and Wilson Tang of the Nam Wah Tea Parlor are the guests.
On Nov. 15, the proprietors of Mile End discuss Jewish comfort food. On Dec. 11, “Gran Cocina Latina” looks at how Mexicans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Cubans and Guatemalans — among other immigrant groups — are re-inventing pan-Latin cuisine. The series continues throughout 2013, with offerings such as May 28’s “Farming in Five Boroughs,” featuring “Eat the City” author Robin Shulman and a panel of local farmers. Don’t even think about arriving with a full stomach, because samples will be served!
All events take place at 6:30pm, at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum (103 Orchard St., corner of Delancey). Tickets are $30. For info and reservations, call 877-975-3786 or visit tenement.org.