After a restful break of almost no show-going (well, there was that all-ages show in Baltimore), 2011 is kicking off with a bang tonight with the 7th annual Winter Jazz Fest, turning the Bleecker Street corridor into a CMJ-like swirl of showgoers bouncing from one venue to the next. The fest leans towards the experimental/progressive end of things, with featured performers including Nels Cline, Chico Hamilton and Don Byron. $25 gets you into all venues; $35 for both tonight and tomorrow. (Passes available at LPR and online.) And, hey, if you're hankering for something more mainstream, you can always swing into the nearby Blue Note, where the same $35 will get you one hour-long set (with the admittedly-amazing Cassandra Wilson) and a crappy spot at the bar.
The Winter Jazzfest is actually just one of several events happening in NYC this weekend as part of the annual conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (better known as APAP.) Unfortunately, you need to be a registered conference attendee to search the APAP database, but with over 1,000 events happening all around town, chances are pretty good you'll stumble onto something.