Music Venue and ‘Wonderful Listening Room’ Coming to 45 Bleecker

photo-22Daniel Maurer

Those changes at The Stone aren’t the only thing that will shake up the East Village music scene come April: a new venue is slated to open in a former black-box theater underneath the Culture Project at 45 Bleecker Street.

SubCulture, a 180-seat performing arts and events space, will be a “really wonderful listening room,” according to co-founder Marc Kaplan.

The 34-year-old music educator (also a conductor of musical theater and choirs) is opening the venue with his brother Steven, 31, an amateur trumpet player and pianist who makes his living as a financial consultant. They’re currently remodeling the subterranean space into what they hope will be an ideal environment for intimate performances.

“While we could feature an artist with a 10-piece band, it might also be a great opportunity to have that artist in an ensemble set-up,” said Mr. Kaplan.

There’ll be a limited menu of food, beer and wine, but SubCulture won’t be a traditional cabaret or restaurant. “We are not a club,” Mr. Kaplan emphasized. “We’re more of an artistic events space – a place where there’s some refinement in the artistry, and a place to congregate and focus on the artistic aesthetic.”

So what will the programming look like? You can get a taste of it this month, as the Kaplans produce a series of shows at Culture Project, above their future space. On Sunday, pianist Gregg Kallor will lead a Sandy Relief Concert; on Monday, MacArthur fellow Corey Harris will host a night of blues featuring Alvin Youngblood Hart and others, followed by a set from African musician Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi; Tuesday, local jazz quartet Rose and the Nightingale will be followed by Flutronix, a futuristic flute duo; and on Jan. 26 trumpeter and composer Nadje Noordhuis will be joined by fellow Australian Jo Lawry. (You can purchase tickets here.)

Expect a similarly eclectic lineup come April. “As we open we’re not going to want to pigeonhole the space in any way so you’ll see a lot diversity,” said Mr. Kaplan.