To Do Friday: Live from the NYPL With James McBride

James McBride. (Photo via Getty Images)

James McBride. (Photo via Getty Images)

Not every author can command a stage, and even fewer can dazzle audiences with music as well as words. James McBride, whose novel The Good Lord Bird won the 2013 National Book Award for fiction, kicks off Live from the NYPL’s spring season with a conversation and saxophone performance. Hear him with musicians Keith Robinson, Trevor Exter, Show Tyme Brooks and Adam Faulk as they perform spirituals and jazz versions of classic gospel songs inspired by abolitionist John Brown, a key figure in Mr. McBride’s prizewinning novel.

New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, 212-930-0855, 7 p.m., $25, $15 for Friends of the NYPL, seniors and students with I.D.