gypsy jazz guitarist nyc

Avalon has a special guest from Paris!

Our steady guitarist went on vacation in Europe this summer, so we decided to invite our old friend Romain Constant, a French Gypsy jazz guitarist from Paris, to come play with us in the meanwhile. It’s his first time in America and our first gig together, as he was barely off the plane, was at Radegast Hall in Brooklyn.

Romain Constant dedicated his life to the pursuit of swing and the specific sound of “jazz manouche” as Django Reinhardt played it in the 1930′s. He is without a doubt the most old school guitarist you’ll ever meet and he is famous for his melodious and dreamy style of improvisation. He was recently featured in PBS and Arte’s documentary “Harlem in Montmartre”, which tells the story of the black Americans who left America to create the jazz age in Paris between the First and Second World Wars, fleeing the brutal segregation and racism of their own country.

Romain Constant will be in New York for a couple of weeks and we are very proud and honored to have him join our little band of musical vagrants. Below is a picture of us in front of Radegast Hall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Please check out our calendar to find out when we are performing next.

Radegast Hall

mona’s nyc

Jammin’ at Mona’s

Since our good friend swing guitarist Romain Constant is visiting from France, we decided to take him out for a night on the town and show him some of our cool New York musical spots. First we stopped by speakeasy/cabaret Sleep No More, located in the beautifully decadent 1930′s McKittrick Hotel, to call on our friend violinist Scott Tixier who was performing there with the Candy Shop Boys. Then, we all headed towards Alphabet City to get some New York pizza slices as a midnight snack before stepping into a time machine and being transported to Mona’s in the 1920′s. Every Tuesday, this famous bar turns into an old school swing jam, led by Mona’s Hot Four, which includes our pal stride mastermind Gordon Webster who performed on our CD “Paris Paris”. Romain Constant was delighted to sit in with them and bring some Django style Gypsy swing to the mix. Below are pictures of Romain Constant and Tatiana Eva-Marie jamming at Mona’s.

Mona’s Hot 4

Sleep No More

Gordon Webster

swing and gypsy jazz for wedding

A Musician’s Wedding

Our good friend and co-worker Kate, the accordion player from our “rival” band Carte Blanche, was getting married last weekend. She is very dear to us and you will see her soon in our upcoming music video clips (being edited as we speak). As a matter of fact, we love her so much that after a 5-hour gig at Brasserie Julien, at 1am, we embarked on a 15-hour odissey to be at her wedding on time. We drove all the way to Maine, with a snooze-stop at the very appropriately named motel we found on the side of the road in a forest: “The Red Carpet Inn”. Though it was actually clean and tidy, our fatigued imaginations still pictured the place as a scene from one of the too many horror movies we’ve watched. So we just kept calling it “Bates Motel” and spooking each other out.

When we finally arrived in Maine, we headed towards the beautiful renovated barn where we were going to give our little jazz concert. It was in the middle of a huge piece of land, with green grass, horses, swings and trees. What a sight for sore new yorker eyes! The ceremony was touching and simple, Kate looked outrageously stunning with her flashy red hair and sleek 1920′s wedding gown. During dinner, we performed a mix of Gypsy hot jazz, old school swing and French music. Then the bride’s father performed with his dixieland style ensemble the Bellamy Jazz Band, and let me tell you these cats could surely swing!

The afterparty was held in the “backyard” of Kate’s beach house. We played music all night sitting around the fire in the middle of the woods. At 6am, a cab came to take the newlyweds away to Mexico. Bon voyage les amoureux!!! Congratulations to Kate and Cristhian!

Brasserie Julien

Carte Blanche

Bellamy Jazz Band

Red Carpet Inn

Below is a picture of French jazz singer Tatiana Eva-Marie (a.k.a. Laura Ingalls) having a ball on the swing, while Romain Constant is falling asleep on her left.

gypsy jazz new york

Jazzy Birthday Party

Avalon Jazz Band performed in sextet at the Glasshouses located in the Chelsea Art Towers. It was to celebrate the birthday of Alex, a successful business man and a loving father of two very handsome boys. The crowd was mostly Russian (with a few Vladimir Putin look-alikes), and they sure knew how to party. They hired an amazing glatt kosher caterer for the evening, and we were delighted to taste a variety of yummy dishes, with a huge thumbs-up for the lamb and couscous which was to die for. They also had a blini station with some of the finest caviar and smoked salmon, and a mountain of desserts with macarons and chocolate covered strawberries. It was really a fun event, and the French Gypsy jazz and American swing we performed went very well with the atmosphere of the party. A musical bridge between three great nations: Russia, America and France.

Prime Caterers

The Glasshouses

jazz at Apotheke

Prohibition Night at Apotheke

Every Wednesday night is “prohibition night” at Apotheke, a famous modern-day speakeasy hidden in a small street in Chinatown. Avalon Jazz Band performed 1920′s style jazz with pianist Gordon Webster while the audience boozed, cooched and smootched. It’s the perfect place to discover the art of mixology and pretend you are a floozy out of Boardwalk Empire. New York’s favorite old school French jazz singer Tatiana Eva-Marie sang some sassy tunes, including “Is you is, or is you ain’t ma baby” and “Pennies from Heaven”, in her sleek vintage sequin dress. Tenor saxophone player AJ Kluth joined us for the second set, and the music got wilder, the skirts shorter and the cocktails tastier. While we were enjoying our night of hot jazz and swing inside our little time bubble, on the street outside of Apotheke was Method Man of the Wu-Tang Clan shooting his latest music video. This city has enough room for everyone, from hip hop rappers to lindy hop swingers, and that’s why we love New York.

Apotheke

Below is a picture of the whole band at Apotheke. From left to right: AJ Kluth (tenor sax), Romain Constant (Gypsy guitar), Eduardo Belo (bass), Gordon Webster (piano), Adrien Chevalier (violin), and of course, last but certainly not least, our lovely pin-up chanteuse Tatiana Eva-Marie.

music for French themed event

Back to the Barnes!

Yesterday, Avalon Jazz Band performed at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia for Comcast’s corporate event. We’ve been to the Barnes several times now, but we are always so happy to go back! It is such a wonderful and magical place, full of art and history. It’s a lovely feeling to perform French jazz in the modern home of masterpieces by Matisse, Picasso and Soutine… we know that we are contributing to bring them and the era they are from to life, and we feel very honored to have this opportunity. We really encourage all of you to discover the Barnes museum whenever you are in Philadelphia, it has become an important cultural landmark of this beautiful city.

On the right is a picture of French chanteuse & jazz singer Tatiana Eva-Marie basking in the famous Philadelphia sun on the Barnes Foundation terrace in her lovely “Des Filles à la Vanille” polka dot dress from Paris.

Barnes Foundation

Des Filles à la Vanille

jazz brunch new york

Jazz brunch at the Lambs Club

The Lambs Club launched their first musical Sunday brunch today with Avalon Jazz Band. We were very happy to return to the Lambs Club, because it is one of our favorite places in New York. The decor of the brunch dining room is classic American with a modern chic twist on the diner atmosphere. Although we are well aware that most new yorkers wouldn’t be caught dead anywhere near Times Square on a Sunday afternoon, we really encourage you to make an exception for this unique location. The Lambs Club restaurant is growing in reputation since Geoffrey Zakarian, whom we had the pleasure of entertaining today, became Iron chef, and since executive chef Eric Haugan was named to the Zagat Guide of 30 under 30. Their cuisine, whether it is for brunch or dinner, is fabulous, simple and delicious. We feel so privileged to be invited to the table of these great culinary artists. Below is a picture of jazz singer Tatiana Eva-Marie getting ready to dig into her perfect smoked salmon and French pastries. Come join us for a night of Gypsy jazz, swing and French music on the mezzanine on Wednesday September 12th! For all Avalon jazz brunch news and updates check out Jazz Brunch New York City.

The Lambs Club

live music for kids nyc

Jazz at the Victorian Gardens

After our brunch show at the Lambs Club, we darted towards Central Park for a very special event: Avalon Jazz Band in concert at the Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink. Victorian Gardens, called “the best kept secret in New York”, is a family amusement park with one-of-a-kind handcrafted rides, including a hand painted classic swing ride (Tatiana’s favorite) and intensely entertaining Whac-A-Mole games. We performed Gypsy jazz and swing right in the middle of dancing toddlers, kids screaming on rides and parents filming their little ones trying to crawl unto the stage. It was surprisingly a great audience and we were very happy to add some music to such a lovely “happiest-place-on-earth”. After our concert, we enjoyed the rides and ate ice cream while the sun was setting on Central Park. Definitely a top ten New York moment.

Victorian Gardens

events in nyc

Ladies’ Night Out

This awesome website called iAdventure offers deals on unique events and extraordinary activities all over New York City, such as the Food Truck Festival, where we performed this summer. Last Monday, iAdventure put together a special event for Fall Fashion week 2012 at the Hudson Terrace called “CityChics Ladies Night Out”. There were many booths of high quality hand made clothing and accessories, a lingerie fashion show that got the Avalon boys howling like a pack of wolves, and the vodka brand with the worst name in the history of marketing, “Balls Vodka”. No joke. The entertainment was provided by yours truly, swing & jazz with a hint of rockabilly, and the view of the Manhattan sunset was breathtaking. Fashion victim Tatiana Eva-Marie bought a lovely soft pink lace dress from XO FAM and she will be sharing photos very soon.

iAdventure

XO FAM

Hudson Terrace

swing jazz for wedding

Jazz on the Hudson

Avalon Jazz Band went to perform for the birds and the bees at a charming vintage location called Locusts on Hudson. It is a favorite wedding destination surely because there is such a effortless grand aura to the place. The centerpiece of the estate, a beautifully restored Neo-Baroque country manor is perched on the highest elevation and commands breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley. The Locusts is also of great historical importance, for jazz lovers especially, because it used to be the country hang of Cole Porter and Leonard Bernstein (among others). It was thrilling to perform swing and Parisian jazz in such a musical place.

Locusts on Hudson