New york hot jazz festival

New York Hot Jazz Festival 2016

New York Hot Jazz Festival

This year’s edition of the New York Hot Jazz Festival was held at the beautiful McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More, which offered the perfect setting for such a swinging, magical event. Avalon Jazz Band’s lineup included two special guests, fellow Frenchman David Langlois on washboard and New Orleans based clarinetist Evan Christopher. We performed on the rooftop in the beautiful Gallow Green garden, which felt like a hidden little forest tree house, softly lit by lantern shine.

To us, this edition of the festival felt like a great big party with all our friends from the trad, swing and hot jazz scene. We got to hang out with Jessy Carolina, Nicki Parrot, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton (whose tongue can be admired in the picture above, featured alongside jazz singer Tatiana Eva-Marie), Vuyo Sotashe, Alphonso Horne, Syrie Moskowitz, Sasha Masakowski, and many more artists we admire and people we love. Festival co-creators Michael Katsobashvili and Jennie Wasserman have transformed this event into a truly fantastic and spellbinding day of music, dancing and decadence.

gatsby 1920 jazz band event wedding

Gatsby Jazz Party Orchestra

Avalon Jazz Band was so thrilled to perform authentic 1920’s jazz for a Gatsby themed party at the Lambs Club in Times Square. Our very own nightingale, jazz singer Tatiana Eva-Marie got a lovely vintage white lace dress for the occasion and wore her grandmother’s pearls. The impeccable Vinnie Raniolo was on the banjo, which added the perfect sound to fit the event. We also invited AJ Kluth on the clarinet and Jeremy Bruyere on the bass. Adrien Chevalier brought his French touch to the ensemble with his violin and his perfectly trimmed moustache. The repertoire was handpicked 20’s hits, hot and cheeky, from Al Joleson’s “Swanee” to Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave”, including many famous George Gershwin and Irving Berlin tunes, naturally.

Avalon Jazz Band usually specializes in 1940’s French Gypsy swing, but we are starting a new band inspired by our “prohibition Wednesdays” at the Apotheke speakeasy and Tatiana Eva-Marie’s unique affinity with the 1920’s style and repertoire. It is called the Gatsby Jazz Party Orchestra and can vary from a quartet to a full 10-piece band. Please think of us for all your Great Gatbsy and 1920’s themed events. Don’t we look like a handsome bunch?

gatsby jazz band

high end event band

Concert for the Prince of Arabia

Yesterday, Avalon Jazz Band had the immense pleasure of performing for the Prince of Arabia in his private quarters at his Upper West Side “palace”, donned with stunning vintage art deco furniture and every inch of the place covered in the finest marble. The (very handsome) Prince, his friends and pet shark are all fans of our old school jazz repertoire reminiscent of Nat King Cole and Peggy Lee. How fun! We played from dusk till dawn, and the color-changing jellyfish danced around their aquariums as the sun was peacefully setting on the river. We were transported to another world without ever leaving Manhattan… that’s the magic of New York City. Below is a picture of our jazz singer Tatiana Eva-Marie with Randy Napoleon and Brandi Disterheft.

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jazz wedding band 2013

Outdoor Wedding Jazz

Last week end the whole band drove up to Norfolk in Connecticut to perform at what turned out to be one of the loveliest weddings we’ve experienced. We started with a light trio, guitar & bass with Tatiana on vocals, and gradually added violin, piano and drums throughout the cocktail hour, dinner and cake cutting. The first dance was the very pure and romantic “Young at Heart” and the “mother & daughter dance” (what a great idea!) was Billy Joel’s oh-so-cool “New York State of Mind”. The evening ended in music too, with everyone dancing to classic jazz tunes under the beautiful garden kiosk. It is always so wonderful to see how our music makes people happy and enhances the special moments they will remember forever. Here is a picture of the cocktail hour trio.

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jazz hotel lounge nyc

Jazz at the Standard Hotel

Avalon Jazz Band performed at Manhattan’s edgy downtown Standard Hotel, located in the heart of the hip Meatpacking District. This lovely boutique hotel with a very modern deco twist on a retro 1960’s look has become a landmark of the New York City nightlife thanks to its famous penthouse discotheque and pool Le Bain. Avalon Jazz Band did not go for a swim this time, but rocketed up to the 18th floor, by way of the hotel’s “heaven and hell” animated elevator, to the oddly misnamed Boom Boom Room. We were all expecting an Austin Poweresque shag room full of orange velvet sofas, red vinyl and disco balls and were extremely surprised to arrive in one of the most stunningly beautiful bars in New York City. It most definitely has a 1960’s vibe, but of refined and tasteful kind, perfectly suited for Don Draper, an Old Fashioned and jazz of course. A hidden gem with a breathtaking view that we recommend to you all! Come listen to us on April 19th.

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jazz bands for weddings

Music Video & Jazz Wedding at Oheka Castle

What a long and tiring day for Avalon Jazz Band ! We spent the whole day on the Gold Coast of Long Island, at the gorgeous Oheka Castle and its chic French gardens. This famous location is not only a favourite wedding destination, it has also served as inspiration for important works of art, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby and Orson Welles’ classic movie Citizen Kane.

Our special guest for the day was accordion player Kate Dunphy, who is the leader of fellow vintage band Carte Blanche, and we all got there very early to take advantage of the lovely scenery and shoot two music clips, which you will soon have the pleasure of seeing on our website. We chose a jolly little tune called « Ménilmontant » by Charles Trenet (author best known in the USA for his hit « Beyond the Sea »). It describes a very popular district in Paris, lingering on the simple beauty of every day life and the memories of Trenet’s childhood there. The second song you’ve all heard of by now thanks to Mad Men… have you guessed ? Yes, it’s « Zou Bisou Bisou », your new favourite song, the one you can’t stop humming on the L train, on your way to work. Well, we’ve done our very own version of it, enhanced by Kate’s entrancing accordion skills, and we think it’s cute as a button. This silly little song has an uncanny endearing quality to it…

In the evening, we performed in the stunning Oheka ballroom for Eve Julien and Ryan Gordon’s crazy super-wedding. The bride is an Elite top model of French descent, and she looked absolutely stunning in a very bold mermaid dress only she could ever pull off. Ryan is one lucky son of a gun. The bride and groom are both adorable warm-hearted people, and they danced beautifully on Tatiana Eva-Marie’s rendition of the Josephine Baker classic « j’ai deux amours ». We also had the pleasure of meeting Emmy award winner composer Billy Goldenberg, who performed a couple of songs on the piano. All in all, it was a lovely day in a magnificent setting. We had fun, played some swing, made people dance and ate lots of cake. Rosebud.

www.oheka.com

lambs club nyc

Jazz at the Lambs Club

This evening we performed for the first time at The Lambs Club, located inside the Chatwal Hotel, the iconic Stanford White designed building that used to be the epicenter of American theater for the 20th Century. The building was originally opened in 1905 as home to the prestigious Lambs, America’s first professional theatrical club. While sitting at the majestic vintage looking bar, enjoying a shirley temple and an old fashioned, we could feel the spirits of Charlie Chaplin, Spencer Tracy, John Barrymore and Fred Astaire hovering around us. It was wonderful to perform old style swing jazz in such an important artistic landmark, and we got inspired to try out new French songs which Tatiana Eva-Marie had just added to her repertoire. Among those was a French version of « These Foolish Things », originally sung by Jean Sablon in 1936. It’s funny how the French language can talk about tragic love stories in such a light and playful way.

After the gig we were delighted to try Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s mindblowing cuisine. We were speachless. One dish looked like a fancy twist on green eggs and ham : a pond of lard flavored deliciousness with egg foam on top (yes, egg foam), with frisky peas bathing in it and polenta filled ravioli. It was like paradise in the twilight zone. Incredible. The desserts were equally impressive. We can’t wait to go back and put on another thousand pounds.

www.thelambsclub.com

corporate event band

The Barnes Foundation opening gala

Avalon Jazz Band was invited to perform at the elegent gala that kicked off the year-long celebration of the opening of the Barnes in Philadelphia. Between 1912 and 1951, Albert C. Barnes assembled one of the finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings in the world. The collection includes paintings by Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Chaim Soutine, and Vincent van Gogh. We brought to life the Parisian and bohemian atmosphere of that time with a swing and gypsy jazz performance, and the audience had the impression of stepping into the past, just like in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. We had a lot of fun, and we got to meet and share the stage with Norah Jones, which was very exciting.
www.barnesfoundation.org

paris themed party

Paris themed Birthday Party

Avalon Jazz Band invited accordeon virtuoso Will Holshouser for a French themed party in Rye, New York. We were the musical entertainment for a birthday party in a lovely private residence. We played by the pool in a beautiful garden surrounded by golden replicas of the Eiffel Tower and bouquets of purple flowers. The French caterer had steak frites, sweet and savory crepes and cheese fondue, which complimented well our repertoire of musette, Edith Piaf and French jazz songs. We were all dressed in vintage parisian outfits and singer Tatiana Eva-Marie enjoying her favourite drink, a Shirley Temple, with a moustache straw. Did you know those existed ? We think they add a nice French touch to events or party favours, you should try them !

live jazz brooklyn

Bar Tabac

Last Wednesday at Bar Tabac, a famous place for live jazz in Brooklyn, we met the touring musicians of Jimmy Cliff, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend, who had just performed at Prospect Park. They loved our show and invited us back to their hotel to chat some more, drink some more and view their live segment on the David Letterman show. It was great viewing it from the other side and seeing them laughing their heads off and cheering each other. We hope to see them again soon in L.A.
www.bartabacny.com