Avalon Jazz Band Bio
As two musicians involved in the New York swing renaissance, Tatiana Eva-Marie and Adrien Chevalier wanted to share their experience of French jazz with their American audience, and that’s how Avalon Jazz Band was born. Ever since its creation, the band has performed in the hottest clubs and venues in the city, from hidden speakeasies to the Oak Room at the Plaza. In July 2012 they were invited by the French Ambassador to give two private concerts in Washington for the French National Day and represent the expansion of French culture in the United States.
The music of Avalon Jazz Band is inspired by the Parisian jazz scene of the 1940’s, which emblematic sound was made popular by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. They perform the American standards popular in France at that period, but also the songs of French composers influenced by that new sound called « jazz ». In addition to these classics, Avalon Jazz Band also performs the original music written by their vocalist Tatiana Eva-Marie, who offers her own vision of what contemporary swing can be, blending her francophone culture into her American experience.
The Zazous, the « swing youth » of Paris, were a subculture in France in the 1930’s and 1940’s. During World War II, they expressed their resistence and their nonconformity through music and dance. They wore big excentric clothing, checkered and colourful, had long hair and always carried an umbrella when it didn’t rain, to underline the irony of their time. When the yellow star was forced on Jews, the Zazous began to wear yellow stars with ‘Swing’ written on them. They became persecuted and gathered in the medieval cellars in the Latin Quarter, the heart of the jazz culture in Paris.
Why is it called « Avalon Jazz Band » ? Tatiana Eva-Marie, who has a Master’s Degree in medieval studies from the Sorbonne University in Paris, came up with the band’s name. In arthurian legends, Avalon is the island of regeneration where King Arthur goes to rest after his last battle and whence he will return some day to rule over his land once again. The name « Avalon » carries the symbol of rebirth and underlines the band’s involvment in the current swing renaissance.