gatsby jazz band

Gatsby in the winery

Tatiana and DandyLast month we were off to the Hamptons in the scorching heat to perform in one of the most beautiful natural decors ever. We performed on a stage in the middle of a gorgeous vineyard, surrounded by green and luscious grape leaves. Our friend Francois, who was visiting from Québec, was on the gypsy guitar and we performed a mix of Gatsby inspired American standards and 1940’s French jazz, which perfectly suited the fresh and inviting setting.

Our music was highlighted by the presence of the lovely burlesque dancers from Dances of Vice and their “maître de cérémonie”, the stylish Dandy Wellington. Their grace and energy brought sunshine to the whole event. On the left is a picture of Avalon Jazz Band’s vocalist Tatiana Eva-Marie in her 1930’s mink hat alongside the fabulous New York City Dandy.

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

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.

jazzweddingband2013

jazz band plaza gala nyc

New York City Opera gala at the Plaza

avalonjazzbandplazanyc

Last Thursday, Avalon Jazz Band was invited to give a private concert during the annual New York City Opera gala that took place at the Plaza Hotel. We performed on the stage of the sumptuous and iconic Grand Ballroom, which is truly a perfect setting for old school jazz. The Plaza Hotel was opened in 1907 and was the scene of many wild parties and grand weddings or celebrations during the jazz golden age. The music felt like it really belonged there, and it was very inspiring to us.

The two stars of La Périchole were in high spirits and decided to sing a couple of tunes with us! French-born mezzo-soprano Marie Lenormand gave a very emotional rendition of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en rose” and tenor Philippe Talbot tackled “Padam padam” with vehemence and passion that made all the ladies in the audience swoon. It was a fun night, in a ballroom packed with music lovers and experts who let their hair down and danced to the sound of hot French swing.

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.

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

music for paris themed wedding

Music for a wedding in Montauk

Avalon Jazz Band got booked for this Paris themed wedding after the bride to be and her friends saw us at Bar Tabac in Brooklyn. It was a wonderful wedding at the cosy Solé East resort in the Hamptons. We played some French and American swing jazz in the lantern-lit gardens and everyone was having a jolly good time. We brought guitarist Tim Clement along and he added a rockabilly touch to our sound that just made the crowd go wild. There were people dancing everywhere and half the guests were French Canadian, so they were singing along to the classic French songs we played. Below is a picture of the band with the bride and groom, to whom we wish a lot of joy and luck in their future together!

www.soleeast.com

wedding jazz band nyc

Wedding at The Empire Rooftop

Avalon Jazz Band performed at the Empire Rooftop for a wedding rehearsal dinner. There was a lovely crowd and the bride and groom to be were a fun jazz-loving couple. The father of the bride, who performed a song he wrote for the occasion, had seen us perform at Matisse Restaurant and decided we would be perfect for his daughter’s wedding rehearsal. It was a wonderful evening, and the sun began to set while we were playing « C’est si bon », a French song made famous by Yves Montand, and now an international jazz classic. Towards the end of the night, the Avalon boys started pointing frantically at a man with a moustache while Tatiana wondered what the fuss was about. Then she realised the moustached man was none other than Bill Murray, a close friend of the bride’s dad. Bill Murray is now a proud owner of Avalon Jazz Band’s latest CD « Paris Paris ». We are all big fans ☺

www.empirehotelnyc.com

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