outdoor music new york

French Consulate Block Party

Yesterday, the French Consulate of New York invited Avalon Jazz Band to perform an outdoor concert for their block party “A Sunday in Marseille“, celebrating the opening of a new direct line between New York and Marseille. It was a beautiful summer day! People were playing pétanque and kids were dancing around to the music while their parents enjoyed free Ricard pastis and Lillet cocktails. We played some much enjoyed “jazz manouche” (Gypsy jazz) reminiscent of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s hot club and Tatiana Eva-Marie sang uplifting jazz songs in French from the 1930’s and 40’s. It felt like we had been transported to a street in the South of France and it made us happy and nostalgic. The summer will be full of fun Avalon French-themed events, so keep looking for updates! A bientôt…

avalon jazz band french swing

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.

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

le cirque new york

Jazz at Le Cirque

Legendary New York City restaurant Le Cirque recently started “Musical Mondays” in their very comfortable and sultry café area. Avalon Jazz Band was very happy to be among the first to perform there! It was definitely in our top 5 most magical New York moments ever. The audience was wonderful and the atmosphere actually felt like an intimate and casual private concert. We were suprised to find out that the area they call “Le Cirque Café” was much more affordable ($38 prix fixe menu) than the usual dining room while offering the same outstanding quality. We think Musical Mondays are going to attract a younger crowd and give a new freshness to this truly magical and authentic place. Their musical agenda is tasteful and fun (obviously, since they programmed us!) and we can’t wait to be back, both as a performers and guests. The chocolate and passion fruit dessert will be enough to lure us back in…

avalon jazz band le cirque nyc

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.

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

French jazz singer

Tatiana Eva-Marie, French singer for Bastille Day

Avalon Jazz Band was a special guest at the French Embassy in Washington for July 14th, the French National Day, also known as “Bastille Day”. There were over 2000 people invited and chefs from the most prestigious area restaurants offered a buffet of mouth-watering creations: macarons, pâtés, fromages… it was fabulous! A feast worthy of François Vatel. Many people were dancing and it was a lovely event. We performed only French jazz this time, playing timeless classics that the Americans in the audience recognized, and some covers of Jean Sablon, Charles Trenet and Yves Montand which the French audience was suprised and delighted to hear. The Ambassador François Delattre gave a beautiful and inspiring speach, followed of course by la Marseillaise… and champagne! Tatiana Eva-Marie wore her now famous dress and looked like a creature from the past. She was all teary-eyed when the national anthem was played, and dreamt of her bohemian adolescence in Paris. Vive la France!

To read the Ambassador’s speach on Bastille Day, follow this link: http://fr.ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?article3678

Bastille Day in Washington

Taking it easy at the Residence de France

We were very fortunate to be received as personal guests of Monsieur l’Ambassadeur and spend two days at his private residence. We were immediately welcomed with a tasty “goûter” (the French equivalent of the American “snack”) which consisted of fresh home-squeezed orange juice and the best jambon-beurre sandwich ever to roam the face of the earth. This feast was served on the finest Limoges porcelain and silk napkins with tags that read “made in France”. When we went up to our private “suites” we found bottles of Perrier and macarons waiting for us… they did not wait long and disappeared very quickly.

The Residence itself is of breathtaking beauty and it was quite an honor to be able to enjoy the centuries of history that surounded us. Among many things, there was a Bonnard painting, a rug with Napoleon’s itinial and dancing bees, and beautiful second empire style furniture. We were all hesitant to sit and step on these priceless items which seemed to belong in a museum. For breakfast, we were served in a large green chamber with numerous suns and cherubs on the walls and enjoyed the best croissants and pains au chocolat found on this side of the Atlantic, with little jars of Bonne Maman jam. We were treated like royalty and the Ambassador was very kind and thoughtful.

The return to our tiny crumbling New York apartments was very hard on us. It’s funny how quickly one can get accustomed to beauty and luxury.

www.la-maison-francaise.org

Below is a picture of Tatiana Eva-Marie and her dress enjoying themselves at the Residence de France.