jazz centennial 2017

Celebrating the Jazz Centennial

Hot Jazz Hands! On February 26th, we celebrated the centennial of the beginning of the Jazz Age with the recording of “Livery Stable Blues” by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in front of where it happened exactly 100 years ago, at the former studios of Victor Talking Machine Company on 46 W 38th St. What a company! DJ Michael Cumella played the record that started it all on his beautiful antique phonograph, while Tatiana Eva-Marie danced around with Don Spiro of Wits End and Miss Art Deco 2016 Dandy Dillinger, of The Repeal Society. This commemoration was organized by Michael Katsobashvili, the creator of the New York Hot Jazz Festival. (Photo credit Nina Galicheva)

The Original Dixieland Jass Band was fronted by cornetist Nick LaRocca, with Eddie Edwards on trombone, Larry Shields on clarinet, Henry Ragas on piano, and Tony Sbarbaro on drums. They had just picked up a steady gig at Reisenweber’s Café, near Columbus Circle, where Jazz at Lincoln Center is now located! They were an immediate sensation and their record selled like hot cakes: nearly every person who owned a phonograph in 1917 owned that record. This rowdy recording of instruments imitating barnyard animals over loud and fast syncopated music heralded in what we now call the Jazz Age.

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.