Concert at Joe’s Pub

Concert at Joe’s Pub

During the holidays, we played a concert at one of our favorite New York City venues, Joe’s Pub. We were thrilled to have a stellar lineup for this concert, with Tatiana Eva-Marie on vocals, Adrien Chevalier on violin, Olli Soikkeli and Vinny Raniolo on guitars, and Ian Hutchison on bass. On saxophone and clarinet we had a special guest who often plays with us, Oran Etkin, a musician from Israel known for his eclecticism, influenced by different kinds of folkloric music from Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It is always inspiring to play with him and he adds a very special touch to our Gypsy jazz repertoire. We played a selection of 1930s Parisian and Balkan inspired Gypsy jazz tunes, including Duke Ellington’s Caravan, Golden Earrings, C’est Si Bon, and other classic favorites. It never fails, we have so much fun playing at Joe’s Pub and we hope to be back soon! (The lovely picture above was shot by Amos Rose)

mississippi jazz cruise

Mississippi Cruise

We were invited to perform aboard The Louisiane, a new vintage style cruise ship that lazily sails up and down the Mississippi River. This was particularly exciting because it was our first time going down to New Orleans! The amount of music pouring out of every street corner is absolutely intoxicating, even more so than the constant presence of alcoholic beverages. After a few days exploring the city and listening to music in the French Quarter at the Spotted Cat and other venues that caught our fancy, we boarded the beautiful river boat for a few days of southern bliss on the muddy waters of the Mississippi.

mississippi the louisiane

And what a magnificent boat it is! It really is like stepping back in time, tastefully decorated and displaying the old southern charm that haunts our romantic imaginations. On board, there was another jazz band, fronted by jazz singer Barbara Rosene, who all happened to enjoy scotch whiskey just as much as we do, so it was an immediate perfect match. Our guest singer for this series of performances was New Orleans native Sasha Masakowski, who is one of the finest young singers currently on the New York jazz scene and collaborates with Avalon Jazz Band and Tatiana Eva-Marie on various delightful projects. We will be back on The Louisiane in March, so don’t hesitate and book your tickets now!

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.

CD release at The Iridium

CD release at The Iridium

It’s out, it’s hot, it’s swingin’, it’s our brand new CD “Je Suis Swing”, fresh from the mint! Available for purchase here (at your earliest convenience). We are very proud of this one and poured all our heart and soul into it. Tatiana Eva-Marie hand-picked the repertoire, including some of her childhood favorites, some classic standards and some more recent discoveries. We have gathered a team of impeccable musicians, all specialists of the Gypsy jazz, swing and hot jazz genres, and renowned on the New York City jazz scene.

avalon jazz band cd release iridium nyc

Left to right, you’ve got Adrien Chevalier, violin virtuoso; Olli Soikkeli, young guitar wizard from Finland; Albert Behar, accordionist and mixer of the CD; our charming singer Tatiana Eva-Marie; Vinny Raniolo, master of swing guitar; Brandi Disterheft, from Vancouver, and her monster fingers on bass; and Evan Arntzen, and his dreamy sound on clarinet, also from Vancouver. We were thrilled to have our release party at The Iridium, one of our favorite jazz clubs in New York City.

Shanghai Mermaid’s Fairytale Ball

Shanghai Mermaid

shanghai mermaidShanghai Mermaid did it again! The Fairytale Ball was an enchanting night of wonders and entrancing midnight creatures, designed by the incomparable Juliette Campbell. Avalon Jazz Band was a perfect fit for the party for many reasons: first, we are named after the isle of Avalon, the fairyland of the Arthurian legends, secondly many of the great fairytales are originally French (Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty…), and of course, our singer Tatiana’s name means “little fairy”. We just had to be there, and we had such a great time. We played our French jazz repertoire with special guest Jake Handelman on trombone. People were dancing, drinking cooing and having fun, girls were misbehaving, men were being charmed, all this in the beautiful setting of the Down Town Association, one of New York City’s most stunning Edwardian palaces. These prohibition era parties occur on a regular basis and we encourage you to join us next time for the Casino de Paris celebration on April 11th 2015, where we will be playing alongside our friends of the Carte Blanche band. See all the details here.

Above is a picture of violinist Adrien Chevalier and singer Tatiana Eva-Marie in their best fairy attire.

Hermitage Museum

The Hermitage Museum Foundation

avalon jazz band tatiana eva-marie singer frenchThe mutual admiration, cultural and intellectual, between Russia and France has always been of significant importance, and we were thrilled to honor and perpetuate this tradition by performing for the Hermitage Museum Foundation. The event was an award ceremony celebrating the work and achievements of a Russian and American artist, or philanthropist, who has contributed to the Hermitage Museum as a unique cultural institution and one of the world’s greatest repositories for our common human heritage. The Hermitage Museum Foundation Award represents an opportunity to exercise cultural diplomacy by recognizing the many links between Russia’s and the United States’ artistic communities, museum, research, and collecting traditions. The event took place at the beautiful High Line Hotel, that used to be a theological seminary in the XIXth century. We performed in the majestic old refectory and included “Russian Lullaby” and “Bei Mir Bistu Schein” in our repertoire, of course.

The welcome was overwhelming in warmth and mirth and proved once again that Russians have a special talent for celebrating life. Our singer Tatiana Eva-Marie, who has a special intimate relationship with Russian culture and a deep admiration for the Hermitage Museum, which she had the pleasure of visiting as a teenager, was thrilled to be a part of this event and get to dance to the sound of balalaika and Gypsy violin. Above is a picture of Tatiana wearing her Russian scarf from Moscow in front of the beautiful refectory fireplace.

maison kayser new york

Maison Kayser in NYC!

jazz band new yorkOur favorite bakery is finally expanding to the American market! Maison Kayser opened a new location on the Upper West Side and Avalon Jazz Band was invited to pair the bread and pastry tasting with some French Jazz. We are particularly excited about Maison Kayser gaining in popularity because, as French expats, we are often disappointed about the quality of bread away from home and the presence of Eric Kayser‘s passion and savoir-faire solves everything. We share similar values in that we believe in tradition and come from similar backgrounds, except that we put our passion in music while he puts it in bread. It was indeed an honor to perform for him and celebrate his success, as we’ve been great fans ever since the very humble beginning of his floury adventure. The composers and performers we admire from the history of French Jazz, such as Charles Trenet, Yves Montand, Django Reinhardt, were what we call “bon-vivants”, people who enjoy life and especially its simple pleasures: food and drink!

The cherry on the cake for us is that we went home with many wonderful gifts: croissants, pains au chocolat, brioches, baguettes, pains aux noix… absolute bliss! Tatiana Eva-Marie recommends the hot chocolate and the financier.

Chanel Rainbow Room Jazz Band

French Jazz for Chanel

Tatiana Eva-Marie Avalon Jazz BandAvalon Jazz Band returned to the Rainbow Room for the second time in the first week of its reopening! We could get used to this. This time it was to perform at a gala for Chanel Jewelry, at the great excitement of our singer Tatiana Eva-Marie, who got dressed, made up, manicured and bejeweled by the iconic brand. We were hired as the Avalon Big Band this time, with a whole bunch of amazing musicians: Gordon Webster on piano, Olli Soikkeli on guitar, Adrien Chevalier on violin, Julian Smith on bass, and in the brass section we had Jake Handelman on trombone and Adrian Cunningham on clarinet and saxophone.

Rainbow Room reopening gala

The Rainbow Room Opening Gala

Tatiana Eva-Marie and the Avalon Jazz Band play for the Rainbow Room reopening galaAvalon Jazz Band had the pleasure of performing for the opening gala of the iconic Rainbow Room. It was a wonderful event and we were thrilled to be a part of it. Performing in the same place where Duke Ellington and so many legendary musicians played before us. It was a humbling and inspiring experience. We also felt very proud bringing French jazz, the music we love so much, to the audience of the gala. It is heartwarming to see that people are taking a new interest in old jazz and have a desire to reconnect in more human ways. We hope many dreamers will fall in love again while spinning on the Rainbow Room’s magic dance floor.

Above is a picture of our singer Tatiana Eva-Marie admiring the regal chandeliers of her favorite New York City landmark.

Bastille Day French Jazz New York

Bastille Day at Joe’s Pub

Avalon Jazz Band Joe's PubFor the National French Day, known as Le Quatorze Juillet in French and as “Bastille Day” in America, we had the great honor of presenting our new musical project “Do You Zazou?” for the first time, and in no other place but the renowned Joe’s Pub. This project is a tribute concert to the Zazous, the swing kids of wartime Paris who adopted swing as their lifestyle in a cry for freedom and expression of nonconformity. The repertoire consisted of exclusively French songs inspired by the Zazou spirit, including works by Charles Trenet, Joseph Kosma, Django Reinhardt, Pierre Dudan and Boris Vian, to mention just a few. These compositions convey the energy and aura of the great interpreters who first sang them, such as Juliette Gréco, Yves Montand, Magali Noel, Henri Salvador and Jean Sablon.

Avalon Jazz Band had a special guest from Finland, guitarist Olli Soikkeli, who complemented the manouche sound of violinist Adrien Chevalier. On the clarinet and saxophone we had Danny Lipsitz, on the guitar Tim Clement and on the bass Julian Smith. Tatiana Eva-Marie charmed the audience once again with her heartfelt interpretations. It was such a wonderful evening and we couldn’t have thought of any better way of spending Bastille Day and celebrating France, the country we hold so dear.