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.

jazz band events new york

George Clooney’s Premiere

Yes, you heard us, we said George Clooney. Avalon Jazz Band was invited to give a special performance at the Metropolitan Club for the after party of “The Monuments Men” movie premiere, directed by George Clooney. Set during WWII, the movie tells the story of a special platoon sent to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves, because if art gets obliterated then “what are we fighting for?”, as Winston Churchill is believed to have once said. The 1940’s is Avalon Jazz Band’s specialty and Tatiana Eva Marie‘s favorite time period, so she was very excited to get the music and atmosphere exactly right for this one. The band was dressed as street swing kids with a Zazou attitude, inspired by Edith Piaf, Juliette Gréco and the photos of Robert Doisneau. We played French jazz standards famous at the time, mostly from the repertoire of Yves Montand, Django & Grappelli, Jean Sablon and Charles Trenet, and added some American standards as well (Cole Porter, George Gerschwin, Duke Ellington).

Tatiana Eva-Marie Jean DujardinIt was a swell party, everyone had a great time. It was fun to get to hang out with George Clooney, Bill Murray and especially the very handsome Jean Dujardin who came up on stage and did a duet with Tatiana Eva-Marie. Avalon Jazz Band also invited Clooney’s talented god-daughter jazz singer Nora Sagal to jam on stage, and she beautifully sang a few songs (The Lady is a Tramp, My Funny Valentine).

Tatiana Eva-Marie gazed at by Jean Dujardin in a very “The Artist” kind of way. (photo left)

Cafe Carlyle Hot Jazz

Hot Jazz at the Carlyle

Avalon Jazz Band was invited to perform during the late night Hot Jazz Series at the Carlyle. Needless to say we were all absolutely thrilled to play at such a prestigious venue… and we are all huge fans of Woody Allen, who performs there with the Eddy Davis band on a regular basis. We performed the repertoire we call “Tatiana’s Swing Caravan”, which is a musical tableau of Paris in the 1940’s, a fusion of Gypsy hot jazz, French & American swing and Eastern European influences. We were very glad to include Oran Etkin as our guest musician, featured on saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet. In the audience to support us were visual artist Syrie Moskowitz and socialite & jazz singer Cole Rumbough, with his family. We are very humbled to have such great artists as part of our regular fan base. Tatiana Eva-Marie and the Avalon Jazz Band hopes to be back very soon for another fabulous night at the Carlyle!

Below is a great shot by Stephen Sorokoff for Broadway World (where you can see the entire photo coverage).

carlyleavalontatianaevamarie

paris jazz new york

Paris in the 1940’s

Avalon Jazz Band gave a sold out concert at Joe’s Pub made up of a brand new repertoire with arrangements by Tatiana Eva-Marie and Adrien Chevalier. The idea was to create a musical tableau of Paris in the 1940’s, with American jazz standards popular at the time (Bei Mir Bistu Shein, Caravan, Russian Lullaby), works by famous French composers (Charles Trenet, Joseph Kosma) and French songs that evoke that era (La Bohème by Charles Aznavour). The artistic direction for the arrangements was to mix the East and West and achieve a subtle fusion between Gyspy music (wether Balkanic or Manouche) and American hot jazz. We were very happy of the result and you can visit our YouTube page to view some excerpts of the show.

Tatiana Eva-Marie & Avalon

New York Hot Jazz Festival

The New York Hot Jazz Festival

NYHJbandAvalon jazz Band was invited to perform for the first edition of the New York Hot Jazz Festival, representing the Zazou spirit and the sound of Django and Grappelli’s 1930’s “Hot Club de France”, with songs made popular by Jean Sablon, Charles Trenet and Maurice Chevalier. Tatiana Eva-Marie‘s energy and sophistication brought the music alive with the help of her musical accomplices Adrien Chevalier on violin, Vinny Raniolo on guitar, Adrian Cunningham on clarinet and Brandi Disterheft on bass. The festival was hosted by the lovely Bria Skonberg and the amazing lineup included all the top trad jazz bands in the city: The Hot Sardines, Mona’s Hot Four, The Grand Street Stompers… Just to mention a few.

The festival was a huge success! Visual artist Syrie Moscowitz created a 1920’s live window with pretty girls in gorgeous vintage lingerie, while DJ Michael Cumella blasted hot syncopations out of his gramophone. The festival jam session went until 4am, with New York City’s finest musicians playing all at once. It was hot jazz heaven! Avalon Jazz Band is very honored to have been invited to play at the first New York Hot Jazz Festival and was glad to support the renaissance of trad jazz. Above is a photo of Avalon Jazz Band by Nina Galicheva.

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

gypsy jazz guitarist nyc

Avalon has a special guest from Paris!

Our steady guitarist went on vacation in Europe this summer, so we decided to invite our old friend Romain Constant, a French Gypsy jazz guitarist from Paris, to come play with us in the meanwhile. It’s his first time in America and our first gig together, as he was barely off the plane, was at Radegast Hall in Brooklyn.

Romain Constant dedicated his life to the pursuit of swing and the specific sound of “jazz manouche” as Django Reinhardt played it in the 1930′s. He is without a doubt the most old school guitarist you’ll ever meet and he is famous for his melodious and dreamy style of improvisation. He was recently featured in PBS and Arte’s documentary “Harlem in Montmartre”, which tells the story of the black Americans who left America to create the jazz age in Paris between the First and Second World Wars, fleeing the brutal segregation and racism of their own country.

Romain Constant will be in New York for a couple of weeks and we are very proud and honored to have him join our little band of musical vagrants. Below is a picture of us in front of Radegast Hall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Please check out our calendar to find out when we are performing next.

Radegast Hall

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.

gypsy jazz new york

Jazzy Birthday Party

Avalon Jazz Band performed in sextet at the Glasshouses located in the Chelsea Art Towers. It was to celebrate the birthday of Alex, a successful business man and a loving father of two very handsome boys. The crowd was mostly Russian (with a few Vladimir Putin look-alikes), and they sure knew how to party. They hired an amazing glatt kosher caterer for the evening, and we were delighted to taste a variety of yummy dishes, with a huge thumbs-up for the lamb and couscous which was to die for. They also had a blini station with some of the finest caviar and smoked salmon, and a mountain of desserts with macarons and chocolate covered strawberries. It was really a fun event, and the French Gypsy jazz and American swing we performed went very well with the atmosphere of the party. A musical bridge between three great nations: Russia, America and France.

Prime Caterers

The Glasshouses