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.

french jazz band cruise

Festival Sud de France

Since the beginning of time, humans have been drawn like bees to honey to Languedoc-Roussillon. Even before it was named “Languedoc”— language of yes—man has been unable to say “no” to this mountainous, sun-drenched region kissing Spain and hugging the southernmost curve of the Mediterranean Sea.

For three weeks, foodies, gourmands, and gourmets, oenophiles, Francophiles and those who believe joie de vivre is just as important as breathing have the unique opportunity to discover the singular delights and culture of Languedoc-Roussillon in New York.

Avalon Jazz Band was invited to perform at the festival’s kick off cruise down the east river, on a World War II-era Navy Yard patrol boat transformed into a floating restaurant. A delightful tasting menu was prepared by chef Ignacio Mattos, of Estela (nomintaed for 2014’s Best New Restaurant), and paired with wine director Thomas Carter’s favorite Languedoc-Roussillon wines.

Once we got adjusted to the waves and found our balance, we had a wonderful time performing French hot jazz classics while the sun set on our beloved Statue de la Liberté. She is French, you know.

french jazz in new york city

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)

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

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

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