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)

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

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

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.

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

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

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

wedding jazz band nyc

Wedding at The Empire Rooftop

Avalon Jazz Band performed at the Empire Rooftop for a wedding rehearsal dinner. There was a lovely crowd and the bride and groom to be were a fun jazz-loving couple. The father of the bride, who performed a song he wrote for the occasion, had seen us perform at Matisse Restaurant and decided we would be perfect for his daughter’s wedding rehearsal. It was a wonderful evening, and the sun began to set while we were playing « C’est si bon », a French song made famous by Yves Montand, and now an international jazz classic. Towards the end of the night, the Avalon boys started pointing frantically at a man with a moustache while Tatiana wondered what the fuss was about. Then she realised the moustached man was none other than Bill Murray, a close friend of the bride’s dad. Bill Murray is now a proud owner of Avalon Jazz Band’s latest CD « Paris Paris ». We are all big fans ☺

www.empirehotelnyc.com