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.

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

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

jazz band plaza gala nyc

New York City Opera gala at the Plaza

avalonjazzbandplazanyc

Last Thursday, Avalon Jazz Band was invited to give a private concert during the annual New York City Opera gala that took place at the Plaza Hotel. We performed on the stage of the sumptuous and iconic Grand Ballroom, which is truly a perfect setting for old school jazz. The Plaza Hotel was opened in 1907 and was the scene of many wild parties and grand weddings or celebrations during the jazz golden age. The music felt like it really belonged there, and it was very inspiring to us.

The two stars of La Périchole were in high spirits and decided to sing a couple of tunes with us! French-born mezzo-soprano Marie Lenormand gave a very emotional rendition of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en rose” and tenor Philippe Talbot tackled “Padam padam” with vehemence and passion that made all the ladies in the audience swoon. It was a fun night, in a ballroom packed with music lovers and experts who let their hair down and danced to the sound of hot French swing.

avalon jazz band holiday concert nyc

Holiday Concert at the National Arts Club

New York City is a wonderful place to be during the holidays! The Yuletide spirit can be felt at every street corner: the thousand nightlights, the smell of pumpkin latte in the air, the cold ocean wind murmuring along the busy streets full of Christmas shoppers. Avalon Jazz Band’s musical contribution to the seasonal merriments happened at the National Arts Club, one of the most beautiful specimens of historical New York, located near Gramercy Park. We performed there in our sextet formation with Tatiana Eva-Marie on vocals, Adrien Chevalier on the violin, Hyuna Park on the piano, Michael Valeanu on the guitar, Jérémy Bruyère on the bass and Francesco Ciniglio on the drums. Our repertoire was a mix of holiday swing, standarts and French jazz and we were very warmly welcomed by the audience who were clearly jazz aficionados. We will be performing there again soon!

Avalon Jazz Band & Tatiana Eva-Marie

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

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.