jazz centennial 2017

Celebrating the Jazz Centennial

Hot Jazz Hands! On February 26th, we celebrated the centennial of the beginning of the Jazz Age with the recording of “Livery Stable Blues” by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in front of where it happened exactly 100 years ago, at the former studios of Victor Talking Machine Company on 46 W 38th St. What a company! DJ Michael Cumella played the record that started it all on his beautiful antique phonograph, while Tatiana Eva-Marie danced around with Don Spiro of Wits End and Miss Art Deco 2016 Dandy Dillinger, of The Repeal Society. This commemoration was organized by Michael Katsobashvili, the creator of the New York Hot Jazz Festival. (Photo credit Nina Galicheva)

The Original Dixieland Jass Band was fronted by cornetist Nick LaRocca, with Eddie Edwards on trombone, Larry Shields on clarinet, Henry Ragas on piano, and Tony Sbarbaro on drums. They had just picked up a steady gig at Reisenweber’s Café, near Columbus Circle, where Jazz at Lincoln Center is now located! They were an immediate sensation and their record selled like hot cakes: nearly every person who owned a phonograph in 1917 owned that record. This rowdy recording of instruments imitating barnyard animals over loud and fast syncopated music heralded in what we now call the Jazz Age.

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)

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.

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.