mississippi jazz cruise

Mississippi Cruise

We were invited to perform aboard The Louisiane, a new vintage style cruise ship that lazily sails up and down the Mississippi River. This was particularly exciting because it was our first time going down to New Orleans! The amount of music pouring out of every street corner is absolutely intoxicating, even more so than the constant presence of alcoholic beverages. After a few days exploring the city and listening to music in the French Quarter at the Spotted Cat and other venues that caught our fancy, we boarded the beautiful river boat for a few days of southern bliss on the muddy waters of the Mississippi.

mississippi the louisiane

And what a magnificent boat it is! It really is like stepping back in time, tastefully decorated and displaying the old southern charm that haunts our romantic imaginations. On board, there was another jazz band, fronted by jazz singer Barbara Rosene, who all happened to enjoy scotch whiskey just as much as we do, so it was an immediate perfect match. Our guest singer for this series of performances was New Orleans native Sasha Masakowski, who is one of the finest young singers currently on the New York jazz scene and collaborates with Avalon Jazz Band and Tatiana Eva-Marie on various delightful projects. We will be back on The Louisiane in March, so don’t hesitate and book your tickets now!

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.

music for French themed event

Back to the Barnes!

Yesterday, Avalon Jazz Band performed at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia for Comcast’s corporate event. We’ve been to the Barnes several times now, but we are always so happy to go back! It is such a wonderful and magical place, full of art and history. It’s a lovely feeling to perform French jazz in the modern home of masterpieces by Matisse, Picasso and Soutine… we know that we are contributing to bring them and the era they are from to life, and we feel very honored to have this opportunity. We really encourage all of you to discover the Barnes museum whenever you are in Philadelphia, it has become an important cultural landmark of this beautiful city.

On the right is a picture of French chanteuse & jazz singer Tatiana Eva-Marie basking in the famous Philadelphia sun on the Barnes Foundation terrace in her lovely “Des Filles à la Vanille” polka dot dress from Paris.

Barnes Foundation

Des Filles à la Vanille

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

Gramercy hotel jazz

Moulin Rouge Party at the Gramercy

Avalon Jazz Band performed at a Moulin Rouge themed evening at the Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan for the lauching of Clos Du Bois’ new red wine. We played a repertoire of mostly French music, including Gypsy jazz standards and old Parisian songs, while cancan dancers hopped and twirled with the utmost grace and guests enjoyed their Ladurée maracons. All this craziness happened in the Rose Bar, under the watchful eye of masterpieces by Basquiat, Hirst and Schnabel. Apparently, there were celebrity sightings at the party that evening, but we were too deep into our retro jazz world to recognize (or notice) anyone…

www.closdubois.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

jazz band philadelphia

It’s always sunny in Philadelphia

Last night Avalon Jazz Band returned to the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, where we were invited to perform some swing and French jazz for an important corporate event. The museum was beautifully decorated with big bouquets of sunflowers and the staff was mixing lavender cocktails: summer was definitely in the air. We were very warmly welcomed and well taken care of, and it is always a delight to perform at the Barnes Foundation. We were glad to be spoiled by the chef (sadly we did not catch his name), who made us taste all his beautiful dishes. We devoured the abundance of scallops and perfectly cooked meat he generously nudged our way.

Avalon Jazz Band at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia

On this trip to Philadelphia, we brought upcoming French violinist Scott Tixier along for the ride. The more the merrier! Indeed, Adrien Chevalier was happy to find someone who could at last understand (and appreciate) his French humour. While twirling their metaphorical moustaches and drinking their Bordeaux together, they actually found out that they had the same violin, a Collin-Mezin. We were thrilled to have Scott Tixier with us and hope to include him again in our musical wanderings. Tomorrow Avalon Jazz Band is off to Philadelphia again, for a performance at a wedding this time. We love you, Philly!

www.barnesfoundation.org

www.scotttixier.com

jazz bands for weddings

Music Video & Jazz Wedding at Oheka Castle

What a long and tiring day for Avalon Jazz Band ! We spent the whole day on the Gold Coast of Long Island, at the gorgeous Oheka Castle and its chic French gardens. This famous location is not only a favourite wedding destination, it has also served as inspiration for important works of art, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby and Orson Welles’ classic movie Citizen Kane.

Our special guest for the day was accordion player Kate Dunphy, who is the leader of fellow vintage band Carte Blanche, and we all got there very early to take advantage of the lovely scenery and shoot two music clips, which you will soon have the pleasure of seeing on our website. We chose a jolly little tune called « Ménilmontant » by Charles Trenet (author best known in the USA for his hit « Beyond the Sea »). It describes a very popular district in Paris, lingering on the simple beauty of every day life and the memories of Trenet’s childhood there. The second song you’ve all heard of by now thanks to Mad Men… have you guessed ? Yes, it’s « Zou Bisou Bisou », your new favourite song, the one you can’t stop humming on the L train, on your way to work. Well, we’ve done our very own version of it, enhanced by Kate’s entrancing accordion skills, and we think it’s cute as a button. This silly little song has an uncanny endearing quality to it…

In the evening, we performed in the stunning Oheka ballroom for Eve Julien and Ryan Gordon’s crazy super-wedding. The bride is an Elite top model of French descent, and she looked absolutely stunning in a very bold mermaid dress only she could ever pull off. Ryan is one lucky son of a gun. The bride and groom are both adorable warm-hearted people, and they danced beautifully on Tatiana Eva-Marie’s rendition of the Josephine Baker classic « j’ai deux amours ». We also had the pleasure of meeting Emmy award winner composer Billy Goldenberg, who performed a couple of songs on the piano. All in all, it was a lovely day in a magnificent setting. We had fun, played some swing, made people dance and ate lots of cake. Rosebud.

www.oheka.com

corporate event band

The Barnes Foundation opening gala

Avalon Jazz Band was invited to perform at the elegent gala that kicked off the year-long celebration of the opening of the Barnes in Philadelphia. Between 1912 and 1951, Albert C. Barnes assembled one of the finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings in the world. The collection includes paintings by Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Chaim Soutine, and Vincent van Gogh. We brought to life the Parisian and bohemian atmosphere of that time with a swing and gypsy jazz performance, and the audience had the impression of stepping into the past, just like in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. We had a lot of fun, and we got to meet and share the stage with Norah Jones, which was very exciting.
www.barnesfoundation.org