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…

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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.

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New York City Opera gala at the Plaza

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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.

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The Manderley Bar: Sleep No More!

Avalon Jazz Band got to experience the hype first hand by performing a few times at the notorious Manderley Bar inside the haunted McKittrick Hotel, home of award-winning show Sleep No More. As soon as you walk in you are transported into another era: everything is red, everything is beautiful, everything is deliciously vintage, with a slight gothic touch. When you look around and see a bunch of people wearing “eyes wide shut” Venetian masks, it suddenly makes you feel hip and naughty. The decor obviously fit Avalon Jazz Band’s singer Tatiana Eva-Marie like a glove, and she got the audience howling like wolves out of a Tex Avery cartoon. Below is a picture of the band backstage: Kyle Schweitzer on the saxophone, Jeremy Bruyere on the bass, Gordon Webster on the piano and Adrien Chevalier on the guitar. Don’t miss our next performance at the Manderley Bar, it’s a great place to come listen to old school jazz.

Tatiana Eva-Marie Avalon Jazz Band Manderley Bar

jazz hotel lounge nyc

Jazz at the Standard Hotel

Avalon Jazz Band performed at Manhattan’s edgy downtown Standard Hotel, located in the heart of the hip Meatpacking District. This lovely boutique hotel with a very modern deco twist on a retro 1960’s look has become a landmark of the New York City nightlife thanks to its famous penthouse discotheque and pool Le Bain. Avalon Jazz Band did not go for a swim this time, but rocketed up to the 18th floor, by way of the hotel’s “heaven and hell” animated elevator, to the oddly misnamed Boom Boom Room. We were all expecting an Austin Poweresque shag room full of orange velvet sofas, red vinyl and disco balls and were extremely surprised to arrive in one of the most stunningly beautiful bars in New York City. It most definitely has a 1960’s vibe, but of refined and tasteful kind, perfectly suited for Don Draper, an Old Fashioned and jazz of course. A hidden gem with a breathtaking view that we recommend to you all! Come listen to us on April 19th.

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le cirque new york

Jazz at Le Cirque

Legendary New York City restaurant Le Cirque recently started “Musical Mondays” in their very comfortable and sultry café area. Avalon Jazz Band was very happy to be among the first to perform there! It was definitely in our top 5 most magical New York moments ever. The audience was wonderful and the atmosphere actually felt like an intimate and casual private concert. We were suprised to find out that the area they call “Le Cirque Café” was much more affordable ($38 prix fixe menu) than the usual dining room while offering the same outstanding quality. We think Musical Mondays are going to attract a younger crowd and give a new freshness to this truly magical and authentic place. Their musical agenda is tasteful and fun (obviously, since they programmed us!) and we can’t wait to be back, both as a performers and guests. The chocolate and passion fruit dessert will be enough to lure us back in…

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Mardi Gras at Beaumarchais

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Join Avalon Jazz Band at the hottest French spot in New York City, Brasserie Beaumarchais on Tuesday February 12th 2013 from 7 to 10pm for a Mardi Gras Dinner Party!

The celebrations of Mardi Gras arrived in North America in the 17th century when the territories of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana belonged to the King of France. Today, New Orleans is one of the Mardi Gras capitals of the world!

It’s a night of decadence! Avalon Jazz Band and lovely singer Tatiana Eva-Marie will be performing New Orleans style jazz and French swing. The dress code is: Anything Goes! Wear your finest masks, softest feathers, sexiest colours and join us for a fun musical evening!

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New Year’s Eve with Avalon

Avalon Jazz Band had a very busy New Year’s Eve, which included two awesome retro-inspired parties, prohibition cocktails, VIP access to Times Square, champagne and cigars, celebrity sightings and a whole lot of silly pictures.

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We opened the evening at Beaumarchais, the trendy French spot in the meatpacking district, where they were having a Great Gatsby black and white party. The sexy hostesses wore their finest flapper outfits, feathers and all, and French bartender Adrien, the best mixologist in town was creating tasty masterpieces. After our performance we rushed to our next destination: Times Square! It was quite an adventure, and a difficult one even with our VIP passes. The police were grouchy (and who can blame them?) and very suspicious of what a violin case might contain on such a night. They almost seemed disappointed not to find a Al Capone’s Tommy gun, but fortunately we were allowed to pass. We even made it on time for our second appearance of the night, the Golden Age cinemascope party at The Lambs Club. Celebrity sightings of the night included Ryan Seacrest and Mario Lopez, who played the role of Slater on “Saved by the Bell” (how fun is that?), and of course our favourite Iron Chef was there, Geoffrey Zakarian, and below is a picture of him and executive chef Eric Haugan with the lovely Tatiana Eva-Marie.

Tatiana Eva-Marie jazz singer

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

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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