New Avalon CD Paris

Paris! Avalon’s new CD

Avalon Jazz Band’s new CD is brewing, we’re salting and spicing up the sauce with love and care, very excited to present this new repertoire of tunes dedicated to Paris, our beloved City of Lights! In addition to the usual cast of excellent musicians, we have two very special guests featured in this CD: Sara L’Abriola on guitar and Roberto Gervasi on accordion. Sara L’Abriola is a young guitar prodigy who is becoming quite a sensation in the Gypsy jazz scene. At her very green age she has already played with the likes of Stochelo Rosenberg and Stephane Wrembel, notably at the Django A Gogo 2017 festival at Carnegie Hall. Her playing is light and dreamy, with the quick-witted charm and cheeky spirit that embodies the essence of the Parisian je-ne-sais-quoi. Roberto Gervasi is a Sicilian accordionist from Palermo that we met last winter and instantly fell in love with (musically). His style of playing mixes the nostalgia and innocence of the jazz age, the debonair refinement of the Parisian 1930s and the sharp and stylish virtuosity of the bebop era.

The new repertoire will include only songs about Paris, but not the ones you expect. We’ve heard the same old tunes over and over again, but there are so many hidden gems that deserve a brand new life. These are the ones we selected! The lesser known works of famous authors such as Charles Trenet, Boris Vian, Henri Salvador, Paul Miraki, Joseph Kosma and more. This is sure to be a treat for all lovers of Paris and French jazz. Coming out in September!

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)

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!

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.

mad men premiere jazz band los angeles

Mad Men Premiere

MadMenhorizontalAvalon Jazz Band was invited to perform at the Los Angeles Mad Men premiere for the opening of their last season. We were the New York jazz band touch of the evening with a great musician lineup: Adrien Chevalier on violin, Gordon Webster on piano, Brandi Disterheft on bass, Andreas Svendsen on drums and Danny Lipsitz on saxophone, who also ravished the crowd with his cool rock’n’roll rendition of Heartbreak Hotel and Johnny B. Goode. Avalon’s lovely vocalist Tatiana Eva-Marie switched her repertoire up a bit to include 50’s and 60’s classics like My Guy, You Only Live Twice, Sugar Town and of course the unforgettable Zou Bisou Bisou, featured in Mad Men season 5, sung by the sexy-eyed Mrs Draper number 2, portrayed by Canadian actress Jessica Paré.

The evening was a lot of fun and we were very happy to have this opportunity to drink cocktails, play good music and bump into movie stars. Ah, Hollywood.

Shanghai Mermaid’s Fairytale Ball

Shanghai Mermaid

shanghai mermaidShanghai Mermaid did it again! The Fairytale Ball was an enchanting night of wonders and entrancing midnight creatures, designed by the incomparable Juliette Campbell. Avalon Jazz Band was a perfect fit for the party for many reasons: first, we are named after the isle of Avalon, the fairyland of the Arthurian legends, secondly many of the great fairytales are originally French (Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty…), and of course, our singer Tatiana’s name means “little fairy”. We just had to be there, and we had such a great time. We played our French jazz repertoire with special guest Jake Handelman on trombone. People were dancing, drinking cooing and having fun, girls were misbehaving, men were being charmed, all this in the beautiful setting of the Down Town Association, one of New York City’s most stunning Edwardian palaces. These prohibition era parties occur on a regular basis and we encourage you to join us next time for the Casino de Paris celebration on April 11th 2015, where we will be playing alongside our friends of the Carte Blanche band. See all the details here.

Above is a picture of violinist Adrien Chevalier and singer Tatiana Eva-Marie in their best fairy attire.

Hermitage Museum

The Hermitage Museum Foundation

avalon jazz band tatiana eva-marie singer frenchThe mutual admiration, cultural and intellectual, between Russia and France has always been of significant importance, and we were thrilled to honor and perpetuate this tradition by performing for the Hermitage Museum Foundation. The event was an award ceremony celebrating the work and achievements of a Russian and American artist, or philanthropist, who has contributed to the Hermitage Museum as a unique cultural institution and one of the world’s greatest repositories for our common human heritage. The Hermitage Museum Foundation Award represents an opportunity to exercise cultural diplomacy by recognizing the many links between Russia’s and the United States’ artistic communities, museum, research, and collecting traditions. The event took place at the beautiful High Line Hotel, that used to be a theological seminary in the XIXth century. We performed in the majestic old refectory and included “Russian Lullaby” and “Bei Mir Bistu Schein” in our repertoire, of course.

The welcome was overwhelming in warmth and mirth and proved once again that Russians have a special talent for celebrating life. Our singer Tatiana Eva-Marie, who has a special intimate relationship with Russian culture and a deep admiration for the Hermitage Museum, which she had the pleasure of visiting as a teenager, was thrilled to be a part of this event and get to dance to the sound of balalaika and Gypsy violin. Above is a picture of Tatiana wearing her Russian scarf from Moscow in front of the beautiful refectory fireplace.

Chanel Rainbow Room Jazz Band

French Jazz for Chanel

Tatiana Eva-Marie Avalon Jazz BandAvalon Jazz Band returned to the Rainbow Room for the second time in the first week of its reopening! We could get used to this. This time it was to perform at a gala for Chanel Jewelry, at the great excitement of our singer Tatiana Eva-Marie, who got dressed, made up, manicured and bejeweled by the iconic brand. We were hired as the Avalon Big Band this time, with a whole bunch of amazing musicians: Gordon Webster on piano, Olli Soikkeli on guitar, Adrien Chevalier on violin, Julian Smith on bass, and in the brass section we had Jake Handelman on trombone and Adrian Cunningham on clarinet and saxophone.