jazz clubs – Jazz Fin http://jazzfin.com/ Mon, 18 Apr 2022 14:15:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://jazzfin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/icon-14-150x150.png jazz clubs – Jazz Fin http://jazzfin.com/ 32 32 A local chef turns a jazz club into a dining haven https://jazzfin.com/a-local-chef-turns-a-jazz-club-into-a-dining-haven/ Mon, 21 Feb 2022 16:55:34 +0000 https://jazzfin.com/a-local-chef-turns-a-jazz-club-into-a-dining-haven/ John Chambal prepares all that jazz – and excellent Bolognese. Photo: Thomas Stauder. The old adage that you don’t eat in a jazz club is regularly denied by Jean Chambal to a lair in Tarryville devoted to the great American musical idiom. Here, the recipe for success includes a chef with a local clientele and […]]]>
John Chambal prepares all that jazz – and excellent Bolognese. Photo: Thomas Stauder.

The old adage that you don’t eat in a jazz club is regularly denied by Jean Chambal to a lair in Tarryville devoted to the great American musical idiom. Here, the recipe for success includes a chef with a local clientele and fond memories of growing up in Rivertown.

Chambal, a seasoned caterer who ran the restaurant and ready meals emporium Good food in Briarcliff Manor for nearly a decade, was in charge of the food operation at Jazz Forum since 2020, and judging by the steady stream of dinners, salads and desserts leaving the small kitchen on a recent visit, music fans have been on to great food at the club.

Essentially, Chambal’s job as chef at the Jazz Forum encompasses the three days the club is open, Friday through Sunday, as well as preparations for Thursday, when he simmers bolognese sauce for fusilli or rolls all-beef. small plates of meatballs, two of the club’s signature dishes. Also, on Sunday nights when the club presents Brazilian jazz, Chambal is ahead to make feijoada (pronounced fay-jwah-dah), a stew of smoked sausage, pork, and beans that is Brazil’s national dish and served as a one-night special.

The rest of the limited menu of Jazz Forum focuses on the best of classic Italian favorite cuisine of the club’s owners, trumpet / flugelhorn Marc Morganelli and his wife and business partner, Ellen Prior—antipasti, burrata on salad, seasonal soups and charcuterie and cheese platters, as well as portions of vegetable farro, free-range chicken and roast salmon. Complementing the flavors for the sweet tooth are, of course, cannoli and ice cream, and Chambal’s unique versions on apple crisps and fudge brownies.

Asked what customers of the Jazz Forum seemed to like most about his cuisine, Chambal quickly exclaims: “They love everything! »

John Chambal in the kitchen (Doug Schneider Photography)

The real trick, notes Chambal, is getting all the orders in on a tight deadline. The club features music in two sets, at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and because each set typically lasts 75 to 90 minutes, drink and food service can’t drag on. On evenings when the house is full, nearly 100 people can be served at each set.

“Mark and Ellen have a real passion for food, so we bring in great produce, prepare it well, and deliver it as quickly as possible,” Chambal says. “It’s a challenge every weekend, but also very satisfying for me professionally. We know people don’t go to jazz clubs for the food. OK, but why not? The idea was to create a situation where people know they’ll have a great meal when they come here and judging by the reviews, that’s what we’ve achieved.

Chambal grew up in Elmsford, attended schools in Tarrytown and was friends with Charlie Breitenbachwhose family owned a bakery Dixon Street which is now the Jazz Forum site. After school, he visited Charlie at the bakery – “the smell of cakes and breads was amazing,” he said. At the age of 11, Chambal earned two dollars an hour washing dishes at the Washington Irving Boat Club. He graduated from Sleepy Hollow High School and moved to Austin, Texas, where he worked in different restaurants for 10 years, and followed the cooking management program Hyatt before returning to Tarrytown and work as a baker for a caterer. Abigail Kirsch for two years before opening a catering business, Custom Cuisine. Beginning in the early 1990s, Morganelli was a regular client of Chambal’s restaurant business for backstage broadcasts of the Music Hall concerts he presented through his non-profit organization Jazz Forum Arts.

Now 58, Chambal lives in Elmsford and spends hours running an organic farm in Congregation Sons of Israel at Briarcliff Manor, the seasonal source of much of the produce used at the Jazz Forum. He also runs an award-winning winery there. In his spare time, he races sailboats and also kayaks on the Hudson. Any evening at the Jazz Forum, Chambal can poke his head out of the kitchen and see former Good Food customers still hungry for his meals and familiar faces from Tarrytowns.

The Jazz Forum opened its doors in June 2017 and three former chefs had bitten the biscotti before Chambal signed on.

“John is so easy going and he cooks really well,” Prior said. “At first we weren’t there to be a restaurant, but now we want to celebrate what he does. The food he prepares is delicious. Prior added that it was Chambal’s idea to prepare dinners with the club’s unused inventory and donating them to the local food pantry during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.”We are so proud of John, we never want to lose him! And did you know he like to sing when he cooks?

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Just in Time: Congress Hotel to Open “The Century Room” Jazz Club | Music function https://jazzfin.com/just-in-time-congress-hotel-to-open-the-century-room-jazz-club-music-function/ Thu, 10 Feb 2022 08:02:00 +0000 https://jazzfin.com/just-in-time-congress-hotel-to-open-the-century-room-jazz-club-music-function/ Click to enlarge Over the past 100 years or so, The Congress Hotel has survived structural fires, seen Prohibition come and go, and hosted everyone from U.S. Senators to John Dillinger and his criminal gang. Today, a new addition to the historic landmark merges a New York nightclub with a borderline mezcal […]]]>

Over the past 100 years or so, The Congress Hotel has survived structural fires, seen Prohibition come and go, and hosted everyone from U.S. Senators to John Dillinger and his criminal gang. Today, a new addition to the historic landmark merges a New York nightclub with a borderline mezcal bar.

Shana Oseran, owner of the Congress Hotel with her husband, Richard Oseran, and music programmer Arthur Vint are teaming up to open a jazz club in the hotel’s former Copper Hall space. The Century Room, with a grand opening scheduled for March, will host weekly jazz shows, serve local mezcals, beers and wines, and offer a step back in time.

“We have the plaza and the Club Congress, which is where it all started, and now moving into that third genre, it’s really exciting,” Oseran said. “Where in town, or anywhere, can you find a place that has three different concert halls?”

The Copper Hall was a banquet hall along the southwest side of the building with windows looking out over the hubbub of Congress Street. With a reduction in banquets and similar events due to the pandemic, Oseran was looking for a new concept to fill the vacant room when she started talking with Vint.

“While there are many great jazz musicians and great jazz shows in Tucson, there hasn’t been a single house to host concerts or tours,” Vint said. “There are a lot of musicians touring across the country, and these bands usually stop touring in Phoenix and go home. By building a world-class club and stage, we hope to bring people to come to Tucson on their West Coast tours.

Vint grew up in Tucson and graduated from Rincon High School.

He also worked at the Congress Hotel as a night shift receptionist before earning a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from William Paterson University in New Jersey and a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. From there, Vint established a career as a freelance drummer, composer, and bandleader throughout New York City beginning in 2007.

Vint says he plays everything from jazz and salsa to pop and rock, and has performed at some of the world’s most renowned venues and appeared on numerous albums. He has also starred on screen in Boardwalk Empire, The Knick and John Wick.

After performing at the plaza in April 2021, Vint floated the idea of ​​turning The Copper Hall into a space inspired by the Village Vanguard jazz club in New York, where Vint worked as a head bartender.

Now, after 15 years in New York and the last year and a half bouncing between New York and Tucson, Vint is returning to his desert home full-time to teach jazz at the University of Arizona and work with Oseran as a as music programmer for La salle du siècle.

“The Vanguard is sort of the mecca of jazz clubs, and all the other jazz clubs point to The Vanguard,” Vint said. “It was a point of reference in the design stages, but we did a lot of detail work to make the space feel like it had been there for 100 years. he Congress hotel has just celebrated its 100th anniversary, it also refers to the factory of the century – we are an agave bar with over 40 agave spirits – and we also hope it will be there for 100 years. you walk in, it feels like it’s always been there.”

The former Copper Hall foyer is now a soundproof stage. The new entrance is through 100-year-old vestibule doors at the corner of Congress St. and Fifth Ave. Doors open to the bar on the left and wooden shutters along the south windows facing Congress St. There are booths, bar stools and 75 table seats with a clear line of sight to the stage which surrounds the far right corner of the room.

“You feel like you’ve arrived at this beautiful and important space,” Vint said. “I always like bars and places where you walk in and feel like you have to lower your voice a bit out of respect, and I think it can have that effect on people.”

Although the space as a whole is new, elements of the past are interwoven inside.

“All those brown, chocolate, delicious curtains that used to surround the whole banquet hall are now reconfigured as the backdrop of the stage on all three sides,” Oseran said.

“We’re going to be open this Friday and Saturday to start, but we plan to expand our days and hours as we get an idea of ​​how it will fit.”

The inauguration is scheduled for the first weekend of March. Until then, they have started holding preview concerts every week on Friday, February 4. The first show sold out, so they added a second seat, a common practice in New York nightclubs. The first service is at 7:30 p.m. and the second at 9 p.m.

The first to perform in this new space was the Homero Cerón Latin Jazz Quartet on Friday, February 4. Cerón has spent over 40 years as principal percussionist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and plans to perform a mix of originals and Latin classics. It turns out that Cerón was also Vint’s first drum teacher.

On Friday, February 11, Susan Artemis and her quartet perform “Love Songs from the Dark Side of the Lounge” for a special Valentine’s Day weekend concert.

The Howard Alden Trio will take the stage on Friday, February 18 to perform Alden’s favorite compositions throughout his career. Alden is a world famous guitarist from New York who recently moved to Phoenix.

“I look forward to having a dedicated venue that elevates jazz in Tucson,” Vint said. “Local and world-class jazz musicians now have a space where they can perform original music and special projects…drinks will be great too.”

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A hallowed London jazz club comes to life on screen https://jazzfin.com/a-hallowed-london-jazz-club-comes-to-life-on-screen/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 22:54:24 +0000 https://jazzfin.com/a-hallowed-london-jazz-club-comes-to-life-on-screen/ Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club was an enduring beacon of musical genius in London. Any self-respecting jazzman had to make the pilgrimage to the place at its peak in the 1960s. Musicians too: Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald played it, as well as Buddy Rich and Dizzy Gillespie. Scott, one of its benevolent owners, was as […]]]>

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club was an enduring beacon of musical genius in London. Any self-respecting jazzman had to make the pilgrimage to the place at its peak in the 1960s. Musicians too: Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald played it, as well as Buddy Rich and Dizzy Gillespie.

Scott, one of its benevolent owners, was as sacred as the establishment itself, but remained a somewhat mysterious figure throughout its life. A charming tenor saxophonist with a warm demeanor and excellent comedic timing, he also had a gambling addiction and endured bouts of depression. Even those close to him didn’t feel like they connected with him.

“He was a very difficult person to get to know,” Paul Pace, the club’s current music bookings co-ordinator, said in an interview. “He was a very quiet and private man.”

Scott died in 1996 at the age of 69. The venue he opened with fellow saxophonist, Pete King, is still a hallowed hall among jazz clubs in the UK, and “Ronnie’s” a new documentary airing more widely in the US this week, offers a multi-dimensional view of Scott and the nightclub through the perspective of journalists, friends and musicians who knew him – and a host of live performance footage. The film celebrates how the place with narrow hallways and a small stage housed all manner of big performances, including Jimi Hendrix’s last concert before his death in 1970. And it reveals the secret to the venue’s success was in large part Scott, himself, who attracted customers as if he were an old friend who knew the best players of his time.

Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins first went to Ronnie Scott in the 1960s under a deal that allowed American musicians to play in UK venues and vice versa. This partnership was brokered by King, who served as the club’s manager and saw the need to book established jazz artists to attract larger crowds. His work paved the way for other notable artists, like tenor saxophonist Ben Webster and multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk, to play there.

“A lot of people hadn’t seen me in Europe,” Rollins said in a phone interview. “It was my first time in London so I had a great time watching the scene. Every club has its own behavior and playing there was a wonderful experience. It was the place to go – the club of Ronnie Scott.

Scott, whose jazz career began as a teenager, helped open the club in 1959 after a trip to New York, where he heard Charlie Parker and Davis play Three Deuces along East 52nd Street. He was so seduced by the jazz emanating from the New York scene that he wanted to reproduce the atmosphere at home. “To walk into this little place and hear this band with this American sound that we’ve never really heard in person before – unbelievable,” Scott says in the film.

With the help of a £1,000 loan from Scott’s father-in-law, he and King opened the club as a basement venue on Gerrard Street in Soho, an area with cafes and venues open after working hours that catered to the British counterculture. Before that, the space had been used as a tea bar and toilets for taxi drivers. Scott and King saw it as a place where British jazz musicians could work material in a safe space – all strains of jazz were welcome – and be paid fairly, which was no small feat at that time. The club, which moved to a larger space on Firth Street in 1968, is known as the birthplace of British jazz.

Still, the narrative wasn’t all sunny: Ronnie Scott had good times and bad times financially, and was on the verge of shutting down at times until a last-minute lifeline kept the lights on. Then there was the matter of Scott’s game. “When things were really desperate,” King says in the film, “I used to come to work and there were guys in suits with notebooks there in the afternoon, noting down how much the piano was worth. , and how much the tables and chairs were worth. We were very close to having to forget everything.

The film’s director, Oliver Murray, heard many similar stories about Scott while making his documentary. “Several people told me that if he had been able to play the club on some occasions, he would have lost the club and then been completely devastated,” he said in an interview. “But that’s the complexity of the guy, just a real jazz man in that sense. He lives up to the stereotype of the musician with demons.

Murray was brought into the project by one of its producers, Eric Woollard-White, who frequented the club. One of Murray’s aims was to humanise Scott for a younger audience less familiar with the club’s heyday. “I wanted to do something that felt like a passing of the torch from one generation to the next,” Murray said. History seemed particularly ripe for this moment, when places are under threat due to ongoing pandemic challenges.

Ronnie Scott remains vital and “cultivates so much talent,” he explained. “It’s not necessarily just the people playing, but it gives the people of London a platform to see the best, and that in itself raises the caliber of what’s happening in the city.”

The second half of the documentary explains why Scott has remained so unknowable, focusing on the club owner’s mental health issues. In his dark times, King’s family cared for Scott. “You could never leave him alone,” King’s wife Stella says in the film. “Because you never knew if you were going to come back and he was dead.”

To shield his problems from the public, Scott would leave his club at 4 a.m. with no patrons present. Playing jazz would attenuate depressive episodes. But after a dentist replaced all of his teeth with porcelain dentures, hampering his ability to play sax and completely changing his sound, Scott collapsed.

King continued to run the club after Scott’s death and sold it to producer and restaurateur Sally Greene and entrepreneur Michael Watt in 2005. (King died in 2009.) Today, Ronnie Scott’s is still a mainstay of local and international jazz, with Scott’s original purpose intact: it’s a local place to experience something you’ve never heard before.

“I think that’s also why ‘Ronnie’s’ connects with people, not just in London, but all over Europe and now the world,” Murray said. Places like Ronnie Scott’s “were built by very motivated people”, he added. “There has certainly been blood, sweat and tears at these iconic locations that we may have taken for granted. And it took a pandemic to remind us to take care of them.

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Things to do: Watch Ronnie’s about Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club https://jazzfin.com/things-to-do-watch-ronnies-about-ronnie-scotts-jazz-club/ Thu, 03 Feb 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://jazzfin.com/things-to-do-watch-ronnies-about-ronnie-scotts-jazz-club/ “Only a real idiot would really get into the jazz club business. Let’s face it.-Ronnie Scott For more than six decades, jazz fans have flocked to London’s Soho district with one destination in mind: through the indefinable back door of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Since its opening in 1959, most of the big names in […]]]>

Only a real idiot would really get into the jazz club business. Let’s face it.-Ronnie Scott

For more than six decades, jazz fans have flocked to London’s Soho district with one destination in mind: through the indefinable back door of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Since its opening in 1959, most of the big names in the genre have graced its stage. And although the pandemic has (as with all live music clubs) negatively affected the 200-seat venue, it is still in operation today.

But less is known, especially outside of London, about the man whose name adorns the canopy and who, along with his partner Pete King, founded, managed and ran the venue.

English writer/director Oliver Murray (who also directed The is silent about Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman) brilliantly merges the story of man and place with documentary Ronnie’s (Greenwich Entertainment). It will be available to stream and air in select US theaters from February 11.

“Working in the film industry in Soho, I used to walk past this place every day. And when Eric Woollard-White, the producer, asked me if I would be interested in making a movie,” Murray explains via Zoom from the England. “And I thought I would be the audience for it. I’m not a jazz buff, but it was the perfect opportunity to find out about the man behind that name.

Born in 1927, Ronnie Scott was a tenor jazz saxophonist of some renown in Britain, having played in clubs since his teenage years. And like so many contemporaries, fell under the spell of bebop and in particular saxophonist Charlie Parker.

English musicians would often get a gig playing on the Queen Mary in the ship’s orchestra on voyages to and from New York. It paid for their passage but, more importantly, gave eager acolytes access to all those jazz clubs based around New York’s famous 52nd Street. There, awestruck gamers could sit just feet away from icons that previously only looked at them from album covers.

In the 1950s, Ronnie Scott performed and conducted his own ensembles and orchestras. But he longed to recreate something like the experience he had had in New York. So, with teammate-turned-entrepreneur Pete King, they opened Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club with no prior experience. And hey, they served food.
“He had a very clear vision of what he wanted. He was creating a bit of New York in London where people could play whatever music they wanted to play. There was no financial component to his thinking,” says Murray. “And he wanted to create a meeting place for him and his friends. Music came before business. Even when business was bad. It’s actually amazing that it’s been around for so long, because by law it should not to be.”

Ronnie’s features dozens of voice-over interviews with Scott’s business associates, friends, family and musicians like Sonny Rollins and Quincy Jones, all of whom speak enthusiastically. There’s also plenty of video footage of Scott himself in various interview and talk show appearances.

Click to enlarge Sonny Rollins at Ronnie Scott.  - SCREEN CAPTURE

Sonny Rollins at Ronnie Scott.

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But for the jazz fan, the documentary’s gems lie in the seldom-seen performance clips recorded on the club stage, mostly in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Live Again features a pantheon of jazz greats. jazz including Dizzy Gillespie, Roland Kirk, Miles Davis, Buddy Rich, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Van Morrison with Chet Baker, Zoot Sims and Sonny Rollins.

At the time, the musicians’ unions in the United States and England had a kind of exchange program (“one of ours goes there, one of theirs comes here”). And Scott vigorously sought to pass the crème de la crème of Americans. They sometimes played residencies that could last a month to delight audiences who really knew and appreciated the material and the men and women who performed it.

Murray had access to the BBC’s extensive archives, but finding the live concert footage was sometimes a challenge.

“I was kind of standing on the shoulders of [the original videographers] and we did a huge restoration on the music. Some of it was close to being unlistenable,” Murray says. “The archives were huge and old. Occasionally, [the tape boxes] would simply be labeled something like “Jazz Man at Ronnie’s”. And they hadn’t been taken off the shelf for a long time, long time.”

There’s also restored sound for part of the show when Jimi Hendrix took the stage to jam with Eric Burdon and WAR in 1970, as recorded on cheap tape by fan Bill Baker. It was the last public performance of Hendrix, who would die two days later.

Ronnie’s also details the darker and more troubled aspects of Ronnie Scott’s life. Subject to severe mental breakdown for decades, he also had problems with gambling, alcohol and pills.

Click to enlarge Writer/director Oliver Murray.  - ZOOM SCREEN CAPTURE

Writer/director Oliver Murray.

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A raw clip shows Scott, stuck offstage waiting to show up and act, but unaware he’s being filmed, struggling with something infuriating and horrible inside his head. This black cloud disappeared as soon as he went on stage to animate jokes and often well-worn stories.

“Ronnie was what he was meant to be to the different people in his life. But he’s an old school jazzman. I kept coming back to the expression that music was the cure for his problems. He literally had them. need for his own mental health,” says Murray.

“At that time, in this tough, masculine world of jazz and late-night Soho clubs, people were like, ‘Oh, Ronnie is going through a dark time. Someone offers him a drink! So where he should be was probably where he shouldn’t be hanging out. He loved it, but he was losing a lot of himself at the same time. It’s a tricky story. And it’s a mental health issue.

When a botched dental procedure made him very painful or unable to play any longer, Scott got even more depressed despite concern from his wife and daughter (and another questioning romantic “partner”).

Click to enlarge Ella Fitzgerald at Ronnie Scott.  - SCREEN CAPTURE

Ella Fitzgerald at Ronnie Scott.

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He was prescribed barbiturate painkillers while recovering from dental implant surgery and died of an overdose in 1996 at the age of 69. The documentary leaves it open to interpretation whether this was intentional or not.

Many thought Scott’s death would mark the end of the club, but the infusion of new hired owners and managers, a physical renovation and a booking schedule that embraced a wider scope of what is considered ‘jazz’ the brought back.

“To lead Ronnie Scott’s you need to understand the heritage,” says current Managing Director Simon Cooke. “Why was this launched, what was the philosophy of the founder of the club. It is a national institution; it is a responsibility. That said, is it also a business, and the current management prevents it from being a “museum”. Which is the cause of some criticism from connoisseurs of English jazz.

Given the pandemic and how it’s wreaked havoc on the live music industry in the areas of touring and nightclubs, Murray says he’s thought more deeply about the role of venues like Ronnie Scott. What they have meant to the public in the past and what it means for the future.

“Everyone has a Ronnie Scott somewhere in their life. A club to listen to music that is close to their hearts, ”he summarizes. “I think Ronnie’s will be around forever, even if the industry shrinks around it. From the ashes of not being able to leave our homes with people locked away to learn how to play instruments, will come a whole generation of incredibly talented creatives.

To learn more about Ronnie’s and Murray, visit OllieMurray.com

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Jovial Jazz Music in Boisdale – Nahiyat Q. (Townley Grammar School) https://jazzfin.com/jovial-jazz-music-in-boisdale-nahiyat-q-townley-grammar-school/ Fri, 28 Jan 2022 10:09:24 +0000 https://jazzfin.com/jovial-jazz-music-in-boisdale-nahiyat-q-townley-grammar-school/ If you love jazz music, the Lucy Merrilyn Project is a great event you can attend! It will take place at Boisdale of Belgravia in Canary Wharf from February 1-3. Jazz music will be performed by Lucy Merrilyn, 24, who has an amazing voice, and will play classic songs by Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen Mcrae and […]]]>

If you love jazz music, the Lucy Merrilyn Project is a great event you can attend! It will take place at Boisdale of Belgravia in Canary Wharf from February 1-3.

Jazz music will be performed by Lucy Merrilyn, 24, who has an amazing voice, and will play classic songs by Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen Mcrae and more. Merilyn has often performed in prestigious British jazz clubs and theatres. She has been described as “a wonderful new talent” by Jools Holland.

As for the venue, it is a spacious and lively restaurant, founded in 1989. It has 3 private dining rooms, a pleasant courtyard and spectacular cuisine, including delicious choices such as smoked salmon , lobster bisque and crispy calamari.

For a standard 2-course dinner show it will cost £59, with prices up to £99 for the VIP experience. VIP ticket holders will be able to sit closest to the stage and closest to the exit, but standard ticket holders will be closer to the bar. When booking, a table will automatically be reserved for 8.30pm, but the time can be changed by contacting reservations at info@boisdale.co.uk or calling 02077306922.

Come if you want to enjoy a dazzling evening of jazz and delicious food!

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25 years later, in memory of the Willow Jazz Club of Somerville https://jazzfin.com/25-years-later-in-memory-of-the-willow-jazz-club-of-somerville/ Fri, 28 Jan 2022 10:08:44 +0000 https://jazzfin.com/25-years-later-in-memory-of-the-willow-jazz-club-of-somerville/ On March 27, 1997, singer Melissa Kassel and saxophonist Tom Zicarelli showed up for another evening of musical creation at the Willow Jazz Club in Somerville’s Ball Square. But the building was padlocked. The waitresses were on the sidewalk crying. The club was not closed because the avant-garde improvisers who played there sometimes drew tiny […]]]>

On March 27, 1997, singer Melissa Kassel and saxophonist Tom Zicarelli showed up for another evening of musical creation at the Willow Jazz Club in Somerville’s Ball Square. But the building was padlocked. The waitresses were on the sidewalk crying. The club was not closed because the avant-garde improvisers who played there sometimes drew tiny audiences. It was because co-owner Neil Mazza had been busted into a drug ring.

“All of a sudden it clicked: that’s why they let us come back month after month,” Kassel recalls. “In retrospect, the whole place didn’t really make sense until it closed and we found out what was going on,” says Zicarelli.

Saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi realized the Willow was a little different from the rarefied concert halls he played in with Dave Brubeck when he saw on the news that a disgruntled patron had fired shots and taken hostages in the club. Bergonzi uses the jazz ballad “Two Different Worlds” to describe the Willow, which was divided into two rooms by swinging doors. “On the one hand, you had a jazz club where we all did our thing. On the other side was a local bar where we later found out they had been doing all sorts of illegal betting and dealing drugs.” Bergonzi adds that Mazza “was a really nice guy who always respected us. I never felt unsafe there.”

Left: Claire Ritter at the piano with singer Eleni Odoni. (Courtesy of Claire Ritter). Right: Drummer Marcello Pellitteri with trumpeter Tom Harrell, pianist Bob Dogan and saxophonist Gordon Brisker at the Willow Jazz Club in 1985. (Courtesy Marcello Pellitteri)

“There was no management there to watch you or worry about how many people showed up. They just didn’t care,” says Mat Maneri, who played viola and fiddle with his own bands and with his father, microtonal pioneer Joe Maneri, at The Willow. – we I’ve never seen. If you’re running a cocaine ring, what better way not to attract attention than to have those musical numbers out of the mainstream? »

Keyboardist and agent Brian Walkley booked for the first time Trombone Madness by John Licata playing at the Willow every week in 1980. “I don’t know how Brian found the place, but he was the kind of guy who could convince anyone to do anything,” Licata recalled. The hall’s disco ball and the mirrors behind the stage revealed its past as a dance club. Soon there was jazz every night. WERS began broadcasting live from the club, and future jazz superstars like John Scofield, Bill Frisell, Fred Hersch and Joe Lovano appeared. But the artists who really put Willow on the map were The Fringe and James Williams.

The Fringe – originally made up of saxophonist George Garzone, drummer Bob Gullotti and bassist Rich Appleman – has performed its free improvisations weekly in Boston for nearly all of its 50-year history. John Lockwood replaced Appleman in the 80s, and the group used rotary beaters following the death of Bob Gullotti in 2020. The Boston home of their first residence, Michael’s Pub on Gainsborough Street, closed in 1981 Walkley convinced the trio to move to The Willow, though it was a long trip for the NEC and Berklee students who packed Fringe sets.

“Wherever we played, people came to hear us, and once you close your eyes and start playing, it doesn’t matter where you are,” says Garzone, who played more than 1,000 nights at Willow with the Fringe and his other combos. “The Willow was a safe haven for free music.”

Pianist Williams and saxophonist Bill Pierce started at the Willow between gigs with an edition of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers which also featured a young Wynton Marsalis. “The Willow was gritty, but I love playing in places where you can feel the audience,” says Pierce. “Most of the big jazz clubs were dives.” Like Boston Magazine wrote in 1992 by naming the Willow the best jazz club in Boston: “Jazz was born in dumps like this. Such congratulations were impressive for a place which, five years earlier, had been at the center of a series of federal indictments after an undercover agent working as Willow’s waitress testifies that an illegal phone game operation was run out of the bar.

The only obstacle to playing the Willow was being able to reach Walkley, who also had an alliance agency and his own gigs elsewhere. “Once you were in the rotation, you stayed there,” says saxophonist (and former WBUR nighttime announcer) Charlie Kohlhase. Or so it seemed, until the night Kohlhase showed up with a drummer who had driven from New York, only to find he had been replaced by a darts tournament. Kohlhase called his next album “Dart Night at the Willow”.

Groups collected their own cover charge (if they bothered). The musicians also had to put up with the noise generated by the jukebox or the cheers for the Bruins coming from the side of the bar. “They made their noise, and we made our noise,” laughs guitarist Jon Damian.

“I found it to be a really good way to learn how to focus and dive deep into what we were doing,” Maneri says. “It could be a real culture shock, especially when someone from the bar side came to use the jazz side restroom,” Kohlhase recalls.

When former Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone was an alderman, he was among those who called on the city to shut down the Willow. “We were really outraged by the activities alleged in the indictment, but it was the loss of an incredibly important place,” he says.

Mazza, who served three years in federal prison, died in 2015. Several musicians close to Walkley say he died last year. The Willow Building at 699 Broadway now houses dental and real estate offices. But his uninhibited jazz spirit lives on in Nenuphar in Cambridge, where the Bergonzi quartet and the Fringe play every Monday. Charlie Kohlhase and the band Melissa Kassel and Tom Zicarelli each perform there in February. “If you can find a place that allows you to do your art and add some beauty to this world, that’s as good as it gets,” says Bergonzi.

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Upcoming opening of the Jazz Club and Lounge inside the Congress Hotel (COCKTAIL MENU) https://jazzfin.com/upcoming-opening-of-the-jazz-club-and-lounge-inside-the-congress-hotel-cocktail-menu/ Wed, 26 Jan 2022 18:12:35 +0000 https://jazzfin.com/upcoming-opening-of-the-jazz-club-and-lounge-inside-the-congress-hotel-cocktail-menu/ A HARMONIOUS BLEND OF MUSIC, MEZCAL, WINE AND COCKTAILS Missing from Tucson’s hitherto very active music scene, there was a place dedicated to jazz. The Hall of the Century, which is located inside the Hotel Congress, is set to open its doors for its first jazz concert on Friday, February 4. Photo courtesy of the […]]]>

A HARMONIOUS BLEND OF MUSIC, MEZCAL, WINE AND COCKTAILS

Missing from Tucson’s hitherto very active music scene, there was a place dedicated to jazz.

The Hall of the Century, which is located inside the Hotel Congress, is set to open its doors for its first jazz concert on Friday, February 4.

Photo courtesy of the Century Room at the Congress Hotel

The origin story of the club

In collaboration with the Rio Nuevo Board, The Century Room space was transformed into a state-of-the-art club that aims to add to the nightlife of downtown Tucson. Shana Oseran, partner of Hotel Congress with her husband richard since 1985, partly found the inspiration to develop the project thanks to the jazz drummer Arthur Vint.

Vint, originally from Tucson, spent 15 years in New York performing and working at jazz clubs like the blue note and Dizzy’s Club. Since 2020, he has been a professor of jazz drums at the University of Arizona.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to open my own club and Shana has included me in every aspect of the planning for the Century Room – it’s an exciting project that we’re excited to bring to the community,” said Came.

And all that

The dedicated jazz club opens in February with a lineup of live entertainment, including a variety of regional and national jazz artists performing throughout the year. Most evening performances will be ticketed concerts, which are shared in line to help you plan your experience.

The Century Room at the Congress Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Century Room at the Congress Hotel

“The Century Room has been so well received by all of my fellow musicians,” Vint said. “My friends in New York all want to come and perform here and my friends in Arizona are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase their music in an authentic jazz club. It’s an amazing addition to downtown and Tucson in general.”

Mezcal, wine and cocktails, oh my

Ear candy aside, there will be plenty of likes coming from the bar and lounge inside the Century Room. The menu is full of drinks that will keep you coming back for more, like the Sonora Sazerac and the The Spirit of the Southwest, both of which have Tucson notes mixed in.

The Century Room at the Congress Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Century Room at the Congress Hotel

Century Room will also offer guided tastings of ancestral mezcals in small batches with a collection of seven Mata varieties, as well as Rancho Tapua Bacanora, Mazot Bacanora, Sotol Por Siembre, and more. Plus, a wide selection of local and Sonoran wines, locally brewed beers, and spirits will be available to you.

A menu of small bites will be available soon, but in the meantime, check out the different cocktail menus.

Exclusive cocktail menu

  • Tépache mullet – Hotel Congress Vodka, lime, tepache, ginger beer, pineapple
  • Sonora Sazerac – Whiskey Del Bac Dorado, Piloncillo, Angostura, Peychauds, Mezcal Banhez, Lemon, Orange, Tajin
  • The Spirit of the Southwest – Paranubes Agricole Rum, Uruapan Rum, Pineapple Plantation Rum, Ancho Reyes Poblano, Lemon, Mexican Coke
  • Meridian Jazz – Arette Tequila, Kalani Coconut, Lime, Pineapple, Reagans Orange, Himalayan Black Sea Salt

Exclusive cocktail menu

  • Smoke and mirrors – Hotel Congress Vodka, Nuestra Soledad Sotol, Cocchi Rosa, Regan’s Orange Bitters, Lemon, Citrus Smoke
  • old fashioned indigo – Empress Gin, Maple Syrup, Regans Orange Bitters, Angostura Bitters, Orange, Mezcal Banhez, Ghost Leaf
  • Earth Promise – Mezcal Banhez, Tequila Arette, Lime, Strega, Yellow Curry, Thai Chilli Oil
  • Noche De Los Muertos – Strawberry Washed Paranubes, Mezcal Banhez, Blood Orange, Meyer Lemon, Flying Lavender, Peychaud’s, Marigold
  • bite the bullet – Mezcal, Cocchi Torino Sweet Vermouth, Pierre Firand Dry Curacao, Allspice Dram, Mole, Vanilla Bean infused Del Bac Dorado
  • jazz hands – Xila Licor de Agave, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Lime, Orgeat, Pineapple, Egg White, Bittermans Hellfire Bitters, Orchid
  • Fernet and Coke – Fernet Vallet, Bourbon, Angostura Bitters, Mexican Coke, Smoked Vanilla
  • wild soul – Braulio, Cocchi Torino Sweet Vermouth, Banhez Mezcal, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Passion Fruit, Peychauds, Orange
  • Curious confection – Washed Cacao Nib Banhez Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, Chocolate Liqueur, Horchata, Espresso Mousse, Cinnamon

Temperance menu

  • The cynic’s dilemma – Desert Forager Prickly Pear & Peach Shrub, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, Topo Chico, apple and cinnamon
  • fun bird – Cordial Carrot and Parsley, Lemon, Pineapple, Ginger Beer
  • Participation trophy – Beetroot, Local Honey, Lemon, Mango and Chili Tepache
Where is The Century Room located?

Upon entry, you will pass through the century-old double-door entrance on Congress Street and Fifth Avenue. Congress Hotel partner Shana Oseran considers the new jazz club a true labor of love and something that has gone through years of evolution at the hotel.

The Century Room at the Congress Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Century Room at the Congress Hotel

“The Historic Hotel Congress has been a leader in adaptive reuse since 1985,” Oseran said. “The Century Room occupies the space which over the years has housed the Valley National Bank, Stamp and Coin, bookstore, art gallery, Southwestern clothing manufacturer, men’s clothing store , the Copper Hall banquet hall and now Southern Arizona’s first dedicated jazz club. . We are pleased to introduce a third concert venue to the hotel, joining Club Congress and Hotel Congress Plaza. I think Tucson is ready for this one-of-a-kind location.

SHOWS PROGRAM FOR FEBRUARY AND MARCH 2022

friday 4 february
Latin Jazz Quartet Homero Cerón

Homero Cerón is a local legend who was the Principal Percussionist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for over 40 years. He brings his quartet to the Century Room to play a mix of Latin jazz originals and classics. He is accompanied by Amilcar Guevara (piano), Mike Levy (bass) and Danny Brito (drums).

monday 7 february
Tim Kliphus Gypsy Jazz Duos

Dutch violinist Tim Kliphuis returns to the Hotel Congress with guitarist Jimmy Grant for an encore performance of their gypsy jazz duets.

Friday February 11
Susan Artemis plays love songs from the dark side of the living room

Pianist and singer Susan Artemis brings her quartet for a special Valentine’s Day weekend concert to perform “Love Songs from the Dark Side of the Lounge.”

Saturday February 12
Dirty Dozen Brass Band Afterparty

This show follows Dirty Dozen’s “Mardi Gras Mambo” performance at the Fox Tucson Theater. Keep the party going at the Century Room with fantastic local musicians.

Friday February 18
Howard Alden Trio

Howard Alden is a world famous guitarist from New York who recently moved to Phoenix. He’s played with a who’s who of jazz legends, including Benny Carter, Clark Terry and Dizzy Gilespie, among others, and has won numerous accolades from Downbeat and JazzTimes. He recorded the soundtrack for Woody Allen’s 1999 film “Sweet and Lowdown” and trained Sean Penn for the role. He brings a trio to the Century Room to perform his favorite songs from his illustrious career.

Saturday February 26
Rob Boone “Blue Trombone: The Music of JJ Johnson”

Rob Boone is the first trombonist from Tucson who organized a tribute concert to the great JJ Johnson called “Blue Trombone”, which takes its name from the 1957 album Blue Note.

Friday March 4
Jon Batiste After Party

This show follows Batiste’s performance at the Tucson Jazz Festival at Centennial Hall. Fresh off his eleven Grammy nominations, the multi-talented entertainer is approaching legendary status. The afterparty will feature local jazz musicians until the early hours and will be the place to be after the show.

Friday March 11
Mike Moynihan Quartet plays Sonny Rollins

Mike Moynihan is a prolific composer, songwriter and entertainer. He is the author of hundreds of jazz songs and compositions and has recorded and released over a hundred songs from his various projects. Moynihan will pay homage to the colossus of the saxophone himself, Sonny Rollins.

Friday 18th March
Zazu West hails Django Reinhardt

Founded in 2004, ZAZU West is Arizona’s premier ensemble dedicated to gypsy jazz, the style enshrined in the legacy of guitar legend Django Reinhardt. Whether playing dozens of unique Django compositions, traditional and contemporary jazz standards in the Gypsy Jazz style, or the music of today’s big names in gypsy jazz in Europe and the United States, ZAZU West creates a one-of-a-kind performance experience.

Friday March 25
Rachel Eckroth Trio plays “Money Jungle”

Grammy-nominated pianist Rachel Eckroth brings her trio of bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Caleb Michel to the Century Room to perform the highly influential jazz album “Money Jungle.” Released in 1963, this trio of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach created an album from a particularly tense recording session.

The Century Club is located at 311 E. Congress St. For more information, visit hotelcongress.com or call (520) 622-8848.

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Denver’s beloved Dazzle Jazz Club celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022 https://jazzfin.com/denvers-beloved-dazzle-jazz-club-celebrates-its-25th-anniversary-in-2022/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 13:00:07 +0000 https://jazzfin.com/denvers-beloved-dazzle-jazz-club-celebrates-its-25th-anniversary-in-2022/ The pandemic has grounded so many artists and clubs that it’s tempting to think of it as the kind of highly pressured environment that produces ironclad resolve. This only happens if there is enough support on all sides. “In a weird way, it’s been good. It taught us to do what we do best and […]]]>

The pandemic has grounded so many artists and clubs that it’s tempting to think of it as the kind of highly pressured environment that produces ironclad resolve.

This only happens if there is enough support on all sides.

“In a weird way, it’s been good. It taught us to do what we do best and put all that other stuff aside,” said Donald Rossa, 62, longtime owner of Dazzle, Denver’s flagship jazz club celebrating its 25th anniversary. in 2022.

Rossa is kind in her assessment of the past two years, which have been as difficult for Dazzle as any other independent music venue. A lack of revenue, potentially overwhelming reimbursement claims, furloughed employees and more could have quickly driven the club into the ground early on.

But as one of the region’s most prominent jazz players, Dazzle has felt the love of the community since COVID-19 froze the music industry in early 2020, with tens of thousands dollars in donations and grants, in addition to volunteer work.

Not that it’s easy or automatic. The club faced stage outages for months even as it continued to pay musicians for virtual gigs (a rarity over the past two years). He raised $40,000 for employees through GoFundMe, Westword reported, despite a virtual absence of cash during the closures. And the club provided Denver musicians of all genres with its free dining program, which stocked an honest to god pantry with canned and dry goods and fresh vegetables.

“We all started talking when the shows first stopped,” Rossa said of her peers in the Front Range jazz scene. “And it infuriated us that they cut a lifeline out of these musicians. They were a bunch of bullshit, so what were we going to do to fight for them?”

Music fans enjoy the Roberta Gambarini Quintet as they perform Friday, Jan. 7 in Dazzle’s 9,000 square foot showroom. The club has a full list of shows scheduled for the next three months. (Photo by Daniel Brenner/Denver Post Special)

The pantry was eventually removed to pay its musicians more, Rossa said. But that spirit continues to go both ways: Dazzle now raises funds for a different nonprofit each month by adding the ability to donate through its ticketing system. (In January, the club supports the James Dewitt Yancey Foundation.)

“I was in awe of the whole place and the scene,” said general manager and co-owner Matt Ruff, who joined Dazzle immediately after leaving El Paso, Texas, in 2003. That was when where the club was a railroad. car-shaped bar with an adjacent upscale dine-in scene, located at 930 Lincoln St.

“I had a really good (working) interview with Donald, and he invited me that night to see Future Jazz Project and Andrew Hudson’s Latin Jazz Band,” Ruff said. “I thought I was going to interview for a bartender or server position, but I came in as a general manager the first holiday season.”

Like Ruff, others have found their way to Rossa thanks to the club’s reputation for booking freshly minted local artists as much as Grammy-winning touring artists. That includes upcoming shows from Christian McBride and Inside Straight (scheduled for May 10-12), hip trios such as The Bad Plus (a perennial Denver and Dazzle favorite), and boundary-pushing locals such as Los Mochochetes.

As a result, Dazzle has consistently been named the city’s best jazz club in critics’ and readers’ polls, and proven itself in roundups such as Downbeat’s “100 Best Jazz Clubs in the World”.

Daniel Brenner, Special for the Denver Post

DENVER, COLORADO – JANUARY 7: Paul Romaine, drums, member of the Roberta Gambarini Quintet performs Friday, January 7, 2022 at Dazzle. The jazz club celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and recently moved to a new location on Curtis Street. (Photo by Daniel Brenner/Denver Post Special)

“The only thing I said was, ‘We have to make money to stay open next year,'” Rossa said. “And if we do that, we have another year. But the beauty of this job is that we are all ages and jazz can be defined in many ways.

Denver’s jazz scene is compact but strong, and Rossa and her team are arguably the heart of it. With the help of nationally acclaimed station KUVO Jazz (89.3 FM) and other names such as production company Live @ Jack’s (formerly Jazz @ Jack’s), Nocturne, The Mercury Cafe, Soiled Dove, Muse Performance Space and the late, great El Chapultepec in the Lower Downtown – among many other boosters – Dazzle has become a safe stop for top talent.

It’s also thanks to a long line of savvy bookers, Rossa said, thanking too many to list here, and the bar’s co-founders Karen Storck and Miles Snyder (whom Rossa bought Dazzle from in 2003). ). Now housed in a sprawling 9,000 square foot space in the Baur Building at 1512 Curtis St., Dazzle has continued to evolve — especially after decamping from Lincoln Street in 2017, following potential renovation issues that plagued it. would have resulted in Lincoln Street.

It was then that veteran jazz singer Jan Cleveland joined the team.

“People like me and Austin Andres came on board (as co-owners) with the hope that we could give Donald some energy to keep going,” said Cleveland, who is also an attorney overseeing the cases. of Dazzle since 2017.

“Jan and I were talking about opening a jazz club on our own and then talking to Donald about the possibility of buying Dazzle at some point,” said Andres, who is involved in buying and booking Dazzle. talents. “But Donald was really invested and invited us to partner with him.”

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Sandra Jaffe, famed owner of New Orleans’ Preservation Hall jazz club, dies at 83 https://jazzfin.com/sandra-jaffe-famed-owner-of-new-orleans-preservation-hall-jazz-club-dies-at-83/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://jazzfin.com/sandra-jaffe-famed-owner-of-new-orleans-preservation-hall-jazz-club-dies-at-83/ JTA — Sandra Jaffe, a Jewish woman who, along with her husband, ran one of New Orleans’ most vaunted jazz clubs for decades and joined the club before segregation ended, died this month last at age 83. Jaffe and her husband, Allan, were considered pioneers and protectors of jazz in the city that gave birth […]]]>

JTA — Sandra Jaffe, a Jewish woman who, along with her husband, ran one of New Orleans’ most vaunted jazz clubs for decades and joined the club before segregation ended, died this month last at age 83.

Jaffe and her husband, Allan, were considered pioneers and protectors of jazz in the city that gave birth to the genre, although they landed in the city of Philadelphia as the musical style was threatened by new forms like rock and roll. Their club, Preservation Hall, has hosted well-known jazz musicians. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the club’s touring band, has recorded with major artists such as Pete Seeger, Tom Waits and Louis Armstrong.

“There’s no question that Preservation Hall saved New Orleans jazz,” George Wein, an influential jazz promoter who died earlier this year, told Vanity Fair in 2011 about the club.

Jaffe was born Sandra Smolen in Philadelphia in 1938 to Jewish parents who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine. She graduated from Harcum College in 1938 and married Allan Jaffe in 1960. Returning from their honeymoon in Mexico, the couple stopped in New Orleans, where they strolled through an art gallery to hear a band playing jazz. The couple were fascinated by the music and decided to stay a few more days to hear the band play again.

“On their way back to Philadelphia, they stopped in New Orleans and, like others before and after, found themselves swept up in beauty, romance, excitement, mystery, freedom, ‘history, unsettled business and city charm’, the Jaffes’ son wrote in an obituary posted on the Preservation Hall website.

When they visited the gallery a few days later, owner Larry Borenstein told the couple he was moving the nearby gallery and offered them the space for $400 a month. Although they had no experience running a club — and despite Sandra’s parents expecting the couple to return to Philadelphia — they decided to lease the space and opened Preservation Hall in 1961.

“We didn’t come to New Orleans to start a business, or have Preservation Hall, or record the music,” Sandra told Vanity Fair in 2011. “We just came to hear it.”

After starting the club together, the Jaffes had their first son, Russell, in 1969, after which Sandra stopped working. She would not return to work at the club until 1987, when Allan died of melanoma aged 51. Their second son, Ben, returned to work at the club after graduating from university in 1993.

Sandra Jaffe outside Preservation Hall, the revered New Orleans jazz club she co-founded with husband Allan. (Danny Clinch via JTA)

In the decades since the hall’s inception, countless locals and tourists have flocked to the small hall to hear a rotating cast of musicians. Spectators line up outside to snag one of the banquettes inside the rustic interior where musicians and audience share an intimacy more akin to a living room than a performance hall.

Children are often seated on the floor directly in front of the musicians, who alternate between playing music and telling jazz stories or answering questions from the audience. Crumbling plaster walls, worn hardwood floors, and the haphazard assortment of paintings add to the simple, wholesome vibe and provide a stark contrast to the atmosphere of daiquiri and flashing neon lights on Bourbon Street a few houses over. far.

Sandra Jaffe, who with her husband, Allan, has owned and operated Preservation Hall since the early 1960s, stands with her son, Ben, as they welcome guests to the first show at the historic venue in 15 months since the coronavirus lockdown, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in New Orleans. The guest, right, crosses his fingers in the hope that the music and touring will be back for good. (Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The Advocate via AP)

According to the obituary posted on the Preservation Hall website, the club was New Orleans’ first integrated hall, in defiance of Jim Crow laws still in effect before the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Sandy Jaffe was arrested once for violating segregation laws still in effect at the time.

Addressing the Crescent Jewish Timesa local Jewish newspaper in New Orleans, about his involvement in a local Shabbat jazz festival in 2015, Ben Jaffe said his mother saw music as a way to bring communities together and that his parents, both from of observant Jewish communities, valued the continuation of Jewish traditions.

“In many ways, it’s a continuation of my parents’ vision to unite communities through music,” he said.

Ben recalled his bar mitzvah at one of the local synagogues as “one of the most diverse bar mitzvahs ever attended for services in New Orleans” due to all the jazz musicians in attendance.

“We spent a lot of time in churches performing for different functions,” Ben Jaffe told the Baltimore Jewish Times in 2013. “I think in New Orleans it was just a natural extension of [my parents’] Jewishness [by them] get involved in the African-American community.

Like other concert halls in New Orleans, the Preservation Hall was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened in June but is now closed again for a few days amid a nationwide resurgence of the virus.

Sandra Jaffe was on hand for the reopening in June, hugging local musicians who showed up to play.

AP contributed to this report

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New cover-less vegan jazz club just opened in Bushwick https://jazzfin.com/new-cover-less-vegan-jazz-club-just-opened-in-bushwick/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 19:37:00 +0000 https://jazzfin.com/new-cover-less-vegan-jazz-club-just-opened-in-bushwick/ At first glance, the concept of the Ornithology Jazz Club, a new musical destination in Brooklyn, sounds like an oxymoron. Found smack in the middle of a neighborhood, Bushwick, generally known for its allegiance to EDM music, the only thing stranger than its feature is the Ornithology menu, which is entirely vegan. And yet, a […]]]>


At first glance, the concept of the Ornithology Jazz Club, a new musical destination in Brooklyn, sounds like an oxymoron.

Found smack in the middle of a neighborhood, Bushwick, generally known for its allegiance to EDM music, the only thing stranger than its feature is the Ornithology menu, which is entirely vegan.

And yet, a closer look behind the scenes of the place paints a much larger picture. As first reported by Grub Street, the space is the brainchild of Rie Yamaguchi-Borden and her husband Mitchell Borden. The couple are no strangers to the jazz lifestyle: Mitchell opened Smalls, arguably one of Manhattan’s most iconic jazz clubs, in 1994. He also founded Fat Cat, another top destination. in the West Village in 2000.

The duo moved to Bushwick in 2019 and, once the pandemic struck, created a non-profit organization to help jazz musicians find concerts in the city during troubled times and beyond. The Bordens then began hosting weekly jam sessions at the local LGBTQ-friendly bar Bodeguita and eventually purchased the space. They reopened it as Ornithology Jazz Club two months ago.

In addition to the musicians who take the stage every night (check out an updated performance schedule here), the destination hopes to differentiate itself with a high gourmet menu. Typically, jazz clubs aren’t necessarily known for their food offerings, but at Ornithology, the fare is just as exciting as the music.

Customers can order a variety of sandwiches made by Matt Clifford Monday through Thursday, while Anthony James’ veggie burgers are available on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays, the on-site cooking is entrusted to a rotating group of chefs who present their unique dishes to the public. Here, the kitchen is also a stage.

As exciting as the concept as a whole is, there are two aspects peculiar to ornithology that really set it apart: First, there is absolutely no cover charge, an almost unheard of feature when it comes to birding. is jazz destinations in New York. In addition, the stage is up for grabs every night after the end of the planned act.

As for the name of the space (ornithology is the scientific study of birds), the Bordens reveal by email that it appeals to “seekers of wisdom, including all the artists who devote themselves to deepening the meaning of life. . “

While he’s clearly trying to reinvent the notion of jazz clubs slightly, what’s especially exciting about Ornithology is that he’s able to deliver a modern take on the genre while also going back to simpler times. , where music really took center stage.

“It’s a sanctuary of fine spirits,” the couple said of the club. “A lot of people have told us that ornithology reminded them of New York City’s heyday, when all the artists came together to inspire each other.”


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