December 30, 2008

Currently Listening To

St. Louis Blues
Louis Armstrong
from album The Best of Ken Burns Jazz

Limehouse Blue
Original Victoria Band

Twenty Four Robbers
Fats Waller

Pallet On Your Floor
Mississippi John Hurt
from album Live At Newport

December 29, 2008

Video: Blast From the Past

Tin Pan in Central Park last fall...

Happy Holidays!

Sorry about the long absence, I have been holiday-ing.
Working to update the site now!

Hope your holidays were wonderful!


December 18, 2008


Eve Polich

Hot Jazz DJ Extraordinaire
Authentic Jazz + Lindy Hop Dance Instructor
Old Time Music Promoter

evepolich [at] avalonjazz [dot] com

December 16, 2008

Even more New Years Eve Merriment...

burlesque sensations Pandora and Brooklyn Baby Doll

PERFORMING ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31st to ring in the new year!
And it is FREE!!!
The madness, I mean, band- starts at 9:30 with a floorshow at 10:00.
There is a prix fixe menu or you can just hang around the bar.
at Cercle Lounge.
(241 W. Broadway at N. Moore Street)
please RSVP 212-226-6252

Michael says, "No longer need we pretend to be brooding in depression-era glamour... 
now it's for real - and how fashionable!
(fortunately for us however, hooch is still legal)"

December 15, 2008

Currently Listening To

Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli
from album Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli

Hard Travelin'
Woody Guthrie
from album The Very Best Woody Guthrie

Give My Love To Rose
Johnny Cash
from album Walking The Line: The Legendary Sun Recordings

Across The Blue Ridge Mountains
Flatt & Scruggs
from album Recorded Live at Vanderbuilt University

Stephane Wrembel

I've been listing Stephane Wrembel's shows on here with a vague idea that he plays Django jazz. I knew he was good because someone whose taste I trust sent me his gig list. But, yeah, I had zero clue.

I went to see Stephane play last night at Barbes and I have to was freaking amazing. It is like Spanish-rock and roll-Django-on-steroids-and-weed. He is very French and his hands get blurry quite a bit because they must play at about 40o beats per minute about 90% percent of the time.

Stephane Wrembel

Django Reinhardt

It is not difficult to imagine him morphing from gypsy jazz to straight out rock electric guitar rock solo, which he sort of hints at sometimes. 

I have been a Django lover for a long time, I listen to his music when I'm alone in my apartment cleaning , reading, staring into space. I listen to Django on long car rides, play his music for brunch and dinner guests. My favorite tunes are the slower ones: Peanut Vendor, Nuages, Manoir De mes Reves. Django is mellow, even when the beats per minute surpass the speed of light.

But Stephane, well! He is anything but mellow. His music is driving and virtuosic in a totally new way. He has completely embodied the spirit of a decades dead, two-and-a-half-fingered gypsy, but it is not imitation. It is homage and self-fulfillment simultaneously. That takes a lot of love. 

I enjoyed the drummer (Richard Lee) very much, his solos were baaaad and swung hard. The rhythm guitarist (Koran Hasanagic) was sort of hidden behind his hair but his supporting and solo work came through beautifully. The bassist (Cassidy Holden) hadn't played with them before, an unknown, dressed in all black, and sort of obscured by his instrument, he killed it. The whole band was featured and equally talented, by no means was it the "Stephane Show". 

I'll be back next week. Barbes is a wonderful little bar and if you can, I highly recommend getting your deprived little asses down there at 9:00 on Sunday, earlier if you want a seat.

Hound's Tooth: Tin Pan's latest!

Lettin' ya'll know that Tin Pan newest CD has just arrived at Jesse's door and soon we can all run CDbaby and iTunes to purchase it. 

The CD is called Hound's Tooth and has their new and hopefully permanent bassist, the most-awesomest-ever Rob Adkins playin' on it. 

Jesse has uploaded a track to his blog.

Not sure what the price will be, but it will certainly be worth every penny. Gotta love Tin Pan.

December 11, 2008

Photography Feature: Michael Arenella

michael arenella
Impeccably dressed, and with a band that's mastered that sweet sound, Arenella's a man to be reckoned with. Here is Avalon's first photography feature, with pictures from last years 1920's picnic on Governor's Island. Spiked watermelons and flappers abound.

the end.


Excerpts about the Cangelosi Cards (mainly Tamar here, though the entirety of it includes more about the other musicians) from an essay I submitted to my world music professor:

"The venue for their show is called the Telephone Bar. The bar is completely unremarkable when one first enters, just a typical St. Mark's place Irish pub. The one redeeming feature is the abundance of actual English telephone booths at the entrance, but there was nowhere for a band to set up. The first time I went to see them, I asked the hostess if in fact the Cangelosi Cards were playing and she led me to a back room. Through heavy glass doors decorated with white lace curtains, I entered a long, thin, candlelit room with mirrors covering every inch of wall possible. At least fifty people were crowded into the small room, sitting on banquets, chairs, stairs, anywhere. The band was all the way at the end of the room with a fireplace crackling behind them." 

"Then they played a sort of introductory phrase, bum-bada-da-bum-ba-da-daaaaaa! A young woman next to me with short cropped brown hair, a high-waisted skirt, and little black heeled boots, walked through the mess of chairs and tables up to the front to join the band. She nodded to the steel-guitarist and sang an intro for Blue Skies, an intro I didn't even know existed! She finished, there were a few moments of silence and the band launched into a gentle but incredibly swinging rendition of Blue Skies. "Blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies do I see. Never saw the sun shining so bright, never saw things going so right. Noticing the days hurrying by, when you're in love, my how they fly." "
Tamar Korn
"The appreciation I have for Tamar's voice is practically indescribable. She would have easily held her own with the greats: Ella, Billie, Louis. Her voice is a mix of those old blues singers and some country bluegrass. Her strange nationless accent is totally unaffected, and her dance steps and movement completely natural, she is the perfect modern day representative for the glory days of these tunes. She is fememine and awkward, silly and serious, cute and beautiful, technical and playful, young and old. Her improvisation is equal to that of any other musician. She played an imaginary fiddle, yodeled, mewed, scatted, and generally had the audience in the palm of her hand. She meant each word she said and became one with the sentiment of each song. "
The Cangelosi Cards play an engagment party.
"The music of the Cangelosi Cards is considered a largely forgotten genre, but consciously or not we all seek out that comforting sound of fiddles and harmonicas, old tunes about love and blue moons. Jazz, gospel, bluegrass, ragtime, country music: this is the collective lullaby of the American people. It is the subconscious popular music that we associate with hard working happy families living the American dream of due reward and inherent equality. When I first heard this music being played in a fresh way, and saw people around me of all ages and backgrounds entranced by it, I knew I'd found the real deal. The band was much more than an imitation of Hot Fives and Sevens, they were tight and relaxed, and while preserving the roots of jazz they effortlessly combined it with a folkly fiddly vibe. I hope that in the future traditional jazz will become popular in the mainstream again, especially to help us through the coming recession depression. Banjo pickin' and learning four part harmonies is something we can all learn to do while waiting for our 401(k)s to return."

December 10, 2008

Tin Pan on the Today Show!

Watch out for Tin Pan's appearance on the Today Show tomorrow morning at 10:30! We're not sure how much time they'll be given, perhaps a clip or perhaps an entire tune, hmmm! 

or as Fats Waller would say, "Yeees, yes!"

December 9, 2008

Vipers Website

The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn have a fancy new WEBSITE.

December 3, 2008

Folk Shows

Wednesday October 13, 9:30
Roots & Ruckus
9:30 - Jackson Lynch
10:00 - Sam Doores and the Tumbleweeds
10:30 - Feral Foster
11:00 - Hurray For The Riff Raff
11:30 - Bobby Bouzouki

Thursday October 14, 9 pm
Morgan O'Kane
and Ververitse Brass Band
play Jalopy

Friday October 15, 8:00
Feral Foster
Sam Doores & The Tumbleweeds
and Hurray For The Riff Raff
at Coco 66

October 16, 9 - 1 am (barn dance at 11)
The Dust Busters
and Cuddle Magic (2nd)
play House of Yes

October 20, 1 am - 2 am
Spirit Family Reunion
plays Rockwood Music Hall

October 22, 9 pm
Tik Tok
plays Jalopy

October 23, 9 pm
Tik Tok
plays Sycamore

October 24, 8 pm
Tik Tok
plays The Cupping Room Cafe

Tuesday November 2, 8:30 - 11:30
The Dust Busters
and East River String Band
(with VERY special guest)
play Jalopy

November 30, 2008

The Swingers and Flappers Ball

Actually, it should be called the New Years Eve EVE Swing Ball. This extravaganza takes place on December 30. Featuring two floors for swing dancing, and a third floor of live music!

Featured bands are Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet LickersEight to the Bar, and a 1920's revue with Gelber and Manning. There will also be performances by the Tap Dancing Minsky Sisters. There will be a swing dancing lesson at 7:00, and DJing by Paolo Lanna. The live music starts at 8:00.

The party takes place at Connolly's, at 121 West 45th. Steet btwn 6th Ave. and Broadway.

Buy your tickets here, or call (212) 868 4444.

November 21, 2008

Dance Underground

Jesse Selengut of Tin Pan Blues Band sends me news today that his band will be playing  from 3-6 pm at the Union Square Station above the N, R on Sunday November 23rd.

Tin Pan rocks out at a summer barbecue.

Jesse says,
"I want to let you know about an event I'm trying to throw together. Tin Pan will be at Union Square (above the N,R) on Sunday from 3-6 pm and I've invited a whole mess of dancers down. I'm hope you can come too...I love the idea of having dancers in that space."
Tin Pan plays a bunch of classic tunes such as "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down", "Puttin' on the Ritz", "I Found a New Baby", the ridiculously awesome "Icecream" song, and several tunes composed by Jesse himself. 
Band members include Jesse Selengut on the trumpet, Clifton Hyde on resonator guitar and mandolin, Rob Adkins on upright bass, and Stefan Zeniuk on saxophones and other reeds of various shapes and sizes. 
The longer I've known Tin Pan, the more their sound has developed from generally badass, to extremely gritty and ridiculously hardcore. They take songs like Bill Bailey that are traditionally fast and play them real slow and dirty. If rock and roll had existed in the 20's, Tin Pan is it. You can hear a sample of their music on their website.

November 20, 2008


Go Where?

Avenue C and 9th St., Manhattan

FREE 5 dollar donation suggested, the band plays for tips.

A small, low-key bar where a band can let loose a bit. Relaxed LES crowd and the occasional loud drunk. They feature live music every night of every genre, with a focus on folk, jazz, and bluegrass. 

Danceable? YES, room for two or three couples.
Dress? comfy, scruffy
Food? NO, but good pizza right next door.
Trains? 6 to Astor Place or L to 1st Avenue

394 Broadway, Brooklyn

FREE the band plays for tips.

Completely worth the trek, this wonderful restaurant has live music every night as well as incredible food for good prices and yummy desserts including a date cake and freshly made doughnuts. The place is decked out to be a 1920's speakeasy with gas lights and a ridiculous amount of detail. The owners are two lovely fellows who treat the place like their child. Bring a date, they will fall in love with you, I promise.

Danceable? NO but near the end of the night there might be some room.
Dress? Sharp, bohemian. Being beautiful isn't required, but, you know...
Food? Incredible. (Cash only)
Trains? J to Hewes

769 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn (bwtn Graham and Humbolt)

FREE the band plays for tips.

This spot only has music once a week, but you can make a day of it. Sunday brunch at Harefield is deee-lish. Twelve dollars gets you a mimosa/bloody mary, coffee/tea, and an entree. Expect to wait anywhere between 10 minutes and half an hour to be seated. They have outdoor seating in the warmer months. Brunch is served until 4 pm, whereupon you can drink some beer and chill until the Cangelosi Cards start playing at 5. The place is a bit hectic during the Williamsburgians-eating-brunch-with-7-friends period, but the place relaxes signifigantly as 5 pm rolls around. 

Danceable? YES, one or two couples may have to move occasionally for passing patrons but otherwise it's a go!
Dress? However you damn well like, though ray bans might make you blend in.
Food? YES, cash only.
Trains? L to Graham Avenue.

more to come.

Weekly Gigs




Something Constant*
*subject to change and I'll add more as I find em'
*always call club to confirm gig*

Sofia's Restaurant/Club Cache (downstairs) at the The Edison Hotel
Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, 3 sets from 8 til 11.
$15 cover, and $15 food/drink minimum (unless you sit at the bar, and then there's no food/drink minimum)

Banjo Jim's
Lichtman's Brain Cloud plays from 10:00 til 1 am.
FREE 1 drink minimum per set, $5 recommended contribution, band plays for tips.

Antique Garage
Michael Arenella, 7:30

Chez Oskar
The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn play at 8.

Banjo Jim's
Terry Waldo plays stride piano, 7:30-9:30
FREE 1 drink minimum per set, $5 recommended contribution, band plays for tips.

The Mona's host a late-night jam from 10:30 till 3 am.
FREE Band plays for tips.

Session 73
Sly Blue plays for dancers and Brooks Brothers types alike at this cozy bar from 9-12.
FREE No drink minimum or cover.


The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn play at 8.


Baby Soda Jazz band plays from 9:30 til midnight.
FREE but you'll drink and/or eat.

The House
The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn play at 7 pm.

Stephane Wrembel plays from 9:00 till 11:30ish
$10 suggested donation

The Ear Inn
The EaRegulars play from 8:00 till ?
FREE but the band plays for tips.

Testing, testing.

Avalon's Mission Statement

My goal in creating this blog is that jazz lovers and dancers in New York City will be able to go to one place to find information regarding traditional jazz bands and venues. They will also find reviews and upcoming news about the music itself. 

Musicians and dancers will be able to find each other, nurturing the warm community that these two groups have formed. We have a great deal to learn from each other.

For jazz lovers in general, perhaps this blog is a place to find out about new kinds of music you've never explored before, or to discover that the music you thought had long left our local scene is in fact alive and kicking.

My dream is that one day I will turn this into a website that connects us globally.

Traditional Jazz or "Trad Jazz"
A music that originated in the streets of New Orleans in the 1910's and 20's. Created by musicians who combined the traditions of African and European music. We use it today to describe bands who draw their inspiration from the likes of King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Sidney Bechet, Billie Holiday, and Jelly-Roll Morton. Often-times the blues, folk inflections and fiddle tunes are incorporated into their repertoires.