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Big Apple Jazz Blog

We got Melanie Charles! June 5th at Zinc Bar – RUN don’t walk to catch this show.

Since February 2018, I have been producing jazz vocalist concerts in Harlem’s clandestine little sometimes club, Gin Fizz.  It’s the perfect hideaway for an intimate night of live music but it has limited space.  The shows have been very well received and our roster of killer performers such as Brianna Thomas, Emily Braden, Lynette Washington, Jenn Jade, Boncellia Lewis, Lucy Yeghiazaryan, and Seydurah Avecmoi have made this a Sell Out weeks in advance of the shows.  Not a bad problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.   The Zinc Bar in Greenwich Village has come to the rescue, offering more space and a great vibe and sound system.  Back in the heyday of modern jazz this space was called Cinderella’s and featured Billie Holiday and Thelonious Monk.   Now I am proud to keep the tradition going by offering great…

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May 15, 2018

The Harlem Jazz Scene – a retrospective on the day after St. Nick’s Pub fire

Sugar Hill Jazz Quartet at St Nick’s Pub at the turn of the century. photo credit Gordon Polatnick We woke up to the devastating news of a deadly fire last night in Harlem on the set of a Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Leslie Mann movie called Motherless Brooklyn.  With that kind…

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March 23, 2018

The Billie Holiday Zone – Harlem Singers’ Series

Fridays will never be the same.  There’s no place like Harlem and there’s no other vocalist series like this one in the clandestine Gin Fizz – a speakeasy hidden in plain sight. Tickets in cooperation with AirBnB Concerts.  Singers Showcase   March 16, 2018 at Gin Fizz Boncellia Lewis with Shareef Clayton, trumpet Hilliard Greene,…

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March 7, 2018

Billie Holiday Kick

  Is Billie Holiday Street Next?   In the current climate of social and political upheaval and the potential for national soul searching, there is no better representative of America’s promise outpacing America’s flaws than Billie Holiday. I’m about to set off on a year-long Billie Holiday kick. Hopefully, the end result will be a street-naming in Lady Day’s honor. You can’t help loving Billie Holiday for her talent, courage, perseverance, individualism, good humor, and her unparalleled ability to make you feel things deeply when she sang. Let’s begin this in 1939… At 24 years of age she was cracking open the civil rights movement by delivering nightly riveting encores of Strange Fruit to packed houses at the proactively integrated Cafe Society in Greenwich Village. Where did that song come from and what was it about? The song is credited…

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November 20, 2017

Cheap NYC Jazz Clubs

New York City: Affordable Live Jazz Clubs In Manhattan (Where you can hear the greats from Greenwich Village to Harlem) By Gordon Polatnick I started Big Apple Jazz Tours with the understanding that jazz is at its best when musicians and audiences are sharing an intimate, interactive experience that feels like it could go on forever, and that something unexpected is bound to happen.  There are wonderful, famous Manhattan clubs like the Village Vanguard, Birdland, Blue Note, Dizzy’s, Iridium, Jazz Standard, and Smoke, which regularly present legendary performers in intimate settings but must clear the house between sets – stifling the spontaneity to some extent.  These are great venues but they don’t tell the whole story.  Jazz fans in New York have become used to plenty of options that you may not be aware of yet. New York has been home to the majority of legendary jazz…

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June 22, 2017

Harlem’s Tree of Hope

Hi, folks, this is Gordon Polatnick, of Big Apple Jazz Tours.  There are a few things that I’m inexplicably geeky about that I want to explore in this blog.  Most are jazz related, and most of the jazz relates to jazz history as it relates to people and places rather than notes, chords, harmonies, and time…

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June 13, 2017

Big Apple Jazz Blog is on it’s way.

How do you like the new site? Big Apple Jazz Tours is proud to announce we are celebrating our 20th year in business with a website face lift.  We want to thank David and Kristin and the team at Fare Harbor for the excellent work and invaluable help getting the site up and running. The…

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May 10, 2017

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