Tours with Ari Silverstein of NYC Jazz Tour. Come along and have an UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL experience at some of hidden gems, MEET THE MUSICIANS, and get a chance to become new found friends and purchase their music. Ari also offers personalized tours of NYC on a number of topics other than jazz so be sure to ask.
Bloody Sunday: Village Jazz Brunch Crawl
Combine four of New Yorkers’ favorite things: the Village, brunch, drinking, and jazz. On this tour we will be drinking, eating, and listening our way through the Village jazz scene, hear traditional style jazz in a French Brasserie, then some swing or bebop in a former car garage that is now a restaurant and jazz club. Then we will hear a vocalist in a hidden back room right off of Washington Square Park. Feed your appetite for jazz and excellent cuisine at jazz brunch (at your expense–$10-$20) around 2:15 pm. Drinks and gratuities are not included. Tipping is encouraged as thats how the artists primarily make their living so please bring a few extra dollars to tip the musicians. You will have an opportunity to buy cd’s directly from the musicians at most venues we go to, they are typically $15-20 each so plan accordingly.
Almost as legendary as the music is the great down-home cooking from Ms Marie, serving a variety of savory soul foods such as meatloaf, fried chicken, oxtail, and fried fish, along with vegetarian fare featuring the likes of collard greens, cabbage, green beans, rice and beans. You won’t want to miss her world famous “drunken” rum cake. Ms. Marie’s is a real meal bargain at about $10 for a meat and two sides. Come along with me to one of Harlem’s hottest night spots, known for bringing Harlem’s second renaissance, featuring live organ jazz and R&B. You’ll be sure to be singing along to some of your favorite “old school” tunes. Food is available here as well as craft cocktails (but they run on the expensive side). A real Harlem “juke joint” is the last stop to complete the Harlem night. This friendly dive bar holds only about 20 people, and you are one of them! All venues have a one drink minimum not included in the tour. Non-alcoholic beverages are available. Tipping is encouraged as thats how the artists primarily make their living so please bring a few extra dollars to tip the musicians. You will have an opportunity to buy cd’s directly from the musicians at most venues we go to, they are typically $15-20 each so plan accordingly.
Tour three different venues where you can hear the “best of the best” in jazz vocalists— some whose star is rising and others who are certifiable legends, in the Greenwich/ West Village area with some light walking. Tour changes weekly based on who’s performing, so its always an “in the moment” experience. Walk through the famous Washington Square Arch, gaining insight into its rich history on the way to the first venue, where you will be escorted back past the main bar where a jazz room awaits behind the velvet curtain. After a great set of music, walk to “the most intimate” jazz club in the Village that only seats about twenty people. You will have the chance to sip a glass of wine and enjoy the low candlelight and hot music. This venue also serves some of the best pizza’s and desserts in NYC at additional expense. After this set we will head a little further west in the Village passing the famous original location of Cafe Society, a hotbed for social activism where Billie Holiday became famous for singing the song “Strange Fruit,” an anthem for the Civil Rights movement. We will also pass Stonewall Bar— the famous birthplace of the gay rights movement, as well as the club where countless entertainers got their first big push, including Barbara Striesand. Next stop is an intimate underground club where a legendary pianist and singer holds forth on Monday nights. He has been featured in movies including “Ray” and has been compared to Art Tatum. His final set is typically followed by a jam session so feel free stick around or ask Ari some of the other places to hear some great late night jazz sessions. Tipping is encouraged as that’s how the artists primarily make their living so please bring a few extra dollars to tip the musicians. You will have an opportunity to buy cd’s directly from the musicians at most venues we go to, they are typically $15-20 a piece (cash only) so please plan accordingly.
Ari takes you back–wayyyyyyy back– to the early 20th century when Big Bands, Swing Music, and Dixieland Jazz reined supreme. This is the night to step out if you like to dance; swing dance, jitterbug, or waltz that is! Viisit at least three venues where old jazz is always fresh. Vintage clothes encouraged but certainly not required. We will visit with the most authentic big band in the land (playing the original arrangements and instruments played by the big band greats. This band has been featured in countless movies such as “The Aviator” and television shows such as “Boardwalk Empire.” Members are multiple grammy award winners. Take a walk down to 46th St., NYC’s Restaurant Row, where the Broadway expands to Off-Broadway, now reminiscent of the legendary 52nd St. between 5th and 6th Avenues, known as Swing Street. It was the most important jazz street in the world. This one street featured many of the most popular jazz musicians in history. On 46th Street hear one of the world’s best big bands, with top rate vocalists. You’ll have a nice spacious dance floor to dance in front of band as they play all of golden big band hits. You may also enjoy dinner at this location at your expense. A short stroll away we arrive at one of the most famous Art Deco hotels in the city and admire its lobby. From there we will go to a posh bar in the hotel redone in period decor with hand crafted cocktails reflecting the era. Sip on classic libations such as The Toruga, Blood and Sand, Negroni’s and Sazerac’s. On Tuesday’s if you’re game for a late night hang (taxi fare not included), we can head down to the East Village for a late night traditional jazz hang; truly a great and packed end to a wonderful evening of music (Tuesday only).
Tipping is encouraged as that’s how the artists primarily make their living so please bring a few extra dollars to tip the musicians. You will have an opportunity to buy cd’s directly from the musicians at most venues we go to, they are typically $15-20 a piece (cash only) so please plan accordingly.
Hump-day is anything but boring with your host Ari as you visit West Side’s hottest and most historic spots. The possibilities are endless, including but not limited to: a prohibition-era speak easy dive bar, a bar that was the start of gay liberation movement, a piano bar where Barbara Streisand and countless others got their start, a sing along piano bar where historic figure Thomas Payne once lived, the oldest continually operating jazz club in NYC, a hidden underground jazz club named after one of the most notorious jazz figures known as a infamous marajuana dealer, an underground pool hall and jazz venue. There is also a dinner option with live music in a renovated car garage that now features oversized industrial art. The tour will finish up in a jazz musician’s loft– a once-in-a-lifetime experience– where the proprietor lives, records, and hosts concerts. He is a renowned jazz guitarist who’s gigged with Sonny Rollins, Roy Hargrove, Hank Jones and many more. There will be a featured vocalist with a jazz band performing a set then that is followed by a jam session with professional vocalists and instrumentalists. Are you a professional singer or player? Bring your axe or sit in on piano, bass, drums or vocals after the featured artist set. Tipping is encouraged as that’s how the artists primarily make their living so please bring a few extra dollars to tip the musicians. You will have an opportunity to buy cd’s directly from the musicians at most venues we go to, they are typically $15-20 a piece (cash only) so please plan accordingly.
Visit the birthplace of the gay rights movement – the Stonewall Inn, learn the history of what took place there, and see a drag show by one of NYC’s best performers. Catch a legendary drag show in a classic West Village bar. Hop on the subway or cab (at your expense) to Hell’s Kitchen to discover a professionally trained opera singing drag queen who was featured onAmerica’s Got Talent. From there we will catch the end of a drag variety show with amazing production numbers. After the show ends you will have the opportunity to stay and dance the night away. This tour is open to all people; you needn’t be gay to have an evening of utter fabulousness! All guests must be at least 21 with a one-drink minimum at each venue (non-alcoholic is okay) . Many drag queens tend to use coarse or profane language so please be advised. Also as many drag queens would say “tipping is not a city in China” so bring some “drag droppings” to “help a working girl out.”