Tag: Financial District

Dixieland downtown

Thursday, January 31st, 2008 | All Things, Music

Inside Trinity Church for one of their “Concerts at One,” part of the church’s Concerts-to-Go outreach program, now in its 40th season. This afternoon’s concert featured Doreen’s New Orleans Jazz, a Dixieland jazz trio made up of Doreen Ketchens on clarinet, her husband Lawrence Henry Ketchens II on tuba, and drummer Walter Harris.

Doreen’s Jazz

Doreen has been dubbed by the press as “The Queen of Jazz,” “The Female Louis Armstrong,” “Queen Clarinet,” and “Miss Satchmo.” Their toe-tapping renditions of “Sweet Georgia Brown” (best recognized as the Harlem Globetrotters’ theme) and “Basin Street Blues” illustrate why.

Doreen’s Jazz

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the Ketchens used to perform in New Orleans near Jackson Square; they evacuated the city with their young daughter before the hurricane hit, losing virtually everything except for their musical instruments and a few possessions.

In between performances for American presidents (according to the group’s website, they’ve played before four of them), and their work spreading the culture and traditional music of New Orleans throughout the world, they still make it back for impromptu concerts on the streets of the French Quarter.

In 2006, the Ketchens participated in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s first ever South African cultural exchange program with the Field Band Foundation, an organization sponsored by The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to produce performances and events to increase awareness of the importance of HIV prevention.

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Beekman birthday

Saturday, January 26th, 2008 | All Things, Friends

On Beekman Street in the Financial District… not to be confused with Beekman Place, in Midtown — the latter of which is named for the site of the summer home of the prominent Beekman family, whose main estate was on the Street downtown.

It was CC’s birthday today; he and EH were hosting a gathering at their shared apartment to celebrate. (I feel like I’ve been attending a lot of these lately.) I spent most of the evening catching up with newly-minted real estate agent AC. It was difficult, at first, breaching the divide between the teachers and the non, but EH’s cognac and cream-soaked plaintains proved an effective social lubricant.

40 Wall Street

Afterwards, a core group of us set out to continue the evening’s revelries, making our way through the construction that was to be the grand — but now less grand — Fulton Street transit hub. Final destination: Momofuku Ssäm Bar, which may be my favorite late night dining spot in the city.

If only I were the least bit hungry. No matter, there was plenty of house sake and communal seating, a combination which made it all the easier for us to befriend the group of five at our table who had gathered at the restaurant for their own birthday celebration. Through them, we learned about “ghost riding the whip,” or “ghostin'” — an activity which involves a driver leaping out onto the road from behind the wheel of a moving vehicle (the “whip”), and dancing along beside it. (Um, yeah.)  Apparently the trend originates out of The Bay Area’s hyphy movement. Kids today!

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