Tag: jazz

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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Village wanderings

Saturday, December 29th, 2007 | All Things, Drinks, Friends, Music

Over the Queensboro Bridge, and back into the city

Queensboro Bridge view

It took over 45 minutes for me to crawl my way downtown to Zinc Bar on the M5 bus – half that time spent on Fifth Avenue between 47th Street and 57th Streets — for a night of Brazilian Samba.

Zinc Bar

Dark room, cold beer and a sexy saxophone:

Zinc Bar

After the set, we took to the streets of Greenwich Village, where WGY pointed out the giant Picasso sculpture at NYU’s I. M. Pei-designed Silver Towers residential complex. How could I not have noticed the 36-foot high “Bust of Sylvette” before? The mammoth 60-ton version of Picasso’s painted metal bust of Sylvette David was created in 1967 by Norwegian sculptor Carl Nesjär, who sandblasted the cast-concrete surface to reveal the black basalt underneath, in lines to duplicate the Spanish master’s brushstrokes.

Random and brilliant. WGY is right, in a way that only those who leave New York can appreciate: this is the best city in the world.

Our nocturnal wanderings took us past the Murray’s cheese caves, to Red Mango (better than Pinkberry’s frozen no-gurt?) and to Mamoun’s for super cheap, extra-spicy falafels. (How there was appetite to spare after the banquet at Mandarin Court remains a mystery to me.) Along the way, we steered some tourists from the Christopher Street piers, discovered that 85 Bedford is not, in fact, the location of a bar in the West Village, and assessed that we are entirely too curmudgeonly to suffer the crowds waiting for entry to Employee’s Only on a Saturday night.

White Horse Tavern farther up on Hudson, however, proved an acceptable fallback. Any watering hole good enough for Dylan Thomas is good enough for us.

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Holiday fun

Saturday, December 8th, 2007 | All Things

Union Square Market

Union Square Market

Union Square Market

A little holiday shopping, a little holiday jazz. Rather unexpectedly, this turned out to be a very good day.

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