Los Angeles jazz band

Lost in La La Land

Last month, I went on my first trip to Los Angeles. And I thought New York City was crazy… ha! The band and I stayed at a cool hotel in Venice Beach, which seems to be a gathering area for all the world’s greatest nuts. “Green doctors”, stripper dogs, possessed street artists, manic bums, Kens and Barbies on rollerblades, dirty hippies, horrifyingly pierced and tatooed aliens… It’s like Ripley’s Believe it or Not is going on 24/7 in front of your very eyes. Quite entertaining actually.

I was invited by Tucker Gates, director of A&E’s drama series Bates Motel, to sing for his lovely wife’s birthday party. She is obsessed with vintage French jazz and we had a marvelous audience in their beautiful home on the hill, it was a lot of fun. They even had bottles of absinth from the small town where I was born, what a surprise! After the show, we drove around for an hour trying to find the darn Hollywood sign which kept eluding us. We never found it.

I stayed a few days longer to visit my dear West Coast cousin Corina and do the LA tourist traps of course. I was actually very moved to go see all my idols’ hand and footprints at the Chinese Theatre… Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Eddy Cantor, Maurice Chevalier, Dick Van Dyke, Rita Hayworth… and I totally freaked when I discovered Marilyn Monroe’s handprints were exactly the same as mine. Chills seriously ran up and down my spine.

I also had the opportunity to jam with Los Angeles Gypsy jazz band the Black Market Trust and listen to awesome violinist and singer Leah Zeger. I ended my cool trip on the West Coast with Disneyland, of course, and that was spectacular obviously. I can’t wait to be back!

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jazz in bushwick

Welcome to Hipsterville

I have recently fulfilled the utmost New York artist cliché by moving to a loft in Brooklyn, and though my French friends back home are making fun of me for my lack of originality, I couldn’t care less. Bushwick is awesome. If conforming to a social cliché means a massive loft and cool neighbours in a psychedelic graffiti art world, then bring it on.

I was a little apprehensive at first because the street art and brick warehouses did take a rather eerie turn at night, and the thought of all those hipsters lurking in the shadows made me want to run for my life. Once I got better acquainted with the autochthons, I managed to see beyond their strange manners and appearance and came to realise that their spectacled heart was as soft and gentle as yours and mine.

After merely a week, I was already feeling the urge to eat organic kale and wear mismatched clothing. I have been complaining about everything even more lately, which goes to prove that French and Hipster is a dreary combination. I have also started using pompous words like “dreary” or “pompous” in my vocabulary. Am I doomed?

Tatiana Eva-Marie new york city jazz

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Eva Qin photographer

Photoshoot with Eva Qin

I would like to share one of the pictures from my latest photoshoot with magician photographer Eva Qin. Working with her is always a wonderful experience. I brought along a very talented makeup artist I just met, Raluca Bulmeza, who just recently moved to New York. I recommend these two ladies to all of you out there who are in need of fabulous jaw-dropping photos. Eva Qin always manages to capture who I am and showcase every aspect of my personality, it amazes me everytime. I hope you will enjoy the pictures as much as I do! Here is one of my favourites, and I will put them all up on my gallery page very soon!

eva qin photography

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le cirque new york

Musical Mondays at Le Cirque

Last Monday I was invited to perform at the legendary Le Cirque restaurant in New York City for their new “Musical Mondays” event. I had heard a lot about Le Cirque, of course, and I was afraid it was going to be a little intimidating, or even pompous, but I was so wrong! I was singing in the more casual and cosy “café area” inside le Cirque, and I would say it’s one of the best places for just relaxing with friends or romancing with someone special while listening to music in a unique atmosphere. The food was even better than I anticipated (and much cheaper too, only $38 prix fixe menu), it was mindblowing. The Scottish salmon was sublte and delicious, and the chocolate and passion fruit dessert left a lingering magical taste in my mouth, I can still feel it now. Their welcome was so warm and there was not the slightest hint of snobbism, just class and eagerness to make your moment unforgettable.

Below is a picture of me singing with Thomas Enhco on the violin, Adrien Chevalier on the guitar and Kells Nollenberger on the bass.

avalon jazz band at le cirque new york

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jazz lounge nyc

Jazz at the Soho Grand

I will be making my debut at the Soho Grand Hotel on February 7th, and I am pleased to announce that it will be my new Thursday night haunt. It is a very special oasis of chicness inside Manhattan and I hope you will join me there for many stylish musical nights. The Soho Grand Hotel is famous for establishing itself as Manhattan’s first luxury downtown boutique hotel. In 1996, it was the first hotel to open in the neighborhood in over a century. The design is absolutely stunning: it is breathtaking without being garish, and though the surroundings are quite impressive the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. I will be performing inside the Club Room, a very intimate and cosy lounge perfect for crooning. The textures are luscious, the drinks are suave and the hostesses are among the finest gems of New Amsterdam: every smallest detail has been handpicked with vigilant care to satisfy your most capricious pleasures.

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jazz singer birdland

Monday at Birdland

Night owl crooner legend Jim Caruso shared a great picture of Adrien Chevalier and I at Birdland in December. My good friend Misha, tenderly known to most of the swing community as Crazy Michael due to his superb personality, took us to Birdland on a Monday night to attend Cast Party, hosted by the inimitable Mister Caruso. We had a wonderful time, the pear martini alone is worth the trip, and have I mentioned Jim Caruso? He simply is my new hero. We heard some very good singers and also some other creatures who were just as entertaining, but in a different way. We were invited to perform Cole Porter’s 1953 Broadway showtune”C’est Magnifique” with the house band. There apparently were a few celebrities in the club on that night, but I am shortsighted so I didn’t notice anything besides the fun and welcoming audience. We’ll be back! And here is the picture:

jazz singer Birdland

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jazz new year

Happy New Year!

The year was coming to an end, and it was time to let go of the old and celebrate the new. Instead we let go of the new and celebrated the old, because that’s how we roll, us Avalon kids! And it was a long night. First stop was Beaumarchais for a pre-new year craziness “Great Gatsby” themed dinner party, where the pretty hostesses wore their finest flapper outfits and the prohibition style cocktails were at their best. The next stop was a little more complicated: we had to go to Times Square, yikes! And although we had super VIP passes and everything, we still almost drowned in the ocean of tipsy rowdy people agglutinating around the ritualistic dropping ball. Fortunately, we arrived at the Lambs Club safe and sound to perform at their Golden Age of Hollywood new year shindig. The finger food was delicious, the people were beautiful, the band was awesome (ha!)… I am usually sceptic about new year’s eve, but this party removed all the cynicism from my heart. At midnight, we all went down on the street, which we had private access to (thank goodness), and enjoyed champagne and cigars in a shower of Times Square confetti while many teared up at the sound of “Auld Lang Syne” in the distance. I must admit it was a perfect cinemascope New York moment worthy of “When Harry met Sally”.

Tatiana Eva-MarieWhen we returned to the Lambs Club, we enjoyed the rest of the night dancing and taking very smart pictures with fake moustaches and other ridiculous enhancements. Celebrity sightings of the night included Ryan Seacrest and Mario Lopez, who played the role of Slater on “Saved by the Bell” (I am so old for knowing this). Cutest dimples ever. And of course my favourite Iron Chef was there, Geoffrey Zakarian, and below is a picture of us with executive chef Eric Haugan. Don’t forget Avalon Jazz Band performs there every Sunday brunch, join us, it’s the Best Jazz Brunch in New York City (ah… modesty!).

Tatiana Eva-Marie

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jazz concert nyc

Concert at the National Arts Club

Christmastime in New York City, Gramercy Park under the snow, sparkling lights from the ornaments of a great fir tree, the sound of a bagpipe in the distance… where does it come from? Why, from the National Arts Club, naturally! I was thrilled to give a concert with Avalon Jazz Band for the holiday celebrations at this important American landmark. The whole sextet was reunited for the event, with Adrien Chevalier on the violin, Hyuna Park on the piano, Michael Valeanu on the guitar, Jérémy Bruyère on the bass and Francesco Ciniglio on the drums. We performed a mix of swing, holiday classics and French jazz tunes for a packed auditorium full of eager and high-spirited listeners. I wore a beautiful vintage Saks fifth avenue green and gold jacket over a bright red dress to honour the colours of my favourite season. Enjoy the picture below!

Tatiana Eva-Marie New York jazz singer

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jazz brasserie beaumarchais

Jazz Tuesdays at Beaumarchais

Last night was the launching of Jazz Tuesdays at Brasserie Beaumarchais, and it was a wonderful evening! The show was sponsored by Veuve Clicquot and the Beaumarchais mixology expert created incredibly fancy and subtle champagne cocktails. Boozy works of art. We played some French jazz and old school swing, with Gordon Webster on the piano, Jérémy Bruyère on the bass and Adrien Chevalier on the violin. I am very excited about Tuesdays at Brasserie Beaumarchais, because I feel it’s going to become one of the hippest jazz nights in New York City. There is space to dance, the food is great, the drinks are historical classic cocktails from the jazz era… can it get any better than this? Actually, yes, it can: after the jazz dinner party at Beaumarchais, we can all follow Gordon Webster to his afterhours 1920′s jam at Mona’s and swing the night away. For Jazz Tuesdays with Avalon Jazz Band in two weeks, Brasserie Beaumarchais will turn into a speakeasy for Prohibition Night, so wear your best flapper dress and bob your hair, because we are going to celebrate!

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Speakeasy nyc

Apotheke Speakeasy

On Wednesday, I performed at one of my favorite places in New York City. It’s called Apotheke and it is a true authentic speakeasy. It is located in Chinatown, where a real speakeasy used to exist in the 1920′s, and if you haven’t been there before it’s pretty tricky to find, because it’s in a small dark alley and there is no sign. If you look well, you’ll see a tiny sign with a flask on it saying “apothecary”. They’ve got mixology experts creating dazzling cocktails, including historical ones. Every Wednesday is “Prohibition Night” and they’ve got great swing and retro bands setting the mood: this time it was Avalon Jazz Band and we played 1920′s and 30′s trad jazz and French Gypsy jazz. We had a lot of fun and fought the urge to drink ourselves silly… those cocktails are so hard to resist! Here is picture of me appropriately drinking a Mary Pickford, a cocktail with rum and maraschino cherries named after the famous silent film actress.

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