Harlem Jazz Joint Tour
If you’ve ever been curious about what’s really going on in Harlem after dark, this is the walking tour for you! INCLUDED: A great night out in Harlem with someone who is part of the uptown scene. You'll visit 3 hidden jazz haunts for hours of live music. Along the way you'll make stops throughout the tour to see and hear about Harlem's storied past and current scene. Music charges at 3 clubs, and transportation charges are included. HISTORY: You'll learn about the Apollo, Cotton Club, Savoy Ballroom and Minton's Playhouse, which all played pivotal roles in the development of jazz and brought the world's attention to Harlem during the Prohibition Era and beyond. AUTHENTIC: Your jazz guide knows all the neighborhood's most intimate juke joints (i.e. local hang outs), and will share the insider’s view with you. You'll relax and enjoy the scene at at least two clubs, (but most tours visit three), for a great variety of swinging live jazz while avoiding the tourist traps. INTIMATE: To get the authentic feel for the neighborhood, this is a subway/taxi/walking tour that is limited to the first 8 people to sign up (exceptions can sometimes be made). TAILORED ITINERARY: Your jazz guide will be checking around to put together the best tour for each given night, based on the most talented performers that night in Harlem's Best Clubs -- among them: -The renown “Birthplace of Bebop” -A members' only club that dates back to the 20’s -A 1960's vintage dive bar -A Hammond B3 organ lounge from the 40’s -A Speakeasy with roots going back to Prohibition and the discovery of Billie Holiday by John Hammond. -And new Harlem spots on their way to becoming legendary. We’ll hear vocalists in the Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington tradition, serious soloists in the Sonny Rollins and Dizzy Gillespie tradition in neighborhood spots so hidden even some neighbors haven’t spotted them yet, and great bits of jazz history in the warmest, most inviting neighborhood in NYC! JAM if you want: Best ages are 18 and over. And if you are a jazz musician or vocalist, you will get a chance to join the jam. INSIDER'S KNOWLEDGE: The tour starts early, but rest assured there's great music that shouldn't be missed happening in hidden spots all hours of the day and night. And if you would like to keep going after the rest of the group goes off to bed, your guide will offer great advice for more late night action. Tours start in midtown; and guests are escorted by guide back to midtown's hotel district. What Is Not Included? There will be opportunities to eat and drink during this tour when we hang out in the jazz joints, but food and beverages are not included in the tour price. You may wish to bring some extra dollars to tip musicians, guide and servers. (Welcome to the USA) :)
Keeping track of the New York jazz scene’s shifting world of hole-in-the-wall clubs and after-hours jam sessions is a task that defies the conventional guide book. It requires an addiction to the music, a willingness to nose out new venues on the basis of vague rumors and recommendations, and a very late bedtime. Gordon Polatnick, a 43-year-old Astoria resident, has all of these traits—along with a deep-seated need to tell others what he’s learned. In 1997, he started Big Apple Jazz Tours, offering to personally guide his customers to whatever niche of the New York scene they request. While he’s still a standard New York tour guide by day, he now spends as many as five nights a week introducing jazz fans to little-known venues. Polatnick is as bohemian as the music he loves. His life story is like one long free-form jazz improvisation. Sitting at the kitchen table of his Astoria house, he traced the circuitous route from his high-school days in Great Neck on Long Island to his current status as the unofficial docent of the world’s foremost jazz city.
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