Greenwich Village Jazz Crawl

New York, NY , United States

About Your Host

Harlem Tour Guide Shows Off City’s Little-Known Jazz Haunts by Alex Hutchinson, Chronicle Correspondent "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."

What we'll do

BRAND NEW UNDERGROUND JAZZ TOUR! We have room for up to 10 guests on this intimate Greenwich Village Jazz Crawl. As with all our Big Apple Jazz Tours, your guide selects only the best underground clubs and bands performing on that particular night - and all cover charges are included in the tour price. We move from club to club (at least 3 clubs per night) seeking out the energy and excitement for which the Village jazz scene is famous. We intersperse the live music with lively and interesting insights into the Village's rich jazz and social history. The tour starts relatively early, so you'll be shocked to find out how much great jazz is being performed by masters and innovators in this neighborhood's below-the-radar scene. No lines, no crowds, just amazing live music - up close and personal. This is a jam-packed walking tour dedicated to discovering this infamous neighborhood’s swinging hidden jazz joints and speakeasies at a relaxed pace. Your expert guide will point out defunct legendary clubs like Cafe Society, where Billie Holiday made her downtown debut; and other long gone clubs like Sweet Basil's, The Village Gate, and the hard-bopping Cafe Bohemia where Charles Mingus, Art Blakey and Miles Davis chose to introduce their latest compositions. If you sign up for a Monday night tour we will make sure to include New York's oldest jazz joint to hear yesterday's trad. jazz performed to salty perfection today. This is the Big Apple's version of the venerable Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans - an utterly authentic wonder to behold. Chances are that we'll discover among the many Village clubs a jazz or blues singer belting out deep and soulful numbers like nowhere else on Earth. Surprisingly, there are only a few places to enjoy dinner and hear great jazz at the same time. If you would like the itinerary to include a jazz supper club, let us know and we'll contact you ahead of time to make those arrangements. The tour ends smack in the middle of the best jazz scene in New York, and your guide can help you get to the next club on your own, to another downtown attraction like the Highline, or over to your hotel or apartment. What Is Not Included? There will be opportunities to drink during this tour when we stop in each of the jazz joints, but beverages are not included in the tour price. (Tipping advice: One dollar per drink is considered a good gratuity). There are a few places that serve great meals and also present great jazz in the Village, let us know at check out if you would like to add one of these supper clubs to the 4-hour itinerary. (Meals at your cost). You may wish to bring some extra dollars to tip musicians, guide and servers. There may also be opportunities to purchase autographed CD's from the musicians we meet. These would not be included in the tour price.



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    $100 USD

    per person


    $100 USD

    per person