USA: New York, a train that jaze - The360 Travel

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  • Friday, December 13, 2019

    USA: New York, a train that jaze

    USA: New York, a train that jaze

    New York is one of the meccas of jazz. How to navigate? By walking on the heels of André Ménard! The co-founder of the Montreal International Jazz Festival participates in a train trip organized on Thanksgiving weekend, during which he will share his knowledge of New York City.


    A man in a hurry

    "I've always done New York in a hurry, at seven or eight events a day," says André Ménard, who has been to the American metropolis a hundred times over the years. These "events" are of course the concerts he had to attend before programming them in Montreal, but also more or less formal meetings with agents and artists. "I've never been there by train," says the music lover, who is delighted to approach the Big Apple in a more relaxed way and to share his intimate knowledge of the jazz scene. He says, however, "I do not embark on a career as a tour guide!"

    A train like no other

    The weekend of discovery in which the co-founder of the Jazz Festival participates is organized by Train-Hôtel, a company of former MP François Rebello, who uses it to promote the return of a night train between Montreal and New York. The general idea: it charters a wagon piano bar and offers entertainment during the hours of travel. The novelty for Thanksgiving 2019 is the presence of André Ménard and a jazz singer, Liza Melfi, who will perform on the train accompanied by a pianist.

    The unavoidable

    "There is a great diversity of clubs in New York and I am going to serve them as" sherpa "in there," says André Ménard. Where can we hear artists established in intimate contexts? He immediately cites three key addresses: the Blue Note, which stands out by offering residencies to creators (five weeks devoted to Robert Glasper from October), the Birdland (where Ron Carter will present his big band, " what he does not do on the road because it's too expensive, "says André Ménard), and the venerable Village Vanguard.

    Clubs to discover

    The places mentioned above are not the only ones where it is possible to see jazz sizes. André Ménard evokes pell-mell Smalls (10th Street), Arthur's Tavern (Grove Street), Mezzrow (also 10th Street), Jazz Standard (27th Street) and Smoke (Broadway Street, on the border of Harlem). It focuses more on the Dizzy's Club, 140-seat intimate Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, which offers views of skyscrapers, and the Call Room of the same complex, which offers views of Central Park.

    The city of possibilities

    From a jazz point of view, New York is the city of all possibilities. "It remains the capital of jazzmen in the United States, the musicians are concentrated there," argues André Ménard. His scene is lively 365 days a year and big names abound. Bill Frisell is these days at Village Vanguard where John Zorn, Chris Potter and Ravi Coltrane will also be performing soon. Not so far away, the Blue Note is expecting Billy Cobham and Pat Metheny shortly. Danilo Perez and Jane Bunnett are invited guests at the Jazz Standard.

    The icons icon

    The co-founder of the Jazz Festival does not hide it: he has a soft spot for Village Vanguard, located on 7th Avenue. "It's the same basement as in 1938. I've seen some extraordinary things," he says, "like Brad Mehldau and Pat Metheny about fifteen years ago. Then, he serves this 90s anecdote. "I knew the owner and, after making sure I did not have my cell phone with me - it was big gray boxes at the time - she sat me at a table and told me that friends of hers were going to sit with me. It was Robert Altman and Harry Belafonte! This is the kind of world we can meet at Vanguard."

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