Origins of a New York Style Cocktail Jazz Band

14 July 2020

The inspiration to run a corporate and wedding cocktail jazz band came from having done it all before whilst living in the world’s jazz Mecca: New York, USA. Arriving from the UK in my early 40’s with no musical connections in arguably the most competitive and advanced of all jazz environments, I decided the best way to get to know musicians and get them on-side, was to book them gigs. I mean what musician doesn’t like someone who gives them gigs? I started The Westchester Jazz Band, firstly as a piano trio, then a guitar trio, later expanding to a quintet with sax. Our reputation spread and the bookings flew in. When I returned to the UK, our sax player continued to run the band and it’s still going, with the famous Elliot Zigmund (a Bill Evans sideman) on drums. Here’s a black and white video from the extraordinary Bass Line club in Mount Vernon New York, from 2013. Click on the image below to listen.