Six months after we put jazz clubs on our list of the most needed things in Westchester, husband and wife Ellen Prior and Mark Morganelli opened the doors to the Jazz Forum in Tarrytown. The live music venue, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary, has hosted top performers like Roy Hargrove, Bill Charlap, John Pizzarelli, and Ann Hampton Callaway. Now, it’s also turning an eye toward engaging visitors with wine and food.
The club’s Italian wine list features glasses and bottles of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Chardonnay, Amarone, and Colle Massari, a Super Tuscan from a small, family-owned vineyard that Prior and Morganelli visited in Italy. A list of $13 musically named cocktails includes the rye-based Righteous Syncopation, The Jazzy Cat (vodka, grenadine, lime, Cocchi Americano, prosecco float) and Quinine Quartet (gin, Aperol, elderflower, tonic). Or tap your feet to the beat with a beer in hand. Drafts include Captain Lawrence‘s Freshchester Pale Ale, Sixpoint Crisp Pilsner, Tarrytown’s own Duncan’s Abbey, and Ithaca IPA. For each set you stay, a $10 per person food and drink minimum is required.
The menu is mostly light bites. Engage your taste buds with a melody of antipasti, ($7 each or 3 for $18), including eggplant caponata; artichoke, chickpea, or olive tapenade; and spicy roasted-red-pepper salsa rossa. For a salad, try the arugula and pear with Parmigiano, almonds, and vinaigrette dressing. The Jazz Forum charcuterie includes Italian cheeses like Taleggio, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano, and pecorino alongside specialty meats like prosciutto, speck, and soppresatta, as well as bread sourced locally from Yonkers’ Pane D’Oro.
Photo by Doug Schneider
Prior says what makes the Jazz Forum successful is a combination of accessible ticket prices (about $15-$30 depending on performance and day, with discounts available for students and free for children under 12) and the great atmosphere. “People love the colors of the walls, the handcrafted bar, the wine choices, the food, and the folks who work at the club.” The club’s proximity to New York City (where many of the performers live), an appreciative audience, and a welcoming environment is what attracts their stellar performers.
Photo by Bob Plotkin
It is the perfect spot for anyone regardless of their knowledge of the genre, says Prior. “True jazz lovers are flabbergasted by the quality of music Mark brings to a little village. For the novice jazz audience, they can learn about music, play some pool between sets, and just feel at ease and at home.”
The club is open weekends only and presents headline jazz artists on Friday and Saturday nights, Brazilian groups on Sunday afternoons, top-notch jazz groups on Sunday nights, and monthly jam sessions. For tickets, visit www.jazzforumarts.org/tickets
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