Paula West (Michael Roeder from Cedar Rapids, IA, USA (https://, „Paula West (3031360455)“, by/2.0/legalcode)

After two years of no live music and no New Year’s Eve celebrations, noise-makers, crazy hats and dressing your best is back. Get ready to bring in the New Year 2023 in the Apple, watch the “ball drop,” ring the bells, holler loud celebratory shouts with fiery horns and bellowing drums, jump up and down—a New Year is a coming and live music will fly in the sky. 

Bill’s Place, located at 148 West 133rd Street, was one of Harlem’s hottest speakeasies during prohibition, so definitely their New Year’s Eve celebration is going to be hot, hot. Saxton’s band will be playing hard jazz melodies in the pocket for dancing. During prohibition this address was the site of Tillie’s Chicken Shack where Willie “The Lion” Smith played stride piano and a young Billie Holiday mesmerized audiences.  

The first set at 7:30 p.m. is $40 per person and the party is on for the second set at 10:30 p.m.; admission charge will be $75 per person and will include an open wine bar and assorted appetizers. Throughout the year Saxton and his abled musicians have represented the speakeasy reputation where the music roars until dawn or until they go home. New Year’s will be a throwdown jazz get-down; hold on it’s going to be a big joyous ride.

Reservations are a must—call 212-281-0777, or visit the website     

Sista’s Place (456 Nostrand Avenue) located in Brooklyn is known for great music and outrageous New Year’s Eve celebrations. This year, their first since the pandemic, will feature George Gray’s All-Stars with trumpeter Robert Rutledge, saxophonist David Lee Jones, pianist Benito Gonzalez and bassist Lonnie Plaxico with the leader on multi-percussion. The dynamic band personnel make one statement: they are at Sista’s to play and celebrate the night away. 

There will be two sets at 9 & 10:30 p.m., $75 per person. The second set will most likely go on until the wee hours. 

Reservations are a must—call 718-398-1766. 

The Smoke Jazz & Supper Club (2741 Broadway) on the Upper West Side will present its New Year’s Eve Celebration Coltrane Festival Countdown 2023.

Smoke welcomes the Eric Reed Sextet featuring special guest vocalist Paula West (an always-welcome voice in Gotham), with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, saxophonist Vincent Herring, bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth. This is another fine configuration with both West, pianist and composer Reed coming in from the west coast. Now that is a treat.  

There will be two sets at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. that include a three-course dinner ($250 per person + tax and 18% gratuity with beverages available a la carte) while the third set at 10:30 ($400 per person + tax and 18% gratuity) is the main event with a special selection of hors d’oeuvres including jumbo shrimp cocktail and American Sturgeon caviar with Moët & Chandon champagne. 

For reservations call 212-864-6662 or visit website

Dizzy’s jazz club (Columbus Circle at 60th Street) will be a house of swinging colors with bassist and composer Carlos Henriquez’s New Year’s Eve Celebration with pianist Robert Rodriguez, trumpeters Michael Rodriguez and Terrel Stafford, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, trombonist Marshall Gilkes, flautist and vocals Jeremy Bosch, and congas and vocals Anthony Almonte. This well accomplished nonet will blend the elements of Afro-Latin rhythms with spirited jazz orchestration. This international group will cover all the notes for a most spontaneous evening. 

The 7:30 p.m. show includes cover, food, non-alcoholic beverages, & gratuity, for $285 per person. The 11 p.m. set includes a champagne toast plus all the above at a price of $400 per person. 

For reservations visit the website

Following a few days rest start the New year right on with vocalist Vanessa Rubin as she makes her debut appearance at Dizzy’s jazz club, on Jan. 4, one night only with sets at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.  

She will be accompanied by pianist Brandon McCune, bassist Kenny Davis and drummer Winard Harper. She will sing originals, standards and stuff that sparks body movement. Rubin has magic that turns difficult compositions into vivid stories. 

Rubin has performed with the iconic tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, who is not known for playing with vocalists. Her most recent performance at Harlem’s Aaron Davis Hall was a most memorable event, she lit it up and is set to bring some real soul and life to those lesser-known classics rarely chosen for stage. She was one of the regulars at St. Nick’s Pub in Harlem turning it out every week with the likes of Olu Dara, Patience Higgins, and a jazz icon who deserved much more credit, pianist and vocalist Donald Smith. 

Her adventurous repertoire is connected to albums like the tribute to her native Cleveland-nite pianist, arranger and composer Tadd Dameron. His arrangements influenced bebop, swing and hardbop, which also inspired Sonny Stitt, Blue Mitchell, Miles Davis and Milt Jackson. Her 2019 tribute, “The Dream Is You: Vanessa Rubin Sings Tadd Dameron,” was nominated for the 51st NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album. Point—she doesn’t look for easy projects. She is an improvisational stylist whose vocal instrument adapts from serene to swing, blues and soul. 

For reservations, visit the website or call 212-258-9595.

All the best to you in 2023. Life is tough but you’re tougher, believe in what you do and do what you believe…Thanks so much for your continued support. Keep swinging; Jazz belongs to You.

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