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Thanks for visiting Big Apple Jazz Tours!  Authentic Experiences:  Since 1997 we have been on the front lines of the underground New York City jazz scene - taking small groups of visitors down into the basements and alleyways where live jazz still thrives in neighborhood nightclubs from Harlem to Greenwich Village.  Hit the BOOK NOW button to read about our legendary tours.  We are equally excited to show you all of New York City.  Email us to hire your private guide in any language / on any subject. ~ Gordon Polatnick, Top Cat.

  Jazz host and Top Cat, Gordon Polatnick  
Hosted by:  Gordon Polatnick and Amanda Humes

Tour Info

Rated New York City's Best Jazz and Blues Tours since 1997   

Knowledgeable and Friendly Sightseeing Guides



Review of the Month
(196 reviews - over 90% of them EXCELLENT)


5 out of 5 Stars. Reviewed August 26, 2015

"This tour was one of the most outstanding my wife and I have enjoyed. Briefly, we visit New York from California about every 18 months or so, for theater and art. It was somewhat frustrating that we never heard any of the great performance art in the City. I went to Trip Advisor two days before our scheduled departure, found Big Apple, and phone Gordon Polatnick (the phone number hours are from 9 a.m. to midnight!). He was kind enough to schedule us in for a Harlem tour two days hence.

We met out guide, Amanda Hume, pictured with the white gardenia on the site, at 60th Street near the Lincoln Center. From there, we traveled by subway to Harlem and three separate jazz performance sites in the Harlem area. Two of these were smallish, somewhat obscure clubs that could not have been easily located without a guide.

Amanda was a marvel. She is a personable, open individual who seems to know everybody. She is also enormously proud of Harlem, her adopted community (she is a native Virginian) and full of stories, anecdotes, and local history. She is a graduate of Columbia University, and has been a resident of Harlem since her undergraduate days.

The tour morphed from a simple jazz tour (which would have been excellent if only that) into an extended local tour of Harlem itself, which was fascinating. (N.B. I first visited New York in 1970, when Manhattan was a much darker, bleaker place than it is now, and Harlem particularly so. To see the community now was absolutely a tonic).

Although we had indicated we might need to call it a night early, since the day had been strenuous, we ended up staying till 11:30, enjoying the music, the company, the stream of information, and Amanda's fabulous company. At the last stop, she performed herself, doing an outstanding version of 'Route 66'.

Recommended without qualification. One of the best nights we have ever had in New York, and there have been many, many of them."  ~ Frank B. from Mountain View, California

Visited August 2015

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Stuart Bilder's: Flickr Page


Big Apple Jazz Tour Agency offers exciting private tours, walking tours, van or bus tours, Harlem tours,
incentive tours, unique tours that make unique gifts for the jazz fan who has everything.


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A unique gift for under $100 for the jazz fan in your life.

Big Apple Jazz Tour Gift Certificate


Get more information:
 Public jazz tour schedule,

Customized: PRIVATE Jazz and Blues Tours
Big Apple Jazz Tours can be tailored to your exact tastes and budget


Legends of Jazz Tour

Harlem Juke Joint Tour
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Sunday

 Great Day in Harlem Jazz Tour

Greenwich Village Jazz Crawl
Monday and Saturday

Corporate Events
Educational Programs available for all ages.

US cell phone: 917.863.7854


Unique Gifts:  Shop our online store



Big Apple Jazz Tours: Harlem Tours: New York City Walking ToursBig Apple Jazz Tours of Harlem, New York City

Jazz host and Top Cat, Gordon Polatnick

"This tour hosted by New York jazz expert
Gordon Polatnick, is the real deal." ~ Brian Silverman
Frommer's New York City 2014 & New York City For Dummies
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And now a word from our Sponsors:

Bill's Harlem Jazz Scene
Bill's Harlem Jazz Scene photo by Gordon Polatnick
Bill's Place
148 West 133rd Street
(Lenox / AC Powell)
(212) 281-0777
Friday/Saturday Night Gigs
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Your Host: Gordon Polatnick

"Greg recommends you consider a "Jazz Tour" if you're not really familiar with the jazz scene in NYC. Go to:  and read testimonials from people who have used Gordon Polatnick's custom tours. Seems that people from all around the world look to this guy's advice and services when they are in town. And his customers range from novices to jazz junkies - from typical tourists to UN ambassadors, high-society members and glitterati just passing through town.

Check it out; looks like a fun way to explore the jazz scene AND maybe meet some interesting people in the process."

~Walter (Buzz) Luttrell

Big Apple Jazz Tours   Tour Options
USA CELL: 917 863-7854  EMAIL  NYC Jazz Clubs  Mailing List