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Big Apple Jazz Tours
New York City's Best Jazz Crawls since 1997
References by satisfied customers

"This tour hosted by New York jazz expert
Gordon Polatnick, is the real deal." ~ Brian Silverman
Frommer's New York City 2009 & New York City For Dummies
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       Click here to buy tickets, check schedule and get more information from ZerveClick here to go straight to TOUR page.
     Big Apple Jazz Student TourAnita O'Day with Christie, Jeff and GordonPat Metheny and Gordon at the BeaconJose Feliciano and Les Paul at the Iridium, 2006 -- Big Apple Jazz TourChevy Chase at Showman'sMarjorie Elliot at Parlor EntertainmentGordon Polatnick and Dr. Lonnie Smith at EZ's WoodshedGordon Polatnick with Ravi Coltrane at EZ's WoodshedHakim Jami at EZ's Woodshed 2008

Joey DeFrancesco, Paul Bollenback, Idris Muhammad David (Fathead) Newman, Vincent Herring, John Nugent, photo by Frank StewartBig Apple Jazz Tours offers you the chance to experience the most vital and impressive jazz scene in the world through never-before-available tours and jazz immersions exclusively designed by Gordon Polatnick for you and your party.  We built our international reputation on introducing groups of all sizes to the authentic and diverse jazz scene that could only exist in New York City: Home to all the legends from Louis Armstrong to Dr. Lonnie Smith; and the most famous clubs from the Savoy Ballroom and Minton’s Playhouse up in Harlem, to the Vanguard and Blue Note down in the Village.  The highlight of any trip to New York is the chance to visit intimate, off-the-beaten path, neighborhood clubs to hear the top jazz players go at it. All ages welcome.  Click Big Apple Jazz Tours to find out more. Gift Certificates available.
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Tel. (718) 606-8442,  Fax. (212) 656-1057  3268 43rd St., Astoria, NY  11103



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Tarik Shah, bass, St. Nick's Pub



EZ's Woodshed closed
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Anette St. John outside EZ's Woodshed


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Bill's Harlem Jazz Scene photo by Gordon Polatnick
Bill's Harlem Jazz Scene
(212) 281-0777

148 West 133rd Street
(Lenox / AC Powell)

Come celebrate Harlem Jazz at
Bill Saxton's brownstone jazz lounge:
Bill' Place
Friday Night Gigs
 2 Sets: 10 and 12
$20 cash cover


New York City's Best Jazz Tour
Gordon Polatnick with Ravi Coltrane at EZ's Woodshed

Tel: (718) 606-8442

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How The Big Apple Got Its Name

The Big Apple1920's era jazz musicians picked it up from stable guys and horseracing people from New Orleans who considered NY races and NY gigs to be where the big money was.  And since the winning horse, up for a big purse in NYC, can't get satisfied with big money itself, the lingo promised him a Big Apple.  So high paying New York City gigs and record dates were thought of as a "Big Apple" for musicians too.  A sports writer in those days, John Fitzpatrick, picked up on the lingo and called his column “Around the Big Apple.”  If you go to 54th and Broadway you will see that the city officially recognized him by renaming the corner where he lived, "Big Apple Corner."  There was a club called The Big Apple on the corner of 135th and 7th Ave (across the street from Small's Paradise). The corner was marked by a whimsical display of an upside-down apple announcing the location.  See these sites and more on a
Big Apple Jazz Tour.

Tour References
from a long list of
satisfied customers since 1997

We contributed to the July 7, 2009 NYTimes Article:
Mystery of the Big Apple Jazz Club Sign

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This is the online home of EZ's Woodshed up in Harlem, New York, USA...To get to EZ's you have to walk in the footsteps of Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Count Basie, Fats Waller, Charlie Parker, Jimmy Smith and all the jazz legends that hit this historic boulevard back in the days when it was simply known as THE STROLL;  We invite you to the epicenter of the jazz explosion that continues to knock us out today as it has since the beginning of syncopated time
up in Big Apple Jazz
Ravi Coltrane and Todd Herbert at EZ's WoodshedDon Slatoff at EZ's Woodshed
Harlem sax giant, Bill Saxton, up in EZ's Woodshed at Big Apple JazzHakim Jami at EZ's Woodshed 2008
Joey DeFrancesco, Paul Bollenback, Idris Muhammad David (Fathead) Newman, Vincent Herring, John Nugent, photo by Frank Stewart
Congressman Charlie Rangel, Gordon Polatnick, and Assemblyman Keith Wright
Bertha Hope, Habiba Matthew, Gordon Polatnick, and LaChanzeLive jazz daily at EZ's Woodshed in Harlem starting at 2PM
Billie Holiday at Town Hall Poster for sale at Big Apple JazzYour kids can learn to play and appreciate jazz Cathy at 917 340-1020
Eric Reed up in EZ's WoodshedGordon and Franco the Great in front of Franco's mural for EZ's Woodshed
Sheldon Sweeper performs Lullaby of Birdland at EZ's Woodshed





Private Jazz Tours
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Jazz Musicians of New York

Important Jazz Links and NYC Jazz Calendars

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Jazz Photo Gallery of Local Scene

Selected Jazz Club Reviews
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Harlem's Tree of Hope

See our recent feature in ELMORE MAGAZINE - 2009

Woodshedding & The Jazz Tradition
By Paul Klemperer

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Big Apple Jazz / EZ's Woodshed in the Media


up in Big Apple Jazz

We are no longer a "bricks and mortar" operation, located on a historic strip of Harlem's Jazz District.  This street, once known throughout the jazz world as "The Corner," hosts the ghosts of Louie Armstrong, Fats Waller, Eubie Blake, Duke Ellington, Bird, Diz, and Miles, as well as Count Basie's Club, Well's Chicken and Waffles, Connie's Inn, Clark Monroe's Uptown House, Small's Paradise, the Lafayette Theater and legendary Tree of Hope.  Come up and see us sometime, we'll show you where Billie Holiday was discovered and where Bird used to jam in the 40's.  We are celebrating New York City Jazz both past and present with cd's recorded live in all the historic and current night spots; and we sell the city's only collection of indie cd's by our outstanding pool of local talent seen on the scene nightly in hidden jazz haunts along the Big Apple Jazz tour route. 
Call for info. Tel: (718) 606-8442.
Let us show you around.

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The Big Apple Jazz Boutique and EZ's Woodshed Cafe
Now Closed

2236 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.

 (131st/132nd Streets)

B/C or 2/3 train to 135th
M2 Bus to front of venue

Music Calendar


Big Apple Jazz -- New York's Jazz Club AuthorityEmail Gordon Polatnick's
New York City's Jazz Club Authority, and Harlem Jazz Day Club:

Tel: (718) 606-8442
New York City Jazz Clubs listed,
and Private Jazz Tours offered
to the core of the Big Apple's hidden jazz haunts. 
Visit our Harlem Jazz Day Club: EZ's Woodshed

The New York City Jazz Scene: 24 hours a day
See which artists' tracks are top rated this month

Closed for business July 2008:

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Leeolive Tucker and Sheldon Sweeper with Kenny Williams

Chic and unique gifts

Harlem Storefront Photo Mug: $13.99

Light switch cover: $12.99

Big Apple Jazz Baby Doll T: $24.00

and so much more

Tour Photos

Kristin Dahl cutting a rug at Robin's NestJoey DeFrancesco, Paul Bollenback, Idris Muhammad David (Fathead) Newman, Vincent Herring, John Nugent, photo by Frank Stewart
Zeke Mullins, Carol Sudhalter Leonard Gaskin, Ray and Toni, Tootsie Bean, and Myrna Lake at CajunGroup with Dion Parsons in Harlem
Genis, Dolores, Mar, Cristina Negre from SpainPreacher Robins at Robin's Nest with Group
The Gang in front of Sugar Hill Bistro on W145th Street
Anne and John at the American Legion Post on 132nd StreetStu Zimmerman chilling at 22 West on 135th Street
Nat and at American Legion PostChubby Checker visits Gordon Polatnick at EZ's Woodshed 3/2008
Anita O'Day with Christie, Jeff and GordonSeleno Clarke and Chevy Chase
Dick Griffin at St. Nick's PubJean-Michel Pilc and Harry Belafonte at Jazz Standard
Gordon Polatnick and Dr. Lonnie Smith at EZ's WoodshedPat Metheny and Gordon at the Beacon
Patience, Avishai, Marcus, Wayne --Jam SessionPatience, Avishai, Marcus, Wayne --Jam Session

The Big Apple

Bill Saxton at Bill's Place



Thanks for visiting

Tour References
from a long list of satisfied customers since 1997

Big Apple Jazz -- New York's Jazz Club AuthorityOur mission is to reinvigorate the jazz scene in NYC, by introducing fans to the more authentic and hidden jazz events that occur below the radar of most visitors. ~ Gordon Polatnick

We are also a receptive tour operator providing professional tour services for groups and families wishing to see all that New York has to offer.

Services Including:

  • Enjoyable sight-seeing guides and tours
  • Locally-favored restaurants
  • Transportation solutions
  • Fine and affordable hotel rooms
  • Special events planning


Guides and Services

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pple Jazz products and designs
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Victor Lewis at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola 10/08

Gordon taping a segment with Toni Senecal of Toni On! New York


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Congressman Charles Rangel and Gordon Polatnick in front of EZ's Woodshed in Harlem.  Click here to read reviews of Big Apple Jazz Tours.

tel: (718) 606-8442