“It's not any one thing that makes Alvin and Friends so special. Sure, the jazz music wafting through the speakers is inviting. And of course, the soulful paintings — all done by the owner — lining the dining room walls are absolutely mesmerizing. And then there's the transformative Southern/Caribbean cooking, which is a standout all on its own. But when you throw them all together...and add in all-smiles hospitality from owner Alvin Clayton - well then you have something really extraordinary. To put it simply: There's nothing else like it in Westchester. In fact, there may be nothing else like it anywhere.”
— The Journal News
On Thursday, April 16th join us for The Vault late night (10 pm to 1 am) open mic/jam session hosted by Shauna-Lee Howe featuring the band SpeakerBoxx and jazz and R&B pianist Donnie Bosco. An opportunity for musicians and singers to hone their skills: Come out and jam to the hits of many of the greats, from Stevie Wonder to Beyoncé, from Led Zeppelin Official to Herbie Hancock, from Donnie Hathaway to Snarky Puppy. Jazz/R&B/Gospel/Funk/Rock/Hip Hop. To be part of the open mic lineup call 914-689-4210.
Singer/composer/lyricist/producer/arranger Susan Tobocman has been making a name for herself among audiences and musicians alike on the New York jazz scene for a number of years. Whether leading her own gigs at Zinc Bar (where she was the original artist-in-residence), The Metropolitan Room, Flatiron Room, Highline Ballroom, Smalls, Birdland, Smoke, or Cleopatra’s Needle — or as the guest of luminaries Barry Harris, Al Foster, or the late Doc Cheatham (to name a few), Susan is equally comfortable working as a leader or sideman. Her extensive repertoire of standards ranges from the familiar to the obscure and is distinctly enhanced by her inventive arrangements, as well as her original compositions. Among her influences, the Detroit-born singer cites Shirley Horn, Carmen McRae, Joao Gilberto, Dena DeRose, Johnny Mandel, and Andy Bey. Susan collaborates as both composer and lyricist with some of New York’s finest jazz musicians, such as pianists Henry Hey and David Hazeltine, trumpeter Jim Rotondi, and trombonist Steve Davis, along with a host of others. Susan’s professional experience includes: numerous European tours as featured artist; two Off-Broadway musicals; an array of national television and radio jingles; touring as keyboardist and vocalist with Tom Tom Club (Talking Heads sans David Byrne); and, appearing on ‘Late Night with David Letterman.’ In addition to session work for the MCA and Atlantic record labels — plus singing background vocals for Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Wailers, Richie Havens, and Garland Jeffries — Susan is currently featured on four European jazz CDs, as well as her own CDs entitled ‘Watercolor Dream’ on Mike Longo’s Consolidated Artists label (CAP 932), and the recently released ‘Live In Detroit With The Cliff Monear Trio.’ “Susan Tobocman is a musical treasure,” says bassist Paul Keller, citing her jazz sensibilities and delivery. “Musicians and audiences dig Susan Tobocman!”
Echoes is a contemporary jazz quartet formed at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Echoes is influenced by other groups in the jazz idiom like the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jackie McClean Quartet, and the New Gary Burton Quartet while still contributing their own unique sound through original compositions and refreshing interpretations of jazz standards. Recently Echoes was chosen for a residency at the prestigious Avaloch Farms Music Institute. As individuals Echoes includes winners of Downbeat, Essentially Ellington, and Berklee School of Music awards. Chase Kuesel is a drummer, percussionist, and composer from Cos Cob, Connecticut. He is currently a junior at Oberlin College and Conservatory, where he is pursuing degrees in Jazz Studies and English and studying with Billy Hart and Jamey Haddad. At Oberlin, he teaches college and community members and performs with various combos, one of which received a Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award. He has been fortunate to share the stage with Dick Oatts, Ralph LaLama, Abraham Laboriel, Simon Shaheen, Jamey Haddad, Steve Davis, and Daniel Blake. Matthew Dibiase is a multi-faceted performer, composer, and the primary student sound technician for Oberlin’s concerts. A natural in both classical and jazz mallets, Matt has graced the stage at venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Tsai Center, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. As a 3rd year at Oberlin College and Conservatory studying jazz vibraphone and neuroscience, Matt has also worked in labs at Harvard Medical School and Boston University. Matt studies with Dan Wall and Michael Rosen at Oberlin and has had the pleasure of playing alongside Michael League, Lem Adams, John Turner, as well as soloing with Rivers School Conservatory and Wellesley’s symphony orchestras. Max Bessesen is a young, dynamic, versatile, performer and composer equally at home in divergent musical realms. In addition to Alto Sax, he doubles on all Saxophones, Flute, and Clarinet. Max started performing at age 11 in Denver, and has been recognized at numerous state and citywide honor bands and festivals. Max has had the pleasure of performing with Jazz greats like Julien Labro (Hot Club of Detroit), Tim Reis, and Abraham Laboriel. He has also recorded and performed with contemporary pop ensembles like Devotchka, The Foxfield Four, and The Fray. Max is a positive friendly musical partner open to experimentation and innovation. Max is currently a third-year student at Oberlin Conservatory and College studying jazz saxophone with Gary Bartz. Jordan McBride is a double bass player, composer, and current junior at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music studying jazz performance. Jordan began playing bass at the age of 12, was awarded a position at the Kimmel Center’s Jazz program and at an early age was taken under the wing of Jazz luminaries such as Kenny Davis, and Michael Boon often sitting in at the bandstand at the age of 14. At Oberlin, Jordan has studied with Calvin Jones, Peter Dominguez, Gerald Clayton, Charlie Persip, and Barry Harris. Jordan’s original composition are steeped in the jazz tradition but his inspiration borrows from spirituals, and music from around the world.