Iridium Jazz Club's sapphire-hued stage plays host to a star-studded cast of classic jazz performers, traditional blues bands, and masterful rock musicians with nightly all-ages shows punctuated by a slate of gourmet steaks and pastas. Honoring the late Les Paul's regular Monday-night Iridium performance that continued for more than a decade, a slew of famed guitarists such as Ted Nugent and Jeff Beck sit in with the legend's original trio for eclectic weekly tribute shows. Patrons pair the savory syncopation with a menu of artfully crafted dishes ranging from Black Angus steaks and Kobe-style burgers to house-made organic pastas. Armed with a full bar, drinksmiths sling martinis, beers, and wine selections from a cellar stocked with nearly 200 vintages.
Aza's chefs concoct a menu of traditional Spanish tapas dishes alongside an array of other small plates, brunch, and desserts. Patrons dine Spanish-style on classics such as mussels in a white wine sauce ($8.25) or the paella valenciana, a bed of saffron rice nestled with fresh seafood, Spanish sausage, and chicken ($8.95). Spanish wines ($8) complement charcuterie platters ($15 each) as gracefully as a bandit’s ammo belt complements his grenade bracelet. Desserts such as chocolate mousse and crema catalana ($6 each) end meals on a sweet note, while eggy brunch options provide savory morning fare ($6+). After guests have exhausted their sharing skills, they can lean back in one of Aza's red high-backed chairs and enjoy the exposed brick walls’ bashful vermilion hue.
Kenneth Donald Rogers—an American country-music star, photographer, producer, actor, and fellow with a nice beard—has won three Grammys and more than a dozen American Music Awards for his sweet, stirring crooning. Though he won't be toting his dozens of awards, Mr. Rogers will be bringing an impressive showcase of selections from his extensive collection of country hits. To prep the crowd for the main event, The Herndon Brothers—a local act lead by Ray Herndon, a country star known for livin' the dream—will layer the crowd in hometown vibes from their wide library of inspiring and honest tracks.
Harlem Spirituals' professional guides maneuver sightseers through a five-hour evening bus tour of Harlem's historical music venues and soul-food restaurants. Explore the sites of the original Cotton Club and Savoy Ballroom, where Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman regularly vibrated air particles with their big-banded boisterousness. The tour route also slides past the grand Apollo Theater and the intimate Minton's Playhouse, where Miles Davis famously abandoned his career of drawing mustaches on portraits of Senator Joe McCarthy to develop bebop. Tours also make a pit stop at neighborhood mainstay Sylvia's Restaurant to sample authentic southern soul food. Nosh on fried chicken and black-eyed peas or muffle the sounds of shrieking trumpets by stuffing ears with collard greens.
Saxophone-wielder Michel Herrera, who recently collaborated with acclaimed jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, leads his rhythmic, Cuban-infused jazz band, Joven Jazz, on its debut New York City tour. Joven Jazz's song list may include the funky "Ocho Veces en Habana" or the sultry "Como Lo Sone," blanketing a conga beat with horns and keyboard that combine to create a sound as smooth as a dolphin in a silk dress. The band will perform aboard a scenic Manhattan cruise where band members and concertgoers alike can peer at the pirouetting Manhattan architecture. During quiet moments, guests meander about the elegant Jewel yacht, barking sailing orders at apathetic seagulls as they snack on savory Cuban appetizers.
“My love of cooking started in childhood making raviolis with my mother and grandmother,” Brick NYC's executive chef Warren Schierenbeck told Food Network in his finalist interview for the Chopped competition. The man behind Brick NYC's authentic Italian cuisine, Schierenbeck applies his childhood experiences when preparing large portions of colorful, handcrafted pastas, artisan bread, and cured meats. At wine-tasting and pizza-making events, Schierenbeck's team of convivial foodsmiths shares its culinary know-how, elucidating the olfactory properties of Italian and American varietals and teaching basic math by slicing pizzas into fractions. The restaurant's airy, rustic dining hall sets the stage for both dining and learning, surrounding patrons in brick walls draped with orange curtains.