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Tom Manuel

Students attending a school in Bizoton, Haiti will soon enjoy a visit from Tom Manuel of The Jazz Loft in Stony Book. Photo from Patty Smith

By Rita J. Egan

Local musicians plan to share the universal language of music with children in Haiti, and they’re asking for community help with their musical mission.

Tom Manuel, founder of The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook, said the venue is organizing a drive to bring instruments to schoolchildren during a trip to Haiti scheduled for Nov. 9. Manuel, his wife Laura Landor and five fellow musicians plan to teach the students how to play the instruments while they are there. The group also plans to return once a year to check in on students’ progress.

Patty Smith, a registered nurse from Commack, sponsors the school in Bizoton, as well as a church in the same village in Haiti. Smith was evangelizing in a Brentwood parking lot when she met Jean Bonte, who told her about the country. She said the meeting led to a visit to the mountain village. Moved by her trip, she decided to have the school and church built to help locals. There are now more than 100 registered students studying at the school.

Patty Smith with the children who attend the school she sponsors in Bizoton, Haiti. Photo from Patty Smith

The nurse said the people in the village are so poor that their homes have no electricity or running water, and they are barely clothed. She said she’s spent many nights crying after her visits to Bizoton because she feels guilty about what she has.

“I sit up in my bed and I feel guilty because I have air conditioning,” she said. “I think [this mission] is going to give them hope. I think it’s going to give them something to strive for so they could do good in school and really work hard so they can obtain and see that this is something that will make their lives better.”

Smith said Manuel traveled to the village with Landor two years ago. When he showed the schoolchildren how to play his trumpet, cleaning off the mouthpiece to allow each child to play it, the nurse said he mesmerized them.

“Everyone was laughing and clapping, and they were so proud of themselves,” Smith said.

Manuel said the children also laughed when he took out his trumpet and showed them how to warm up by making funny duck noises with his mouth.

The trumpet player said the first step of The Jazz Loft’s mission is collecting instruments. The musicians hope to receive at least 20 instruments, hoping to receive more brass ones because they hold up well in the Caribbean heat.

“Having been a teacher for so long, I know that there are a lot of people that either they played or they have a son or daughter [who did],” he said. “You know, they played through middle school or high school, and they have this instrument that’s sitting in their closet, or in their basement or attic. My hopes are that if people hear this story they’ll say, ‘Why should that sit in my closet for another five years? Let me bring that trombone down to the Loft and send it off for a good cause.’”

Tom Manuel, trombone player and owner of The Jazz Loft, shows Haitian students how to play the instrument during a previous trip to the country. Photo from Tom Manuel

Once the group arrives in Haiti, Manuel said they will teach students how to play, and culminate the trip with the students playing together as a band. The musicians will also perform for them.

“There’s nothing more inspiring for these kids — most of them have never seen these instruments or heard them,” Manuel said. “To see a band play for them is really intense.”

The Jazz Loft has also organized back-to-school and food drives to help the school.

Landor, a flute player who is the director of fine and performing arts in the Hauppauge school district, said she is looking forward to this year’s trip.

“I loved being with all the kids,” she said. “They’re incredible in their resilience and they’re so excited to learn; they’re excited to be with people who want to be with them. I would love for them to experience the joy of making music, and just have something they can be proud of in saying I did this, I learned this, I can practice this.”

Guitarist Steve Salerno, who performs at The Jazz Loft often, was touched by Manuel’s accounts of his trips to Haiti and is looking forward to traveling with him to the country this year.

“It just sounded like an amazing opportunity to maybe share in what he’s experienced,” Salerno said. “I hope that this will be kind of a wondrous experience for them to hear different types of music performed collectively.”

Manuel believes the musicians will gain a lot from the trip.

“I’ve always felt, personally, and I know everyone going on the trip feels this way —  we have all these different languages and all these differences that separate us, but in the end, we have more in common than we realize,” Manuel said. “That’s part of why I think trips like this, outreaches like this, travel in general, whether you’re doing a specific mission or not, is so important for people. The more you travel, the more you spend time with human beings, the more you realize we’re more like each other than we’re not and music is a universal language.”

A fundraising concert is planned at the venue at 275 Christian Ave. in Stony Brook Oct. 5 to offset the cost of the trip and used instruments can be dropped off at the location. The Jazz Loft is open Thursday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. and various evenings for performances. For more information call 631-751-1895.

From left, Steve Healy and Tom Manuel during a recent tour of The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook. Photo by Heidi Sutton
An evening of booze, jazz and dance

By Kevin Redding

For one glorious evening, The Jazz Loft on Christian Avenue in Stony Brook will transport local guys and dolls back to the rip-roaring time when big bands reigned supreme, a sea of flapper dresses whirled around the dance floor and booze was in high demand.

Presented by the Three Village Historical Society in collaboration with The Jazz Loft, the Prohibition Night fundraiser is a 1920s-set event on Thursday, Sept. 14 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. that encourages residents to dress in period clothes, mingle and dance to the sounds of the era and get a sense of what it was like to live in this area during one of the most exciting decades of the century.

From left, Steve Healy and Tom Manuel during a recent tour of The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook. Photo by Heidi Sutton

But unlike folks of the time who had to smuggle illegal alcohol into speakeasies, it’s no secret that beer and wine will be flowing at the event all night long as it’s sponsored by Montauk Brewery Company, representatives from which will provide raffles and tastings of its beers, including the Watermelon Session Ale. All proceeds will benefit the historical society.

The fundraiser will serve as a prequel of sorts to the historical society’s 23rd annual Spirits Tour on Oct. 21, dubbed The Spirits of Prohibition: Setauket of the Roaring ’20s, which will guide residents through life in Setauket and Stony Brook as it was during that decade. Continuing with Spirits Tours tradition, actors will be situated in various parts of the Caroline Church of Brookhaven and Setauket Presbyterian cemetery and portray local figures from the past who were involved in the suffrage movement as well as the smuggling and secret storage of alcohol.

“It’s such a fascinating time in history. The jazz clubs during that period, between the flapper dresses, the jazz music, and the romance of everything, could rival any hip hop club today,” TVHS President Stephen Healy said. “It’s fascinating how people got alcohol during this time. They would smuggle it in coffins and rum-running boats and out here we had a lot of farmers growing potatoes, a key ingredient in vodka. So we were actually a pretty good source.”

Healy added that because the event tackles an era that jazz music helped define, it was a no-brainer to collaborate with The Jazz Loft, a nonprofit the society president had wanted to work with for a while now, and its director Tom Manuel. With an added connection with the president of Montauk Brewery, he said it was a perfect fit.

“Those three themes matched up perfectly — the alcohol, the prohibition history and the jazz music,” Healy said. “It will be fantastic. We’ll have beer tastings, raffles and probably a walk around that night. While you listen to jazz music, you can either sit at the table and watch the show or mingle and learn about prohibition history, our society and the loft.”

Tom Manuel and Steve Healy with Manuel’s dog Cindy Lou in front of The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook. Photo by Heidi Sutton

Manuel, who founded The Jazz Loft in May 2016 as a hub for jazz preservation, education and performance, is not only providing the venue for the event at no cost but the entertainment as well.

With trumpet in hand, he and his Firehouse Five band will be performing a program of music that spans the decade, including Louis Armstrong’s “Indiana,” “I’ve Found a New Baby,” and “I’m Confessin’” and early Duke Ellington and Django Reinhardt among others. The band, consisting of trumpet, guitar, bass, drums, cornet, saxophone and trombone, will even be performing on period instruments acquired from the loft.

“Jazz has always been the soundtrack to what was happening in our country, so I love that we could do something like this and transport people back in time for a night and provide a very clear picture of what was happening back in the day,” Manuel said.

Recalling an interaction he once had with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns about the ’20s, Manuel said, “He was talking about this and said, ‘It’s interesting how anytime you tell people they can’t do something, everybody wants to do it and it immediately becomes popular.’ So in the ’20s, it was you can’t drink, you can’t wear that, you can’t listen to this music, and so of course what does everybody do? They go absolutely crazy over all this and all they want to do is hear jazz, dance, drink booze and have a great big party. I think the time’s extra special for that naughty factor.”

Manuel said the event was especially important to him because it gave his nonprofit the opportunity to collaborate with another, which is part of the loft’s overall mission. “It’s so essential that we nonprofits work together because we can’t do it on our own,” he said. “I don’t care how successful you are; we are all in the arts and the arts is all about collaboration. So we can’t just hide in our little corners. I’m so happy that the TVHS is growing. That, to me, is why we do this. Now, together, we’re stronger as a team.”

The Jazz Loft is located at 275 Christian Ave. in Stony Brook Village. Tickets to Prohibition Night are $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students. Period costumes are encouraged. To order, call 631-751-1895 or visit www.thejazzloft.org. Spirits Tour tickets will also be on sale during the event. For more information on the Spirits Tour, visit www.TVHS.org or call 631-751-3730.

With great admiration, many in the area are remembering a jazz music preservationist who recognized the importance of the American-born genre from its early days. Ann Sneed, 87, formerly of Stony Brook and founder of the nonprofit foundation International Art of Jazz, died in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 21, from cancer.

Sneed founded the International Art of Jazz foundation in the 1960s and organized concerts in the Three Village area, as well as surrounding towns. The foundation also traveled to schools to introduce children to the sounds of jazz throughout the state.

When Tom Manuel, trumpet player and owner of The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook, decided to open his venue, he reached out to the music preservationist. He said for years he had heard about her from other musicians, who when they discovered he was from Stony Brook, would ask him if he was familiar with her.

Ann Sneed outside of The Three Village Inn before a campaign event for Assemblyman Steve Englebright in October of 2012. Photo by Maria Hoffman

“Ann used to produce these amazing concerts not just in Stony Brook but in the Three Village area, Port Jefferson, at the university,” he said in a telephone interview. “Some of the first jazz concerts at the university were produced by Ann. So, I always heard about her and was always kind of impressed that the oldest organization for jazz in the history of our country was founded right here in Stony Brook. What an amazing accomplishment.”

Manuel said Sneed’s health was failing when they connected, so the majority of their conversations occurred over the phone. The two of them would talk for hours about her life in music and her days running IAJ.

“She was there at the beginning,” he said. “There are so few people you can talk to like that now.”

Manuel described Sneed as spunky, bright, genuine and inspiring. He said he admired her for recognizing the importance of jazz music and preserving it.

“Everything she said was so powerful and so applicable today — that the music was so important, that the artists were so underappreciated,” he said.

Manuel was always in awe of her stories about all the musical artists she met, especially composer, pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington.

“She actually had a fairly well-established friendship with Duke Ellington, and that kind of floored me,” he said. “Not only just the fact that he was a jazz legend but Ellington was arguably one of the greatest American composers of all time, and so much of the jazz standards are Ellington compositions.”   

John Broven, music history author, also had the opportunity to meet Sneed when she lived in the Three Village area.

“For many years I knew Ann as the always-friendly ticket collector at Democratic fundraisers, but for a longtime had no idea of her background in classic jazz,” Broven said.

Sneed invited him to her home after she discovered his wife Shelley’s father was the founder of Golden Crest and Shelley Records of Huntington Station.

“It wasn’t until she asked me about three years ago to identify the valuable jazz albums in the large record collection at her Stony Brook home that I became aware of her deep involvement in the music,” he said. “As we browsed through the LPs with the red wine flowing, she brought alive revered artists as real people. She seemed to know them all, including Clark Terry, Marian McPartland, Billy Taylor and a personal favorite, Ruth Brown. Ann was a remarkable pioneering lady in the world of jazz, full of compassion for the musicians, and in a sense paved the way for today’s vibrant Jazz Loft facility in Stony Brook.”

In her autobiography “Miss Rhythm,” rhythm and blues singer Ruth Brown credits her participation in Sneed’s organization International Art of Jazz as being one of the opportunities that helped her get back on her feet after suffering with a career downturn and financial hardships.

“The work that she did, the pioneering work really that she undertook as the executive director of the International Art of Jazz, helped set the stage for the current level of appreciation that jazz has in our society.”

— Steve Englebright

Brown, who lived in Deer Park, wrote in her book how IAJ organized workshops in schools, from kindergarten to college, sometimes two or three times a week to expose children to jazz music.

In addition to her involvement in music, Sneed was also a member of the Suffolk County Democratic Committee, and she was a familiar face at many campaign events for Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) where she was a volunteer manning the front desk.

Englebright said he knew Sneed for 35 years but when it came to her productions he was only able to attend one in the early years of IAJ. However, he said through his conversations with her about jazz and her productions he felt as if he attended all of her events.

“She had the great luminaries of the years when she was there (IAJ) from all over the country and all over the world,” he said. “She was the catalyst really for bringing so many of these people to our shores and to our community on Long Island. I think she lifted the level of our cultural experience rather significantly.”

The assemblyman echoed both Manuel’s and Broven’s sentiments about Sneed’s groundbreaking work as well as her paving the way for jazz appreciation even in present times. “The work that she did, the pioneering work really that she undertook as the executive director of the International Art of Jazz, helped set the stage for the current level of appreciation that jazz has in our society,” Englebright said. “Ann Sneed was well ahead of her time.”

The assemblyman said that it was after Sneed’s work with IAJ that she began to volunteer at his campaign events.

“I was so very privileged and honored that she spent a good deal of her time working to help me in my work with the public,” he said. “Often she was the person who would greet you at the door at the Englebright fundraisers, graciously show you in and make you feel that all was good.”

Matthew Barton, curator at the Library of Congress’ National Audio Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia, said recordings of the jazz concerts that Sneed produced are housed in the Library of Congress. The recordings include performances by jazz legends such as Brown, Wynton Marsalis, Illinois Jacquet, Johnny Hartman, Thad Jones and more.

“There are more than 200 of the jazz concerts that Ann Sneed mounted with the International Art of Jazz in the Library of Congress’ recorded sound holdings,” Barton said. “The tapes include a wonderful range of the best performers in jazz over several decades. It’s a wonderful and fitting legacy for someone who loved jazz so much, and did so much for it.”

Sneed is survived by her two daughters Jan Sneed and Kathleen Lukens and two grandsons. Services will be announced at a later date.

The Art of Jazz, led by Kevin McEvoy, above, kicked off on March 8. Photo from Margaret McEvoy

Clothed Figure Sketch Nights at The Jazz Loft

The Atelier at Flowerfield artists of St. James has joined forces with the improv musicians of The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Ave., Stony Brook for an inspirational evening of music and art every other Wednesday night from 7 to 9:30 p.m. While The Jazz Loft hosts its weekly jazz jam sessions, the Atelier at Flowerfield will host a sketch session featuring a clothed figure model posing with musical instrument. Included in this event will be drawing boards and tables for all artists in attendance.

“I am quite thrilled for The Jazz Loft’s collaboration with the Atelier. The jazz workshops and artist lofts of the past were a big part of the inspiration in creating The Jazz Loft. Once again artistic collaboration across the spectrum will be in full view and the cross pollination can begin! Add some dancers and poets and the jazz nest will be in full swing,” said Tom Manuel of The Jazz Loft. Atelier director Kevin McEvoy will be doing a live painting demonstration that will continue through the weeks so that people can watch the painting progress. Next event will be held on March 22. Admission is $20 per person. For more information or to sign up, call 631-250-9009.

Tom Manuel leads the Jazz Loft Big Band on a bandstand at the loft, constructed from pieces of the original dance floor of New York’s famed Roseland Ballroom. Photo from The Jazz Loft

By John Broven

On May 21, Stony Brook Village reverberated to the sounds of a New Orleans-style street parade to mark the opening of The Jazz Loft at 275 Christian Ave. That happy day brought to reality the dreams of president and founder Tom Manuel.

“In the brief seven months the Jazz Loft has been open we’ve been able to accomplish the goals of our mission well ahead of schedule,” Manuel said. “Our performance calendar has presented some of the finest local, national and international artists; our educational programming has established our pre-college Jazz Institute in collaboration with Stony Brook University; and Our Young at Heart program has introduced wonderful music therapy events to people with memory loss.

“In addition to all of this our lecture series, family concerts, sponsored concert series and acquisitions and installations of jazz memorabilia, art, photography and more are ongoing and ever growing.”

Tom Manuel with children during The Creole Love Song: Operation Haiti! mission. Photo from The Jazz Loft

For establishing The Jazz Loft so quickly and effectively as a community resource, Manuel, a 37-year-old educator, historian and trumpet player, from St. James, is recognized by TBR News Media as a Person of the Year.

“Tom Manuel is a well-deserving nominee for Person of the Year,” Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station) said. “The Jazz Loft is an incredible gift to the 1st Council District. Tom’s passion for jazz has been transformed into a vivid, vibrant, collection of jazz history and a home for local talent, musicians and performances. In a short time, The Jazz Loft has become an incredible community space for art, history, culture and music.”

Visitors are able to view the loft’s museum exhibits featuring greats such as saxophonist Louis Jordan, the biggest African-American star of the 1940s and a massive influence on the ensuing rock ’n’ roll era; heartthrob blues and jazz crooner Arthur Prysock; upright bassist Lloyd Trotman, a prolific session musician who provided the bass line on Ben E. King’s anthem, “Stand by Me”; society bandleader Lester Lanin; and the seafaring vibraphonist and composer Teddy Charles.

Jean Prysock, of Searingtown, donated the memorabilia of her late husband Arthur Prysock, who played the top theaters and clubs from the 1940s onward and recorded for labels such as Decca, Mercury, Old Town and MGM-Verve. Why did she feel Manuel was worthy of support?

“He was young, he was enthusiastic, he was dedicated, he was sincere,” she said. “I first met him at a jazz bar in Patchogue. He led an 11-piece band, which sounded as if it could have played at New York’s Paramount Theatre.”

Apart from conducting bands, Manuel is an expert trumpet player, who credits among his inspirations Chet Baker, Warren Vache, Bobby Hackett, Harry “Sweets” Edison and Roy Eldridge. As an indication of the Jazz Loft’s authentic atmosphere, Manuel said the impressive three-tier bandstand was constructed from the original dance floor of the famed Roseland Ballroom on New York’s 52nd Street, adding, “It was an extreme labor of love, but certainly worth the effort.”

Manuel has directed a full program at The Jazz Loft while holding an adjunct post at Suffolk County Community College and a faculty position with Stony Brook University directing the jazz program of the Pre-College Music Division. If that’s not all, he has recently completed his doctorate, a DMA in jazz performance, at SBU and carried out charity work in Haiti.

“Tom is fully deserving of this award, not only for creating The Jazz Loft and making jazz available in our area, but also because of his remarkable spirit in bettering every community with which he engages,” Perry Goldstein, professor and chair at SBU’s Department of Music, said.

Tom Manuel (white hat at center) on opening day at The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook, on May 21 of this year. Photo by John Broven

“He motivated seven volunteers to go to Haiti with him after the recent hurricane, where they distributed 200 pairs of sneakers, clothing and school supplies purchased through donations. Tom radiates positive energy in everything he does,” Goldstein said.

Manuel readily acknowledges the help of others in giving liftoff to The Jazz Loft, including board members Laura Vogelsberg and Laura Stiegelmaier, many musicians and sponsors Harlan and Olivia Fischer who “donated our sound system, which is quite outstanding.” Manuel’s philosophy is summarized by the title of his well-received talk at the Three Village Community Trust’s annual celebration, held at The Jazz Loft in November: “Collaboration: The Art of Possibility.”

The jazz facility is housed in a historic building, comprising the old Stone Jug tavern and the former firehouse station, which accommodated the first museum in Stony Brook, founded in 1935 by real estate broker and insurance agent O.C. Lempfert. With the backing of Ward and Dorothy Melville, the museum was formally incorporated as the Suffolk Museum in 1939 before evolving into today’s The Long Island Museum. The renovated building, which was accorded landmark status by the Town of Brookhaven in September, is leased long term to The Jazz Loft by The Ward Melville Heritage Organization.

“Tom Manuel is a unique individual who was born into a generation of musicians steeped in rock ’n’ roll, rap and new wave,” Gloria Rocchio, president of WMHO, said. “I got to know Tom because of a[n] … article about a ‘young man’ with a house full of artifacts and memorabilia relating to the jazz era. The Ward Melville Heritage Organization owned a vacant building … and Tom had a collection in need of a home. A year later The Jazz Loft opened in Stony Brook, where Tom shares his love of jazz with like-minded musicians and fans. Tom is truly a role model for the concept of accomplishing your dream through passion and dedication. We are proud to welcome The Jazz Loft and Dr. Tom Manuel into our community.”

Join Tom Manuel and the Syncopated Seven as they ring in the New Year at the Jazz Loft

By Erika Riley

New Year’s Eve is the holiday to close out the season, and there is no better way to celebrate Dec. 31 than to do something fun for the night. Whether you’re in the mood for music, comedy or to simply see a movie before you head out for the night, the North Shore offers several great ways to spend the evening.

Huntington

Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre will screen ‘Lion’ starring Dev Patel on New Year’s Eve

The Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington will be hosting a celebration of film on New Year’s Eve. There will be food, drinks, films and friends! First, attendees will have their pick of three films to view before the ball drops including “Jackie” starring Natalie Portman (8:15 p.m.), “Lion” starring Dev Patel (8:30 p.m.) and a third movie that is yet to be announced. After the movie screenings, guests can join the party in the Sky Room Cafe for some delicious food, cake and champagne toasts while viewing the ball dropping in Times Square on a television in the Cafe. Tickets are $40 per person, $35 members, and may be purchased online at www.cinemaartscentre.org or via phone at 631-423-FILM.

Port Jefferson

Paul Anthony will bring his comedy act to Theatre Three on New Year’s Eve

This year, Theatre Three, located at 412 Main Street in Port Jefferson will be offering a comedy show titled “New Year’s Laughin’ Eve” at two different times, featuring some of the biggest names in comedy. The “early bird” show will begin at 6 p.m. and run until 7:30 p.m., and the later show will start at 8 p.m. and end by 9:30 p.m., giving attendees plenty of time to take in a New Year’s party and watch the ball drop after the show. Douglas Quattrock, director of development and group sales and special events coordinator, says that the event is a great alternative for those who don’t want to go out to a bar but still want to go do something. “It’s a great way to kick off the new year and end the holiday season,” Quattrock said. “There’s no better medicine than laughter.”

There will be three comedians at the show, the first being Paul Anthony from Massapequa. Anthony is the host of the Long Island Comedy Festival and the host of the new 50+ Comedy Tour, a group of comedians who are targeting their comedy to a slightly older generation. The second guest is Rich Walker, who has been named the Best Comedian on Long Island two years in a row, has headlined in Las Vegas, and has been featured by the New York Times and the third comedian is Keith Anthony, who has been featured on Showtime, A&E and Comedy Central, and has also headlined his own shows. Quattrock said that while the comedy isn’t for kids, it’s also not brute or offensive. Tickets for the shows are $49 per person at the door, $45 in advance at www.theatrethree.com or by calling 631-928-9100.

Smithtown

The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. Main St., Smithtown will present a New Year’s Eve comedy show titled “Loads of Laughs,” featuring six headlining comics. Of the six comics, Ken Washington of the center said, “The comedians are always top of the line ‘headlining’ comics who have been seen on a variety of different media outlets as well as comedy clubs throughout the area.” Eddie Clark, former cop and current full-time comic, will be in attendance, as well as seasoned comedians Marvin Bell and Matt Burke. Guests can also expect to see Peyton Clarkson, winner of the New York City Laugh-Off, Joe Currie, a member of several bands as well as a comic, and Warren Holstein, club headliner and occasional contributor to SNL’s “Weekend Update.” Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are $180 per couple or $90 per person (there is a $10 discount for members) and include a buffet of Italian hors d’oeuvres and light fare as well as an open bar of wine and beer. Dessert will be served during intermission and a champagne toast will be made to ring in the New Year. To order, call 631-724-3700. Note: Show contains adult language.

Stony Brook

The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Avenue in Stony Brook, will be hosting a New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring jazz musician Tom Manuel and the Syncopated Seven from 7:30 to 12:30 p.m. The performance will also showcase guest artist Melanie Marod, who is a modern jazz vocalist who performs regularly around popular clubs in New York City. “What I’m most excited about is just having a wonderful group of people together in such a classy exciting place with such great music, I feel like when you put together great food and great people and great music it’s a guaranteed home-run evening,” said Manuel , who is also the curator and director of the Jazz Loft. Tickets are $150 per person, which includes a buffet dinner catered by the Three Village Inn, cocktail hour and a champagne toast at midnight. To order, call 631-751-1895 or visit www.thejazzloft.org.

Tom Manuel, back row in black jacket, and the Jazz Loft Big Band performed at the Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s Sunday Summer Concerts on the Green on July 24. As the sun set over Stony Brook Harbor, the band played many jazz favorites including “Woodchopper’s Ball,” “Satin Doll,” “Jackson County Jubilee” and closed out the night with “One Mint Julep.” Corinne Schaller, a Long Island’s Got Talent finalist opened the show.  Photo by Heidi Sutton

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