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The Jazz Loft Stony Brook

The Jazz Loft

The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Ave., Stony Brook has announced the following events for September 2022 :

Thurs. 9/1    The Jazz Loft Big Band  at 7 p.m.

The 17 member Jazz Loft Big Band performs Big Band Swing at the 1939 World’s Fair. During the Fair famous big bands would play while dancers did the lindy hop and swing dances. Tickets: $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children, children under 5 free.


Wed. 9/7      Young at Heart : Billie Holiday Torch Songs at 1 p.m.

The Jazz Loft Trio will perform the songs made famous by Billie Holiday. Young at Heart is a monthly themed jazz concert for those that like their jazz in the afternoon. Tickets: $10


Wed. 9/7         The Jazz Loft Trio and Jam at 7 p.m. The Jazz Loft Trio performs at 7 PM followed by a jam at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10 at 7 p.m., $5 at 8 p.m.


Fri.  9/9      Aubrey Johnson Duo at 7 p.m.  Aubrey Johnson is a vocalist, composer and educator who specializes in jazz, Brazilian and creative contemporary music. She is joined by pianist and composer Randy Ingram. Tickets: $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children, children 5 and under free.


Saturday 9/10    What Is JAZZ ? Living Museum Tour at 6 p.m. The Jazz Loft will help visitors understand , “What is jazz?”, through an interactive tour featuring 7 stops in the museum that tell the history of jazz.   Small groupswill tour through the museum while musicians and singers will be stationed at displays in the museum that depict blues, gospel, early jazzthe big band and swing era and bebop. The tour ends in the Count Basie Garden where a Latin band will play and refreshments will be available. Tickets: $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children, children under 5 free


Wed. 9/14  The Jazz Loft Trio and Jam at 7 p.m. The Jazz Loft Trio performs at 7 p.m. followed by a jam at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10 at 7 p.m., $5 at 8 p.m.


Thurs. 9/15 Bad Little Big Band at 7 p.m. Pianist Rich Iacona leads his 15 member band in performing the music of The Great American Songbook and original music and arrangements written by band members. Tickets: $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children, children under 5 free


Wed. 9/21 to Sat. 9/24  HARBOR JAZZ FEST


Wed. 9/21  Opening Reception   Jazz Loft Trio and Jam at 7 p.m. The Jazz Loft Trio performs at 7 p.m. followed by a jam at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10


Thurs. 9/22   The Interplay Jazz Orchestra  at 7 p.m. The 17 member Interplay Jazz Orchestra performs original compositions and arrangements written by band members. Tickets: $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children, children under 5 free


Fri. 9/24  Harry Allen Quartet  at 7 p.m. Harry Allen is a renown jazz tenor saxophonist, composer, recording artist and arranger. Tickets: $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children, children under 5 free


Sat. 9/25   Rubens De La Corte at 1 p.m. Rubens De la Corte is a Brazilian guitarist, songwriter and ethnomusicologist.

Anderson Pocket Band at 4 p.m. Trombonist Ray Anderson is known for pushing the limits of his instrument.

Nicole Zuraitis and Her All Star Band at 7 p.m. Nicole is a Grammy nominated powerhouse vocalist, winner of the 2021 American Traditions vocal competition. She is a pianist, songwriter and arranger. She is a Jazz Loft audience favorite. She will be performing on the Stony Brook Village Green as part of the Harbor Jazz Fest. This event is FREE.

Tickets: All Saturday events are free and take place on the Village Green in Stony Brook


Wed. 9/28 Jazz Loft Trio and Jam at 7 p.m. The Jazz Loft Trio performs at 7  p.m. followed by a jam at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10 at 7 p.m., $5 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at www.thejazzloft.org and subject to availability, on site before events. For more information, call 631-751-1895.

Pixabay photo

By Warren Strugatch

Warren Strugatch

My late wife Cindy and I made the jazz scene at Harmony Vineyards in the mid-2010s. The venue was marvelous, the music superb. We really dug young Zach, the man-bun styled bassist who held forth from Harmony’s tiny proscenium most weekends.  

Zach — first name, Keenan — stood out as both musician and band leader. Still in his 20s, his solid time evoking the legendary Ray Brown, Zach’s star was clearly on the rise. We’d walk in from the cold and listening from outside the room we’d know, from just a few notes, that Zach was on bass. 

The Harmony series ended, alas, but we kept running into this bass-playing prodigy around the North Shore. Tom Manuel, artistic director and Jazz Loft founder, entrusted him with the Loft’s Wednesday Night jam sessions. Week after week, Zach organized walk-on musicians into tight, expectation-defying ensembles. Under his direction, the guys on stage sounded like they work together all the time. On any given Wednesday night, you’d hear some of the finest jazz on Long Island. In fact, you still can.

Back in those pre-Covid days we attended delightful concerts put on by the Three Village Chamber Players. Here again was Zach playing Bach, Handel, and Teleman alongside oboes, harpsichords, and theremins.

Soon thereafter, we attended an outdoor concert by Taylor Ackley and the Deep Roots Ensemble, playing Taylor’s unique hybrid brand of prairie swing. Once more, it was Zach on bass.

By now, the man-bun was history.

Between sets, Zach mentioned he’d enrolled at Stony Brook University’s doctoral program in music performance. He said his studies were weaning him from his long-time need for audience approval; he felt now he could more readily play from what he called his authentic self and feel the music was going over with audiences. Clearly, his performances continued to blossom. 

As for getting a doctorate, he felt that would help hone his performances in all genres, while expanding his career options.

As Graduation Day approached, Zach reflected that his enrollment was a wise choice, having raised his appreciation for the nuances of chamber music even as it’s propelled him forward as a jazzman. 

“It’s all music,” he explained in a recent conversation. “I love jazz and I love chamber music. At this point in life and musical progress, I don’t feel there is all that much difference between musical styles. It’s not like jazz is pure improvisation and classical music is entirely written out. There’s substantial structure in jazz and much room for improvisation in chamber music.

He continued, “In fact, jazz really is a kind of chamber music. Musicians listen to each other and improvise together, whether it’s a jam session or a chamber recital.”

At age 34, the Miller Place native finds himself at a musical and personal crossroads.

“I really am at a precipice,” he says. “I face so many transitions. I ask myself: What comes next? Do I move further west and compete for more gigs and opportunities in jazz? Do I get more involved in classical bass playing? Do I pursue a faculty position at a university and maybe relocate to a rural area?”

The self-questioning brings him back to a comment he’s heard at SBU more than once from Ray Anderson, the jazz trombonist, teacher, and philosopher: “Let’s play, let’s have fun and maybe, just maybe, we’ll learn something.”

Zach smiles. “That’s the essence of jazz. Right there.” 

The Jazz Loft

The Jazz loft will be presenting the following events in November 2021:


Wednesday 11/3    Young at Heart: The Music of Burt Bacharach.         1 PM

Young at Heart is a monthly themed afternoon jazz series. This month The Jazz Loft Trio

will present the music of Bert Bacharach.

Tickets: $10


Wednesday 11/3    Jazz Loft Trio and Jam                                             7 PM

The Jazz Loft Trio performs at 7 PM followed by a jazz jam at 8 PM

Tickets: Arrive at 7 PM $10, Arrive at 8 PM $5


Thursday 11/4   Marilyn Maye with The Jazz Loft Big Band                 7 PM

The 17 member Jazz Loft Big Band performs jazz standards and original compositions and arrangements written by band members. Marilyn Maye is a highly praised singer, actress, director and Grammy nominated recording artist.

Tickets: Adults $40, Seniors $35, Students $30, Children $25


Friday   11/5         Marilyn Maye and Her Trio                                         7 PM

Marilyn Maye is a highly praised singer, actress, director and Grammy nominated recording artist.

Tickets: Adults $35, Seniors $30, Students $25, Children $20


Wednesday 11/10  Jazz Loft Trio and Jam                                              7 PM

The Jazz Loft Trio performs at 7 Pm followed by a jam at 8 PM.

Tickets: Arrive at 7 PM $10, Arrive at 8 PM $5


Wednesday 11/17  Jazz Loft Trio and Jam                                              7 PM

The Jazz Loft Trio performs at 7 PM followed by a jam at 8 PM.

Tickets: Arrive at 7 Pm $10, Arrive at 8 PM $5


Thursday 11/18   Bad Little Big Band                                                    7 PM

The 12 member Bad Little Big Band, led by pianist Rich Iacona, performs music of the Great American Song Book and original compositions and arrangements written by band members. Vocalist Madeline Kole accompanies the band.

Tickets: Adults $25, Seniors $20, Students $15, Children $10


Friday 11/19     Drumming Legends                                                    7 PM

Drummers Ronnie Zito, Jackie Wilson, Darrell Smith and Chris Smith will be featured. Houston Person

tenor saxophone, Steve Salerno guitar and Tom Manuel cornet form the rest of the band.

Tickets: Adults $30, Seniors $25, $20 Students, $15 Children


Wednesday 11/24    Jazz Loft Trio and Jam                                             7 PM

The Jazz Loft Trio performs at 7 PM followed by a jam at 8 PM.

Tickets: Arrive at 7 PM $10, Arrive at 8 Pm $5


The Jazz Loft is located at 275 Christian Ave in Stony Brook Village   phone 631 751-1895

Tickets can be purchased at www.thejazzloft.org and subject to availability, before events.

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.

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’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.


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.