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Big Apple Jazz Tour

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: New York City, NY 10019
Phone Number: +1 917-863-7854
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9:00 am - 11:59 pm
Open now
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Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 11:59 pm
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

Thanks for visiting Big Apple Jazz Tours! Since 1997 we have been on the...

Thanks for visiting Big Apple Jazz Tours! Since 1997 we have been on the front lines of the underground New York City jazz scene - taking small groups down into the basements and alleyways where live jazz still thrives in neighborhood nightclubs from Harlem to Greenwich Village. Legendary players and clubs as well.

All live music and transportation costs are included in the tour price. Our jazz tours take place in Manhattan for the most part, but private tours to Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx can be arranged.

Our goal is to offer the most intimate, small group tours available to Harlem and Greenwich Village neighborhood nightclubs and juke joints. We also provide insight into the Big Apple jazz scene as it has evolved over the past hundred years.

Consider hiring Gordon Polatnick to take you on a private tour throughout the city during the day or night to experience the city's many intriguing neighborhoods at your pace and focusing on your interests.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 225 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 209
  • 12
    Very good
  • 3
  • 1
  • 0
Yes, this is the experience you want

If you ever wanted to listen where and when jazz is born this is the tour for you. You can go and listen to some good jazz bands play the greats or you can take this tour and... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Dallas, Texas

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225 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

If you ever wanted to listen where and when jazz is born this is the tour for you. You can go and listen to some good jazz bands play the greats or you can take this tour and listen to the ones that will become the greats. Gordon was a wonderful host and you know you are with the right... More 

Thank ElChingon
Lake Anna, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Amanda Humes gives the best tours of the jazz scene in New York. She provides a wealth of history about the people and places that makes jazz great. She included some great stories about the famous Esquire Magazine photo from the '50's of notable jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, and Tyree Glenn. Ask Amanda about the art... More 

Thank Dave F
BigAppleGordon, Owner at Big Apple Jazz Tour, responded to this review

Thanks Dave for your glowing review of Amanda and her Harlem jazz tour. Amanda is a champ. She warms and caring, and so knowledgeable and insightful about her Harlem neighborhood and the jazz scene in general. We're lucky to have her. And after reading your review I'm dying to find out the Tyree Glenn story that she shared. Peace, Gordon... More 

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

You absolutely must do one of these tours. We did the Harlem Juke Joints tour with Gordon and it was hands down one of the best experiences I have ever had. This is the other side of music, away from the glitz and polish of Broadway shows - amazing music by incredibly talented people in intimate and unassuming venues. Just... More 

Thank GcW5000
BigAppleGordon, Owner at Big Apple Jazz Tour, responded to this review

How do you respond to such nice words, other than to say, "Thank you so much." Our aim has always been to stand out from the competition as a place where visitors come to "break on through to the other side," to not only learn about and see our culture in action but to participate and immerse yourself in it... More 

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
200 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

As we were a party of seven, we booked a Private Tour of Harlem with Big Apple Tours and it was perfect. I had several emails with Gordon prior to our trip and always received prompt and helpful responses. We started our evening at the Lenox Saphire with dinner (good soul food) and drinks listening to the band which was... More 

Thank the_stoddarts
BigAppleGordon, Owner at Big Apple Jazz Tour, responded to this review

Thanks for your wonderful and detail-oriented review. As the owner of Big Apple Jazz Tours, I take each special request on personally to give you the best customer service and attention to your specific needs as I can. It's great to know that we succeeded in choosing the right elements on this private tour to satisfy your group, and you... More 

Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Amanda was a wonderful host. She took us to two amazing Jazz clubs in Harlem. We got prime tables right near the stage and the music was mind blowing. This was an absolute highlight of our 3 weeks in NYC and highly recommend this as a must do activity. Also try Brother Thelonius and Sugar Hill beer, both local Harlem... More 

Thank Peter S
BigAppleGordon, Owner at Big Apple Jazz Tour, responded to this review

Thanks, Peter, for taking the time to right so glowingly about your Harlem tour with Amanda. She wrote me after your tour and shared the photos you all took with the bands and your VIP treatment at Minton's and Billie's. You got the real Harlem treatment from the real Queen of Harlem. Peace, Gordon More 

Level Contributor
50 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2015 via mobile

We went on the Greenwich Village Tour with Gordon and it was amazing. Despite of the rainy and cold weather we enjoyed every moment of the tour. We had the opportunity to listen to 3 bands of different "shades" of Jazz and everyone was great. We liked it that much that we are reorganizing our trip itinerary so we can... More 

Thank Saki A
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2015

Gordon provided wonderful insight into the Harlem Jazz scene. The venues we visited were intimate and the music hot. Our son Harry even got to jam at The Paris Blues. A great eveing!

Thank Geoff B
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2015

We had a family of three (including our teenage daughter). Gordon planned the tour accordingly. He was very entertaining. He went to 4 places in Greenwich Village. Each of them had a different kind of jazz as we requested. We would not have been able to find these places without Gordon. We would definitely do this again. Great times, great... More 

Thank Sabbitt
Bogota, Colombia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2015

We had the chance to go on a tour with Amanda around 6 months ago, Harlem Juke Joint Tour. She's a great person and is a great guide. We learnt a lot and we got to know three different places with good music! Highly recommended.

Thank aleja2487
Muskegon, Michigan
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2015

This was an amazing time! Amanda started by giving us some interesting New York Jazz history. She then escorted us through several Harlem clubs where that history came alive. I can’t thank you enough, Amanda!

Thank Ryan G

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  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
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