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“A Gem of a tour - the Inside Track in Harlem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Big Apple Jazz Tour

Big Apple Jazz Tour
200 Central Park South, Suite 16J, New York City, NY 10019 (Midtown)
+1 917-863-7854
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: 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, but food and drinks are extra. 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 by luxury limousine - starting late and ending early to catch the scene at it's most exciting, or during the day to experience the city's many intriguing neighborhoods with an insider. Other public tours include sets at New York's most exclusive jazz clubs to hear the living legends of jazz any night of the week.
Brighton
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A Gem of a tour - the Inside Track in Harlem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

We really enjoyed Gordon's tour of Harlem. He guided us to venues we would never have found ourselves, was relaxed, informative and very good company. An expert in the history and culture of New York jazz and also a clever leader of our group. The tour included easy walking from place to place, stopping to see and hear about places and people that used to be as well as taking us to 3 clubs where we enjoyed great music and a really nice welcome.

It was the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of the whole evening that made it most memorable. Like being taken out for the night by a friend of a friend who happened to know everyone in town and wanted to introduce you to them all. And to cap it all as the evening drew on our daughter Sally was able to get up and sing with the band in Paris Blue. A great memory.

Visited December 2013
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158 reviews from our community

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English first
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Jazz Tours With Gordon - Really Fun!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

No trip to NYC is complete without a night out with Gordon. We have did the Harlem trip in 2012 and the Greenwich Village jazz tour this year. They were wonderful. Gordon is a terrific guide to the neighborhoods, the clubs and the musicians not to mention a really nice guy to hang out with. We strongly recommend taking a tour with him.

Visited December 2013
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Jazz with Gordon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

Though the Big Apple Jazz Tour was highly touted by a friend, I had to see for myself. Not only was the jazz great and Gordon facilitative, with his passionate love of the music obvious from the start. But also there was a warm, genuinely welcoming atmosphere in all three of the places we went. One shouldn't neglect mentioning the excellent food [ and drink ] that we enjoyed. A lovely evening in the City!

Visited December 2013
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Melbourne, australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Not good value - could be better”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2013

We just got back from the tour and to be honest found it a little disappointing - maybe Gordon was having a bad day. We met him at 6.30 but the other guests on the tour were late so didn't leave till 6.50pm. Gordon chatted on the subway but little about jazz in NY. The first bar we went too wasn't serving food that night so we stayed for 5 minutes then went to the next where we watched so relatively uninspiring college kids play jazz whilst waiting for food. Then we went to Showmans which had a great sax player but we sat at the bar and Gordon didn't speak to us so other than know how old the bar was, we found out little information about who was playing, the history of the bar or the area. We then walked to Apollo Theatre where Gordon spoke to us for five minutes - again pretty minimal and could have got more from a guidebook. Then we went to Paris Blue which was brilliant - but again sat at the bar while Gordon sat on the old piano stool - no info about who was playing. For $99 each this is a pretty expensive tour plus food, tips for musicians, and drinks it was not worth it. In fact it would have been cheaper and just as informative to get a driver for the night and go to four bars that you could research beforehand. All the bars were welcoming and friendly so going in is no problem - the bars are amazing but this does not make a 'tour'. Overall this tour in our opinion is not good value for money. Gordon is too relaxed and even indicated we were going to bars in Harlem where you could jam if you wanted - but this was not the case. Sorry Gordon but not worth $200!

Visited November 2013
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BigAppleGordon, Owner at Big Apple Jazz Tour, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
I can certainly understand Oscarcat's frustration with the tour having not met their expectations. Rather than argue the points raised, I would like to assure other guests on future Big Apple Jazz Tours that I and my staff are motivated by a very high standard of customer satisfaction. If we miss the mark on occasion in meeting or beating our guests expectations, it only makes us strive harder the next time. We would like to make it up to these guests on a future trip to NY by offering the tour free of charge. I personally guarantee that you will arrive at a different conclusion by the end of your next Big Apple Jazz Tour.
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Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Harlem Jazz Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

What a terrific night! Our knowledgeable guide Gordon accompanied us on the train up to Harlem. He explained the history of jazz in Harlem and took us to three authentic clubs to hear smokin' hot live music.

Great way to spend an evening! There were 11 total people on the tour and it was fun to meet everybody. I would bring earplugs as some of the music was too loud for me.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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