We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Big Apple Jazz Tour

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: New York City, NY 10019
Phone Number:
+1 917-863-7854
8:00 am - 11:59 pm
Open now
See all hours
Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 11:59 pm
Sat - Sun 9:00 am - 11:59 pm
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

Authentic Experiences to the heart of New York City! Since 1997 we have...

Authentic Experiences to the heart of New York City! 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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 316 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 282
  • 19
    Very good
  • 2
  • 1
  • 1
With Amanda in Harlem

This was my second Harlem tour with Big Apple Jazz. Amanda is a fascinating person with great enthusiasm and knowledge. She showed us great jazz places and opened doors to... read more

Reviewed May 24, 2016
Munich, Germany

Similar Things to Do in New York City

Add Photo Write a Review

316 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 305: English reviews
Munich, Germany
1 review
Reviewed May 24, 2016

This was my second Harlem tour with Big Apple Jazz. Amanda is a fascinating person with great enthusiasm and knowledge. She showed us great jazz places and opened doors to exciting musical experiences. Not only the bands we saw, but also the many interesting people we met, made this a splendid evening. You don't get this on your own, you... More 

Thank A-Wisitor
1 review
Reviewed May 23, 2016 via mobile

Did this tour with Amanda and well worth the money. From a historical stroll through the streets of Harlem , to enjoying local jazz clubs and speakeasies it was amazing. Amanda loves what she does and it shows in her enthusiasm for Harlem and music. Unfortunately, we did this tour the first night we arrived in NYC,having been up since... More 

Thank RozzieT1955
Knoxville, TN
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2016

My husband & I were in NYC to celebrate our anniversary and we had many attractions to check off our list while here. We both love Jazz and he had researched tours and found the Big Apple Jazz Tour with Amanda. We are so glad he did, each venue offered a slightly different element of jazz and we loved them... More 

Thank L D
Bangor, Maine
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 8, 2016

My wife and I enjoyed a 4 day vacation in the Big Apple, saw some great Broadway shows, museums, restaurants and just enjoyed walking. We wanted to take in an experience that was "real" and to get off the beaten path. I wanted to take in some jazz and started to research some area clubs, shows, etc and it became... More 

1 Thank Scott S
The Netherlands
1 review
Reviewed May 6, 2016

In a comforting place were you can have a drink or have a home cooked meal. The owner and local visitors want to make you feel comfortable and at home. It seems to be one family to join. Thereby the most interesting groovy and relax music enter your ear. Looking, listing is simply enough..and the diner is good too. Later... More 

Thank esther950
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2016

On a recent trip to NYC with kids (aged 12 and 8), we did all the museums and sights one is supposed to. But I added Big Apple Jazz Tour to our itinerary, intrigued at the idea of letting the kids actually walk the streets of Harlem, visit a jazz club or two, sit really close to the stage, have... More 

2 Thank mplsresident2001
BigAppleGordon, Owner at Big Apple Jazz Tour, responded to this review

Thanks for your enthusiasm. It inspired me to design a tour to Harlem that would be family friendly with student-age discount, dinner included, and a little shorter than usual. It was a pleasure working with you to set up this event for your young ones - Amanda and I are grateful for your adventurous spirit and trust. Peace, Gordon Polatnick More 

West Sussex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 24, 2016

Not at all touristy; full of great moments supplied by Amanda herself and others. Got to meet all the artists and some great insights into the history of jazz in Harlem. We would strongly recommend this tour to anyone coming to New York.

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

Thanks Pau for your wonderful feedbackl. Next time you're in town, get in touch in advance so I can offer you a discount on another Harlem, or perhaps a Greenwich Village jazz tour. Until then... Peace, Gordon More 

Bamberg, Germany
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 22, 2016

For me the best moments in town during my stay in New York ! - Dear Amanda, I thank you so much and wish all the best for you and your friends ! I'm so glad to meet you take good care of yourself ! Claudia from Germany

1 Thank 418claudia
BigAppleGordon, Owner at Big Apple Jazz Tour, responded to this review

On behalf of Amanda, let me thank you, Claudia, for such nice words. We don't usually do tours for just one person, but when available we will make the effort. Thanks for being flexible while we worked out the details for you. See you next time. More 

Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2016 via mobile

Amazing treat! This tour hold the #2 spot in my top tours list that I've taken all over the world. I've never liked large venues My local club, Yoshi's, in Oakland, Ca holds maybe 200- that's my max. Tonight I was in heaven hearing 'my dear' Jazz in venues that hold only 30-100.

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

We are kindred spirits, l p. I started this tour business to keep people like us happy in intimate groups at small neighborhood clubs where music and atmosphere combine for soulful ecstasy. I'd love to know what was #1 - I'm sure I'd enjoy that tour as well. Peace, Gordon More 

Level Contributor
38 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2016

Gordon has a passion for the jazz scene in NYC and enjoys sharing it with others. He will make you feel welcome whether you have a casual interest in jazz or you're already an aficionado. A couple of things that were great about this tour is that he brought us to places I never would have found on my own... More 

Thank H2OToGo
BigAppleGordon, Owner at Big Apple Jazz Tour, responded to this review

Thanks for the great feedback. I'm sometimes worried that after 18 years of jazz touring, that my passion for the scene will fade or be harder to communicate authentically. I rely heavily on the great musicians and local clubs scenes to back up my enthusiasm with unmatched energy and warmth, which brings the message home every night - that there's... More 

Travelers who viewed Big Apple Jazz Tour also viewed

New York City, NY
New York City, NY

Been to Big Apple Jazz Tour? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Big Apple Jazz Tour and other visitors
6 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (6)

Questions? Get answers from Big Apple Jazz Tour staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?

Staying in Midtown

Neighborhood Profile
This is the iconic New York that so many visitors imagine before they visit - spectacular skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building, iconic public buildings like Grand Central Terminal and the New York Public Library, and the non-stop hustle and bustle of the city streets. Fifth Avenue is a shopper's paradise where you can find every kind of store imaginable, with fashion brands ranging from the affordable to the ultra-fancy. Visit Rockefeller Center to experience towering Art Deco grandeur, and foodies will love the busy restaurants that stay open late in Koreatown. After dark, Midtown calms down a bit, but at any time of day or night it still feels 100% New York.
Explore this neighborhood