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“Start with a Harlem jazz tour.”

Big Apple Jazz Tour
Ranked #3 of 857 Nightlife in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Start with a Harlem jazz tour.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

The Sunday afternoon jazz tour with Gordon was a fantastic start of our NY visit. We got to see a good mix of historical places and jazz. Invited to Marjorie Eliot's appt for the first session was the best. So different, private and historically interesting. The Shrine, the Vet club, then later, Paris Blues, all in the same day. Tank you Gordon. You made our day...and week. We highly recommend anyone, jazz lover or not, to see Harlem with Gordon. A buss tour up to Sugar Hill, some jazz clubs, the streets, the buildings, the people.....quite different from down south on Manhattan. Do it!

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Pelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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312 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful tour. Highlight of my trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012 via mobile

What to say about this tour?! I visited bars and jazz clubs that I never would have on my own. Harlem is actually a gem of a place.

Great mixture of jazz venues - the musicians were phenomenal! Met a great bunch of people and our host Mr Gordon was just lovely, knowledgeable and organised.

Do not miss this tour!

Thank Musicalbexy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florianopolis, SC
Level Contributor
59 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2012

Fantastic tour! A "must to do" in NYC. Great clubs, a very considerate guide. I recommend the tour to all who appreciate good music. A night like a "new yorker". Thanks, Mr. Gordon!

Visited September 2012
Thank Rodinei T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“amazing expirience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2012

fantastic tour. it was both fun and culturally very interesting. a lot of great music in three different kinds of location, beautiful walks around wonderful neighborhoods and nice clubs. we met very nice people and great musicians, we felt at home like we had lived in harlem for years! gordon is really nice, friendly and explains a lot about history of music, musicians, clubs and all the places we visited! i maneged to play a tune in a jam session at paris blues club, which for me (italian) is a dream come true! next time in new york i'll do it again! lorenzo

Visited August 2012
Thank lorenzo d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Every music lover should do this tour....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2012

I really can't enthuse enough about how fantastic this tour was. I'm a jazz vocalist so I had pretty high expectations. They were BLOWN! We were lucky enough to be there on "Harlem Day", and the vibe in the streets as we walked to the first venue from the "A Train" was great! The first show we went to was at The Shrine, and I was lucky enough to sit in and jam with the band - talk about bucket list item! Jamming with a band in Harlem! Next we wandered along the streets, past the old site of the Tree of Hope site, with a bunch of interesting tidbits from Gordon along the way. We also went to the Red Rooster - the coolest, new restaurant/jazz club in Harlem, where we saw a phenomenal band in their downstairs room. After a walk past the Apollo, we caught a cab to the other side of town where we went down into the basement of a perfectly unassuming looking brownstone, only to find the Legions Club - a phenomenal, hidden gem of a jazz club where the musicians and the vibe were second to none. Unforgettable! My husband is a reasonably new convert to the world of jazz, and even he said that it was the highlight of our week in New York. Regardless of whether you like jazz or not, if you like music and are keen to understand the rich history of Harlem, go on this tour - you won't be disappointed!

Visited August 2012
Thank PhoebeDB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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