Flute Midtown

Our Year In Review 2015: Hot

Dandy Wellington, Feb. 2015, Wit's End

Dandy Wellington, Feb. 2015, Wit’s End


Wit’s End™ began in 2009, and in 2015 we managed to have 11 monthly parties. It was quite a year, with some of New York’s greatest jazz bands performing. We had wonderful nights at Flute Midtown, which was an actual speakeasy run by the legendary Texas Guinan. In November we squeezed in one more part at the new Fillmore Room in West Chelsea.

A big thank you to the staff of Flute this year, who were superb hosts and really helped us have so many fantastic nights.

Kita, Christine, and Mike

Kita, Christine, and Mike

We are very lucky to have such a great team. Everyone that comes to one of our parties meets Christine at the door. Our dance leaders, Jeri-Lynn and Neal, have been with us since 2009. Our hostesses this year were Kita St. Cyr, Dandy Dillinger, Miss Melody Jane, and Eden Atencio. We think we have the best hostesses around!

We were joined by DJ Mike Will Cut You, who performed at most of our events in 2015. A WFMU Radio Host, Mike plays select tracks from his collection of rare vintage songs.

The producers this year: Kevin Fitzpatrick, Michael Haar, and Don Spiro (founder).

We kicked things off on January 31 with our “Hot Time in Winter Party” with hot jazz from Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess! Our hostess, Kita St. Cyr, spiced things up on a very cold night!

February 28 was our Sixth Anniversary party, and was the return of Dandy Wellington and His Band. It was fantastic (and crowded) night as we celebrated six years of being the longest-running monthly vintage party in New York. Dandy blew the doors off. Showgirl Kita St Cyr added the sparkles.

“A Night in Clover” was the theme of our March 28 party, with jazz from The Lady Bugs. Led by Martina DaSilva, it was one of the sweetest-sounding parties we’ve ever had. And with two ukuleleists in the house!

Melody Jane, DJ Mike Will Cut You, Dandy Dillinger

Melody Jane, DJ Mike Will Cut You, Dandy Dillinger

April 25 brought our annual “April Showers” party. Our period jazz was provided by Mike Davis and his Chicago Loopers. Our hostess was the lovely Dandy Dillinger.

The best hot jazz musicians in the east (and some from the west) attended the Third Annual New York Hot Jazz Festival on May 3 at the Players Club. Wit’s End™ sponsored the after party at midnight. It was an amazing jam session led by David Ostwald and Gordon Au.

“Mischief in May” on May 30 was swell party with Glenn Crytzer’s Quartet! Our hostess, Dandy Dillinger, continued her tradition of providing some pretty awful jokes…

At our June 27 “Moonshine in Manhattan” party we welcomed The Gotham Easy. A fantastic horn section! Our sponsor was Manhattan Moonshine.

Our July 25 “Midtown Melodies” party featured Daria Grace and the Pre-War Ponies. Our new hostess, Miss Melody Jane, debuted. She’s a songstress and burlesque star, wanted in six states for her monkeyshines and outlaw ways!

Our annual “Wild Party” on August 29 saw the debut of Jason Benjamin and Lime Juice Jazz perform with us. It was such a big party we needed two hostesses, Dandy Dillinger and Miss Melody Jane

The Buck and a Quarter Quartet performed Sept. 26, at the annual “September Swing” party. Our hostess, the devil-may-care Eden Atencio, even sang with the band!

The Wit’s End  7th Annual Black Cat Masquerade with Gelber and Manning was held a week before Halloween, on Oct. 24. Our hostess Dandy Dillinger kept the party rolling.

We closed out the year in November, with a special party at the Fillmore Room: the Manhattan Harvest featuring two hot bands Jesse Gelber and The Astor Boys! Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess! 

 Presented by Jesse Gelber, Lee Chappell, and Wit’s End™ the party also featured burlesque performances by Trixie Little, King of Boylesque Mr. Gorgeous, and Dandy Dillinger.

Wit’s End will return January 30, 2015, at our new venue. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @clubwitsend, and Like our Facebook page .

Gelber and Manning Return for 7th Annual Black Cat Masquerade

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 in NYC, come to Wit’s End™ for the 7th Annual Black Cat Masquerade and drink Prohibition era cocktails and celebrate the Jazz Age with music from Gelber and Manning!

Come in your best vintage or vintage-inspired attire—Halloween costumes too–to drink specialty cocktails and dance to jazz age songs in an authentic 1920s speakeasy. Our party is at Flute, 205 W. 54th Street, formerly Texas Guinan’s Club Intime! Advance tickets here!

Our hostess is the glamourous Kita St. Cyr! Spinning vintage phonograph discs is DJ Mike Will Cut You. Our co-sponsor is the Dorothy Parker Society, the drinking club with a book problem.

Black Cat Masquerade

Black Cat Masquerade

About this month’s live band: Gelber & Manning is a Brooklyn-based musical vaudeville duo, comprised of Jesse Gelber on piano and Kate Manning on vocals. They specialize in ragtime and early jazz styles, in addition to performing original songs. Gelber & Manning can be found performing as a duo act or with their band at New York’s hottest vintage events. They can also be seen in the hit web series Gintown, which features performances by their band and an original score. Music from their first album is featured in the Alvin Ailey ballet “Uptown.“ They recently released their second album, Moonlight Picnic, and are currently working on a musical about Storyville, New Orleans, entitled Where All The Rivers Go To Sleep.

TONIGHT!! Our annual Halloween costume contest, with prizes for the best costumes (Jazz Age themes).

Dress code: Jacket and tie, vintage or vintage-inspired, Jazz Age, evening wear, cocktail attire is encouraged!

Just $15 at the door! Advance tickets on sale via Ticketweb.

Table reservations are available and encouraged; telephone Flute Midtown reservation line at 212.265.5169 to reserve a table.

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Free dance lesson at 8:30 with Jeri Lynn Astra Turner-Barnes and Neal Groothuis!

Like Us on Facebook. Follow Us on Twitter.

Come Swing With Us in September

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 in NYC, come to Wit’s End™ annual “September Swing” and drink Prohibition era cocktails and celebrate the Jazz Age with music from the Buck and a Quarter Quartet!

Buck and a Quarter Quartet

Buck and a Quarter Quartet

Come in your best vintage or vintage-inspired attire to drink specialty cocktails and dance to jazz age songs in an authentic 1920s speakeasy. Our party is at Flute Midtown, 205 W. 54th Street, formerly Texas Guinan’s Club Intime! Advance tickets here!

Our hostess is the devil-may-care Eden Atencio!

Our co-sponsor is the Dorothy Parker Society, the drinking club with a book problem.

About this month’s live band: Playing classic jazz and pop from the 20s and 30s – and vintage-inspired originals (we call them “un-originals”), The Buck and a Quarter Quartet puts traditional music into a non-traditional setting. Drawing on influences as disparate as Bing Crosby and the Cheap Suit Serenaders, the Quartet has made its mission to play forgotten gems – as well as favorites – of the golden age of American popular music, all on strings (with some additional instruments like C-melody saxophone, clarinet and bell tree). The result is a mix of material and instrumentation that we hope sounds familiar and classic, yet new and fresh.

Dress code: Jacket and tie, vintage or vintage-inspired, Jazz Age, evening wear, cocktail attire is encouraged!

Just $15 at the door! Advance tickets on sale via Ticketweb.

Table reservations are available and encouraged; telephone Flute Midtown reservation line at 212.265.5169 to reserve a table.

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Free dance lesson at 8:30 with Jeri Lynn Astra Turner-Barnes and Neal Groothuis!

Dandy Dillinger (left) and Melody Jane. Photo: Don Spiro.

The Wild Party Returns Aug. 29

Dandy Dillinger & Melody Jane (Photo: Don Spiro)

Dandy Dillinger & Melody Jane (Photo: Don Spiro)

Saturday, August 29, 2015 in NYC, come to Wit’s End™ annual “Wild Party” and drink Prohibition era cocktails and celebrate the Jazz Age with music from Vintage Barber & Radio Host, DJ Mike Will Cut You and LIVE hot jazz from Jason Benjamin and Lime Juice Jazz!

Come in your most scandalous vintage inspired attire—or vintage lingerie–to drink specialty cocktails and dance to jazz age songs in an authentic 1920s speakeasy. Our party is at Flute Midtown, 205 W. 54th Street, formerly Texas Guinan’s Club Intime! Advance tickets here!

Our hostesses are Dandy Dillinger and Miss Melody Jane!

Our co-sponsor is the Dorothy Parker Society, the drinking club with a book problem.

About this month’s live band: Lime Juice Jazz is a New York City band lead by trumpeter and vocalist Jason Benjamin. The style is a unique mix of hot, classic jazz and swing with splashes of Latin jazz. The band plays regularly in NYC at various music venues, with an ongoing residency at Le Fanfare in Brooklyn since September, 2014.

Dress code: Jacket and tie, vintage or vintage-inspired, Jazz Age, evening wear, cocktail attire is encouraged!

Just $15 at the door! Advance tickets on sale via Ticketweb.

Table reservations are available and encouraged; telephone Flute Midtown reservation line at 212.265.5169 to reserve a table.

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Free dance lesson at 8:30 with Jeri Lynn Astra Turner-Barnes and Neal Groothuis!

Tell your friends. Visit our new Facebook Page.

Melody Jane steps in to Hostess, Sits Down with Dandy Dillinger for Tips

Dandy Dillinger (left) and Melody Jane. Photo: Don Spiro.

Dandy Dillinger (left) and Melody Jane. Photo: Don Spiro.

The July 25 Wit’s End party at Flute Midtown, with the Pre-War Ponies performing, will also see the debut of our newest hostess, Melody Jane. She’s a performer and singer, most recently in the revival of the Marx Brothers show, I’ll Say She Is, which is coming back in 2016 at the Connelly Theatre. Melody is stepping into the ruby-encrusted shoes this month of her pal, Dandy Dillinger.

We conducted an interview with these two charming ladies in their bathtub.

Dandy, you’ve been hostess for the party for a few months now. What’s a secret you can share with Melody, to help her make her debut?

Always have fun, you are there to bring the room together and keep the party going. If you’re not enjoying yourself how do you expect anyone else to.

Melody, what’s something you bring to the party that no other hostess can bring?

I am a Vaudevillian American Sweetheart that will sing, dance, and charm any crowd into the wee hours of the morning.

Melody, any questions for Dandy?

How on earth do you always manages to look so stunningly beautiful?!

Melody Jane (left) and Dandy Dillinger. Photo: Don Spiro.

Melody Jane (left) and Dandy Dillinger. Photo: Don Spiro.

Dandy, does Melody have your sense of style?

Melody has her own since of style and its one of the things I love most about her. She doesn’t care what people think, and she has a nice mix of a little bit of every era along with her own touch but can morph into the parts she plays very well.

Melody, what can we expect to see on July 25?

This July I will be hosting the greatest vintage-style champagne party in New York City! In addition to the fantastic live jazz music and vintage cocktails, you can expect me to sing a tune or two and dance the night away.

Dandy, any advice for this woman?

Just be you girl.

Advance tickets are available via Ticketweb, or get them at the door for $15. More information here.

Daria Grace and the Pre-War Ponies Headline July 25 Party

Saturday, July 25, 2015 in NYC, come to Wit’s End™ “Midtown Melodies” and drink Prohibition era cocktails and celebrate the Jazz Age with music from Vintage Barber & Radio Host, DJ Mike Will Cut You and LIVE hot jazz from Daria Grace and the Pre-War Ponies!

Come in your finest jazz age or vintage inspired attire to drink specialty cocktails and dance to jazz age songs in an authentic 1920s speakeasy. Our party is at Flute Midtown, 205 W. 54th Street, formerly Texas Guinan’s Club Intime! Advance tickets here!

Meet our new hostess, Melody Jane. She’s a songstress and burlesque star, wanted in six states for her monkeyshines and outlaw ways!

Midtown Melodies

Midtown Melodies

Our co-sponsor is the Dorothy Parker Society, the drinking club with a book problem.

About this month’s live band: The Pre-War Ponies was formed in 2007 by Daria Grace, who wanted to put to use her growing collection of sheet music and repertoire of not-quite hits from the 20s, 30s and 40s. She quickly recruited her old friend, trombonist and soprano uke player J. Walter Hawkes to be a part of the madness, and they have become the core duo of the band.

As for the band’s mission:

We see no reason to re-hash standards that have already been done so beautifully so many times. We like to dig deep. You have likely heard of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer, but you probably haven’t heard some of their under-rated chestnuts like “Pardon My Southern Accent” or “Find Me A Primitive Man.” We don’t just stick to the famous songwriters, either. There are plenty of gems from that golden era by the likes of Fred Ahlert, Joe Young, Chas Tobias, and Eddie Jones, none of whom are exactly household names. But maybe they should be…

Visit their Facebook Page and listen to their music here.

Dress code: Jacket and tie, vintage or vintage-inspired, Jazz Age, evening wear, cocktail attire is encouraged!

Just $15 at the door! Advance tickets on sale via Ticketweb.

Table reservations are available and encouraged; telephone Flute Midtown reservation line at 212.265.5169 to reserve a table.

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Free dance lesson at 8:30 with Jeri Lynn Astra Turner-Barnes and Neal Groothuis!

Tell your friends. Visit our new Facebook Page.

Gotham Easy and Manhattan Moonshine Together on June 27

Moonshine in Manhattan

Moonshine in Manhattan

Saturday, June 27, 2015 in NYC, come to Wit’s End™ “Moonshine in Manhattan” and drink Prohibition era cocktails and celebrate the Jazz Age with music from Vintage Barber & Radio Host, DJ Mike Will Cut You and LIVE hot jazz from The Gotham Easy.

Come in your finest jazz age or vintage inspired attire to drink specialty cocktails and dance to jazz age songs in an authentic 1920s speakeasy. Our party is at Flute Midtown, 205 W. 54th Street, formerly Texas Guinan’s Club Intime! Advance tickets here!

Meet our hostess, Dandy Dillinger. She looks sweet but this salty vamp can spice up any party. A 21st Century flapper with a dash of Jazz Age gangster.

This month our sponsor is Manhattan Moonshine, Prohibition-Style Whiskey. Try a vintage cocktail made with Manhattan Moonshine, you won’t forget it!

Our co-sponsor is the Dorothy Parker Society, the drinking club with a book problem.

About this month’s live band: The Gotham Easy members are Janelle Reichman (clarinet) Chris Cortier (trombone), Chris Johnson (banjo & piano) and TubaJoe Exley (tuba). While being completely at ease playing classic standards in the time-honored New Orleans tradition, the band brings a brash vitality to music that is all too often treated as a delicate museum piece. The Gotham Easy’s members have been playing together since 2006. Whether revitalizing the traditional jazz canon with their excitement and energy, or whipping an audience into a frenzy with their raucous original compositions, the Gotham Easy brings the music of the early 20th century into the early 21st century with a fresh style and attitude. Visit their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.

Dress code: Jacket and tie, vintage or vintage-inspired, Jazz Age, evening wear, cocktail attire is encouraged!
Just $15 at the door! Advance tickets on sale via Ticketweb.

Table reservations are available and encouraged; telephone Flute Midtown reservation line at 212.265.5169 to reserve a table.

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Free dance lesson at 8:30 with Jeri Lynn Astra Turner-Barnes and Neal Groothuis!

Tell your friends. Visit our new Facebook Page.

May 30 Don’t Miss ‘Mischief in May’ With Glenn Crytzer’s Quartet

Saturday, May 30, 2015 in NYC, come to Wit’s End™ “Mischief in May” and drink Prohibition era cocktails and celebrate the Jazz Age with music from Vintage Barber & Radio Host, DJ Mike Will Cut You and LIVE hot jazz from Glenn Crytzer’s Quartet! Download their free song here.

Come in your finest jazz age or vintage inspired attire to drink specialty cocktails and dance to jazz age songs in an authentic 1920s speakeasy. Our party is at Flute Midtown, 205 W. 54th Street, formerly Texas Guinan’s Club Intime!

Meet our hostess, Dandy Dillinger. She looks sweet but this salty vamp can spice up any party. A 21st Century flapper with a dash of Jazz Age gangster. Our co-sponsor is the Dorothy Parker Society, the drinking club with a book problem.

About this month’s live band: Glenn Crytzer’s Quartet represents a stable of vintage-style jazz ensembles directed by Glenn Crytzer. These ensembles focus on authentic performance of the styles of American Jazz performed prior to and during World War 2. Their music is influenced by artists like Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Christian, King Oliver, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, and their contemporaries.

Despite the influence of these jazz luminaries, Rhythm Club Ensembles always have their own distinctive sound due to musical director Glenn Crytzer’s unique approach to bandleading. Glenn eschews modernizing it with sounds like electric basses, ride cymbals, monitor speakers, and over amplification as these techniques change the sound of the music. At the same time, he avoids the idea of becoming a recreationist who attempts to make an exact copy of someone else’s sound as that would be antithetical to the individualist spirit of jazz music. Rather, Glenn’s approach is to use the musical language and techniques of the golden age of jazz in creating ensembles with unique styles and personalities – exactly the approach taken by musicians in the 20s, 30s, and 40s! As a result, critics, dancers, and listeners have praised Rhythm Club ensembles as “amazingly authentic,” “like some newly discovered band dug out of the Savoy vaults,” and “a rare organization dedicated to playing this (swing) music with such integrity to the original style.”​

Dress code: Jacket and tie, vintage or vintage-inspired, Jazz Age, evening wear, cocktail attire is encouraged!

Just $15 at the door! Advance tickets on sale via Ticketweb.

Table reservations are available and encouraged; telephone Flute Midtown reservation line at 212.265.5169 to reserve a table.

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Free dance lesson at 8:30 with Jeri Lynn Astra Turner-Barnes and Neal Groothuis!

Tell your friends. Visit our new Facebook Page.

Mike Davis and his Chicago Loopers to Perform April 25

Mike Davis

Mike Davis

Saturday, April 25, come to Wit’s End™ for April Showers! Drink Prohibition era cocktails and celebrate the Jazz Age with live period jazz provided by Mike Davis and his Chicago Loopers.

Also on the bill is WFMU Radio Host, Michael W. Haar, playing select tracks from his collection of rare vintage songs. Our hostess is the lovely Dandy Dillinger.

Our co-sponsor is the Dorothy Parker Society, the drinking club with a book problem.

Mike

Mike

Come in your finest jazz age or vintage inspired attire to drink specialty cocktails and dance to jazz age songs in an authentic 1920s speakeasy (Texas Guinan’s Club Intime, now at the historic Flute Midtown, 205 W. 54th Street at Broadway)!

Dress code: Jacket and tie, vintage or vintage-inspired, Jazz Age, evening wear, cocktail attire is encouraged!

7:00 PM: Doors
8:30 PM: Free dance lesson with Jeri Lynn Astra Turner-Barnes and Neal Groothuis!

Tickets: $15 at the door (cash or credit cards)
Advance tickets on sale via Brown Paper Tickets.

Table reservations are available and encouraged; telephone Flute Midtown reservation line at 212.265.5169 to reserve a table.

Follow Wit’s End™ on social media. Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest: @clubwitsend