Last night, I was invited to meet an old friend along with his (delightful) daughter and wonderful friends at Iguana NYC, a Mexican restaurant and club in midtown. My friend told me that on Mondays, the performance space was occupied by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, a band specializing in vintage 1920s and 1930s jazz. Being busy, I for once, didn’t research the entertainment but agreed to the date. I expected that the band would be fine, but I was utterly unprepared for the unbelievable experience ahead.
Vintage jazz and swing are kind of my thing. I grew up (obsessively) listening to my dad’s 1930s and 1940s vinyl, and my far-and-away fave (long before I knew it was a big deal) was the most iconic jazz recording of all time, “The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert.” The Nighthawks’ version of my favorite track, “Sing, Sing, Sing,” was as perfect as any I’ve ever heard. It was 6 minutes of absolute magic. I grinned. I vibrated. I teared up a little. And I was jigging in place so hard, it’s a wonder I didn’t shake my chair apart.
Had I done any research at all, I would have realized that this was no ordinary band. This is the Grammy-winning group responsible for the stellar music from “Boardwalk Empire,” “Cotton Club,” “Cafe Society,” and “The Aviator,” among other projects.
(And as if all that stupendous music wasn’t enough, we sat two seats away from my Shakespearean idol, Mark Rylance. Talk about a memorable evening!)
Trust me. If you find yourself in NYC on a Monday or Tuesday, please do yourself a favor and go see this incredibly tight 11-piece band. And let me know you’re coming. I’d love the company!
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how spectacular the company was, too. All in all, a wonderful night!