NEW YORK – New York has long been a city known for jazz. What’s less well-known is how kid- and family-friendly jazz performances here can be.
Many performers have day jobs as educators, and although many venues are nightclubs, there are jazz performances where even toddlers are welcome.
“When I was a kid, the Vanguard was an extension of my home. It was not only smoky, it was noisy. Now? Forget it. Make a peep and the noise police will shush you,” says Deborah Gordon, general manager of the Village Vanguard, opened by her father in 1935. “It was a rough-and-tumble place when I was a kid, and 13-year-olds definitely weren’t allowed in. You’d have to hang out on the stairs if you wanted to listen.”
A lot has changed. Today, the Vanguard is non-smoking and cleaner, and the minimum age to attend a performance is 13. But Gordon says not all kids are ready at that age for jazz (she says she wasn’t). Visitors should keep a few things in mind before making a reservation: