Long Island is suddenly looking a lot jazzier.
Jazz, a musical style that hasn't typically been a part of the local nightlife scene, is suddenly being heard loud and clear at two spots in Suffolk County. Treme (pronounced truh-may, like the New Orleans district where jazz was born) in Islip and Harmony Vineyards in Head of the Harbor are offering regular weekly jazz nights -- with at least a touch of Basin Street ambience -- and starring some of the genre's big names.
"We get a lot of similar acts like The Iridium and Blue Note in the city," says Treme's owner, Eric Bruno of East Islip.
Jazz in Islip
The year-old Treme has scored a real jazz coup booking Margot Bingham, best known to fans of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" as Onyx Club singer Daughter Maitland, for a concert Saturday night at 8.
"It'll be my first time playing Treme and I couldn't be more excited to mesh a bit of old and new into our set," said Bingham, known in music circles as Margot B., via email from Los Angeles. Bingham added, "Most people know me as Daughter Maitland, but it'll be fun to show them Margot B." Admission for the show is $30.
Bruno, who runs the club with his parents, Lynn and Craig Bruno of Islip and his brother, Travis, says, "We're all big music fans" who saw a need for a South Shore jazz club. "Our idea was to have something that was an upscale place to go after you eat dinner," he says. "At most of the bars, the crowds seem to be getting younger and younger," adds Bruno, but the crowd at Treme tends to be 35 to 55. The ambience is similar to a New York City club, with low lighting and a baby grand piano onstage.
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At Harmony Vineyards Tasting Notes Jazz Club, which opens tomorrow night, about a dozen candlelit tables are set up in the library of the winery's Tasting House, which was built in the 1690s. Musicians play on a small stage in front of a window with a 180-degree view of the vineyard and harbor.
"It's a very romantic place," says Ray Anderson of Poquot, a renowned trombonist, who will be leading duos and trios two nights a week at Harmony's jazz club. Anderson, who has 20 albums to his credit, is also director of jazz studies at Stony Brook University.
"I'm a big jazz fan and a big fan of Ray Anderson, and I think that the community is really lucky to have him willing to perform here on a regular basis," says vineyard owner David Acker.
Acker says that on other nights, he'll bring in a "mix of artists from Long Island and New York City." On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Anderson's jazz students will perform.
Guests can get in a jazzy mood sipping Harmony wines, including a just-released Grand Reserve chardonnay 2012, Acker says. Snack plates (hummus, bean salad, cheese) can be purchased for $8 to $16.
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday, 553 Main St., Islip
INFO 631-277-2008, tremeislip.com
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and Saturday-Sunday afternoons 169 Harbor Rd., Head of the Harbor
INFO Two-drink minimum; 631-291-9900, harmonyvineyards.com