Greg Wall — the “jazz rabbi” — just celebrated his 1st year at 323. Most Thursdays, he and an ever-changing virtuoso cast entertains diners, drinkers and music fans at the North Main Street restaurant.
There’s only one problem: Their piano is not up to the job.
It’s a fine instrument for a casual home player. But it can’t sustain the constant playing of 323’s featured artists.
Fortunately, a fine 1937 Steinway “M” piano — from New York’s legendary Village Gate — is available. For several decades beginning in 1958, it was played by many jazz greats: Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal, McCoy Tyner, Erroll Garner, Sun Ra and more.
A plaque on the Village Gate piano describes its vaunted history.
The piano was featured on recordings by Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Nina Simone, and used for the original perfomances of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.”
The 323 crew hopes to raise $10,000 to buy the instrument. They’re starting a non-profit — The Jazz Society of Fairfield County — to ensure the piano will support jazz performances throughout the area.
They’ve got a week to pull off the deal. So they offer these premiums:
- Donate $3,000 or more, and the Greg Wall Quartet will perform in your home, or for a private function.
- Donate $1,000, and you’ll be treated to a night of solo piano by one of 323’s featured artists.
- For $500 or more, you can dedicate an upcoming 323 performance in honor of a friend or loved one, or for a special occasion.
If the Jazz Society can’t purchase the piano, all donations will be returned. If they surpass their goal, excess funds will be used for regular maintenance, tuning and regulation, and the purchase of a humidity control device.
Let the music play!
(To contribute via PayPal, click here. To make other arrangements, email JazzRabbi@gmail.com)
Among the 323 regulars are saxophonist Greg Wall and pianist Chris Coogan.