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All That Jazz In Riverhead!

Douglas MacKaye Harrington

Antique autos parked on Main Street in front of the entrance to the Suffolk Theater during the 1st Anniversary Gala. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)

On Saturday, March 1 Riverhead became jazz central with the 1st Anniversary Gala at the Suffolk Theater and another stellar performance that is the Winterfest "Live at the Indigo" series at Hotel Indigo East End.

Adrian and Andree Cooper dressed to impress at the 1920s themed Suffolk Theater 1st Anniversary Gala. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)

The Roaring 1920s were recreated at the beautifully restored art deco Suffolk Theater on Main Street as it celebrated its 1st anniversary after being dark for almost two decades. Attendees certainly embraced the theme with most of the ladies dressed as flappers with arm length gloves and dangling pearls and many of the gents in fedoras, pinstripes and spats. Several 1920s antique automobiles were parked at the entrance to the theater lending even further to the ambiance of the evening.

Grammy winning Vince Giordano and his 10 piece orchestra The Nighthawks had the theater jumping with classic 1920s jazz era arraignments along with Cotton Club and big band classics from Duke Ellington to Glenn Miller. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks actually appeared in the movie "The Cotton Club" as well as "The Aviator" and on the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire." The expansive Suffolk Theater dance floor was packed throughout the evening, including a group dance lesson of The Charleston.

Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks kept the dance floor packed throughout the night. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)

Admission to the gala in support of the Suffolk Theater was $45 and a scrumptious 3-course dinner was available for only $35 per person. The beautiful centerpiece theater bar was churning out the cocktails and lots of Long Island wine, particularly the fabulous Sparkling Pointe champagnes. The party continued when at 10:00 p.m. the theater opened up to the general public and turned into an "After Hours Speakeasy" with DJ dancing long into the night for a mere $10 admission charge.

Charlie Chaplan and Mae West look-alikes at the Suffolk Theater Gala. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)

The Suffolk Theater has certainly staked its claim as one of the Northeast's premiere entertainment venues with a spectacular and eclectic lineup of upcoming talent that includes the likes of Cherry Poppin Daddies, soul music legend Mavis Staples, and Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna fame, just to name a few. Seating at the theater is pure supper club with white linen tables on multiple levels with dinner service available at every show. Beautifully and lovingly restored by owners Bob and Dianne Castaldi this stunning Art Deco cabaret style theater is also available for private events and weddings. Click here for a complete schedule of upcoming acts through May:The Suffolk Theater

Just across town at another stunning venue, the beautiful boutique Hotel Indigo East End, more jazz was echoing through the night with a "Live at the Indigo" Saturday Concert Series Winterfest performance by the Ojoyo Jazz Quartet. Fronted by veteran saxman extraordinaire Morris Goldberg, the quartet delivered rich and thoughtful renditions of classic jazz standards in the elegant Indigo Ballroom.

As part of the Live on the Vine/Long Island Winterfest schedule, the Indigo Ballroom concert series includes an eclectic lineup of artists featuring not only jazz, but rock & roll, R&B, and country music. March 8th features the Billy Joel tribute band Cold Spring Harbor, Irish rock on March 15th with the Dinny Keg Band, a special Friday, March 21st concert features legendary Paul Simon bassist Bikithi Kumalo and his band and Saturday, March 22nd the uber-popular and creative Miles To Dayton Band will perform.

The Winterfest "Live at the Indigo" Saturday Concert Series in the beautiful Indigo Ballroom. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)

Live on the Vine admission to the concerts is $20 which includes a drink, but the cover is waived with a dinner reservation that features a 4-course Prix Fixe menu for only $52 per person. Prepared by the awarding Hotel Indigo restaurant Bistro 72, the Prix Fixe menu includes a first course of Corn Chowder or Crab Cakes followed by a choice of Beet Salad or the fabulous Bistro 72 Salad. Main course entrees include a choice of Praline Encrusted Cod, 10 oz. Rib Eye Steak, French Cut Chicken or Pappardelle Bolognese and the dessert choices are Tiramisu, Crème Brulee or Palmer Vineyards Merlot Sorbet. The Bistro 72 appetizer menu is also available in the Indigo Ballroom during the concerts.

Veteran saxman Morris Goldberg fronting his Ojoyo Jazz Quartet in the Hotel Indigo Ballroom. (Photo: Douglas MacKaye Harrington)

On this particular night not only was Ojoyo performing jazz in the Ballroom, piano man Trevor Davison was tinkling the ivories of the Baby Grand fireside in Bistro 72 for a packed restaurant enjoying the highly creative fall/winter seasonal menu. Bistro 72 offers live music throughout the year including singer/songwriter Lydia Sabosto every Wednesday and Hotel Indigo is offering overnight accommodation specials during Winterfest starting at only $179 per night or $329 for two nights and include Festival Hopper Passes for access to any of the Live on the Vine venues and performances. For more information and to make a reservation click here: Hotel Indigo East End

Once the county seat, Riverhead is emerging again as a major East End destination as the gateway to both the Hamptons and the North Fork Wine Region. An emergence bolstered in no small part by stunning venues like the Suffolk Theater and Hotel Indigo East End and events like LI Winterfest/Live on the Vine.

For more information, click here.

Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com Hamptons HamptonsOnline HamptonsOnline

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