Hi, my name is Tracey, and I am your 'A-Train Jazz Tour NYC' host. I am a performing jazz musician, an educator, a jazz performance photographer, a businesswoman, and an explorer. I was neither born nor raised in NYC, I am an Aussie country girl of Lebanese-Irish descent, who now calls Brooklyn home. Piano lessons at the age of four became the greatest gift my parents ever gave to me. From that moment on my life has been enriched and fuelled by this instrument and the world it has opened up to me.
In 2016, one year after a critical juncture in my life, I boarded a plane bound for Canada and the USA. I was gifting myself a month-long sabbatical, a personal re-invention journey. Well-travelled in Europe, Asia, and living as an expat in Japan for six years, I had never visited North America, even after numerous attempts by legendary jazz musician Hiram Bullock, who tried to convince me to come and play in NYC.
I decided it was high time I seek out my musical mentors, tick off the bucket list of jazz musicians I wanted to see on stage before I die. Or to put it in Hiram's vernacular, "New York City, girl you gotta get your ass over here". I heeded the words of my late friend and got my ass into gear to visit the home of Lady Liberty.
NYC hooked me in a heartbeat, I returned like a magnet - six times in just over a mere 18 months. I had commenced my renaissance, and it consisted of primarily exploring the diverse NYC jazz scene. The most incredible thing about this scene is that you can hear highly skilled musicians play every night of the week at not just one venue but many. These musicians are the kind unlikely to tour Australia and, if they did, it would be as side-kicks to big-name commercial acts. However, in NYC you can see them in small, intimate bars performing original compositions in their natural urban habitat.
On a short trip in October 2016, fate introduced me to a fellow explorer who rivalled my enthusiasm for music. Dr Daniel P., a recovering neuroscientist with a capacious mind, a propensity for jazz, the unscripted, and the improvised. Extremely well versed on 'who is who, who played where, who lived where, and who is on right now', he enthusiastically guided me through the streets and bars of NYC on a jazz adventure. Not the busy neon city streets that you associate with archetypical NYC, but dark, dingy, cobbled streets I could never have found if left to my own volition.
It was a night to remember when an idea was born, 'A-Train Jazz Tours NYC'. Together we decided to make our love for the underground jazz music scene accessible to a broader audience. We truly believe that great art is indeed alive and well in this commodified city. You have to turn the right rocks to find it. Come, join us, we will take you on an unforgettable trip through the night and the city. No experience required.