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Tarrytown Musician Preps For Opening Of New Jazz Venue

Mark Morganelli of Jazz Forum Arts in Tarrytown.
Mark Morganelli of Jazz Forum Arts in Tarrytown. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Mark Morganelli, a longtime trumpeter/flugelhornist who has produced more than 60 jazz records and also been behind numerous NYC and Westchester-based jazz festivals (think Riverside Park Arts Festival in New York City, the Dobbs Ferry Summer Music Series, Jazz at the Music Hall in Tarrytown, and New York's The Town Hall and The Beacon Theatre, among others) is getting ready for his greatest performance ever: the introduction of a hundred-seat jazz club on Dixon Lane in Tarrytown.

The club, which he will run with his wife, Ellen Prior, should -- if all goes according to plan -- open soon after Labor Day complete with a full bar, an extensive all-Italian wine list and light bites.

Among the artists he hopes will play: David Sanborn, a fellow Tarrytown neighbor and old friend , as well as another old friend, Wynton Marsalis. "Being in the industry for so long, I have a long list of musicians to call on," he said.

And indeed, a recent visit to his still-under-construction site shows a wide range of posters with almost every jazz artist imaginable (i.e. Herbie Mann, Bobby McFerrin, Pat Metheny, Lionel Hampton) that, over the years, Morganelli has either produced on a CD or booked at a show.

The Tarrytown resident admits the thought of opening his own club wasn't really a vision until he and his wife thought about downsizing more than a year ago. Having lived in Dobbs Ferry for 25 years, they wanted something in the area, with charm. When they saw this space -- a former bakery in a building dating to 1910 -- something clicked.

"I just saw it," he said of the vast 3,700 square foot space, that, most recently, had been an antique shop. He and Prior are living upstairs.

Morganelli plans to have the club, called the Jazz Forum , open on weekends only with a $20 cover and $10 minimum. He also plans to do monthly workshops for students on Saturday afternoons.

Go to www.jazzforumarts.org/ for more information.

In the meantime, check out his free Dobbs Ferry Summer Music Series, which starts Wednesdays at Waterfront Park on June 22.

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