|“Chatty Pianist” Emir Gamsizoglu shares his love of classical music every Sunday at Caffe Vivaldi.|
After nearly nine years living in Manhattan and countless trips to the West Village, I ventured to Jones Street for the first time a few weeks back. The Chatty Pianist’s weekly classical piano concert at Caffe Vivaldi was the reason for my visit on this unusually warm Sunday in January. Jones is one of those unfamiliar streets you’ve heard of but can’t quite place its exact location without looking at a map. First hint: It’s not the same as Great Jones. Second hint: The tiny, unassuming street runs perpendicular to and between Barrow and Cornelia.
I arrived at an already packed cafe –– mine was the only vacant seat –– and slipped in. After settling across the tiny two-top from Lauren, I ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio, and we both relaxed and listened to Mozart and Chopin for about an hour until intermission. Let me be clear –– this performance was more than casual background music, but rather, an in-restaurant concert from pianist/composer and “Classical for All” co-creator Emir Gamsizoglu.
|“Chatty Pianist” talks to the audience in between pieces.|
Every Sunday afternoon, this veteran pianist plays to a crowd at Caffe Vivaldi. Beyond tickling the ivories, he shares fun facts about the music he plays and the composers who created it. On this Sunday, “Chatty Pianist” as he’s known, played selections such as Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Minor and Mendelssohn’s Rondo Capriccioso.
Not a classical music connoisseur? Trust me, you don’t have to be. It’s nearly impossible not to be captivated by the music, let alone his charm and passion. Plus, the performance is truly spectacular, and the level you’d hear in a concert hall for a fraction of the price –– a $20 suggested donation plus whatever you order from the menu.
A visual presentation accompanies the music so don’t think that this experience is dry or boring. It’s far from it! I took a tour of Paris while sipping wine and listening to Schubert, all from the comfort of a cozy cafe in one of my favorite NYC neighborhoods. What can be better than that on a Sunday in New York?
Originally from Turkey, Emir Gamsizoglu and his wife and actor/playwright/director Ege Maltepe moved to New York in 2007 and founded “Classical for All” to spread their love of classical music to everyone. Their mission is to engage listeners of all ages in hopes of expanding the audience for classical music.
As someone who grew up in the ballet studio and grand jetéd to Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Prokofiev, and many others on a daily basis, I’m fortunate to have a deep appreciation for this style of music. Even if you’ve never listened to classical pieces, Emir’s concerts make classical music –– often misconceived as an elite, snobby, or intimidating genre –– entertaining for even the most novice listeners.
He plays on Sundays from 4 pm. until 6:30 p.m. at Caffe Vivaldi. For more about him and his music, visit the Classical for All website.
Below, you can see Emir at work. BRAVO!
Caffe Vivaldi is a quaint West Village establishment and a great spot for a glass of wine, coffee, or a light bite to eat. It’s one of a short list of restaurants in the city with a fireplace, which only adds to the ambiance. Vivaldi offers live music seven days a week.
32 Jones St
New York, NY 10014