Tony’s return

It’s no secret I love music. My tastes are wide and varied – eclectic would very much be the word – ranging from classical (including modern composers such as Karl Jenkins), jazz, new age and film soundtrack composers. One of my particular favourites – thanks again to paternal influences (and he inherited it from his Dad) – has always been the Great American Songbook; a theme that is very popular within Second Life as well, where it features at many a jazz-oriented club and ballroom.

From the end of this week, there will be a new name to add to the list of such venues; well new in a very familiar way, because it is really the return of an old favourite in a new location. This is because on Friday May 20th, Tony’s Jazz lounge re-opens in Second Life.

For those unfamiliar with the jazz / club scene in Second Life, Tony’s Jazz Lounge and Piano Bar was run by Absolut Smirnov, who was also responsible for the romantic Rivers of Venus club before that (which is where I first got to know her well over three years ago). The “old” Tony’s was one of the venues that hosted the Martini Lunches, featuring music from the Martini in the Morning radio station during a two-hour session hosted live and on-air by MTIM’s own Brad Chambers (Martini Philbin in-world).

The new Tony’s is located in a slick skybox build above Chindo.  In keeping with the original Tony’s, the club provides an intimate environment well-suited to a romantic evening’s dancing, with a dance floor backed by a bar area and galleried lounge.

The bar and dance floor

The ambience of the club is enhanced by the careful use of colours – a deep blue used on the wall, and bar-area furnishings, dark stonework walls, a rich wooden floor, black ceilings and a very atmospheric cityscape backdrop along one wall.

The dance floor is spacious and flows around a central stage that is ready for live performances and which is itself framed by blood red drapes that further enhance the intimacy of the place.

The gallery lounge

The bar area offers a mix of barstool and armchair seating, and is slightly elevated above the dance floor to provide a good view of it for those coming to the club to enjoy a chat and take in the atmosphere. Upstairs, the gallery lounge provides further seating and the homely touch of a stone fireplace.

Lighting throughout is unobtrusive, and the pictures and wall hangings all contribute to the ambience, creating a friendly, cosy environment – which is precisely what Absolut wanted. “My aim is to create a place where you can come to listen to good music, relax, meet friends, see incredible live acts, have a laugh when we have our comedy nights,” she explains, “And just generally get a feeling like Cheers – where everybody knows your name!” She certainly intends for the club to buzz, “I plan on having comedy nights once a month, or weekly as Tony’s grows,” she continued, “Plus weekly blues DJ, and a live musician/jam session weekly, and who knows what else!”

So why is Tony’s back after what has been an extended break? “It was something that was really just beginning to take off when I had to take a leave of absence from SL,” Absolut comments, “It had become a popular spot, and had the ‘right’ feel I think, for everyone who frequented it; I wanted to bring a bit of that back.”

Absolut’s enthusiasm is as infectious as it is genuine; her passion for creating a stylish venue with good music was the key ingredient that made Rivers of Venus an outstanding success, and helped to establish the original Tony’s.

With a relaxed dress code, centred around semi-formal wear, although Absolut admits to liking styles from the 1920s and 30s, couple with a warm, friendly atmosphere, the club looks set to establish itself as a very special place within Second Life.

Why not discover Tony’s Jazz Lounge and Piano Bar for yourself? The club is holding an opening event on Friday 20th May at 5-6pm SLT. The Surl is listed below, so why not slip into your best dancing shoes and grab a limo to what promises to be the coolest place in town?

Surls and Links