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BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe

This pianist-singer brings an ambiance to the Midtown eatery that will remind you of your favorite flicks.

BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe

What's your favorite New York movie? Garbo Talks? An Unmarried Woman? Maybe Six Degrees of Separation or They All Laughed? It's a special brand of filmmaking, the New York movie, and it always tells the film-going audience what it's like to be a New Yorker, to live in one of the greatest cities in the world. Many is the time when a New York movie will put a picture in your head of the sophisticated, erudite experience of being out on the town, enjoying the New York nightlife.

Sitting at The West Bank Cafe last night, enjoying the dinner music set of Eric Yves Garcia was like being in a New York movie.

BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe A paragon of old-style elegance, and social grace, Mr. Garcia offers an indefectible image of the Manhattan lounge entertainer, with his skilled playing of the piano and dreamy vocals filling the night air at The West Bank with the music of Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, and Cole Porter. In total service of the composers and the audience, Garcia keeps the dinner music set simple and straightforward, enjoyable but unobtrusive. He appears not to be interested in making himself a star with big, brassy numbers that cry out, asking that you pay attention to him; he becomes lost in the music for which he has a clear reverence and allowing these classic compositions to envelope him and his artistry, delivers to the audience a faultless experience of what those songs mean, or what they should mean, to each of us. No young upstart with a need for validation is Eric Yves Garcia - he is a classic and a class act, an artist with a mission based, solely, on using his wealth of talent to honor the women and men who created the songbook standards, the happy byproduct of that mission being the music enjoyed by the fortunate folks seated at the tables.

BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe

BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe One of the best things about the dinner music series at The West Bank Cafe (other than the obvious opportunity to enjoy some of NYC's best nightclub entertainers performing live music, which we have all learned is vastly important to our souls) is the variety to be observed there. Owner Steve Olsen and his artistic advisor Michael Kirk Lane have gone above and beyond to ensure that the patrons of the restaurant will be exposed to different types of talent, and different genres of acts during the two nightly sets of music without charge. Whether the performer up front brings an actual show to the piano, like Billy Stritch or Meg Flather, or whether the singers have created a more casual experience resembling a public jam session, like Gabrielle Stravelli and Aisha de Haas, the diners of the restaurant will be treated to a new experience that combines the restaurant's exquisite cuisine with Manhattan's incomparable music scene. This writer has yet to see an act at The West Bank that wasn't worth seeing, and it is only natural that Eric Yves Garcia should be on the eatery's roster, because he embodies, in every way, what it is to be a New York City nightclub entertainer.

BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe In his chic couture, with his movie-star looks, Mr. Garcia has a knack for making people smile, evidenced last night by two fabulous women sitting ringside who, by the glow of candlelight, could be seen drumming their fingers on the linen tablecloth in time with the music while their heads nodded and shoulders swayed in chair choreography being created in real-time. They were smiling. Portly men having drinks at the bar paused their conversation with one another and with cellphone companions to applaud Garcia's skill at restructuring the tune "42nd Street" so that it sounded new, yet remained familiar. They were smiling. A Broadway World cabaret journalist could be seen diving for his phone to take notes on a song he was hearing for the first time, thrilled to be introduced to something new, after living for years, convinced he had already heard everything. He was smiling. Such is the gift of being a music artist who goes into clubs to entertain the masses, and Eric Yves Garcia has that gift, along with so many others to be enjoyed each time he sits down at a piano and raises his voice -- and you don't have to go to the movies and pretend you're a part of the New York nightlife. This is a scene in a New York movie that you write and direct and appear in, a movie called your life, and it's just down the street at The West Bank Cafe.

BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe The West Bank Cafe dinner music series is a free musical entertainment Wednesday through Sunday during which audience members are invited to tip the musicians in cash at the club or digitally via Venmo or Paypal. For a full schedule of artist appearances, visit the West Bank Cafe website HERE.

Eric Yves Garcia has a regular date at The West Bank on Saturdays from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Learn more about Eric Yves Garcia at his website HERE.

BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe BWW Review: Eric Yves Garcia Makes Movie Moods at The West Bank Cafe Photos by Stephen Mosher


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