Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

Smiles abound when this delightful duo brings to the piano the chemistry they have at home.

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

If the boy-and-girl-act on stage before you has a palpable affinity for one another, perhaps it's because they are a boy-and-girl act when they leave the stage, too. Not always - sometimes it's a brother/sister act or two platonic friends who have found a common ground in music... but that's another story than the one being told last night at The West Bank Cafe. Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy are, in fact, a real-life couple, and all the joy, fun, and telepathy that every (lucky) couple has while hanging around the house travels right alongside the terrific twosome when they are at work together, a fact in evidence as Michelle and her piano man spent an all-too-brief two hours making happy the patrons of the restaurant as they dined on good food and good company. Unlike some of the other dinner shows seen recently at The West Bank, Jordan and Michelle did not present their cabaret act - they opted for a different strategy in their two-set gig: providing unobtrusive musical entertainment while focusing on each other. It works for the couple because they are a-freakin-dorable, a fact that could not help but draw to them even the most cynical of New Yorkers who happen to be lucky enough to be in the room when JorDowdy is in the room.

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe When they are apart, Michelle and Jordan are each sensational musicians, with his smooth voice leaning into a pretty pop vibe and her much-lauded brass fitting perfectly into the dramatic nature of show and club music, but when the twosome joins forces for an hour or two of music, these voices that maybe shouldn't go together blend melodiously in honey-sweet harmonies and sexy musical dialogue. Unable (or perhaps unwilling) to take their eyes off of one another, the boyfriend and girlfriend sing everything from Kern/Hammerstein to Lionel Richie, getting authentically jazzy with a little Peggy Lee and going all Seventies with some refreshing Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and no matter what genre of music Jordan plays for Michelle, she has the enviable ability to bend, like a tree either moving with wind or leaning to light, rendering her the ideal conduit for his arrangements and him the perfect buoy for her facile artistic abilities. Like athletes in different Olympic events, Michelle's voice and Jordan's fingers perform admirable feats of daring-do in conjunction with one another, all the while, their eyes and smiles belying the concept that they are engaged in any act other than adoring one another. The music is incidental and perfect, a fact of nature like breathing or blinking, and a happy byproduct of their personal relationship that informs the music, making it more special than it, otherwise, might have been.

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe During their first live gig since the lockdown of 2020, Michelle and Jordan remained thoroughly genuine the whole time - there was no attempt at clever banter with the patrons of The West Bank or, frankly, with one another. They were there to make great music, and when something became important to say (either to each other or to the audience), they said it... without pretense or a need for validation. Both have natural wit and charm, negating the need for script or explanation, and the most enjoyable moments of conversation all night were the times when Michelle encouraged Jordan to "Take it away, baby" - clear indication that this is something they do at home, purely for pleasure, any time they wish to. This is a couple who loves to make music... and given the range of genres, sounds, and styles, it is not difficult to imagine that they could play a hundred songs in a row, without a break, never once stopping to look up a single number. These are the makers of music, with Dowdy possessing one of the most fun voices to listen to, and Wolfe creating arrangements that aren't just exciting, they're interesting, treatments that work for both singers and for their harmonies, and he does take such particular care of her, as any good musical director and boyfriend should. They are a couple you will want to spend time with off the stage, but that would necessitate their getting off the stage, which you pretty much never want them to do.

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe The Dinner Music Series at The West Bank Cafe plays Wednesday through Sunday with different artists and at varying times. For a full schedule, visit the West Bank Cafe website HERE.

All West Bank Cafe Dinner Music artists work without a music cover charge. Patrons are invited to tip them in person or via a Venmo or paypal link.


Visit the Michelle Dowdy website HERE

Visit the Jordan Wolfe website HERE

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

BWW Review: Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy Are a Breath of Fresh Air at The West Bank Cafe

Photos by Stephen Mosher


Related Articles View More Cabaret Stories

NOS Dance

From This Author Stephen Mosher