Stories & Articles

Parlor Jazz @ Marjorie Eliot’s

‘The Beautiful Marjorie Eliot’ (image from

Vanessa de Largie | Topic Media | August 23, 2012

In 2009, I spent a month in New York as I was accepted into an acting course with an Oscar Winning Director.

Funnily enough, it is not the acting course I think about but rather my time exploring Harlem and Greenwich Village.

My favourite memory about Harlem, was attending Parlor Jazz at Marjorie Eliot’s.

Image by Vanessa de Largie

Marjorie Eliot has been holding a jazz concert in her cozy apartment in West Harlem, every Sunday afternoon at 4pm, rain, hail or shine for the past ten years.

She is considered to be a New York treasure. The French have made documentaries about her. You will even find her Sunday Jazz Concerts listed and talked about in Lonely Planet.

On that day in 2009, I eagerly made my way out to West Harlem by train and by foot, finally arriving at Marjorie’s apartment on Edgecombe Avenue.

The apartment block is just your average apartment block with a poky sized lift. I caught the lift up with a few others and walked the corridor, looking for the right apartment. We knocked and the beautiful Marjorie Eliot opened the door.

The atmosphere inside the apartment was amazing. Tea, coffee, biscuits and cool drinks were on offer. Fifty or so fold out chairs filled the living room. The musos and Marjorie were set up at the front of the chairs and the jazz began.

If you are a fan of traditional jazz like myself, you are going to love the concert held at Marjorie’s house every Sunday.

The experience touched my soul and etched a special place in my memory. I suggest Parlor Jazz to anyone travelling to New York or those already living in New York. It is an experience like no other.

The best thing is – the info isn’t hard to remember. 52 Sunday’s a year, there is a jazz concert happening at Marjorie’s. That’s what I call dedication.

Have a delightful afternoon jazz fans!

Vanessa de Largie & Marjorie Eliot. ( I look somewhat fatigued, hungover & I was sporting a shaved head at the time – so that’s a wig! -but Marjorie look’s her graceful self.)