THE SILVERMINE TAVERN BED & BREAKFAST
   
  194 Perry Avenue Norwalk, Connecticut 06850 (203) 847-4558 E-Mail: SilvermineTavernInn@gmail.com  

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The Silvermine Tavern - Norwalk, CT

Restaurant Hours:

Lunch:
Wednesday - Saturday
12:00-3:00

Dinner 
Wednesday  - Thursday 6:00-9:00
Friday and Saturday 6:00-10:00

Sunday Brunch 11:00-2:30

Sunday Dinner 3:30-9:00

Dining Room Closed Monday and Tuesday


Office and Inn Closed Tuesday
Please call to verify hours and schedule


Chef Matt Stein serves up a "just off the griddle" pancake at Silvermine Tavern Sunday Brunch.  Pancakes are made to order at the Tavern's famous award winning buffet brunch. Choose you own filing from blueberries, strawberries, bananas, chocolate chips and pecans.  Genuine New England maple syrup, powered sugar and whipped butter are the help yourself toppings.  Of courses, there are still over 30 delicious dishes on the New England Style breakfast brunch buffet.


INN LATE JAZZ ON THE WEEKENDS 8:00 - 10:30 &
DIXIELAND JAZZ ON THURSDAY 6:30 T0 9:30

Silvermine Tavern’s INN LATE JAZZ features “real jazz for the jazz lover”.  An appreciative and attentive audience draws the best in local, regional and international jazz performers to the Tavern.  The music covers the standards, bob, cool and contemporary original compositions.  Whatever the style, the music is delicious and fun.  Two of our most popular groups have made “Live at Silvermine” recordings, the John Mastroianni Quartet and the Harold Zinno Quintet with Nicole.  You can’t beat great jazz in live performance.

INN LATE JAZZ runs from 8:00 to 10:30 pm most Fridays and Saturdays.  Reservations can be made for dinner and jazz or you can just drop in for drinks in the lounge.  There is a $5.00 music charge in the lounge and a one item minimum.  Read our current Jazz Schedule Below.


Jimmy Hill - Playing at the Silvermine Tavern Inn Late Jazz
Silvermine "Inn Late Jazz" Schedule


  Silvermine Tavern's INN LATE JAZZ
Friday and Saturday 8 P.M. to 10:30
REAL JAZZ IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY SINCE 1993

“Best Live Jazz” Connecticut Magazine Best in Connecticut 2008

INN LATE JAZZ JANUARY  2009 SCHEDULE

Friday, January 2-NO JAZZ TONIGHT

Saturday, January 3-The Joyce DiCamillo Quintet. Oh what a way to start out the New Year! Joyce on piano, Andy Fusco on alto, Gerard Carelli on trombone and vocals, Ronnie Zito on drums, and Yoshi Waki on bass. Great piano jazz! www.joycedicamillo.com 

Friday, January 9-
The Hiroshi Yamasaki Trio. Hiroshi on piano; Ryan Berg on bass; and Will Terrel on drums. Hiroshi is a fantastic piano player and an exciting jazz leader. He's all over the keyboard playing with his swinging, brilliant distinctive style.

Saturday, January 10
-The Harold Zinno Quintet with Nicole. Harold on trumpet and flugelhorn; John Mobilio on bass; Jack Varanelli on drums; and Doug Schlink on piano; plus the one and only Nicole on vocals. Come see why this swinging group is one of our most popular bands! www.nicolepasternak.com

Friday, January 16-
The Chris Coulter Trio -Chris on saxophone; Joe McWilliams-piano; Steve Taylor-bass. Featuring tunes by WC Handy, Ellington, Sidney Bechet, Sonny Rollins and many more, Chris and his group will have Some swinging, heartfelt jazz music to keep you warm!

Saturday, January 17
-NO JAZZ TONIGHT.

Friday, January 23 -
The Chris Coogan Quintet Chris on keyboard and vocals; Jim Royle on drums; John Mobilio on bass; Jim Clark on sax; and Rex Denton on trumpet. Here is an exciting mix of American roots music: jazz, gospel, boogie-woogie and originals. Come for the fantastic entertainment of one of Fairfield County's greats. www.cooganmusic.com

Saturday, January 24-
The Dave Samuels Quartet. Dave Samuels on vibes; Alain Mallet on keyboard; Lincoln Goines on bass and Vince Cherico on drums. This amazing group of musicians will provide some great jazz. It's always a musical treat with this Grammy award winning leader of the Caribbean Jazz Project. www.dsamuels.com 

Friday, January 30-
The Rob Silvan Quartet. Rob on piano, Rick Quintanal on drums, Don Wallace on bass, Chris Coulter on sax. This is a great quartet with four terrific players. One of our favorites. www.robsilvanmusic.com

Saturday, January 31-
Arthur Lipner and Brasilian Vibes. Arthur on vibes and marimba; Bill Bickford on guitar; Nick Bariluk on keyboards; Itaiguarra Brandao on bass; and special guest Chris Parker on drums. Heat up your week-end with some hot Brazilian jazz. This group will transport you to a whole different place! www.arthurlipner.com

Plus, Dixieland Jazz Every Thursday 6:30 to 9:30

INN LATE JAZZ FEBRUARY 2009  SCHEDULE

Friday, February 6- The Carmine Marino Quartet. Come and hear the virtuoso playing of the great guitarist Carmine Marino with notable sidemen Jeff Pittson on organ, Bill Cerulli on drums, Gerard Diacri on Conga. New to Silvermine!

Saturday, February 7- The Harold Zinno Quintet with Nicole. Harold on trumpet and flugelhorn; Billy Cofrancis on sax; John Mobilio on bass; Jack Varanelli on drums; and Doug Schlink on piano; plus the inimitable Nicole on vocals. This group hasn't played at the Silvermine together for the past couple of months-so don't miss this looked forward to return! Nicole is an entertainer that never fails to impress our audience! Learn more at www.nicolepasternak.com

Friday, February 13
-- The Ralph Lalama Quartet- The great Ralph Lalama on tenor sax; Jon Hart on guitar; Rick Petrone on bass and Joe Corsello on drums. This dynamic quartet is back. www.ralphlalama.com 

Saturday, February 14
-NO JAZZ --HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Friday, February 20
- No Jazz Tonight

Saturday, February 21
-The Ken Gioffre Quartet. Ken on sax; Rob Aries on keyboard; Henry Lugo on bass; and Tom Devino on drums. You've probably seen or heard this great saxophonist with Smokey Robinson. Come and see him lead his own group with some of our favorite musicians! www.kengioffre.com 

Friday, February 27
-Jim Fryer and the Usual Suspects. Jim Fryer on trombone, baritone horn, flugelhorn AND vocals; Geneveve Rose on bass; Jesse Hameen on drums and Janice Friedman on piano. This band is a great favorite of ours! There is a wealth of humor, energy and great music in store at every performance! www.jfryer.com

Saturday, February 28
-Trio Plus 21. The great jazz of bassist Will DeSola and friends. Led by Will DeSola on bass this group includes pianist and composer Carl Viggiani with Jon Doty on drums, and Ken Venezia on tenor sax. Jazz standards from the golden age of bebop.

$5.00 Music Charge - One item minimum per person -
No Music charge or minimum for dinner guests.
Call for reservations and directions 203-847-4558

The bands play from 8:00 to 10:30 pm on Friday and Saturday.  Reservations are taken for dinner and jazz.  Drinks and snacks in the lounge are on a drop in basis.  There is an $8.00 music charge and a one item minimum in the lounge (no music charge with dinner). 

For directions and information call 847-4558 or visit www.SilvermineTavern.com.  

 

Plus  Dixieland Jazz Every Thursday 6:30 to 9:30

Live Dixieland Jazz with Dinner every Thursday, 6:30 to 9:30.  Enjoy a dinner feast with the toe tapping, knee slapping rhythms of The Bearcats.  A six piece band that has played Dixieland together for years, The Bearcats have made numerous recordings and are well known at the Traditional Jazz Festivals throughout the Northeast.  On the last Thursday of the month, the Constitution Jazz Band fills the restaurant with their Dixieland sounds.

I Hear a Rhapsody: “Inn Late Jazz” and More at the Silvermine Tavern
By Thomas Staudter

A few recent snapshots, so to speak, of music and magic experienced at the “Inn Late Jazz” soirees held on Thursday through Saturday evenings at the Silvermine Tavern in Norwalk:

     *Mallet master (and Fairfield County neighbor) Dave Samuels displaying an abundance of flash and flavor on the vibraphone while leading his quartet through two sets of high-energy Latin jazz. An arrangement of Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring” found Samuels locked into a killer montuno with his rhythm section that established, once again, the beauty of repetition.

     *Facing a standing-room audience, Giacomo Gates shows why he’s fast becoming jazz’s most talked about singer. A practitioner of “vocalese,” a difficult singing style in which intoned lyrics are substituted for well-known instrumental solos, the Bridgeport native swings through fifteen finger-poppin’ tunes, accompanied by famed pianist Don Friedman. When Gates offers up his own “bass” and “trombone” improvisations, he brings the house down.

     *Greenwich resident Joyce DiCamillo, the widely popular pianist-composer and educator, brings in a new rhythm section comprised of two freshly minted music school grads to join her and alto saxophonist John Mastroianni, producing a curious buzz in yet another SRO audience. The young cats, full of vigor and happy to show they belong, clearly challenge the two veterans, and the result is in an old-fashioned hard bop slug-a-thon with no gliding through the solos.

      When the music reaches moments of sublimity as such you can usually catch Frank and Marcia Whitman, the owners of the Silvermine Tavern, standing opposite of the bandstand—next to the swinging doors (no pun intended) leading into the kitchen—and enjoying the groove. It’s probably the best vantage in the whole joint to see and hear the musicians at work, but they’re the kind of generous souls who’d readily set another table at their spot for some latecomers if there was really room to do so.

     Despite the abundance of concert halls, theaters, performances spaces, entertainment centers, auditoriums, bars and restaurants in the area that feature ‘live’ music on a regular basis, it’s perfectly ironic and somewhat apropos that the only venue where you can find le jazz hot, guaranteed, each week is at a rustic country inn redolent of New England charm and comfort. In many ways, the Silvermine Tavern will remind serious jazz fans afflicted with wanderlust of the Delaware Water Gap’s Deer Head Inn, another seemingly incongruous venue for the Improviser’s Art, whose owners are similarly committed to presenting top-notch talents to a discerning clientele.

     “We love the music and the people who come here to play,” said Frank Whitman matter-of-factly. “While we work hard to provide food, drink and lodging to our customers, music is just as important here—and lots of fun, too.”

     The local historical society has adjudged the Silvermine Tavern to be the site originally of Cocker’s Cotton Factory back in 1810, although the Old Mill on the property was probably built earlier, said Mr. Whitman. The other three edifices extant today—Coach House, former Gatehouse (now part of the main building) and Country Store—were built in the mid-1880s. The area, along with the small river that meanders between the hills north of Norwalk, is said to have received the “Silvermine” moniker in the late 1700s when the early settlers dug around some in search for a quick fortune. Prosperity did come to the area, however, via a wood turning and peg making operation in the Old Mill, and in the early-1900s a group of neighboring artists led by the sculptor Solon Borglum created the Silvermine Guild, an arts colony that helped usher in Modernism.

     The Silvermine Tavern was known at the time as the Old Red Mill and it served as the meeting place for the artists in the area. After Prohibition the property was bought by the lawyer and antiquarian J. Kenneth Byard, who began to lodge overnight guests in the upstairs rooms and later remodeled a succession of porches into dining rooms. Today, besides offering the public a fine luncheon and dinner menu, there are eleven quaintly decorated rooms and, in the Coach House, a “Mill Pond Suite” available for wayfarers, with accommodations costing between $85 and $195 a night depending on the room.

     The innkeeping business is a demanding one, and this correspondent speaks from experience, as his parents once owned and operated the Hartness House, a 43-room country inn located in Springfield, VT, and for a while he served as lounge manager and breakfast chef there. (A younger brother later managed the inn for several years as well.) Ray Jones, a retired jazz pianist who’d once played in Paul Whiteman’s jazz orchestra (or so he said), entertained nightly on the upright in the lounge, and I recall the parents/innkeepers once remarking that the best and worst part of the job was that it seemed like they were throwing a party every night of the year.

     The Whitmans smiled and voiced their agreement when this observation about innkeeping was related to them. We were talking in the lounge of the Silvermine Tavern one recent Saturday afternoon, trading both war stories and heartwarmers about the hospitality business, plus sharing news about mutual friends in the jazz world, when suddenly the genial couple—Frank, the laconic one, and the more extroverted Marcia—revealed a significant personal detail about the lives, a “Rosebud”-type piece of information that tied many of the aspects of this story together. To wit (pun intended): in 1966, while in high school, they both played in a rock band called Four Hits and a Miss, with Frank drumming, and Marcia (nee Witham) singing and playing keyboards. “Mostly we rehearsed,” Ms. Whitman admitted.

     And these propitious musical gatherings actually took place in the basement of the couple’s present home adjacent to the Silvermine Tavern property, which is where Mr. Whitman grew up. Originally from Grove City in western Pennsylvania, where Frank Sr. managed the Penn-Grove Hotel, young Frank was just 4 when the family overnighted at the Silvermine while en route to Boston one summer. “I remember we stayed in a little cottage that’s now the Mill Pond Suite,” said Mr. Whitman. The charm and allure of the place caught his mother and father’s fancy, and in the fall of 1955 they purchased the property from Mr. Byard.

     Needless to say, Frank Whitman helped his parents after school and during the summers at the Tavern; like his father, he graduated from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, all the while dating his former bandmate, who was getting her degree at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford. They were married in 1972 (their wedding reception was at the Tavern, just as their daughter Charlotte’s will be this August), and the following year Mr. Whitman was onboard at the family business full-time.

     Frank and Marcia Whitman bought the Silvermine Tavern outright from his parents in 1990—Frank Sr. passed away in 1996—and while much of the ambiance of the landmark inn in terms of structure and décor has remained the same through the decades, their personalized “stamp” on the place can best be seen in the “Inn Late Jazz” concept.

     The endeavor to build an audience for jazz at the Tavern began in November 1993 and was at first only a Friday night adventure. “It took a long time for the music to take hold here,” said Ms. Whitman. “In order to make it go we emphasized that guests should come for dinner and stay for the music.” By building up a mailing list and tweaking the schedule, the Whitmans eventually put themselves on the map as a viable night time destination for jazz, much to the delight of area’s jazz artists who’d long suffered a paucity of local gigs.  Interestingly, the absence of a long bar and over-sized lounge area prevents the tavern from becoming a single’s bar scene, “but we don’t want a ‘concert hall hush’ during the music either,” said Mr. Whitman.

     Thursday nights are devoted to Dixieland bands, more often than not the much-loved Bearcats; on other nights, however, the menu is straight-ahead jazz with the music usually lasting until about 11: 30 p.m., “although anyone with a lively crowd is welcome to play longer,” said Ms. Whitman. As a full-time music teacher at New Canaan Country School, she usually makes it through the first set. Being a big jazz fan, like her husband, often means staying around as some of the notables who have performed at the Tavern—such as silky saxophonist Houston Person, the late, great Jimmy Hill, bass virtuosos Harvie S and John Patitucci, veteran guitarist Joe Beck and flutist Aly Ryerson—finish up near midnight. Even the chef, Matt Stein, whose father was a musician, has been known to stick around after the kitchen is closed.

     “Playing at the Silvermine is not just another gig,” said Ms. DiCamillo recently, “it’s a place that always feels right and makes me happy. Frank and Marcia both have an ear for excellence, and they’re committed to presenting a high level of musicianship for their customers. As a result, they’re well-known around here and in the New York jazz circles for having a quality venue, a real ‘listening room.’ Instead of spotlighting, say, just Connecticut players, Frank and Marcia simply want to spotlight talent. I’ve seen a lot of club owners and venues come and ago in the 27 years that I’ve been leading my trio, and the Silvermine Tavern is a beacon for both jazz musicians and fans for good reason.”

Luxurious Guest Accomodations - Silvermine Tavern, Norwalk, CT
 

Read about our 200+ year history - Take the Walking Tour

 

       
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