“All Hell’s Kitchen Breaks Loose as Clubs Raise Money to Stay Viable”
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Utilizing the power of modern electronic media, three nightclubs in the Times Square/Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood have raised nearly three-quarters of a million dollars attempting to stay afloat during the Covid pandemic: Birdland on West 44th Street in Manhattan raised over $400,000, just a few blocks away the West Bank Café took in over $350,000 in just a few hours, and there is Restaurant Row’s SWING46 just up the street.
With names like Bill Clinton and Al Pacino, the results of Birdland’s and the West Bank Cafe’s fundraising efforts were foregone. SWING46, located on West 46th Street’s Restaurant Row hopes to repeat that energy with a 12-hour live telethon featuring the best of SWING46. Plus, most of the Big Band talent are in that big bandstand in the sky. Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman and the others – may they rest in peace.
In operation since 1974 as the Red Blazer, and beginning in 1997 seven days a week as SWING46, the club has hosted next generation bandleaders such as Happy Days’ Donny Most who will be featured virtually on Sunday night, along with many others — not to mention some of the world’s most famous Swing dancers, some who popularized SWING46’s long-running “Tap Jam.”
Current owner, John Akhtar hopes that lightning will strike three times. “Your support will help us to continue providing fine dining, live music and dance entertainment for Swing Jazz fans around the world. You can find the livestream on YouTube (swing46.nyc/youtube) and on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/swing46). Thanks for the love and keep swinging!”
Broadway Producers Tom and Michael D’Angora stepped in for both the West Bank Café and Birdland. The D’Angora’s contact list is a Who’s Who of celebrity fundraising royalty. But for Swing Dancing and Big Band the only way to go for SWING46 is up!
Celebrity guests who’ve attended SWING46 over the years run into the hundreds. The 12-hour show itself will feature archival footage — with live performances as well as celebrity interviews, testimonials and documentary vignettes. The GoFundMe page is https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-swing-46-jazz-and-supper-club
Ron Sunshine, SWING46 Band
(video by April Palmieri)