Whether he’s bartending at St. Jerome’s or playing the trumpet alongside Lady Gaga, Brian Newman is quite the man about town. A dapper, 6’4” jazz musician with prominent sideburns and slicked back hair, he’s the perfect mix of old-school New York meets rock and roll.
We caught up with Brian Friday night, where every week he and The Brian Newman Trio play the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Cole Porter for the classy dinner crowd at Duane Park in Tribeca.
“This is definitely my favorite atmosphere to perform in,” he told us in between sets. “I love entertaining this crowd. There’s also some improv involved, playing the burlesque dancers on and off stage.”
Ah, yes, how could we forget Miss Tickle, Peekaboo Pointe and Amber Ray? The scantily-clad ladies added some va-va-voom to Brian’s already engaging performance as host, singer, and trumpeter of the evening.
“She’s a wonderful woman and a talented musician,” he said sincerely.
Brian told us back at the Paper Nightlife Awards that Luc Carl, Gaga’s boyfriend, was his best friend. He often plays with Luc, The Dirty Pearls, and also performs at the Top of the Standard, Agua Dulce, Black Market and private parties throughout the city.
“The other week I was a guest performer at Darby,” he said of the not-yet-opened, chic new restaurant. “It was for owner Richie Akiva’s birthday party there. I’ll have you down for one of those shows when it opens for good.” (Ahem, yes, we'd love to go!)
The charming Cleveland-native, who’s lived in New York for ten years now, isn’t always perfectly pulled together in his slim-fitting suit. “I dress up to perform,” he laughed. “When I’m working the bar or just hanging out, I’m usually in jeans and a black t-shirt. I've got two full tattoo sleeves.”
There’s rebellion underneath that trim demeanor, but Brian’s gentlemanly, old fashioned get-up (complete with radio mic and stand) give his performance a distinguished, classy New York vibe. In between hanging out at St. Jerome's and performing around town, Brian's working on his upcoming album. No word yet on whether this will feature a collaboration with Gagaloo or her boo.
Friday, May 24
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.