Thank you to Mr. Paul Stache and the employees of Smoke Jazz for hosting WHSAD students.
The following narrative was written by WHSAD Junior, Johnathan Walker.
The month of January we celebrate Black History Month. To honor this month WHSAD students did a collaboration project with the owner of Smoke Jazz Club, Paul Stache. The club can be found in Harlem, Manhattan, 2751 Broadway, New York, NY 10025. You can take the 1 train to 103st and walk a couple of blocks to get to the club. Smoke Jazz Club even has its own website showing performance times and information about the club.
On February 27, 2019, Mr. Codio, WHSAD’s Senior Architecture teacher, took a few students who worked on the project on a trip during the school day to present the work done for Smoke Jazz Club. Arriving at the club outside made the club feel a bit small. However, when you walked in it was spacious inside. Walking in Smoke Jazz Club the first thing you could see was the stage where the performers played: the very essence of the club. While moving forward, you see the tables close together. This gave off a homey feeling and comfortable vibes soothing you to sit down, relax, and enjoy the show. Although, you also saw workers working hard during the day to set up for the night getting ready for the customers coming soon. Workers looked upbeat doing their jobs yet moving with speed and efficiency to get done on time. Having time to relax and set up what we were presenting got to relax for a bit. The chairs were great allowing you to unwind a bit to stay for the long time periods of each show time. The bar was huge, allowing customers to drink and savor the action in the club. Later on, Paul Stache arrived from the back of the club doing work like the other workers, working hard to get ready as well.
To gain insight on how Paul Stache feels about jazz and his inspirations because of jazz I asked him a few questions before the students presented their hard work.
Paul replied by stating this “In the city of New York, also well known as the City of Jazz, I don’t think I’d be able to do this work anywhere else. You have very famous jazz players, bands who live here who I can call and would do a set during the night. We try to do midnight sets due to younger people being out during the night and trying to spread the influence of jazz. But you know I have to do all the hard working during the day, the ‘glamorous’ paperwork, the calling, setting up. Yet, once it’s midnight and I see people enjoying the music and hearing the jazz it makes it all worth it. Playing different sets during the night is a one-time thing cause once you hear it there, you’ll never hear it the same way again. Done in the same way, the jazz players improvise, solo and more; it’s a wonderful experience I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.”
Hearing his love for jazz you could tell he was very enthusiastic about it. Later on, the WHSAD students presented what they did for the club and gave Paul the designs they made. The designs were made based on the club’s logo and what jazz meant to those students. Furthermore, the designs lit up with colorful lights. Mr. Stache was very shocked and happy about receiving the student’s hard work.
I then asked him about how it was to work with high schoolers: “It was wonderful and when I heard that WHSAD had students doing architecture, I knew I was excited and saying when and how do we meet. Even though not everyone may be into jazz everyone has certain creativity too. Whatever their aspirations may be I say chase it and do what you want in your life. Without that one thing you love in your life and want to do, life can be dull. Just follow your dreams whatever they may be.”