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My View: A New York Tradition: Bemelmans Bar

My View: A New York Tradition: Bemelmans Bar

Bemelmans Bar in The Carlyle Hotel is a time capsule of New York City celebrity music nightlife. Sundays the music and entertainment of BIlly Stritch and Jim Caruso superbly add to the history of the legendary room.  Last night Jim was probably being mobbed at the Easter Parade being mistaken for Fred Astaire so BIlly had award winning Jazz vocalist Gabrielle Stravelli join him for an evening of great music. 

Billy Stritch
Bemelmans Bar

For the seventh year in a row, Jim Caruso & Billy Stritch have returned to Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel with their evening of swinging standards Sundays from 9-12, with Bassist, Steve Doyle.

Caruso and Stritch, who have performed extensively on their own, gained national exposure together as the host and musical director of the wildly popular open mic, Cast Party, which celebrates talent every Monday at Birdland in NYC, and tours nationally. During the six years at Bemelmans, the duo has received critical acclaim, and made international news when rock legend Bono joined them in an impromptu performance.

The musical pair has also become the darlings of the show biz set, welcoming spontaneous performances by stars including Liza Minnelli, Michael Feinstein, Jane Monheit, Tony Danza, Megan Hilty, Clint Holmes, Marilyn Maye, Stephanie J. Block, Steve Ross, Linda Lavin, LuAnn de Lesseps, Laura Osnes , Christine Ebersole, and Steve Tyrell.  

Steve Doyle, Gabrielle Stravelli, Billy Stritch
Gabrielle Stravelli
Maria von Nicolai & Eda Sorokoff


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is thrilled to be the cabaret/ music and co-theatre editor. email:

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