A Toast to the Duchin Lounge

If you are over 21 and have visited Sun Valley once or spent your whole life here, chances are, you have memories of time spent at the Sun Valley Lodge’s elegant watering hole, the Duchin Lounge, commonly known as the Duchin Room.

Come to the storied, elegant Duchin Lounge on Sunday and toast the watering hole's rich history

Come to the storied, elegant Duchin Lounge on Sunday and toast the watering hole’s rich history

With the fabulous, imminent renovation of the iconic Lodge, the Duchin Room will close its doors until next June this Sunday night, August 31. But the doors are not closing quietly! From 8:30 p.m. until midnight the Duchin Lounge will host a big party featuring some of the best live music anywhere. The legendary Joe Fos Trio will delight the audience with stylings that draw fans from all over the world. Favorites Paul Tillotson and Brooks Hartell will also keep the jazz going as drinks are poured and the new era of the Sun Valley Lodge is toasted.

When the Lodge was being built, much focus was on the novel exterior but the interior got a good deal of TLC from bandleader Eddy Duchin's wife Marjorie

When the Lodge was being built, much focus was on the novel exterior but the interior, including the bar off the main lobby,  got a good deal of TLC from bandleader Eddy Duchin’s wife Marjorie

Revel in the tradition that started when the Lodge was first built more than 75 years ago. When Sun Valley was just taking shape as the preeminent year-round resort in America, Marjorie Oelrichs Duchin was hard at work envisioning interiors to welcome the notable guests she knew would flock to rural Idaho once the resort was built. Wife of famed bandleader Eddy Duchin, Majorie created a colorful, simple and comfortable environment. Sun Valley visionary Averell Harriman was so pleased with her efforts, he honored her by naming the bar just off the main lobby in her honor. Bet you thought it was named for her husband. I know I did!

Friendly, knowledgeable bartenders are a big part of the Duchin experience and why people come back time and again

Friendly, knowledgeable bartenders are a big part of the Duchin experience and why people come back time and again

From that time on, the Duchin Room became a favorite gathering place for all the beautiful people – whether they were from Hollywood or just down the road. In the ensuing years, the lounge gone through numerous incarnations, sometimes incorporating a restaurant, other times acting primarily as a bar, but it was always a central part of the Sun Valley experience.

Dancing to the best live music has always been part of the Duchin experience

Dancing to the best live music has always been part of the Duchin experience

I have many fond memories of the Duchin Room. In the winter, it is the perfect place to gather with friends après ski to compare runs, enjoy a toe-warming coffee drink (Frangelico is my favorite) and listen to live music. In the summer, I have spent many a night sipping drinks like the signature “Stumbling Islander,” (described as “a Mai Tai on steroids) on the Duchin deck admiring the figure skaters and just taking in the beautiful environs. Many special birthday parties have started or ended in the Duchin Lounge as have celebrations of every stripe. If you want to go somewhere where you are just as welcome in ski boots as stilettos, this is the place. My particular favorite spot to survey the scene was the high booths in the back of the room. This perch offered a great view of the entire room and a lot of privacy

Don't miss the incomparable Paul Tillotson Sunday night

Don’t miss the incomparable Paul Tillotson Sunday night

Joe Fos' loyal fan base stretches around the world. He will play with his Trio Sunday night

Joe Fos’ loyal fan base stretches around the world. He will play with his Trio Sunday night

I am not certain what the “new” Duchin Room will look like when it reopens June 2015, but it is sure to be elegant, comfortable and true to its long history

Let’s raise a glass to the Duchin Room and all the memories that have been created there. But even grande dames occasionally benefit from a little facelit and I look forward to seeing how the Duchin Room emerges after the spring.

Raise a glass to the Duchin before it temporarily shuts its doors on Sunday. Thanks for the memories!

Raise a glass to the Duchin before it temporarily shuts its doors on Sunday. Thanks for the memories!

And don’t worry. The Ram Bar at the Sun Valley Inn will remain open and pouring the best libations all fall, winter and spring. This warm, comfortable room offers a different feel than the Duchin but it a wonderful place to sip and savor the Sun Valley experience.

Cheers!

–RES

Paul Tillotson plays at Trail Creek Cabin

Paul Tillotson plays at Papa’s Bar at Trail Creek Cabin 5pm – 8pm

Wednesdays & Thursdays through September 8

The Hugh Pool Band plays the Boiler Room Jan 21 & 22

photo of the Hugh Pool Band

All the way from NYC! The Hugh Pool Band with special guest Paul Tillotson (piano/keyboard) will rock the Boiler Room on Friday & Saturday, January 21 & 22. Band also features Bass player Admir Hadzic and Barry Harrison on the drums. $10 cover charge. Doors open at 9:30pm and the show will start around 10pm.

“Hugh Pool’s song hark back to the 1960′s rock that was steeped in the blues. His repertory extends from rolling-and-tumbling slide-guitar boogies to neo-psychedelic jams to reflective, down-home hymns that recall The Band.”
- Pareles (New York Times)

Paul Tillotson Presents Cafe Americain in the Boiler Room March 26 & 27

Jazz & Blues Siren Kim Nalley


Caf Americain with special guests Kim Nalley, and pianist Paul Tillotson will perform their Gypsy Music in the Sun Valley Boiler Room Friday & Saturday, March 26 & 27. Doors open at 9pm. Cover is $10 and the first 10 people at the door get in Free.

Kim Nalley-
Recently named one of the “Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area,” Kim Nalley has an international reputation as one of world’s best jazz & blues vocalists. Known for her ability to turn a chattering cocktail-sipping crowd into a rapt audience of lifelong fans in minutes with a beguiling combination sass, soul and smarts, no trip to San Francisco is complete without hearing Kim Nalley perform.

Caf Americain-
Standing at a musical crossroad of the world, the acoustic string group Caf Americain draws from the bohemian sounds of European caf music, romantic gypsy jazz, elegant Brazilian Choros and Bossa Novas, and, of course, the always hip Great American Song Book.
Caf Americain is the brain-child of internationally respected guitarist Ned Boynton. He is joined by renowned musicians Jason Vanderford – guitar, and Michael Zisman – mandolin.

Paul Tillotson-
What separates Tillotson from many jazz pianists today is his ability to write and create his own beautiful music. When he performs live, the audience experiences his pleasure of sharing his music with them. For Tequila Time, he wrote seven original tracks. “My writing style is simple – I wake up with an idea in my head and I sing it. Sometimes I’m walking down the street in Manhattan or skiing down a double diamond slope in Sun Valley and a melody will come to me . . . I sing it over and over then I sit down at the piano (Margaret, his 1928 Mason & Hamlin) and fill it out. When it’s done I present it to the guys and we create a masterpiece together."

Hot Blues & Soul in the Boiler Room February 19 & 20

Paul Tillotson presents Blues & Soul featuring Blues-Master Bill Sims Jr. and hot Jazz guitarist Adam Levy in the Sun Valley Boiler Room, Friday & Saturday, February 19 & 20 at 9pm after the comedy series.
Rounding out the band will be Paul Tillotson on Organ, Andy Hess on Bass and Tony Mason on Drums. This band is not to be missed!
Cover is $10 at the door. Comedy patrons stay for free and the first 10 people at the door get in free!

Blues Master Bill Sims Jr.

Sun Valley Music Festival September 26, 2009

svmf2

The Sun Valley Music Festival on Saturday, September 26 in the Sun Valley Pavilion will feature Brazilian music legend headliner Sergio Mendes, pre-eminent Jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini, and the Paul Tillotson Love Trio featuring famous Jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff.

Sun Valley Pavilion Festival doors will open at 4pm and general admission ticket prices are $67 & $40 for interior Pavilion open seating and $25 for lawn seating. The first act, the Paul Tillotson Love Trio will start at 5pm, followed by Gene Bertoncini, ending with headliner Sergio Mendes.

Tickets are on sale now at the Sun Valley Recreation Center at (208) 622-2135 or online at: seats.sunvalley.com