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Cocktail Piano Rooms  

Like many of us, the artist himself succumbs to the seductive charm of the cocktail piano sound. In fact, it's hardly an over-statement to say that he seeks it out. And in his travels over the half-century since he first experienced its magnetic pull—this was in a glamorous supper club in the Deep South during heady, emotionally charged days of World War II—he has found cocktail piano in a wondrous assortment of venues around the world.

He likes to think of cocktail piano as being a magic mix of sound plus ambiance that can happen whenever a well-crafted tune meets talent at the keyboard but most especially when the setting is primed for romance. The combination often elicits complex feelings and/or evokes memories with the strength of near-reality. On such occasions cocktail piano becomes an almost tangible happening—scenario, if you will.

Herewith, from Jim Haskins' memory bank, is a sampling of classic cocktail piano scenarios. Chances are, they may kindle memories of your own treasured cocktail piano experiences. If so, and if you'd care to share them, Jim would be delighted to hear about them. After all, the essence of cocktail piano is communication.

New York: The Rainbow Room

New York: The Mayfair Hotel, Lobby Tearoom

San Francisco: InterContinental Mark Hopkins, Top of the Mark

Honolulu: Canlis

Honolulu: Halekulani Hotel Lewers Lounge

Budapest: A Fish Restaurant

Hong Kong: Four Seasons Hotel, Lobby Lounge

Memphis: Peabody Hotel, The Skyway

Other Cocktail Piano Rooms