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Earl Rose Bemelmans Bar
Photograph: Courtesy of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Bemelmans Bar’s resident pianist is putting on a live virtual performance tonight

You can sip a cocktail and enjoy live music tonight from a beloved NYC bar.

Written by
Bao Ong

Play it once, Earl. For old times’ sake.

Bemelmans Bar, located in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel and among the best bars in the city, is the type of intimate and elegant bar where you’d want to riff on this famous line from Casablanca (a well-known quote from Ingrid Bergman’s character, which is often misquoted as: “Play it again, Sam. For old times’ sake.”). But with bars (except for the option of offering to-go cocktails) and hotels shuttered across the city, the iconic spot is bringing back its popular resident pianist for a live virtual performance on May 29th at 6 pm EST via Instagram (the concert will also be saved to the account's IGTV highlights).

Bemelmans Bar
Photograph: Courtesy of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Earl Rose—who’s performed at the ritzy boite for 25 years on a weekly basis—will perform selections from “Piano Meditations” from his Upper East Side apartment. Rose has composed 22 tunes for the album on his keyboard since the city was ordered to shut down and New Yorkers were told to stay at home. Known for his mastery of the Great American Songbook, he’s even entertaining an impromptu “quarantine blues” rendition for his first social media concert.

“This is a maiden voyage. I’m looking forward to it,” says Rose, whose day job is composing songs for television and films. “It’s a great thing for this surreal world we’re living in. It gives us an opportunity to reach out and keep the connection going.”

Bemelmans Bar
Photograph: Courtesy of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Tonight’s performance is part of the luxe Rosewood Hotels & Resorts brand’s #JourneyInPlace at home initiative. A few weeks ago, New Yorker and celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippman led an at-home manicure tutorial with an exclusive pink nail polish available at the brand’s Bermuda property.

Bemelmans Bar, located on the Upper East Side, attracts a devoted following for its live music and classic cocktails as much as its witty Madeline murals from the children’s books written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans, who also lived at the hotel. 

But until Rose can return to Bemelmans, he says he’ll continue to compose more songs.

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