Tonic (music venue)

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Tonic, Lower East Side, NYC, 2005 Tonic NYC.jpg
Tonic, Lower East Side, NYC, 2005

Tonic was a music venue located at 107 Norfolk Street, New York City which opened in the Spring of 1998 and closed in April 2007. It described itself as supporting "avant garde, creative and experimental music" and known for its commitment to musical integrity. [1] [2] A former kosher winery, the small and unassuming building provided a sense of intimacy by setting the performers within arms length of the audience. [3] Tonic was the location of numerous live recordings by a variety of musicians.


Tonic's closing was related to soaring rent on the Lower East Side. [4] The final show on Friday, April 13, 2007 was an evening of improvisation organized by John Zorn and a techno party, the venue's weekly resident, The Bunker, hosted by Bryan Kasenic (DJ Spinoza). [1] The closure the following day was accompanied by a symbolic protest. There were more than 100 protestors. [4] Refusing to leave, two musicians, Marc Ribot and Rebecca Moore, were arrested for trespassing while cheered on by supporters across the street. [1] The Bunker moved the following week to Luna Lounge in Brooklyn which was itself a club recently displaced from the Lower East Side. [5]

Selected recordings

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  1. 1 2 3 Requiem for a Club: Saxophone and Sighs Nate Chinen, The New York Times, April 16, 2007, Retrieved September 29, 2007
  2. Ben Sisario Avant-Garde Music Loses a Lower Manhattan Home, March 31, 2007
  3. Federico Cribiore (2000). "Tonic is a special place.". Tonic [CD booklet]. Hollywood: Blue Note.
  4. 1 2 Lower East Side Is Under a Groove Allen Salkin, The New York Times, June 3, 2007, Retrieved September 29, 2007
  5. The Listings: April 20 – April 26 April 20, 2007, The New York Times, Retrieved September 29, 2007

Coordinates: 40°43′8.15″N73°59′14.22″W / 40.7189306°N 73.9872833°W / 40.7189306; -73.9872833