RI Restaurant Stories: Tina's Jamaican Caribbean

Last night, I grabbed my coat, hat and fingerless gloves (All the cool girls I went to HS with had fingerless knit gloves. OK, one of them did. Now, I finally have a pair and they're cashmere.) and got myself over to Tina's Jamaican Caribbean (Restaurant) on Atwells Ave. I'm embarrassed to tell you I've never been to Tina's before and even worse, I had no idea they've been on the Avenue for close to nine years. #ThatsALongTime

I was there to see Jeff Prystowsky, of the band The Low Anthem and also of The Columbus Cooperative that has revived and transformed the landmark Columbus Theater on Broadway into a cool live music venue. (Watch for our blog about The Columbus next week.). Little did I know that Tina's has an awesome Pineapple Bread Pudding and that Jeff has teamed up with legendary local musician (and sculptor) Mark Taber, to form a 'house band' that plays jazz at Tina's every Wednesday night. FYI: Jeff changes the name of the band every week, always incorporating Dr. Bird, the Jamaican Natl. Bird, as a nod to the Jamaican food that Tina's serves. Last night, I think their name was 'Dr Bird and The Tubes', but I was so hyped up on coffee and dessert, I could be wrong.)

Jeff told me he and Mark first met up at an event for the now defunct Providence Phoenix at Lupo's. Jeff was beyond impressed with Mark's talent and long history of playing jazz, blues (Mark was a founding member of Ken Lyon's Tombstone Blues Band, who scored a recording contract with Columbia back in the 70's. Trust me, that was a HUGE deal.) and folk music in RI -He's been playing music for something like 70 years. #ThatsAReallyLongTime

From there, they started jamming together (Is it still called jamming if it's jazz?) at the Columbus regularly, where btw you'll also find one of Mark's sculptures on display these days. Now, they're playing every week at Tina's and they sound AMAZING. Do yourself a favor and get down to Tina's on a Wed night to hear Jeff, Mark and friends and order the Pineapple Bread Pudding. (Tell them PattyJ sent ya!)


Ciao for Now,

Patty J