There’s a New Cheef in Town!

Uncle Cheef Delivers Elegant, Relaxed NYC Style to Putnam County Nightlife

Multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and live music lounge co-owner, Ian Hendrickson-Smith (#thisisunclecheef) defines the image of a working musician. Hendrickson-Smith A.K.A. Uncle Cheef performs alongside the creme de la creme in the jazz, hip-hop community, while living with his wife/business partner, Jenny Larisey in bucolic Brewster, NY.

Hendrickson-Smith has toured/recorded with Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Dr Lonnie Smith among others. As saxophonist in The Roots, house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he’s performed at the Grammys, (has five Grammys himself) and is currently touring on F.O.R.C.E, LL Cool J’s traveling hip-hop extravaganza. When asked about the excitement of touring, Hendrickson-Smith states, “I love bringing joy to people through music on the road, but also miss seeing the great music and beautiful patrons at Uncle Cheef.”

This family business is the culmination of dreams and elbow grease on the part of the married partners and friends pitching in. From hand constructing every table, to pouring an impressive 23 foot concrete bar top, no detail was overlooked. Every aspect of the customer's experience has been painstakingly managed with special attention to the listening experience. All static space has been meticulously sound treated, to stuffing the hollow table bases to quiet down ringing. This world-class venue offers spacious seating, perfect lighting/sound, generous restrooms and a top-shelf bar program. Customers know they will always enjoy their time at Uncle Cheef. Every performance is curated by Hendrickson-Smith personally, who along with Larisey have perfected a varied tapas-style menu including dishes reflecting the couple’s hometown roots (Jenny’s Canadian, Uncle Cheef’s Louisiana.)

The couple rely on their strengths and combined lifetime of experiences. Hendrickson-Smith delivers a heavy-weight performance on stage and as the lounge’s music curator, leans into his rolodex of connections, bringing world-class musicians to Brewster. He crafts the graphic design for the venue and oversees live recordings, sound and lighting. Larisey counters with 13 years experience managing top-level music venues, a refined sense of design and high-end carpentry skills. “Cheef and myself really pushed building this place to make it a culmination of all the best elements of places we’ve frequented and worked in all over the planet.” - Jenny

While Brewster, NY may seem an unlikely location for a sophisticated music lounge, the property was selected because of its proximity to routes 84 and 684, opening access to western Connecticut and the Hudson Valley. “We love where we live and the people here. We’re your neighbors and want to share music and this beautiful space with you. Together, we can create a community rich in the arts and make our little slice of life that much better. We see our crowd as a 30-mile radius surrounding Brewster and that’s a lot of people with no easy access to something this unique.” -Uncle Cheef

Those wishing to enjoy an evening at Uncle Cheef, are encouraged to reserve a table with the venue’s Resy system which is efficient for making adjustments or leaving special requests. There are built-in messages within the system to guide people with booking large parties, etc. Please contact for additional information.

Uncle Cheef is the Hudson Valley’s newest live music lounge located at 988 NY-22, Brewster, NY 10509. Located 56 miles north of New York City in the Village of Brewster. Full schedule can be found at  is a web-based resource and accompanying weekly newsletter subscription for both music fans and musicians.

Submitted by Brookfield, CT

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