The Landmark Mandarin Oriental's Captain's Bar is a tucked-away place that jazz musicians can call home. Snug, cosy and with more than pinch of saltiness to its reputation, it's the ideal venue for Tony DeSare, who comes to Hong Kong from a stint at one of jazz's best-known dives: the Cafe Carlisle in Manhattan. 'I was a stand-in for Woody Allen when he was off recently on promotional duties,' says the 30-year-old upstate New Yorker. 'Those were big shoes to fill.' After he began his musical career playing violin at school, DeSare played piano and by his late teens had beaten a well-worn path to New York City. 'I played all those places you'd expect to play in New York,' he says. 'But it's a thrill to be at one of the world's most famous hotels.' Q: What's the best thing about performing in a hotel bar? A: The variety of people that come here. Working in an intimate venue makes a difference. I'm used to larger venues where you have little interaction with the audience. Here, you get to know them by name. Q: What's your most dreaded song request? A: There are a few - especially the cliched ones like New York, New York. When I was working at Times Square, I was in this venue where we played to a different crowd every half an hour and, each time, because they were mainly tourists, they'd ask for New York, New York. I must have played it a thousand times. That and Strangers in the Night. Q: What gig do you most remember? A: The first proper gig I played - when I was in high school. I was 18 and I realised I loved performing, and that it was something I could do as a profession. Q: What's the strangest thing that's happened to you on stage? A: Once I was playing in a bar in New York and a huge [hen] party came in. They had a few drinks and the bride-to-be got very drunk and began climbing all over the stage and the equipment. Then she started climbing over me while I was playing. She was getting pretty adventurous. The security people ended up throwing her out of her own bachelorette party. It was probably just as well - if she'd carried on she may never have been married.