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Jazz bar in Columbus?

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  • #326503

    d2thawhitey
    Member

    I’m a big fan of Dick’s Den. Cheap drinks, a dive bar with character and I’ve heard some of the best jazz I’ll hear in Columbus there. Trust me, had the music been only mediocre, I would not have gone back. But the jazz was hot and I returned as often as I was able. (Less now than then, unfortunately). Aside from the music, I think the quality of Dick’s that I admire the most is the utter disregard for anything pretentious. I felt like I had uncovered a diamond in the rough. In my humble opinion, spend less effort on the decorations & acoutrements, and more on making great jazz sound great.

    #326504

    racheltb
    Participant

    I loved K2U, a former restaurant that featured jazz many nights of the week in the current Burgundy Room space. Food was good which is always a draw for me. Also, the table arrangement allowed for guests to sit closer to the band if they wanted to groove or further away to hear eachother.

    You might also want to consult with Becky of Firehouse Jazz/Columbus Music Hall. Everytime I went to her events they were well attended and she is well connected with musicians.

    #326505

    Analogue Kid
    Participant

    Anybody remember what that jazz place was on Vine Street that closed a year or two ago?

    #326506

    lilbit
    Participant

    Barrister Hall was the spot to be back in the day. Pharez Whitted had his group play. The Afro-Rican Ensemble also had a weekly slot. I miss it.

    abstract_plane wrote >>
    One of the pleasant surprises of moving to Columbus and German Village was when i discovered Barrister Hall. It had great atmosphere and excellent music…Sorta felt like I was transported to the 40’s and a place that Parker or Coltraine could have played in..There was also this great band that used to play – believe they were called James Gaiters Movement…I wish this place still existed…Cbus definately needs a jazz club..

    #326507

    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Analogue Kid wrote >>
    Anybody remember what that jazz place was on Vine Street that closed a year or two ago?

    I assume you’re referring to the aforementioned 5:01 Jazz Bar? It was at the corner of Park & Spruce, a block north of Vine. It’s currently Park Street Tavern.

    #326508

    cc
    Member

    @d2thawhitey

    I am not sure if they still have it but you used to be able to buy a bottle of cheap red wine at the bar for $5 at Dick’s. It made 50 cent drafts look expensive. That was back when Dick’s only took cash.

    #326509

    jazzypants
    Member

    racheltb wrote >>
    I loved K2U, a former restaurant that featured jazz many nights of the week in the current Burgundy Room space. Food was good which is always a draw for me. Also, the table arrangement allowed for guests to sit closer to the band if they wanted to groove or further away to hear eachother.
    You might also want to consult with Becky of Firehouse Jazz/Columbus Music Hall. Everytime I went to her events they were well attended and she is well connected with musicians.

    oh K2U, how I heart you! – if only it were still around! I used to go frequently on Wednesday nights to see Jazz2Go play and some of my greatest live music memories were made there… sigh Definitely a great model for layout, as racheltb already described.

    I believe Becky consistently lost money on the Music Hall because she was so good to the musicians. She is definitely a hugely helpful resource and probably has tons of insider knowledge of past jazz club efforts.

    The Brownstone on Main was big on bebop, I think. Did the reopening stick? https://www.columbusunderground.com/the-brownstone-on-main-returns-on-friday

    There was also the Dell (? somewhere around Summit and Hudson I think?), but I only went once in 1996 or so and barely remember it.

    There’s a bar in Galena called The Mudflats http://www.themudflats.com/ that’s the only ‘pure’ venue (blues every night) that I know of, and they seem like they’re doing pretty well. I’ve never been but you might want to check that out and see what they’re doing right. (yes, i realize that ‘blues’ is as broad as ‘jazz’)

    I wish I had some more operational knowledge to share. I second the idea that you need a variety of styles. It might help to commit to be the ‘home’ of a particular group or person of high caliber to help be a regular draw. They’ve got to be really good and have a huge repertoire though or people would get tired of them. You need Bobby Floyd, Tony Monaco kind of stuff.

    #326510

    freeburghas
    Member

    Jazz clubs fail here because Columbus doesn’t have much of an appetite for jazz, it’s that simple. I would never recommend someone open a “jazz club” in Columbus. If you want to have jazz as part of a mixed format, great, the city can handle that.

    Just down the road there’s Dayton, which is 1/2 the size of Columbus and yet clearly has a more passionate and engaged jazz audience.

    The closest thing Columbus has ever come to a “flagship jazz club” in recent years was Jerry Hammond’s Final Chord. He and his partners actually had the audacity to bring in top New York talent like Ahmad Jamal and Shirley Horn. Hank Marr summed up the demise of this club to me once: “You can’t have New York talent if people won’t pay New York prices.” People in Columbus either did not have the knowledge of just how great these artists were that were coming through, or they’re just cheap. Probably a combination of both…

    It should be noted though that “jazz clubs” are becoming quite an anomaly. For an established name jazz artist, the tour circuit in the U.S. is about 7-10 clubs deep if you’re going from coast to coast.

    As per the notion of a strictly local-oriented jazz club, again, only as part of a mixed format…the city has shown time and time again that it does not want to support jazz to the extent that it can have a dedicated venue. I think most local jazz musicians accept that Dick’s Den is about as good as it’s going to get.

    #326511

    Core_Models
    Member

    I think Jerry Hammond’s place might have closed because even its biggest fans couldn’t remember its name.

    It was the Major Chord…not the Final Chord.

    #326512

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    freeburghas wrote >>
    Jazz clubs fail here because Columbus doesn’t have much of an appetite for jazz, it’s that simple. I would never recommend someone open a “jazz club” in Columbus. If you want to have jazz as part of a mixed format, great, the city can handle that.
    Just down the road there’s Dayton, which is 1/2 the size of Columbus and yet clearly has a more passionate and engaged jazz audience.
    The closest thing Columbus has ever come to a “flagship jazz club” in recent years was Jerry Hammond’s Final Chord. He and his partners actually had the audacity to bring in top New York talent like Ahmad Jamal and Shirley Horn. Hank Marr summed up the demise of this club to me once: “You can’t have New York talent if people won’t pay New York prices.” People in Columbus either did not have the knowledge of just how great these artists were that were coming through, or they’re just cheap. Probably a combination of both…
    It should be noted though that “jazz clubs” are becoming quite an anomaly. For an established name jazz artist, the tour circuit in the U.S. is about 7-10 clubs deep if you’re going from coast to coast.
    As per the notion of a strictly local-oriented jazz club, again, only as part of a mixed format…the city has shown time and time again that it does not want to support jazz to the extent that it can have a dedicated venue. I think most local jazz musicians accept that Dick’s Den is about as good as it’s going to get.

    How is Vonn Jazz doing at the moment?

    #326513

    Tenzo
    Participant

    After almost a years search I came to the conclusion there is no Jazz in Columbus.

    Being from Chicago I’ve missed jazz like an old pair of worn blue jeans. The Green Mill, the Checker Board and Blue Chicago. Some of the greatest Jazz dives in the world. Legendary.
    Bird Land in New York and Blue Note in Tokyo came close.

    Jazz is soul.

    #326514

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Tenzo wrote >>
    After almost a years search I came to the conclusion there is no Jazz in Columbus.
    Being from Chicago I’ve missed jazz like an old pair of worn blue jeans. The Green Mill, the Checker Board and Blue Chicago. Some of the greatest Jazz dives in the world. Legendary.
    Bird Land in New York and Blue Note in Tokyo came close.
    Jazz is soul.

    About 4-5 years ago I was with a group in the Chicago for a curling spiel. I was the youngest and just shy of my 21st, so we couldn’t get into the real clubs. We ended up in the “all ages” section of the club which amounted to it’s basement with a cooler of pop in one corner and about 4-5 boxes of pizza on a table. They had a band playing with a singer. Someone in our group even got up and sang with them. It was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had.

    #326515

    catnfiddle
    Participant

    Tenzo wrote >>
    After almost a years search I came to the conclusion there is no Jazz in Columbus.

    One of these days we must meet up on a Monday at Columbus Maennerchor. We can listen to some CLASSIC jazz (as recommended by Fritz the Night Owl) and talk about escaping Philly.

    #326516

    Tenzo
    Participant

    I’d like that. I’d be more than happy to be proved wrong

    #326517

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Here is a thought: Seems like a lot of focus (and the reason jazz may not be working here) is around getting professional talent booked. Could a place be successful going after some of the local, amateur jazz talent that exists instead? With all of the colleges in the Central Ohio area, I imagine there is at least some aspiring jazz musicians.

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