The Jazz Voyager is up in the air once again flying to the Keystone state to partake of the ambience and jazz being served up at the Lafayette Bar. feeling adventurous, as I always am, I have my Uber drop me off a few blocks from the venue and investigate the neighborhood. I’ll follow the directions to take a walk north on 4th past the doors to the hotel lobby and make a right on the other side of the coffee shop sign and you’ve arrived at the double grey doors of 15 N 4th Street, Easton, Pennsylvania 18042.
This well-worn venue is known for jazz hosts a laid-back, receptive crowd and features local, emerging and renowned musicians and I will be seated on the 19th in prime position to enjoy Jeff “Tain” Watts perform. They say it’s an American dive, just the kind of spot that brings good people together.
Shows start at 9:30pm and run to midnight often offering up two sets but sometimes a third set squeezes in. Free of cover and minimum but you must be 21+ and able to show identification to enter and drink. As always, for more information the number is 610-252-0711.
Nighttown is my next destination for jazz and I am looking forward to sitting in a cool looking club that has been in existence for six decades. Opened in 1965 in a building that dates back to the 1920s, and what began as a single 40 seat storefront joint has evolved into one of the largest performance spaces and restaurants in the city. Named after Dublin’s Red-Light District in James Joyce’s Ulysses, Nighttown is located at 12387 Cedar Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44106.
Attracting an eclectic group of patrons to its ambience fashioned after the turn-of-the-century restaurants of the 1920s New York, it features renowned jazz artists four or more nights a week. This weekend the Jazz Voyager is spending the a couple of days in the city on the shores of Lake Erie and checking out the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra featuring Vince Mastro tonight at 8:30pm and on Sunday at 7:00pm, I will be catching the talents of pianist Chuchito Valdes. For dinner reservations and cover charge for performances the number is 216-795-0550.
The next stopover for The Jazz Voyager is out West in 80205 zip code of Denver, Colorado to visit what has been widely praised and considered super elegant, a jazz spot named Nocturne. Located at 1330 27th Street it is said to be a place that introduces jazz fanatics to ravishing rations and lovely libations. We shall see…
This Friday night I’m looking forward to catching the Trio +1 tribute to the Oscar Peterson Trio and Clark Terry and I think I’ll stick around to see what the Late Night Sessions from 11:15pm to 1:15am have to offer in the way of duos, trios or jazz on vinyl.
The bi-level lounge and eatery is closed Sunday and Monday, but presents live jazz Tuesday through Saturday from 7pm to 11pm, with late night sessions on Friday and Saturday. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 303-295-3333. For those of you wondering, the entrance is to the left of the wall art and you already know who made their reservation three days ago!
On my way to Columbus, Ohio, specifically to 150 S High Street in the 43215 zip code at de|NOVO Bistro & Bar. This Jazz Voyager is going to check out some jazz while sampling their New-American style cuisine that is infused with touches of Asian, Latin, French and Italian on small plates and sandwiches. Not limited to the aforementioned, this sleek artsy locale also offers a brunch and happy hour.
For the enthusiast live jazz and/or blues can be enjoyed on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Wrapped in a modern décor of exposed brick, rod iron and floor-to-ceiling windows giving patrons a nighttime view of Columbus Commons. Recommended reservations at this busy nightspot for couples or groups up to 250 can be made at 614-222-8830.
The midwest was a blast but there’s nothing like the Big Apple and this Jazz Voyager has landed and is going to hang out with some longtime friends. However, the icing on the cake will be sitting in the audience of one of the country’s preeminent non-profit cultural centers and performance spaces, the Jazz Gallery.
It was founded in 1995 by Dale Fitzgerald, vocalist Lezlie Harrison and renowned jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove who envisioned a hub and home for the jazz musicians and composers from around the world who come to New York to take part and enhance the city’s vibrant cultural scene.
Located at 1160 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001 in downtown Manhattan, the Jazz Gallery showcases progressive jazz music and gives artists, both young and old, a place to perfect their craft. They commission new works, pair young artists with established ones and provides rehearsal space for NYC’s jazz musicians.
The Jazz Gallery is open 3 to 5 nights per week, 50 weeks per year and you can check the schedule at http://www.jazzgallery.org/ or call for information on tickets prices ranging from $10 to $30 depending on performer.