jazz clubs in transit

It’s a sad day when an established stage for national and local jazz closes, as JazzWest.com’s Wayne Saroyan reports will happen to Jazz at Pearl’s in San Francisco’s North Beach (right across the street from City Lights Books ) at the end of April. One such closing does not signal a trend; small independent venues come and go. San Francisco does have its newly opened Yoshi’s in the historically fascinating Fillmore district.

However, here’s another unfortunate instance: The Jazz Factory in Louisville, Kentucky shut just last week after a five year run; pianist Harry Pickens led a Farewell Jam.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Joe Segal told the Tribune’s Howard Reich that his Jazz Showcase will reopen sometime this spring, well over a year since shutting at its old location. Serious, creative, progressive music inspired by the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), including the Sunday early-evening Great Black Music Ensemble, continues at tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson’s Velvet Lounge, a rare model of success just two years after moving. 

Also, Good luck to HotHouse, a pan-cultural performance space which restarts presentations April 4 with Seneke, a West African band in partnership with Chi-town’s northside Viaduct Theater. Marguerite Horberg, HotHouse’s founder and longtime guiding force is not involved — she’s taking brave steps toward opening a new venue in (gasp!) Chelsea, in Manhattan. Details tba when she’s ready. . .

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  1. says

    Gasp indeed.
    My first reaction was “wouldn’t Carroll Gardens make more sense? Someone needs to start a wine bar with a music policy.”
    But on second thought if you got in on the land before the highline changes occurred then you could get a good deal.
    HM: I don’t know how much Marguerite wants to pre-announce her plans, but she’s got a very good real estate deal, good enough to make such an ambitious dream a reality. If you know the Hot House story, you are aware she is a cultural presenter who broke several entertainment-world conventions to set up at successively better sites a uniquely comfortable and stimulating center for new, nurturing and unusual musics. As a curator, her interests have ranged from AACM artists such as Edward Wilkerson to artists from Cuba such as Los Van Van to the feel-good Yokohama Blues Band. To keep her place in Chicago going, she confronted and triumphed over considerable uniquely Chi-town obstacles, made strong connections with the like-minded presenters and won the support of the MacArthur Foundation for her non-profit organization — until an out-of-the-blue coup by her board of directors pushed her out of her own place, captured her investment, and squandered the considerable efforts she’d put into the Loop locale. The Hot House that has reopened is NOT Marguerite’s; she continues to suffer from its loss, which has been considerable. As a friend of hers for decades, I’m delighted to see her coming to New York, though it’s a tough place to run a joint, as everybody who’s ever tried has found out. But this woman is a wise one and a survivor, with a lot to offer to the NYC scene. Of course, if she were to shift to Brooklyn’s Carrol Gardens, that wouldn’t be so bad for those of us who live off the F subway line. . .