Stay up-to-date on all of the buzz surrounding BLU Jazz+! Here you will find photos, interviews, press releases and other newsworthy information about Akron’s hottest new destination for live jazz!


Historic downtown Akron building to become The United 1: A Blu-tique Hotel

January 12, 2016 -

AKRON, OH (by Beth Thomas Hertz, Crain’s Cleveland Business) – Local developer Tony Troppe is moving forward with his new boutique hotel in the historic United Building at the corner of Main and Market streets in downtown Akron and has decided on a name: The United 1: A Blu-tique Hotel.
Troppe is developing the 65-room hotel with assistance from a $1.6 million Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit. The name is a reference to the hotel’s link to the nearby Blu Jazz+ club, which Troppe also owns, as well as the hotel’s address, 1 S. Main St. He expects the hotel to open by the fourth quarter of 2016.

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BLU Jazz+ recognized by DownBeat Magazine as one of the best jazz venues worldwide

January 9, 2016 -

AKRON, Ohio – The February 2016 issue of DownBeat Magazine includes a special annual section, the “International Jazz Venue Guide,” highlighting the must-visit clubs from around the world for experiencing live jazz.
BLU Jazz+ was added to the guide this year, only 16 months after opening its doors in October 2014. Among of the world-class talent presented at BLU to date include Chris Potter, Joey DeFrancesco, Cyrille Aimée, Gerald Clayton, Becca Stevens, Bill Cunliffe, & Houston Person.
DownBeat editor, Bobby Reed, learned of Akron’s hot new jazz spot after one of his staff members, Sam Horn, made a 6-hour drive from the magazine’s headquarters in Elmhurst, IL to Akron, OH to visit the club for a special tribute program for jazz icons Pepper Adams & Zoot Sims featuring saxophonists Ken Peplowski & Gary Smulyan.

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REVIEW: Tony Monaco Trio at BLU Jazz+ (All About Jazz Magazine)

December 16, 2015 -

AKRON, OH (by C. Andrew Hovan, All About Jazz Magazine, December 2015)
When it comes to jazz hotspots in Ohio, the choices are relatively small. All that changed about a year ago when developer Tony Troppe and VP of Talent and Events Mike Wyatt II got together to put Akron on the map as a jazz destination with the opening of BLU Jazz+. With live jazz every Wednesday through Saturday evenings, the club has the distinction of recently being named by DownBeat (Magazine) as one of the top jazz clubs in the world.

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BLU Jazz+ announced as finalist in 2015 Knight Arts Challenge Akron

November 19, 2015 -

AKRON, Ohio – The first Knight Arts Challenge Akron was launched over the summer to open up opportunities for anyone in the Greater Akron community with a great arts idea to make a contribution to the city’s cultural growth. The tremendous response to the challenge resulted in 540 submissions from neighborhoods across the Akron community & Northeast Ohio region.

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BLU Jazz+ teams up with Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland to present concert series

November 12, 2015 -

AKRON, Ohio – Manufacturer of the self-proclaimed “world’s best piano,” a Steinway & Sons acoustic grand piano will be prominently on display as Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland co-presents a series of marquee concerts in November & December in partnership with BLU Jazz+ in Akron, OH.
Throughout the duration of the residency at BLU Jazz+, a Steinway & Sons acoustic grand piano will be on stage for an array of high-profile performances, including: Joe Augustine (November 29), Freddy Cole (December 2), Cleveland Jazz Orchestra (December 13) and throughout the three-day “Ol’ BLU Eyes”: Sinatra Centennial celebration, commemorating the music of legendary “Chairman of the Board,” singer & entertainer, Frank Sinatra, on what marks his 100th birthday (December 10-12).

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‘Vanity Fair’ feature highlights millennials shaking up jazz world, includes past & upcoming BLU Jazz+ performers

November 11, 2015 -

AKRON, Ohio – The December 2015 ‘Vanity Fair’ issue arrived this week, boasting an exciting “jazz-centric” feature by writer, Will Friedwald, and photographer, Mark Seliger – profiling the many faces of today’s ever-evolving jazz culture.
“Once again, young musicians (whether first exposed via YouTube or one of the myriad high-school programs that have sprouted across the land like clover) are taking the lead and flocking to jazz. But now they’re doing so in a way that’s linked to the genre’s 100-year history and, at the same time, completely unique to the current generation,” says Friedwald.

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2015 DownBeat Readers Poll winners announced, include three upcoming BLU Jazz+ performers

October 27, 2015 -

AKRON, Ohio – The highly-anticipated results of the 80th Annual DownBeat Magazine Readers Poll were revealed yesterday. With 28,496 voters casting ballots, the 2015 poll generated the largest voter turnout in the poll’s history.
Categories for the Readers Poll include the most popular artists, albums, and labels in the jazz & blues genres. Among the #1 winners include three artists whom are set to perform at Akron’s premier live jazz venue, BLU Jazz+ this Fall: baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan (November 7), organist Joey DeFrancesco (November 12), and tenor saxophonist Chris Potter (December 3, 4).

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3 Nights @ BLU

October 19, 2015 -

AKRON, OH (by Dan Auerbach, Rubber City Review) – Akron’s BLU jazz club will mark its first year in business this weekend. Unfortunately, I won’t be there to help celebrate. But I already made up for that slight by spending three nights in a row at the club last week.
I really didn’t intend to become BLU’s newest barfly. Then I looked at the lineup for Thurs through Sat – Latin jazz pianist Chuchito Valdes, blues/cabaret eccentrics The Claudettes, and the Brooklyn-based soul/jazz/hip hop band Huntertones. Maybe I should knock off an ATM or sell some plasma.
Nah… I decided to forego the Thurs and Sat shows (those are CSI nights, right?) and check out The Claudettes. An Otis Spann-inspired piano and drums duo from Chicago joins forces with an alluring, Nigerian-American Francophile named Yana who likes to sing “yé-yé” classics from the Sixties?? Now that’s what I call a rare ticket!

Photography gallery show highlights inaugural season, premieres at sold-out show featuring Dan Wilson

September 20, 2015 -

AKRON, Ohio – Over the weekend, BLU Jazz+ and photographer, Cindy Nichols, teamed up to present “Through the Lens”: Milestone Moments at BLU, a curated collection of photographs which Nichols has captured since the opening of BLU Jazz+ in October 2014.
The gallery boasts full color and black & white photographs from many of the marquee events which have been presented at BLU Jazz+ throughout its first year and are available for purchase in two sizes: 8×10 and 11×14 with mats included. Among the performers featured in the gallery are Joey DeFrancesco, Delfeayo Marsalis, Ken Peplowski, Elan Trotman, Tony Monaco, Fareed Haque, Becca Stevens, Gerald Clayton, Jamey Haddad, Peter & Will Anderson, Ernie Krivda, Dan Wilson, Dominick Farinacci & many more.

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“Cure for the BLU’s” brings comedy night to downtown jazz club

August 12, 2015 -

AKRON, OH (The Akronist, August 12, 2015)
Where can Akronites go to see first-rate comedians perform in a club with a cool, upscale vibe and a convenient downtown location? The answer to that question is the new late-night comedy series “Cure for the BLUs,” every Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. at BLU Jazz+ at the Musica Complex, 47 E. Market St.
Willis Gordon and Eric Brewer are hosting shows that feature comics from Northeast Ohio and around the country.
The show premiered Aug. 1, with Eric Brewer serving as host and a lineup that included Dwayne Duke, Joe Perrow, Brian Kenny and headliner Willis Gordon. The house was packed and the excitement was palpable, as was the unspoken question: Would this show’s quality match that of its swanky venue?

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BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017, 2018)
Committed to the preservation of America's treasured art form of jazz, BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) is a new program developed by the founders of BLU Jazz+ Akron that brings “front-row” jazz education performance & mentorship opportunities to student musicians and art lovers alike through an ongoing series of special events throughout the year.