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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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?
AKRON, OH (Akronlife Magazine, July 2015)
Second only to LeBron James’ return, Akronlife Magazine has named BLU Jazz+ “Best Thing to Happen to Akron” this year!
We are so very honored & humbled by this recognition, and are in good company in this category, along with the Akron RubberDucks & the Gay Games Cleveland! Thank you, Akron, Ohio and Akronlife Magazine!
AKRON, OH (by Molly Gase, Akronlife Magazine, June 2015)
Looking for an experience that is beyond the norm? Head down to BLU Jazz+. This jazz venue brings the idea of cool speak easy to Downtown Akron. “The acronym is BeLowU, and the idea is to create a cool “speak easy” that you need to go down/get down into a cool groovy place to get into that chill space of mind to really appreciate the genre of a true American art form,” says Tony Troppe.
Started by a group of jazz lovers — Tom Strauss, Mike Wyatt and Troppe — BLU Jazz+ opened in October of 2014. Bringing the succulent tones of jazz to the historic arts district of downtown, Troppe says that it’s a great location to be. “Positive energy of a great place attracts great people. They are winding up at BLU to not miss the downbeat.”
(AKRON, OH) – North Carolina-bred, New York-based singer/composer/guitarist and Universal Music Classics recording artist, Becca Stevens, has already received copious praise from the likes of The New York Times, describing her as “a best-kept secret” and “impressively absorbing.” The Boston Phoenix noted Becca’s “big voice and no-bull emotional delivery,” while The Winston-Salem Journal stated, “Stevens’s singing is remarkable, soulful, pitch-perfect and subtle in its controlled acrobatics. The arrangements are exquisitely produced, and her acoustic songs boast musical textures and colors that embrace the adventurism of jazz.”
|BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017)*|
|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.|