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!
(BY DAVIS INMAN, DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE) Singer-songwriter Cyrille Aimée is starting to turn heads in the jazz world. On her debut disc for Mack Avenue, Aimée—who was born and raised in France—cheerfully mixes ingredients from Brazilian music, Gypsy jazz and Americana, throwing in a version of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan,” a cover of a Michael Jackson hit (“Off The Wall”), Oscar Pettiford’s “Tricotism” and four original compositions along the way.
AKRON, OH (by William Hoffman, Cleveland Scene Magazine) A decade ago, when Tony Troppe picked out the space that would become Blu Jazz+, Akron’s premiere jazz club, it was just a shoebox warehouse with dirt floors sitting beneath the Hermes building, in the historic Akron market district.
Today, the space has been transformed into a little portal into the big-city jazz club experience of old. A sandstone brick wall lines the far side of the club, accenting the couches and intimate surrounding tables that crowd the stage where a blue spotlight illuminates the grand piano. The bar glows with LEDs shining red and blue light on the bottles used to craft innovative cocktails, and the walls are covered in historic photos of jazz legends who passed through Akron. They’re even accompanied by reading material so you can learn about their history.
AKRON, OH (by Don Baker, Jr., Founder and Editor-in-Chief, AkronLife Magazine) – He wears a pork pie hat, sports a soul patch and dons shades indoors. And, he just opened BLU Jazz+, a jazz club in the cellar of the Hermes Building on Maiden Lane just off East Market Street.
This club has been in the making for more than 10 years. The first I heard of it was when moved its offices into the Everett Building, which is connected to the Hermes. Tony was our landlord, and when he was showing me around, he pointed to the cold, dank space below 3 Point restaurant and said he was going to put a jazz club in there. I remember this because I’m a huge jazz fan, and the thought of a jazz bar in Akron was memorable.
AKRON, OH – NYC vocalist extraordinaire celebrates the Holidays at BLU with All-Star Quartet, featuring Concord Jazz recording artist Helen Sung (piano), Peter Dominguez (bass) & Ray Porrello (drums)!
Endowed with the kind of liquid phrasing and sheer wisdom that comes from depth of experience on the jazz performance campaign trail, Vanessa Rubin is an ever-evolving classic singer in the making. The development of a true jazz singer is a long-range prospect, laden with learning experiences that forge the voice into a true instrument, rich with passion, deeply invested in living through life’s joys and perils; such is the journey of Vanessa Rubin, jazz singer extraordinaire. Capable of employing the gamut of emotions, the mature Ms. Rubin can range from whisper to shout in the blink of an eye; from honey-laden ballads purring like a kitten, to up tempo swinging and scatting like a fluent saxophone, she delivers the goods.
AKRON, OH – Northeast Ohio jazz fans are in for a treat as BLU Jazz+ prepares to roll out the “red carpet” for jazz organ, trumpet, and vocal master, Joey DeFrancesco, and his trio!
Joey DeFrancesco has played and recorded with all of the greats: Miles Davis, Ray Charles, David Sanborn, Arturo Sandoval, Benny Golson, James Moody, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Cobb, George Benson, John Scofield, John McLaughlin, and many more. Born into a musical family in Pennsylvania that included three generations of jazz musicians (Joey’s grandfather, Joseph DeFrancesco, was a jazz musician who played the saxophone and clarinet and Joey’s father, “Papa” John DeFrancesco, was an organist who played nationally), Joey began playing the organ at age 4 and hasn’t looked back since!
AKRON, OH (by Malcolm Abram, Akron Beacon Journal) – Thursday, Akron jazz and music lovers can help welcome back one of their own when the eclectic Brooklyn-based contemporary jazz band Huntertones performs two shows at Akron’s Blu Jazz+.
The band, which recently changed its name from the Dan White Sextet, is led by three Ohio State University graduates and talented hornmen — trombonist Chris Ott, saxophonist Dan White and trumpet, sousaphone player and Akronite Jon Lampley.
Backing up the horn trio will be the semi-satellite members of local pianist Theron Brown, guitarist Josh Hill, bassist Jeff Bass and drummer John Hubbell — all of whom have also recorded with the band.
We wanted to give a special thanks to Fox 8 Cleveland for coming down to the 330 to check out BLU Jazz+!
Great interviews with members of our team members including majority owner & Creative Director, Tony Troppe, and General Manager, Colin Cook. (Some nice video clips of the Joe Hunter Trio featuring Evelyn Wright, as well as shots of our popular menu items & signature cocktails!)
AKRON, OH (by Britny Kutuchief) – Two blocks north of Akron developer Tony Troppe’s new jazz club stands a monument to Hotel Matthews, a storied downtown Akron hotel that, in its heyday, put up jazz greats like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Cab Calloway.
The hotel was torn down in the early 1980s, leaving behind a void, and an a not-so developed Howard Street that’s haunted by ghosts of jazz players past. Troppe’s new jazz club, BLU Jazz+, aims to restore the city’s jazz culture.
BLU is the brainchild of Troppe and his new V.P. of talent and events Mike Wyatt, a jazz saxophonist and graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
We just wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank all of the folks who attended our Inaugural Season Kickoff Weekend at BLU Jazz+ and for writing a new chapter in Akron’s jazz history. All four of our shows (early and late sets) this past weekend SOLD OUT to a wonderful audience who was eager for a top-notch jazz experience; our musicians and staff delivered!
We will be constantly striving to improve our guest experience, so that each and every one of your visits to BLU Jazz+ is a fun & memorable evening. Your patience and continued support mean everything to us, and we could not have made this first weekend a success without you!
AKRON, OH (by Malcolm X Abram, Akron Beacon Journal) – Jazz music has a long and storied history in Northeast Ohio dating back to the days when clubs on Akron’s Howard Street and Cleveland venues such as Lindsay’s Sky bar were packed with fans.
The Cleveland-Akron area was a perfect midway point between megatropolises Chicago and New York and legends such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Cab Calloway made frequent stops.
Though jazz may not have the mainstream cache and popularity today, the scene in Northeast Ohio is still loaded with talented young and veteran players who are always looking for a good gig in a good room.
Starting at 7 p.m. Friday, musicians and fans will have a new downtown Akron venue to hear and see the best in local, national and international jazz with the inaugural kickoff of Blu Jazz+ on East Market Street.
|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.|