Upcoming Shows

We are excited to announce the upcoming shows for our fourth season at BLU Jazz+! Additional dates & performers will continue to be added, so check back often to catch your favorite artists at Northeast Ohio’s premier destination for live jazz, fine food & spirits!
 
Tickets are general admission (unless otherwise noted) on a first-come, first served basis, and you are only guaranteed admission for the showtime listed on your ticket. Please buy your tickets online in advance to guarantee admission.
 
See you at the show!
 



Nov
24

Hubb’s Groove: “Tribute to Natalie Cole” Renowned Northeast Ohio smooth & soul jazz sensation returns to the Rubber City for a special night in honor of the late R&B and jazz legend, Natalie Cole! Featuring special guest vocalists, Stacy "Sarah's Girl" Crawford & Irene Michelle.

Friday, November 24



Natalie Cole, the daughter of jazz & pop legend Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole forged a successful career in three phases. She began in the ’70s as a soul-rooted artist, had success in the ’80s with pop-oriented R&B material, and then followed in the footsteps of her father with traditional pop as her foundation from the ’90s through the early 2010s. From 1976 through 2009, she won nine Grammy Awards, including Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female (“This Will Be,” 1976), Album of the Year (Unforgettable: With Love, 1992), and Best Traditional Vocal Pop Album (Still Unforgettable, 2009).

 

Cole met the writing and producing team of Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancey in 1973. They helped her land a deal with Capitol, and they had a string of hit albums and singles from 1975 until 1983. Such LPs as Inseparable, Natalie, Thankful, Unpredictable, and I Love You So yielded five #1 R&B hits. She stayed with Capitol until 1983, then switched to Epic for her final album with the Jackson/Yancey tandem. She scored more hits with “Jump Start,” “I Live for Your Love,” and “Over You” in 1987, and “Pink Cadillac,” a cover of a Bruce Springsteen tune, in 1988, as she eased into another stylistic shift of focus.

 

Cole fully embraced traditional pop with the 1991 LP Unforgettable: With Love, which reached number one on the Billboard album chart, sold over five million copies, and won a handful of Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Best Traditional Pop Performance for the title track — a duet with her father (via his 1961 recording). She continued the trend with Take a Look in 1993, and she toured and did television specials working with a large orchestra conducted by Nelson Riddle. Holly & Ivy (1994) and Stardust (1996) both continued Cole’s exploration of American pop standards.

 

Hubb’s Groove is a mix of soul, jazz, R&B and a splash of gospel. It’s a smooth yet high energy band that believes what’s played from the heart, reaches the heart. The band was founded in 1996 by Robert Hubbard in Cleveland, Ohio under the name “Moments Notice.” In 2006, Robert changed the name to “Hubb’s Groove”. The band has shared the stage with Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, Earth Wind & Fire, Wayman Tisdale and Pieces of a Dream.

 

Hubb’s Groove has performed with Angela Bofill, Marcus Johnson, Alex Bugnon, Mike Phillips and Sean Jones to name a few.

 

When the group is not on tour together, they are working with other artists such as Babyface, Toni Braxton, Gerald Albright and Pieces of a Dream. Join us at BLU as some of Northeast Ohio’s finest contemporary jazz players assemble for a memorable evening of music made famous by the iconic Natalie Cole – tickets will move quickly, so get yours now!

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8:00 pm

$20 (advance), $25 (door)

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Nov
24

Late Night Jazz Jam w/ Lucas Kadish New York City guitarist wunderkind & Ohio native hosts a very special late night jam session - bring your horn & join in the fun! Presented by the BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation.

Friday, November 24



Join us for a very special “late night” edition of our popular jazz jam, hosted by one of the Akron area’s up-and-coming young jazz exports, New York City guitarist Lucas Kadish!

 

The Late Night Jazz Jam is for musicians and music lovers alike – come hang, have a drink (if you’re of age), and experience this exciting forum for musical expression. Bring your “axe” and play through tunes, pick up licks, trade 4’s, and enjoy the camaraderie of having a gathering place for the area’s finest professional jazz musicians (as well as the up-and-comers). Get your tickets today – no cover!

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11:00 pm

Free

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Nov
25

Helen Welch: “A Little Brit of Everything” Sensational British vocalist & entertainer brings her fabulous trio back to BLU with stories & songs from throughout her career in this not-to-miss show! Featuring Helen Welch, Joe Leaman, Bryan Thomas, Anthony Taddeo.

Saturday, November 25



International vocalist, entertainer, producer and musician who has wowed audiences from London’s West End to the Virginia Theatre on Broadway. Helen has sung with world class organizations such as the BBC Big Band, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Florida Symphony and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra to name a few.

 

Take the swing of Ella, the warm alto tones of Karen Carpenter, add some soul and oodles of cheeky British humor and pow! You have entertainer, singer and song-stylist, Helen Welch.

 

 

Join us as Helen and her fabulous trio present “A Little Brit of Everything” at BLU Jazz+! Featuring songs and stories from throughout Helen’s varied career including the music for her hugely popular 2017 album Spellbound.

 

The show will feature her version of “Both Sides Now”, the glorious Michel Le Grand song “Windmills of Your Mind” (arranged by Dave Morgan), dramatic blues with “I Put a Spell on You”, a flamenco inspired “Spain”, Broadway songs ‘a little brit differently’ including “On the Street Where You Live” and “This Nearly Was Mine” and a gorgeous version of “Wichita Lineman.”

 

Joining her will be pianist Joe Leaman, bassist Bryan Thomas and drummer Anthony Taddeo – a show not to be missed, get your tickets now!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

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Nov
29

Jackie Warren Northeast Ohio jazz & salsa pianist sensation brings her high-energy artistry to BLU for a very special midweek show! Featured guests often join the area's "First Lady of Jazz" for a tune or two - don't miss it!

Wednesday, November 29



Jackie Warren, a cornerstone of the Cleveland jazz & salsa scenes, is one of the most in-demand pianists in the area and has rightfully earned the nickname “Cleveland’s First Lady of Jazz.” As an educator, she has taught at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), and maintains a private studio. Ms. Warren has shared the stage with giants in both the jazz & salsa idioms, including David Fathead Newman, Benny Bailey, Clark Terry, Frank Morgan, Bobby Watson, Frank Foster, Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana, Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Othello Molineaux, Donald Harrison, Gerald Wilson, & Jimmy Heath to name a few.

 

 

Enjoy dinner, cocktails and some midweek swingin’ jazz every Wednesday!

[read more]

8:00 pm

Free

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Nov
30

BLU Jazz Jam w/ Theron Brown Bring your horn and come be part of Akron's jazz history in the making! Hosted by fan-favorite pianist, Theron Brown, and his trio - presented by the BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF).

Thursday, November 30



Akron-based jazz pianist, Theron Brown, is a frequent performer and jam session bandleader at BLU Jazz+. Influenced at a young age by Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, & Art Tatum, Brown has played with musicians such as Dan Wilson, Sean Jones, The Huntertones (formerly DW6), The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Bad Plus Band, Chris Coles, The Sam Blakeslee Large Ensemble, Javon Jackson, Snarky Puppy, Donny McCaslin, Peter White, Walter Beasley, Christian McBride, Ken Peplowski, Gary Smulyan, The Admirables, University of Akron Ensembles, Nathan Davis, and Bobby Selvaggio.

 

Theron has played at venues and events such as: The Lincoln Theater (Columbus, Ohio), Small’s Jazz Club (New York, New York), The Montreal Jazz Festival (Montreal, Canada), The Tri-C Jazz Festival (Cleveland, Ohio), The Toronto Jazz Festival (Toronto, Canada), The Blue Plum Jazz Festival (Johnson City, Tennessee), BLU Jazz+ (Akron, Ohio), Salle Wilfrid Pelletier, Palace de Arts (Montreal, Canada), Sapporo Concert Hall (Sapporo, Japan), Olympus Hall Hachiouji, Tokyo Kokusai Forum Hall C, (Tokyo, Japan), Sun Plaza Hall (Sendai, Japan), Ishikawa Kenritsu Ongakudo (Kanazawa, Japan), and Izumi No Mori Hall (Urayasu, Japan).

 

In 2014, Theron came across an amazing opportunity, when he was encouraged by family and friends; he auditioned for and was cast as young Herbie Hancock in the soon to be released film, Miles Ahead, directed by and starring Don Cheadle. The film is an intimate look into the life of jazz artist, Miles Davis, and was released in April 2016.

 

The BLU Jazz Jam is for musicians and music lovers alike! Come hang, have a drink (if you’re of age), and experience this exciting forum for musical expression. Bring your “axe” and play through tunes, pick up licks, trade 4’s, and enjoy the camaraderie of having a gathering place for the area’s finest professional jazz musicians (as well as the up-and-comers)!

[read more]

8:00 pm

Free (donations accepted for BJMF)

Buy Tickets


Dec
1

Charita Franks: “Feeling Good” Dazzling vocalist and her high-energy band bring the sounds of motown, R&B, jazz and soul to the Rubber City in BLU debut! Featuring Charita Franks, Joe Leaman, Chris Conway, Jesse Marquardt.

Friday, December 1



Vocalist Charita Franks was born in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Community Baptist Church, where she started singing at the age of 8. She was inspired by Sade, EnVogue, Boys to Men, Michael Jackson, Prince and the BeeGees. Since then, she has had 4 beautiful children, 2 beautiful grandchildren and a beautiful daughter -in-law.

 

Charita has both a smooth side & a high energy side, and her fans say that she sounds like none other. She can change the mood of a room in an instant and sings with a passionate connection to the music.

 

Her music tells stories and she puts on a show that grabs the undivided attention of everyone in the room — whether it’s a cappella or laying it down with a full band, “the show will go on!”

 

Join us for a very special Friday evening in the Rubber City as this hometown artist makes her BLU debut – get your tickets today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$12

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Dec
2

“Gypsy Jazz Summit”: Moustache Yourself + Hot Djang! Two of Northeastern Ohio's finest hot club-style bands, Moustache Yourself (8PM-9PM) and Hot Djang! (9:30PM-10:30PM) bring the sounds of "jazz manouche," or gypsy swing, back to BLU in a very special double bill show!

Saturday, December 2



Moustache Yourself is an gypsy quartet based in Akron, Ohio. Gypsy jazz, also known as gypsy swing, hot club jazz, or by the French name, “jazz manouche” is a style of jazz music made famous by guitarist Django Reinhardt in the 1930s. Its infectious rhythm and exotic but familiar melodies will capture your soul and transport you to a different time and place!

 

Band members are (nearly all of whom bear moustaches, a staple in the gypsy jazz lifestyle) Jeremy Jones (guitar), Brent Hamker (guitar), Brad Wagner (clarinet and sax), and Matthew DeRubertis (acoustic bass) are on a mission to incorporate the entire history of gypsy jazz into an eclectic mix of songs from ranging from the style’s beginnings to present day, which includes originals written by members.

 

Hot Djang! is an acoustic jazz quartet featuring violin, acoustic guitars and upright bass. Their inspiration comes from the style of jazz made popular in Paris during the 1930s known as “Gypsy Jazz.” In addition, they play jazz and swing standards from the American Songbook.

 

Sip on one of our specialty cocktails and soak in the sounds of 1930’s Paris, France with one of the area’s finest gypsy jazz & early swing bands, featuring Reed Simon, Kevin Richards, Brad Smedley, Bryan Thomas.

 

Both bands will join forces on stage at the end of the evening for an unforgettable gypsy jazz summit – get your tickets now!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

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Dec
3

“An Evening with the Joe Augustine Trio” Steinway & Sons artist, master pianist & composer returns to BLU with hard-swingin' trio for a magical & memorable evening of premier live jazz! Featuring Dave Morgan & Jim Rupp.

Sunday, December 3



Joe Augustine’s serious study of the piano began at age 15. He played professionally six nights a week while earning a degree from Youngstown State University. Classical training with Dolores Fitzer and extensive jazz and compositional training with Gene Rush coupled with study in New York with masters in the jazz field distinguishes Augustine’s work from other players.

 

Classically trained, Augustine has been performing and teaching jazz piano nationally and abroad for 40 plus years. He is a master at creating meticulous, distinctive arrangements so that his listeners hear the music in exciting new ways. Augustine draws on his own experience as pianist, composer and arranger to create just the right blend of melody, harmony and rhythm. Whether playing classic standards or his own compositions, his inventive musical style has been described as accessible and engaging, lyrical and dynamic. He has produced 37 CD’s including 15 recordings for QRS Pianomation and another 5 recordings for PianoDisc. He is always writing new music for another CD.

 

Augustine’s performance credits include concerts, symphony performances, jazz clubs, benefits, receptions, openings and Steinway sponsored concerts and promotional events with his trio or solo.

 

During his career, Augustine has received numerous honors, including selection to the roster of Steinway artists in 1995, a life-long honor. He has appeared in a variety of musical settings from jazz clubs to symphony halls and is featured as guest artist with the Youngstown Symphony for their first commercial recording, Home for the Holidays.

 

Join us as we welcome one of Northeast Ohio’s most treasured & swingin’ pianists in his return to BLU, backed by some of the finest musicians in the state: bassist Dave Morgan and drummer Jim Rupp – get your tickets today!

[read more]

6:00 pm

$15

Buy Tickets


Dec
6

Jackie Warren Northeast Ohio jazz & salsa pianist sensation brings her high-energy artistry to BLU for a very special midweek show! Featured guests often join the area's "First Lady of Jazz" for a tune or two - don't miss it!

Wednesday, December 6



Jackie Warren, a cornerstone of the Cleveland jazz & salsa scenes, is one of the most in-demand pianists in the area and has rightfully earned the nickname “Cleveland’s First Lady of Jazz.” As an educator, she has taught at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), and maintains a private studio. Ms. Warren has shared the stage with giants in both the jazz & salsa idioms, including David Fathead Newman, Benny Bailey, Clark Terry, Frank Morgan, Bobby Watson, Frank Foster, Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana, Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Othello Molineaux, Donald Harrison, Gerald Wilson, & Jimmy Heath to name a few.

 

 

Enjoy dinner, cocktails and some midweek swingin’ jazz every Wednesday!

[read more]

8:00 pm

Free

Buy Tickets


Dec
7

Barbara Rosene New York City vocal sensation returns for her annual December appearance at BLU for a swingin' evening of Great American Songbook standards, holiday classics, and much more! Featuring Barbara Rosene & Tom Roberts.

Thursday, December 7



Barbara Rosene is a passionate interpreter of American popular music. Spending much of the year performing internationally as the featured singer with the legendary Harry James Orchestra, Barbara offers up her niche brand of vocal jazz with a stylized spin on the great music of the 1920s, 30s and beyond.

 

In her established career she has shared stages with jazz icons, performing internationally with The Harry James Orchestra, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, the late Les Paul at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club, The Woody Allen Band, at The Carlyle Hotel, as well as directing her own New Yorkers, and as guest artist with orchestras and in festivals across the world. She has played such venues as The Iridium, Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, The Montreal Jazz Festival, Night Town (Cleveland), Blues Alley (DC), The Arizona Music Festival, Jazz Amarinois, and The Hotel Villa Flori, Lake Como.

 

Barbara has been featured on Judy Carmichael’s NPR program ”Jazz Inspired”, and recently on NPR’s “Hot Jazz Saturday Night.” She has been recognized by Backstage Magazine (Bistro Award, 2006), “Jazz Improv Magazine”, and is featured in Scott Yanow’s “Great Jazz Singers.”

 

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Barbara right here in Historic Downtown Akron at Northeast Ohio’s premier destination for live jazz, fine food & spirits – BLU Jazz+!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

Buy Tickets

Contact

 
 
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.
   
 

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