Upcoming Shows

We are excited to announce the upcoming shows for our third 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!
 



Jun
23

Dan Wilson: “Balancing Act,” Live at BLU Jazz+ Album Recording Join us as part of the live audience experience as national touring artist & master jazz guitarist, Akron's own - Dan Wilson, records his next album, "Balancing Act," LIVE at BLU with an all-star band! Featuring Sullivan Fortner, Ivan Taylor, Xavier Breaker, Sam Blakeslee.

Friday, June 23



It’s been five years since Dan Wilson released his debut album, To Whom It May Concern.

 

On June 23, 2017, he will record his second album, “Balancing Act,” Live at BLU Jazz+! Dan will share the stage with some of the most talented, world-class musicians on the scene including Sullivan Fortner on piano, Ivan Taylor on bass, Xavier Breaker on drums, and Akron’s own, Sam Blakeslee on trombone.

 

Get your tickets early for this major event and come be part of the live audience experience for the upcoming album, “Balancing Act,” Live at BLU Jazz+, Dan’s favorite jazz club in his beloved hometown of Akron!

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7:00 pm, 9:30 pm

$30

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Jun
24

Maureen Choi Quartet: “Latin Jazz Made In Spain” Captivating violinist from Spain and an all-star cast bring exciting mix of traditional Spanish & Latin American pieces with a jazzy flair in special North American tour! Presented by the BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation, featuring a masterclass (6PM, FREE) and concert (8PM) at BLU!
Masterclass + Concert

Saturday, June 24



Much has been said of Maureen Choi’s mastery of the violin in recent years: “It is the new great voice of the jazz violin”; “She sings with her violin”; “She’s an incredible young talent”. Choi is a unique violinist who innately blends the virtuosity of classical music with improvisation and the sounds and rhythms of the Spanish diaspora.

 

 

Maureen is a classically-trained violinist with a passion for composition and improvisation. Since 1993 her award-winning performances and collaborations have spanned several continents and included several diverse musical influences, all of which have helped create her unique sound, firmly based in Latin Jazz.

 

She received her classical training from Michigan State University where she was introduced to jazz. In 2010 she won a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, further solidifying her burgeoning passion for the language and technique of improvisation on the violin. In addition to playing in venues around the world, Maureen is currently based in Madrid and teaches at the Berklee College of Music in Valencia as well as at the Escuela de la Música Creativa in Madrid. She is the composer and leader of her diverse quartet comprised of classically trained flamenco-jazz musicians.

 

Her first jazz album “Maureen Choi Quartet” (2011) was critically well received among US radio stations and in publications such as Jazziz Magazine and Jazz Corner, as well as remaining in AllAboutJazz Top 50 for several months. Her second album “Ida y Vuelta” has been hailed as “One of the more original, interesting and surprising on the current scene” (Oscar Gómez, Latin Jazz Producer and five-time Grammy Award Winner), Maureen Choi Quartet offers a captivating live performance consisting of original compositions and arrangements of traditional Spanish and Latin American pieces providing “an intensely enriching experience from the moment they start playing. It starts delicate and finishes as a party.” (RTVE, Spanish National Radio)

 

Maureen Choi Quartet is currently on tour presenting their latest album, Ida y Vuelta, through Europe, Asia and North America and their next projects include collaborating with the dancers of the Spanish National Ballet.

 

Don’t miss your rare chance to experience this group during their North American tour – get your tickets today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15/$20, $10 (students w/ ID at door)

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Jun
28

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, June 28



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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Jun
29

Bone-afide Fronted by a mighty 5-piece trombone section, this sensational group covers a wide range of styles in their high-energy show, including swing, Latin, funk & beyond! Featuring Chris Anderson, Max Brady, Scott Marsh, Jim Redmond, Aaron Thornberry, Stewart Freedman, Dan Angotti, Drew Thornberry.

Thursday, June 29



Bone-Afide is a local 8 piece jazz group featuring a front line of 5 trombones backed by a traditional rhythm section. They play a variety of jazz standards with a few originals mixed in. The arrangements for the group highlight the versatility of the trombone; from swing to latin to funk, this group brings an exciting and unique sound and style to the music scene.

 

The group originated in central Illinois where they recorded their debut album “Main St. Blues”. They’re influenced by JJ Johnson, Kai Winding, and their trombone groups; by all the jazz greats of the past and present; and by the local jazz legends of the Cleveland/Akron area. The current members include: Chris Anderson, Max Brady, Scott Marsh, Jim Redmond & Aaron Thornberry (trombones), Stewart Freedman (piano), Dan Angotti (bass), Drew Thornberry (drums).

[read more]

8:00 pm

$12

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Jun
30

“Swing Dance Party” w/ Blue Lunch & Get Hep Swing Dancers Cleveland's venerable jump swingin' blues, gospel, and old-school R&B band returns to the Rubber City and joined by the renowned Get Hep Swing Dancers for a throwback-themed night of music & dance!

Friday, June 30



The late 1940’s and early 1950’s were a magical time in American musical history, when blues, rhythm & blues, swing and rock & roll were all one thing. Blue Lunch explores that music and makes it their own.

 

Bring your dancing shoes and take part in a swing dance lesson led by Get Hep Swing’s Valerie Salstrom at 7:00PM (beginners welcome) with the live music starting at 8:00PM. Dancers & music lovers alike are invited to this special event!

 

2014 marked the 30th anniversary of the band. Featuring Bob Frank (guitar & vocals), Pete London (harmonica & vocals), Chris Burge (tenor saxophone), Mike Sands (piano), Ray DeForest (bass), Scott Flowers (drums), Mike Rubin (trumpet), and Bob Michael (trombone).

 

Don’t miss this special night at BLU Jazz+ celebrating the sounds of the 1940’s & 1950’s with the return of Blue Lunch & Get Hep Swing – get your tickets today!

[read more]

7:00 pm

$12

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Jul
1

Forecast Contemporary jazz sensation from Cleveland brings funk, rock, reggae & pop to the BLU stage! Featuring Lem Adams, Riley Richard, Alphonso McDuffie, Gary Stevenson, Gene Butler.

Saturday, July 1



The native Cleveland contemporary jazz band performs a musical blend of instrumental jazz, funk, rock, reggae and pop. The band is composed of vibist Lem Adams, saxophonist Riley Richard, keyboardist Alphonso McDuffie, bassist Gary Stevenson, drummer Gene Butler.

 

In addition to their regular performance dates the band has opened for Earl Klugh, The Crusaders, Stanley Turrentine, Bob Newhart, Roy Ayers, Jeff Lorber, Angie Bofill, Michael Paulow, Pieces of a Dream, Brian Auger, Bob James, and David Garfield just to mention a few. Awards include the 1985 and 1986 Michelob Jazz Search, Best Jazz Fusion Band from the 1993 Midwest urban Music Awards and Best Contemporary Jazz Band from Scene Magazine in 1999. Forecast performed as the official house band of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Gund Arena for the 2001-2002 season.

 

Join us at BLU for the debut of this hard-hitting group, get your tickets now!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

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Jul
4

“Red, White, & BLU Plate Celebration” ft. Dave Hammer & The Church of Fresh Air New Orleans guitarist & Akron native brings the flavors of trad jazz, gospel & southern roots music to Main & Market as we open the doors to Akron's all-new "southern fare with Akron flair," BLU Plate! Featuring Dave Hammer, Nathan Paul Davis, Matthew DeRubertis, Holbrook Riles III.

Tuesday, July 4



Dave Hammer is a dynamic singer & guitarist, dividing his time between New Orleans and Akron, Ohio. Hammer draws from a wide range of American Roots music styles, including gospel, funk, trad jazz, old time, country & blues. His unique vocal style and undeniable charm shine through every guitar lick and phrase he sings!

 

 

Join us upstairs before or after the fireworks as we open the doors to BLU Plate with a soulful celebration of music, food, and company!

[read more]

8:30 pm, 10:30 pm

Free

Buy Tickets


Jul
5

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, July 5



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


Jul
6

BLU Jazz Big Band Residency w/ the Sam Blakeslee Large Group “Farewell Show” Presented by the BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF), join us for the final installment of our BLU Jazz Big Band Residency featuring the Sam Blakeslee Large Group! Sam and the band will present a "Standards & Not So Standards" program ft. special guests Nicole Zuraitis & Dan Pugach from New York City!

Thursday, July 6



Join us for the LAST month of the BLU Jazz Big Band Residency with the Sam Blakeslee Large Group before he moves to New York City! To make the send off extra-special, he will be presenting “Standards & Not So Standards” with special guest NYC vocalist Nicole Zuraitis and frequent collaborator and NYC drummer/composer Dan Pugach!

 

The Large Group will be exploring the beautiful lyrics and harmonies of the Great American Songbook as well as some of the original compositions that became “standards” of the BLU Jazz Residency over the last year and a half. Get your tickets now for this special event!

 

Sam Blakeslee is a trombonist/composer residing in Cleveland, OH. In his few years on the scene, he has played with artists Sean Jones, Jiggs Whigham, Aretha Franklin, Dominick Farinacci, Dennis Mackrel, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson, and Derrick Gardner. Sam holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Youngstown State University and a Master’s Degree in Classical Performance from Universtiy of Akron. Sam has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Banff Centre, as well as famous jazz clubs in New York City such as 55 Bar, Shapeshifter Lab, and Whynot Jazz Room. He has also participated in some of the world’s most illustrious workshops and residencies including The Steans Institute for the Young Artist at Ravinia, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center, and the Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre. As an active educator, Sam is currently the Director of the Jazz Prep Program and After School Band Program at Cuyahoga Community College, as well as the Instructor of Improvisation at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

 

 

While Sam leads many of his own projects, The Sam Blakeslee Large Group is his unique signature. The ensemble is a high-energy 17-piece contemporary jazz orchestra that features original music of his or other members of the group. Its repertoire is an exciting mix of hip-hop, contemporary classical music, as well as hard-swinging traditional jazz styles. The members of the group are some of the most creative and innovative players and composers in the Northeast Ohio area. One of the goals of the group is to also create a larger regional network of musicians by bringing in artists from Detroit, Pittsburgh, and NYC.

 

Join us for this special “farewell” show as we celebrate with amazing music & company to send Sam off to New York City!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$10

Buy Tickets


Jul
7

Jackiem Joyner: “Main Street Beat” Album Release Event Award winning Los Angeles soul-jazz saxophonist & Billboard chart-topping sensation arrives in the Rubber City for BLU debut in celebration of his brand-new album, "Main Street Beat!"

Friday, July 7



Delivering on his promise to “Evolve,” the title of Jackiem Joyner’s last soul-jazz album, the saxophonist became a father since his 2014 release, an elation-inducing experience that informs the music he wrote and produced for his new Artistry Music set, “Main Street Beat,” due June 30. The first single from the funky, dance inspiring, Motown-influenced session that will be shipped to radio this month is the exultant “Trinity,” named for Joyner’s first child whose presence on the track is voiced by Steve Oliver’s incandescent acoustic guitar.

 

Joyner approached crafting “Main Street Beat” with a three-pronged purpose. “I wanted to create something upbeat, fun to listen to and something to dance to. ‘Main Street Beat’ originally started off as a straight funk record that eventually became some of that, but a whole lot more as I allowed the creative process to have its way with me,” said Joyner, a Billboard chart-topper who plays tenor, alto, soprano and baritone saxophone on the date, often enriching the tracks by laying layer upon layer of horns to form a powerhouse sax section.

 

 

The release of “Main Street Beat,” Joyner’s sixth album, coincides with his tenth anniversary as a recording artist. His 2007 debut “Babysoul” earned Debut Artist of the Year honors from Smooth Jazz News. Two years later, his sophomore set, “Lil Man Soul,” spawned two No. 1 singles on the Billboard chart and won the Song of the Year trophy for “I’m Waiting For You” from the American Smooth Jazz Awards. His self-titled 2010 album solidified his position as a consistent hit-maker. Revisiting his non-secular roots, Joyner issued the gospel-jazz “Church Boy” in 2012. “Evolve” placed his infectious melodies amidst futuristic electronic sonicscapes. Joyner’s music isn’t his only creative effort that ventured into extraterrestrial territory. Last year, the Norfolk, Virginia native who resides near Los Angeles authored his first book, the science fiction novel “Zarya: Cydnus Final Hope (Book 1).

 

Join us at BLU Jazz+ as we welcome this sensational West Coast soul-jazz artist in his BLU debut – tickets will move quickly, get yours today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$25 (advance), $30 (door)

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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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