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!
 



Feb
26

Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet Internationally acclaimed saxophonist with the Dave Matthews Band and three-time Grammy award winner with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones makes BLU debut with his genre-smashing all-star band! Featuring Jeff Coffin, Roy "Futureman" Wooten, Felix Pastorious, Bill Fanning, Chris Walters.

Sunday, February 26



Jeff Coffin is an internationally recognized saxophonist, bandleader, composer and educator who has been traveling the globe since the late 20th century.

 

 

He is a three-time Grammy-winner as a member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, with whom he played from 1997-2010. In July 2008, Jeff began touring with Dave Matthews Band, and officially joined the group in 2009 following the tragic passing of founding member LeRoi Moore. When not on the road with DMB, Coffin fronts his own group, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet, and works around the country playing shows and presenting music clinics to students.

 

Artists with whom Coffin has shared the stage and recording studio include a “who’s who” of musicians, including Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Dave Matthews Band, Branford Marsalis, Bob Mintzer, DJ Logic, New Orleans Social Club, Maceo Parker, McCoy Tyner, Baaba Maal, Phish, Mike Clark’s Prescription Trio, Galactic, Kirk Whalum, My Morning Jacket, Widespread Panic, Chris Thile, Willie Nelson, Chester Thompson, Garth Brooks, Van Morrison, J.D. Souther, Vinnie Colaiuta, The Dixie Chicks, “Rakalam” Bob Moses, Stanton Moore, Brooks & Dunn, Tuvan Throat Singers – the Alash Ensemble & Konger Ol Ondar, George Porter Jr., Umphrey’s McGee, Del McCoury, John Scofield, Yonder Mountain String Band, Marc Broussard, Martina McBride, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Wailers and many, many others.

 

For his performance at BLU Jazz+, Jeff will be showcasing his Mu’Tet. Taking the name from the word ‘mutation’, the Mu’tet reflects Coffin’s philosophy that music must change and mutate in order to evolve.

[read more]

7:00 pm, 9:00 pm

$25

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Feb
28

“Fat Tuesday” Mardi Gras Party w/ Eric Seddon’s Hot Club Eat, drink & be merry as we celebrate Mardi Gras this year at BLU with native New Yorker & clarinetist magnifique, Eric Seddon! The Hot Club returns for a 2nd annual celebration with the roarin' sounds of New Orleans' French Quarter featuring Eric Seddon, Jim Davis, George Foley, Kevin Richards, Gene Epstein, Bill Fuller.

Tuesday, February 28



Eric Seddon’s Hot Club is a sextet in the New Orleans jazz tradition, emphasizing soul, blues, and tuneful melodic invention. Focusing on early jazz repertoire, they also perform numbers from the various trad jazz revivals up to the present day. The band debuted in March of 2015 at The Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights, at the request of Franklin Cohen, as part of ChamberFest Cleveland’s “Uncorked” Concert series.

 

The Hot Club is based in Cleveland and lead by Eric Seddon on clarinet. A Native of New York, Eric has performed in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and with Grammy winning artists such as Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen, The Moody Blues, Mark O’Connor, and the Emerson String Quartet. In addition to leading his Hot Club, Eric is active on the Cleveland jazz scene, frequently performing with such popular groups as Hot Djang!, George Foley & Friends, Gene’s Jazz Hot, The SpYder Stompers, and the Nostalgia Factor at venues such as Nighttown, The Music Box Supper Club, Rockefeller’s, The Barking Spider, and others. An advocate of the sound and history of jazz clarinet, he performs on refurbished, vintage clarinets with mouthpieces from the golden era of jazz.

 

Join us as we bring the storied sounds of New Orleans’ French Quarter to the Historic Arts District of Akron, Ohio! Bring your feathered masks, colored beads, and doubloons and get into the Big Easy state of mind as we celebrate with Eric Seddon’s Hot Club – get your tickets today for this very special Tuesday show! Featuring Eric Seddon (clarinet), Jim Davis (cornet/trumpet), George Foley (piano), Kevin Richards (guitar), Gene Epstein (upright bass), Bill Fuller (drums).

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

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Mar
1

Brad Myers Trio: “Sanguinaria” (Hopefulsongs) CD Release Party Sensational guitarist & bassist from Cincinnati debut all-new album on Colloquy Records and bring the music to BLU for a special live performance! Featuring Brad Myers, Michael Sharfe, Shane Willis.

Wednesday, March 1



The elements of interplay and synergy are fundamental to the essence of the finest jazz expression. With Sanguinaria (Hopefulsongs) the brilliant tandem of guitarist Brad Myers and bassist Michael Sharfe embrace these elements to perfection. What began as a musical conversation a few years ago when they began playing together in their hometown Cincinnati has flowered into full bloom with this stunning collaboration. And the blossoming metaphor is fully appropriate.

 

Even more to the point, sanguine means hopeful and optimistic, and aria means an expressive melody or song – which brings us to the core of this beautifully expressive and compelling album. Twelve captivating songs – six by iconic jazz composers; four by Myers; and two provided by respected colleagues –receive enchanting interpretations, focused on beauty, joy and a powerful sense of hopeful inspiration. The mutual feelings of loving expressiveness and emotional warmth embodied by Brad and Mike through this music are palpable and uplifting – further enhanced by the remarkable virtuosity that is fully at their command.

 

Imagine a sumptuous Japanese meal, with a dozen dishes, each perfectly prepared to be all that it can be, but also crafted to complement and enhance each of the other dishes to both stand alone and in harmony – and that pretty well captures the heart and soul of this album. It makes one wish that there was some new form of technology that would allow you to shift back and forth between elements of each song the way one would sample different delights from each dish at will during the meal.

 

Get your tickets today for this very special and intimate live performance at BLU!

[read more]

7:00 pm

$10

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Mar
2

BLU Jazz Big Band Residency w/ the Sam Blakeslee Large Group ft. Bluelight Presented by the BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF), join us for our "first Thursdays" big band artist-in-residence series led by trombonist/composer, Sam Blakeslee, featuring special guest artist, Bluelight!

Thursday, March 2



For the March installment of the BLU Jazz+ Big Band Residency, the Sam Blakeslee Large Group and Akron-based Neo-Soul/Hip-Hop group, Bluelight, will take the stage and team up for a one of a kind collaboration! Led by pianist/vocalist/composer Philip Anderson, Bluelight has performed at Tri-C JazzFest, Rubber City Jazz and Blues Festival, as well as many other venues across the country. The music of Bluelight encompasses many different styles, often switching easily between soulful grooves and jazz influenced harmony, as well a deep hip-hop influences provided by emcee Jul Big Green. This dynamic group joins forces alongside the inventive arrangements of composer/arranger Sam Blakeslee and members of the Sam Blakeslee Large Group for a totally new experience for your First Thursday!

 

Featuring Chris Coles, Matt Segall, Brad Wagner, Aaron Janik, Sam Blakeslee, Russell Gelman-Sheehan, Philip Anderson, Matt DeRubertis, Holbrook Riles III.

[read more]

8:00 pm

$10 (half of proceeds go to BJMF)

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Mar
3

“Swing Dance Party” w/ Red Light Roxy & Get Hep Swing Dancers Jump blues, swing jazz & boogie-woogie masters, Red Light Roxy, are joined by the renowned Get Hep Swing Dancers for a throwback-themed night of music & dance! Featuring Eileen Burns, Demetrius Steinmetz, Joe Hunter, Dave Sterner, Daris Adkins, & Glenn Davis.

Friday, March 3



Swing music & swing dancing have always gone hand in hand. We are excited to bring back Red Light Roxy & Get Hep Swing for another exciting “Swing Dance Party!”

 

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!

 

Featuring Eileen Burns (vocals), Demetrius Steinmetz (bass), Joe Hunter (piano), Dave Sterner (saxophone), Daris Adkins (guitar), & Glenn Davis (drums).

[read more]

8:00 pm

$12

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Mar
4

Deon Yates “School of Funk” Tour After a sold-out BLU debut last May, Billboard chart-topping smooth jazz saxophonist returns to the Rubber City from Detroit and brings classic soul-jazz funk into the modern day with his high-energy band!

Saturday, March 4



With his explosive, melodically infectious, soulful and grooving debut on Woodward Avenue Records, innovative & hard-grooving smooth jazz saxophonist Deon Yates opens a hands-on “School of Funk” to show young players and contemporary urban jazz lovers of all ages how it’s done.

 

More specifically, with the in-the-pocket assistance of producer, co-writer and keyboardist Nate Harasim – who plays Fender Rhodes and organ throughout the album – Yates offers a spirited refresher on classic soul-jazz funk and a primer on where the genre is heading in the future.

 

Get your tickets today and join us as we bring the sounds of Detroit to the Rubber City in this hard-grooving Saturday night show!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$20

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Mar
8

Freddy Cole Quartet: “85 Years of Swinging” Legendary three-time Grammy® nominated vocalist & pianist returns to BLU Jazz+ for an evening of singin' & swingin' in celebration of his remarkable & highly-decorated musical career! Featuring Freddy Cole, Randy Napoleon, Elias Bailey, Quentin Baxter.

Wednesday, March 8



Freddy Cole, the legacy of his brother Nat “King” Cole, will stir up memories that will never be forgotten. Now in his 55th year of performing, this great singer and pianist has developed a huge following of his own. The instantly recognizable Cole voice and a veteran quartet, play the classics as well as new compositions and interpretations from a huge repertoire.

 

Lionel Frederick Cole was born on October 15, 1931, the youngest of Edward and Paulina Nancy Cole’s five children. His three elder brothers, Eddie, Ike and Nat (12 years Freddy’s senior) were all musicians. “I started playing piano at five or six,” Freddy remembers. “Music was all around me.” In the Chicago home of his youth, visitors included Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Lionel Hampton.

 

Cole moved to New York in 1951, where he studied at the Juillard School of Music and found himself profoundly influenced by John Lewis, Oscar Peterson and Teddy Wilson. He received a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and then spent several months on the road as a member of an Earl Bostic band that also included Johnny Coles and Benny Golson.

 

It was back in New York that Cole successfully laid the groundwork for a career that continues to flourish to this day. He developed a vast repertoire of songs in Manhattan bistros and concurrently began to supplement his live performances with television and radio commercial jingle work.

 

Cole doesn’t apologize for sounding like his brother, Nat “King” Cole. There are certain unmistakable similarities. He plays piano and sings, and performs live with guitar and upright bass, just like Nat. Yet his voice is raspier, smokier, jazzier even. But he has emerged from the awesome shadow cast by his elder brother. In truth, his phrasing is far closer to that of Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday than that of his brother and his timing swings a little more. His vocals – suave, elegant, formidable and articulate – are among the most respected in jazz.

 

Catch Freddy & his band in their much-anticipated return to the Rubber City – get your tickets now while you still can!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$30

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Mar
9

Bobby Selvaggio Quintet ft. Robin Eubanks Acclaimed trombonist arrives in the Rubber City for a very special concert featuring an all-star band of Northeast Ohio favorites! Co-presented by The BOP Stop. Featuring Robin Eubanks, Bobby Selvaggio, Chris Coles, Theron Brown, Aidan Plank, Zaire Darden.

Thursday, March 9



Robin Eubanks is the premier jazz trombonist of his generation. Whether performing with his groups, Mental Images or EB3 or with The SF Jazz Collective, Dave Holland Quintet / Big Band, Robin is an artist whose impact on audiences has proven powerful and lasting. Now with his current recording, Klassik Rock Volume 1, Robin cements his position as a progressive giant in music.

 

Robin was born to a very musical family: his brother, Kevin Eubanks, was the musical director for The Tonight Show; their mother is a music educator; another brother, Duane, is a renown trumpet player; and their Uncle Ray Bryant was a prominent jazz pianist in his own right.

 

Robin’s musical education began at the age of eight and continued through college, when he graduated cum laude from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. As a student, he studied not only trombone, but also Music Theory, Harmony, Composition and Arranging. Following his graduation, the young trombonist moved to New York City where he began a career that has since yielded an amazing array of collaborations with such notable artists as Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Eddie Palmieri, Sun Ra, Barbra Streisand, The Rolling Stones and Talking Heads – just to name a few. He’s won Grammys for his performances on Michael Brecker’s Wide Angles and Dave Holland’s What Goes Around and Overtime.

 

Robin divides his rigorous performing schedule with an appointment at The Oberlin College Conservatory where he serves as a tenured Professor of Jazz Trombone and Jazz Composition. He is an esteemed professor at Berklee College of Music, and served at New England Conservatory for two years. In addition, he taught at Prince Claus Conservatoire in The Netherlands for five years. And, if that were not enough, in the intervening years, Robin has become a popular lecturer, Yamaha clinician and conducts Master Classes at leading institutions throughout the U.S. and abroad.

 

In 2014, Robin won the Jazz Times Critics Poll for Best Trombonist and is a multiple winner of Downbeat’s Readers and Critics Polls for Trombonist of the Year. He’s also won compositional grants from Chamber Music America and an ASCAP Composer’s grant. As with his performing career, his compositional interests are staggeringly diverse. Musically fluent, but also stylistically multilingual, the eclectic composer speaks a variety of musical “languages”. How does he do it? The key appears to be a combination of having a complete command of his craft, but also an innate gift that can sound like a combination of math and magic.

 

Join us at BLU for an incredible evening of live music as one of the most exceptional voices on jazz trombone teams up with some of NE Ohio’s finest talent – get your tickets now!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$20 ($10 student w/ valid ID at door)

Buy Tickets


Mar
10

Orrin Evans Trio Acclaimed New York City piano sensation & chart-topping recording artist returns to the Rubber City to kick off a two-night residency at BLU in support of the all-new album, "#knowingishalfthebattle," on Smoke Sessions Records!
Album Release Party

Friday, March 10



No child of the ’80s could forget the closing moments of every “G.I. Joe” cartoon: one of our heroes would teach a valuable life lesson about saying ‘no’ to drugs or not talking to strangers, followed by the familiar refrain, “And now you know… and knowing is half the battle!”

 

Pianist/composer Orrin Evans has parroted that line for decades, but says he’s only recently come to realize what it truly means. On #knowingishalfthebattle, his third release for Smoke Sessions Records, Evans shares his own lessons in life and music on a raw, electrifying session that teams him with a pair of renowned guitarists who are also, not coincidentally, native sons of Evans’ own hometown of Philadelphia: Kevin Eubanks and Kurt Rosenwinkel. He’s also joined by the latest in a long line of inspired rhythm sections, bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr., along with up-and-coming saxophonist Caleb Wheeler Curtis and a longtime collaborator, vocalist M’Balia.

 

#knowingishalfthebattle shows Evans coming to terms with what he’s learned over his years on and off the bandstand — and more importantly, how to make use of that knowledge. In large part, the answer he’s come to involves letting go, forgetting what’s been learned and trusting the instincts that come along with it. By inviting such virtuosic musicians into his world, he’s asking them to do the same and making new discoveries through a collective act of forgetting.

 

Don’t miss Orrin’s return to the Rubber City as he kicks off a two-night residency a BLU with his high-energy trio – get your tickets today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$20 ($10 students w/ valid ID at door)

Buy Tickets


Mar
11

Orrin Evans Trio Acclaimed New York City piano sensation & chart-topping recording artist and his all-star trio return to close out their two-night residency at BLU with a masterclass (6PM, FREE) and live concert event (8PM). Presented by the BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation.
Album Release PartyMasterclass + Concert

Saturday, March 11



No child of the ’80s could forget the closing moments of every “G.I. Joe” cartoon: one of our heroes would teach a valuable life lesson about saying ‘no’ to drugs or not talking to strangers, followed by the familiar refrain, “And now you know… and knowing is half the battle!”

 

Pianist/composer Orrin Evans has parroted that line for decades, but says he’s only recently come to realize what it truly means. On #knowingishalfthebattle, his third release for Smoke Sessions Records, Evans shares his own lessons in life and music on a raw, electrifying session that teams him with a pair of renowned guitarists who are also, not coincidentally, native sons of Evans’ own hometown of Philadelphia: Kevin Eubanks and Kurt Rosenwinkel. He’s also joined by the latest in a long line of inspired rhythm sections, bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr., along with up-and-coming saxophonist Caleb Wheeler Curtis and a longtime collaborator, vocalist M’Balia.

 

#knowingishalfthebattle shows Evans coming to terms with what he’s learned over his years on and off the bandstand — and more importantly, how to make use of that knowledge. In large part, the answer he’s come to involves letting go, forgetting what’s been learned and trusting the instincts that come along with it. By inviting such virtuosic musicians into his world, he’s asking them to do the same and making new discoveries through a collective act of forgetting.

 

Don’t miss the trio’s return to close out their two-night residency at BLU with a masterclass (6PM, FREE) and live concert event (8PM) – get your tickets now!

[read more]

6:00 pm, 8:00 pm

$20 ($10 students w/ valid ID at door)

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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