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!
 



Apr
27

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, April 27



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


Apr
28

Russ Nolan DownBeat Magazine "Best of 2016" winner with his album, "Sanctuary from the Ordinary," New York City Latin & modern jazz saxophonist sensation makes return to BLU! Featuring Theron Brown, Jordan McBride, Zaire Darden.

Friday, April 28



Saxophonist/composer/arranger Russ Nolan has been documenting his explorations of Latin rhythms and modern jazz harmony on record since the release of his 2004 debut, Two Colors. He has worked with special guests like percussionist Victor Rendon and pianists Kenny Werner and Manuel Valera while deepening ties with players who eventually coalesced into his working group.

 

For his sixth CD, Nolan set himself up for a new challenge by recording the session live in performance. The inspired results may be heard on Sanctuary from the Ordinary: Live at Firehouse 12, which will be released on the saxophonist’s Rhinoceruss Music label on February 12.

 

 

In the company of pianist Mike Eckroth (“one of the best in combining jazz and Latin and salsa”), bassist Daniel Foose (a fellow University of North Texas alum), and longtime drummer Brian Fishler (“he sounds good on everything”), Nolan presented his music to the appreciative audience at the popular New Haven, Connecticut jazz venue/state-of-the-art recording studio. “It was both an exciting and scary endeavor,” he says. “We had one night and one take per tune, but there is no substitute for playing in front of people that gave back as much as we gave them. I believe it’s our best effort to date.”

 

Nolan moved to Chicago after graduation and studied with local saxophonist Rich Corpolongo and with visiting New Yorkers Dave Liebman, Chris Potter, and Kenny Werner. Nolan also studied with Dave Bloom, founder of the Bloom School of Jazz. Since relocating to New York City in 2000 (encouraged by the visiting pros he’d taken lessons from in Chicago), Nolan has put the pieces of his career as a saxophonist, writer, arranger, and clinician together. He’s emerged as a prolific recording artist. And he’s connected with the city’s burgeoning pan-American scene, for the last three years leading a salsa band that performs for dancers.

 

Join us as we bring this exciting talent back to the BLU Jazz+ stage – get tickets today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

Buy Tickets


Apr
29

The Nasty Nati Brass Band With a "socially conscious New Orleans second line inspired brass band with their own jazz, fusion, funk & soulful sound," join us as this red-hot group from Cincinnati makes their BLU debut!

Saturday, April 29



During his career, Nasty Nati Brass Band leader & trumpeter, Mike Wade, has been named one of the top ten unsigned jazz, brass players as rated by Jazziz Magazine (1997). His composition, “Blues for Shorty Bop”, was chosen for inclusion on Jazziz on Disc collection. He has performed and/or recorded with such artists as David “Fathead” Newman, Clark Terry, Javon Jackson, Bobby Watson, Gary Bartz, Mulgrew Miller, Rene Marie, Don Braden, Steve Wilson, Othello Molineaux, Vincent Herring, Jon Hendricks & Annie Ross, Winard & Phillip Harper, Antoine Roney, Herb Jeffries, Craig Bailey, Billy Hart, Marc Cary, Bill Lee, Ricky Wellman, Bootsy Collins, Reggie Calloway, Teddy Pendergrass, The O’Jays, Maurice, Freddie, and Verdine White (Earth, Wind and Fire), Tom Tom 84, and Experience Unlimited (E.U.). He has performed on Black Entertainment Television (BET) Jazz Discovery show, and WOSU Jazz Voices television series. With either his quartet or quintet he has performed at the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards show (2000), Cincinnati Cammy Awards show (1997), the Columbus Jazz and Rib Fest, the Charleston Jazz Festival, and the Frog Island Festival. Mike’s quintet, Standard Time, was the 1997 winner of the Cincinnati Cammy award for Best Small Jazz Group. With the Mike Wade Reality Band he has opened (2003) for the smooth jazz group BWB (Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown). With the Famous American Trumpet Section (F.A.T.S.) he performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Denver, CO (2004). With the Mike Wade Sextet he has opened (2005) for the renowned San Francisco Jazz Collective.

 

Don’t miss this very special Saturday show at BLU, get your tickets now! Featuring Mike Wade, Alexis Owens, Marvin Curry, Ricky Williams, G Scott Jones, Charles Ali Schweitzer, Francis Wyatt, Eli Gonzales, Jon McSayles.

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

Buy Tickets


May
3

Keigo Hirakawa (solo piano) Our Solo Piano Wednesday series showcases the finest pianists in the greater Northeast Ohio area from 7PM-11PM every Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 3



A jazz pianist with a unique sense of expressiveness and rhythm section interaction, Keigo Hirakawa brings highly personal and energetic style of improvisation to ensembles. He distinguishes himself with his articulate use of harmonic and rhythmic vocabulary and his leadership style on the bandstand.

 

Based in the Midwest, Hirakawa can be heard throughout the US and internationally. He has appeared on stage alongside Donald Byrd, JD Allen, Bob Moses, Bobby Lavell, Allen Vizzutti, Eddie Bayard, and Richie Barshay. Trained in New York City and at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, he was a student of many world-renowned jazz artists, including Danilo Perez, Stephen Scott, Harold Danko, Alan Pasqua, Ran Blake, Cecil McBee, Ralph Peterson, Jerry Bergonzi, Donald Byrd, John McNeil, George Garzone, Bob Moses, and Walt Weiskopf.

 

Enjoy a cocktail and some midweek swingin’ jazz every Wednesday!

[read more]

7:00 pm

no cover

Buy Tickets


May
4

BLU Jazz Big Band Residency w/ the Sam Blakeslee Large Group: “Exploring Ellington” ft. Dominick Farinacci, Tri-C Next Gen Little Big Band Join us for our "first Thursdays" big band residency led by trombonist/composer, Sam Blakeslee, as the band performs Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn classics! Also featured will be appearances by trumpeter, Dominick Farinacci, and the Tri-C Next Gen Little Big Band!

Thursday, May 4



For a special concert presented in conjunction with the Tri-C JazzFest, the Tri-C Next Gen Little Big Band teams up with Sam Blakeslee Large Group to present “Exploring Ellington” with special guest, Dominick Farinacci. Both groups will be performing the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn spanning across both of their careers as some of the most prolific composers in the history of jazz.

 

In addition to opening for the Sam Blakeslee Large Group, members of the Tri-C Next Gen will be performing with the Large Group throughout the evening, keeping with the rich tradition of jazz education that Tri-C JazzFest has provided in the Greater Cleveland area for over 25 years.

 

Members of the Tri-C Jazz Prep Faculty (Chris Coles – alto saxophone, Johnny Cochran – tenor saxophone, Theron Brown – piano, Aidan Plank – bass, Anthony Taddeo – percussion) will also be featured with the Large Group as well as Tri-C Jazz Studies Drumset Faculty member Jim Rupp.

 

Come out for a very special edition of our big band residency – two groups plus an internationally-renowned special guest trumpeter, Dominick Farinacci – get your tickets today!

[read more]

7:00 pm

$15 (half of proceeds go to BJMF)

Buy Tickets


May
5

Anna & the Consequences Join us as we celebrate jazzy torch blues with a cabaret-style twist featuring this hot group from Columbus in their return to BLU! Featuring Anna Paolucci, Dan Sagraves, Rick Soriano, Jack Schantz, Mark Gonder.

Friday, May 5



Don’t miss this *one time* event as Anna & the Consequences interpret the torch blues of the 1940-60’s. Anna Paolucci, born and bred in Akron, returns with Dan Sagraves on upright, pianist Rick Soriano plus local giants and special guests trumpeter Jack Schantz and Mark Gonder drums. The theme is mentoring future mentors as jazz legends Jack & Mark join the Consequences, who in turn host University of Akron music majors, grads and those in the Masters program. We share the stage and make great music! Think Supper Club, even speakeasy with a healthy side of improv! Expect the gents below to join Anna on a few tunes.

 

SPECIAL $10 pricing for STUDENTS with any current school ID!

 

Dillon Shidemantle, a native of Conneautville, PA will play a set between Anna & the Consequences. Featuring Nicholas Paparone on guitar, Jacob Eberly on piano, Rob Sobnosky on bass, and Joshua Leslie on drums. Dillon Shidemantle is currently attending the University of Akron for a Masters in Trumpet Performance. He received his bachelors degree in Trumpet Performance from Mercyhurst University in 2015. Scott Johnston, Mark Maliniak, and Jack Schantz. Dillon has had the privilege of performing with the University of Akron’s Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Choir, and the Graduate Quintet. He has performed for the Erie Jazz and Blues Fest, and the Columbus Jazz and Ribs Fest with The Monk’s Brew, a jazz combo that performs in the Tri-State Area. He has also had the absolute pleasure of performing with Joe Augustine, Dave Morgan, and Jim Rupp.

 

Get your tickets today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$12 ($10 student w/ ID at door)

Buy Tickets


May
6

Dara Tucker Nashville vocalist sensation brings the music of her all-new 4th studio project, "Oklahoma Rain," on Watchman Music - a sultry blend of classic & contemporary jazz, in BLU debut!

Saturday, May 6



From opening for Grammy Award-winning vocalist Gregory Porter to making her debut national appearance as a guest on the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS, jazz vocalist and songwriter Dara Tucker is making her mark with a blend of soul, Americana, and Jazz that is uniquely her own. Dara won the Silver Medal at the national 2017 American Traditions Vocal Competition held in Savannah, Georgia and she was chosen as 2016 “Best Jazz Vocalist” by the Nashville Independent Music Awards. Her forthcoming album, “Oklahoma Rain”(due May 1st), showcases her as a formidable songwriter, able to express love, loss and healing in one fell swoop.

 

 

Join us as we welcome this wonderful vocalist & recording artist from Nashville in her BLU debut – get your tickets today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

Buy Tickets


May
10

Glenn Zaleski (solo piano) Join us as we feature NYC pianist extraordinaire, Glenn Zaleski, for a very special edition of our Solo Piano Wednesday series! Enjoy dinner, cocktails & some midweek swingin' jazz from the big city!

Wednesday, May 10



Glenn Zaleski is one of the most in-demand pianists on the New York City jazz scene. Originally from Boylston, MA, Glenn has made a name for himself playing with the likes of Ravi Coltrane, Lage Lund, and Ari Hoenig. His debut album, “My Ideal”, was released in March of 2015 on Sunnyside, and has been receiving critical acclaim: Downbeat Magazine named it “sublime”, Jazz Times called it, “an engaging set by a talent worth watching,” and the New York Times named the record a “strong statement,” praising its “fluent but unhurried sense of phrase.”

 

 

Glenn has also released two popular albums with the collective Stranahan/Zaleski/Rosato: “Limitless” (Capri, 2013), and “Anticipation” (Capri, 2011), as well as a duo record with his brother, saxophonist Mark Zaleski. (“Duet Suite”, 2010)

 

In 2011, Glenn was a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, as well as a finalist for the 2011 APA Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz. He attended the Brubeck Institute Fellowship program in Stockton, CA from 2005-2007, and then finished his undergraduate studies at The New School in 2009. From 2009-2011, while working towards his graduate degree at NYU, Glenn was also on NYU faculty, teaching a variety of classes and private students.

 

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

[read more]

7:00 pm

no cover

Buy Tickets


May
11

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, May 11



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


May
12

Walter Beasley Legendary contemporary jazz saxophonist & Billboard chart-topping recording artist blazes back into the Rubber City in support of his popular new album, "Blackstreams" (Affable Records), for two unforgettable nights at BLU Jazz+!

Friday, May 12



Over the past three decades, saxophonist, Walter Beasley, has artfully and dynamically redefined the phrase “musical Renaissance Man” for the modern generation. Considered by fans and critics alike as the “heir to Grover Washington, Jr.’s Throne,” Beasley is the acclaimed saxophonist, vocalist, educator, and entrepreneur of the decade. As the highest selling full-time Professor / Recording Artist in history, the Boston-based musician has long mastered an exhilarating high wire act of balancing a successful career as a contemporary jazz recording artist and performer with an equally thriving presence in the field of music education.

 

 

A leading alto and soprano saxophonist and prominent vocalist all the same, Beasley is hailed by fans for his thrilling performances along the East Coast and throughout the U.S. and Caribbean. Notable performances include the all-star tour To Grover, With Love, performing alongside Chuck Loeb, Buddy Williams and Andy Snitzer and performing as the headlining act for the 2011 Playboy Jazz Festival.

 

As to the release of his latest CD/DVD project, “Live In The Club,” Beasley’s chart-topping single, “Groove In You,” debuted on the Groove Jazz Chart at #29, climbing to Top 20 on the Billboard/R&R Chart, Radiowave, SmoothJazz.com, & Mediabase, earning a spot in the Top 10 on the Indie Chart. Other notable works by Beasley include his self-titled albums, Sax Meditations and Live in the Groove, both released through his Affable Publishing, as well as Free Your Mind (Heads Up), whose presence earned Beasley the 2009 Jazz Awards, and Backatcha (Shanachie Entertainment / Affable), featuring his hot single, “Lovely Day.” During 2011, Backatcha rose to #10 on Billboard Top 50, with his single “The Call” debuting at 30 on Billboard Smooth Jazz chart and #3 Most Added in June 2011.

 

A native of El Centro, CA, Beasley found his calling in the 1970’s after his Aunt gave him his first Grover Washington, Jr. record at the age of nine. During his early teens, Beasley played sax and sang in various bands throughout Southern California. In the following years, Beasley attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music and graduated alongside such prominent classmates as saxophonist, Branford Marsalis, and vocalist, Rachelle Ferrell. Upon graduation, Beasley accepted a teaching position at Berklee where he continues to share his musical genius with students, nearly 30 years later.

 

Join us for two unforgettable evenings in the Rubber City as this best-selling saxophonist makes his return to BLU Jazz+!  Tickets will sell quickly, so get yours today!

[read more]

7:00 pm, 9:30 pm

$40 (advance), $45 (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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