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!
In this series, Eric Seddon’s Hot Club will explore original tunes written by Sidney Bechet, Leon Roppolo, Sidney Arodin, Mezz Mezzrow, George Lewis, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Pee Wee Russell, Acker Bilk, Eric Seddon and others, covering 100 years of Trad Jazz repertoire and outlining the important and continuous contributions of clarinetists to the repertoire of jazz!
Eric Seddon’s Hot Club is a band in the New Orleans jazz tradition, emphasizing soul, blues, and tuneful melodic invention. Focusing on trad jazz style, they perform numbers from over a century of jazz history, from the earliest spirituals to present day originals. The band debuted in March of 2015 at The Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights, as part of ChamberFest Cleveland’s “Uncorked” Concert series and has gone on to play such venues as BLU Jazz +, Tri-C Jazz Fest, the Music Box Supper Club (where they served as the opening act for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band), The Bop Stop (where they recently completed a concert series dedicated to the history of jazz clarinet), the Cleveland Museum of Art, and many others.
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. An advocate of the sound and history of jazz clarinet, he performs on refurbished, vintage clarinets with mouthpieces from the golden era of jazz and is committed to performing originals audiences don’t often get to hear otherwise “From Bechet to Today!” Joining him in the band are veteran All Stars of the Trad Jazz Scene in Northeast Ohio, including George Foley (piano), Kevin Richards (guitar), Jim Davis (cornet), Gene Epstein (upright bass), and Bill Fuller (drums).
Join us as we continue this exciting new series right here in the Rubber City – get your tickets now![read more]
$15 ($10 student w/ ID at door)Buy Tickets
Join us for a very special “late night” edition of our popular jazz jam, hosted by talented up-and-coming bassist & Milwaukee native, Gervis Myles!
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![read more]
From Munich to Akron, The University of Akron’s Chamber Choir’s talent has garnered international attention and opened up an amazing opportunity – the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München (formerly known as the Munich Conservatory) will be visiting UA as part of a special international collaboration in promotion of world peace through music!
In addition to exploring one another’s cultures through these unique co-op visits, it is also a special opportunity to celebrate the centenary of the end of World War I, with students from the USA & Germany coming together in solidarity.
BLU Jazz+ will be hosting both of these wonderful ensembles, as well as faculty & staff from The University of Akron, to put on a very special edition of our popular jam session, hosted by fan-favorite pianist & bandleader, Theron Brown.
Bring your instruments, voices & good vibes and join us for this most special evening in the Rubber City![read more]
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]
Free (donations accepted for BJMF)Buy Tickets
Greg Ward is a saxophonist and composer that was born in Peoria, IL. Currently based in Chicago, Ward has had the opportunity to perform and record with a varied group of artists like Prefuse 73, Lupe Fiasco, Tortoise, William Parker, Andrew D’Angelo, and Mike Reed.
In 2000, Ward began his studies at Northern Illinois University where he worked with Steve Duke, Fareed Haque, Ron Carter, and Joey Sellers. Already interested in composition, having the opportunity to compose for NIU’s jazz combos deepened his understanding of the inner-workings of music. Also, working with composer and arranger, Joey Sellers, equipped Ward with some important tools to further explore this new love.
Around his sophomore year in college, Ward started spending many nights performing in the jazz clubs of Chicago. Soon, he would meet another one of his mentors, saxophonist, Fred Anderson, who would later select him to host a jam session at the Velvet Lounge for four years. During this time period, Ward experienced much growth as a performer and composer and developed a vibrant community of performers, artists, dancers, and listeners.
After graduating from NIU in 2004 with a degree in Jazz Studies/Saxophone Performance, Ward moved to Chicago and took advantage of every opportunity that was offered to him. Composing two pieces for the International Contemporary Ensemble, performing a quartet composition for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Music Series, composing Wings for the Peoria Ballet Company, and being commissioned by the Jazz Institute of Chicago for a new composition, which was performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2009, are just a few of the many experiences that shaped Ward during his years in Chicago.
In 2009, Ward decided to move to New York City. Almost immediately after he arrived in NYC, he began working with JazzReach, an NYC-based jazz education organization that shares multi-media programs throughout the US. In 2010, he would produce his first CD as a leader with his Chicago-based band, Fitted Shards. South Side Story received much critical acclaim, including “Recording of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune. Next, in 2011, Ward formed Phonic Juggernaut, which features Damion Reid on drums and Joe Sanders on bass. Together, they recorded and released a CD on Thirsty Ear Recordings that same year. Also, in 2011, Ward composed and performed a commission from the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra for a concerto for jazz quartet and string orchestra. In 2012, Ward was selected as one of the two New Music USA Van Lier Fellows. In 2014, he received a commission/residency from the Jazz Gallery and premiered Capturing Sunlight, which was an hour-long work for septet and included a short documentary by Diana Quinones Rivera. The Capturing Sunlight project was inspired by the life and work of Preston Jackson.
Recently, Ward has collaborated with another composer, sound designer, and performer, Caleb Willitz. First, they composed the film score for Beresford Bennett’s film, Pinch, which was an official selection of the 2015 San Diego Black Film Festival. Second, Ward and Willitz.[read more]
BLU Jazz+ has partnered with the BOP Stop to bring Chilean jazz to Northeast Ohio!
Vocalist/guitarist/composer Camila Meza is a rarity, a glorious triptych of an artist. She possesses a gift for composing brilliant musical landscapes, a captivating, soulfully pure vocal instrument, and a consummate prowess on guitar, ablaze with irresistible melodies and improvisations.
Camila Meza, originally from Santiago, Chile, has garnered rapt attention from her colleagues, the press, and audiences in South America, New York City, and internationally, for her distinctive ability in blending jazz with her broad musical world (that includes Latin American, Brazilian, folk and pop), and for the emotional depth of her music. This rising star on the global jazz scene has been described by The New York Times as, “a bright young singer and guitarist with an ear for music of both folkloric and pop intention,” and called, “a natural multi-talent, an improvising singer-guitarist who is one of the finest in the world in both creative realms,” by pianist Aaron Goldberg. He added that, “she unites North and South America in a multilingual mega-continent, a pangaea of swing and harmony.” Being called to join your peers on stage and in the studio remains one of the true tests that any NYC jazz musician will face, and Camila has passed, summa cum laude, staying very busy as an in-demand side musician, working with the likes of Ryan Keberle, Fabian Almazan, Aaron Goldberg, Sachal Vasandani, and many others. On February 26, 2016 Sunnyside Records proudly releases Camila Meza’s debut recording for the label (and her fourth overall), Traces, produced by Matt Pierson and featuring Shai Maestro, Matt Penman and Kendrick Scott, with special guests Bashiri Johnson, Sachal Vasandani and Jody Redhage.
The New York Times has described her as “A bright young singer and guitarist with an ear for music of both folkloric and pop intention,” Camila Meza has connected with a strong peer group since moving to New York from her native Santiago, Chile, in 2009″ and adds “”Ms. Meza brings an appealing combination of lightness and depth to all the material, singing in a bright, clear voice against the agile stir of a first-rate band. Her improvising, on electric or acoustic guitar, is serious business…”[read more]
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]
One of Summit County’s most reputable high school jazz programs can be found 15 miles north of our stage here in Akron.
The Hudson High School Jazz Ensembles have consistently earned top ratings and accolades from clinicians and professionals while performing at Festivals, Competitions and Master Classes throughout the United States including Orlando, New Orleans, Chicago and Cleveland.
Having hosted artists such as Maynard Ferguson, The Count Basie Orchestra, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Stan Kenton All-Stars, The Hornheads, The Loudhorns, Greg Abate and The Hot Club of Detroit, the Hudson High School Jazz Ensembles have a reputation of being energetic and swingin’ big bands. Hudson Jazz Alumni have earned scholarships to major colleges and universities across the nation. Many Alumni are working in the music business from Boston to New York to Los Angeles.
Join us as we celebrate our 4th annual BLU Jazz+ Student All-Stars Concert Series by featuring the Hudson High School jazz ensembles! Half the proceeds from this event go back to the Hudson High School Music Association, so bring your friends and family out and show your support for this awesome local music program![read more]
$15 (FREE for students w/ ID at door)Buy Tickets
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]
$12 ($10 student w/ ID at door)Buy Tickets
Chantae Cann is the charismatic influence with a voice that transcends through time. With the release of her debut album “Journey to Golden” in March 2016 at #1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts and #7 on the Jazz Billboard Charts.
Chantae Cann’s second studio album (Sol Empowered) released on October 13, 2017 earned the #8 spot on the Jazz Billboard Charts.
Influences like Bobby McFerrin, Haitus Kyote, Chaka Khan and countless others help shape the sounds that you hear throughout her music. Chantae’s music blends the exploratory sounds of Jazz with the feel good vibes of Soul, which makes for a mixture that is quite enticing. It is her heart’s desire to simply inspire, uplift and encourage the lives of others through music.
Sol Empowered finds the artist in a positive space, as Ms. Cann states she has most recently been inspired in the areas of knowing, valuing and appreciating her own self-worth, and she desires to motivate others to do the same.
Sol Empowered further solidifies Chantae’s signature sound while referencing the comforting sounds from her first album, Journey To Golden. Lyrically, this is a love letter from Chantae to her listeners with an in depth look at her evolution as an artist, and most importantly who she has come to be as a person. Sol Empowered is intentional and deliberate, yet free-spirited.
Chantae is not a novice to the industry. She has been blessed to travel the world as a background vocalist (10+ years) with P.J. Morton, Gramps Morgan, and most notably India Arie. She’s had the tremendous honor of collaborating with artists/bands such as, Snarky Puppy, Jonathan McReynolds and The Foreign Exchange.[read more]
$20 ($10 student w/ ID at door)Buy Tickets
|BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017, 2018)|
|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.|