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!
 



Aug
4

Double Feature Friday: Ahi-Nama, Joe Leaman’s Caribbean Jazz Sextet BLU heads to the tropics with two high-energy bands bringing us a sizzlin' mix of salsa, Cuban & Caribbean timba, Latin Jazz & much more!

Friday, August 4



Joe Leaman’s Caribbean Jazz Sextet (8PM-10PM)

Joe Leaman leads the Caribbean Jazz Sextet and is an in demand pianist, percussionist and instructor in the Northeast Ohio region. He has been seen with local artists Jack Schantz, Helen Welch, Dave Morgan, and has performed with the bands Special Request, Charita Franks, and Axon Neuron just to name a few. Joe is currently the Music and Worship Director for Montrose Zion United Methodist Church in Bath, and is the keyboard specialist at Woodsy’s Music in Kent. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from The University of Akron.

The Caribbean Jazz Project features Joe Leaman (steel drums), Wilbur Krebs (bass), Theron Brown (piano), Anthony Taddeo (drums), Clay Chabola (percussion), Chris Coles (saxophone).

 


 

Ahi-Nama (10:30PM-12:30AM)

Ahi-Nama was started by Alex Hoyt (pianist, arranger, and band leader). Alex grew up in Northeast Ohio, having his talents cultivated by some of the area’s finest jazz musicians. He took an interest in Latin music in his high school years. This interest eventually led to Alex spending ten years living in Miami where he fully immersed himself in many varieties of Latin and Afro-Cuban music. He has performed with Sammy Figueroa, Tony Succar, Andy Montañez, Tito Allen, and Luisito Carrion to name a few. Alex eventually came back to Akron, Ohio with the intent of bringing this invigorating music back up north where it is much more needed!

 

Featuring Alex Hoyt (piano), Tim Coyne (trumpet), Nathan-Paul Davis (alto sax), Jason Hadgis (trombone), Clay Chabola (congas, percussion), Dan Kshywonis (drumset, percussion), Chris Baker (timbales, percussion), and Matthew DeRubertis (electric bass).

 

Join us for a groove-heavy, energizing mix of salsa, Cuba & Caribbean timba, Latin Jazz and more – get your tickets today!

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8:00 pm

$15 (1 ticket, 2 shows)

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Aug
5

Marcus Johnson Billboard-ranked musician and NAACP Image Award-nominated keyboardist, pianist, & recording artist returns to Akron by way of Washington, D.C. for a night of hot contemporary live jazz!

Saturday, August 5



An independent Billboard-ranked musician and NAACP Image Award-nominated jazz keyboardist and pianist, Marcus Johnson is also the CEO and Founder of FLO Brands, LLC and more recently FLO Wine, LLC. He has combined an eminently successful musical career with his love of wine by marrying the two in a unique endeavor.

 

Over the last decade, Marcus Johnson has released 15 successful studio albums. On Pandora, Marcus receives 5.1 million spins per year with 2,000 new stations added each month, and his music receives a 74% “thumbs ups” rating verses an average of 56%. Johnson is the owner of a music label, Three Keys Music, and has emerged as one of the young lions of the “DIY” music world. His unique self-taught style of piano play has earned him distinction among his peers, praise from the media and accolades across the music industry. Marcus is on the cutting edge of ‘Euro Jazz’ having formed JURIS, a musical collaboration with acclaimed Parisian DJ and producer Young Pulse. The duo quickly developed a name within the international music community, enjoying large-scale performances and preparing a Q3 release of their latest project entitled “Eiffel Tower.”

 

Johnson’s success caught the attention of Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and businessman Robert L. Johnson who invested in Marcus and his newfound company, Marimelj Entertainment Group (MEG). Under their partnership, MEG’s label, Three Keys Music based in the Washington, DC metro area, established its own full service recording studio, Studio 8121; and two music publishing companies, Marimelj Music Publishing and Three Keys Music Publishing. Marcus was responsible for releasing and producing CDs on the Three Keys label for national jazz artists Michael Lington, Jaared Arosemena, Bobby Lyle, Nick Colionne, R&B singer, Alyson Williams and neo-soul songstress Yahzarah and smooth jazz Saxophonists Phillip Martin and Brian Lenair. While producing music for the aforementioned artists, Marcus also released several critically acclaimed albums: Inter Alia, Chocolate City Groovin’; Coming Back Around; Urban Groove, In Person: Live at Blues Alley, Just Doing What I Do, Smooth Jazz Christmas and In Concert for a Cause, all charting at Top 20 or more on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Charts.

 

Marcus has released 15 Billboard-charted CDs. He has the distinction of having his groundbreaking 2008 Billboard Top 20 Contemporary Jazz FLO (For the Love Of) CDs which consisted of three distinct albums:¬ FLO Chill, FLO Romance and FLO Standards, all charting Top 10 on Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts simultaneously. Johnson’s previous solo 2007 release, The Phoenix, was widely lauded by jazz critics and aficionados alike and like Johnson’s previous CDs, it peaked in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts.

 

Johnson’s next Top 20 Contemporary jazz releases, the unique and multi-faceted Poetically Justified (2009) and This Is How I Rock (2011) solidified Marcus Johnson as heir apparent to the George Duke and Herbie Hancock style of funky urban groove music. Creatively, Johnson continues to evolve as an artist. With the release of his 2012 FLO: Holiday CD and the ongoing collaboration with famed Parisian Producer DJ Pulse – as the musical duo “JURIS” – he has managed to maintain his traditional jazz roots, while also remaining on the forefront of the expanding “Euro Jazz” movement. His music continues to enforce and define his musical legacy as a “jazz movement for all people”.

 

Join us at BLU Jazz+ as we welcome this sensational contemporary jazz artist back to BLU for one night only – get your tickets today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$25 (advance), $30 (door)

Buy Tickets


Aug
9

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, August 9



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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Aug
10

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, August 10



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


Aug
11

Goran Ivanovic Croatian-born guitarist magnifique brings his deep stylistic range of classical, jazz, & flamenco by way of Chicago in BLU debut! Featuring Goran Ivanovic, Pete Tashjian, Mike Harmon.

Friday, August 11



One of the most versatile, skilled, and curious musicians in Chicago, guitarist Goran Ivanovic has built a career built upon exploration.

 

Born and raised in Croatia, he was in the midst of studying at the prestigious Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria with masters like Elliot Fisk and Joaquin Clerch when his parents (his father is a Serb, his mother a Bosnian Croat) were expelled in the late 90s; the family was granted asylum in the US and they settled in Chicago. Since his arrival he’s displayed a deep interest in collaboration, steadily expanding his stylistic range well beyond the European classical music and Balkan sounds he was fluently versed in when he arrived.

 

These days his repertoire not only incorporates those disciplines, but jazz and flamenco as well. He’s recorded duet albums with the great Pakistani-Chilean jazz guitarist Fareed Haque as well as Greek-American musician Andreas Kapsalis. He’s a key member of the quartet Eastern Blok with Matt Ulery, Doug Rosenberg, and Michael Caskey, a combo that deftly surveys the folk music of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Serbia in a distinctly jazz-oriented context, embroidering timeless Balkan melodies and rhythms with sophisticated improvisational gambits.

 

Most recently, Ivanovic released an eponymous trio album with bassist Ulery and percussionist Pete Tashjian where he’s achieved a stunning assimilation of his many influences, creating a hybrid all his own. Reviewing the new album for All About Jazz, Budd Kopman wrote, “It is easy to get lost in Ivanovic’s technique, especially if one plays (or attempts to play) Classical style guitar, in a jazz style or not.” The trio’s agility has also been noted. As Jeff Elbel wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times, “The trio are recognized for their individual virtuosity, but they show particular excellence as a unit able to stop on a dime and twist gracefully through the trickiest hairpin turns together on local stages.”

 

Be sure to catch this incredible guitarist & his all-star band as they make their way to the Rubber City, one night only – get your tickets today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

Buy Tickets


Aug
12

Lucas Kadish New York City guitarist wunderkind & Ohio native returns to the Rubber City with some exciting new music & an all-star band for a not-to-miss night at BLU! Featuring Lucas Kadish, Dan Pappalardo, Michael Ode.

Saturday, August 12



21-year-young jazz guitarist, Lucas Kadish, was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. There he spent his formative years discovering a deep love for many types of music. In his late teens he began studying and playing with Theron Brown, Dan Wilson, Bobby Selvaggio, and many other staples of the scene.

 

By graduation he had already been named a National YoungArts finalist and a semi-finalist in the United States Presidential Scholars of the Arts for jazz guitar. He was admitted to The New School for Jazz on the President’s Scholarship and moved to NYC. In his first year of college, Lucas was selected for the prestigious international Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Residency for composition.

 

Since, Lucas continues to grow as a working musician and composer. He has shared the stage and played with jazz luminaries such as Les McCann, Javon Jackson, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Dominick Faranacci, Bobby Selvaggio, and many others. He has performed internationally with Nick Dunston’s Dinner Party at the Bern Jazz Festival and Devon Gillingham’s Trio at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival. Lucas has also performed around the country at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room (NYC), the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (DC), The New World Center (Miami), E.J. Thomas Hall (Akron), Lyric Theatre (Lexington), The Kent Stage, Blu Jazz+ (Akron), Chris’ Jazz Café (Philly), Andy’s Jazz Club (Chicago), Cliff Bell’s (Detroit), WhyNot Jazz Room (NYC), Shapeshifter Lab, NightTown (Cleveland), The Bop Stop, Silvana, Club Bonafide, and many, many more.

 

Join us as we welcome this exceptional guitarist back to BLU with an evening of spirited live jazz – get your tickets today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

Buy Tickets


Aug
13

Ernie Krivda & The Fat Tuesday Big Band: “Tribute to the Boss Tenors” Legendary tenor saxophonist and his 18-piece powerhouse pay homage to soulful tenor sax masters Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Gene Ammons, Illinois Jacquet, Stanley Turrentine and Ike Quebec, featuring the vocal stylings of Mike Cady & Evelyn Wright!

Sunday, August 13



Whether in concert or playing swinging dance music, Ernie Krivda and The Fat Tuesday Big Band are one of the most exciting and engaging acts to hit the Midwest music scene in recent memory. The band reflects the electric intensity of their leader as well as his superb musicianship and stylistic distinction. Combining the musical values of the great big bands of yesterday with the dramatic energy of a new century, the eighteen piece “Band That Swings” plays each performance into an unforgettable event.

 

 

The “Band That Swings” features the finest collection of jazz talent in Northeast Ohio and brings this very special “Tribute to the Boss Tenors” show to BLU for one night only. Great musicianship, stylish distinction, and transcendent energy are a hard combination to beat, so don’t miss your chance to hear this band live right here in Akron for this very swingin’ affair – get your tickets today!

[read more]

6:00 pm

$20 (advance), $25 (door)

Buy Tickets


Aug
16

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, August 16



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


Aug
17

“Salsa & Bachata Thursdays” Latin Dance Party Join us for our new "3rd Thursdays" summer series at BLU as host DJ Yama spins some red-hot dance music to make you move! Each "Salsa & Bachata Thursday" kicks off with a free dance lesson at 8PM - come party with us!

Thursday, August 17



BLU Jazz+ and Gala Events invite you to enjoy our new “Salsa & Bachata Thursdays” Latin Dance Party at BLU Jazz+ on the 3rd Thursday of each month featuring a fun, energy-packed atmosphere and the best Latin dance music in the area!

 

DJ Yama will be spinning the very best & latest Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cha-Cha & more!  We will kick off the evening with a free dance lesson at 8:00PM, so this makes the perfect event for beginner dancers, too!  Mix & mingle over great music, great company, drink specials and amazing food, get your tickets now!

[read more]

9:00 pm

$5 (FREE for students w/ ID at door)

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Aug
18

Dred Scott Trio Dubbed a "sly pianist-raconteur" by the New York Times, renowned Brooklyn pianist & Ropeadope recording artist returns to the town of his alma mater (The University of Akron) with his heady "downtown cool" brand of modern & extroverted jazz! Featuring Ben Rubin, Diego Voglin.

Friday, August 18



With his seventh album, jazz pianist Dred Scott and his Trio deliver a hefty helping of the downtown cool that has earned them one of the most fervent followings on the New York jazz scene. Featuring upright bassist and producer Ben Rubin and drummer Tony Mason, Live at the Rockwood Music Hall, out now on Ropeadope Digital, is a two-session masterpiece which documents the trio’s open-ended engagement (four years and counting) at this popular Lower East Side venue. The record includes six Dred Scott originals as well as covers of artists ranging from saxophonist Bill McHenry to Black Sabbath. All About Jazz declares: “Live at the Rockwood Music Hall is a beautiful showcase of this dynamic piano trio.”

 

 

 

The Dred Scott Trio delivers a cheeky change of pace from the buttoned-up shush-y vibe of the usual jazz club fare. The music itself is heady, jazzy, and deep enough to please the hardest-core jazz fan, yet remains remarkably accessible. Audiences eat up Dred’s unique and compelling piano style and blistering, high-larious verbal “dispatches” from the stage that make the crowd part of the show, and answer in the affirmative Frank Zappa’s classic rhetorical question, “Does humor belong in music?” By 2 am every Tuesday, usually after a swinging treatment of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper” or an R-rated barnburner of Dred’s avant-garde “Mojo Rhythm, Son of Yaah!,” someone’s overheard gurgling, “I used to think jazz sucked, but this ROCKS!” Yes, that same someone invariably throws up, passes out, and gets the boot, but the sentiment remains sincere.

[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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