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!
 



Oct
7

Brandon Meeks Breakout jazz bassist, producer, arranger & beatmaker from Indianapolis brings his authentic, high-level artistry to the Rubber City in BLU debut! Featuring Brandon Meeks, Rob Dixon, Theron Brown & Richard “Sleepy” Floyd.

Saturday, October 7



Brandon Meeks is seeking to redefine how Gary, Indiana is only known as the home of the Jackson Family. The independent bassist, producer, arranger, and beatmaker is gaining steam in the crowded world of Jazz, Hip-Hop and R&B by choosing to follow his own path and ignoring the allure of popular trends.

 

Meeks’ professionalism and dedication to the craft of making music brought him to the attention of Don Cheadle. Brandon was cast in Cheadle’s 2016 directorial debut film, Miles Ahead—a movie about iconic musician Miles Davis. Brandon worked directly with both Cheadle and jazz artist Robert Glasper during the film’s production. He was chosen to play the character of legendary bassist, Ron Carter.

 

Brandon’s skill as a jazz bassist was a major reason he was chosen to be in the film and this has allowed him to reach an entirely new fanbase. He is now taking full advantage of his good fortune and capitalizing on this moment by introducing people to all of the work he has done that allowed him to gain ground in the industry.

 

 

Before Brandon was featured in Miles Ahead, he’s held the role of primary producer for the Indianapolis based Hip-Hop band Native Sun. Native Sun has been compared to The Legendary Roots Crew due to their use of live instruments in their performances and recordings. During his time with the band, Brandon has created 2 magnetically soulful albums plus a series of sharp, compelling videos that have earned the attention of influential cultural tastemakers such as AFROPUNK and Team Backpack.

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

Buy Tickets


Oct
11

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, October 11



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


Oct
12

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, October 12



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


Oct
13

Katie Thiroux: “Off Beat” Album Release Party Extraordinary Los Angeles based bassist/vocalist multi-talent and stewardess of the hard-swingin' mainstream jazz tradition brings all-star trio back to BLU to celebrate her acclaimed new album, "Off Beat," on Capri Records! Co-presented with The BOP Stop at the Music Settlement. Featuring Katie Thiroux, Steven Feifke, Matt Witek.

Friday, October 13



A triple threat talent, Katie Thiroux has garnered considerable attention for her bravura bass playing, assured singing and compelling compositions. With the release of her debut album, Introducing Katie Thiroux (2015), her substantial gifts as a bandleader and recording artist are now also on view. Audiences and critics agree as this release received many awards including “Debut Record of the Year” from the Huffington Post, All About Jazz, Jazz Journalists Association and “Top 5 Debut Records of the Year” from NPR Jazz Critics Poll. Other accolades include being a 2015 semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk Competition, featured on WBGO’s “The Checkout,” Downbeat Magazine and NPR. Lending contemporary flair to mainstream stylings, Thiroux carries on the hard swinging tradition of such bass masters as Ray Brown and John Clayton, while channeling the buoyant vocal finesse of iconic singers including Anita O’Day, Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald. Thiroux offers in-the-moment jazz that draws upon the rich history of the music, from swing to bebop and beyond.

 

 

In addition to work with her quartet, Thiroux is an active member of the Larry Fuller Trio and has has been heard with, among others, pianists Justin Kauflin, Bill Cunliffe, Geri Allen, Helen Sung, Tamir Hendelman and Eric Reed, trumpeters Brian Lynch and Terrell Stafford, saxophonists Jeff Clayton, Charles McPhearson and Ken Peplowski, guitarists Mundell Lowe and Larry Koonse, drummers Terri Lynne Carrington, Lewis Nash and Jeff Hamilton, and vocalists Patti Austin, Niki Harris and Tierney Sutton. Having performed at jazz festivals in the United States, Mexico, Germany, Finland, Serbia, Singapore and Switzerland as both a leader and a sideman, Thiroux often incorporates workshops for students and audiences. It is her passionate belief that exposure to jazz history, culture and styles is vital in keeping the music alive and thriving. Katie’s swinging bass, clear vocals and inspired instrumental arrangements are reflective of her musical idols both past and present. Katie Thiroux’s knowledge, perseverance and fervor for the music make her a rising star in today’s scene.

 

Don’t miss your chance to hear this spirited and swingin’ all-star group in their return to BLU – get your tickets today!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$20 (advance), $25 (door)

Buy Tickets


Oct
14

Ivan Taylor All-star Chicago bassist (of Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Garrett, Wynton Marsalis, Robert Glasper, Nicholas Payton, Curtis Fuller) swings from the Windy City into the Rubber City for a not-to-miss BLU debut!

Saturday, October 14



Born in Southern, Illinois in 1984, Ivan Taylor has been playing the bass since he was nine years old. He had an illustrious high school career, playing with the Illinois All-State Jazz band, The Grammy Band, and Chicago Jazz masters Von Freeman and Orbert Davis.

 

Ivan was a star performer at the 2002 Essentially Ellington competition where he met Wynton Marsalis. This meeting led him to enroll in the Juilliard School of Music.

 

 

Ivan had a strong impact on the New York scene, performing with Rashid Ali, Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, Louis Hayes, Nicholas Payton, Curtis Fuller, Mike Philips, Kenny Garrett, Delfeayo Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Robert Glasper, Take 6, Rodney Jones, Russell Malone, Steve Nelson, Carmen Lundy, Hank Jones, Hal Weary, Cyrus Chestnut, Jonathan Baptiste, Maurice Brown, Diana Ross, KJ Rose, Marly Marl, Chris Madsen, Jennifer Sloan, Tia Fuller, Shamie Royston and many others. He has studied with Ben Wolfe and continues to study with Ron Carter.

 

In 2005, he became a member of Mulgrew Miller’s trio and sextet, Wingspan, touring internationally.

 

Ivan’s major influences are George Benson, Ray Brown, Israel Crosby, Stanley Clark, Gary Granger, Jaco Pastorius, John Patitucci, Ron Carter, and Christian McBride.

 

He has the ability to play both upright and electric bass with equal agility. Ivan also plays the guitar at an exceptional level which he plans to feature on future albums.

 

Catch this all-star bassist as he leads his own swingin’ group when he pays a visit to the Rubber City – get your tickets now!

[read more]

8:00 pm

$15

Buy Tickets


Oct
15

Benny Benack III: “One of a Kind” Album Release Party Award-winning New York City trumpeter & vocalist brings swingin' all-star band and music from his all-new album, "One of a Kind," in BLU debut! Featuring Benny Benack III, Takeshi Ohbayashi, Alex Claffy, Joe Peri.

Sunday, October 15



At the age of 26, Pittsburgh-born, New York-based Jazz musician Benny Benack III has been hailed by Nate Chinen of the New York Times as “a charismatic young trumpeter who maintains an earnest sideline as a singer.” As a dual-threat, he’s quickly established himself as one of the most versatile and virtuosic voices of his generation. He first made his mark internationally through competitions, highlighted by winning the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Soloist Competition (2011), and being a Finalist for the prestigious Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition (2014). After placing in a number of US vocal competitions as well (Gentleman Sing, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival), the stage was set for his bright career.

 

 

Delivering on that early promise, he became a frequent collaborator with musicians such as Ulysses Owens Jr., Michael Dease, and Chihiro Yamanaka – recording with the latter on the iconic Blue Note Records label. Sought after as a trumpet soloist, he’s played in nearly every major big band, including the Christian McBride Big Band, Mingus Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, Jimmy Heath Big Band, and Bobby Sanabria’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. An international touring schedule includes frequent engagements in Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine and Italy. Equally at ease in the Pop/Cabaret world, he has toured alongside Josh Groban as his trumpet soloist, played the famed Cafe Carlyle with fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi, headlined the iconic Birdland Jazz Club alongside Anne Hampton Callaway honoring Ella & Louis, and was special guest with the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops Orchestra for a Tribute to Sinatra. When not on the road, he headlines at the finest venues in New York, with engagements at 54 Below, Jazz @ Lincoln Center’s “Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola”, The Blue Note, Birdland, SMOKE, Minton’s, the Jazz Standard, Small’s, and has a monthly Saturday night residency at Mezzrow in the West Village. He was recently featured as a vocalist during Jazz @ Lincoln Center’s 2016 Concert Series in the Appel Room, as a part of “Crooners” celebrating Bing Crosby, Mel Torme & Nat King Cole. He also made his television debut, featured live on-air in the House Band for NBC’s variety show “Maya & Marty in Manhattan”.

 

On September 15th, 2017 his first solo album “One of a Kind” will be released worldwide, signaling his arrival as a major international artist for years to come.

 

As an educator, Benack is highly sought after around the world as a clinician and masterclass presenter, known for his engaging and enthusiastic style with students. Throughout many schools, he leads The Benny Benack Band on behalf of Jazz @ Lincoln Center’s “Jazz For Young People” outreach program. He regularly leads educational concerts at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and for the NY Pops Education Outreach Program as a Teaching Artist.

 

He is a two-time graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, obtaining his Master of Music degree in 2015. He is endorsed by P. Mauriat Trumpets, Torpedo Bag cases, and Carol Brass Flugelhorns.Featuring Benny Benack III, Takeshi Ohbayashi, Alex Claffy, Joe Peri.

[read more]

6:00 pm

$15 (show), $30 (show + CD)

Buy Tickets


Oct
18

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, October 18



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


Oct
20

Gabrielle Stravelli Internationally acclaimed New York City vocalist, songwriter & actor brings the music of her award-winning new album, "Dream Ago," to BLU with a special masterclass (6PM, FREE) and live concert (8PM)! Presented by the BLU Jazz Masterclass Foundation.
Concert + Masterclass

Friday, October 20



Award-winning vocalist Gabrielle Stravelli has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following through her original songs and her unique take on material from the New American songbook as well as classic standards by artists as varied as Pink Floyd and Duke Ellington, Dolly Parton and Johnny Mercer. A trained actor, Gabrielle has a soulful sensitivity for the story in the lyric and was called “a powerhouse of individual expression” by David Finkle of The Village Voice.

 

In January 2017, Gabrielle released her third album, “Dream Ago” comprised primarily of original material co-written with bassist Pat O’Leary. The album received a five-star review from DownBeat Magazine and garnered raves from the Huffington Post, Scott Yanow of LA Jazz Scene and Tony Frankel of LA’s Stage and Cinema among others. In March Gabrielle and her trio toured the album for ten days traveling from Philadelphia across the Midwest.

 

 

She immediately followed the tour with a week in Los Angeles as a master teacher for YoungArts, a national organization that organizes week-long intensives for artists 14-18 years old and connects them with professionals currently working in their chosen field. In April Gabrielle was invited by the US Embassy in Azerbaijan to perform at a gala celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations between the US and Azerbaijan. Gabrielle’s group collaborated with Sevda Alekperzade, Azerbaijan’s most prominent jazz vocalist on an arrangement symbolizing the collaboration between the two countries, which was performed at the gala for 400 dignitaries and heads of state.

[read more]

6:00 pm, 8:00 pm

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

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Oct
21

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 return! Featuring Mike Wade, Alexis Owens, Marvin Curry, Ricky Williams, G Scott Jones, Charles Ali Schweitzer, Francis Wyatt, Eli Gonzales, Jon McSayles.

Saturday, October 21



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 (advance), $20 (door)

Buy Tickets


Oct
22

Brian Charette’s “Kürrent”: Circuit Bent Organ Duo Grammy® nominated, Hammond-endorsed New York City organist and 2014 Downbeat "Rising Star" award winner returns with his futuristic reimagining of the jazz organ small group setting! Featuring Brian Charette & Jordan Young.

Sunday, October 22



New York City organist/pianist Brian Charette has established himself as a leading voice in modern jazz. Charette is a Grammy-nominated, Hammond-endorsed artist. Charette was the winner of the 2014 Downbeat Critics’ Poll in the “Rising Star: Organ” category and has climbed to 4th place in The 2015 Critic’s Poll in the main Organ category. On his newest recording, Alphabet City, (Posi-Tone, 2015), Charette presents elegantly lyrical original music with unusual circuit-bent electronic treatments accompanied by Rudy Royston on drums and Will Bernard on guitar.

 

Charette was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1972, and was introduced to music by his mother, Catherine. By the age of 17, he was playing with jazz luminaries Lou Donaldson and Houston Person. After graduating on the Dean’s List from UConn in 1994 with a BA in Classical Piano Performance, Charette began touring Europe and was drawn to the culture and scene of Prague, Czech Republic, where he now lives half the time.

 

 

Besides being a critically acclaimed composer and bandleader, Brian has worked with notable artists such as Joni Mitchell, Chaka Khan, Paul Simon, Cyndi Lauper, and many more. Charette is also an active author and educator, writing for Keyboard magazine, DownBeat, and the Czech magazine Muzikus. Brian teaches masterclasses all over the world and is on the faculty of the Czech Summer Jazz Workshop at Jesek Conservatory in Prague. His first book, 101 Hammond B3 Tips, was just released in fall 2014 through publisher Hal Leonard, and he has a popular instructional video on the website, mymusicmasterclass.com. Outside of music, Charette is passionate about chess and White Crane kung fu, in which he holds a black sash.

 

After years of being on different jazz labels, Brian Charette has ventured out on his own! His new group takes the classic jazz organ small group setting and infuses it with analog synths, unusual circuit bent electronics, and samples that add a dreamy, futuristic quality to the music – don’t miss this show, get your tickets today!

[read more]

6:00 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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