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
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
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


May
13

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+!

Saturday, May 13



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


Jun
23

Dan Wilson: “Balancing Act,” Live at BLU Jazz+ Album Recording Join us as part of the live audience experience as national touring artist & master jazz guitarist, Akron's own - Dan Wilson, records his next album, "Balancing Act," LIVE at BLU with an all-star band! Featuring Sullivan Fortner, Ivan Taylor, Xavier Breaker, Sam Blakeslee.

Friday, June 23



It’s been five years since Dan Wilson released his debut album, To Whom It May Concern.

 

On June 23, 2017, he will record his second album, “Balancing Act,” Live at BLU Jazz+! Dan will share the stage with some of the most talented, world-class musicians on the scene including Sullivan Fortner on piano, Ivan Taylor on bass, Xavier Breaker on drums, and Akron’s own, Sam Blakeslee on trombone.

 

Get your tickets early for this major event and come be part of the live audience experience for the upcoming album, “Balancing Act,” Live at BLU Jazz+, Dan’s favorite jazz club in his beloved hometown of Akron!

[read more]

7:00 pm, 9:30 pm

$30

Buy Tickets

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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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