The Blue Note Jazz Club is considered one of the world’s famous jazz venues. Since its opening in ’81 the club, which is also a renowned restaurant, has been carrying the torch for jazz into the 21st century in the cultural heart of Greenwich Village, New York City.
Opened in 1981 by Danny Bensusan, this ‘house of jazz’ has hosted daily performances ever since. The schedule is unique and very impressive: concerts every night at 8 pm and 10:30 pm, the Sunday jazz brunch with performances at 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm and the Late Night Groove series on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 am. The list of artists that have performed here is very, very long: Keith Jarrett, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chet Baker and Bobby Caldwell are only a few of the many prominent jazzmen and jazzwomen to have played at the Blue Note.
Several performances have been recorded live and released by Half Note Records, Blue Note’s own live record label. It has released albums by Avishai Cohen, Elvin Jones, Kenny Werner and many more. Since ’98 it has also included studio albums as well, like McCoy Tyner Guitars (2008) and Kenny Werner No Beginning, No End (2010). Half Note Records can be considered a pretty successful label, since many of its CDs have been critically acclaimed, have received Grammy Award nominations and even Grammy Award wins (Paquito D’Rivera Live from Blue Note won in the category ‘Best Latin Jazz Album’ in 2001).
In 2011, to celebrate its 30th birthday, the Blue Noted hosted its first jazz festival, the Blue Note Jazz Festival. Set to be an annual music event, it featured performances by renowned jazzists at numerous venues throughout New York, including the Blue Note, the Beacon Theatre, Town Hall and many more. Big names of the international music scene – from different genres – such as the Roots, Chaka Khan and Youssou N’Dour took part in the inaugural concerts.
The Blue Note has been the economic engine for Greenwich Village for three decades and it has been THE meeting point for jazz artists and fans. The club’s main goal is to preserve the history of jazz and it has done so by encouraging progression and innovation – the foundations of jazz – on a nightly basis. Every evening anything can happen, it is not unsual to see guests – such as Quincy Jones, Liza Minelli and Stevie Wonder – getting called up on the stage and improvise. After lots of rave reviews on New York’s newspapers (New York Times and many more), international magazines and travel guides, the Blue Note continues to impress and attract people from all over the world.
Are you in New York or planning on visiting the city? Write down this name: Blue Note Jazz Club. You live in Europe or Asia and you would like to have a taste of the Blue Note style? Visit one of the Blue Note venues located in Japan or Italy!
[Picture credit: Blue Note Jazz Club]