What I'm Listening To...and other thoughts
Happy to report that I was the 2013 winner among several folks nominated to the VEER Magazine Local Music Awards in the jazz category for my recording, "When Trees Speak".
We have not had an official jazz club in this area since the fall of 2013, with no prospects on the horizon for a bonafide jazz club in Hampton Roads. That said, there is jazz being performed at Cafe Stella in Norfolk every Thursday evening, 8-10. Woody Beckner holds court with various guests, as he has for 8 years running,. I host jazz at Toast, 24th & Colonial in Ghent has jazz every other Thursday. Gosport Tavern in Portsmouth has jazz every other Sunday night led by bassist Chris Brydge.
That said, it remains a little heartbreaking to be at this juncture, living in a metropolitan area comprised of 7 thriving cities and 1.5 million people, and yet with all of these people and musicians we do not have one venue that might be described as a real, bonafide jazz club, or even something close.
I should close by saying that The Attucks Jazz Series sponsored by the City of Norfolk & The Virginia Arts Festival has shows September through March for the 2022/2023 season featuring some fairly big name artists. All of these shows sell out routinely, which is both encouraging and speaks to the fact that there is an audience that supports jazz. Check the VA Arts Festival schedule for more information about this Attucks Jazz Series.
There is also the Miller Jazz Series, held in the Miller Studio Theater at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. This season the series will expand to 6 shows, through the generosity of two jazz lovers who have endowed the series for three special shows that will feature jazz vocalists. These shows are held on Thursday nights and will feature some outstanding vocalists on the scene today. Three os the shows are also themed programs.