It’s hard to believe as I write this that this is the second Saturday that there has been NO Cellar. It’s still weird but in case anyone is wondering I have really enjoyed not having the constant stress of the everyday jazz club on my mind. I have already enjoyed more night in row with my family than I have in years and am feeling somewhat more relaxed about everything. Having said that, I’m not sure it has really sunk in yet and I’m sure there will be moments of despair and sadness and loss but then again maybe not.
What’s been happening? Well, most of you probably heard that the morning of the 27th, the first day of the big shut down was started with me falling off a stool and fracturing my elbow. It made the pack down very stressful and much longer than it needed to be but so many people came to help: Jenny Larisey, Joy Mullen, Kevin Mooney, Julian MacDonough, Guy MacPherson, Dave Ronald, Chris Wong, Steve and Jodi Kaldestad, Joe Poole and maybe a few more. Thank you so much!!!
It has been time of resting and reflection but not standing still by any stretch. I have officially incorporated the Cellar Jazz Society. I have a board of 7 people who are wonderful and that I’m excited to be working with. We will be running our April Pyatt Hall Series through the society and we’ll be doing 6 concerts at Pyatt Hall for Jazz Festival followed by another series of concerts for the fall which I’m very excited about.
Also our first gig at 1789 went really well with Steve Kaldestad sitting in for me due to the broken arm. I have high hopes for this place. It was so great to see Lisa Bustin working there and all the Cellar regulars who came out in force! It was a tad weird but I got over it. 1789 has committed to doing a run of Jazz Fest gigs as well which I am booking and if we can keep the attendance decent there is no reason why 1789 won’t continue. They even put little signs on the table asking people to be quiet during the show!
So things are moving along slowly but surely!
Well, I’m not going to lie. The emotions are running high leading up to the final day at The Cellar. As I write this there are 7 more nights of music. Wow. So much to say, so many people to thank. Just thinking about it overwhelms me. So much so I’m not writing a post about it right now :) I’m concentrating on the great things that are upcoming including another sold out NEW YORK WITH WEEDS, our very successful KICKSTARTER campaign for The Jill Townsend Big Band Plays Ross Taggart (please note although our goal has been reached you can still pledge and we encourage you to do so), the concert series at Pyatt Hall starting on April 4th with The Jill Townsend Big Band with Denzal Sinclaire (please visit www.cellarjazz.com and go to the calendar section for tickets). I’ll also be announcing a jazz festival series at PYATT HALL as well. Finally the new room that I’m booking at 1789 Comox Street called well….Seventeen89 starting March 4!
I have had many associations over 13.5 years with musicians at The Cellar. Very few have ever come into the club and ‘not’ gotten the vibe of what the place is Enter name here _________ Garrett, but I digress.
One such guy that ‘got’ it the second he walked in and an association that I’m very proud of is Joey Defrancesco. I’m priviledged to call him my friend. From the first second he walked into The Cellar to play with his trio I knew that we would be staying in touch…and stay in touch we did!!! Not only did Joey D return to the club 3 more times but one of those times was to record my Many Deeds Of Cory Weeds album. Those three nights will go down in history as some of the most fun nights of my life on a musical and personal level. It could only be topped by a road trip to Pittsburgh PA two and a half years ago to play with him, Byron Landhum and Joe Magnarelli which could be one of the best gigs of my life.
Im very excited to be hitting the stage with him one more time this weekend for three nights. He is a generous and gracious cat and man can he burn up the B3!
Hello all, today is the beginning of a big big big project that I’m extremely excited about! THE JILL TOWNSEND BIG BAND RECORDS ROSS TAGGART.
Rather than be redundant and hell you about here please CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT ABOUT HOW YOU CAN HELP THIS PROJECT BECOME A REALITY!
We have 30 days to raise $20,000! Please spread the word!
Can one ever get ‘Snuff of LeDonne and his fabulous organ playing? Not to mention his prowess at the piano. Very few people can both of these instruments with the virtuosity of Mike LeDonne. I am always more reluctant to post videos that I’m in but here it goes!
Check out the first two bars of Gary’s solo!! So burning! Nice work by the rest of the group. Love Danderfer’s clarinet playing but nice to hear him on tenor here!
I thought it might be a good time to post some updates as to what’s been going on since I made the big announcement that The Cellar is closing. Its hard to believe its been almost 8 weeks since I made the announcement and its now much less than 8 weeks that we will close the doors on 3611 West Broadway.
As I have tried to make clear (but not done a great job) the reasons for closing the club are plentiful and not really worth getting into on this blog. One of the main reasons however is that I need a break. I need to step back for a minute and re-evaluate many things. How long that break needs to be I have no idea. What I can tell you is that a new club or Cellar re-opening would likely not occur before September.
Since the closing I have had many meetings with some prominent restauranteurs, looked at well over a dozen spaces, applied for 2 jobs (within the arts) and met with the city. I have had many people come forward with offers of investment money which of course are welcomed but nothing has come to fruition as of yet. I’m concentrating hard on trying to enjoy the last few weeks of the current incarnation of the club not to mention figuring out how to close down a business etc. Its all pretty overwhelming but I’m getting through it.
Of course we have the concert series happening in April at the VSO PYATT HALL as well as the Wednesday night Ten Ten Tapas gig and there will be some other things popping up as well until I figure out what the long term future holds.
I have really appreciated all the people that have come forward and offered their help and assistance from contractors to structural engineers to restauranteurs to realtors. It means a great deal to me and you just never know what might come of it. As I have said in the past I’m open to opportunity and am listening to all things so who knows!