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Jazz Commentary: Remembrance of Jazz Venues Past

March 18, 2020 Leave a Comment

By Steve Provizer

The idea of posting this list now is to remind people of what has been lost and hope that it stirs us to preserve what we have left.

Izzy Ort’s bar and Grill.

No one knows how lasting the ramifications of the coronaviris (COVID-19) will be. Physical suffering and mortality are going to increase. And it is certain that the need to decrease the spread of the disease through social isolation will lead to an enormous amount of financial suffering on the part of businesses large and small. No doubt non-profit cultural organizations and venues will be hard-pressed to find the resources needed to survive the loss of revenue. Given their already tight margin, jazz venues will be especially hard hit.

With the help of others, including my good friend Dick Vacca-[The Troy Street Observer]-I’ve compiled a list of venues in Boston that had live jazz, at least for a while. The idea of posting this now is to remind people of what has been lost and hope that it stirs us to preserve what we have left.


1369 Club,
Accurate Records Loft,
Ahmed’s,
Arbor House,
Ark of the Covenant,
Back Bay Hilton,
Backstreet,
Beantown Jazz Festival,
Bebop,
Beehive,
Bella Luna,
Berklee,
Betty’s Rolls Royce,
Boston Arts Festival
Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Boston Globe Jazz Festival,
BPL,
Brothers in Brookline,
CasaBlanca,
CCP Studios,
Charles St. Playhouse,
Choppin Blok,
Club 47
Club Zircon,
Connelly’s,
Copley Plaza Bar,
Costello’s,
Cronins,
Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen,
Debbie’s,
Doyle’s,
Elbow Room,
Ellis Room,
Essex Hotel bar,
Estelle’s,
Fairmount Grille,
Friends of Great Black Music loft,
Gallery East,
Goodlife,
Greene St Grill Cambridge,) Green St,( JP),
Hasty Pudding,
Hi Lo Lounge,
Hotel Avery,
Hyde Park Jazz Festival,
Inn Square Men’s Bar.
Izzy Ort’s
Jazz Workshop/Pall’s Mall,
Joes,
Johnny D’s,
Jonathan Swift’s,
Kresge Auditorium
Lennie’s on the Turnpike,
Les Zygomates,
Liberty Cafe, a basement in Central Sq
Lilypad,
Lizard Lounge,
lue Parrot,
Lulu White’s,
Magnolia Loft.
Merry Go Round at the Copley Plaza,
Michael’s,
Middle East Corner,
Midway,
Modern Theater,
Most of the strip clubs had Hammond Trios,
NEC,
Nightstage,
OCBC,
Outpost 186,
Oxford Ale house,
Paine Hall,
Paris 25,
Parker House,
Performance Center in the Garage,
Playground Series at the loft on Harrison Ave,
Playland,
Plough and Stars,
Pooh’s Pub,
Ramsey/Toy VFW Post, Dorchester,
Real Deal jazz club at the Cambridge Multicultural Center,
Regattabar,
Rise Club
Ryles,
Sandy’s,
Satch’s,

Savoy,
Scotch and Sirloin,
Sculler’s,
Slades,
Space,
Speakeasy,
Starlite Roof,
Stone Soup,
Storyville,
Streetfood,
Studio Red Top,
Sunflower Cafe,
Swifts,
the (old)Winery,
Thelonius Monkfish,
Third Life Studio,
Top of the Hub,
various churches and libraries.
Village Smokehouse in Brookline,
Vouros Bakery
Wally’s,
WBUR,
Western Front,
WGBH,
Willow,
Wurst Haus,
Your Father’s Moustache
Zeitgeist Gallery

From Dick:

These are mainly Boston jazz venues, or suburban spots inside Route 495, in operation from 1972 onward — though there are a few from the ’60s. Individual schools and churches are not included. And there were rock rooms like the Channel and the Paradise that had jazz on occasion, but not often enough to make the list.

Downtown Crossing/State St/Quincy Mkt
Bay Tower Room
Cafe Fleuri, Meridien Hotel
Chez Freddie
City Hall Plaza
Concerts on the Common
Cricket’s
Gallagher’s
Lily’s
Michael’s Waterfront
Sir Harry’s

Theatre District
1-2-3 Lounge
Bradford Hotel Grand Ballroom
Caribe Lounge
Four Corners
Stuart Manor
The Vagabond
Tic Toc
Varty’s Jazz Room

Park Square
Number 3 Lounge
Playboy Club
Saxony
The Other Side

Back Bay
Danny’s
Darbury Room, became The Point After
Hatch Shell
Hotel Eliot Lounge
ICA Theatre
Jason’s
Lenox Hotel
My Apartment Lounge
Office Lounge
Turner Fisheries

Huntington Ave
Club Symphony
Gardner Museum
Museum of Fine Arts
Zachary’s

Roxbury/South End
Desert Lounge
Handy’s Grill
Juice and Jazz
Piano Factory
Pioneer Club
Rainbow Lounge
Savoy on the Hill
The Station
Tinker’s

Dorchester
Playhouse in the Park (Elma Lewis, Franklin Park)
Strand Theatre

Kenmore Square
Kix
Cafe Yana
East Boston
Airport Hilton
P.J.’s Lounge

Brookline/Brighton
Kismet Lounge
Papillon
Walters

Cambridge/Somerville
Atrium Lounge
Cantares
Lai-Lai
Spinnaker Lounge (Hyatt)
Springfields
Turtle Cafe

West of Boston
Bonfire, Westborough
Colonial Inn, Concord
Cottage Crest, Waltham
Decordova Museum, Lincoln
Ephriam’s, Sudbury
Finally Michael’s, Framingham
Matrix, Natick
Piety Corner Gardens, Waltham
Sticky Wicket, Hopkinton

North of Boston
Buddy’s, Revere
Cafe Beaujolais, Gloucester
Club Caravan, Revere
Ebb Tide, Revere Beach
Lakeside, Topsfield
Oceanside Jazz and Big Band Festival, Winthrop
Romie’s, Danvers
Stouffer’s Bedford Glen Hotel, Bedford
The Surf, Revere Beach
Wagon Wheels, West Peabody
South of Boston
Boston Jazz Society’s Jazz BBQ
Joseph’s, Braintree
Great Woods Performance Center
Water Music’s Jazz Boat


Steve Provizer writes on a range of subject, most often the arts. He is a musician and blogs about jazz here.






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