Smoke Jazz Club reopens after a two-year hiatus

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originally published: 07/08/2022

(NEW YORK, NY) — One of New York’s premier concert halls, Smoke Jazz Club, announced its long-awaited reopening. After two years of reorienting itself in the face of the pandemic with modified operations including live streams, sidewalk concerts and al fresco dining, Smoke Jazz Club is making a memorable return as a world-renowned destination for the best classical and modern jazz. Acclaimed for its essential music programming and inspired setting, this revered institution has embarked on an impressive expansion and renovation that is preparing the venerable club for the post-pandemic 21st century.

Despite being closed to shows and indoor dining for over two years, Smoke has survived with a renewed sense of mission and now with a dramatically renovated and newly expanded space. Smoke’s return brings much-needed hope and rejuvenation to the city and the music community. “The Smoke Jazz Club has so much history,” says co-owners Paul Stache and Molly Sparrow Johnson, husband and wife. “Despite the struggles of the past few years, we just knew the music couldn’t stop there. The last two years have not been easy for anyone, but having live music in the club again with everyone together, musicians and listeners, seems like a turning point. We are very excited to take this next step.

Guided by their initial attempts to operate within mandatory occupancy restrictions, social distancing rules, and safety protocols for staff, musicians, and patrons, Smoke’s expansion achieves all of these goals while maintaining its vibrant atmosphere. “We had already agreed, in principle, with our landlord to take over the two adjacent storefronts before the pandemic,” Johnson recounts, “but it soon became clear that combining the new spaces with the jazz club was not only a priority but really a necessity to operate safely.We feel very fortunate that our landlord has been so supportive for the past two years.The addition of these smaller combination spaces serves as an adjoining living room with the historic bar relocated to the full length providing more more space for the public and a larger stage for the artists in the main listening room, while preserving the warm and familiar atmosphere of the club.

Smoke Jazz Club reopens after a two-year hiatus

Photo by Jimmy Katz

A cultural cornerstone of Upper Manhattan, the Smoke Jazz Club opened its doors on April 9, 1999. Since then, this jazz gem has become an internationally recognized haven for live music and a vital and beloved home for jazz in the city. . The club scene has hosted legendary artists and rising stars including Wynton Marsalis, Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Hank Jones, Christian McBride, Brad Mehldau, Harold Mabern, Nicholas Payton, Peter Bernstein, Eddie Henderson, Larry Goldings, Chris Potter , Cedar Walton, Steve Turre, Eric Alexander, Bill Charlap, Jimmy Cobb and countless others.

While the club had already weathered economic crises, building fires and the uncertainty following the September 11 attacks, the pandemic proved to be its most formidable challenge yet. Drawing inspiration from some of the resourceful performers they introduced to the club, Stache and Johnson showed their own talent for improvisation to lead their club through the COVID-19 era. They inaugurated a streaming concert series, Smoke Screens, as well as socially distanced sidewalk concerts and outdoor dining, while continuing to produce new material on the club’s GRAMMY-nominated label, Smoke Sessions.

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Most importantly, Smoke continues its commitment to presenting scintillating and vibrant programming as a club for jazz lovers run by jazz lovers. “We set the tone on opening night in 1999 with the greats George Coleman and Harold Mabern.” Stache said. Fittingly, NEA Jazz Master Coleman returns to christen the new and improved Smoke with a grand four-night reopening concert from July 21-24, 2022 (also streaming live worldwide). Other artists scheduled to perform in the near future include Charles McPherson, Vijay Iyer, Mary Stallings, Bill Charlap, Bobby Watson, Nicholas Payton, Renee Rosnes, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Cyrus Chestnut, Buster Williams, and more.

Smoke Jazz Club reopens after a two-year hiatus

Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side at the junction of Broadway and 106th Street (aka Duke Ellington Boulevard), Smoke Jazz Club is one of New York City’s premier live music venues. Renowned for delivering top-notch programming of accessible and timeless jazz featuring legendary performers, modern masters and rising stars, Smoke is distinguished by its candlelit dining room, stellar acoustics and classic American cuisine. Founded in 1999, SMOKE also owns a GRAMMY-nominated label, Smoke Sessions Records, and a popular streaming concert series, Smoke Screens. For everything else, go SMOKEjazz.com.

UPCOMING CONCERT SCHEDULE (subject to change):

All times from Game to Sun at 7:00 p.m. + 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. additional (Friday and Saturday only)

All in-person tickets $40-$60 | Live stream $10

Thu-Sun 7.21-24 Smoke Reopening Celebration: George Coleman Quartet more special guest Peter Bernstein

George Coleman – tenor saxophone

Peter Bernstein – guitar

Davis Whitfield – piano

Peter Washington – bass

Joe Farnsworth – drums

Thu-Sun 7.28-31 Bobby Watson Quartet

Bobby Watson – alto saxophone

Orrin Evans – piano

Curtis Lundy – bass

Victor Jones – drums

Thu-Sun 8.04-7 Louis Hayes and the Cannonball Legacy band

Jeremy Pelt – trumpet

Vincent Herring – alto saxophone

Rick Germanson – piano

Dezron Douglas – bass

Louis Hayes – drums

Thu-Sun 8.11-14 Mary Stallings

Mary Stallings – vocals

Emmet Cohen – piano

Russell Hall – bass

Joe Farnsworth – drums

Thu-Sun 8.18-21 The Big Hitters

Jeremy Pelt – trumpet

Eric Alexander – tenor saxophone

Mike LeDonne – piano

Peter Washington – bass

Kenny Washington – bass

Thu-Sun 8.25-28 Rudresh Mahanthappa Trio: Charlie Parker Celebration

Rudresh Mahanthappa – alto saxophone

Harish Raghavan – bass

Rudy Royston – drums

Thu-Sun 9.01-4 Al Foster Quintet: Smoke Sessions cd release

Chris Potter – tenor saxophone

TBA – special guest trumpet

Kevin Hays – piano

Vicente Archer – bass

Al Foster – drums

Thu-Sun 9.08-11 Eddie Henderson Quintet

Eddie Henderson – trumpet

Donald Harrison – alto saxophone

George Cables – piano

Essiet Essiet – bass

Lenny White – drums

Thu-Sun 9.15-18 Vijay Iyer Trio

Vijay Iyer – piano

Harish Raghavan – bass

Tyshawn Sorey – drums

Thu-Sun 9.22-25 One For All

Jim Rotondi – trumpet

Eric Alexander – tenor saxophone

Steve Davis – trombone

David Hazeltine – piano

Peter Washington – bass

Joe Farnsworth – drums

SMOKE Jazz Club is located at 2751 Broadway (between 105/106th Streets) in New York, NY.

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