Home » Community Blog » Street Date: Cleveland


Playing Changes on Northeast Ohio's Club Scene

Playing Changes on Northeast Ohio's Club Scene
John Chacona By

Playing Changes on Northeast Ohio's Club Scene: Playing Changes on Northeast Ohio's Club Scene

If you've been on the scene recently in your community, you've probably noticed that the last few years have profoundly changed the landscape of people, places and trends in the way the music comes to us.

On the Scene, a new service at AllAboutJazz.com, aims to keep you informed about what's going on in the complex, ever-evolving jazz scene at this crucial time. Here you'll find information on new places where the music can be heard, new ways to hear it and new faces that are bringing the music to a growing audience.

We're beginning the series with a look at the northeast Ohio jazz scene where there seems to be a lot going on at the moment. Our hope is to eventually roll out this concept to more cities to provide the kind of comprehensive coverage you have come to expect from AllAboutJazz.com.

If you're on the scene in your community, why not consider being our eyes and ears and writing for AllAboutJazz.com? We always welcome new contributors and think of it as our way of keeping the scene healthy and growing. For more information, contact us.

The news on the scene this week in northeast Ohio is all about the revival of a club scene that was hit hard by the pandemic.

No Stopping at Bop Stop

In August, 2022, it was announced that Gabe Pollack, longtime director of Bop Stop at the Music Settlement, will be leaving the Cleveland club to become director of performing arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Since joining the nonprofit club's staff in 2014, Pollack presented more than 2,000 concerts by touring and local musicians, including more than 180 Grammy winners or nominees and brought the club to international prominence. In 2019, Bop Stop was voted Best Jazz Club in America by readers of All About Jazz. His successor, Bryan Kennard, is no stranger to the Bop Stop stage, having performed at the venue many times and he seems to be picking up right where Pollack left off with an intriguing slate of upcoming concerts. Look for an interview with Kennard in a future installment of On the Scene.

When Bobby Gets Blu

After a long interval when the basement club had gone dark in response to the pandemic restrictions, Blu Jazz+ in Akron is open for business with a new booking policy executed by a familiar name: Bobby Selvaggio. Tony Troppe, Blu Jazz's owner,  said, "We are very pleased to have Bobby Selvaggio leading our talent selection, coordination and booking, and added "Nothing but Blu Skies from now on!"

"My goal is to rededicate ourselves to the local community," Selvaggio said, "I want to get the community, the jazz community and the music community involved with creating new music and to collaborate together. The room is booked through the end of 2022 and Selvaggio has big plans for next year. When they are announced, you can read about them here.

Nighttown goes from Green to Red

For years, Nighttown, the James Joyce-themed restaurant and club in Cleveland Heights, was a premier destination for touring acts. When the club closed in 2020, longtime owner Brendan Ring sold the building to a real estate developer who engaged the ownership group behind Red, the Steakhouse, a popular Cleveland restaurant, to operate the reopened Nighttown. An article published in Sept. 2021 in Cleveland.com reported that "[l]ive music... something people came to know and love at Nighttown... is being worked out," according to an operating group official. But when the new operators announced plans to reopen the space and named a new chef in a September 2022 announcement, music was not mentioned. Stay tuned.
Posted to Street Date: Cleveland IN THE Jazz Near You GROUP
Read more posts by John Chacona
Read more Cleveland related posts

Related Links

Organization: Bop Stop

Location: Cleveland


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


Jazz is big—very big!

Posted: February 16, 2024

Let's hear it for the new header!

Posted: February 7, 2024

More on member polls

Posted: February 2, 2024

Poll Voting Tip

Posted: January 17, 2024

2023 Roundup

Posted: January 6, 2024

Collectively, we can make a difference

Posted: December 6, 2023
Have a post-related question? Contact us. Like our progress? Support us.

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.