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Funding a jazz spot with food and beverage!

       Running a jazz spot that makes its money primarily from food and drink is tough! How do you balance diners and listeners? Do you tell noisy diners—who provide financial support for the music program—to pipe down? Do you allow listeners to sit through both sets while noshing on air and nursing a coke? Do you book mostly accessible jazz artists whom the general public can appreciate, or do you dedicate your venue to edgy and more intellectual styles that leave most of the listening public scratching their heads and mumbling, “God, I hate jazz!” It is a balancing act, and while I used to juggle tangerines as a kid, I’m out of practice.

I am grateful to all of you who patronize our restaurant-club and ask for your patience in making it one of the go-to jazz venues in the Boston area. Sometimes the Jazz Baroness Room is quiet as the diners focus their ears on the performance; other times, it gets rowdy. Your best bet for our weekend performances is to make reservations early in the week—Monday or Tuesday—for the Jazz Baroness Room and tell the receptionist that you’d like to sit closer to the stage.

  Scott Goulding, our music director, tells me that the New York clubs of old were more like our place (though we’re missing stratus clouds of cigarette smoke above the tables) than contemporary jazz clubs. Of course, if you want to experience the music like a work of art or worship it as sacred, then go to the Regattabar Museum or the Scullers Church! I do, whenever I want to feel closer to the Lord! (Just kidding. I respect their important contributions to the local music scene over the years. Especially that of Fred Taylor!)  No one taps their feet to the beat, though; no one sways with the music, no one hums under their breath. I haven’t asked, but I presume that if you show your teeth or tongue, you’ll pay a forfeit. And you’ll pay $25 to $50 for the privilege! Here we hope that you’ll enjoy your sushi, your friends and the music.

We are working to present Boston’s best jazz cats to our guests, and we would love for you to be among us! Come when you can!


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