Hardbopjazz

The end of The Jazz Standard in New York.

41 posts in this topic

The pandemic has claimed another casualty.  The Jazz Standard could not survive the tumultuous time we’re living in this year.  
 

Dear Jazz Standard Community,
 
It is with great sadness that USHG shares that Jazz Standard and Blue Smoke Flatiron will not be reopening on 27th Street. We have explored every avenue to arrive at a different outcome, but due to the pandemic and months without revenue—as well as a lengthy rent negotiation that has come to a standstill—we’ve reached the disappointing conclusion that there is no alternative but to close Jazz Standard and Blue Smoke Flatiron. The current situation surrounding the pandemic, including the regulations for restaurants and live music make it impossible to maintain our quality and continue to “set the standard”. 
 
Almost two decades ago, Union Square Hospitality Group set out on a pioneering journey to marry authentic pit barbecue with great jazz in New York City with the opening of Jazz Standard and Blue Smoke in NYC’s Flatiron neighborhood. Every year since, it has been hailed by audiences and critics alike.
 
We are proud to be part of the culture of a vibrant and thriving city. We became a fixture not only in New York’s jazz scene, but of the world’s. Our longevity can be credited to inimitable hospitality and staff, extraordinary musicians over the years, and our valued, supportive patrons. Although we are devastated by the closure, we are optimistic about the future and look forward to writing the next chapter of Jazz Standard. 
 
In the meantime, we continue to host exclusive artist interviews and virtual performances across our online platforms including a Facebook Live series co-presented with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). Please be sure to connect with us for the latest events and news on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
 
Immense gratitude to our team members, our guests, and the city of New York for embracing Jazz Standard. We value your support more than you can ever know and look forward to reuniting again with some Mingus and Merlot.
 
- Your Family at Jazz Standard

 

 

.  

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That is terrible news. It was always a pleasure to visit there. Good sound and a friendly atmosphere. And thinking back to some of the highlights of what I heard there: Lonnie Smith, Charles McPherson, Steve Kuhn, Geri Allen with Chico Freeman, Richard Davis and Andrew Cyrillle, Alvin Queen with Melvin Sparks and Leon Spencer, Frank Morgan, Greg Osby, Edmar Castaneda. The Mingus Big Band is homeless again.

Edited by kh1958

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Sad to hear ... what I wonder about is the long-term effect of rising vacancies.  It sounds like landlords trying to ream renters but if the result is empty buildings, to what end? Maybe some of these clubs will ultimately come back, in some form or fashion, at one location or another.

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Very sad.  I saw a great band there led by Billy Higgins, with James Spaulding, Curtis Fuller, Don Sickler and John Ore (I forgot who was on piano).  It was actually comfortable to sit there, as opposed to the Blue Note.

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11 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

Sad to hear ... what I wonder about is the long-term effect of rising vacancies.  It sounds like landlords trying to ream renters but if the result is empty buildings, to what end? Maybe some of these clubs will ultimately come back, in some form or fashion, at one location or another.

According to the latest Smalls email, their landlord has offered a 50% cut in rent.

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1 minute ago, kh1958 said:

According to the latest Smalls email, their landlord has offered a 50% cut in rent.

Wonder what happened in this case then. It does make sense for landlords to take things into consideration but at the same time they are caught between their own obligations and, if residential buildings are in the portfolio, renters who may not have paid for months and months.

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This is sad news. I had some good evenings in there. Immediately coming to mind are Teddy Edwards with John Hicks Trio and Ahmad Jamal’s trio (fantastic shows).

Edited by sidewinder

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Just now, Dan Gould said:

Wonder what happened in this case then. It does make sense for landlords to take things into consideration but at the same time they are caught between their own obligations and, if residential buildings are in the portfolio, renters who may not have paid for months and months.

Spike Wilner has said that Smalls has received significant donations to date that have kept it going so far (Billy Joel made a large donation). It is partially supported by a tax-exempt foundation.

Jazz Standard appears to be operated strictly as a for profit business.

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Because reading the initial post was a strain on my old eyeballs:

Almost two decades ago, Union Square Hospitality Group set out on a pioneering journey to marry authentic pit barbecue with great jazz in New York City with the opening of Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard in NYC’s Flatiron neighborhood. It is with great sadness that USHG shares that Blue Smoke Flatiron and Jazz Standard will not be reopening on 27th Street.

While our physical doors may be shut, our passion to serve and entertain lives on and we are optimistic about the future and writing the next chapter of Jazz Standard. In the meantime, the club is hosting exclusive artist conversations and performances virtually.

Thank you to our team members, our guests, and the city of New York for embracing Jazz Standard and supporting us throughout the years.    

Edited by sonnymax

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11 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

Sad to hear ... what I wonder about is the long-term effect of rising vacancies.  It sounds like landlords trying to ream renters but if the result is empty buildings, to what end? Maybe some of these clubs will ultimately come back, in some form or fashion, at one location or another.

Exactly. It's terrible. Jazz Standard was one of a number of places I really enjoyed going in the "before time," food was good and the music and sound were often excellent. 

The loss of places like this, and the fact that NYC is still siding with landlords keeping properties empty as "investments" and tax breaks, shrinking availability of artists' spaces, etc., is one reason why I'm leaving the city in the near term.

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I am very upset. It was one of my favorite clubs. I've been a patron for 20 years. It's a damn shame.

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Terrible news.  I had hoped to go there to see a Bill Charlap solo performance during one of my trips to NYC, but it conflicted with another event (the Roy Hargrove memorial concert, iirc) and I wasn't able to make it.  I hope that some of the other venues can hang on long enough for mass vaccine distribution to put us on the road to "normal" again--the outlook for the next several months, however, remains grim in most aspects.  

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38 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

Wonder what happened in this case then. It does make sense for landlords to take things into consideration but at the same time they are caught between their own obligations and, if residential buildings are in the portfolio, renters who may not have paid for months and months.

A lot of these landlords are actually mega-conglomerates that own tons of properties under various holding/shell companies. We're not talking about the single guy that owns my building in Brooklyn and has a blues band jamming in the basement (at least before the pandemic). These companies' goal is to make tons of money, and they could continue to do so even if the Jazz Standard & Blue Smoke can't operate normally for a year or two.

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The greed rampant in NYC will bury itself.

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Presumably the rent is whatever the landlord can get. 

After the club closes, will someone else come along to fill the space at a higher price?

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SKM-Jazz-Standard.jpg

This is a photo of me pointing at the "JAZZ" sign outside Jazz Standard a few years ago.  My wife took the photo.  We were in NYC for my birthday.

Like many of you, I have nothing but positive memories of the place.  So it's a big bummer that they're closing.   

Hopefully, they'll be back before too long in a new location.  The pandemic won't last forever.

 

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1 hour ago, GA Russell said:

Presumably the rent is whatever the landlord can get. 

After the club closes, will someone else come along to fill the space at a higher price?

it's going to be hard to fill that space for a while. However, empty spaces get landlords tax breaks that occupied ones do not.

most property over there is owned by Dezer Properties, notoriously connected to the current president. Do the math.

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True. But when you paying rent the landlord might be trying to pay a mortgage...they may not be able to “give a break” if they’ve already “screwed the pooch”. 

Regardless this is very sad to hear

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1 hour ago, clifford_thornton said:

it's going to be hard to fill that space for a while. However, empty spaces get landlords tax breaks that occupied ones do not.

most property over there is owned by Dezer Properties, notoriously connected to the current president. Do the math.

The building is owned by the 116 ASSOCIATES LLC 

116 is the street number for the club.   

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1 hour ago, mjzee said:

Beautiful piece.

Yes.

As I wrote elsewhere, anyone who has ever worked at — or been a regular at — a special bar, restaurant or especially a jazz club made of the Right Stuff  will be moved by this. Bless the writer, Emily Olcott, and everyone in the jazz ecosystem.

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13 hours ago, Dmitry said:

The building is owned by the 116 ASSOCIATES LLC 

116 is the street number for the club.   

Probably a holding company of some sort. 

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Damn shame

my wife and I went to a few wonderful shows over the last 10-12 years and it was her favorite venue as it wasn’t like the little rooms I love so much.

most memorable shows for me were Kenny Wheeler’s big band (His last U.S. appearance) and Bobby Bradford’s band with Marty Ehrlich, David Murray, Mark Dresser & Andrew Cyrille.

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