All that jazz

Chase away the winter blues with smooth sounds at these Grand Rapids venues
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John Shae Trio, Photo by Dan Terpstra

It’s cold, it’s dark, there’s nothing to do, but wait…yes there is…jazz is being played all over Grand Rapids!

In the words of the incomparable Tom Waits, “I’ve wined, dined, sipped and supped in some of the most demonstrably demi-epitomable bistros in the [Grand Rapids] metropolitan region,” so, here are a few venues to kick back with a bottle of wine or old fashioned cocktail, and enjoy a delicious appetizer while you chase away the winter blues and take in some quality music (that’s not blaring so loud you have to wonder if your ears are bleeding).

Rockwell Republic
Located in the Historic Heartside District, enjoy casual dining amidst high ceilings and exposed brick. Enjoy half off appetizers and a bottle of wine (also 40% off, 4-11 p.m. Mondays which is jazz night). End your evening indulging in a craft cocktail while you take in the skilled jazz stylings of the John Shea Trio, typically every Monday.

Artemis at St. Cecilia’s
February 16, 2023 @ 7:30 pm
Established in 1883, and named after the patron saint of music, St Cecilia’s offers an opulent ambience and sponsors performances by world renowned musicians. If you’re a music lover, Arte- mis will not disappoint.

“A killer line-up of players, composers and per- formers who hail from all over the world…they all converge in this extremely cosmopolitan, sleek, rhythm-forward, modern sound.” NPR Music

GR Noir
Located in the heart of downtown, and featuring live jazz performances every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, GR Noir offers private label wine in partnership with Chateau Chantal – a winery and inn located in Traverse City, Michigan.

GR Noir is truly a wonderful place for quality wine, music and conversation.

Don’t miss the opportunity to check out one of the best jazz musicians I’ve ever heard play, Paul Lesinski. Proficient in many musical styles from classical to contemporary, Paul has performed and recorded with many world-renowned artists including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bobby Vinton, Wessel Anderson, Harry Connick Jr, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Les Demerle, Wycliffe Gordon and many others. He performs regularly around West Michigan with the Blue Water Kings, Hip Pocket, the GR symphony, Big Band Nouveau, Kevin Jones and the Tenth World, and vocalist Kathy Lamar.

Euro Bistro
Located at 28th Street SE, enjoy some classic French and European cuisine at the Euro Bistro. The authentic chef inspired specials sets Euro Bistro apart from any other restaurant in Grand Rap- ids. If you missed Paul Les- inski at GR Noir, you might catch him performing here on Thursdays from 6-9.

Noto’s
A recipient of the “Award of Excellence” form Wine Spectator since 2003 and “Best Awards for Excellence” since 2006, Noto’s Old World Italian is one of the top 13 Italian Restau- rants nationwide for Vino Superiore, a highly prestigious honor.

If you missed John Shea at Republic, be sure to catch him performing regularly at Notos.

Some additional places to relax with a cocktail while dulcet harmonious- ness soothes, surrounds and washes over you include Beacon Corner Bar, Creston Brewery, and The Old Goat.

So, don’t let the winter blues get you down, get out and take in some quality jazz and renowned food and drink, right here in Grand Rapids, instead.

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