Live jazz at HR-57

The City Paper is reporting that HR-57 will close its 14th Street location on Saturday. Sigh. Make sure to stop in one last time to say goodbye. There is no firm opening date for their new location at H Street NE, but the owner says it should be around mid-January 2011. They will be missed. Just one more reason to visit H street more regularly.

HR-57, courtesy of Somewhat Frank (Flickr)

Well, this is a bummer. The City Paper broke the news this weekend that HR-57, the great live jazz space, is moving to H Street NE in January. HR-57 had been at their location on 14th and Q for 17 years, a pretty big cultural icon of the neighborhood in my mind. The reason they’re leaving? It’s cheaper on H Street.

The slew of neighborhood pioneers and icons that have closed in the last year have really bummed me out. I understand it’s a natural progression of the neighborhood: once a neighborhood gets popular the rents get too high. But I really bemoan the loss of good, independent, creative places that have left the neighborhood.

Courtesy of dctourism (Flickr)

Courtesy of dctourism (Flickr)

Duke Ellington’s Jazz Festival runs through the 15th, and with the plethora of events associated with it comes Jazz in the hoods – there are a plethora of options in the U street area. From Marvin to Vinoteca to Bohemian Caverns to Sala Thai, there are free (mostly as far as I can tell – the only place it looks like you have to pay is Bohemian Caverns) jazz performances happening through next week.

On top of performances, there are some jazz happy hours and jazz brunches. Options for jazz brunch in the ‘hood include Marvin and Utopia.

And, the big jazz on the national mall event is happening this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. So let’s celebrate the Duke and U street’s rich history of jazz this week.

Live jazz at HR-57

Live jazz at HR-57

I think I’m pretty lucky to live around the corner from where Duke Ellington was born. I love that the history of jazz in the U street area, when it was once known as Black Broadway, means that Thai restaurants and Caribbean restaurants have a jazz night just because they’re on U street. Of course, there are also jazz clubs Twins Jazz and Bohemian Caverns. Then there’s HR-57, my favorite out of all of them.

HR-57 is named after the House Resolution passed over 20 years ago designating jazz as “a rare and valuable national American treasure.” HR-57 was founded 15 years ago to preserve our rare and valuable national treasure and operates as a nonprofit.

There are world renowned jazz musicians who come to play and local jazz musicians. There’s live music Wednesday through Saturday. The cover is $8 for a week night and $12 for a weekend. Corkage fee is $3 a person, and while you can buy glasses of wine or a bottle of beer there, most bring their own. They’ll open your bottle and give you some plastic glasses if you haven’t brought your own.

Heading to HR-57 is a favorite activity for a lowkey night where you don’t feel like a crazy night out but don’t feel like a quiet night in either. While it’s not conducive for conversation, it is a great venue for live jazz.

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