The West Virginia Jazz Society (WVJS) has always wanted to open a nightclub of its own. They envisioned a place where the focus is on the music and each seat has clear sight lines to the stage in a comfortable, stylish environment with high quality food and drink.
On Friday, April 22, area jazz fans can experience the WVJS dream fulfilled when “a virtual jazz nightclub” presents its first show in a Clarksburg meeting hall-turned-jazz-haunt for the night.
Got Jazz! is set to open at 6pm in the Uptown Events Center, a former YWCA on Washington Avenue in Clarksburg’s business district.
The D.C. All Stars, a jazz quintet from Washington, DC, will be the featured entertainment. Got Jazz! will offer a “small plates tapas” menu designed by Bridgeport restaurateur, Scott Duarte of Mia Margherita’s.
The WVJS plan is to transform the first floor of the Uptown Events Center into a “traditional jazz nightclub” through lighting, drapery treatment, décor and table placement. A stage and stage lighting will also be installed to create an environment that’s “as close to the real thing” as possible.
“We believe the most important part of presenting live music and great dining in a comfortable environment is keeping the focus on quality,” said WVJS President, Eric Spelsberg. “We are working with professional partners to achieve some dramatic results for Got Jazz! when it opens.”
The music is sponsored by the Clarksburg Harrison Cultural Foundation’s Barbara Highland Fund, which supports high quality cultural presentations in Harrison County. Net proceeds from ticket sales will go towards funding a CHCF grant program for community nonprofits.
The D.C. All Stars will play from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, not counting encores. They will be led by Chuck Redd, internationally acclaimed vibraphonist and drummer, and Marshall Keys, top rated saxophone player in the Baltimore/Washington metro area. They will be joined by Tommy Cecil on bass, Robert Redd on piano, and Vince Lewis on guitar, each a popular East Coast session or “call” musician.
“Other guest artists are expected to join the festivities,” added Spelsberg. “We’re combining the Got Jazz! opening with a jazz academy for high schools students the day after the show, and that’s stirred up some interest around the regional jazz scene.”
The evening’s opening band will be an ensemble from West Virginia Wesleyan College, directed by Dr. James Moore and WVWC faculty and performing at 6:30pm until 7:15pm.
The Italian Small Plates menu will feature an appetizer course of asparagus and fancy root vegetables with crispy butternut squash with goat cheese filling; a first course of homemade tagliatelle pasta with spring vegetables, wild mushrooms, and rainbow Swiss chard; a second course of beef tenderloin; and a dessert course of vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb chai seed sauce, fresh strawberry and sponge micro cake. Beverages and breads are included. The evening is BYOB, and a “mixologist” will be on hand to provide hospitality.
Admission is $20 per person for the music only with dinner available for an additional $20. For more information or to reserve seats in Got Jazz! email to WVJazzSociety@aol.com, or phone 304.269.3683, or visit: WVJazzSociety.com.
Proceeds from Got Jazz! events benefit the Clarksburg Harrison Cultural Foundation CAPS grant program for community nonprofits.