If you’re a jazz lover there’s one place in Vancouver that you shouldn’t miss, and that’s The Cellar, Restaurant and Jazz Club, West Broadway at Alma Street. This is where you’ll hear the best of local jazz musicians as well as many major names on the international jazz scene.
Since he bought The Cellar in 2000, owner Cory Weeds has made it into the top jazz venue in Vancouver and also one of the top jazz venues in the world, promoting local jazz talent as well as introducing visiting artists.
Except for Monday nights, when the Cellar is closed but available for private functions, there is music every night with an impressive lineup of everyone from the rising young local musicians to special guest appearances from those jazz artists who are well known. For example, May 1 and 2, from Montreal Gale/Rodrigues Quartet (tickets $10), May 7 &8 The King of Canadian jazz guitar, Oliver Gannon Quartet (tickets $12). The owner’s pick for the month is guitarist Corey Christiansen on May 21 and 22 (tickets #12). And the Cellar and Hard Rubber New Music Society presents Cross Border Jazz on May 28 and 29 with David Schnitter on tenor saxophone (tickets $15)
The Cellar, although sometime crowded, has a quiet, relaxing atmosphere, with candle-lit tables and the walls decorated with paintings of well known jazz stars. It’s reminiscent of the legendary New York nightspot, The Village Vanguard, both sharing the same laid-back, cool vibes and excellent acoustics. Just like at the Vanguard, guests are requested to refrain from disruptive talking while the musicians play.
While listening to the music you can enjoy a choice of beer, wine, liquors or special coffees or dine from the menu which includes Tapas from $9; grilled lamb on skewers $15; soup and salad from $10 and desserts , $9. I enjoyed the chorizo, pineapple, and feta pizza along with a bottle of Strongbow apple cider. Parties of 6 or more may be charged a 15% gratuity. (see the full menu on-line here)
Jazz set times at The Cellar are 8.30 and 10.00 Tuesday to Saturday and Sundays 7.30 and 9 pm. You can find their monthly program on-line here On Tuesdays there is no cover; Wednesday and Thursday, $10; weekends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday $10 to $15.
The Cellar Restaurant and Jazz Club (map)
3611 W. Broadway (at Alma)
How to get there by public transit: Take Buses #9, 17 or 99 express to Alma. Or phone translink Parking is available on Broadway or nearby side streets.
PHOTOS courtesy of Cory Weeds.
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