Here's some music for Milwaukee jazz fans' ears: DownBeat released its Jazz Venue Guide – a compilation of the year's top clubs from around the globe, whether they're new innovators, established legends or somewhere between – with two Milwaukee locales making the grade: The Jazz Estate and the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts.
For this year's edition, the longtime Chicago-based jazz and blues magazine named 195 clubs to its global guide – with the newly reopened East Side landmark and the diverse Riverwest staple among those honored, the only two venues selected from Wisconsin. In the guide, DownBeat spotlights The Jazz Estate for "hosting some of the best local and national jazz musicians for decades," then going on to highlight the "strong emphasis on community-building and the arts" at the Jazz Gallery.
The Jazz Estate – which remodeled and reopened early last November – celebrated the news over the weekend by posting the letter it received from DownBeat to Instagram.
"It's quite an honor," said Jazz Estate owner John Dye. "It speaks to what we turned The Jazz Estate into, but I think it definitely also speaks to the past. I think it really has a lot to do with the past and just the many, many years of The Jazz Estate being such a quality venue."
"When I first read that we were included, I went, 'What? How? We're kind of struggling,'" laughingly noted Mark Lawson, music coordinator for the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts. "And then I started reading about all of these other clubs, and I was actually really inspired."
"I think what they were trying to do is show that there's a lot of good traditional jazz clubs – and The Jazz Estate is certainly one of those – but there are probably just as many places that are really doing some different things," he added. "I think what they were trying to show is the healthy, diversification of different kinds of venues going on in the country."
To check out the upcoming shows headed to these two world-class local venues, visit their respective websites or Facebook pages. You really don't have an excuse not to now.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.