Thursday, August 06, 2009

Robbie's House of Jazz to open
Friday, August 14 with Hamiet Bluiett

The corner storefront at 20 Allen Ave. in Webster Groves once known as Cookie's Jazz and More is getting a second life as a jazz club starting next weekend.

Robbie's House of Jazz, operated by Dorothy and Robert Edwards, will have a "soft opening" this weekend for friends, family and neighboring businesses, and will open to the public on Friday, August 14 and Saturday, August 15 with performances by baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett (pictured). Dorothy Edwards says the club also will have a grand opening celebration sometime after Labor Day.

Robert Edwards, a trombonist who's now retired from a career as band director at Normandy High School, will book the music for the club, while his spouse serves as owner/manager. Edwards' ensemble will provide music for the soft opening, and once things are up and running, plans are to feature musicians such as saxophonist Ron Carter, trumpeter Melton Mustafa, singers Denise Thimes, Larry Hamilton and Mae Wheeler, and pianist Adaron "Pops" Jackson.

Dorothy Edwards says while they've redecorated with new paint, drapes and pictures, they've
kept the space in the same basic configuration as when it was Cookie's, which closed in December 2008. As was the case with Cookie's, the club's liquor license is for beer and wine only, augmented by a menu including coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks and appetizers. Ms. Edwards says that in addition to featuring jazz on Fridays and Saturdays, they plan to book occasional shows during the week and also to make the space available for business and community meetings and fundraisers.

Hamiet Bluiett will perform starting at 8:15 p.m. on Friday, August 14 and Saturday, August 15. Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 314-968-5556. Robbie's House of Jazz - which is named after Dorothy Edwards' jazz-loving mother, and not, as some might guess, a nickname for her husband - has a Web site in the works, but not yet online; when it goes up, we'll have the link for you right here.

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