Friday, June 06, 2014

Robbie's House of Jazz closing at end of June

After a run of nearly five years in suburban Webster Groves, Robbie's House of Jazz will close forever at the end of June.

The club's last public show on Thursday, June 26 will feature New Hampshire based singer Wendee Glick with pianist Dave Venn's band; the final Friday and Saturday of the month both are booked for private parties.

The space at 20 Allen Ave has been a jazz club for ten years now, operating under the management of Harold and Cookie Whitfield as Cookie's Jazz and More for five years before Robbie's GM Dorothy Edwards and her husband Robert Edwards took over in August 2009.

Now, with their five-year lease coming to an end, Dorothy Edwards told StLJN that she wants to continue presenting jazz, but plans to look for another space. "I like Webster. It's a very nice facility and everything," she said. However, as anyone who's been there can tell you, the Allen Ave location - off Lockwood Ave, the main drag of downtown Webster, on a corner at the end of a block hard by the railroad tracks - isn't what you'd call high-profile. "I just want to do something more visible," Edwards explained.

"So I'm going to be taking my time, looking and seeing what's out there," she said, "hopefully to be up and running by the fall," if all goes to plan. Edwards said she is concentrating her search on the central corridor, mentioning possibilities in several mid-county municipalities and the Central West End, but she also plans to view at least one potential space on Cherokee St. in south St. Louis as well.

She said any new version of Robbie's likely would continue the Tuesday night jam sessions, which have proved popular with local music students, and that she also wants to continue to feature up-and-coming touring musicians who otherwise might not find a place to play in St. Louis.

Until a new space is located, Edwards said she'll be booking duos on Saturday nights at the lounge at the Omni Majestic Hotel downtown, and possibly presenting events at other venues as well. The Robbie's website should be updated with all the final month's events within the next day or two, she said.

StLN will have more on this story as developments warrant...

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