“Supper Clubs” are venues that strive to optimize both the music experience and the dining experience. They’re much like “Performance Halls,” but instead of auditorium-style, tiered seating, most people are seated at dining tables. Yes, the seating arrangement is that of a full-service restaurant, but make no mistake – if you come to a “Supper Club,” you’re coming for the music. Great food and beverages and a comfortable dining experience are just a bonus.
Founded in 1965, Blues Alley is the nation’s oldest continuing jazz supper club, having showcased internationally renowned concert hall artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Grover Washington Jr., Ramsey Lewis, Charlie Byrd, Maynard Ferguson and Eva Cassidy in a small intimate setting. Located in the heart of historic Georgetown in an 18th century red brick carriage house, Blues Alley offers its patrons a unique ambiance, reminiscent of the jazz clubs of the 1920’s and 30’s.
Open seven days a week, Blues Alley specializes in authentic Creole cuisine, steak and seafood dishes (Dinner served from 6:00 pm). Blues Alley has designed several discounted packages available to groups of twelve or more, and can accommodate up to one hundred and twenty five for dinner and show.
Gypsy Sally’s is the music venue for serious music lovers who don’t take themselves too seriously. The dream of its founders is to provide a comfortable, affordable and friendly space where adults of all ages may enjoy sharing great food, drink and music.
Located under the Whitehurst Freeway, Gypsy Sally’s second story windows look out on the Potomac River and the Key Bridge. It features local, regional and national Americana acts in two different settings – the informal cover charge-free “Vinyl Lounge” and the more formal Gypsy stage. The stage boasts of high ceilings and open sight lines, and guests can sit to eat dinner, sit at the bar, stand, or dance.
NOTE: Since K Street is located under the Whitehurst Freeway, the location can sometimes confuse GPS.
The Hamilton provides both a restaurant and a live music lounge. The restaurant is spacious and offers an ever-changing contemporary menu. The lounge weds elements of a top-flight restaurant with those of a start-of-the-art music venue. The lounge brings in both local and touring artists and places them on an elevated stage with a high-quality sound and lighting system. The audience views the show from shared dining tables and can order from the Hamilton’s full menu.
Before the Apollo, before the Regal, there was The Howard Theatre. At its opening in 1910 it was “the largest colored theatre in the world.” For most of the 20th century, The Howard Theatre captivated audiences with music, dance, drama and comedy. In its early days, speakers like Booker T. Washington shared the stage with musicals, road shows, vaudeville acts, theater productions and community programs. Later, Washington’s favorite son Duke Ellington inaugurated a new era of jazz big bands on The Howard’s stage.
The degradation of the neighborhood following the 1968 riots ultimately forced the theater to close. After several false starts in the late ’70s and early ’80s to reinvigorate The Howard, the curtains fell and the theatre was shuttered.
In 2012 the Howard enjoyed a glorious rebirth. The interior combines flexible main-floor arrangements – 650 to 700 seated or 900 to 1,000 standing – with balcony seating to support a wide variety of events. The new configuration, with its state-of-the-art acoustics, video and recording capabilities, allows The Howard to retain the intimate feel of its former 1,200-seat space, while appealing to both traditional and digital-age audiences.
IVY CITY SMOKEHOUSE
The Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse is Ivy City’s first neighborhood restaurant. Ivy City smokes its own seafood, and serves it with the freshest local and seasonal ingredients available. The large venue regulary features live music on an elevated stage. There is no cover charge for most music, but tickets are occasionally required for special events.
KC JAZZ CLUB – KENNEDY CENTER
The Kennedy Center is the busiest performing arts facility in the United States and includes opera, theater, dance, ballet, and music. The musical offerings vary widely and include orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music. It hosts approximately 2,000 performances each year and offers multiple venues – the Concert Hall, the Opera House, the Eisenhower Theater, the Family Theater, the Terrace Theater, the Theater Lab, the KC Jazz Club, and the Millennium Stage.
The KC Jazz Club lights up the Kennedy Center roof-level Terrace Gallery with performances by today’s hottest new talents and seasoned jazz veterans. The club’s trendy and comfortable cabaret setting features lamp-lit tables for four and drinks and light-menu fare available for purchase. No smoking. No minimum. Just up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists—the way jazz was meant to be.
For over twenty-three years, Twins Jazz Club and Twins Lounge have worked to conceptualize and develop a friendly environment wherein Jazz lovers can congregate in geniality and ambiance sharing their love and celebration of a common style of music called “Jazz.” Twins Jazz cultivates “authentic” straight-ahead traditional jazz while uniquely incorporating fine dining, featuring a combination of American, Ethiopian and Caribbean cuisine in a warm embracing atmosphere.
Twins Jazz strives to not only be a jazz venue, but a social and economic force in the local and regional community via the Twins Jazz Foundation. It not only features popular, staple jazz artists, but also offers opportunities for young, aspiring musical talents attending area schools. Music students are encouraged to participate in its weekly jam sessions, to learn their craft from more experienced musicians. It aims to bring greater appreciation and understanding of jazz from traditional to the contemporary, via festivals, forums and workshops.