BLU Jazz+ : Akron’s Jazz Club
Blu Jazz+ in Akron is swanky, yet low-key and has such a wonderful underground feel that you can’t help but feel as though you’re in an exclusive spot, not known yet to the public.
But luckily, it’s not that exclusive, and it’s not that hard to find. This new-to-Akron, and unique to our area, jazz venue is right off of Maiden Lane in downtown Akron. It’s situated in a basement location, but finished in upscale fashion with soft, blue light and the stone walls are lined with art and funky light fixtures hang from the ceiling.
E and I planned to try out Blu on a Saturday night during the Akron Art Walk. PERFECT. Not only was the date nearly effortless – hallelujah Akron – we were able to buy our tickets online and just pull them up on our phones. (During a previous art walk a friend and I tried to just walk up and buy tickets before a show and they were sold out – so I do recommend the online buy.)
Drinks are fab. Their cocktail list is full of fun, modern[ish] takes on old-fashion cocktails; cocktails created specifically for the atmosphere and area (like Maiden Lane and Blu Line). The beer list is pretty respectable, with a fair mix of craft beers, familiar domestics and even an exclusive brew for Blu. The wines also receive a nod, including the sparkling wines.
The music is captivating. And never have I been one to follow jazz. But I immediately wanted to listen to more.
Jazz has a lot going on all at once; seemingly to the point of multiple performances, which somehow, smoothly mesh together. That’s why the hour and a half performance breezes by. Your focus darts from musician to musician, then back to the whole group. It’s fun.
There is plenty of time to chat before and after the show, but socializing during the performance is dependent on your seating choice (which in general admission is first come, first serve).
Intimate small tables and chairs surround the stage, so you can obviously figure this is the loudest area. In addition to those handful of tables, the other seating progressively disperses out through the entirety of the space.
The bar is cool, and has a very chill vibe, with low blue lights everywhere. With limited seating, it seemed like the hot spot to sit and filled up pretty quickly. There is also another “communal style” bar facing the stage – which seemed to be pretty ideal seats.
Groups are easily accommodated by larger tables and pushing together smaller tables.
If you’re not from the area, an easy, weekend date night is offered: just buy the Dinner & Show Package which includes dinner at 3 Point, which is located above BLU. The dinner prices are $30/person in addition to the cost of the show. You’ll get an entree from their selected menu, soup or salad, and an appetizer. Like I said, it’s easy, buuuut otherwise I totally suggest Nuevo Mod Mex, Bricco, Luigi’s or Crave for reliably great food every time. Nuevo and Crave are both within walking distance of the venue.
Tickets average about $15, give or take a little. But for those hesitant to invest in something new, free admission is offered on Solo Piano Wednesday from 7PM-11PM, weekly.
Find the schedule and buy tickets here on their website.