British Columbia

Cory Weeds and Coastal Jazz launch new live jazz hub in Vancouver

After closing the Cellar Jazz Club over two years ago, musician Cory Weeds will now be booking jazz and blues acts at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar.

Former Cellar Jazz Club owner will be booking the music at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar

Cory Weeds, who ran the now defunct Cellar Jazz Club, will be booking jazz and blue acts for Frankie's Italian Kitchen & Bar. (Cory Weeds)

It's been two years since Vancouver's only dedicated jazz club closed down — but starting Thursday, October 8 the city is about to get a whole lot more live jazz.

Cory Weeds, whose Cellar Jazz Club closed in February 2014, will oversee the artistic direction of live jazz and blues music every Thursday to Sunday at Frankie's Italian Kitchen & Bar on Beatty Street.

"The world really is our oyster in terms of what we can do with this place," Weeds told Hot Air host Margaret Gallagher.

Frankie's Italian Kitchen & Bar on Beatty street will have live jazz and blues each week from Thursday to Sunday. (Coastal Jazz)

This new initiative is a joint venture with Coastal Jazz, an organization that Weeds has been active with since his decision to close the Cellar to focus more on his music.

Accessible location

Weeds, a Juno award-winning jazz producer and nominated saxophonist, says everyone involved hopes that the location will be a "game changer".

"We're accessing so many more people that live in the downtown core," he said, adding that the Kitsilano location of the Cellar was inconvenient for some people.

Weeds will kick off the restaurant's new music program with his jazz quintet, accompanied by New York City pianist David Hazeltine.

The restaurant already has a number of top jazz and blues acts lined up for the coming months, and plans to host touring national and international acts.

Downtown vibe

Weeds said the restaurant's proximity to both BC Place and Rogers Arena — and the potential for audiences spilling out of games and concerts — means that he won't be focusing strictly on jazz.

"It allows us to serve a greater portion of the music community in Vancouver," he said.

"One of the vibes I'm really hoping happens is the later night vibe, the student vibe, the musician vibe ... that's something I would like to see, and develop into more of a late night kind of hang."

The room at the restaurant has capacity for 100 people and its house piano is the Steinway B from the former Cellar Jazz Club.

Weeds said the music program may spread to more evenings in a week.

"There's a lot of opportunities there to grow and to really expand it."

To hear the full show with Cory Weeds listen to the audio labelled: Cory Weeds talks to Hot Air about launching a new jazz hub in Vancouver