British Columbia

Victoria society has plan to keep famous jazz club running but needs cash

The Jazz on View Society says it needs to raise $75,000 to operate Hermann's Jazz Club for the next 5 years.

The Jazz on View Society says it needs to raise $75,000 to operate Hermann's Jazz Club for next 5 years

Musicians perform at Hermann's Jazz Club in Victoria. The club's future has been uncertain for the past five years, but a society has a plan to keep it going. (CHEK News)

A community group in Victoria says it has a plan to keep the city's famous jazz club running, but cash is required to pull it off.

The future of Hermann's Jazz Club has been uncertain since its founder, Hermann Nieweler, died in 2015 at 79.

He established the club in 1986 on View Street and was known for this love of jazz, especially Dixieland, a good party and playing the washboard.

"Herman was a really big music supporter, he would often be there at my shows to watch," said Nick La Riviere , a musician. "He sat in on one with the washboard once for fun."

The late Hermann Nieweler, playing the washboard. (Newmann's Jazz Club/Facebook)

The club became an institution for performances — both Diana Krall and Michael Bublé performed there early in their careers.

'No replacement for it'

Jazz players and lovers say it would be tough to see the club fade away.

"If Hermann's were to disappear, there would be no replacement for it," said La Riviere.

Now the charitable group, Jazz on View Society, which was founded to try and save Hermann's says it can run the club for the next five years.

Hermann's Jazz Club in Victoria has been located on View Street since 1986. (CHEK News)

Its organizers say they have signed a deal to lease the club at 753 View St. and operate it, but they need to raise $75,000 before the society takes over the club on May 1.

Music and mentorship

"I've been born and raised in Hermann's. I've been in this club since I was nine," said Ashley Wey, a musician.

"There's so few all-ages venues in the world where young aspiring musicians can get the opportunity to play and have a mentorship program but also get exposed to really great shows."

The $75,000 is needed to make improvements at the club and for a commercial lease deposit.

The society hopes donations from fans and former performers will help it reach its goal.

With files from CHEK News

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