By Nathan Watson
Uptown Jazz Birmingham’s only jazz lounge, founded by four locals, Rod Conwell, Patrick Chatman I, Patrick Chatman II and Larry Forest, opened October 27 at 2250-B 9th Ave. North, Birmingham, AL 35203.
The four owners created Uptown Jazz to bring back the magic of the jazz joints that were popular in Birmingham in the 80s, 90s and 2000s—such as 27th Street Jazz, Grundy’s Music Room and Ona’s Music Room.
Uptown Jazz offers an upscale lounge experience, perfect for relaxing and enjoying live jazz music. Inside, you’ll find dozens of four-top tables surrounding the main stage, which is decked out in quality speakers, lights and any stage equipment a jazz band could need. In the rear, Uptown Jazz hosts a full bar with beer, wine and craft cocktails.
“The atmosphere has been very vibrant, and that’s just with people coming by just through word of mouth. On our first night open, the performer was doing his thing and people walking by through CityWalk just started vibing along and dancing to the music. It’s been very exciting,” said Conwell.
He added, “We want to extend an invitation to the whole Birmingham Metro Area to join us in listening to great music with good vibes. Jazz has been missing in Birmingham for nearly a decade, so it’s time to come enjoy everything you’ve been missing.”
Although Uptown Jazz will not serve food, the team is working on partnerships with several of the food trucks that operate in CityWalk BHAM’s food truck block.
The owners plan to have live jazz performances most weekend nights and will incorporate open mic nights, karaoke and spoken word performances throughout the week and the occasional Sunday.
Since Uptown Jazz opened, its hosted several locally-, regionally- and nationally-known artists including Cashmere Williams, Tony Tatum, Sophisticated and Poogie Bell. In addition to these heavy hitters, the owners want Uptown Jazz to be a place where local up-and-comers can get their start.
“From the start, we’ve wanted Uptown Jazz to be a place where people can hear the best of the best as well as showcase artists that haven’t had a stage to perform on. These artists are just as talented and have put in just as much time to hone their craft,” said Patrick Chatman II.
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday, 5PM to 12PM; Friday – Saturday, 5PM to 2AM; Sunday, 1PM to 9PM
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