Lots of news from the House of Blues and Jazz in Shanghai: The latest band featured there wraps up their final few weeks at this revered and relatively long-lived jazz venue; also the club gets ready to move to its new digs over at the bund.
Theo Croker and band
The current band at the House of Blues and Jazz has been there already for many weeks, and they’re doing great. It’s a dynamic group of young up-and-coming American musicians, led by trumpeter Theo Croker. He and some of his bandmates happen to have graduated from my own alma mater, Oberlin, so we’re especially happy that they are playing in town. We had been down to hear them already a few weeks ago but forgot our camera that time, so we had been putting off posting about them until we could also put up pictures as well. We finally made it over there again last Sunday, so here they are! Too bad the lighting in there is all red, so it makes for some pretty bad pictures (of course it has nothing to do with the quality of my wimpy camera). Unfortunately, we’re reporting this rather late in the game. These fine musicians will only be in town a couple more weeks, as their contract at the House of Blues and Jazz ends on December 8. So the time is ripe, get down there and check them out!
The group features Theo on trumpet, Charles Foldesh on drums, Heidi Krenn on vocals, Tobin Chodos on piano, and Rob Adkins on bass. They are playing a lot of really creative original music written by Theo and the other band members, as well as some classic standards interpreted by Heidi in her masterful stylish way. All of them are top-notch players, amazingly skilled for how young they all are (most are in their early 20s). As has been the tradition for years at the House, they host a sunday night jam session as well, which sees some other fun people show up to make music with the band together, like drummer/pilot Varrin, who we’ve known for quite a while already but only had the opportunity to actually play together with at said jam session last time we were there.
We’re hoping to have some of these guys stay in town after their contracts finish, as the scene here is always in need of some young talent to keep it moving forward.
House of Blues and Jazz prepares to move to the bund
Another reason to go down and check this band out is to enjoy the current building that houses the House of Blues and Jazz for the final few weeks it is located there. Yes, that’s right–the House is moving to the Bund. Well, near the Bund at least. They will be moving to Fuzhou Lu a couple blocks down from the bund. The new space promises a better sound system thankfully, as that is one thing that has held the sound quality back at that club for a long time. Also, according to club owner Lin Dongfu, the new space will be larger than the one on Maoming and will be decorated in a similar wood-panel and antiques style. They will also be open for restaurant service most of the day, instead of just being a nightclub.
The House of Blues and Jazz
158 South Maoming Rd 茂名南路158弄
Tel: 021 6437 5280