In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Weekly jazz crawl in the Fan ‘can’t stay low key forever’

"We do some funk some blues some original music some bossa nova every Thursday night"

The Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont is a big hit every year, but what if you have jazz fever all year long?

Turns out … there’s a jazz crawl right in our back yard.

Jazz scene in Richmond

What’s better to go with a cold drink than good music – specifically jazz?

There’s been a jazz scene tucked away in the Fan for two years with an unofficial jazz crawl Thursdays at 7 p.m. on Broad and Meadow.

“It’s a group of people that always come on Thursday night. They go to Emilio’s, then go to Level and they end up here at the end of the night to catch our maybe next to last set or last set,” said Tommy Daughtrey and Charklie Kilpatrick of The Rhythmasters.

Walking from bar to bar, you get a chance to taste three different rhythms of jazz live.

“We do some funk some blues some original music some bossa nova every Thursday night,” said Fred Ostrow of the Quartet Band.

Jazz scene in Richmond's Fan

“We cover a large group of jazz, not just one particular form,”  said The Rhythmasters.

Jazz crawlers start at Emilio’s (who started jazz on that block 10-plus years ago) then an hour later, you can walk down to Level Asian Fusion and Savory Grain.

“It’s amazing it sounds gorgeous and it brings a cool crowd different clientele than we used to see and it bring all sorts of new people,” said the owner of Savory Grain, Jami Bohdan.

And the customers reactions are all similar:

“I love it, I like it, I think it’s awesome.”

“Great fantastic time.”

“We’re just in awe of these musicians, they don’t practice together they just play.”

“Taking you back to the jazz age of the roaring ‘20s.”

“Jazz is an art of the moment its truly an event … To buy a record is great, but its not the same,” said Roger Carroll of The Stable Geniuses. “Music is meant to be live.”

It’s a hidden gem waiting to burst onto the scene.

“We’re trying to get Richmond to grow and we’re trying to grow with it,” said Ostrow.

“It’s a little low-key in town, but it’s something special it can’t stay low-key forever,” said the bartender of Emilio’s, Robert Ashbyzehmer.

As for the bands, they’re just happy for the opportunity. 

“It kind of happened spontaneously … I think if you plan too much, it may not happen, but this happened very spontaneously,” said Ostrow.

“It’s extremely exhilarating. We’re going to create something different each night,” said The Rhythmasters.

This jazz crawl happens each and every Thursday all year long. 

RVA's Jazz Scene