Photo by Shane Wynn
Exterior entrance of BLU Jazz+.
BLU Jazz+ brings a speak easy experience to the downtown music scene
Looking for an experience that is beyond the norm? Head down to BLU Jazz+. This jazz venue brings the idea of cool speak easy to Downtown Akron. “The acronym is BeLowU, and the idea is to create a cool "speak easy" that you need to go down/get down into a cool groovy place to get into that chill space of mind to really appreciate the genre of a true American art form,” says Tony Troppe.
Started by a group of jazz lovers — Tom Strauss, Mike Wyatt and Troppe — BLU Jazz+ opened in October of 2014. Bringing the succulent tones of jazz to the historic arts district of downtown, Troppe says that it’s a great location to be. “Positive energy of a great place attracts great people. They are winding up at BLU to not miss the downbeat.”
What was the vision for BLU Jazz+?
The goal was to create a mid-century stylish and great gathering spot that offered the guests a metropolitan and timeless quality and decor. Guests often don't know what city they are in or what time period they are in.
Tell us a little about your location?
The raw basement space was converted into a classic club with exceptional sound equipment and acoustic treatment. The flowing open plan is designed with excellent site lines and smart staging. The wonderful cast of artists and patrons leads to great fun and quality interaction amongst fans and performers.
Recording both video and audio in "real time" by our Sound Engineer (Joe Scott) also allows us to capture jazz history in the making and excites the performers and the audience alike.
Do you have a favorite performer? A favorite event?
BLU is becoming a hub for performers from around the world — we are actually realizing a self-proclaimed prophecy as jazz central. Joey DeFranceso, Theron Brown, Dan Wilson, Sammy Deleone, Cyrille Aimee — the list keeps growing and getting better weekly.
If you were a patron, why would you come back time and time again?
There is no place like BLU between New York and Chicago and beyond. The place is unique, very cool and the warm hospitality of the staff is gracious and efficient.
Why should people walk into the BLU Jazz+ when visiting downtown?
BLU is more than a color and their world will be changed for the better through an enriching art and culinary experience.