Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jam Night at Chico's House of Jazz

As every Wednesday, tonight (Wednesday, March 16), is the "Wednesday Night Jazz Jam Session" at Chico's House of Jazz, 631 Lake Ave., Asbury Park. The host Jeff Levine, is joined by club owner Chico Rouse on drums, Tommy Labella on sax, and Jon Herington on guitar. Open to all talented jazz musicians. You can email Chico Rouse at or call 732-774-5299.

Opening last year, Chico's has filled an important void left when El Lobo Negro closed in 2006, offering a venue not just for jazz artists, but for local talent. El Lobo was an art gallery and frame shop that hosted live jazz by local artists on Friday nights. The atmosphere there was like family, with home-cooked food served up buffet style and lots of small-town conversation among folks that had known each other for years and sometimes all their lives. It was part jazz club, part church picnic, part living room for its warm, generous and gregarious owners, John Brown and Doris Spinks.

In those days El Lobo was the only storefront noisy and lit on a Friday night in Asbury Park's downtown and an instant camaraderie existed between everyone who ventured down there. The scene at Chico's is livelier, more consistent, with more people than El Lobo's little space could have possibly held. A more appropriate club for the area's renewed vitality. Chico's may never feel quite like home the way El Lobo did. But so it goes.

Musicians and music lovers, head over to Chico's. Have fun and help that place remain a permanent fixture in the downtown.

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