Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jazz in Orlando

There is no jazz in Orlando, or if there is, I can't find it. The city has a House of Blues, and Disney's Pleasure Island has some oldies and disco and DJ clubs, but no jazz. My hopes were lifted briefly by something called "CityJazz" at Universal Studios, but the description reads "Jam to high energy funk, R&B, soul, rock and more at Orlando's premiere nightclub. Listen to live music and see rare instruments and personal belongings of jazz legends." So...you can't hear the music, but you can see the artifacts?

CityJazz image from Orlando Florida Guide Web site.

P.S. CityJazz is not mentioned on the current Universal CityWalk Web page, so it's probably gone, as if anyone cares. Here's an old (2005?) description from the Orlando Florida Guide (typos are theirs):

The only true form of American Music, Jazz, is celebrated at CityJazz at Universal Studiso CityWalk. Home to the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame, the venue was designed with the assistance of The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The sound system and acoustics are designed for crystal clear music reproduction, and the cuisine is equally superior. Specialties include caviar, sushi and escargot. Guest can also choose for a collection of over sixty vintage wines, or choose a drink from the rolling martini cart.

Whatever happened to the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame? To CityJazz? I'm curious. I'll contact DownBeat magazine and ask, then post any response.

P.P.S. The Other Orlando Web site has plenty to say about CityJazz. Snippets: "Jazz club without jazz...Combines the intimate ambiance of true jazz club with the great sightlines of a conventional theater...an aura of ultra-cool sophistication...easily the handsomest performance space in all of CityWalk....has also been designed to serve as a state-of-the-art recording facility, just in case a big-name act is looking to do a live album. The great irony is that CityJazz...offers no jazz.... The only way to hear jazz in this club is to book it for a private event. Then they'll dig up a jazz combo."

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