Long Beach: The New Garden of Eden?

Text by The Jazz Gypsy

Los Angeles� very popular local smooth jazz radio station, 94.7 the Wave, has moved their weekly Wednesday night jazz series previously held at the Garden of Eden in Hollywood to Thursday nights at the Vault 350 in Long Beach, CA. The three level venue is their temporary home until renovations are complete on their new location, the Backstage Jazz and Blues Supper Club, next door at 330 Pine.

The Vault 350 and the Backstage Jazz and Blues Supper Club are located in the popular, and bustling downtown Pine Street district, filled with quaint shops, side walk cafes and businesses. It is conveniently located a few miles from the 710 Long Beach freeway and is just a short distance from the Long Beach Pier and restaurant row on Shoreline Drive. The open floor plan on the first floor allows for a variety of seating and dance floor configurations. The large, elevated stage provides perfect viewing from any seat on the main floor or mezzanine.

The lineup of artists and schedule has included Michael Lington, Stanley Jordan, A Tribute to Luther Vandross, and Earl Klugh. Upcoming scheduled performers include George Duke, 12/14; The Yellowjackets, 1/1/07; Jeffrey Osborne, 1/13; Gerald Albright, 1/18; Stanley Clarke, 2/8; Ramsey Lewis, 3/8; Chick Corea and Gary Burton, 3/22; Jeff Lorber, 4/9; and Keiko Matsui, 4/26. The Thursday night jazz series� shows typically begin at 8:00 p.m. and have one show and two sets, with the doors opening at 6:00 p.m.

The Vault 350 also hosts live music (hip hop, R&B, rock, etc.) on other nights and some artists appearing in the Waves� Thursday night jazz series are booked for multiple dates besides Thursday night. Admission fees, cocktails, drinks and menu items are moderately priced and tickets can be purchased in advance on the Wave�s (www.947wave) or the Vault�s (www.vault350.com) websites. Some shows offer general admission, dinner and VIP table seating in the mezzanine and the VIP lounge. DJ Jonathan Phillips is also on hand every Thursday night, spinning the best in smooth jazz, R&B, and oldies between and after the last set. Valet parking is available as well as ample garage parking next door.

The Backstage Jazz and Blues Supper Club is being designed as an upscale venue for those with discriminating taste. Combine that with the impressive line-up of artists and Long Beach may very well become the new Garden of Eden.