The best news from the Culver City City Council meeting on Monday Jan. 10 is that the plan to bring the Jazz Bakery back has cleared another hurdle. The space at 9814 Washington Blvd. will be the new home of the world famous venue. Five ayes from the council members passed the redevelopment agency’s new design for the complex, and all the lights are green.
Ruth Price, the president and director of the of the unique non-profit organization exclaimed “I am really happy that you are considering having us back.” as she spoke at the podium, her voice as enthusiastic as an Ella Fitzgerald scat session. “In all our years in Culver City, we were open 7 days a week, offering performances that were totally unique. Lots of other places offer jazz as a part of a club scene, or serve dinner, but to have this as a theater presentation, were everyone is just focused on the music, that is what set us apart from all the other ventures that present jazz in a club format.I wanted to do it as theater, so the everyone was focused on the artist.”
The Jazz Bakery closed their location in the Helms Bakery complex in 2009, and has been looking for a new home ever since.
Price noted ” We’ve had so many people who started working with us when they were in school, and now they are “first-call” professional musicians in New York or Chicago. When we had those kids working as ushers or assistants, they were listening to some of the greatest musicians in the world.”
Ken Kaufman of Rush Street offered his support for the new project, saying “I can’t imagine a more brilliant fit to our downtown.”
Cary Anderson spoke to his foremost concern, parking. Just as there can be no development with a discussion of parking, nothing can be planned downtown without Anderson adding in the concern that it will exacerbate parking problems.
The model of the development, done by Gruen Associates, showed a saxophone shaped theater that would create a new ( and favorite old) venue for jazz on Washington Blvd.