HR-57, All That Jazz

The venerable DC jazz club HR-57, longtime stalwart of the 14th/U Street Corridor, recently relocated and has set up shop here in the Atlas District at 816 H Street NE.
How are the new digs, you ask? Sidle on up, hepcats – I checked out the joint this past weekend.
Aside from being a smaller, more intimate space, (the notable lack of exposed brick walls was disappointing) not a lot has changed. The nifty lighting scheme bathes the main showroom in shades of electric blue, and the walls are adorned with framed posters of famous musicians from jazz’s storied past.
This Saturday, the Saltman Knowles Quartet played a tireless set of straight-ahead jazz, pleasing the crowd with a bull fiddle, piano, drums, and the lungs of a very talented trumpet player.
HR-57 can be quite a cheap date. Admission ranges from $8-$15, they have a simple bar and a tasty-looking soul food buffet, replete with red beans and rice, chicken wings, and collard greens.
Best of all, they encourage patrons to bring their own booze for a very reasonable $3 corkage fee — indeed, a breath of fresh air from egregious $14 cocktails down the street at Church and State.
If there was anything to disappoint, it would be the cheap tile flooring and the uncomfortable seating. As a sit-down venue, the owner should really cough up some coin for some better chairs.
Aside from that, I plan on going here a lot and I recommend you do too.

Guest written by Joel Church.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. george a gibson says:

    I attend the jam sessions last Wednesday at HR-57. The music was great last and the ambiance was “better” than most jazz clubs throughout the US and Europe. Jazz clubs historically have been undecorated, uncomfortable, crowded venues with a total lack of ambiance (Blues Alley, Twins, Village Vanguard, Blue Note, etc.) If you are really listening to the music you will hardly notice the uncomfortable seats and tight spaces.

  2. Melissa says:

    Plus, HR-57 is a 501(c)(3) that educates the public about jazz music and the history of the culture. So, you get entertained an do you good deed for the day!

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