The Kuumbwa Jazz Center is the kind of space artists dream about playing. It’s classy and intimate, with top-notch sound and lighting. But if your band can’t draw 200 people at $25 a ticket, chances are pretty slim Kuumbwa has booked you. This is changing, however, with a new monthly series called “Club Kuumbwa” which aims to specifically bring in smaller local and indie bands.
“I just want to make it available to a lot of the bands that haven’t had that opportunity, and to be able to present their music in a form that’s different than the usual bar gig. We’re going to be able to give bands the tools that they need to present their music the way that they want to present it,” says Bennett Jackson, who is the social media coordinator at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, and is booking the Club Kuumbwa monthly series.
The first band scheduled to play Club Kuumbwa will be the LA-based folk/alternative country trio the Dahls on Friday February 8th. Other shows already booked include jazz group Nikki Mokover Band (featuring Tobin Chodos) on March 29, a double bill of chamber-pop artists including local Kendra McKinley and East Bay’s Foxtails Brigade on April 20, and local retro-soul group the Inciters, who take the stage on June 1.
As these dates make clear, the monthly shows won’t be on any one set date. It’ll all depend on which date in the month fits best with the club’s and the artists’ schedules. Artists playing the Club Kuumbwa series will get the whole evening to themselves, or if they choose, they can bring one other band and split the set times.
Unlike the standard Kuumbwa shows, the Club Kuumbwa shows will have a majority of the seating removed in order for it to have a more casual atmosphere, as well as having cheaper tickets and plenty of drink specials. The Dahls show, for instance, will be only $5, and will offer $2 Budweiser Long Necks all night long.
“They might have a certain perception of what kind of talent we usually have on stage, and how much it costs to attend the shows. This is definitely a way for us to give younger people a different perspective of what we do, and that they can just come in and enjoy music here and it’s going to be their peers on stage, and they won’t have to stress about money. We’re always looking to expand our audience and expand out awareness of Kuumbwa. It’s another way for us to be able to do that,” Jackson says.
Contact Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in playing Club Kuumbwa.
The Dahls, Feb. 8