A new curator at downtown jazz club Cliff Bell’s is putting the spotlight on local musicians.
As a bassist himself, Noah Jackson knows the Detroit jazz scene well. As the new curator, artist-in-residence and creative director, he’s already brought homegrown talent like drummer Gayelynn McKinney, the Allen Dennard Trio and Wendell Harrison to the stage since the club reopened this spring.
“You don’t necessarily know what you’re missing until it’s gone. Once you remove that element of one’s creative life, you say, ‘oh wait, that’s a big part of your whole creative ecosystem.’” — Noah Jackson, on the return of live music
The return of live music has been refreshing for Jackson and the musicians who call Detroit home that are returning to their art deco stage downtown.
“You can’t just have people playing for the sake of playing. You need an audience that appreciates that and supports that, too,” says Jackson, who performs a residency on Wednesday nights at Cliff Bell’s in addition to booking the talent.
The venue has also refreshed their menu with the help of a new chef. Chef Aaron Solley arrives from Craft Work, a West Village staple that closed in early 2020. In an interview with The Detroit News, Solley described the new menu as “modern takes on classic supper club cuisine.”
Other shows in June include Detroit multi-instrumentalist Rafael Leafar and national touring guitarist Slim Gambill and the Alex Harding Organ Trio.
Reservations and tickets for shows at Cliff Bell’s are available at cliffbells.com.
Listen: Noah Jackson talks about how Cliff Bell’s is “upping the game.”