One of the coolest, more unique musical experiences to be had in Cincinnati is at the concerts presented by The Loft Society, an on-the-down-low, speakeasy-like venue housed in the top-floor loft of an apartment building on Calhoun Street in University Heights (next to Mayra’s restaurant). Programmed and hosted by Al Williams, the Loft has been featuring artists on the more exploratory side of Jazz (with occasional guests from other genres) for the past two decades. The atmosphere is relaxed and communal and set up as a great listening experience first and foremost (obnoxious chatter during performances is strongly frowned upon). If you’ve yet to visit, Saturday’s “A Tribute to MLK” concert is a great place to start.
Headlining Saturday’s 8 p.m. Jazz-meets-Hip Hop show is Starlicker, led by Chicago Underground Duo ‘s Rob Mazurek and featuring Tortoise co-founder John Herndon and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz. The show also features veteran local improv Be Bop crew The Last Boppers, progressive local Jazz trio RX-2, Virginia MC/Spoken Word poet Rasul the Nobody and Columbus poet/musician Jugh Jefner.
The Loft provides snacks and non-alcoholic beverages (you can bring your own alcoholic ones). And the ambiance is way laid back, so don’t get hammered before you show up or anything silly like that. The cover charge isn’t being advertised (not uncommon for the Loft shows, for some reason), but children accompanied by adults get in free. (Tickets are usually in the $15-$20 range, but don’t quote me on that …)
For further info, call Al at 513-559-9220 or visit the venue’s blog page here.
Here’s a recent clip of Starlicker performing: in the Canary Islands: