The Underground: Jazz Night

Autumn Kitabjian, Journalism Student

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Have you ever had nothing to do on a night off and wished there was something new and exciting for you to do? Do you like jazz music? Are you open to new and fun experiences, but do not have time to travel long distances? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may enjoy attending jazz night at The Underground.

The Underground is a small, lively venue at the heart of Lansdale. It has brightened up the town by showcasing original music, rising comedians, and even drag shows. A particularly welcoming event that occurs there is Jazz Night, a Wednesday night where jazz and improv lovers from throughout the local area come together to play.

Dave Kitabjian is a local musician and attender of jazz night who has hardly missed a night since he first went. “I had a couple of musician friends tell me about places in the area where people play improvisational jazz so I learned about how it works, what to prepare, and how to prepare”, he shares. His advice for newcomers to jazz night who are considering performing is to “prepare a couple songs, practice them well, select them from the standards book, and invite some friends”.

Jazz night is not only for experienced musicians, it is for adults and kids of all ages. Jazz music interests a wide variety of people, and we decided to explore students at Pennridge High School’s experiences with live music and opinions on jazz shows. Hallie Baier, a senior, expressed interest in attending a jazz show at The Underground once hearing about it, and states that “it sounds like a cool event”. She is intrigued by the smaller venue setting compared to shows that she’s attended at bigger venues such as the BB&T Pavillion and The Mann performing arts center in Philadelphia. Emily Hegen, also a senior, showed interest in going, however, shares that she does not know much about what the event consists of.

The evening starts off at 7:00 p.m. with the house band featuring several songs. The house band consists of a bassist, drummer, guitarist, and the bandleader who plays the vibraphone, saxophone, and flute. After the house band starts the night off with their songs, guests who bring an instrument and singers are invited to take turns coming over and performing a classic jazz song of their choice. The highly experienced band allows solo artists who come to perform feel welcomed because of their ability to improvise with any standard jazz song.

Whether you are an experienced musician looking for a creative outlet, a music lover looking for a way to branch out and experience a new kind of live show, or someone who knows nothing about jazz but likes to have fun, Jazz Night at The Underground can add a touch of diversity to your life.