Dave Bennett will bring his band to The Dirty Dog this week.
Before the lights are turned down and the music begins, the Dirty Dog Jazz Café is a beehive of activity. Unseen by those who are settling in at their tables in anticipation of an evening of jazz,food and drink, the restaurant’s back hallway is busy acting as an efficient conduit for all the good things that the guests will be experienced that night.
The amazing thing is that it exists at all. When the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe opened, this part of the Dog was not in the plan. But when this space next door to the club became available, it made possible the vision that the club’s proprietor, Gretchen Valade, had of creating a truly great jazz club. This additional space created enough room to add some of the things that she had envisioned, including comfortable rooms for the musicians, room for a sound engineer, a place for groups seeking privacy, and a special corridor filled with photos of artists who have played the Dirty Dog.
A TOUR OF THE HALLWAY
On the way from the green room to the stage is a narrow hallway that has just enough room for a musician carrying an instrument or a server with a tray.
A lot of the jazz club’s unseen magic happens along this corridor. All the good stuff, except for the customers, comes into the club through the back door and down this hallway. Generally the staff, musicians, food, wine and supplies show up in this hall.
Everyone entering has to get past work tables set up by the kitchen staff and pass by tempting food waiting to be prepared.
A left turn will take you into the kitchen which is a lot more crowded than those open concept kitchens seen on TV.
Fortunately the kitchen size doesn’t mean too much to this stalwart band of cooks as out of this kitchen comes their award winning cuisine.
THE GREEN ROOM
The door across from the kitchen will take you into the green room which is strictly reserved for the guest musicians. The green room is Gretchen’s tribute to her fellow musicians. it is prove of her deep respect for the artists who play the Dirty Dog. The green room could also be the difference between the Dirty dog and other good jazz clubs. It is one of the best places in town to eat.
THE WINE ROOM
Further down the hall you will find a room just for storage of excellent wines and other beverages.
Carl Williams has the key.
THE SOUND ROOM
All the jazz that you hear so clearly goes from the stage into a small room where it is balanced by the sound engineer and then is sent back to the room.
Jeff sets up the band and then is invisible unless there is a problem. This happened last week when Carmen Lundy brought her bass player and his stand up bass with her from LA. As he was warming up his bass fell apart.
This happened one hour before they were to start their first set. Jeff came to the rescue. He secured a bass , it was tested, played, and kept the musical bottom from falling out all of the weekend. He has a small room, but Jeff has a big role.
THE WALL OF FAME
Photos of artists who have graced the Dirty Dog are placed along the hallway just in view but out of reach of trays and stand up basses that pass through the corridor.
AND AT VERY END IS THE BOARD ROOM
The board room is open to private parties and groups, and of course it is loaded with art.
This hallway reveals some of what makes the Dirty Dog Jazz Café stand out as a special place to work and a place to play. There is art everywhere in keeping with the character of the place. The Dirty Dog is a good place to work,
and for the the musicians they have provided a place to pause and to be inspired.
There are a lot of good things that happen in this back hallway. Most of us have to be satisfied with the results that emerge into the jazz club. it is all part of a wonderful grand scheme.
COMING THIS WEEK TO THE DIRTY DOG
MAY 16 – MAY 20
Dave has so much talent that he probably could play anywhere in the world, playing any kind of music. Fortunately for his myriad of fans he will return to the Dirty Dog and show his appreciation for the support they have given him. Dave also has a lot of energy which maybe we can bottle and pass out to fans as they leave.
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