Thursday, January 6, 2011
Last night, January 5, 2011, I attended the grand reopening of the Bellingham art gallery The Blue Horse Gallery Cafe and Wine Bar as it debuted as the newest jazz club in town.
The Mike Allen Quartet featuring pianist phenom Miles Black, talented bassist and singer Adam Thomas and local celebrity drummer Julian McDonough.
Mike, a well-known jazz sax player from Vancouver, B.C., was recently hired as the jazz studies coordinator at Western Washington University. He brought along his quartet to not only help teach at the school but also to promote the program through demonstrating their combined talents out in the greater community.
Last night, they wowed the Bellingham community when they took the new stage at the Blue Horse. I love Mike's quartet for lots of reasons--they are all obviously masters at what they do. But most of all it is their obvious love for the music. They have so much fun when they play together and my life is lifted to a much better place when I listen to them.
The gallery is a great venue for music. It has a very open feel, yet it is intimate with warm colors, lots of wood and great acoustics. There was plenty of space in the main room for the 50 or so attendees to sit at tables and chairs yet the adjacent rooms allowed conversations and roaming through the gallery's ample art display while still easily hearing the music playing in the next room.
As I sat listening with friend Mark Fuller I leaned over and mentioned, "Who needs New York City when we have this to listen to?"
The cafe and wine bar plan to open with regular hours soon and music is planned as a regular event as well. You can see and hear Mike Allen and Julian McDonough every Wednesday night with guest musicians playing with them, Miles and Adam will join them every other week. They play from 7 to 9, though last night they played until 10. Be there!
at 7:16 PM