Venues

The Current Scene

Alto Vineyards
4210 N Duncan, Champaign
356-4784

American Legion Post 24
705 W Bloomington Rd, Champaign
356-3121

Canopy Club
708 S Goodwin, Urbana
367-3140

Channing-Murray Foundation/Red Herring
1209 W Oregon, Urbana
344-1176

Cowboy Monkey
6 Taylor St, Champaign
398-2688

The Highdive
51 E Main, Champaign
359-4444

Iron Post
120 S Race, Urbana
337-7678

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 S Goodwin, Urbana
333-6280

Malibu Bay Lounge
Rt 45, 1 mile north of I74, Urbana
328-7415

Mike & Molly's
105 N Market, Champaign
355-1236

Zorba's
627 E Green, Champaign
344-0710
Jeff Machota: At Zorba's, the people who work there—management, waiters, bartenders—actually enjoy and appreciate jazz, and I think that overflows into the audience. There are a lot of young people that go to Zorba's. They're talking, they're drinking, they're smoking, but they're also listening to the music. They may not go out and buy a jazz CD, but they're there because part of the experience is seeing the music. They know that on Thursday nights there's great live music and they can SEE it.

We Loved Jazz Here Once Upon a Time…

Amvets
The 600 block of Washington, Champaign
Lonnie Clark: The Amvets was right across from where Cecil lived. You could go down there on Sunday nights and they would bring in guys—Gene Ammons, Wes Montgomery, "Brother" Jack McDuff. And those guys would be kicking! It was some of the most beautiful music. But we couldn't get into those places because we were too young. So we could sit on the curb and listen. They knew we were out there listening. But that's all we could do, sit on the curb and listen to them.

The Blind Pig Co.
6 Taylor St, Champaign

Blue Monday Club
On Route 45
Dan Perrino: Monday nights was the night off for musicians in Chicago, and they were invited to come down [to Champaign-Urbana] to play. They'd make some money and they provided a good nucleus for jazz here on Monday nights. So the place was called the Blue Monday Club.

Bradley's
On Wright St just south of Green St, the second floor, a popular dance hall in town in the 1940s

Buddies
120 N First St, Champaign

Candy's
On North First St, owned by Candy Foster for a short time

Capitol Lounge
On Green and Sixth St, Champaign, where Murphy's is now
Dan Perrino: A good Saturday afternoon jazz spot on campus.

Caputo's

College Hall
On Fourth and Green, a major dance hall on campus in the 1940s

Douglass Center
On Washington, Champaign

House of Chin
On 6th St in campus town

Inner Circle
On north First Street, Champaign

Jazz Café
On north First Street, Champaign

Jazz Café
Downtown Urbana, now the site of the Iron Post

Mabel's
Thomas "Shab" Wirtel: In 1971, Mabel's was a heavy jazz house. I heard the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis band at Mabel's.

Nature's Table
On Goodwin, just across the street from Krannert Center, Urbana
Laurence Hobgood: I hadn't been in school very long when Nature's Table opened up. By the time The Table was really going, I was playing there five nights a week—I could set up a cot down there!—with all different groups: one night with Guido Sinclair, another night with Bill Overton… The Table, that's a whole separate force in what happened in Champaign-Urbana. If the Table hadn't happened, the scene would have died a lot sooner than it did.
Jeff Machota: One of the things Nature's Table let musicians do was play what they wanted, experiment. And Terry and Shelly facilitated that. They let that happen.

Pirtle's
Tony Zamora: When we went to Pirtle's, people would be sitting there waiting on us. And one of the nicest things that would happen is Jack McDuff would come down there with his drummer who was famous—Joe Duce. I've got pictures of them too. And he would play and that would just be enjoyable.

Prenz
On Goodwin just south of Oregon, Urbana; it became Treno's

Rafael's
At the corner of Neil and Main Street in downtown Champaign; Soltec is there now

The Social Club
On First Street, where the Police Station is now located, Champaign

The Tavern
In the basement of the Illini Union; this was the site of the Jazz-U-Like-It events in the 1960s.
Dan Perrino: It was a kind of woody place, nice woodwork. They didn't serve beer or anything. But a lot of good musicians at the U of I cut their teeth on jazz right there."

Thunderbird Court
On Goodwin next to Timpone's, Urbana

Tilden Hotel

Treno's
On Goodwin just south of Oregon, Urbana
Tony Zamora: Every band has a following. No matter where you go, if the music's good, they're going to be there. I really liked Treno's. There was an ambiance about that place. Treno's was a very open, diverse place where a lot of people, young kids and all, hung out. I've got pictures with people sitting in there, including my son who was very young at the time, Don Smith, and Dee Dee Bridgewater and her close friend Gerry Tally, all of them. They're sitting there, some of them are knitting, doing little things, enjoying the music.

Two Main
2 Main, Champaign

Wilson's

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