Los Angeles Hot Club celebrates decade of jazz jams at this Culver City bar – Daily News
Dressed in costumes, the five members of the Los Angeles Hot Club took to a small stage inside Culver City’s Cinema Bar on a recent Monday night, as they have done every week for the past 10 years, except for a few months during the pandemic.
There is just enough room for the drummer, standing double bass player and two guitarists seated on chairs in the group to crowd onto the platform. The accordionist is standing right next to them on the dance floor.
The bar with a capacity of 50 people only has a handful of people inside, but that doesn’t bother the group, which is made up of working session musicians.
See, the Los Angeles Hot Club isn’t trying to rack up millions of views on TikTok, they just want to have a good time playing an old-fashioned form of European-born hybrid jazz.
“It’s music for people who just want to party. This music has the energy of rock and roll but it has the intellectual properties of something higher, and it’s a hell of a good time, ”said Jim Doyle, the Los Angeles-born drummer and singer.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the group’s ten-year residency at the Westside Institution, the group will feature guest musicians on stage every Monday night in December, but they are not naming the names of people who may show up.
“We’ll have people sitting with us every night, we’ll try to make it special,” Doyle said.
Along with Doyle, the group includes co-founder Carl Byron on accordion and vocals as well as Paul Eckman on double bass, Josh Workman on guitar and Jake Bluenote on guitar and vocals.
When Roderico Castillo heard the Los Angeles Hot Club play 10 years ago, he knew he wanted them as a permanent fixture in his venue.
Castillo is the owner of the Westside Institution, which opened in 1947, for almost 30 years, and loved the energy and musical appeal of the group.
“People love their atmosphere and the music. The ages of their fans vary from youngest to oldest, in the middle everyone seems to really like it, ”said Castillo, owner of the bar for almost 30 years.
Inspired by Django
The group was formed in September 2011 out of a shared love for the music of guitarist Django Reinhardt, who is considered the founder of the group’s jazz style, born in Paris in the 1930s.
“It’s organic, acoustic music that takes you to the Paris of the 20s and 30s. It’s just a party,” Doyle said.
The musicians all knew each other because they worked in studios in the city and they decided to have a few dinners and play to the sound of music, which is a fusion of old jazz, swing and music from Europe. the East played acoustically with mostly stringed instruments. It is lively and joyful music intended to make people dance.
“At first it was kind of a club dinner, then it was like ‘Hey, we’ve got a set full of music, so let’s take it to a club’, then one set turned into another set. , then another set, “Doyle mentioned.
They eventually named themselves after Reinhardt’s Hot Club de France Quintet and soon began playing live shows, with the first Cinema Bar show taking place just a month after the group formed.
Doyle knew the place well because he had played several concerts there with other bands.
Then, in December 2011, they started performing regularly at the Cinema Bar every Monday night after Doyle asked Castillo if they could have the scene as no other bands were performing that night.
Over the past decade, the group has performed in Los Angeles and beyond, including at the Brookdale Ballroom and Redwood Bar in Clifton, the Laguna Arts Festival, and the Django Vegas festival.
The Hot Club also served as a house group in 2017 and 2018 for the Artists for Peace and Justice benefit shows, hosted by Jackson Browne. It was there that they supported artists like Jeff Bridges, Rufus Wainwright and Browne.
Browne sometimes sat with the band at the Cinema Bar, where the musicians feel most comfortable.
The right fit
“Our audience has really grown, and the place itself, the place has the character for this kind of music. It’s intimate ; you feel like you’re part of the music because there’s not a lot of distance between the performer and the audience member, ”said Byron.
The group drew regulars looking for a good time on a Monday night, including Hollywood resident Dianna Cohen, 56, who has visited the group weekly for the past five years.
“I love this style of music and they are all really good musicians and they take it to another level. The music has a lot of energy and usually I bring my dad, who is 91, and he dances all the time, ”Cohen said during a break from the band’s set, where they performed classic jazz songs. sung in French and Russian as well as some original arias.
As the band performed in front of a crowd of around 30, they also made new fans, including Akela Spears, 21, who danced alone near the back wall of the bar while the band performed. . It was the first time she had seen the Los Angeles Hot Club after discovering them online.
“The musicality is incredible. It’s my favorite music to dance to and I absolutely loved them, ”she said.
The Los Angeles Hot Club
When: from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. every Monday
Where: Cinema Bar, 3967 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City
No cost. The bar is open to customers 21 and over only