Finally, let’s tackle two quite unique spaces in Mexico City. Each jazz club maintains its own character and style, of course, but the Jazzorca and Blue Nose cases go a little further. Let’s see.
Jazzorca has been operating for 26 years as an exclusive forum for free jazz (free music included). Germán Bringas, multi-instrumentalist with more than 30 (physical) records to his credit, talked to us.
Since 2017 we only open on Saturdays, and even then we achieve more than 50 concerts a year. Obviously, in March we had to close. For two or three years, almost every month, there has been a concert with improvisers who come from abroad, some more famous than others, and from everywhere, from England, France, Norway, the United States, Canada.
–Is this ungraspable line of free always kept?
-Of course. What has been very cool in these days of confinement is that these musicians are sending me digital productions of the concerts they have done here in Jazzorca, and they are publishing them on bandcamp. One was from guitarist Jeff Platz, we did a quartet last November; another was Jarrett Gilgore, saxophonist from Baltimore.
–Jazzorca will continue opening when the quarantine is lifted?
-Yeah right. I’m going to start doing the June programming with all the ones we had to cancel, like Remi Álvarez, Milo Tamez and a duo of girls from the National Music Club who play very good free jazz with drums and sax.
-Only on Saturdays?
–Yes, it is always so irregular … sometimes 10 people arrive, sometimes four, sometimes 30. You never know what will happen and then we are like this in ups and downs, and we prefer that people accumulate in a only day.
“Blue Nose begins with a group of friends organizing parties at the home of Diego Maroto (one of the greatest saxophonists in the history of these lands) to celebrate the birthday of Luri Molina or Diego himself, to meet after Christmas as a family; any pretext was good to summon and jazz with friends. Little by little more and more people were coming.
“There was no cover charge and the musicians did not charge anything –Maroto talks to us–, we all cooperated for food and drink; it was very funny. So, since a stage was set up and there were chairs and tables, the idea came up to continue doing these sessions, but now charging a slight cover to pay musicians, and for the place to generate its own structure, that money would reinvest and conditions will improve. This is how we started on February 22, 2018.
“The opening concert was with a very important band for me, very representative of a time, Black Horse Quartet, with whom I played for more than 10 years in a bar in the Condesa neighborhood, with Luri Molina (double bass), Gabriel Puentes ( drums), Pancho Lelo (guitar) and me (saxophones).
“This place was born from the desire to play in a relaxed club, where jazz was the main protagonist. A jazz venue for jazz players and music lovers. This is a private club behind closed doors, with a space limit, to be at ease. We do not pretend to be the new fashionable place, but a place to enjoy good music for a few hours.
“Now, given the shocking news that bars and nightclubs are officially going to open until September, obviously including jazz clubs, we wonder what fate has in store for musicians, because until September we will be able to work on what it represents one of our biggest sources of income, which is the entire circuit of jazz clubs and restaurants and places where this music is played.
“At Blue Nose we closed a little before they all officially closed. But thinking that it is a private club, a place that works behind closed doors, we have the idea to start doing concerts before the date determined by the government, most likely in early August. This, of course, with a limited space, keeping the concept of healthy distance east.
Also, soon we are going to start doing concerts without an audience, to broadcast them online and try to keep the place alive. Although, anyway, when this stops, we will return with everything. I think that far from people having forgotten the Blue Nose, or the other places where jazz is played, everyone is going to return with an insatiable hunger for music.
All the forums are ready, all on the door lintel. Waiting for the fog to lift.