Located at the heart of Downtown Austin’s booming Warehouse District, Parker Jazz Club (117 W. Fourth St. #107b, Austin, Texas 78701) is one of the city’s premier live music venues. Since opening in 2018, the state-of-the-art listening room has hosted jazz legends including the Count Basie Orchestra, Joey DeFrancesco, Kenny Garrett, Curtis Stigers, Doug Lawrence, Jerry Weldon, Louis Hayes, Butch Miles, Nestor Torres, Tom Scott, Herlin Riley, Eric Reed, and many more. And you just never know who might sit in — Wynton Marsalis and Kamasi Washington have been known to play impromptu sets on the Parker stage. But the room is also revered for its inimitable Parker Jazz Club House Band, which draws a dedicated crowd every weekend. For a 360-degree virtual tour of the venue, please see here. For more info and additional programming, visit parkerjazzclub.com.
In addition to announcing a stellar lineup over the coming months, Parker Jazz Club is hosting an invite-only VIP media and music industry happy hour on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, from 6 - 8 p.m. Guests will get an in-depth look at the space while enjoying a special performance from the Parker Jazz Club House Band. Small bites and drinks will also be provided. Media may RSVP by emailing [email protected]
“I wanted something you would see if you went to New York and spent an evening at Dizzy’s Club, or
went to London and visited Ronnie Scott’s, or went to Paris — a truly timeless, world-class venue,” said Kris Kimura, Parker Jazz Club founder and owner. “But also, it couldn’t be too stuffy because this is Austin. People in Austin are cool. We wanted to kind of mix that high-end thing with this hip, distinctly Austin thing, and I feel like we’ve hit the mark.”
Parker Jazz Club has carefully crafted and fine tuned “all the small details” to elevate the signature intimacy and ambiance of the acclaimed basement lounge. With talented acts appearing Wednesday through Sunday each week (see schedule below), Parker Jazz Club also offers a series of Jazz Therapy shows every Tuesday night from 8 - 9:30 p.m., welcoming everyone for a night of live jazz music that’s good for the heart and soul. Tickets are $10. Additionally, all medical professionals and teachers/educators can attend the Tuesday night shows free of charge with a valid ID.
“Our Jazz Therapy series was initiated during the pandemic (once the club reopened to the public) as a thank you to those phenomenal frontline workers who were helping the community navigate COVID,” said Kimura. “This summer, we decided to include educators for similar reasons. What's more, this weekly show provides an easy and inexpensive access point to the club for guests, with a $10 cover. The ‘therapy’ aspect of this series plays on how simply listening to jazz music is actually quite healthy and helpful in lowering blood pressure and relieving stress. Jazz Therapy was conceived as a way for us to give back.”
While following all CDC and local guidelines, Parker Jazz Club has remained flexible to respond to health guidelines during the pandemic and will continue to practice the utmost in safety measures. Kimura has amplified his state-of-the-art livestreaming program over the past year to share content on the Parker website for each performance. It’s also an optimal opportunity to capture each live show with a well-produced video recording, another key feature of the listening room.
"Jazz is a living, breathing artform with these beautiful, ephemeral moments of improvisation that simply have to be experienced," said Kimura. "From the start, capturing and archiving the musical history being made at Parker was important to me, and integrating the best livestream production was as vital as the sound and lighting design in the club. We've recorded every single set played here. The pandemic really increased interest in our ongoing livestream, and we're really proud to broadcast live jazz to the world from our humble stage in Austin."
Named after the young son of award-winning jazz vocalist and multi-instrumentalist founder/owner Kimura, Parker Jazz Club began with a basement and a dream. With the support of investors who shared his vision, the Austin musician set out to build a world-class venue on par with renowned jazz clubs such as Birdland, Blue Note, and Yoshi’s. Parker Jazz Club was created to contribute to the appreciation, cultivation, and education of Austin, with Kimura’s assured “if you build it, they will come” approach to creating a dedicated space for live performance. An upscale 21 and older lounge by night, the venue can also be rented out for private events during the week.
“Indeed, immaculate sound design, an electric stage curtain, a hi-fi video streaming studio, a comfy greenroom, incredible house gear, and a large framed photo of Kimura's late local mentor Tony Campise all speak to a new business that doesn't feel as much like a concept as it does somebody's dream,” said the Austin Chronicle.
Others in the industry rave about Kimura’s passion for excellence. “I don’t think I’ve ever known a musician to be so hands-on in opening a club,” said Doug Lawrence, featured tenor saxophone soloist with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra.
What draws guests from far and wide is the club’s very own Parker Jazz Club House Band, led by Kimura. The band features Ryan Davis (piano), Ben Triesch (bass), Jeremy Bruch (drums), and Kimura (woodwinds/vocals), with veteran lighting and sound engineer Mac McDonnell. Kimura’s long-term ties to the local and national jazz community allows for a steady flow of notable acts. While always providing a neighborhood bar warmth and feel for their regular guests, Parker Jazz Club keeps the entertainment fresh and exciting.
“Cool, Hot, Classic, Timeless” — Parker Jazz Club is not only a music destination, it also features top-tier entertainment with an upscale lounge spin. They are introducing limited but deliberate food options to appeal to the “before” and “after dinner” clientele. The menu also includes local craft beers, a diverse craft cocktail menu, an extensive wine list, and a sophisticated focus on fine scotch and whiskey from around the world.
“There are rooms that cater to music and musicians —- however, very few rooms are designed and literally built for it,” said acclaimed Austin musician Alex Marrero. “Every microphone, cable, speaker, wire, baffle, table, and chair has been meticulously hand chosen for the purpose of serving the music. I have never seen anything like it in town for a room of that size. The reason is because it didn’t exist until Parker Jazz Club opened its doors.”
Programming for the next few weeks includes:
July 28: The Copa Kings - 8 p.m.
July 29: Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People - 8 p.m.
July 30: Parker Jazz Club House Band - 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
July 31: Parker Jazz Club House Band - 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Aug 3: Jazz Therapy - 8 p.m.
Aug 4: Mike Sailors and the Parker Jazz Club Hot 5 - 8 p.m.
Aug 5: Parker Jazz Club House Band - 8 p.m.
Aug 6: Parker Jazz Club House Band - 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Aug 7: Parker Jazz Club House Band - 8 p.m. &10 p.m.
Aug 10: Jazz Therapy - 8 p.m.
Aug 11: Wasabi Big Band featuring Jennifer Johnson - 8 p.m.
Aug 12: Mike Sailors and the Higher Calling Orchestra - 8 p.m.
Aug 13: Parker Jazz Club House Band - 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Aug 14: Parker Jazz Club House Band - 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Aug 15: Adrian Ruiz: Farmer’s Market Tribute to Art Farmer - 6 p.m.
Aug 17: Jazz Therapy - 8 p.m.
Aug 18: Parker Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Mike Sailors - 8 p.m.
Aug 19: Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few - 8 p.m.
Aug 20: Marquis Hill - 8 p.m. / Parker Jazz Club House Band - 10 p.m.
Aug 21: Marquis Hill - 8 p.m. / Parker Jazz Club House Band - 10 p.m.
Aug 24: Jazz Therapy - 8 p.m.
Aug 25: Aubrey Logan - 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Aug 26: The Copa Kings - 8 p.m.
Aug 27: Parker Jazz Club House Band - 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Aug 28: Pulkingham Layne CD/Vinyl “D Shack” Album Release - 6 p.m. / Parker Jazz Club House Band - 8 p.m. & 10 p.m.