Spend the day enjoying a South End jazz fest and top it off at an anything-goes neighborhood eatery
When it comes to jazz, Boston may not have the same high profile as other cities, but, thanks in large part to the Berklee College of Music, we can certainly hold our own bringing in big names and fostering locally grown talent. One of the biggest factors in that regard in recent years has been the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival. Now in its 10th year, this weeklong celebration of music, wrapping up this weekend, regularly attracts thousands of jazz fans. The biggest party of the week kicks off tomorrow, shutting down sections of Columbus Avenue for performances from 15 acts on three outdoor stages. Al Kooper and the Funky Faculty, the Jonathan Batiste Trio, and Rhiannon are among the performers.
“It’s a way to give back to the community,’’ says festival artistic director Terri Lyne Carrington. And you can’t beat the price, she says. It’s free. “It’s called a jazz festival, but there’s really something for everybody. No matter what your background is, or your status in life, everybody comes together and has fun together. That’s always a great thing for any city to do.’’
Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival outdoor concert. Saturday, noon- 6 p.m. Free. Columbus Ave. and Mass. Ave., Boston. www.beantownjazz.org (For more on the festival, see Pages 22-23.)
Restauranteur and developer Darryl Settles played a role in getting the Berklee festival off the ground, but with his latest effort he hopes to bring jazz back to a more permanent, familiar home. Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen will take over what’s still known as the old Bob the Chef’s space in Roxbury. Settles has owned the building through its various incarnations since 1990, including the popular Bob’s Southern Bistro. “Ten times a week I would go to places and people would say, ‘You have to get that place back.’ ’’
The new restaurant will feature jazz acts on varying nights of the week, including noted saxophonist Pat Loomis and his quartet tomorrow night. The menu, too, will play with a loose, riffing style. Tim Partridge, formerly of Perdix, will helm the kitchen. “It’s a local, fun neighborhood bar, with great food,’’ Settles says. “We have lots of restaurants in the South End but this is a place that you can go on a regular basis and get different kinds of food. The menu is all over the map, from seafood-based dishes to barbecue.’’ That includes options like buttermilk fried chicken, beer-battered catfish, pan-fried trout, and braised pork belly.
Now all he needs is to win back the old customers. “They’re already here,’’ he says. “People that have been in the South End for a long time, people that are new, they are glad and happy for the change. And I’m happy to be here.’’
Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen, 604 Columbus Ave., Boston. 617-536-1100. www.darrylscornerbarboston.com