Libby’s Jazz Club in downtown Jackson opened on November 1, 2014 and brought to life the dream of owners Libby and George Brown. The club features live jazz music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday and has a full service southern-style menu that brings patrons back again and again.
The couple, together for 35 years, decided to open the club when the opportunity and space became available but had talked about the project for many years.
“I had played jazz, written about jazz and was always of the mind that every city should have a place where this music is featured,” George said. Libby and I have enjoyed many jazz rooms around the country and believed that places like the former Bird of Paradise in Ann Arbor were a vital entertainment option.”
They wanted their club to be a functional space for enjoying an evening of jazz and once inside you will see artwork depicting jazz giants of the past and musical instruments placed neatly along its walls. It features a “frosted rail” on the bar and seating for 100 people. Libby’s has the feel of a jazz room which is typically quaint and promotes interaction among its guests.
“Jazz is one of the only music forms that is unique to this country aside from Native American music and as Thelonious Monk once said, ‘all you have to do is listen.’
Thankfully, International Jazz Day was initiated a few years ago which allows music lovers worldwide to pay homage to the artists and others responsible for keeping jazz music alive and enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
Libby’s Jazz Club will celebrate International Jazz Day by paying tribute to Betty Joplin, a Jackson native and Grammy nominated jazz singer. Betty will perform at Libby’s on April 30 at 7 p.m. with a stellar jazz trio consisting of Jeff Shoup on drums, Jim Alfredson on Hammond B3 and Randy Napoleon on guitar. Tickets are $15 and are available now.
She has worked with many wonderful musicians, including the late Arthur Prysock with whom she recorded ‘A ROCKIN’ GOOD WAY’ and received a Grammy Nomination, ‘THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU’, and also appears on ‘THE BEST OF ARTHUR PRYSOCK’, all on Milestone/Fantasy Label. She also sang and toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the direction of the late Mercer Ellington, and has been requested to perform by the one and only Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin on several occasions.
Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change. International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage throughout April.