Category Archives: Keystone Korner

San Francisco’s Historic Keystone Korner Reborn in Baltimore, Legendary Jazz Club Set to Open April 30 on International Jazz Day

Keystone Korner Baltimore
“The Eternal Jazz Messenger Art Blakey often said that ‘My heart belongs to Keystone,’ and that heart is still beating strong.”Todd Barkan, NEA Jazz Master

“Keystone Korner was the quintessential jazz club. With the down-home feeling of your favorite watering hole and with the special spark of international artistic charisma that a knowledgeable jazz audience brings to any environment, the Keystone was a happy home to people of all persuasions.”   — Wynton Marsalis

“Keystone Korner was the Birdland of the Seventies.” — Mary Lou Williams


NEA Jazz Master Todd Barkan and Michelin-starred chef Robert Wiedmaier have joined forces to relaunch Keystone Korner, the legendary San Francisco (and later) Tokyo club that set the standard for jazz performance in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ’90s.

The impresario, a NEA Jazz Master and the former programming director of Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the chef, proprietor of 11 restaurants in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey, will be bringing together world-class music and top-flight cuisine in Baltimore’s booming Harbor East.

The venture marks the first large-scale jazz club in the region since the demise of the beloved Ethel’s Place and Blues Alley Baltimore in the late ‘80s.

Keystone Korner Baltimore will officially open on April 30, to coincide with International Jazz Day, with three nights of performances by the Ron Carter Trio featuring Russell Malone and Donald Vega. The former Miles Davis bassist will be celebrating his 82nd birthday at the club.

Over the coming months, the venue will also host some of jazz’s most recognized and important artists, including Kenny Garrett, Duduka Da Fonseca, Joey DeFrancesco, The Cookers, Sean Jones, Kenny Barron, Steve Turre, Rene Marie, Gary Bartz, Monty Alexander, Christian McBride, and more. (Please see the complete and confirmed schedule, below).

Barkan is committed to providing the highest-quality sonic experience at the club. Last week he enlisted Baltimore-native Cyrus Chestnut to assist in selecting the perfect Steinway piano for the room. As well, Joey DeFrancesco’s Viscount Legend JD Signature Model organ will be housed on-site.

Barkan is equally committed to dynamic pricing for the room, which will hold upwards of 200 patrons. He said he hopes that keeping ticket prices low — and setting aside affordable seats at every performance for students — will make this art form he has committed his life to available to as many people as possible.

“Our mission at Keystone Korner in San Francisco from 1972 to 1983 was to provide the best music in the world for the most affordable prices in the most loving environment,” says Barkan, “and that is still our fundamental goal in 2019 at Keystone Korner Baltimore. Here, we have the added blessing of joining forces with chef Robert Wiedmaier and his talented team, which ensures that the food and libations will be as inspiring and reasonably-priced as the phenomenal music.”

Wiedmaier and Barkan first met at the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Dinner, and soon after began talking about the idea of opening a space together. The club will take the place of Wiedmaier’s former Mussel Bar, located at 1350 Lancaster St in Harbor East.

Says Wiedmaier: “This is in so many ways a dream come true — to partner with a master like Todd Barkan and revive the legendary Keystone Korner and bring world-class jazz to a great city like Baltimore. And to be able to do it in this wonderful spot right on the water, in what we think will offer a new vision for the jazz club in this century, with a warm and lively vibe, a staff like family, great food, and the best musicians on the planet.“

That warmth and intimacy are of the utmost importance to Barkan, who says: “While Rahsaan Roland Kirk & The Vibration Society were making their iconic 1973 live recording Bright Moments for Atlantic Records at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco, Rahsaan happily noted that ‘it sure is nice to play in a place that feels like your living room.’”

Click here to re-live the Keystone Korner through Barkan’s narrative.


Upcoming Performance Schedule

April 30 – May 2 | Ron Carter Trio w. Russell Malone and Donald Vega
May 3 – 5 | Kenny Garrett Sextet
May 6 & 7 | Samba Jazz & Tom Jobim — Duduka Da Fonseca-Maucha Adnet Quintet w. Billy Drewes, Helio Alves, and Martin Wind
May 8 | Bill Charlap (solo)
May 9 | Bill Charlap & Jon Faddis
May 10 & 11 | Joey DeFrancesco Quartet
May 15 – 19 | The Cookers w. Billy Harper, Donald Harrison, David Weiss, George Cables, Cecil McBee, and Billy Hart
May 21 | Matthew Whitaker
May 22 – 26 | Cyrus Chestnut w. Buster Williams and Lenny White (special guest Antonio Hart from May 24 – 26 only)
May 28 & 29 | DOUBLE BILL: Raul Midón & Sean Jones “Dizzy Spellz”
May 30 – June 2 | Kenny Barron Quartet w. Regina Carter, Kiyoshi Kitagawa, and Justin Faulkner
June 6 – 9 | Steve Turre Sextet w. James Carter, Vincent Herring, Mike LeDonne, Buster Williams, and Darrell Green performing “Bright Moments — The Music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk”
June 14 – 16 | John Pizzarelli — Centennially Yours, Celebrating Nat King Cole
June 20 – 23 | Freddy Cole Quartet w. Lionel Cole
June 27 – 30 | René Marie Quartet

Check the Keystone Korner website for full up to date schedule

Posted in Keystone Korner |

Keystone Korner Baltimore Grand Opening on April 30th

The Keystone Korner Baltimore at 1350 Lancaster Street in Harbor East in Baltimore will have its Grand Opening on International Jazz Day, Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, with the Ron Carter Trio with Russell Malone and Donald Vega. Showtimes at 7 & 9 pm, and we are are happy and proud to share with you a preview of our Grand Opening Poster being published next week.

Read more about Keystone Korner Baltimore

Looking forward to seeing you there soon, Todd Barkan

Keystone Korner Baltimore

Posted in Keystone Korner |

Keystone Korner recordings by JOAO GILBERTO and the STAN GETZ QUARTET

Very excited to be working on the final production touches to release wonderful and very important live-at-Keystone Korner recordings this year by JOAO GILBERTO and the STAN GETZ QUARTET:






Posted in General, Keystone Korner |

New book of memoirs about both Keystone Korner


Working very hard to finish my new book of memoirs about both Keystone Korner and my first 50 years trying to make the world safer for bebop, including 12 innovative years at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and as the producer of 800 jazz recordings for companies in Europe, Japan, and the U.S. while presenting the music we all love all over the world since 1964.




Posted in General, Keystone Korner |

Upcoming Events

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We’re excited about the Keystone Korner Nights at the Iridium in the next few weeks, all sets at 8 & 10 pm (res 212.582.2121):

20130425_1Brianna Thomas Quartet with Marcus Printup, Sunday, April 21st

I first heard this phenomenal young jazz singer several years ago “after hours’ in Manhattan, and the overwhelmingly good feeling I got had the same voltage as the first times I heard Sarah Vaughan or Nina Simone. And I still get those same spine tingles.

I’ve never experienced any more deeply soulful or naturally hard-swinging young jazz singer than BRIANNA THOMAS, who will be headlining our Keystone Korner Night on SUNDAY, APRIL 2lst with extra special guest trumpeter MARCUS PRINTUP of the JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA and pianist ALLYN JOHNSON, bassist YASUSHI NAKAMURA, and drummer JOHN DAVIS.

“Brianna Thomas may well be the best straight-ahead jazz singer of her generation.”– Will Friedwald, WALL STREET JOURNAL


20130425_2Abe Ovadia Quartet: Celebrating John Coltrane, Sunday, April 28

Powerfully lyrical guitarist Abe Ovadia explores the inner and outer frontiers of some the most heartfully expansive music of our age with ANTHONY POCETTI, piano; MICHAEL FEINBERG, bass; and SHAREEF TAHER, drums.



20130425_3Christian Sands Trio, Wednesday, May 1st

Please also check out our favorite young jazz pianist on the planet, CHRISTIAN SANDS (one of the premier proteges of the great BILLY TAYLOR with a strong voice of his own on the piano), and his TRIO w/ MARK WHITFIELD, JR. on drums, and JOSHUA CRUMBLY on bass, on WEDNESDAY, MAY 1.


Plus these other extra special bright moments
in swing we will be celebrating until the end of May:

20130425_4Lou Donaldson Quartet, Friday-Sunday, May 10-12

The Legendary NEA JazzMaster and alto saxophonist supreme LOU DONALDSON brings his funky QUARTET for three Keystone Korner Nights with AKIKO TSURUGA, Hammond B-3 Organ; RANDY JOHNSTON, guitar; FUKUSHI TAINAKA, drums.



– Some burnin’ bebop:
– Lou sings the blues:


20130425_5Michael Carvin Experience, Wednesday, May 15th

One of the Giants of Jazz Drumming and one of the foremost Jazz Educators of our time, MICHAEL CARVIN, who played with fellow grandmasters BOBBY HUTCHERSON and JACKIE MCLEAN at the KEYSTONE KORNER in the 1970s, brings his powerful, swinging QUARTET, the MICHAEL CARVIN EXPERIENCE into the IRIDIUM on WEDNESDAY, MAY 15th.
MICHAEL CARVIN, drums, leader; KEITH LOFTIS, tenor saxophone; YAYOI IKAWA, piano; JANSEN CINCO, bass


20130425_6Neal Smith Quintet with Billy Pierce, Steve Nelson, Renee Rosnes, and Dezron Douglas, Sunday, May 26th

Another essential voice and artist in modern jazz drumming, the wonderful NEAL SMITH leads his ALL STAR QUINTET with vibraphonist STEVE NELSON, pianist RENEE ROSNES, tenor saxophonist BILLY PIERCE, and bassist DEZRON DOUGLAS, who come swinging into the IRIDIUM on SUNDAY, MAY 26th.


20130425_7Marcus Strickland Quartet with Ben Williams, EJ Strickland & David Bryant, Wednesday, May 29th

One of the most essential creative forces and sources in modern jazz saxophone as a composer, jazz virtuoso, and young master saxophonist, MARCUS STRICKLAND, has quietly established himself as a major player in the music worldwide. Here he is joined by three of his main partners-in-time: bassist BEN WILLIAMS, drummer EJ STRICKLAND & pianist DAVID BRYANT.


Please come swing with us at the Iridium, Broadway and 51st, for Keystone Korner Nights at the Iridium, and for all the exciting music playing at this great club, and you can get advance tickets at and very easily make reservations at 212.582.2121. Most importantly, keep dancing to the songs in your hearts. Stay warm and be cool.

Brighter moments, Todd Barkan / Keystone Korner Nights at the Iridium(51st & Broadway)

Take care of the music, and the music will take care of you……..

Click here for more event info

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