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Jazz St. Louis Opens to the World --- $10 million jazz performance and education center celebrates grand opening

Tonight, St. Louis will be at the center of the jazz world, as jazz legends, community and corporate leaders, jazz enthusiasts and VIPs gather at Jazz at the Bistro to celebrate the grand opening of the Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz. The grand opening celebration underwritten by World Wide Technology will feature world renowned Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performing two inaugural concerts. Already known as one of the best and longest running not-for-profit jazz organizations in the country, Jazz St. Louis hits a high note with this new state-of-the art live performance venue with livestreaming capabilities, education center, jazz lounge and staff headquarters.

“We need to celebrate our rich heritage and focus on the things that unite us,” said Dave Steward, Chairman and Co-Founder of World Wide Technology. “The Arts are a powerful tool that we can use to bring our community together, and no other does it more than Jazz. I’m so proud of the new Jazz St. Louis and call on the entire community to support it to make St. Louis the prominent center for jazz in the world.”

The $10 million capital campaign kicked off in August 2013 and thanks to the support and generosity of David & Thelma Steward, John & Alison Ferring, Centene Corporation, Ken & Nancy Kranzberg, Emerson, Richard & Josephine Weil, the Jazz St. Louis Board of Directors, and other jazz patrons, in excess of $6.7 million has been raised to date, allowing this new venue to open on time and within budget. The remaining $3.3 million is currently being raised through the public phase of the on-going capital campaign. Through continued donations, the on-going capital campaign gives the entire St. Louis community and worldwide jazz community the opportunity to ensure the future of Jazz St. Louis’ operations and educational pursuits.

The 20th season of the Jazz at the Bistro concert series kicks off this weekend in conjunction with the grand opening. Subscriptions for the upcoming 2014-15 Season are already up over 50% from last year, and the success of the new Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz is taking shape. The center located at 3536 Washington Avenue in Grand Center projects that by 2017, attendance will double and the economic impact to the St. Louis region will reach over $3.9 million. The impact will also be felt around the world as people will be able to experience concerts via audio and video recording and online streaming.

The re-designed Ferring Jazz Bistro is home to the Jazz at the Bistro concert series. Amenities include:

  • seating for 200, expanding capacity 34% from the previous club space
  • unobstructed views of the entire stage with no seat more than 45 feet away from center stage, enhancing the intimate feeling for the audience and artists
  • fully accessible facility with ground level entrance and elevator

The new Centene Jazz Education Center is the most advanced and comprehensive facility in the country, which will enhance Jazz St. Louis’ education programs, which have already reached more than 140,000 students since the year 2000 through in-school performances and master classes, youth concerts, student ensembles, and more.  The new education center will house:

  • two large rehearsal studios
  • a recording studio that will also be connected to the Bistro to serve as a resource to record and live stream performances on the internet and broadcast over radio
  • six soundproof practice rooms
  • a resource room featuring computers loaded with music, composition software, and more
  • student lounge

And the brand new Nancy’s Jazz Lounge located next door to the Bistro seats up to 60 and features a large video wall that will simulcast the Bistro’s live performances.

For the first time ever Jazz St. Louis will be livestreaming the inaugural performances from the Bistro making Jazz accessible to a worldwide audience. They look forward to the opportunity to live stream future performances.

About Jazz St. Louis

Jazz St. Louis advances the uniquely American art of jazz through live performance, education, and outreach. Each year, this non-profit organization presents over 270 performances in its internationally-acclaimed Jazz at the Bistro concert series. Jazz St. Louis takes a three-pronged approach to its work: presenting jazz, encouraging and educating future audiences, and nurturing budding musicians. For more information about Jazz St. Louis, visit www.jazzstl.org or www.facebook.com/jazzstl.