All that Jazz
Chico’s House of Jazz recently opened in Asbury Park (732-774-5299, www.chicoshouseofjazz.com). The Jersey Shore club promotes original music instead of cover bands. "Plus, this place has a great atmosphere."
“It’s nice to have a club on the Jersey Shore that promotes original music instead of cover bands,” says Roxy Rivingston of Long Branch about Chico’s house of Jazz, recently opened in Asbury Park (732-774- 5299, www.chicoshouseofjazz.com). “Plus, this place just has a great atmosphere.”
The enterprise is a labor of love for owner Charles “Chico” Rouse—son of tenor saxophonist Charles Rouse, who was a staple of the Thelonious Monk quartet for many years. As such, Rouse spent his formative years surrounded by jazz giants and fondly recalls visits to the Village Vanguard with his dad in its heyday.
“My goal with Chico’s is to re-create the cool of the legendary jazz clubs, and make a special place for some special music,” he says.
Setting the scene is the club’s subterranean locale, just a few steps below street level, where a prominent stage is surrounded by intimate, candlelit café tables. The musical menu for a typical week might include nights of fusion, funk, bop, swing or salsa. Regular Wednesday night jam sessions draw crowds of younger musicians eager to test their chops with the house band, led by keyboard king Radam Schwartz. Chico’s also welcomes a host of national touring acts such as New Orleans favorites the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and guitar virtuoso Stanley Jordan.
There’s an actual menu too— light offerings that include appetizers, salads, sandwiches, desserts and coffees—as well as a full bar.