After the Blue Wisp closed last year, things looked bad for the Blue Wisp Big Band and Cincinnati jazz in general. With the recent opening of Urban Artifact in Northside (the address is 1662 Blue Rock), however, things suddenly seem much rosier for the big band and Cincinnati’s jazz scene overall. Here’s some of the good news:
- The Blue Wisp Big Band now plays Urban Artifact every Wednesday from 8:30pm to 11:30pm.
- Urban Artifact hosts live music every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with jazz on many of those nights.
- Thursday is always jazz night.
- Urban Artifact is all ages and has non-alcoholic options like craft soda and Kombucha.
- There’s no cover charge.
I visited Urban Artifact for the Blue Wisp Big Band’s live performance last Wednesday, and what I discovered was an old church converted into a club that’s a great space for listening to music. On that night trumpeter Tim Hagans, who I first saw perform at the original Blue Wisp and is now living in Manhattan, was the special guest artist. The acoustics were excellent, and the whole room seem focused on what was happening on the stage; it was clear that much magic will take place there. Here’s a link to Urban Artifact’s web page. Here’s a link to Urban Artifact’s Facebook page.
For those readers who happen to like beer, I also throw in this little tidbit:
- Urban Artifact is a brewery that serves its own tart and wild beers.
- “Growler hour” takes place Mondays and Tuesdays at Urban Artifact. You get $2 off for every growler filled from 4-7pm.
Urban Artifact is also very friendly. That night I chatted with Emily Merz & Elese Daniels, who were happy to contribute valuable insights into what beer I ought to drink. I ended up choosing a Nitro Finn, and my professional assessment was: it rocked. Emily and Elese were both nice and helpful, plus they photograph well: