Charlie O's jazz club closes
The news was announced in a brief statement on the club's website reading, "Due to the state of the economy, after 11 years of amazing jazz at Charlie O's, tonight will be our last presentation and the lights will dim forever after the last set." The evening's final performer was scheduled to be vocalist Janis Mann and her quartet. (If any readers were at the show and have reports of the club's final bow, please let us know in the comments.)
The announcement leaves another empty space in an already sparse landscape for jazz clubs in L.A. where fans can catch live jazz on a weekly basis, which include Hollywood's Catalina Bar & Grill, Little Tokyo's Blue Whale, Vitello's and the Baked Potato in Studio City. The Jazz Bakery, which has been staging "Movable Feasts" around town since losing its lease in 2009, announced ambitious plans for its new physical location earlier this year, but opening day remains a long way off.
Charlie O's original owner Charlie Ottaviano died in 2008. The club has been operated since then by his wife Jo-Ann.
With jazz shows five days a week from a roster of veteran local players and touring musicians, Charlie O's cozy atmosphere was a favorite among jazz fans, and it was regularly ranked as one of the top clubs in the country by Downbeat magazine. It's tough to say what the loss says about the future for the rest of the city's jazz venues, but the most immediate result is Charlie O's will be missed.
-- Chris Barton
Photo: Charlie O's original owner Charlie Ottaviano. Credit: Charlie O's.