Open for just two weeks at restricted capacity, the city’s latest entry in the bar/venue scene has turned heads with its atmosphere and its regular live jazz offerings in spite of COVID. Learn more at Local Spins.
If there’s pent-up demand for live music — in particular, jazz — then GRNoir has quickly cultivated a devoted audience for its offerings.
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Open for just two weeks at 25-percent capacity due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions, the slick new Grand Rapids wine and jazz bar at 35 S. Division Ave. operated by Shatawn and Nadia Brigham has drawn enthusiastic patrons for regular performances by West Michigan jazz musicians.
On Wednesday night, the masked trio of Randy Marsh, Clif Metcalf and Jordan Finn were on tap for two sets of live jazz, entertaining wine-sipping attendees with reservations booked to the max at one-quarter of the bar’s eventual 80-person capacity.
“It has been absolutely amazing,” said Nadia Brigham. “It’s the very vibe we envisioned and we know that because patrons are forthright in telling us.”
Since opening early this month, GRNoir has hosted multiple live jazz nights each week, with the Tom Cutts Trio performing starting at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Saturday, Feb. 13). Make reservations for shows online here.
“Very nice venue, tastefully decorated and has a very good wine list,” said Marsh, who returns to GRNoir with the popular Organissimo trio on Feb. 27.
“Shatawn and his staff were very nice to us and even at only 25 percent capacity, the people who were there showed their appreciation for the music. I think once the restrictions are lifted, this venue will do well.”
GRNoir currently is hosting live music on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
“The music has been amazing,” Brigham said. “Kevin Jones, of Tenth World, our music curator, is doing an amazing job lining up artists. Of course, COVID is limiting our ability to have horns and singing, but we look to the day. It will be all the better.”
GRNoir — the city’s first black-owned wine bar — is billed as a place “that exists to celebrate the global and American culture of wine and jazz,” with small plates and a wide selection of wines. Shatawn Brigham is a Level 1 Sommelier who’s also the Community Schools Coordinator with Kent School Services Network and Kentwood Public Schools. Nadia Brigham is the principal of Brigham Consulting LLC, co-founded by the Brighams.
Keyboardist Dutcher Snedeker played GRNoir’s opening week and said it was fun “seeing all of the different folks digging the space.”
Musicians interested in performing at GRNoir can email Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After tonight’s performance by the Tom Cutts Trio, the West Michigan Jazz Society and GRNoir will co-host an event on Tuesday night titled “Grand Rapids in Black: A Black History Month Celebration,” featuring Kevin Bujo Jones & Tenth World with Kelvin Sholar, Damon Warmack, Nate Winn and Ivan Akansiima, as well as the Elgin Vines Trio. Beyond that, the Ivan Akansiima Trio performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 20) and Robert Pace Trio at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24.
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