Pittsburgh’s Smallest Jazz Club

Commuters can now decompress to the beboppin’ sounds of a big band.

What’s the best way to avert a meltdown over late buses? How about having commuters decompress to the groovy, toe-tapping sounds of a jazz ensemble?

That’s now a possibility in Pittsburgh, thanks to a new bus shelter at 9th Street and Liberty Avenue. Whether you like jazz or not, jazz is what you get when you step inside. Speakers pump out recordings from the nonprofit Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, which over the years has hosted luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, and Stanley Turrentine. The quality is crystal, according to a woman interviewed by KDKA-TV: “It sounds fantastic in there. It sounds like my living room.” (More footage with audio is posted here.)

MCG Jazz dreamed up the swingin’ shelter as a way to “promote jazz music as Pittsburgh’s greatest arts export,” according to marketing manager Amy Kline. Awesome Pittsburgh helped fund the idea with one of its 2014 $1,000 grants, and by this month the shelter was open for business. Where exterior movie-or-perfume advertising would normally go is a sign reading, “This is not just a bus shelter. This is Pittsburgh's Smallest Jazz Club. Please come in." The interior is decorated with images of musicians playing a sax and bass and making the constipated faces of jazzmen totally in the moment.

Pittsburgh’s Smallest Jazz Club

The shelter will keep the bebop flowing until late August. As for what’s next, fans are already suggesting ideas on Facebook, from building broadcast stations on “bicycle rental stations around the city” and inside “a UPS truck. It’s a traveling small jazz club.”

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a Google employee on a bicycle.
    Equity

    How Far Will Google's Billion-Dollar Bay Area Housing Plan Go?

    The single largest commitment by a private employer to address the Bay Area’s acute affordable housing crisis is unique in its focus on land redevelopment.

  2. A map showing the affordability of housing in the U.S.
    Equity

    Minimum Wage Still Can’t Pay For A Two-Bedroom Apartment Anywhere

    The 30th anniversary edition of the National Low Income Housing Coalition report, “Out of Reach,” shows that housing affordability is getting worse, not better.

  3. A person tapes an eviction notice to the door of an apartment.
    Equity

    Why Landlords File for Eviction (Hint: It’s Usually Not to Evict)

    Most of the time, a new study finds, landlords file for eviction because it tilts the power dynamic in their favor—not because they want to eject their tenants.

  4. Environment

    Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks

    The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.

  5. photo of Arizona governor Doug Ducey
    Perspective

    Why FOMO Is the Enemy of Good Urban Mobility Policy

    Fear of Missing Out does not make good transportation policy. Sometimes a new bus shelter is a better investment than flashy new technology.

×