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. Coronavirus

    The Post-Pandemic Urban Future Is Already Here

    The coronavirus crisis stands to dramatically reshape cities around the world. But the biggest revolutions in urban space may have begun before the pandemic.

  2. A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.
    Equity

    The Geography of Coronavirus

    What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

  3. Traffic-free Times Square in New York City
    Maps

    Mapping How Cities Are Reclaiming Street Space

    To help get essential workers around, cities are revising traffic patterns, suspending public transit fares, and making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

  4. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  5. photo: A lone tourist in Barcelona, one of several global cities that have seen a massive crash in Airbnb bookings.
    Coronavirus

    Can Airbnb Survive Coronavirus?

    The short-term rental market is reeling from the coronavirus-driven tourism collapse. Can the industry’s dominant player stage a comeback after lockdowns lift?

×