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. an aerial photo of urban traffic at night
    Transportation

    The Surprisingly High-Stakes Fight Over a Traffic-Taming ‘Digital Twin’

    Why are some mobility experts spooked by this plan to develop a data standard that would allow cities to build a real-time traffic control system?

  2. a photo of the First Pasadena State Bank building, designed by Texas modernist architects MacKie and Kamrath. It will be demolished on July 21.
    Design

    The Lonely Death of a South Texas Skyscraper

    The First Pasadena State Bank, a 12-story modernist tower inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, has dominated this small town near Houston since 1962.

  3. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

  4. A NASA rendering of a moon base with lunar rover from 1986.
    Life

    We Were Promised Moon Cities

    It’s been 50 years since Apollo 11 put humans on the surface of the moon. Why didn’t we stay and build a more permanent lunar base? Lots of reasons.

  5. SEPTA trains in Philadelphia
    Transportation

    Startups Are Abandoning Suburbs for Cities With Good Transit

    A new study finds that new business startups are choosing cities with good public transportation options over the traditional suburban locations.

×