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THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

Steve Getz Music Hall closes after one month of business

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Citing "unanticipated investment difficulties" the Steve Getz Music Hall closed on Nov. 18, after only a month-long run. Steve Getz, son of venerable tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, who died in 1981, opened Williamsburg’s first jazz club on Oct. 17, to a house packed with musical legends and jazz aficionados alike.

"We had some touching moments when the music was at such a beautiful high level and honest," Getz said in a statement.

The club was housed in the backroom of Io Restaurant, on Kent Avenue at North Seventh Street.

"It’s a sweetheart of a little room and a real shame," said Getz, indicating that his partner, Io owner Anthony Fernicola, pulled out of the deal.

"The reason [the club closed] is a lack of interest," said Fernicola. "Nobody came. That’s the reason."

Getz said that he is still committed to bringing the finest jazz to Brooklyn, hinting that his club would reappear somewhere in this borough when he finds the right space.

"I’ll be looking for a new home to find a continuation of the great moments and feelings that started here," he said.

Getz intended the club to bring both established and emerging artists across the East River, a mission he accomplished in his short stint as a club owner.

"The kids from the neighborhood were just starting to come in," said Getz. "It was just around the corner and just starting to be successful."

Fernicola saw it differently. "Jazz is not popular down here," he said. "Jazz is just not happening."

For now, Getz is keeping busy. He may take a stab at academia, or found a new jazz band, like the Stan Getz Memorial Jazz Workshop that was begun at the club. He’s planning a concert at Carnegie Hall in June, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his father’s introduction of bossa nova music to America with the hit "The Girl from Ipanema."

If he does find a new home for the Steve Getz Music Hall, it will be founded on the same principals.

"I was trying to do something spiritually uplifting and good for the community," he said. "I still want to."

Fernicola said he is continuing to host live music at his restaurant.

"The club is still there - Steve’s name just isn’t on it," he said. "We’re doing salsa now, Friday and Saturday nights. We have dancing and live salsa bands."

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Reasonable discourse

Karen Kuehl Lester says:
I knew Stan and the Getz family when Steve was a school mate of mine in Irvington NY. I would love to get in touch with Steve. Could you forward this to him.

My e-mail is kvk1@verizon.net

Karen Lester
June 3, 2008, 4:10 pm

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