The Blue Room collaborates with the jazz department at Western Washington University each month to bring live jazz music to downtown Bellingham.
Martijn Wall, owner of The Blue Room, wanted to bring something new to the city and introduce more people to jazz music.
“For jazz nights, it was always just a really laid back atmosphere,” Wall said. “It's a great place to come in and get some work done, like studying or something like that. A great place to find if you're just looking to decompress after a day at work.”
Jazz nights have been ongoing since The Blue Room opened in March 2022.
Wall, an alumnus of Western, was a student in the music department and had a working relationship with Kevin Woods, director of jazz studies. This helped shape the foundation of jazz nights at The Blue Room.
“Woods has been a huge supporter of ours,” Wall said. “He's really been instrumental, no pun intended, and helped in putting everything together.”
Woods recently started his ninth year teaching in Western’s jazz department and said he was thrilled to work with Wall to showcase his students' work.
“It's been nice to have a place for my more experienced students to perform off campus more often,” Woods said. “It's allowed me to create a performing environment with expectations closer to the real, professional world.”
Bellingham doesn’t have any designated jazz venues, so The Blue Room is seeking to add this smooth and vibrant sound to the music scene.
“Any weekly or monthly jazz event gives people in the community a chance to hear groups develop and grow, which is important for the groups and really fun and engaging for the listeners,” Woods said.
The event remains affordable for students and members of the community, with each ticket ranging from $5-10. Tickets for the next event, Thursday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m., can be found here. The Blue Room is located at 202 E. Holly St.
“We just want to continue to stay true to our original mission and provide as much opportunity and experience to performers and musicians in the area,” Wall said. “By trying to uplift the performing arts scene as much as we can in Bellingham by being open and inclusive.”
Evan Riley (he/him) is a city news reporter for The Front this quarter. He is a third-year student at Western working towards his major in News/Editorial journalism. He has dreams of becoming a travel writer and is continually thinking about where he'll go next.
You can reach him at email@example.com