Vancouver saxophonist and jazz club owner Cory Weeds sent out an email Saturday night announcing the closing of The Cellar Jazz Club on February 25, 2014.
It is with great sadness that I report as of February 25th, 2014 Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club will cease operations at 3611 West Broadway.
This decision has been the hardest that I have had to make in my life. Several factors contributed to the decision such as our inability to sign what we thought was a fair lease that would ensure our long term viability at this location, the flooding problem that has plagued us for the better part of four years every time it rains and the restaurant industry as a whole. It has been a challenge for me for 13 years but after a particularly difficult past few months it was becoming abundantly clear that as long as we carried on as we were, we would have trouble prospering.
Weeds has been in negotiation with his landlord to renew their long-term lease which expired last June. This week both sides agreed to part ways at the end of February, ending the club’s 13 years in the Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver.
Weeds’ intimate 80-seat Cellar Jazz Club had built a reputation as one of the premier “listening rooms” for jazz on the West Coast. He frequently brought in top international talent (who were probably working for less than they normally would) and partnered them with many of the stellar local rhythm sections in Vancouver.
Weeds does not plan on leaving the jazz business. He is continuing to present music at the club through February (upcoming shows include drum legend Louis Hayes and the Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band, Steve Davis, Peter Bernstein, Gary Smuylan and more) and will present concerts at various locations throughout 2014 while he looks for a new location for The Cellar. This on top of his performing schedule and running Cellar Live records which has a number of recordings currently on the radio charts.
Weeds concluded an email to musicians and supporters with: It’s been a wild ride and although I’m filled with sadness and some fear, I am looking forward to this next phase of my life, whatever that phase is and wherever it takes me. One thing I know for sure is that my passion for this music will never ever die and whatever happens I will continue to be a ‘jazz warrior.’