from The Chicago Tribune:

The Velvet Lounge, a Near South Side jazz club admired around the world as home base for the late Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson, has been closed in a dispute among Anderson’s survivors.

The staff of the club walked out last week, in support of Jasmine Sebaggala and Rasminee Harris, Anderson’s granddaughters, who have been managing the jazz shrine since the saxophonist’s death last June, at age 81.

Sebaggala and Harris ceded control of the room, at 67 E.Cermak Rd., to their father, Eugene Anderson, and his brother, Michael Anderson, who are Fred Anderson’s sons. The cross-generational conflict came to a head on Nov. 30, and the club has been dark since Dec. 1.

“My daughters poisoned the staff against me and my brothers, but I truly commend them for doing the jobs they did for the last five months,” said Eugene Anderson, reached by phone in California, where he lives.

“We had a difference of philosophy on the percentages and the corporation,” added Eugene Anderson. “They were doing some very mischievous stuff in the club. All me and my brother did was wait and watch them.

“I hate to put my dirty laundry out there, but they weren’t nice at all.”

Harris and Sebaggala kept the avant-garde bastion running steadily since Anderson’s death, of a heart attack. This was a significant achievement, as experimental-music venues have virtually no profit margin. Many musicians and staff donated their services, or close to it, out of admiration for Anderson.

Continue reading at The Chicago Tribune.

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