Blues Alley, founded in 1965, is a jazz dinner-and-nightclub in an alley off Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood. As of 2008, exclusively jazz musicians are booked into Blues Alley for approximately 360 nights out of the year.
Over the years many of the world's very greatest jazz musicians have performed at Blues Alley, including Monty Alexander, Mose Allison, Tony Bennett, Ruby Braff, Charlie Byrd, Mel Clement, Buck Clayton, Billy Cobham, Larry Coryell, Roy Eldridge, Maynard Ferguson, Rachelle Ferrell, Ella Fitzgerald, Kenny Garrett, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Hackett, Roland Hanna, Clancy Hayes, Buck Hill, Earl Hines, Freddie Hubbard, Lurlean Hunter, Phyllis Hyman, Ahmad Jamal, Dr John, Stanley Jordan, Steve Jordan, Stacey Kent, Ramsey Lewis, Les McCann, Taj Mahal, Pat Martino, Wynton Marsalis, Charles Mingus, Mark Murphy, Oscar Peterson, Joshua Redman, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Rushing, Gil Scott-Heron, Charlie Shavers, George Shearing, Wayne Shorter, Maxine Sullivan, Stanley Turrentine, McCoy Tyner, Sarah Vaughan, Grover Washington, Jr., Mary Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Teddy Wilson and Sol Yaged.
Among the several jazz musicians to record a "Live at Blues Alley" album are the late Eva Cassidy and Dizzy Gillespie [featuring tenor saxophonist Ron Holloway], Ahmad Jamal, Ramsey Lewis, Wynton Marsalis, Stanley Turrentine and Grover Washington, Jr.
In 1975 Earl Fatha Hines spent a week, during the afternoons while the club was closed, making an hour-long solo film for British TV entirely in Blues Alley, prominently featuring Frank Hart, Blue's Alley's famous 'clean-up man'.
Blues Alley also has a non-profit jazz arm, the Blues Alley Jazz Society, dedicated to jazz education and outreach for young performers in the local area. Education and outreach programs include the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra and Blues Alley Jazz Summer Camp. Blues Alley honors its most popular performers by allowing them to create dishes and have them as a regular part of the restaurant's menu. Phyllis Hymans jumbo shrimp dish is one of the most popular items on the menu. Not all performers have this honor and it is shared with the greats such as Nancy Wilson and John Williams.
- "Blues Alley - History". Retrieved 2006-05-07.
- Hahn, Fritz (July 1, 2005). "Playing the Blues For 40 Years". The Washington Post.
- 'Rhythm Man: Steve Jordan: University of Michigan Press 1993 ISBN 0-472-08202-7
- 'Earl Fatha Hines', 1hr 'solo' TV documentary made in Washington DC by ATV, England, 1975: directed/produced by Charlie Nairn: original 16mm film plus additional tunes 'out-takes' from that film archived in British Film Institute Library @ bfi.org.uk: see also www.jazzonfilm.com/documentaries
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