Beginning this summer, jazz enthusiasts will be able to enjoy world-class performances in downtown Napa.
The Napa Valley Opera House (nvoh.org) and New York-based Blue Note (bluenote.net) reached a final lease agreement bringing a Blue Note jazz club to the Napa Valley and Bay Area.
The club also has venues in New York; Honolulu; Tokyo; Nagoya, Japan; Beijing; and Milan.
“This will allow us to anchor our business with the world famous Blue Note Jazz Club downstairs and also feature a wide variety of phenomenal shows upstairs — the best of all worlds,” said Ken Tesler, Blue Note Napa Valley managing director and producer.
City Winery had been leasing the 1030 Main St. building from the opera house since December 2013. After negotiations to get out of its 10-year lease, City Winery’s contract ended in December. Blue Note’s lease would be similar to the City Winery’s 10-year agreement.
Occupying the first floor of the historic Napa Valley Opera House, Blue Note Napa Valley will present national, international, Bay Area and regional artists in what’s designed to be an intimate venue serving the valley’s finest wines and craft brews, farm to table cuisine, and classic cocktails.
Club ownership also will operate the second-story Margrit Mondavi Theater, continuing to brand it as Napa Valley Opera House.
Under the lease agreement, the opera house nonprofit still will present up to 75 shows annually in that theater. Performances span genres and media, including concerts, musical and dramatic theatre, comedy and film. The theater also will continue to be utilized for enhanced arts education programs for local schools and is available for special events, corporate meetings, wedding celebrations and nonprofit fundraising events.
Blue Note was established in 1981 in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Location draw some of the world’s finest jazz musicians such as Sarah Vaughn, Tony Bennett, Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie.
The opera house will benefit from Blue Note’s programming of celebrity performaces and productions by local nonprofits, including Napa Shakes, Transcendence Theater Company, Lamplighters Music Theater and Napa Valley Film Festival, according to Bob Almeida, chairman of the opera house board.