Club brings jazzy flavor


B Sharps Jazz Café still serves the Tallahassee community with one of America’s greatest art forms: Jazz, according to its website.

The building originally housed a nursing home in 1921, which was started by Annie L. Shepard, a women’s working band leader. Geraldine Seay, an English professor at Florida A&M, transformed the “old folks’ home” into the jazz café.

Seay, former director of Upward Bound in FAMU’s School of Business and Industry, said “it’s all about the music.” Seay said she wanted to create a place that could cater to musicians and wanted it to be somewhere people would actually listen.

Her inspiration came from traveling to jazz clubs and cafés in Paris and Athens, Greece, among others. Seay’s marriage to a musician also contributed to her desire to open a jazz club. Her has husband has played with musicians such as Wynton Marsalis and Chico Freeman.

 B Sharps opened in 2008 after four years of preparation. The establishment, which seats 50 people, has a “beadboard” style, Seay said, meaning that its entire foundation is made of wood. She said that B Sharps is perfect for acoustic-sounding music that does not require a lot of amplifications.

Victor Goines, a prominent jazz clarinetist and saxophonist, will perform at B Sharps on Nov. 9.

B Sharps was originally open Wednesdays through Saturdays but is now open primarily on Fridays.

Al English, the doorman, said that B Sharps was affected greatly by the recession, and it has become costly to book performers. As a result, English said that Seay had to make cutbacks, so now it operates one day a week.

In addition to an array of jazz music, refreshments are available. Guests are able to purchase beer and wine, but liquor is unavailable.