RALPH PETERSON Sextet w/Sean Jones, Marcus Strickland, Luques and Zaccai Curtis, Hailey Niswanger!

RALPH PETERSON SEXTET - Friday April 3rd - Door 7:30 Show 8:30**    860-434-0886

We are thrilled to welcome Ralph back to the Side Door with this incredible sextet of some of the best jazz artists around today! Sean Jones-Trumpet, Marcus Strickland-Tenor & Soprano, Hailey Niswanger- Alto & Soprano, Luques Curtis- Bass, Zaccai Curtis- Piano – and of course yours truly, Mr. Peterson on drums! WOW

For 30 years, Ralph Peterson has been one of the distinctive and recognizable drummers in jazz. Peterson met Grand Master drummer Art Blakey in 1983. A few months after sitting in, Blakey called Peterson (then a college junior) to play along side him in his two-drummer big band. Peterson takes seriously the honor and responsibility of being the “Last Messenger Drummer” and later paid homage to Blakey on his 1992 recording “Art.” His recording and touring resume includes jazz greats like Terrence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Stanley Turrentine, David Murray, Dizzy Gillespie, The Count Basie Orchestra, Betty Carter, Michael Brecker, Kenny Barron and many more of the greatest names in jazz.

Now considered by many to be a Master drummer himself, Peterson’s latest recording, and 18th as a leader, and fourth on his own Onyx Productions Music Label, entitled ALIVE at Firehouse 12 Vol2: Fo’ n Mo’, firmly establishes him as a Master Bandleader and Educator.

With ALIVE at Firehouse 12; Volume 2, Peterson continues to illustrate his mastery with a new edition of Fo’tet players (and some very special guests, hence the Fo’ n Mo’ subtitle) who simply burn from note one. Combined with last two projects, The Duality Perspective and ALIVE Vol1 with Sean Jones, Tia Fuller, Luques Curtis and Jake Sherman as former students, Peterson is clearly one of the most influential musicians of his generation. EJ Strickland, Ari Honig, Justin Faulkner, Rodney Green, Johnathan Blake, Vince Ector, Mark Whitfield Jr., Lyndon Rochelle, Jerome Jennings and too many more to name.

He is full professor of percussion at Berklee College of Music. Ralph is also highly sought after as a clinician and endorser for Mapex Drums, Vic Firth Sticks, as well as Meinl Cymbals, where he designed one of their newest cymbal line released January of this year. See for more details on this incredible artist.

RALPH PETERSON SEXTET- Friday April 3rd - Door 7:30 Show 8:30*   860-434-0886

**tickets are non refundable, non transferable – no audio or video recording permitted (incl. cell phones). Photos only during first set. Full bar at the club. Enjoy a pre-show dinner (or overnight stay!) at The Old Lyme Inn restaurant – recommended!



DONALD HARRISON Quintet – Saturday April 4th– doors 7:30pm show 8:30pm 860-434-0886**

Saxophonist Donald Harrison is joined by Joe Dyson on drums, Max Moran on bass, Zaccai Curtis on piano and Detroit Brooks on guitar!

New Orleans-born traditionalist, modern jazz trendsetter, former Jazz Messenger, nurturer of young talent, composer, bandleader and alto saxophonist Donald Harrison ’81 is a complete musician and entertainer. A kind of Crescent City renaissance man, Harrison has made sounds as diverse as Nouveau Swing, traditional jazz, hip-hop, Mardi Gras, and even classical music, his very own.

He has composed a film score for Jonathan Demme (Rachel’s Getting Married), appeared in and consulted on HBO’s Tremé, co-led a group with Terence Blanchard, and performed with a musical who’s who that includes Art Blakey, Dr. John, Digable Planets, Roy Haynes, Lena Horne, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Miles Davis, and Spike Lee, to name just a few. Harrison is the director of The Tipitina’s Intern Program and an artist in residence at Tulane University. His most recent recordings are This Is Jazz: Live at the Blue Note, with Billy Cobham and Ron Carter, and New Orleans Gumbo, with Dr. John.

DONALD HARRISON Quintet – Saturday April 4th – doors 7:30pm show 8:30pm 860-434-0886

*tickets are non refundable and non transferable – no audio or video recording is permitted during the performance. Full bar – no dinner served – pre show dinner reservations are highly recommended at The Old Lyme Inn restaurant –

**tickets are non refundable, non transferable – no audio or video recording permitted (incl. cell phones). Photos only during first set. Full bar at the club. Enjoy a pre-show dinner (or overnight stay!) at The Old Lyme Inn restaurant – recommended!



BUCKY PIZZARELLI & ED LAUB DUO - Friday April 10 - Door 7:30 Show 8:30**    860-434-0886

We are thrilled to welcome Bucky back to the Side Door along with long time band mate Ed Laub.

See or for more artist details. Tickets for the real thing right here!

**tickets are non refundable, non transferable – no audio or video recording permitted (incl. cell phones). Photos only during first set. Full bar at the club. Enjoy a pre-show dinner (or overnight stay!) at The Old Lyme Inn restaurant – recommended!



KEVIN HAYS TRIO –Saturday April 11th  – doors open 7:30pm - showtime 8:30pm* 860-434-0886

We are thirilled to welcome Kevin back to the club this spring. Long considered to be among the finest of his generation, Jazz Pianist and Composer Kevin Hays has recorded over a dozen CD’s as a leader and has been featured on many recordings as a sideman. His recordings have been praised by  The New York Times and listed among the “Best of the Year” by Musician Magazine and The New Yorker Magazine.

In addition to touring extensively with his own trio and other special projects, he has worked with with many legendary jazz artists including Sonny Rollins, John Scofield, Benny Golson, Roy Haynes, Chris Potter, Al Foster, Joe Henderson and Joshua Redman.

For this wonderful return performance Kevin is joined by Rob Jost on bass & Greg Joseph on drums. For more artist info visit:

KEVIN HAYS TRIO –Saturday April 11th – doors open 7:30pm. Showtime 8:30pm*

**tickets are non refundable, non transferable – no audio or video recording permitted (incl. cell phones). Photos only during first set. Full bar at the club. Enjoy a pre-show dinner (or overnight stay!) at The Old Lyme Inn restaurant – recommended!



Josh Johnson and HOLOPHONOR - Friday April 17th - Door 7:30 Show 8:3opm   860-434-0886**

HOLOPHONOR is a fearless collaboration of seven of today’s most dynamic young jazz musicians from all over the U.S. and South America. Josh Johnson on Alto Saxophone, Mike Cottone on Trumpet, Eric Miller on Trombone, Diego Urbano on Vibraphone, Miro Sprague on Piano, Dave Robaire on Bass and Jonathan Pinson on Drums.

Their performances feature original music from each member of the group as well as works written collectively. The group manages to combine imaginative compositions with improvisational freedom while still staying accessible to the listener. The members of Holophonor met in 2012 after being selected to attend the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, where they studied under the guidance of jazz legends including Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. As members of the Monk Institute, the group has performed in Israel, Japan, Sweden and Turkey in addition to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 

Check out this great link for video and ios etc..

HOLOPHONOR- Friday April 11th - Door 7:30 Show 8:30*   860-434-0886

**tickets are non refundable, non transferable – no audio or video recording permitted. Photos only during first set. Full bar at the club. Enjoy a pre-show dinner (or overnight stay!) at The Old Lyme Inn restaurant – recommended!


STEVE CARRINGTON Quartet w/Cyrus Chestnut, Curtis Lundy, Brandon Lewis

STEVE CARRINGTON Quartet – Sat April 18th – Door 7:30 Show 8:30    860-434-0886*

w/Cyrus Chestnut, Curtis Lundy, Brandon Lewis.

Born in East Baltimore, Maryland, Steve grew up cultivating a deep love and respect for jazz music, picking up the sax at age seven. He attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, then went on to graduate from Frederick Douglass High. His early influences were John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Grover Washington Jr., Hank Mobley, and Freddie Hubbard.

Following graduation in 1986, Steve was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. There, he studied with saxophonist Bill Pierce, formerly of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. After Berklee, Steve moved to New York, where he played with the Charles Mingus Epitaph, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Hargrove, Milt Hinton, Pharaoh Sanders, plus Frank Wess and Jimmy Heath (at the same time!), among many others.

In the mid-1990s, Steve joined the faculty of the Jazz Mentoring Program at the Eubie Blake Center for Cultural Arts. Continuing his musical pursuits in the Baltimore/Washington area, Steve performed with Ruby Glover, Phillip Harper, Theodros Avery, Grady Tate, and Cyrus Chestnut, who featured Steve on his third album, “Earth Stories.”

Returning to New York, Steve sat in with the likes of the late Elvin Jones, Joey DeFrancesco, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Wynton Marsalis, Wessel “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Eric Lewis (ELew) and Chick Corea. He is close friends with his mentor Kenny Garrett. In a symbolic passing of the torch, Kenny gifted Steve with a saxophone in 2012.

As leader of his own quartet, Steve has opened for jazz giants Abbey Lincoln, Lionel Hampton, and Stanley Turrentine. Currently, Steve is a part of the legendary drummer Greg Bandy’s band: Greg has played for many years with Pharoah Sanders, Stanley Turrentine and Yusef Lateef. Steve is proud to have released his debut album ‘A Caring Tone’ on Samech records, which is available on ITunes, Amazon, and Google Play. Check out for more artist details

STEVE CARRINGTON Quartet – Sat April 18th – Door 7:30 Show 8:30pm    860-434-0886**

**tickets are non refundable, non transferable – no audio or video recording permitted. Photos only during first set. Full bar at the club. Enjoy a pre-show dinner (or overnight stay!) at The Old Lyme Inn restaurant – recommended!

!) at The Old Lyme Inn restaurant – recommended!



85 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371


Buy Advance Tickets Here General Admission only. Doors 7:30pm. Show 8:30pm unless otherwise advertised. No standing room.

(860) 434-0886 | Email

Club Opens

7:30pm for cocktails and seating. Show 8:30pm unless otherwise advertised. General admission only.

Pre-show dinner reservations available at The Old Lyme Inn

(dessert selections available in the club, no dinner)

No unauthorized audio or video recording is permitted during performance. This includes cell phones.

Photos restricted to first set, or per artist request.

Enjoy overnight discount with your tickets at The Old Lyme Inn. #TasteStayGroove!

Featured Show

8:30pm to 11:00pm (approx. unless otherwise noted).

Pre-show dinner reservations available at The Old Lyme Inn

(dessert selection available in club, no dinner)

VOTED BEST LIVE JAZZ BY CT MAGAZINE 2014! Come check out why.....

Enjoy a discounted stay at the Inn with purchase of jazz tickets!

#TasteStayGroove! We invite you to stay the night, or the weekend, here!



The CURTIS Brothers 4/26/14


Bill Charlap

Etienne Charles Quartet 5/31/14

Cyrille Aimee & Diego Figueiredo

PHAREZ WHITTED Quartet! 6/13/14


Fred Hersch

RENE MARIE 5/14/14






Mr. Nat Reeves Quartet (pictured with #1 fan!)

Javon Jackson WE FOUR (Jimmy Cobb, George Cables, Nat Reeves)

Jimmy Greene Quartet 10/19/13

Hector Martignon (Foreign Affair 7/13 and Pau Brasil 10/13)

Jonathan Michel BAM Quartet (and Marcus Strickland)

Dario Boente 9/28/13

Buce Barth Trio w/Steve Nelson on vibes

Freddy Cole Quartet 11/14/13

Manuel Valera Quintet 11/15/13

Samuel Torres Sextet - Premier of Forced Displacement 12/7/13

Donny McCaslin Trio

Orrin Evans Quartet

Chelsea Baratz (w/Orrin Evans Quartet Christmas Program!) 12/21/13

The tireless Christmas elves at the Side Door - Seasons Greetings from Ken and Jan

Happy Holidays from Ken and Jan!

Curtis Fuller (with Javon Jackson All Star Birthday Bash) 12/20/13

Curtis Fuller Birthday Celebration!

Rene McLean with Gary Bartz and Nat Reeves

Samuel Torres Octet. Forced Displacement CT Debut 12/6

Jani Siegel Trio 1/10/14

To name just a few.....

Welcomed in 2013 - the Reason We are Here!

Grace Kelly

Benny Green Trio 4/18/14

Nicholas Payton Trio 1/17&18/14



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Snowing again! March roars in.... bringing great jazz this weekend!! FRIDAY NIGHT 3/6 - RONNIE BURRAGE leads from the drums with Jim Beard on piano, Manolo Badrena on percussion and...

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Ben Wolfe Quintet hits...! #thewhisperer @thesidedoor.....w/Stacy Dillard, Donald Edwards and Orrin Evans. Welcome back gentlemen.

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See you tonight for BEN WOLFE's CD release event.... Check this incredible line up of Jazz talent!.... Ben Wolfe - bass, Donald Edwards - drums, Stacy Dillard - saxophone, Orrin Evans...

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Some moving sounds from the EJ Strickland 5tet tonight! Great to see you again (and welcome Jaleel!).... Sincere Thanks

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"A Beacon of Live Music!..."
Feb 27, 2015 | see full article
NY Times - "Its the Perfect Room....."
Nov 16, 2014 | see full article
CT Magazine - The Side Door Thrives!
May 7, 2014 | see full article
The Day - "A Lovely Spot To Listen"
November 14, 2013 | see full article
The SideDoor Announces Its Fall Line Up!
September 26, 2013 | see full article
Wine, dine, spend the night, and all that jazz!
September 17, 2013 | see full article
Old Lyme Inn opens the SideDoor
MAY 9, 2013 | see full article
Old Lyme Inn jazzed about new venue
MAY 6, 2013 | see full article
All About Jazz - Old Lyme Inn Goes Live At The Side Door Jazz Club
June 21, 2013 | see full article
Wallace Roney, Two Explosive Nights At The Side Door Jazz Club
July 21, 2013 | see full article
The SideDoor Opens to a Standing Ovation in Old Lyme
May 13 2013 | see full article



Founded in 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival® was the first annual jazz festival in America. It has been host to numerous legendary performances by some of the world’s leading established and emerging artists.

Garde Arts Center

Performing arts theater presenting Broadway shows, opera, film and other events. New London, Connecticut.


Established in 1994, JazzReach is a nationally recognized New York City-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, performance, creation and teaching of jazz music.


The Artists Collective

The Artists Collective is a cultural institution serving the Greater Hartford region, providing year-round professional training in dance, music, drama, visual and martial arts emphasizing the arts and culture of the African Diaspora.


The Hartt School of Music

The Hartt School is the comprehensive performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford. Hartt offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre.


Newport Festivals Foundation

To continue the Newport Jazz Festival® as it has been since 1954 in the presentation of the greatest jazz performers who follow the traditions of New Orleans, swing, bebop and modal as the core and heart of jazz music.




The SideDoor is quite literally a dream come true!

The Sidedoor jazz club is the realisation of a long cherished dream. Ken Kitchings has always been a true fan of jazz music and brought many great artists to The Garde Theatre in New London, CT during his time there.

In 2011 Ken and his wife Chris bought the beautiful, but sadly neglected, Old Lyme Inn and put their hearts and souls into bringing its former glory to life. Once the inn became an established part of the community, Ken set his sights on an unused “side door” space attached to the inn, visualizing the perfect jazz venue: Intimate, welcoming, elegant and a quality, great sounding room that the very best jazz artists would be happy to play in!

On May 10th, 2013 its door and stage was opened by none other than the venerable George Wein and his Newport All Star band, cutting the ribbon and giving his blessing to an awestruck Ken Kitchings! An incredible gala night opening to be remembered – setting the standard and placing The Sidedoor firmly on the jazz venue map!



  • “Thank you for treating us so well. I’m happy that The Side Door brings quality, art and celebration to the community, thank you for inviting me to be a part of the magic! Sending love and wishing you health and joy, thank you. Benny”

    ~ Benny Green 4/18/14
  • “…First of all congratulations on a wonderful jazz joint – the SideDoor has all the Vibe a real top jazzclub should have and can easily be looked upon with both envy and fascination by other clubs around the world; because the SideDoor is based upon one man’s sheer and honest passion for a certain kind of music that thrives best when surrounded by loving and open-minded enthusiasts – and Ken’s passion for jazz nurtures exactly that exquisite atmosphere in which both musicians and audience will get the finest and rarest music experiences…”

    ~ Benjamin Koppel, renowned Saxaphonist
  • Hi Ken and Jan; I just wanted to thank you both again for a fantastic weekend. You have created a special environment (with both the inn and the club) where both Christos and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. Thank you also for being so kind to my family – they really loved it! Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

    ~ Sergio Salvatore
  • “It was a pleasure to experience The Old Lyme Inn and The SideDoor jazz club, and to witness again first hand your passion for and support of great music. We’ll be back!”

    ~ Luciano Salvatore
  • “This is the real deal! You’re right in the cross hairs of the NY and Boston music scene… This is every bit as great as playing the Vanguard!”

    ~ Kenny Werner
  • This is the best thing to happen to the Connecticut shoreline since the Baldwin Bridge!

    ~ Robin Whitney, Side Door VIP
  • Intimate room, good bar service and superb jazz band! A great place to go after dinner on the weekend in Old Lyme or Essex near the CT shore.

    ~ TripAdvisor User: Glenn C
  • very excited to see this has opened – just what we need in this area!!

    ~ Facebook User: Carrie Leber
  • As shepherded by Ken Kitchings – who owns the Old Lyme Inn with his wife, Christine, and is a booking force at the Garde Arts Center – the SideDoor will be an intimate venue dedicated to showcasing the finest touring jazz musicians as they negotiate the I-95 corridor.

    ~ RICK KOSTER, The Day


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