Fred Hersch Trio


Friday, March 24 :: doors 7:30pm, show 8:30pm

For tickets, reservations for pre-show dinner or an overnight stay,please call 860-434-2600

A select member of jazz’s piano pantheon, Fred Hersch is a pervasively influential creative force who has shaped the music’s course over more than three decades as an improviser, composer, educator, bandleader, collaborator and recording artist. A ten-time Grammy Award nominee, he continues to earn jazz’s most prestigious awards, including recent distinctions as a 2016 Doris Duke Artist and 2016 Jazz Pianist of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association. Proclaimed “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade” by Vanity Fair, Hersch has long defined jazz’s creative edge in a wide variety of settings, from his breathtaking solo recitals and exploratory duos to his extraordinary trios and innovative chamber settings. With some three dozen albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, Hersch consistently wins an international array of awards and lavish critical praise for his albums.

His latest release, Sunday Night at the Vanguard (Palmetto), is a definitive statement by his long-running trio with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson. This CD was nominated for two 2017 Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Album and Best Jazz Solo. The trio’s previous release Floating (Palmetto), described as “an extravagantly beautiful new album” by Nate Chinen of The New York Times, also earned 2014 Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Album and Best Jazz Solo. And the trio’s two-CD Palmetto set Alive at the Vanguard was awarded the 2012 Grand Prix du Disque in France and named one of the year’s best CDs by Downbeat.

An artist of unbounded imagination and ambition, Hersch has gained great acclaim for his solo work, a track record that prompted All About Jazz to observe that “when it comes to the art of solo piano in jazz, there are two classes of performers: Fred Hersch and everybody else.” His 2015 Palmetto release Fred Hersch SOLO won a Coup de Coeur from L’Academie Charles Cros – his third such award – as well as the French Grand Prix de L’Académie de Jazz. In 2006 Hersch became the first artist in the 75-year history of New York’s legendary Village Vanguard to play a weeklong engagement as a solo pianist. Palmetto documented his second solo Vanguard run on Alone at the Vanguard, which received two Grammy nominations and the coveted Coup de Coeur de l’Académie Charles Cros (capping 2011,when the Jazz Journalists Association named Hersch its Jazz Pianist of the Year).

He’s earned similar distinction with his writing, garnering a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition. The same year he created Leaves of Grass (Palmetto Records), a large-scale setting of Walt Whitman’s poetry for two voices (Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry) and an instrumental octet. Hersch’s 2010 theatrical project, My Coma Dreams, prompted the New York Times Sunday Magazine to describe Hersch as “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz—a jazz for the 21st century.” Based on visions Hersch experienced during a two-month coma in 2008, the evening-length multimedia collaboration with writer/director Herschel Garfein for 11 instrumentalists and an actor/singer was captured on video at Columbia University and released by Palmetto on a 2014 DVD (available on Amazon).

Hersch and numerous other artists have recorded more than 90 of his jazz compositions. Naxos Records released a disc of his through-composed works, Fred Hersch: Concert Music 2001-2006, and the prestigious firm Edition Peters publishes these compositions.

In 2014, Hersch garnered his sixth Grammy nomination for his solo on “Duet” from Free Flying, a duo album with guitarist Julian Lage that received a rare 5-Star rating from Downbeat. Hersch has collaborated with an astonishing range of artists throughout worlds of jazz (Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, Bill Frisell); classical (Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Christopher O’Riley); and Broadway (Audra McDonald). Long admired for his sympathetic work with singers, Hersch has joined with such notable jazz vocalists as Nancy King, Janis Siegel, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Norma Winstone and Kurt Elling.

For two decades Hersch has been a passionate spokesman and fund-raiser for AIDS services and education agencies. He has produced and performed on four benefit recordings and in numerous concerts for charities including Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. To day, his efforts have raised more than $300,000. He has also been a keynote speaker and performer at international medical conferences in the U.S. and Europe.

The feature documentary The Ballad of Fred Hersch premiered at the prestigious Full Frame Film Festival in March 2016 to a sold-out house and rave reviews. His memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly, will be published in 2017 by Crown Books/Random House.

A committed educator, Hersch has taught at New England Conservatory, The Juilliard School, The New School and The Manhattan School of Music, and conducted a Professional Training Workshop for Young Musicians at The Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall in 2008. He is currently a member of the Jazz Studies faculty of Rutgers University. He holds Honorary Doctorates from Grinnell College and Northern Kentucky University. Hersch’s influence has been widely felt on a new generation of jazz pianists, from former students Brad Mehldau and Ethan Iverson to his colleague Jason Moran, who has said, “Fred at the piano is like LeBron James on the basketball court. He’s perfection.”

*tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable – no audio or video recording allowed (incl. cell phones) photos only during first set – no flash.

Enjoy a pre-show dinner or discounted overnight stay with tickets at The Old Lyme Inn!


Expansions: Dave Liebman Group

Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group :: Saturday, March 25
Doors at 7:30, Show 8:30pm Call 860-434-2600 for reservations

Dave Liebman- saxophone & flute
Bobby Avey – piano
Matt Vashlishan – reeds
Alex Ritz – drums
Tony Marino – bass

Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group will feature music written and played by John Coltrane celebrating the 90th year of his birth and 50th since his passing. The material will cover the three periods of his extraordinary and short career (twelve years) beginning with his tenure as a sideman in the Miles Davis Group; through the repertoire of the Classic Quartet (Tyner, Jones and Garrison); concluding with pieces from  the late “free” jazz period. Coltrane’s body of work represents a pinnacle of achievement in the 20th century exerting an influence that goes beyond jazz both spiritually and musically. Specifically for Liebman, it was seeing Coltrane live on many occasions in New York City that inspired him to pursue this music.


Donald Vega Trio


Friday, March 31 :: doors 7:30pm, show 8:30pm

For tickets, reservations for pre-show dinner or an overnight stay,please call 860-434-2600

Donald Vega’s style and virtuosity on piano, along with his composing and arranging, mark this young artist as a unique and exciting presence in the world of jazz. His sound has been said to resonate with a touch of Oscar Peterson’s versatility and Bill Evans’ elegant lyricism.

Donald was born into a musical family and began playing the piano by ear at the young age of three. His formal training began at six years old, taught by his grandfather and uncle, both noted musicians in Nicaragua. Due to the ongoing civil war, Vega immigrated to the United States at the age of fourteen without speaking a word of English. While in the U.S. he continued to suffer health problems from a congenital defect that threatened both his hearing and musical future. Poverty-stricken, but still driven by his love for music, Vega practiced on a makeshift cardboard piano and within a year of coming to the United States he won the prestigious Los Angeles Spotlight Awards competition. With this competition, he captured the attention of Henry Mancini and the renowned jazz critic, Leonard Feather; befriended a benefactor who paid for his surgeries to correct his health and hearing; and David Abel of Fine Pianos, at the request of Walter Grumman and Barbara Haig, donated a piano to replace the now legendary piece of cardboard.

Mastering English as quickly as the keyboard, Vega began studying at The Colburn School of Performing Arts, (where he also taught), and went on to earn a B.A. degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California, an M.A. in Jazz Studies from the Manhattan School of Music, and an Artist Diploma from Juilliard. Along the way, he won the LA Jazz Society’s New Talent Award, The Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 2010, and Downbeat’s Student Music Award for 2007 best Jazz Soloist and has had his compositions highlighted in JAZZIZ. Donald recently judged his first national jazz piano competition, Kathleen T. and Phillip B. Phillips Jazz Piano Competition, at the Pensacola Jazz Festival in April 2010 after winning the same competition the year before.

Vega’s first album as a leader, Tomorrows, was released July 2008 with rave reviews, featuring Lewis Nash on drums and David J. Grossman on bass. Tomorrows includes six original tunes, showing us that Vega has evolved into both a creative composer and arranger. Tomorrows adds to a growing discography with Vega’s piano playing including Anthony Wilson’s The Power of Nine, Bennie Wallace’s Disorder at the Border, Jazz on the Latin Side’s The Last Bull Fighter, and Al McKibbon’s Black Orchid, to name just a few.

Donald currently resides in New York where he recently completed his studies at the Juilliard School with piano great, Kenny Barron. He frequently performs at nightclubs in New York City as well as throughout Europe and Latin America. Vega is currently working on the release of his second album.

*tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable – no audio or video recording allowed (incl. cell phones) photos only during first set – no flash.

Enjoy a pre-show dinner or discounted overnight stay with tickets at The Old Lyme Inn!


Ricky Ford Quartet

Ricky Ford was born March 4, 1954 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He started to play drums, then changed to tenor saxophone at the age of 15, inspired by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Ran Blake heard him playing in a Boston Club and persuaded him to study music at the New England Conservatory. (Blake later invited him to play on several albums too, including Rapport, Short Life Of Barbara Monk and That Certain Feeling). In 1974 Ford joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the leadership of Mercer Ellington and in 1976 he replaced George Adams in the Charles Mingus group, recording on Three Or Four Shades of Blue and Me Myself An Eye. In the late 70s and early 80s he played with Dannie Richmond, Mingus Dynasty, George Russell, Beaver Harris, Lionel Hampton and Adbullah Ibrahim’s Ekaya group. Following the release of his debut album in 1977 he has worked increasingly as a leader, often recording with Jimmy Cobb and ex-Ellington colleague James Spaulding. His latest releases also feature one of his fellow New England Conservatory teachers, Jaki Byard.


Emmet Cohen Trio

Emmet Cohen – Piano
Yasushi Nakamura – Bass
Joe Saylor – Drums

Multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen is one of his generation’s pivotal artistic figures. Downbeat praised the “nimble touch, measured stride and warm harmonic vocabulary” he employs to communicate with other musicians and audiences at what he terms “the deepest level of humanity and individuality.” Cohen plays with the command and passion of an artist fully devoted to his medium. Leader of the “Emmet Cohen Trio,” Cohen presents jazz performance lectures through the YoungArts Foundation and Lincoln Center’s “Jazz for Young People” program. He has appeared in the Monterey, Newport, North Sea, Bern, and Edinburgh jazz festivals, among others, and at many famous music venues, including Rose Hall and the Kennedy Center. Cohen has also played in legendary international nightspots, such as Birdland, the Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazzhaus Montmartre, and Ronnie Scott’s. He is Hammond B-3 organist-in-residence at Harlem’s Smoke jazz club. A Suzuki piano student at age three, Cohen holds jazz piano degrees from the Manhattan School of Music (M.M.) and the University of Miami (B.M.). He was finalist in both the American Pianists Association’s Cole Porter Fellowship (2015, 2011) and the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition (2011). Cohen has performed or collaborated with Debbie Allen, Jimmy Cobb, Lea DeLaria, Kurt Elling, Billy Hart, Jimmy Heath, Ali Jackson, Bill T. Jones, Brian Lynch, Christian McBride, and Herlin Riley.


Gregoire Maret Quartet

Grégoire Maret, harmonica
Romain Collin – piano/keys
Antoine Katz – bass
John Davis – drums

“Whenever he lifts his instrument to his lips… we are transported with a sweet yet powerful intensity to a higher plane. – Cassandra Wilson “A harmonica virtuoso and a serenely expressive melodist. – The New York Times

Over the course of the past decade, Grégoire Maret has emerged as a unique and compelling new voice across a wide spectrum of the modern jazz world. That his chosen instrument – the harmonica – is a relative rarity in the genre is one element in his singular sound, but far from the whole explanation. After all, the extensive list of heavy-hitters who have enlisted him for their own projects is unparalleled: Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson, and Marcus Miller are some of his most prominent employers. Maret has redefined the role of the harmonica, finding fresh pathways through a remarkable variety of styles. Herbie Hancock has called Maret “one of the most creative musicians around,” while Marcus Miller has declared that he is “carrying the instrument into the 21st century with prowess, passion, and creativity.”

Having been voted one of the top miscellaneous instrument winners in past jazz critics’ polls, his guest appearances on recording sessions and concert stages expand that list to even more jawdropping proportions: Raul Midón, Jimmy Scott, Jacky Terrasson, Richard Bona, Sean Jones, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kurt Elling, Lionel Loueke, Mike Stern, and Charlie Hunter have all made use of Maret’s unmatched palette of color. More recently, he’s worked alongside some of the biggest names in music, including Elton John, Sting, and Prince at Stings’ The Concert for the Rainforest.

Maret grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, the son of a Harlem-born, African-American mother and a Swiss father. After studying at the prestigious Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève he decided to undertake jazz studies at New York’s New School University. Intending to return to Switzerland and a career as a teacher, Maret soon found himself working regularly with NYC’s finest jazz musicians, and his decision to stick around for a year after graduation was extended indefinitely. Calls came quickly from bandleaders as diverse as Jacky Terrasson, Steve Coleman, and Meshell Ndegeocello, each of whose music required Maret to expand his vision of his own instrument, an ideal that continues to this day.


Noah Preminger

Preminger, just 30, has recorded numerous critically acclaimed albums and is steadily listed as one of the best tenor saxophonists by critics and readers on the annual Downbeat Poll. Two new recordings were released in 2016, including an all-ballads date on the French vinyl label, Newvelle Records, and a recording inspired by Delta Mississippi Blues musicians, Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground. On Inauguration Day, 2017, Preminger will release his 7th album as a bandleader, Meditations On Freedom, as a musical protest at ominous political developments in America.

Born in 1986, Preminger grew up in Canton, Connecticut. Preminger released his debut album, Dry Bridge Road, just after his 21st birthday and was named Debut of the Year in the Village Voice Critics Poll. Preminger’s second and third albums as a leader came in 2011 and 2013 while signed to the Palmetto Records label. The Boston Globe says ,“Tenor saxophonist Preminger – a master with standards and ballads, as well as an adventurous composer … Preminger lets a little Ornette into his sound to join Coltrane and Rollins.” The saxophonist has performed on key stages from the United States to Europe and Australia, and he has played and/or recorded with the likes of Billy Hart, Dave Holland, John Patitucci, Fred Hersch, Dave Douglas, Rob Garcia, Joe Lovano, Victor Lewis, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Cecil McBee, George Cables, Roscoe Mitchell, and Dr. Eddie Henderson.


Linda May Han Oh Group

Linda May Han Oh – bass
Ben Wendel – saxophone
Fabian Almazan – keys/piano
Gilad Hekselman – guitar
Rudy Royston – drums.

Born in Malaysia and raised in Perth, Western Australia, Linda May Han Oh is an active bassist and composer who has performed with the likes of Pat Metheny, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Kenny Barron, Steve Wilson, Geri Allen, Fabian Almazan and Terri Lyne Carrington.

She has received many awards such as an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s award in 2008, 2nd place at the BASS2010 Competition and an honorary mention at the 2009 Thelonious Monk Bass Competition. Linda also received the 2010 Bell Award for Young Australian Artist of the Year and was the 2012 Downbeat Critic’s Poll “Rising Star” on bass.

After graduating from Manhattan School of Music, she has had three releases as a leader which have received critical acclaim – the first being “Entry” featuring Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet and Obed Calvaire on drums. The second, “Initial Here” is a quartet featuring Dayna Stephens on tenor saxophone, Fabian Almazan on piano and Rudy Royston on drums. Her third is “Sun Pictures” (named after the oldest outdoor picture gardens in operation in Broome, Western Australia) was recorded live at WKCR studios in New York.

Her most recent release is “Walk Against Wind” features Ben Wendel on tenor saxophone, Matthew Stevens on guitar and Justin Brown on drums and other guests.

Linda has written for large and small ensembles as well as for film, participating in the BMI Film Composers Workshop, Sundance Labs at Skywalker Ranch and Sabrina McCormick’s short film, “A Good Egg”.

Linda is based in New York City and teaches in the Precollege Division of Manhattan School of Music. As an active educator she has also created a series of lessons for the BassGuru app for iPad and iPhone. Linda recently received a Jerome Foundation Fellowship and is currently bassist of Pat Metheny’s quartet.



LEHCATS blends Jazz, Funk, R&B, Latin, and other world-music styles and takes you on a unique journey using original compositions as the vehicle. Playing engaging original compositions written by the members of the band, LEHCATS consists of:

Norbert Stachel – tenor & soprano saxophones & flute
Karen Stachel – flute & piccolo
Daniel Gonzalez – drums
Mike O’Brien – bass
Gary Fisher – piano
Chris Biesterfeldt – guitar

Norbert Stachel has toured, recorded, and performed with Tower Of Power, Flora Purim & Airto, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Hargrove, Prince, Boz Scaggs, and countless others. Norbert also married the wonderful jazz-and-classical flutist Karen Stachel, who has performed with Narada Michael Walden, Bob Weir & Ratdog, The Wallace Roney Orchestra, The New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, and also has three released albums of her own.

Drummer Daniel Gonzalez has recorded and performed with Tom Harrell, Mark Murphy, Jesse Green, and Urbie Green. Mike O’Brien is a top tier NYC bassist who has performed with Harry Connick Jr., Ruben Blades, Dave Samuels, Matt Wilson, Sachal Vasandani, Ron Afiff, David Binney, Ari Hoenig, Joel Harrison, Peter Apfelbaum, & Dan Weiss.

Pianist Gary Fisher, a long time friend of Norbert’s, also performs extensively in the NYC area and can be heard on recordings with Ed Reed, Eddie Marshall, Carl Allen, Vincent Herring, and many others. Guitarist Chris Biesterfeldt has worked with Stevvi Alexander, Ned Massey, Raphael Saadiq, Warren Haynes, Donald Brown, James Williams, Hector Martignon, William Cepeda, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, & Kofo The Wonderman.


Joe Locke Trio

Joe Locke (vibes)
Pat Bianchi (organ)
Sanah Kadoura (drums)

“One of the world’s most versatile vibes masters.” – Gary Walker, Hot House

Joe Locke is widely considered to be one of the major voices of his instrument. He has performed and recorded with a diverse range of notable musicians, including Grover Washington Jr, Kenny Barron, Eddie Henderson, Cecil Taylor, Dianne Reeves, Ron Carter, The Beastie Boys, the Münster Symphony Orchestra and the Lincoln, Nebraska Symphony.

Long known to be a soloist capable of stunning physical power and broad emotional range, it was not until the last decade that he emerged as the composer, band leader and conceptualist that he is considered today. This is in no small part due to his solo projects of the last decade. “Four Walls of Freedom” (Sirocco), a 6 movement suite based on the writing of the monk Thomas Merton, which he composed as a vehicle for tenor saxophonist Bob Berg, garnered high praise from the critical community as a major work and won several international polls. “Live in Seattle” (Origin), by The Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group, won the 2006 Ear Shot award for “Concert of the Year”. This group is well loved and emulated by younger musicians looking for direction and inspiration. The overwhelming success of his recent quartet, “Force of Four” (Origin), can be attributed to the talents of his young cohorts and to the leader’s musical philosophy, which is to honor tradition while keeping both feet planted in the present and future. His 2011 album, the captivating, immersive album “VIA”, is the result of a reunion of Storms/Nocturnes, the transatlantic trio with Geoffrey Keezer and Tim Garland.

Since joining Motéma Music in 2011 Joe has released “Signing”, the long awaited follow-up and critically acclaimed studio album of “Live In Seattle” by The Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group, again featuring Terreon Gully and Mike Pope. “The special hook-up between vibraphonist Joe Locke and pianist Geoffrey Keezer is based on shared assets like chops, listening skills and a gift for communicating the joy of making music. Locke/Keezer can make complex material sound suave and tricky time signatures flow.” (Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes).

2012 also saw the release of Joe Locke’s first ever symphonic project. “Wish Upon A Star” (Motéma) features the Joe Locke Quartet and Lincoln Nebraska’s Symphony Orchestra with arrangements by Ryan Cohan and Tim Garland.

His recent release on the Motéma label, “Lay Down My Heart – Blues & Ballads Vol 1”, reached the No. 1 position of the Jazz Week album charts in July 2013.

Locke has topped polls and won numerous awards (see below), including two Earshot Golden Ear Awards for “Concert of the Year”, the 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2016 “Mallet Player of the Year” award from the Jazz Journalists Association. In 2016 he was honoured with the induction into the Music Hall of Fame of his home town Rochester, NY. He is active as a clinician / educator. In 2008 and was appointed International Vibraphone Consultant by the Royal Academy of Music, London – a position which he holds on a visiting basis – and received the title of Honorary Associate of the Academy (Hon ARAM) in 2014.


Feya Faku Quartet

Feya Faku – trumpet
John Kordalewski – piano
Carlos Pino – bass
Kesivan Naidoo – drums

Fezile “Feya” Faku was born in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, a town often referred to as a Jazz Academy that brought forth a great number of jazz musicians. He studied music at University of Natal with Darius Brubeck and graduated with a University Diploma in Jazz Studies. He has performed with a great number of South African musical legends – from Barney Rachabane, Thandie Classen, Duke Makasi, Pat Matshikiza, Basel Coetzee, Winston ‘Mankunku’ Ngozi and Bheki Mseleku to Abdullah Ibrahim.

In addition to leading his own groups in South Africa, Mr. Faku travels frequently to perform on international stages with global counterparts. He has participated in long-term collaborations with European musicians such as Dutch saxophonist Paul van Kemenade and Swiss drummer Dominic Egli. He has also toured the U.S. with the South African all-star group “Uhadi” as well as with Zim Ngqawana and Kesivan Naidoo & The Lights. He has recorded four albums as a leader and numerous more as a sideman.

Mr. Faku has participated in teaching and fellowship programmes teaching trumpet and ensemble work. In April 2006 he participated in a residency programme in Switzerland teaching and performing with the Swiss-South African Quintet. The University Council of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University awarded him a Council Prestige Award, one of the highest awards awarded by the University Council. In October 2012, he was Artist in Residence at the opening of the International Jazz School of the University of South Africa.



85 Lyme Street
Old Lyme, Connecticut 06371


advance tickets
available online
or by calling
(860) 434-2600
general admission only,
no standing room

At The Show

Doors at 7:30pm for cocktails and seating
Shows begin at 8:30pm
unless otherwise advertised

Pre-show dinner reservations available at
The Old Lyme Inn
(food is not served at the club, full bar service available)

No unauthorized audio or video recording is permitted during performance. This includes cell phones. Photos restricted to first set per artist request.

Enjoy overnight discounts with your tickets

VOTED BEST LIVE JAZZ BY CT MAGAZINE 2014 AND 2015! Come check out why.....


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Bucky Pizarelli - Russell Malone - Ed Laub

STEVE WILSON-LEWIS NASH Duologue! w/Jackie McLean Ins. student fans!

CARL ALLEN 5TET The Art Of Elvin!

RENE McLEAN, Dolly McLean, Lesedi Ntsane, great night!

Cyrus Chestnut, Lummie Spann, Dezron Douglas, Victor Lewis, Steve Davis,

WAYNE ESCOFFERY 4tet w/Dave Kikoski, Luques Curtis, Jonathan Barber!


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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
"A Great Jazz Weekend In Old Lyme CT!"
Jan 30, 2016 | see full article
"A Great Weekend Of Jazz In Old Lyme CT!"
Jan 31, 2016 | see full article


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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.

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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
  • “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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