Ben Wolfe Quartet

Ben Wolfe – bass
Joel Ross – vibes
Victor Gould – piano
Donald Edwards – drums

As Wynton Marsalis said, “Ben Wolfe swings with authority.” Including his recent Posi-­‐Tone Records release “The Whisperer”, bassist-­‐composer Ben Wolfe has released eight CDs comprised solely of his original music. Of the music on his MAXJAZZ debut “No Strangers Here” The New York Times says, “In this music Mingus and Miles Davis meet Bartok and Bernard Herrmann”. Chamber Music America awarded him the 2004 New Works: Creation and Presentation Program Grant, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. As a result of this award, Wolfe was able to compose his extended composition Contradiction: Music for Sextet. Wolfe also recently made his mark as a film composer, working with Matthew Modine on the film short, I Think I Thought. At the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, The New York Sun reviewed his work on this film as, “a standout music score.” Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Portland, Oregon, Wolfe has gained a large following from his performances with Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., and Diana Krall. Early on in his career, he formed a Duo with Harry Connick Jr. and went on to record over a dozen albums and soundtracks. During his years with Connick, he performed on numerous world tours as musical director. He then joined the Wynton Marsalis Septet and remained until it disbanded. Wolfe also became an integral part of Diana Krall’s touring band and played on many of her recordings, including the Grammy Award winning CD, “When I Look In Your Eyes.”

When a member of The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO), Wolfe performed with Joe Henderson, Doc Cheatham, Jon Hendricks, Harry “Sweets” Edison, and Billy Higgins, among others. Other artists he has also recorded with include Branford Marsalis, Orrin Evans, James Moody, Eric Reed, and Benny Green. In addition to the CDs mentioned, Ben’s other recordings as a leader include “13 Sketches” (1996) and “Bagdad Theater” (1997), both released on Mons Records; “Murray’s Cadillac” (2000) on Amosaya Music; “My Kinda Beautiful” (2004) on Planet Arts Records; “Ben Wolfe Quintet: Live at Smalls” (2011); and “From Here I See” (2013) Maxjazz.

Ben is currently on the teaching faculty at The Julliard School: Jazz Division.


Phred & Friends

Jazz vocalist Phred Mileski has been described as “amazingly talented” and “one of New England’s finest song stylists.” Her astonishing range and engaging stage presence have earned her friends all over the world. A busy and versatile freelance singer and multi-instrumentalist, she is also in demand as an arranger for performances and recording projects in a wide variety of genres.

She regularly sings with jazz ensembles of all shapes and sizes, including her own group, Phred&Friends, whose style runs the gamut from classy cocktail standards to full-on swing and soul. Performing with her at The Side Door are three of the area’s finest musicians: Fred Fagan (bass), Bil Groth (piano), and John Moore (drums).


Newport Sound Collective

The Newport Sound Collective is a group of young musicians that came together after performing at the Newport Jazz Festival as part of Berklee’s Global Jazz Institute (BGJI). Each summer BGJI selects around thirty 10th-12th graders from around the world to participate in a week-long workshop, that culminates in a performance at the Newport Jazz Festival. This scholarship program allows young musicians from around the world to come together and have a chance to work with professional jazz musicians. After the workshop, local Old Lyme resident Sophia Griswold, put a call out to get a group together from this program to put on a show at the SIdeDoor Jazz Club. The group consists of 6 young musicians that span from 11th grade to 1st year college students and come from New York to Maine. Featuring Kyra Teboe on Piano, Anton Kot on Drums, Kayla Kessler on Double Bass, Jazz Vocalist Georgia Stafford, Sophia Griswold on Trombone, and Caleb Jackson on Trumpet.

Kyra Teboe (Piano) is from Brunswick, ME. Kyra is currently a freshman in a dual degree program at Harvard and the New England Conservatory. She participated in the All-National Honors Jazz Band and was named a 2017 YoungArts Merit winner and a 2018 YoungArts Honorable mention.

Anton Kot (Drums) is from New Haven, CT. Anton is a 2018 Grammy Jazz Finalist on Piano and Drums, and was invited to perform as a drummer in the NAfME All-National Jazz Ensemble. Performed in the International Gamelan Festival in Solo, Indonesia

Kayla Kessler (Double Bass) is from Syosset, NY. Kayla was a Participant in the 2018 Long Island String Festival and was selected to participate in the NMEA concert.

Georgia Stafford (Vocals) is from Fryeburg, ME was a 2018 Solo Singers Competition winner at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival.

Sophia Griswold (Trombone) is from Old Lyme, CT Sophia plays Trombone and is a vocalist for a local Jazz Band called “The Sound”. She was also selected to participate in the 2017 and 2018 CMEA Jazz Band on Trombone, and in the 2016-2018 CMEA Choir.

Caleb Jackson (Trumpet) is from Hamden, CT. Caleb Was awarded the “Judge’s Choice” and “Best Musicianship” at the 2018 Berklee Jazz Festival.


Justin Kauflin Trio

Justin Kauflin is a “jazz pianist who favors a clarity of touch and ideas, rarely spinning into an orbit he can’t control” (The New York Times). After losing his sight at the age of 11, Kauflin gravitated towards playing jazz piano, despite having a background in classical violin. He received top honors at jazz festivals across the U.S. and began performing professionally by age 15, most notably with the Jae Sinnett Trio. In 2004, he received the Presidential Scholarship to attend William Paterson University in New York and while studying there, he was taken under the tutelage of the legendary Clark Terry (winner of the 2010 Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz) and was then invited to play in the Clark Terry Ensemble. At age 23, Kauflin produced, composed and performed on his first album, Introducing Justin Kauflin and then began regularly headlining with his trio at the straight-ahead jazz club in Virginia, Havana Nights, where he also served as House Pianist. He continued to garner numerous awards such as the VSA International Young Soloist Award, he was selected as a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Competition in 2011, and was voted “Jazz Artist of the Year” in VEER Magazine.

Simultaneously, Absolute Clay Productions chronicled Justin’s inspiring relationship with mentor, Clark Terry. Five years in the making, the resultant documentary, Keep On Keepin’ On, produced by Quincy Jones, made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2014. Winning both Heineken Audience and Best New Documentary Director Awards, Keep On Keepin’ On was released in theaters in 2014 through RADiUS-TWC, is now available on Netflix and was Oscar Shortlisted for best documentary (2015 Academy Awards). Justin was subsequently signed by legendary producer and music icon, Quincy Jones for management, and after joining Quincy’s roster of artists, Kauflin was part of Jones’ 2013-2014 world tour, which traveled throughout Switzerland, France, Korea, Tokyo and Japan. Throughout 2014, in addition to Keep On Keepin’ On screening performances across the U.S., Justin worked with Jones on his second full-length CD and debut album for Jazz Village, DEDICATION. The CD consists of 12 original compositions, 9 of which are dedications to mentors, friends & family, and with a 3-part suite reflecting his faith. It was released January 12, 2015 and debuted at #6 on CMJ Jazz chart, #10 on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz Chart, hit #1 on JazzWeek’s chart, and remained in the top 10 for 9 straight weeks.

With years of dedication, Kauflin has proven himself to be a piano extraordinaire and an undeniably rare talent. Kauflin is currently playing at international jazz clubs, festivals, and most recently performed at the 2015 International Jazz Day with UNESCO in Paris. Kauflin has been touring the world with his trio, and released his new album Coming Home, produced by Derrick Hodge and Quincy Jones, on September 14, 2018.


Nat Reeves with special guest Kate Rushin

Nat Reeves – bass
Kate Rushin – poet
Matt DeChamplain – piano
Mike Dirubbo – alto sax
Kirk Woodard – drums

During the past 36 years, Nat Reeves has been one of the top bassists in jazz. His supportive and stimulating playing has uplifted a countless number of sessions and recording dates (most notably with the great altoists Jackie McLean and Kenny Garrett) and he has led his own CD State of Emergency. Both as a performer and an educator, he has made a strong impact on the jazz world.

Nat Reeves was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. “My grandfather played the banjo, mandolin and guitar. One day I picked up his guitar and started playing the bass part. He noticed and, for my 16th birthday, he bought me an electric bass.” Nat had grown up hearing bluegrass, rock and soul records but did not get an opportunity to listen to jazz until he was already a bassist. “As a teenager, I listened closely to the radio, learning everything by ear. Originally I gravitated towards soul artists such as Marvin Gaye and the music of the time. In high school, I worked for a time with a band called the Dynatones. We learned all of the top 40 songs as soon as they came out. Whenever a new hit record was released, we would purchase the recording, go in the basement, put it on the turntable, and learn the song. Quite often the same day we would play the song for dances.”

Nat admired Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius and all of the top electric bassists of the time, being interested in all of the styles. “As a bassist it is my function to concentrate on the foundation of the band and make everybody else sound good. To become a better bass player and learn more about the instrument, I started listening to jazz. In jazz there is much more freedom to create one’s own bass part and to develop my own bass sound. It is my job to always learn and not merely play the bass but be a bass player, projecting more than just my notes and always sounding fresh and alive.”

When he was 22 and living in Richmond, Virginia, Nat joined a band led by trumpeter Tom Mitchell and guitarist Randy Johnston. Johnny Coles, trumpeter for Ray Charles who frequently sat in with the band, convinced Nat to switch to acoustic bass. Without taking a lesson, Nat taught himself the new instrument and quickly developed his own individual voice.

In 1979, Nat Reeves moved to New York City. “I listened, played on the streets, listened some more, and learned. It was at the same time that Kenny Garrett, Mulgrew Miller, Tony Reedus and James Williams also came to New York. We were all friends and played together.” He first toured with Sonny Stitt in 1982 during what would be the great saxophonist’s last tour. That year he met Jackie McLean, who became his mentor.

“Jackie McLean had a major impact on me as both a musician and a man. I remember that he told me that people saw you before they heard you so it was important how I dressed and how I talked to people. He introduced me to Dizzy and Miles in the 1980s. I performed with him on and off from 1987-2004 and he is still a major part of my life. Some of the things that Jackie said to me at the time make more sense to me now than they did originally. I still learn from him and I became a teacher because of him.”

nat-_0008_4Nat began teaching at the University of Hartford (The Hartt School jazz program was organized and run by Jackie McLean) and the Artists Collective (an arts organization founded by Jackie and his wife Dollie). “I originally felt that I didn’t have anything to teach but Jackie would always say to me that I had to share what I learned. It became something that I do very naturally.” After teaching part-time for years, in 2001 Nat began a full time teaching career at The Hartt School where the African American Music Studies Program had been renamed the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz. “I build on what my students already know and try to convince them to be more aggressive with learning. I’ve learned a lot from my students particularly about technology. I often teach what I want to learn. I love helping the students. I think of teaching similar to playing a gig: being well organized, accomplishing goals and solving problems. It is a lot of fun and it makes me a better musician.”

Early in his career, Nat Reeves not only performed with Jackie McLean but such greats as tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson, trumpeter Donald Byrd, drummer Art Taylor and pianists Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Kirkland, Walter Davis, Walter Bishop, Larry Willis and Kenny Drew. He became a longtime member of altoist Kenny Garrett’s group in 1994 and in recent times has worked and recorded with many of the who’s who of jazz including tenor-saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, George Coleman and Eric Alexander, trombonist Steve Davis, pianists Harold Mabern, George Cables, David Hazeltine and Anthony Wonsey, and drummer Joe Farnsworth among many others. Asked which of his recordings are among his favorites, Nat named Jackie McLean’s J-Mac Attack, Kenny Garrett’s Grammy-nominated Songbook and Seeds from the Underground, Steve Davis’ Say When, Joe Farnsworth’s My Heroes and Eric Alexander’s Temple of Olympic Zeus. “I actually like every recording that I’ve been on. They have all been learning experiences. Recording my CD State of Emergency with pianist Rick Germanson, trumpeter Josh Bruneau and drummer Jonathan Barber was a bit of a challenge because we were in the middle of a huge snowstorm and it was tricky getting all of the musicians into the studio although it turned out great. There is more music to those sessions that hopefully will be released someday.”

During the past year, Nat Reeves has traveled the world including performing in India and Japan, at the San Francisco, New Orleans, Detroit and Atlanta Jazz Festivals, and with Pharoah Sanders at Dizzy’s at Lincoln Center.

Committed to carrying on Jackie McLean’s legacy at The Hartt School, Nat also looks forward to leading more recordings in the future and, in addition to playing with many of his favorite musicians, to work more often as a leader, “I’m still busy after moving to Hartford. Now at 63, it is time do more of my own projects.”


David DeJesus and Drive

David DeJesus – Saxophones
Michael Rodriguez – Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Manuel Valera – Piano
Doug Weiss – Bass
E.J. Strickland – Drums

Saxophonist David DeJesus, Director of the Birdland Big Band and member of numerous organizations including Ron Carter’s Great Big Band, Jimmy Heath’s Big Band, and the Dizzy Alumni All-Stars, takes the stage with his small group featuring some to the top musicians in New York City. A Connecticut native and Norwalk, CT resident, David splits his time working in the major NYC venues, teaching in the Jazz Department at Purchase College, and developing Jazz education programs in Fairfield County. His small group, Drive, has been together since 2012 and features original compositions and arrangements that cross genre boundaries constantly, utilizing elements of Latin Jazz, Traditional Jazz, Classical music and even Hip Hop. Always a fun show, be sure not to miss this one!!


Veronica Swift

At age 23, Veronica Swift is now being recognized around the country as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene.

In the fall of 2015, she won second place at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition. In 2016 she was asked to perform a concert of her own at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City and she was a guest artist with Michael Feinstein at Jazz at Lincoln Center with the Tedd Firth Big Band and Marilyn Maye and Freda Payne. Veronica’s first appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center was at age 11 when she performed at the “Women in Jazz” series at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.

In the summer of 2016 she headlined at the Telluride Jazz Festival, her 10th appearance there – but her first as a headliner. She first appeared there at age 10 with Dave Adams’ Young Razzcals Jazz Project and the great saxophonist Richie Cole and later she sang a duet with the featured artist, Paquito d’Rivera.

Veronica finished her undergraduate degree (BM in Jazz Voice) at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in December 2016, where she was a full scholarship student. It was after that that she moved to New York City, where she was almost immediately started performing every Saturday night at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club, a gig she continues to maintain when she isn’t on the road.

Veronica has been on tour with her parents, renowned jazz pianist Hod O’Brien and celebrated jazz singer and educator/author Stephanie Nakasian. She has appeared on stage with Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, Bob Dorough, Kim Nazarian, Danilo Perez, and others. With her family she has appeared at The Great Waters Music Festival in NH, Blues Alley Jazz Club in DC, the Jazz Standard in NYC, the Jazz Cruise, and for the New Jersey and Hilton Head Jazz Societies.

Veronica recorded two CDs as a child – one at age 9 with Richie Cole and her father’s rhythm section and her mother, and one at age 13 with saxophonist Harry Allen. Her latest recording project “Lonely Woman” out this year features some of the hottest young jazz players on the scene including Emmet Cohen, Benny Bennack III, Daryl Johns (with whom she shared the Grammy Choir/Band experience), Matt Wigler, and Scott Lowrie.

In addition to performing the Great American Songbook and Bebop and Vocalese classics, Veronica is also a passionate devotee of 20s and 30s music and has sung with Vince Giordano, Terry Waldo, and Drew Nugent.

Veronica will record her next album for release this year, which will feature the great pianist Benny Green and his trio.


Dayna Stephens Quartet

Dayna Stephens – tenor saxophone
Aaron Parks – piano
Ben Street – bass
Eric McPherson – drums

Recent recipient of the number-two spot for the 2017 DownBeat Critics Poll in the category “Rising Star—Tenor Saxophone”, Dayna Stephens has garnered critical acclaim over the years for his playing, compositions and arrangements. DownBeat’s James Hale describes Gratitude, the saxophonist/composer’s eighth release as a leader, as a “highly cinematic listening experience, full of roiling seas and shifting skies.” Brad Faberman cites Dayna as the JazzTimes Editor’s Pick, writing, “His big, warm lines are full of notes and intent but also gusts of wind, bodies of water.” A review from JazzScene Magazine’s Alex W. Rodriguez praises the record’s distinctive personnel: “This album showcases some of today’s finest musicians at the height of their craft, anchored by Stephens’ humble magnetism. The musicians exude a patient, persistent quality in their collective exploration, with the melodies unfolding into searching improvisations throughout.


Alicia Olatuja

Alicia Olatuja – vocals
Jon Cowherd – piano
David Rosenthal – guitar
Keith Witty – bass
John Davis – drums

“…a singer with a strong and luscious tone and an amiably regal presence on stage” — New York Times
“Olatuja possesses a special instrument: a full-bodied tone, precise pitch and personal engagement at the lowest whisper or highest wail.” — Downbeat

Praised by the New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone and an amiably regal presence on stage”, Alicia Olatuja has been astounding audiences with her exquisite vocals, artistic versatility and captivating demeanor. She first came into the national spotlight in 2013, whilst performing as the featured soloist with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir at President Barack Obama’s Second Inauguration. Shortly thereafter, she assembled her own jazz based ensemble and recorded her first solo album, Timeless (2014).

Now focusing on the rich contributions of a diverse selection of female composers, Alicia is set to release her sophomore album, Intuition: From the Minds of Women in 2019 on the Resilience Music Alliance label. The album celebrates the achievements of a long list of esteemed female composers, while offering a musical perspective unique to Olatuja. She is joined by Kamau Kenyatta and Ulysses Owens Jr. as producers and the material includes songs of Brenda Russell, Sade, Tracy Chapman, Kate Bush, Angela Bofill and Linda Creed.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Alicia grew up immersed in a wide range of musical styles, including gospel, soul, jazz and classical. These influences have informed her artistic journey and she later graduated with a Masters degree in Classical Voice/Opera from the Manhattan School of Music. After appearing in numerous operatic and musical theater productions she started to perform more regularly in gospel and jazz concerts and worked with such esteemed artists as Chaka Khan, BeBe Winans and Christian McBride.


Steve Davis Quartet

Steve Davis – trombone
David Hazeltine – piano
Gerald Cannon – bass
Jason Tiemann – drums
Abena Koomson-Davis – vocal

Steve Davis is widely regarded as one of today’s leading voices on the trombone. Over the years, Davis has worked with jazz luminaries such as Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea, Cecil Payne, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, Cedar Walton, Hank Jones & Benny Golson. Raised in Binghamton, New York, Davis has performed at major venues around the world including appearances on The Jimmy Fallon Show with Stevie Wonder and at The White House Tribute to Ray Charles (PBS). Davis appears on over 150 recordings, including 19 as a leader. His latest release, Think Ahead (Smoke Sessions, 2017) celebrates an exciting collection of original compositions including “A Little Understanding” and “Atmosphere” and time honored classics such as Little B’s Poem by the late Bobby Hutcherson and Tony Williams’ Warrior. Other notable releases include Say When: Celebrating J.J. Johnson (Smoke Sessions) For Realand Gettin’ It Done (Positone). Steve continues to work regularly with One For All (feat. Eric Alexander), Larry Willis, Harold Mabern, Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars, Jimmy Heath, Ron Carter and Christian McBride big bands. Steve’s original composition, “Optimism” appears on the McBride Big Band’s latest release Bringin’ It which won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. A long-time educator, Steve has guided a broad range of emerging musicians as a professor at Hartt School’s Jackie McLean Institute (University of Hartford). In April 2017, Steve was honored by the University of Hartford in celebration of his 25 years of service. Other ongoing prestigious educational endeavors include Jamey Aebersold’s Summer Jazz Workshops, the Jazz in Julyprogram at UMASS Amherst, Stanford University Jazz Workshop, as well as his long-time affiliation with the Artist’s Collective, founded by Jackie and Dollie McLean. His highly anticipated forthcoming album, Correlations, is set to release on Smoke Sessions March 2019.



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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Here's a jazz-filled moment from #MisterRogersNeighborhood when Ellis Marsalis and his sons Branford Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Jason Marsalis interpreted Fred Rogers' original composition, "Sometimes Isn't Always."

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Vadim Neselovskyi Trio

May 19, 2017, 8:30pm - May 19, 2017, 11:00pm

Vadim Neselovskyi — piano, voice, melodica, compositions Ronen Itzik — drums, percussion Dan Loomis — bass "I don’t think I have ever met an improviser who has more surprises in store…a true Genius." Gary Burton "I truly believe that he is one of the greatest pianist/composers out there right now.” Fred Hersch “We all look forward to hearing much more from him, as he ventures further down the singular road he has found.” Steve Swallow Vadim Neselovskyi is a Ukrainian pianist and composer based in New York City. He joined 6-Time Grammy-Winner Gary Burton’s Generations Quintet of future all-stars including Julian Lage, Luques Curtis and James Williams in 2004 and has been working as Gary Burton’s pianist and arranger for more than a decade, touring US, Europe and Japan. Vadim grew up in Odessa, Ukraine, where he was the youngest student (fifteen years old) to be accepted into Odessa Conservatory, and then moved to Dortmund, Germany when he was 17 years old. Shortly after arriving in Germany, Neselovskyi established himself on the local jazz scene, taking part in the Dusseldorf Jazz Rally and Leipzig Jazz Days. After a few years he moved to the USA to further his studies at Berklee College of Music, where he was asked to play and compose for a Berklee’s promotional recording produced by Pat Metheny, which also featured Esperanza Spalding and Christian Scott. Next education stage took place at the Thelonious Monk Institute where he was awarded a Full Scholarship as the pianist of an ensemble handpicked by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard. During this time, he toured internationally with Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Terri Lyne Carrington and shared the stage with artists such as John Scofield, Terence Blanchard, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Benny Golson, Nicholas Payton and Steve Coleman. His solo piano CD Music for September (Sunnyside Records, 2013) was produced by Fred Hersch and received 4-star review in Downbeat. In 2010 German Neue Musik Zeitung (NMZ) included him into “Best Musicians of 2010” list. His compositions have been covered by jazz stars such as Randy Brecker,[19] Antonio Sanchez, Scott Colley, Julian Lage,[ Gary Burton and also by Symphony Orchestras in the US (Spokane Symphony[ and Lancaster Symphony, and Europe (Neue Philharmonie Westfalen and INSO Lviv Sympony[).

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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.

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.

Visit http://www.newportfestivalsfoundation.org


Innovators of the finest musical instrument and mic stands for 35 years, The Music People! Inc. has been one of the nation’s leading suppliers of microphones and pro audio equipment.


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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