Baker’s Keyboard Lounge and, more recently, the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Pointe Farms are famed venues for jazz in Detroit. But another venue played a huge role in that scene for decades: the Blue Bird Inn.
Located at 5021 Tireman on the city’s west side, the Blue Bird Inn was a major nexus of Detroit’s swinging post-war, pre-Motown jazz scene, a black-owned business that hosted the likes of Charlie Parker, Donald Byrd, John Coltrane and Miles Davis and playing a role in developing local talent like Yusef Lateef as well.
It’s been closed and abandoned for years. But after being purchased recently by the Detroit Sound Conservancy, it’s poised to make a comeback.
On today’s episode, we speak with DSC founder and director Carleton Gholz all about the past, present and future of the Blue Bird Inn. The nonprofit plans to seek more grant funding to renovate the buiding, with the goal of eventually reopening it as a jazz club and housing its own headquarters there as well.
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