A colorful Roxbury taproom is Boston’s latest jazz spot

Mango Blue, an Afro-Latin and world music ensemble, performed at Long Live Roxbury earlier this year. PHOTO: ERIC ANTONIOU

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In 2023, a newly renovated historic building became the location of Long Live Roxbury, a taproom serving various beers, pilsners, stouts and sours. Built in the 1800s, the Boston Piano Company edifice on Hampden Street maintains its recognizable Boston charm on the outside, while an event series inside leans into another part of this city’s identity: live music.

Once a week, on Thursdays at 6 p.m., the taproom holds a free Jazz Night series where patrons can jam out to the smooth sounds of mostly local musicians while sipping on a cold beer or maybe a non-alcoholic beverage of their choosing.

Michael Feldman, CEO of Feldman Geospatial, said Jazz Night provides the community with a respite. PHOTO: Liz Linder

Boston is a city brimming with musicians, “but we’ve had … less and less jazz venues and music venues over time,” said Michael Feldman, the originator of Jazz Night. Feldman owns the building and is the CEO of Feldman Geospatial, the survey and engineering company that gut-renovated the building before giving Long Live its modern look.

Given that Long Live is located not far from the Berklee College of Music, and also given his longstanding love of music Feldman went to his tenant in December 2023 with a proposition: What if for one night, Long Live opened its space up to musicians and groups that Feldman’s company would book and pay to play during a communal gathering while the taproom catered to refreshment needs?

On the first Thursday of 2024, Long Live held its first Jazz Night. To fill up the Thursday slots, Feldman called on musician friends who, in turn, tapped their friends or acquaintances, many of whom were Berklee affiliates. Word spread, and Jazz Night soon became an “uplifting” event, Feldman said, such that many attendees have become regulars, blocking out their calendar to indulge in a “very high level of musicianship.”

With so much bad news in the world, he said, Jazz Night provides people with an escape, and the experience has been equally rewarding for him.

“It’s just something that’s felt good for me and our whole company that one, we’re providing this experience to people; and two, to see that some nights we’ve got 90 people in there just having a great time in a space that really supports community,” said Feldman.

Saxophonist Seventh Sun will play Jazz Night on June 27 with his band. PHOTO: JAYPICS

When Jazz Night at the taproom was first announced, the series was scheduled to run through March. The events have been so welcome that Jazz Night is now booked through December, offering a smorgasbord of styles including Latin music, Brazilian jazz, reggae, Cuban music and more.

Seventh Sun, a 25-year-old saxophonist, composer and Dayton, Ohio native who graduated from Berklee, says Long Live “is a new venue in a very special part of the town,” adding, “Roxbury has a lot of history, and the fact that there’s a new music venue bringing the community out to something positive is really nice.”

Since graduating from Berklee about a year ago, Seventh Sun has been freelancing, preparing for the release of his upcoming album, and, since the start of this year, attending Jazz Night every Thursday. He will soon have the chance to be on the other side of the room when he and his band, also called Seventh Sun, take the stage at Long Live on June 27, the release date of his album. The performance is set to include guest appearances by Grammy-nominated trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and Colombian jazz pianist Jesus Molina.

Jazz Night, Seventh Sun said, gives artists another creative outlet in a part of Boston where there isn’t enough live music.

“Having venues that bring the community out to support that is good for everybody,” he said. “And also, it just brings out the colors of the neighborhood. It makes everything warm.”

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