Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jazz Club’s in Second Life


“Jazz Club”, when I hear or see the words, I envision a darkened smoke filled room, elegantly dressed patrons sitting at tables in pairs or twirling on a dance floor, listening, enraptured, as a seductively dressed, lissome singer is highlighted in a solitary spotlight. Her dark hair and sequined gown sparkle in the light as she sways softly to the music. A drummer, bassist and piano are heard, their individual efforts blending into a harmonious melody, but the accompanists are not seen as all eyes are focused on the vocalist. Her sultry voice fills the air as she grasps the microphone and brings to life the lyrics. She uses her voice and body to evoke the emotions of the song and as the music reaches a crescendo she raises her arms, arches her back and neck slightly holding the last note for an extended period and as she finishes, the crowd applauds in delight. She bows to the crowd, her eyes sparkling and her face beaming as she turns to point to the trio of musicians, each highlighted in the spot light, nodding their heads, acknowledging the audience's appreciation of their efforts. A romantic notion I suppose, but it’s the one my imagination evokes on hearing those couple of words, "Jazz Club". In this edition of Lane’s List, we’ll explore how some of SL’s talented and creative people have built their vision of a jazz club as I explore jazz venues in Second Life.


Born in America but enjoyed by millions across the globe, jazz has become an integral part of Second Life. When I did my initial search, the return was large and provided a diversity of sites. It was apparent to me and, as noted in an edition of the “Jazz Corner”, a portal for hundreds of jazz musicians and organizations, “…Jazz music in all its forms comes out time and time again to be the most popular music played and listened to in Second Life.” I changed the search criteria using “jazz music”, which provided a smaller more manageable list. Using that as a starting point for my exploration, I was off to the highest trafficked site first. As an aide to me in my explorations, I also used word of mouth references from friends who recommended their favorites to embellish the search results. The journey was extraordinary as were the people I met and the places visited. I hope you enjoy this edition of Lane’s List as much as I did in creating it.


I have no intent to open up this article to a discourse on music or jazz as a genre; this edition is about the people and places in SL where one can meet friends, new and old, and simply enjoy a variety of jazz in multiple forms, including live performances, if one is so inclined. Because of the diversity and numbers of sites, I broke my list into two parts, the first encompassing larger venues such as ballroom or dancehalls and a second set of venues being smaller in scale, clubs or cabarets. As I explored, I met many creative and talented people; it is, and continues to be, a most enjoyable experience and one of the reasons why I enjoy Second Life tremendously and why I put my fingers to the keyboard in creating Lane’s List.


Ballrooms and Dancehalls


Sunset Jazz Club



Music: Jazz and hosted events, DJs and live musical concerts. Circe hosts her own streams for performances and music.


Venue: The Sunset is owned and operated by Circe Broom, long time Second Life resident, mentor and supporter to many of SL’s most talented musicians. The club has ample space to host events, both live performances and DJs. The dance floor has more than enough dance and couple’s animations. The Sunset bills itself as “SL's premiere Jazz Club, Birthplace of Jazz in SL. GREAT Jazz in an exquisitely beautiful club.” There are secluded spots for relaxing with friends or for romance or simply for one to sit in a hidden nook and just listen and enjoy the music.


Group: Circes Circle of Friends, open enrollment with nearly 1,500 members. Notices come out frequently from this group for the Sunset and the other venues owned and/or operated by Circe Broom.

Smooth



Music: Jazz and Big Band. Smooth also hosts many events during the course of the week, with DJs and live musicians.


Venue: Maebh Jewell and her partner opened the doors in June of this year, “It’s been a grand stretch. I had an idea for the design and I came across a great, talented builder who had some structures for sale and with a few modifications, Smooth was realized,” she replied to my question about the opening and the build. “I like to think that ‘Smooth equals Romance’, that is the best description. It was more of just a vision ... maybe someplace I would not be able to access so easily in life. A great Second Life experience!” she responded when I asked her what had provided her inspiration for Smooth. There is a spacious dance floor inside, with an ample supply of dance animations. A stage is tucked away in the corner to the right as one enters and is used by the performers. The patrons are elegantly attired, ladies in gowns or cocktail dresses, gentlemen in tuxes or suits. Hostesses abound, including Maebh herself, to greet guests , creating a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for new and old patrons.


Group: The “Smooth” Group is for those who enjoy listening and dancing to jazz, big band, popular standards and swing in an elegant and romantic atmosphere. Invitation only to join and the group currently boasts over 900 members.

The MoonGlow Ballroom



Music: Its jazz and big band music is provided by an internet radio stream. The MoonGlow does not have hosted events with either DJs or live musicians.


Venue: The MoonGlow bills itself as one of SL’s newest and most romantic dance and date spots. There were several couples on a spacious dance floor when I arrived and the music, jazz, was soft and mellow. The chat was silent, so I assumed the conversation was private between the couples as they spun gracefully around the floor. There seemed to be ample dance and couple animations plus an overhead dance ball for singles. There is limited seating on a pair of balconies just off the dance floor. Just to the left of the entry point, there is a small bridge and a path leading toward a park like setting. The name on the about land is “Isn’t it Romantic? SL’s Best Date Spot”. The owner, Josse Barnard, in an exchange of note cards, told me that the inspiration for design and ambiance for the MoonGlow came mostly from the Blue Note "…which I love, but I wanted a comprehensive date place and I had a double SIM edge, so the views are stellar." she said. "I would describe the MoonGlow as romantic, classy, peaceful and non-commercial." Barnard said, and then continued: "It is my own build, the MoonGlow opened in March last year and it's open 24 x 7."


Group: MoonGlow Ballroom, featuring your favorite Big Band and 50's Music - at Isn’t it Romantic, a classy and romantic date place for couples. - Free to join, membership is currently at 750.

Michelle's Blues Lounge and Supper Club



Music: Mellow Jazz and Smooth R & B. The club hosts live events, DJs and live performers. The owners, who are also DJs, each own their own streams.


Venue: I spoke with the owners of Michelle’s, ChoYce Mostel and Amar Coronet. “We’ve been open for three weeks, so fairly new.” ChoYce told me, and then continued, “I’ve owned a lounge previously. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and people aspects of managing a club. The building is a prefab, but I did the decorating. Decorating is a passion of mine in SL,” she said smiling. “There isn’t really one place that inspired the décor, I worked my way through school as a mixologist and so it is a combination of lot of places.” Mostel said and continued, “Michelle's Lounge is a place of love for mellow music, people and conversation. Our pledge is good customer service with a smile at all times and nonstop good music!” The lower level hosts a large dance floor with ample dance animations. A stage graces one side of the dance floor and seating areas abound for private moments and chat. The upper level hosts an elegant supper club.


Group: “Michelle's Place” is a Drama Free Lounge and Supper Club. Adult atmosphere and setting, good nonstop music being played by some of SL's finest DJs. A beautiful dining area for a romantic dinner for two, just a casual dinner with friend or friends, or a place to come and meet and greet. Invitation only to join, membership currently is at 26.

The Octane Ballroom



Music: Obtained from the search results - Jazz, Salsa, Tango, Twist, Waltz and R&B. The search results also indicated live music and club parties are held here.


Venue: I found this to be one of the most extensive and remarkable builds given the size and number of options visitors may encounter when they arrive. There was however no one around on my initial or on subsequent visits a few days later. Besides the main ballroom, there are two outdoor areas, in front and in back of the building which houses the ballroom. Both outdoor areas included dance and couple animations. On the second level of the building, there is seating, multiple dance animations and mildly romantic couple’s poses throughout a wide open space with balconies on either side. Outside, near the rear of the building, I found a path which led to a tropical beach setting with couple’s poses and dance animations. I was unable to connect with the owner for more information.


Group: None that I could find in search.

My Blue Heaven Jazz & Blues



Music: Jazz and Big Band, hosted events - "Best Of" competitions and occasional live musicians. King Zuhal and Vanessa Larsen, the owners, have their own stream if needed. Mostly the music is provided by internet radio.


Venue: “King purchased the club for us and we’ve been open about seven months now,” Vanessa said. “Originally, Mynx Wildcat did the build and opened the club. When we purchased it, we totally revamped the interior furnishings. My Blue Heaven is open 24 x 7,” Larsen told me and then continued: “We created the ambiance ourselves. We think it is romantic, unique, magical, welcoming, fun, cozy, elegant, uplifting, peaceful...Blue!!” she said, smiling. The main dance floor is on the entry point level and is divided by a waterfall and small stream that can be crossed by a bridge. There are ample dance and couple animations and seating surrounds either side of the split dance floor. Second and third levels host dance and couple animations as well, along with places for privacy and light romance.


Group: For the lovers of romance, fine dining, jazz and blues nestled amongst the clouds and stars! Three levels of the best music, dancing, and romantic places to snuggle with your date or partner - please come and explore the magic of “My Blue Heaven!” The group offers open enrollment and boasts over 1400 members currently.

Blue Fusion Jazz Club



Music: Jazz and Big Band. Venue: Taken from the profile of the owner, Holli Hollywood, owner, designer and dreamer. “The Blue Fusion was a dream I had while enjoying SL and, now, we have a great family of managers, hostesses, musicians, artists, vendors and, OF COURSE, our guests!!! Come and experience the romance and ambiance of love and romance. Dancing the night away, holding the one you love, while you move around the dance floor to the flow of lovers’ music.” The Blue Fusion has an expansive dance floor and an open air ambiance, seating at the entry point, at bar and cabaret tables. There is a great view of the ocean on two sides from areas that are somewhat secluded, with couple’s poses present for cuddling and light romance. “Built with the imagination of a place that is all about sight, sound and emotion,” as quoted from Holli’s profile.


Group: “Blue Fusion” promises to provide Music Lovers and Dancers alike a safe space for romance and appreciation of the finer things in SL. It is open enrollment and boasts over 2,000 members at the present. Further information on the Blue Fusion can be obtained at http://www.bluefusionsl.com.

The Blue Note Retro Jazz Lounge



Music: Jazz and Big Band, hosted events in which the owner Naydee McGettigan also serves as a DJ.


Venue: I’ve included the Blue Note as a sentimental gesture. When I spoke to Naydee as I started my research, she sadly informed me that the Blue Note will close its doors forever on January 1, 2008. Those of us who frequented the Blue Note will greatly miss it. The dance floor sits raised a few steps above the entry point. There are plentiful dance animations available for couples and seating on both the left and right sides of the floor. The following is from Nay’s profile. “The Blue Note IS Closing. Yes... it is still *my baby*...and, yes, I am taking this to heart... it was not a decision that I came to overnight...if you were a member of the group, I sent out a notecard with a full explanation. If you would like more information about the closing of the Blue Note ~ Please see my Web Page ~ and check the latest Blog Postings on my MySpace.”


Group: Group invite only.

Club Wicked


Music: The music consists of lounge style, wicked jazz and sultry blues


Venue: The name "Wicked" comes from the Broadway hit about the wicked witch of the west from the Wizard of Oz, and the exterior of the build lends credit to the name. The interior is nicely done and reminds one of a ballroom that one may have seen while visiting a European palace. The dance floor is large, with multiple animations and couple’s poses. There is seating with couple’s poses for those special moments. There is a stage with bass, piano, drums and microphone stand for live entertainment.


Group: None that I could find, but more information about the venue and schedule of events can be found at http://www.diegoland.com/.

Honeypot Jazz Lounge


Music: Smooth Jazz and R & B


Venue: I was unable to connect with the owner for a chat about the Honeypot, but did visit twice and found an elegantly styled club. Just outside the club's entrance is a nicely built plaza with fountain and couple’s dance animations in what could be a semi-secluded area for privacy and light romance. Inside, there is a spacious dance floor with more than sufficient dance animations. Tucked into a corner of the dance floor is a raised platform stage with a piano. There is a second floor to the Honeypot, a large open area with not much in it, but which led to a balcony overlooking the plaza. The balcony held a bistro table and chair, the table held a vase with a single red rose.


Group: For people who enjoy good jazz music, romantic environments and meeting new people. Visit the Honeypot Jazz Lounge for dancing, socializing and dating. Explore the grounds for nice and exciting things to do with your special someone (or by yourself ;-)). Enrollment in the group is by invitation only, membership is currently slightly over 530 people.

Clubs and Cabarets

The City Bar


Music: Jazz from mainstream to cool, Chilling Deep House, NeoSoul, R&B, Poetry, Romance. City Bar has hosted live performances and DJ events and uses internet radio as a source for music.


Venue: Simply described, it is a place one would find in the heart of a big city neighborhood, where the drinks are flowing and the conversation fascinating. The City Bar is a small club with seating around the interior of a dance floor that directly faces the visitor as one enters. On the right is a small nook with sofa seating and to the left, a bar area with a drink dispenser. The interior wall hosts pictures of jazz greats, legendary and modern. Out in front, one will find a small patio with dance animations and, across from the patio and down a short ramp, is an area for privacy and romance. Owner CosmoPecan Kawabata replied to my question of what inspired his vision for The City Bar: “There’s not one place that inspired me. I’ve always wanted to own a club. It is like the places I visit and frequent in RL.” He then continued: “I bought it from a lady in January of 2006. This is the third SIM that it has been in. I think it originally opened in September of 2005.” I asked him to describe the club and he responded: “Simply a nice place for grown folks.”


Group: The City Bar, Urbane, Sophisticated. A quiet atmosphere for the sophisticates in SL. A nice, relaxing bar away from the hustle and bustle. The City Bar group has open enrollment, current membership is about 300 people.


Club Fabulous Tokyo - Modern Classic

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Nimue/109/70/75
Music: Jazz only, no DJ events or live concerts.


Venue: A simple, white-textured open space dance floor with a large, raised-platform stage. On the stage were keyboard, drums and bass where a visitor could animate oneself to play one or all three of the instruments. The space was decorated for the holidays with a Christmas tree. I found a few places for seating at the rear of the space opposite the stage. Hiroko Mills, the owner, described Club Fabulous Tokyo as “A mysterious place where Modern Tokyo and Classic Tokyo intersect.” She told me that she and Taka Teatime were responsible for the build and they were inspired by places in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Kabuki. “We have been open for nine months now and we spend the time for SL only on the weekends.” Mills said.


Group: This club is for people who love Tokyo, the metropolis of Japan. Those who want to know more about Tokyo, come join us! The Club Fabulous Tokyo group has open enrollment and its membership is at just over 290 people.

Stardust Cabaret and Jazz Club



Music: Jazz, Big Band, Rock, Blues and C & W. Live musical performances and DJ hosted events.


Venue: “The Stardust is my own build,” Brit told me as she took me around the interior of the build. “I’ve been open now for about a month. We’re open 24 x 7, but I’m not here the whole time,” Britt McMahon explained and laughed when I asked her about the build. “I try and do a live musical event once a week for my members,” she said. I asked if there had been some place in real life that had inspired her build and she replied: “Not any one place, I used to teach ballroom dance in RL and that sort of inspired some parts of the décor and design.” When I asked her to describe the Stardust, she responded with: “Romantic, the best music and dances, a place to unwind.” The dance floor is spacious with overhead dance animations, menu-driven for individual selection and an ample selection of couple’s animations and dances. There is a bar to the left of the dance floor and a stage directly across from it. There is seating around, with couple’s animations, places for light romance and quiet relaxation.


Group: Stardust Cabaret, membership 188, open enrollment. The group’s charter is to have "The Most Fun Club" in SL

The SOUL Lounge & Café



Music: Smooth Jazz and R & B. The Soul Lounge also has hosted events with DJs.


Venue: It is billed as “A Jazzy Cafe and great place to hang out.” I found it to be a nicely built club, simple décor but elegantly done. The dance floor greets the visitor as they enter and there is a bar to the left and, to the far right, a raised stage. In back, a deck hangs over the crashing waves of the ocean which can also be seen from the Piano Bar located on the top floor. There is an outdoor dance area and a romantic Tiki hut with cuddle poses to create those special moments. The SOUL Lounge & Café is the inspiration for SL's Hottest New Sim, Dejavu Isles - dedicated to representing the richness of African and African American culture.


Group: Soul Lounge & Café group has open enrollment and currently boasts 488 members

La Bella Dam


Music: Jazz


Venue: La Bella Dam is a small club and provides an intimate environment for visitors. Also, based on the information presented in the site name, it had apparently changed location recently. The owner hadn’t responded to my attempts to connect and chat. There was a note card giver inside indicating that formal attire was required and visitors could get free formal wear from an object giver. The description from the search was concise, much like the build, “Join us in the Chilbo SIM for dancing, jazz music, and intelligent, refined company. Formal attire required!” The interior of the La Bella holds a dance floor, small but with dance animations, and a stage and some seating for those who wish to sit and listen to the music.


Group: None that I could find

Milestones Jazz Club


Music: Jazz


Venue: A small intimate club with limited seating for visitors' listening pleasure or for those private conversations. There is a rather small dance floor with dance animations available. Across the floor, directly opposite to the entry, there is a stage holding a piano.


Group: Milestones Jazz, invitation only to join this group.

2 comments:

Nazz Lane said...

Great news on the status of the Blue Note Retro Jazz Lounge. It appears that the patrons and fans have convinced Nay to keep the doors open. Great news to start off the new year.

Congratulations Nay!

Marion said...

Hi Lane, your list makes interesting reading. If you haven't already found it, check out Meatspace, where the wonderful Kyle Beltran regularly performs, streaming live while seated at his piano. He also performs at a number of other locations, and has a group for his fans.