Before Detroit became the center of the R&B universe in the sixties, it was one of the hot stops on the traveling jazz scene. At the center of the Detroit jazz community was Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. Baker’s started out as a tiny rural diner in 1934 and, with the addition of a piano in the late-thirties, become a jazz mecca in a region far removed from the major jazz clubs in New York and Chicago. Every player on the circuit passed through and often frequented the club, including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Gene Krupa, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Tatum, George Shearing, John Coltrane, and Dave Brubeck.
In 1996, the club changed hands and has been making a concerted effort to revive the former glory of its early days. The iconic piano shaped bar still dominates the club while world-class talent continues to play here.
Baker’s Keyboard Lounge Information
- Public Transportation: Good (a short walk from Detroit Transit buses 17, 30, and 54, and SMART buses 415 and 420 at Livernois Avenue/West 8 Mile Road)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Yes
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 350 performances per year. Tuesday-Thursday at 8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. with a “Jazz For Kids” program presented from 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
- Ticket Prices: No cover charge.