Detroit has a rich history of music that is deeply rooted within the city. As an amateur musician, live music was something that I immediately sought out when I moved to Detroit. In my brief experience living in Detroit, I’ve already seen acts all over the city; The Foundation Hotel, Detroit Shipping Company, The Dirty Dog, and The London Chophouse to name a few.
While I’ve been fortunate to see Jazz music across the city, my personal favorite Jazz club is Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. Founded in 1933, Baker’s is claimed to be the oldest continuous Jazz club in the world.
The Lounge has hosted both local legends such as Pat Flowers, and major acts from all over the world, such as Art Tatum, Miles Davis, and Nat “King” Cole. Its presence is deeply rooted in Detroit’s music scene and culture. In fact, Baker’s was designated as an Historic Site by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. This designation, however, does not mean it lives in the past; Baker’s still hosts musicians, comics, and performers almost every night of the week.
Since the building only seats 99 people, the listener experiences the music intimately and is closely connected with the stage.
I’ve had the unique opportunity of bringing my relatives to Baker’s on three separate occasions. My grandfather, who was born and raised in Detroit, says he remembers hearing about Baker’s, but never had the chance to attend an event. After many years, he finally got that chance.
Be sure to get there early as seats fill up quickly. The music alone is reason enough to go to Baker’s, but you won’t be disappointed by the food either. I highly recommend the fried chicken.