Newport Beach residents and jazz impresarios Joe Rothman and John McClure are renowned in the jazz world for their annual summertime music series Sunset Jazz at Newport, held weekly July through September in the Rose Garden of the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa.
“For 350 seats the venue is beautiful, we bring in special sound equipment, and looking out at the ocean is not bad,” Rothman told me last summer when the duo kicked off their 10th annual Sunset Jazz at Newport.
After 10 years you’d think Rothman and McClure would take things easy. Not a chance. The duo has announced a new monthly jazz supper club to be held at the Newport Beach Marriott one Wednesday a month from January through May 2020.
Instead of using the Rose Garden, these jazz concerts will be held inside the warmer confines of the Marriott’s Hook & Spear restaurant.
“The Hook & Spear restaurant can hold just 106 seats so this series will be very intimate,” said Rothman last week.
Kicking off the supper club series on Wednesday, January 29 is the Calabria Foti-Bob McChesney Quintet, a husband and wife team in a show they call “A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening,” featuring standards from the Great American Songbook.
According to McClure, Foti is an accomplished vocalist, songwriter and arranger as well as a violinist, while husband McChesney is a renowned trombonist who has played on hundreds of film and television scores.
They will be joined on stage by pianist Otmaro Ruiz, bassist Kevin Axt and drummer Dick Weller.
Other show in the supper club series: Teka & Her New Bossa Trio with Harry Allen on February 19; Bruce Forman Trio plus a one hour performance of The Red Guitar straight from Off Broadway on March 4; John Proulex sings and plays Nat King Cole, Chet Baker and John Proulex with special guest Chuck Findley on April 1; and Jackie Ryan sings the Great American Songbook with the Bill Cunliffe Trio on May 13.
For all shows, doors open at 6 p.m. The show is 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $33 to $55. The restaurant requires a minimum of $20 per person (incl. service charge). Corkage fee: $25. Self-parking for the show is $10. No outside food allowed by hotel.
Tickets are available by calling (949) 759-5003 or going to sunsetjazzatnewport.com.
The Marriott is located at 900 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, across from Fashion Island.