Boston and the surrounding area is rich in history, from the colonial era forward, and I appreciate all of it. But I am particularly interested in Boston in the 20th century, and have researched the middle years of that century extensively. My extreme interest in certain aspects of the city’s cultural history led me to form Troy Street Publishing as a vehicle for sharing ten years of research and writing.

The Boston Jazz Chronicles Cover
Click here to buy The Boston Jazz Chronicles on Amazon now.

My first endeavor was a seven-year labor of love, The Boston Jazz Chronicles, which I published through Troy Street in 2012. It was early in the self-publishing game and I thought the prospects and possibilities of that game were endless. I still do, and my goal is to publish the projects described elsewhere on this site.

This website, and its blog, The Troy Street Observer, are the primary outlets for telling my stories, but there are others—public speaking, walking tours, and a YouTube channel that puts some of the historic but out-of-print recordings back in circulation.

What’s in it for you? On this site you’ll find content about Boston people, places and events that you won’t find anywhere else. I’ve opened a window, and through it you’ll hear some of the not-so-common stories of Boston. Check back often to see what’s new.

—Richard Vacca

The Troy Street Observer

Boston Jazz Venues Come and Gone

On April 6, Steve Provizer posted a long list of Boston jazz venues, past and present, on his Brilliant Corners blog. These were jazz places remembered by Steve and his Facebook readers. He started compiling the list when Ryles Jazz Club announced it was closing—follow the link to see what he’s got.

Jazz Workshop schedule, spring 1966
Jazz Workshop, Spring 1966

His list got me interested in the topic of Boston jazz venues come and gone, so I dived into my database to see if I could add anything to the list. Did I ever! Between us we have about 200 entries.

These are mainly Boston jazz venues, or suburban spots inside Route 495, in operation from 1972 onward, but there are a few from the 1960s. Individual schools and churches are not included, even though they were critical to the success of Summerthing and Jazz Celebrations in Boston, Highland Jazz in Newton, Marblehead Summer Jazz, and others. And there were rock rooms like the Channel and the Paradise that had jazz on occasion, but not often enough to make the list.

This is an audience participation blog, so if you can think of places that both Steve and I missed, leave a comment or send an email. And do visit Steve over at Brilliant Corners. Interesting stuff, and a curated blog roll, too.

Steve and I will continue to compile the Grand Unified Boston Jazz Venue List™.

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