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Arts & Entertainment

Staff Pick

Best Jazz Club 

Open Air Series

In any normal year, the Grandel and the adjoining Dark Room would easily be in the conversation about the best place in town to take in some jazz. But with COVID-19 upending, well, everything, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation-affiliated spaces were forced to get creative. Luckily, creativity is part and parcel to the overall mission of the organization, and soon a solution was found. The Grandel’s Open Air series has been making sure the music keeps playing all throughout our long international nightmare, setting up shop in a tent behind the Grandel and hosting several performances per week by some of the region’s hottest acts. And there’s been no cutting corners on the COVID safety measures, either. In addition to the outdoor aspect, masking and distancing has been prioritized, technological solutions have been employed to improve airflow, and ordering systems have been streamlined to ensure as little contact between employees and patrons as possible. All that attention to detail has given the Open Air series the distinguished honor of being the longest-running pandemic-era event series in all of St. Louis — and, importantly, it’s given us all a little more musical reprieve in a time we need it most. —Daniel Hill

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