Famed Detroit Jazz Club May Close

It’s known as the longest operating jazz club in the world. But owner of Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit says that, at the end of the month, the club is scheduled to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

John Culvert tells WWJ Newsradio 950 his  fondest wish is to find a buyer interested in preserving Baker’s legacy.

“We want this to continue as a pillar of the jazz community in the world, located in the city of Detroit.  And, certainly, that’s the foremost thought in terms of a plan,” he said.

Culvert says the auction is part of Baker’s bankruptcy proceedings which began in 2009. 

Culvert says the bad economy and the loss of interest in jazz in general have combined to take a toll on jazz clubs everywhere — and Baker’s is no exception.

“We can’t continue much longer under the present state of the bankruptcy proceedings because the finances are not there. We are struggling, and it’s not improving,” he said.

 Culvert says Baker’s opened in 1933 as a small lunch counter.  It started serving up jazz in 1934 and hasn’t stopped.


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