For Berkeley residents with an affinity for pizza, beer and funky music, a local brewery and restaurant has collaborated with the California Jazz Conservatory, or CJC, to host a music night every Wednesday.
Located at 2181 Shattuck Ave., Jupiter has been hosting patrons since its founding in 1992. Well known for its handcrafted brews and live entertainment, the establishment serves as a venue for musicians and performers up to six days a week, according to the Jupiter website.
Wednesday nights in particular are dedicated to Jazz Jam, an evening of music that features a house band led by CJC professor John Gove. Students from the conservatory are also featured in the band’s rhythm section, and the night is available to patrons of all ages. Jupiter’s Jazz Jam goes from 7 to 10 p.m. each Wednesday.
“California Jazz Conservatory reached out to Jupiter to have a jam session so students can get experience,” said Erik Jekabson, director of the CJC Jazzschool Young Musicians Program. “The jam session is to bring visibility to California Jazz Conservatory — both the degree program, the college that it has and the community school that it offers.”
During its Wednesday Jazz Jam, Jupiter was once again full of patrons seeking to enjoy its dark ambience and live music. It was announced Sept. 14 on Visit Berkeley that the Jazz Jam would return to the venue.
According to saxophone player Kamal Ghammache-Mansour, jazz nights at Jupiter have been hosted since the beginning of the semester.
“You get a wide mix of talent that comes through here,” Ghammache-Mansour said. “There are nights that people show up and blow your socks off and you are wondering why they aren’t out there gigging every night.”
Just as all musicians are invited to bring their instruments and perform at Jupiter and CJC’s Jazz Jam, patrons are also invited to listen to productions of all kinds and of all skill levels. Ghammache-Mansour noted that there are shakier performances that make audience members cross their fingers until the chorus ends but added that it’s a pleasure to witness such a wide array of talents.
Previously, a number of the artists participating at Jazz Jam had performed at Bobby G’s Pizzeria, a local restaurant, according to one attendee who goes by the name Sly. After issues with volume control, Sly and Ghammache-Mansour had shifted to Jupiter.
“It’s cool to have an open place for anyone to come and play. Although it is mostly for CJC people, anyone can come up and play whenever,” Sly said.
According to Ghammache-Mansour, he would like to see a more diverse set of musicians come and perform on Wednesdays as the “jam session” is three hours long.
Jekabson added that while most of the performers are from CJC, everyone is welcomed to come and participate in the live music performances.
“It ends up being the same people playing every night,” Ghammache-Mansour said. “The same people know the same songs. The more people that show up, the more you get a wide variety of music to play with.”