Celebrating a Classic: Hollywood’s Catalina Jazz Cabaret

Amel Larrieux 550

So many new places, people and things pop up around LA that it’s often easy to forget about those stalwart classics that manage to weather good times and bad, and soldier on. One we recently rediscovered is the Catalina Jazz Club, for decades one of the only places to experience live jazz in its natural setting: an intimate cabaret. Until a few years back, the Catalina was located on Hollywood’s busy Cahuenga corridor. But when downtown Hollywood became “hip” again, it was displaced for something more trendy.

But the Catalina isn’t gone. It just moved around the corner, now occupying part of the ground floor of an office building on Sunset and McCadden, and the interior is just as intimate, comfortable and acoustically solid as ever. Maybe even a bit more. Because of its longstanding relationships in the music community, the Catalina continues to book top name talents—the kinds you’d expect to see at the Wiltern or Hollywood Bowl—for exclusive dates, and at almost shockingly reasonable cover prices. It’s also not unusual to find industry heavyweights and fellow performers in the crowd.

Tonight, gorgeous R&B/jazz singer-songwriter Amel Larrieux appears—the former collaborator of Stanley Clarke and Groove Theory may best be known for her hit R&B album Morning, appearance on the soundtrack of Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, or jazz hit Lovely Standards.

Other performers in the next few weeks include prolific pianist Keiko Matsui June 17-20, Grammy-winning vocalist Cassandra Wilson June 22-23, and guitarist Ottmar Liebert June 24-26.

On July 22-24, comedienne Joan Rivers is scheduled, making an appearance in the kind of room in which she started her career. Very rare!

If you haven’t spent an evening at the Catalina lately, now would be a great time to check it out. They have a full bar and menu, too.

The Catalina Jazz Club is located at 6725 West Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood (323) 466-2210