Friday night live jazz in Chester is always a treat at Andre Cafe Acoutsique. Everything there is perfect. The space is intimate, the performances are top notch, the food is delicious, the beer and wine is cold, and the parking is free. What else could you ask for?
Club owner Paul Fejko gave me an earful Friday on his disappointments with the venue. Honestly, I didn’t want to hear it. All I wanted to do was enjoy the music, meet new people, down a couple brews, and eat the food. But, Paul wouldn’t quit harping.
After a while, I understood that Paul wasn’t just whining, he was putting out a call for help.
Since he opened his space 10 years ago, Andre’s has played host to many of the best local jazz performers. His very first show featured Rufus Harley, probably the only jazz bagpipe performer in the world who hailed from Philly and just happens to be black. Even Avery*Sunshine debuted her yet to be released first CD at Andres.
“Why don’t people come out? I do my part by bringing A-list performers. There’s nothing like this within 20 miles of here. I put out flyers. I have a large mailing list. We used to have a nice out-of-town crowd, but the shootings in Chester have scared many of them away. People in Chester who can afford this type of entertainment don’t think anything this good can be going on in Chester. But, I see them in Philly or Wilmington attending shows. What do I have to do?”
As much as I didn’t want to hear it, I couldn’t disagree with Paul. You only have to go on the AndreCafeAcoustique YouTube site to see well over 100 videos of performances held on 5th and Edmont to judge for yourself how great the entertainment is.
I didn’t have any immediate answers for Paul, but a couple of us are going to work on sprucing up his promotion pieces in an effort to draw more attention to Andres. It’s doubtful that Paul is going to go anywhere soon since he owns the building and lives upstairs. The club is available to rent out if anyone is looking for a performance space that seats up to 50 people. The grand piano comes with the rental along with real stage lighting (which is hard to find).
Stop by this Friday at 8pm for another awesome show. Support live music!