Jerry Redd and The Transformation of The Blue Note

Jerry Redd performing at the blue note for the one year anniversary Photo credit: Clark Deal

In the bustling heart of Oklahoma City, a captivating story of passion, partnership, and musical revival unfolds. Meet Jerry Redd, a talented musician hailing from East Texas, whose journey has brought him back to the vibrant streets of Oklahoma City multiple times. After years of performing with various bands and exploring different genres, Jerry found himself at a crossroads—until an unexpected opportunity emerged, one that would forever alter his trajectory in the local music scene.

Nestled on the corner of 23rd and Robinson, The Blue Note stood as a testament to musical history, with its roots dating back to 1954 when the renowned Route 66 was in its heyday. However, the once iconic juke joint had fallen into disrepair, fading into the backdrop of forgotten memories. For Jerry, the chance to resurrect this legendary venue came unexpectedly, through a partnership with Chris Simon, owner of the esteemed Hi-Lo Club and Lost Highway.

Together with his partner Chris, Jerry embarked on an ambitious endeavor to breathe new life into The Blue Note. The first order of business was a complete renovation—every nook and cranny of the venue underwent a meticulous transformation. Walls were torn down, plumbing and electric systems were replaced, and modern amenities were seamlessly integrated without sacrificing the venue's historical charm. From its humble beginnings, The Blue Note emerged as a rejuvenated oasis, ready to once again enchant music lovers and artists alike.

While Jerry's expertise lay in the world of music, Chris oversaw the day-to-day operations, utilizing his experience in running successful bars. It was a perfect partnership, as their combined efforts harmonized the essence of The Blue Note. Jerry took charge of the music programming, infusing the venue with an eclectic mix of genres and performances to cater to all tastes. The once-dilapidated stage roared back to life, hosting an array of musicians and bands—jazz ensembles, rock and heavy metal acts, punk bands, and up-and-coming country artists graced the stage, showcasing the immense diversity of talent the city had to offer.

One of the highlights at The Blue Note was the beloved Sunday jazz nights—a tradition that captured the spirit of the neighborhood. Every Sunday, the venue resonated with soulful melodies as jazz combos took center stage. From Vintage Vibe, with their remarkable 200-year-old instruments, to the groovy contemporary jazz of the talented composer Nelson Gonzalez and the legendary Earl Day, these performances created an atmosphere of pure enchantment. The community wholeheartedly embraced these evenings, transforming The Blue Note into a gathering place for jazz enthusiasts and neighborhood residents alike.

Beyond the music, Jerry and his partners were committed to forging strong community bonds. Collaborating with local businesses, they established partnerships that extended the venue's reach and impact. From show packages with a neighboring pizza restaurant to joint initiatives with companies like lyric theater, The Blue Note became a hub for cultural exchange, celebrating the diverse tapestry of Oklahoma City. It was a place where different voices could be heard, where artistic expression and connection intertwined seamlessly.

As The Blue Note's rebirth reverberated throughout the city, Jerry felt an overwhelming sense of pride. The renovated lounge had surpassed its physical transformation—it had become a testament to resilience, creativity, and the profound impact of music on the human spirit. The community embraced the reimagined Blue Note, its doors open wide to all who sought solace, inspiration, or a vibrant night out.

Today, as Jerry reflects on his musical journey and the evolution of The Blue Note, he cherishes the sense of fulfillment that accompanies creating a haven for music enthusiasts. The once-neglected venue has become a thriving sanctuary, breathing life into the local music scene and capturing the essence of Oklahoma City's artistic spirit. With each passing day, The Blue Note continues to enchant visitors with its cozy atmosphere, diverse programming, and unwavering commitment to celebrating the power of music.

To experience the magic of The Blue Note firsthand, visit their website at Step into a world where melodies come alive, where the rhythms of jazz, rock, and everything in between collide, and where the spirit of community flourishes amidst the harmonies. The venue is working with renowned drummer Dave Bown to program their jazz nights and they are partnering with R&J Supper Club to provide food on Sunday nights.  The Blue Note beckons, ready to embrace you in its warm embrace—a sanctuary for music lovers, dreamers, and anyone seeking a respite from the ordinary.