By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter
Jazz is alive and well at the Peacock Café!
The long-standing club located at 2007 Monroe St., that has been Black-owned and operated for decades, is now hosting a thriving Jazz Collective every Thursday Night from 7-10pm.What is a collective?
“The Jazz Collective is [both] the people and the music,” stated Andre Wright, founder.
“It takes both, a combination to make a collective. The people – the audience – and the music come together to make an atmosphere to make the collective.”
So, there is no membership.
“You just come and see it and experience it,” he said. “Admission is always free.”Andre Wright, drummer, and Toledo native, who has played for national icons such as Martha Reeves and Branford Marsalis, relocated to Toledo and saw a lack in the jazz scene.
“When I came back to Toledo there was really nothing going on … Jonanthan said man you got to start something…” he remarked.
He reached out to Jonathan Turner, 40+ year radio veteran and current station manager and music director for WXTS Jazz 88.3 (Scott High School Jazz Station). Turner is the host of the Jazz Collective at the Peacock every Thursday which is taped by BCAN (Buckeye Cable Art Network) and broadcasts on Sundays.
“Everybody loves the music… the music is poppin’… but the scene is not there,” continued Wright. “So, we want to make a healthy scene so that the young people can really come and really see the music and feel the music because that’s what we’re after.”
“It started in April and it’s been rolling ever since and it’s not going to stop,” said Wright.Jazz isn’t new to The Peacock.
“[The Peacock] has been here since 1937 and it’s always had music- a wide variety of blues, jazz and R&B acts – they have graced the stage here,” stated Turner. “This place has gone through different renovations… but it’s still standing here in 2023.”
Currently the club is Black-owned and operated by the Gabriel family.
It’s the place where Murphy and Claude Black started, before Murphy’s opened. As well as the starting place for jazz musician Johnny O’Neal, the two shared.
Thursday’s Jazz Collective has created a scene that is attracting audiences from Toledo, Detroit, Columbus, Cleveland and more, ushering in a jazz revival.
Fridays and Saturdays there are national acts and regional acts for a small cost and Jam Sessions on Sundays. In January they plan to expand to provide even bigger acts.
“We want from students to everybody else – let them see the music. We bring in national, local and regional acts. Jon and I are in touch with everyone. We’ve brought some famous people here,” said Wright. “Everybody wants to be apart, BCAN just wants to capture the footage because our artist we bring in you just can’t see them everywhere for free.”
“It’s been going well it has not skipped a week where we haven’t had entertainment. We have entertainment here every Thursday. We hope to keep that up, matter of fact we will,” added Turner.
Recently, on December 14, the Jazz Collective featured Charles Greene, a Detroit based jazz keyboardist, and Ralphe Armstrong, Detroit bassist, who has played for Aretha Franklin, Frank Zappa and John Laponte.
Upcoming Acts at the Jazz Collective at Peacock Café:
Thursday, December 28th – Jason Quick
Thursday, January 4th – Ray Parker
Thursday , January 11th – Josh Silver
Thursday , January 18th – Mike Hayes and Red Port Review
Thursday January 25th – Ariel Kasler
To learn more about the Jazz Collective at the Peacock or donate visit www.peacockjazzcollective.com
To learn more about WXTS, Scott High School’s Jazz Radio station, listen to Jazz 88.3 FM