Renaissance of Clubs in LA: Pips & H.O.M.E.

Ed Hamilton on two jazz clubs opening in Los Angeles

While all jazz lovers await the 2nd Coming of Ruth Price’s Jazz Bakery, a renaissance is happening. Two aspiring entrepreneurs Derrick Pipkins and D. Anthony have opened their respective restaurants featuring nightly jazz music. L.A., once the Southern Cal Jazz Club capitol, now has Pips on La Brea West and H.O.M.E. in Beverly Hills.

They’ve joined the empty jazz scene atmosphere of long gone supper clubs in L.A. But back in the days of the L.A. Covenant, unwritten realtor laws representing white property owners prevented “Negroes” from moving West. There was no West Side for blacks (they could only go to Billy Berg’s on Vine and Sunset to see Miles and Dizzy). Jazz clubs were confined to the East Side and Central Avenue with Club Alabam and The Plantation.

When Covenant Laws were done away with and moving West became the thing, blacks began moving West and Broadway and Western Avenues had all the the swinging clubs and were hot every night: The 5/4 Ballroom, Marty’s, Zebra Lounge, Memory Lane, Caribbean, Pied Piper, Adams West, Parisian Room, It Club, The Casbah. You just had to pick where you wanted to go and that was based on who was appearing and what kind of food was served.

Derrick Pipkins opened Pips in the summer of 2010 offering nightly Jazz and providing Italian cuisine gourmet food to the jazz starved patrons of L.A., providing nightly music with legendary blues singer Barbara Morrison, saxophonist Cal Bennett, vocalist Jerry Robinson, Latin Jazz w/ Bob DeSena, guitarist Shea Welsh, and jazz vocalist Jerry Robinson. Pipkins is famous for his entertainment promotions Party in Palm Springs Extravaganza and the Mothers Day Jazz Festival and now Pips Live Jazz. Pips occupies the site of long time neighborhood favorite Italian restaurant Anna Marias. The interior and exterior stages provide great sound acoustics with intimate table seating. Pips has reopened an avenue for the jazz-deprived in L.A. Pipkins says his opening of Pips adds to his history as a music promoter. ”I love producing memorable experiences. I wanted to have the best live music events and an exquisite culinary menu to go along with the music.”

Jazz patrons In Beverly Hills have H.O.M.E. ( House of Music Entertainment) Jazz Supper Club. D. Anthony, former B.B. King franchise owner opened in 2012. Anthony describes his club as “A premiere live jazz supper club in Beverly Hills that’s sophisticated with modern aesthetics and state of the art stage and HD Sound acoustics.” The interior decor is spacious with several tables and bar situated with an unobstructed view of the stage. Describing H.O.M.E.’s intent, Anthony continues, “Our supper club is designed to present cultivated jazz entertainment by legendary greats and emerging artists producing memorable experiences. And I wanted to have the best live music while guest relish in delectable cuisine from executive chef Shawn Davis.”

Artists who’ve helped luanch H.O.M.E.: guitarist Jacques Lesure, pianist Patrice Rushen, trumpeter Dr. Richard Allen Williams, vocalist Carolyn Whitaker, bassist Del Atkins, pianist Billy Mitchell and drummer Louis Van Taylor.

Messers. Pipkins’ and Anthony’s newly opened jazz establishments have breathed new life into the vacant jazz scene and joined ranks with past legendary L.A. club owners: Freddie Jett, Larry Hearn, John T. McLean, Ernie France, Edgar Charles, Walt Thomas and Joe Hubbard. Jazz artists may once again have L.A. venues where they can play, be heard, and entertain jazz purists.

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Ed Hamilton