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Rusty’s Jazz Cafe Closes Its Doors

Rusty’s Jazz Cafe, a small Toledo jazz club that featured live music every night for almost 40 years, has closed. Club owner Margaret “Rusty” Monroe, who is nearly 85, said she simply needed to slow down, that keeping up with the details involved in owning the club was becoming too much work.

Gene Parker, a Toldeo-based saxophonist told the Associated Press that Rusty’s “did what multimillion-dollar educational institutions couldn’t do.” Parker was referring to the number of musicians who learned how to perform on Rusty’s stage. Eddie Abrams, who served as the Club’s house pianist for 23 years, allowed many players to join him on stage that might not have been given a chance in New York clubs. And up until a few years ago Rusty’s featured a section in the back where students could stand and watch the show free of charge. It was a club dedicated to jazz education.

Over the years the club became a well-known tour stop for both regional and national jazz acts. One of Rusty’s biggest fans and supporters was trumpeter and bandleader Maynard Ferguson.

The club’s new owner will turn Rusty’s into—don’t read this if you’re easily depressed—a sports bar.

Originally Published