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The Blue Note: Turns 25

New York's Blue Note

The Blue Note, one of New York’s venerable jazz clubs, celebrates its 25th anniversary this fall. “25 years go by fast,” says Danny Bensusan, founder and CEO of a club which now has four other locations worldwide.

When the Blue Note opened its doors in Sept. 1981, crowds were slow to come in until bassist Ray Brown convinced Bensusan to hire bigger names. “I was concerned that the big names would only work concert halls,” Bensusan recalls. Brown also convinced Bensusan that the Blue Note was offering the same amenities, if not more than most halls, and that the club had a larger capacity than others in the city. It seats 250 patrons. “I think we can bring the big caliber musicians to pack up the place,” Bensusan recalls Brown saying. “So, we started with the MJQ (Modern Jazz Quartet), Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Dizzy Gillespie and on and on.”

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