New Music Venue Opens in San Francisco’s North Beach Neighborhood

The new restaurant and bar will showcase local Bay Area musicians
Matt Mullenweg & Dr. Simon Rowe Open Keys Jazz Bistro in San Francisco
Photo: Google

Jazz educator, pianist, and Co-owner Dr. Simon Rowe announced the Grand Opening of Keys Jazz Bistro in the heart of San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood at 498 Broadway at Kearny.

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Keys Jazz Bistro Co-Owner Dr. Simon Rowe is a long-time San Francisco resident and active performing musician. From Sydney, Australia, Dr. Rowe has served as Executive Director of The Brubeck Institute and as the Founding Executive Director of the Roots, Jazz and American Music program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Dr. Rowe’s leadership team includes Keys Jazz Bistro Co-owner Matt Mullenweg who Co-Founded WordPress and is Founder and CEO of Automattic; and hospitality industry expert Eric Vance will oversee general operations.

Keys Jazz Bistro will celebrate its Grand Opening on Thursday, November 10, 2022 with the exclusive one-time-only musical pairing of vocalists Mary Stallings and Clairdee. The Grand Opening festivities will continue with three-nights of special musical collaborations and concerts that honor the past, present, and future of jazz and live music in San Francisco and beyond. On Friday, November 11, the Patrick Wolff Quartet presents “The Horns of San Francisco” featuring special guests Noel Jewkes, Erik Jakobson, James Mahone, Mike Olmos, Tony Peebles, and Kristen Strom and on Saturday, November 12, the Grand Opening Festivities conclude with a Hammond B3 Organ Summit.

Keys Jazz Bistro or “Keys” will present music and dinner four nights a week with two sets and two seatings, and with three sets on Fridays and Saturdays. A casual seasonal dining menu with signature cocktails and non-alcoholic creations will support the listening experience. Set in 4,000 square feet, Keys seats 125 people and features a state-of-the-art sound system, a Yamaha Concert grand piano, and a resident Hammond B3 organ.

Keys Jazz Bistro will celebrate its Grand Opening over three nights with a cast of jazz luminaries and award-winners.

Mary Stallings and Clairdee with David Udolf Trio

Thursday, November 10, 2022, 7:00 pm, $25

“The Horns of San Francisco” featuring special guests Noel Jewkes, Erik Jakobsen, James Mahone, Mike Olmos, Tony Peebles, & Kristen Strom

Friday, November 11, 2022, Sets at 7:00pm, 9:00pm, 11:00pm, $25

Hammond B3 Organ Summit

Saturday, November 12, 2022, Sets at 7:00pm, 9:00pm, 11:00pm, $25

Organists Adam Shulman and Simon Rowe are joined by guitarists Kai Lyons and Dave Macnab, drummer Brian Fishler, and special guest saxophonists Jesse Levitt and Andrew Speight.

Upcoming Shows include:

Kenny Washington, Wednesday, November 16- Saturday, November 19

Craig Handy with the Simon Rowe Trio, December 21-24.

“Opening a music venue has been a dream of mine since I was a teenager and now is the time to make my dream a reality ”said Keys Jazz Bistro Co-Owner Dr. Simon Rowe in a statement. “Our team is dedicated to the North Beach neighborhood, our City, and our music community in the Bay Area. We have the right people with extensive experience, musical knowledge, and technical ingenuity to open this space to serve as a high-level listening room, a dining destination, and a home for musicians from the Bay Area and around the world.”

As part of Keys Jazz Bistro’s commitment to the Bay Area arts community, Dr. Rowe has partnered with two Bay Area non-profit organizations, Jazz In The Neighborhood (JiTN) and The Independent Musicians Alliance (IMA), to improve the working conditions of Bay Area jazz artists and to nurture and facilitate opportunities for aspiring artists. JiTN works to improve the economics of jazz performance in the Bay Area by presenting affordable concerts, paying musicians a guaranteed wage, and supporting the work of established and aspiring jazz artists. The IMA is an advocacy and resource organization for professional musicians, teachers, and allies, which is built on the foundation of the power of solidarity.

“We are thrilled to have a San Francisco home base for Jazz in the Neighborhood and the Independent Musicians Alliance at Keys Jazz Bistro,” said Mario Guarneri, Founder of JiTN and Co-Founder of IMA with Eric Whittington of Bird & Beckett. “Simon has made Keys Jazz Bistro musician-centric and we look forward to working together to promote and nurture our community values around Art, Equity, and Access.”

Lisa Hay

Lisa is a staff reporter for What Now Media Group. She covers new restaurant, retail, and real estate openings across all of our markets. A true foodie, this Air Force veteran has lived all over the world — from Aviano, Italy to Nairobi, Kenya — but her favorite spot is NOLA for its rich history, architecture, culture, and of course, its good eats.
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