Best Jazz Club - 2013
Subterranean, dark, funky, and regularly presenting an impressive array of local and national jazz artists, the venerable Artists' Quarter has all the attributes of a great jazz club. Tucked into the basement of St. Paul's Hamm Building, the AQ boasts intimate confines, classic jazz photos and album covers decorating the walls, a decent bar, a real character manning the door in Davis Wilson, and a genuine dedication to an art form that requires first-class talent but too often is relegated to third-class — or worse — status by the so-called entertainment industry. A working jazz musician, drummer Kenny Horst, runs the joint with a savvy touch, sometimes sitting in on the action, sometimes hosting renowned artists he's had long histories with, such as Bobby Lyle and Mose Allison. Both international jazz titan Roy Haynes and the top-notch local jazz outfit Atlantis Quartet have recorded acclaimed albums at the AQ in recent years. Plus, student jazz ensembles often get a chance to cut their teeth on the AQ stage.