It’s the beginning of another busy Tuesday night here at SOUTH. Our evening crowd is trickling
in from rush hour traffic to shrug off a day full of hustle and bustle in the city for happy hour
cocktails and a relaxing dinner served with top southern hospitality. As 7 o’clock approaches,
bar patrons quickly move their workday recap conversations from the bar to our jazz parlor to
join the other live jazz fans in the house- everyone from out of towners and our regular guests to
nervous first time performers hoping to get a good slot for SOUTH’s open mic night, The Classic
Jazz Jam: The Art of the Session. It’s that sweet time during the week where the work day has
officially ended, nightlife begins, and Tuesday really doesn’t even feel like Tuesday anymore.
At SOUTH, live jazz and southern fare go together like Coltrane and Ellington. Seriously, would
anyone debate that no matter how good any dish already is, it will always taste a little better with
some good homegrown live jazz? This is what jazz fans can expect from The Classic Jazz Jam
on Tuesday nights. Bandleader Luke O’Reilly and jazz vocalist Lee Mo have hosted SOUTH’s
popular open mic night which features some of the best jazz musicians in our city for the past
two years. What separates SOUTH’s open mic from most is in its moniker, The Art of the
Session. As O’Reilly states, “the session is kind of a lost art” where the aim is to keep the tunes
within their classical structure while allowing the improvisation that can happen within a
performance that makes jazz what it is.
Jazz vocalists and musicians who play any instrument are welcome to sign up to perform a solo
on stage during the night. It is not unlikely at all to look at the table right next to you and see
horn players playing along to jazz standards like “Summertime” and “My Funny Valentine” right
from their seats. If you are familiar with Philadelphia’s music scene, it’s more than likely that
you’ll see one of your favorite local singers hit the stage to sing one of their favorite jazz
classics. Part of the thrill is never really knowing who is going to show up and light up the night.
With a city as rich as Philadelphia is in musical talent known worldwide, The Art of the Session
attracts jazz talent from all walks of life; from the virtuoso Temple jazz student to the much
more seasoned jazz musician with more than a few decades worth of jazz gigs under their belt.
So if you’ve been itching to dust off that sax, working up the nerve to sing one of your favorite
jazz standards, or you just want to groove in your seat to some great live jazz while enjoying
SOUTH’s award-winning southern menu, you don’t have to wait until the weekend! Come out to
SOUTH for The Art of the Session and see why Tuesday is one of the hottest evenings in
Philadelphia nightlife entertainment.