The Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz

The Future of Jazz Starts Here…

From Miles Davis to Clark Terry and David Sanborn, St. Louis has a proud legacy of producing some of the brightest stars in jazz. Now Jazz St. Louis is nurturing the next generation of great artists and enthusiastic audiences. Through the generous assistance of corporations, foundations, and individuals, this St. Louis cultural treasure is set to expand and improve its home in Grand Center to meet the growing demand for its performances, programs, and services – today, and into the future.

Artist rendering of the new Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz

Artist rendering of the new Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz

Jazz St. Louis has experienced a dramatic evolution since Barbara Rose first established a world-class jazz club in 1995. We are now an internationally-recognized jazz presenter responsible for nearly 300 performances annually. Just as important, we have become a top jazz education institution, reaching more than 140,000 students since the year 2000 through in-school performances and master-classes, youth concerts, student ensembles, and more. Driven by an unwavering commitment to artistic excellence, audience diversity, and community outreach, Jazz St. Louis has had a remarkable impact on a city where jazz has been a proud part of its cultural legacy.

The appreciation and patronage of this quintessentially American art form is expanding right here in St. Louis. To meet this demand and facilitate further growth, we are thrilled to be expanding Jazz St. Louis’s facilities. Opening this fall, The Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz will house the brand new Centene Jazz Education Center and a completely renovated and redesigned Ferring Jazz Bistro, home of our award-winning concert series, Jazz at the Bistro.

The Future

Jazz St. Louis has purchased the current Jazz at the Bistro space along with the adjoining three-story building to the west. Construction is already underway on combining and renovating both spaces into The Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz.

Imagine a future where…

  • St. Louis is the premier destination for jazz music and education in the Midwest.
  • Jazz St. Louis is mentioned alongside Jazz at Lincoln Center and SFJazz  as the nation’s most important places for this great American music.
  • St. Louis is home to one of the top five jazz clubs in the world.
  • The appearance of the listening room matches the first-class quality of the music on stage.
  • A groundbreaking, interactive education center trains the next generation of great jazz artists and builds future audiences.
  • Guests dine on delicious food and enjoy great service from improved restaurant operations, both in the Bistro and a new jazz lounge next door.
  • People around the world experience our concerts via audio and video recording and online streaming.

A Brand New Listening Experience Starts Here

Artist rendering of the redesigned Ferring Jazz Bistro.

Artist rendering of the redesigned Ferring Jazz Bistro.

You told us that the best part of listening to live music at Jazz at the Bistro is the room’s intimacy. We have reconfigured the room to create an even more intimate atmosphere for you, the audience, and the artists on stage.

  • Acoustical design from Sam Berkow of SIA Acoustics – whose work includes Jazz at  Lincoln Center and the SFJazz Center – will ensure that the music you came to hear is outstanding no matter where you sit.
  • A state-of-the-art sound system and brand new grand piano will bring those acoustical treatments to life.
  • A reconfigured stage and balcony layout will expand capacity from 150 to 200 seats and allow for unobstructed views of the entire stage from just 25 feet away.
  • The farthest seats from the stage will be 30 feet closer than before, enhancing the intimate feel that patrons know and love, while giving everyone the best seat in the house.
  • Inspired by the sounds of the ’50s and ’60s, the streamlined interior by Jamieson Design will be composed of classic-modern styling and offer every guest clean, uninterrupted sightlines.
  • The entire facility will now be fully accessible with an elevator, ground-level entrance, and restroom facilities on all floors.
  • Kitchen access from the back of the house, behind-the-scenes service stations, and a box office in the foyer will let you focus on the music – distraction-free.

With these improvements, Jazz at the Bistro will not only sit atop the list of great jazz clubs, but of great music rooms around the world.

A New Center for Jazz Education

Located on the third floor of the building, the Centene Jazz Education Center will be an area completely dedicated to our education and outreach activities. This facility will be the most advanced and comprehensive in the country, establishing Jazz St. Louis as a national leader in jazz education.

Preliminary floor plan for the Centene Jazz Education Center

Preliminary floor plan for the Centene Jazz Education Center

  • Two large rehearsal studios will allow us to expand our JazzU program, bringing students together from around the St. Louis area for free weekly instruction in small group performance from the region’s top jazz educators and visiting artists.
  • The larger rehearsal studio will double as a recording studio with an adjacent control booth. This studio will be used to produce college audition recordings for our JazzU students and produce our own educational content, including lectures, master classes, lessons, and performances, that can be distributed through our website.
  • The recording booth will also be connected to the Bistro to make audio and video recordings of our performances for streaming on the internet, broadcast over the radio, and for our archives – preserving our history and leaving a legacy for future generations.
  • Six soundproof practice rooms will allow students to practice individually, collaborate in small groups, and receive private instruction.
  • The resource room will provide a space for students to study music theory, composition, ear training, and recording techniques.
  • A student lounge will create a common area for kids from diverse backgrounds to interact, share experiences, and learn from one another in a safe, creative environment.

Stay tuned for ways you can get involved in the future of jazz in St. Louis!

Artist rendering of the bar in the new jazz lounge.

Artist rendering of the bar in the new jazz lounge.

Artist rendering of the video wall and seating area in the new jazz lounge.

Artist rendering of the video wall and seating area in the new jazz lounge.



  1. Diane Hemenway
    Posted August 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Love this idea! Please let me know when the opening is scheduled.

  2. Morris Steward
    Posted September 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Lookin forward to visiting the center next week

  3. Morris Steward
    Posted September 25, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to visiting next week.

  4. Posted September 27, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I was Grant Green’s manager from 1975 until his passing in January 1979. Why no mention of Grant when at the time of his passing he was vconsidered No.1 jazz guitarist.

  5. Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    All I can say is WOW!!!! Congrats on this great milestone in jazz history

  6. Morris Steward
    Posted October 3, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Went to the Jazz center opening last night. What a great time. It was fantastic. What a fabulous place. THANK YOU!

3 Trackbacks

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