WASHINGTON, DC-- The first time I ever heard of Blues Alley in Washington, DC, was as a performer with the Al Dowe Quintet. Dowe, a Pittsburgh trombonist/bandleader, had performed there and often spoke favorably of the world-famous jazz club.
Thirty years later, on a recent Tuesday night, I finally visited Blues Alley.
The club is quite quaint and holds just about 120 people, comfortably.
On this warm September evening, I caught the first of two shows featuring locally- acclaimed keyboardist, Kevin Toney, formerly of The Blackbyrds.
The club's menu also provided an unexpected Pittsburgh flavor, including several menu items named for legendary Pittsburgh musicians such as Stanley Turrentine's crab cakes; Phyllis Hyman's stuffed shrimp and Ahmad Jamal's pasta with pesto.