If you don’t already know Sacred Grounds Jazz Coffeehouse, you might need an inside source to find the place.
Unless, of course, you’re part of the metro Phoenix jazz community--performer or fan--who already know that a comfortable venue that seats more than 100 is an auditorium inside the complex of the Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ.
Sacred Grounds Jazz Coffeehouse comes alive inside the auditorium every Thursday night from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. They’ve been hosting jazz performances for more than 15 years, and for good reason: the auditorium is expansive, the ceilings are high and the acoustics well balanced. The well-lit stage is one of the best among local jazz venues in the valley, with plenty of elbow room for performers.
The quartet on this night--August 30, 2018--was led by valley favorite, pianist Beth Lederman with vocalist Heather Jakeman, who sang some of her lyrics in Portuguese and Spanish. Mike King played bass, and Emerson Laffey was on drums for their mix of jazz standards (Mood Indigo) with Bossa Nova and Latin jazz (Ojos de Rojo).
Just take this tip: drive Camelback Road to Granite Reef Road, and travel just south of the intersection to the church complex, where there is ample parking. Look for signs pointing you to Sacred Grounds, where coffee and cookies are available, where the cover charge is just $5, and where you will always hear good jazz on a Thursday night.
For a performance calendar and more information, go to sacredgroundsjazzcoffeehouse.org, or visit their Facebook page.