Opa Life Celebrates Music, Greek Food

When Doc Hox lived in Motown, he was drawn to jazz clubs and Greek restaurants, getting to know the cuisine and jazz artists who played and performed throughout Detroit.

Now retired from a 30-year career in organizational psychology, Doc Hox (not his real name) moved to Arizona, and decided to combine his two loves with his expertise at organization.

It was 2014 when Doc Hox approached Opa Life’s owner with a plan to book music on the restaurant’s intimate stage. What started as sparse crowds in October of 2014 turned to full houses three months later, and Opa Life as a constant music venue for the valley’s musicians was a reality.

Most of the music at Opa Life is Friday through Sunday each week, and the artists are a mix of genres, from blues and soul to R&B and jazz. On Thursday, Aug. 16, for instance, Doc hosted a Birthday Jazz Summit at Opa Life. The house band was a swinger’s paradise, featuring electric pianist Nicole Pesce, bassist Bob Lashier and drummer Todd Chuba, and the valley’s favorite vocalists Alice Tatum, Carmella Ramirez and Sherry Roberson brought the house to its feet.

The next jazz performance at Opa Life is Sunday, September 2, when Sherry Roberson will sing, and you can hear Alice Tatum on September 30.

The menu at Opa Life is a cornucopia of Greek delicacies, from pitas and salads to traditional souvlaki, moussaka, and baklava. Open seven days a week, Opa Life Greek Cafe is located at 227 E. Baseline Road. For more information, visit http://opalifegreek.com/tempe-location/.

Chazz Rayburn