Laptop jockeys surf the net; some are corporate types, many are not. Underage teens mill about looking to hang. Parents who like to go out push a stroller and enjoy happy hour. In the back corner, devoted listeners absorb the sounds of the night’s talent. The diverse crowds of young and old, professional and creative and dedicated and casual are not typical of a ‘jazz’ venue. Of course, Tea Lounge on Union Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn, is not a typical venue.
Perhaps the greatest challenge facing jazz and improvised music is reaching audiences of the
uninitiated to expand the base with fresh listeners. Original jazz and improvised music is
underrepresented on radio and nearly invisible to the average public, who often think of jazz as music of the past. Despite a growing thirst for different sounds, many people are at a loss for where to begin. And that’s where a place like Tea Lounge enters - a popular location that is not exclusively for music, but presents challenging and creative acts.