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FULL SWING
FULL SWING
Middle C Jazz gains momentum as the genre’s new dedicated home in the city
ANDY SMITH

AS YOU HEAD NORTH IN UPTOWN, the checkered stretch of road near the NASCAR Hall of Fame now transitions into a different black-and-white motif: the swirling piano keys inside Middle C Jazz’s prominent logo, which hangs at the base of the tower at 300 South Brevard Street. It’s at this front entrance where sta er Michael Garcia greets visitors on a brisk Thursday evening in January as he guides them to the action of Customer Appreciation Night. Tonight’s the third month of operation for the jazz club, but Garcia meets visitors in the foyer with the warmth and familiarity of a longtime friends. “What I’ve found, from this vantage point,” Garcia says, “was that Charlotte was hungry for this type of venue. We offer a little bit of everything, so everyone can find their place in the jazz world.”

Middle C, named for the note at the center of a keyboard, is Larry Farber’s “baby”—a metaphor he extends to describe all stages of the club’s life. The 68-year-old senior managing partner at EastCoast Entertainment and pianist since childhood says Middle C was a dream for 30 or 40 years and entered its actual “gestational period” about a decade ago. He and his human offspring, commercial real estate pro Adam, co-founded the venue “with the greatest wishes for its future and its health, to give people a safe place to have fun and enjoy jazz.” After they secured the real estate, they hired Jonathan Gell man to manage the club; Gellman owned Jonathan’s Jazz Cellar, a jazz spot located at North Tryon and 7th streets that closed in the early 1990s.

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March 2020