Certain venues add something ineffable to the music whenever jazz is heard in them. Whether it’s the Cotton Club, Birdland, the Village Vanguard, or one of the other legendary spots in New York, or something more intimate like the Caveau de la Huchette in Paris, great jazz haunts have the music in their bones. This year for the first time Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theatre has been recognized by DownBeat magazine as one of the world’s top places to hear jazz. Some might say it’s about time, given that the theater started hosting jazz concerts back in 1949, but others will agree that the honor belongs to the building’s current identity, which has been praised by musicians and listeners alike as the ultimate in acoustics and ambiance for top jazz performers since the Jazz at the Lobero series started in 2000.
The Lobero celebrates this honor by offering a 10 percent discount through the month of January on tickets to their upcoming slate of jazz concerts. The series for 2011 kicks off in style with a guitar summit on February 12 that pairs the John Scofield Trio with Bill Frisell’s Beautiful Dreamers featuring Eyvind Kang and Rudy Royston. This is the only double bill these players—arguably the two top guitarists in the world—will play this winter. In March, piano great McCoy Tyner arrives with Brubeck Institute Quartet on Tuesday the 8th, and on April 19 there’s a date that’s just been added for vocalist extraordinaire Kurt Elling.