966 Fulton St.
Phone: 718-638-6910, ext. 25
If Jazz 966 has all the visual charm of an old-folk’s center, that’s because, well, it’s part of one. In addition to case assistance and home-delivered meals, the Grace A. Harewood Senior Center has, since 1990, harbored a jazz club whose visitors have included Wynton Marsalis, Dakota Staton, and Etta Jones. How the musicians managed to find the place is unknown; it can take two or three pass-bys before a newcomer might walk inside the building, which looks like an elementary school, and navigate the inspirational-mural-lined hallways to locate the “club,” open Fridays for an average $15 cover. Décor is limited to a few posters of Thelonious and Billie. In contrast, the well-aged, festive crowd likes to dance before the music even starts and banter with musicians when it eventually does—especially when the musicians happen to be buxom songstresses. The jazz is universally top notch, though before you get to hear it you might have to sit through a blessing, a roll call of birthdays, and an airing of community concerns. (And, unfortunately, sometimes a eulogy.) One wall opens into an industrial kitchen that serves grandpa faves like wing plates, fish plates, simple green salads, and mashed potatoes. It’s BYOB, so emulate your elders and arrive with cranberry juice and a big bottle of vodka.