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Friday, August 14, 2009

Ann Arbor's Firefly Club turns out the lights

Posted on Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 4:03 PM

There was a time when we wrote about Ann Arbor’s Firefly Club as the hub of the A2 jazz scene, carrying on for the much-missed Bird of Paradise. Now the Firefly, which started off in 2000 in the Bird’s old digs on Ashley before a troubled move to South Main earlier in 2007, has closed its doors as well. And, according to an e-mail from owner Susan Chastain — whose name has been synonymous with the Firefly since its inception — it’s probably closing for good. Saturday’s birthday gig by saxophonist Tim Ries is moving to Kerrytown Concert House, and being turned into a benefit for the Firefly.

Over the years the club has hosted national acts — former Manhattan Transfer singer Janis Siegel, David “Fathead” Newman, Ray Brown and fusion pioneer Larry Coryell come to mind, along with Ries — and has been a regular stage for groups led by and featuring Paul Keller, Pete Siers and other Ann Arborites.

Chastain’s letter to her e-mail list, which was also posted to the club website is below:

Dear Friends of the Firefly Club,

I'm so, so sad to announce that we have been closed by the State off Michigan Department of Treasury. I will keep you all posted as we wrangle for the next few days, but our doors are locked for now. I'm so sorry.

Tim Ries' Birthday Party show will be held tomorrow night as scheduled, but will be performed at Kerrytown Concert House, which has graciously lent us their space. Shows are at 9pm and 10:30pm for $10, and Tim is donating all proceeds to the Firefly Club, sweet and generous man that he is. KCH is located at 415 N. Fourth Avenue in downtown Ann Arbor, and their number, if you need it is 734-769-2999.

Thank you all for your kindnesses and attendances and great support for almost 10 years! We've done our best and maybe a miracle will occur!

Love,

Susan

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