For years, the various clubs that inhabited a small storefront at Old Arlington’s “Crossroads” – the University Blvd. and Arlington Road intersection – were a community plague. Surrounding residential, business and church neighbors contended with the site’s string of vacancies and occupancies that taxed the City’s zoning, licensing, and police enforcement efforts. Cindy’s Good Time Pub, The G-Spot, Amnesia, and Club Menage were on that roll call of tenants. And after a nearby fatal shooting in September, 2010, the doors to the establishment closed again, and neighbors skeptically awaited the next incarnation.


At the same time, Carole Freeman was pursuing her dream of owning a local venue spotlighting her passion for jazz. A place like the legendary Village Vanguard in New York City – quaint, intimate, and authentic. Shesaw the University Blvd. vacancy and married it with her vision. And sheset to work on Jazzland.

For six months, Carole cleaned out years of trash and smells left by the former tenants. The building’s back lot resembled a small landfill that required four roll-off dumpsters to clear. She replaced stripper poles and lap dance couches with new tables, chairs, and carpeting. Stage and bar areas were reconfigured, ceilings and walls were repainted. Pictures and prints were hung that reflected her love of jazz and its history.

Jazzland opened in May, 2011, with a devotion to both patrons and musicians. Carole is passionate about supporting not only experienced jazz artists, but also the rising talent. She created Tuesday night jam sessions to nurture local musicians and students with a mentoring experience. Saturday nights have featured a stream of national performers, and this month Carole will expand the club’s schedule with Wednesday and Friday night offerings.

Carole exudes patience, perseverance, and a continuous focus on her vision for Jazzland. “The jazz music industry is not a ‘quick buck’ industry,” Carole says. “The purpose is to support the jazz artists. We believe – support the talent first! Everything else will follow.”

Years from now, when Arlington gets it mojo back, when the Op-eration Dolphins’ and other redevelopment efforts have bornefruit, the discussion will turn to when the turnaround began.And part of that answer will owe humble origins to Jazzland, in Old Arlington today.











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