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The Basement introduces potpourri Wednesdays

Arcata’s re-imagined jazz club and lounge opens for a fourth night

Arcata’s re-imagined jazz club and lounge The Basement is introducing Potpourri Wednesdays, an open format music night where anything goes.

Kicking off the new tradition on April 10 at 8 p.m. is Ghost Train, a Humboldt county band that features a R&B, funk and soul sound with a hint of rock ‘n’ roll.

“We receive so many amazing demo tapes and links to amazing musicians that fall outside the jazz genre,” Basement Manager Toby Tullis said. “Saying ‘No’ just to stay true to our Jazz roots began to feel wrong.”

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Humboldt county band Ghost Train will kick off Potpourri Wednesdays on April 10 at 8 p.m. for The Basement. Ghost Train features an eclectic mix of R&B, funk, soul and a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll. | Photo courtesy Ghost Train

Potpourri is more than a mixture of dried petals and spices you put in your living room. Potpourri also represents a medley of music, and that’s exactly what The Basement is after.

In the spirit of medleys, The Basement is open to booking everything from poetry readings to hard rock. The night serves as a viable platform to the many artists in the Humboldt community.

“We really want to be surprised by the types of acts that are out there,” Tullis said.

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Photo by Megan Bender

Once home to Abruzzi’s Italian Dining, The Basement has returned the bottom level of the Jacoby Storehouse to its original purpose: a music venue. Eventually, in collaboration with the Plaza Grill, the Basement will feature Dinner and a Show nights.

“You can go listen to music but you can also order a drink without having to yell at the bartender. It’s the vibe a lot of places attempt to pull off but the Basement succeeds.”

Russ Thallheimer

“That being said, the process of transformation from one dramatic identity to another does take time and we are excited about making individual changes over a long amount of time,” Tullis said. “We want people to see the details as they evolve and be aware of them as they happen.”

The Basement has been open since around August of last year.

Typically, the Basement is open Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Saturdays the venue opens up at 6 p.m. but stays open till 11 p.m. They feature local jazz and lounge style bands such as the Front Ear Trio, Julie Froblom, the Duncan Burgess Trio, The Paula Jones Band and more.

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Front Ear Trio Saxophone Player Russ Thallheimer closes his eyes as he plays live jazz at The Basement on March 29. | Photo by Megan Bender

Saxophone player of the Front Ear Trio Russ Thallheimer said the Basement is the kind of venue he’s been waiting for in Arcata.

“You can go listen to music but you can also order a drink without having to yell at the bartender,” Thallheimer said. “It’s the vibe a lot of places attempt to pull off but the Basement succeeds.”

The Basement offers the perfect start to a night out. All small plates offered at the The Basement range from $4 to $15 and their specialty cocktails are a flat rate of $12. Bottles of red and white wine are offered for $16. For the first two hours of business the Basement offers a sizzling happy hour.

Because of its musical roots, The Basement offers amazing acoustics at a volume that doesn’t overwhelm conversation. Whether you’re there to get lost in the music or enjoy your company, the Basement has the right vibe.

“From the ashes rise the Phoenix,” Tullis said. “It was time for this space to be reimagined and we found the inspiration in the roots that this was a music venue long before it was an Italian restaurant.”

For more information please visit the Basement website.

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