The (off)beat goes on

The Grand House Trio
Photo: Mark Hancock

“Was I going to be background music for people looking at books?” he said.

It took Cassimus about five minutes to realize how much he enjoyed the vibe at Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, which for seven years has featured live music on Friday and Saturday evenings.

“And then it’s like, ‘This is cool.’ You just play,” he said. “I will play things there that I will not play anywhere else. I’ll do things that maybe don’t get drowned out so much.”

The reaction wasn’t surprising for Dana Meister, Full Circle event coordinator.

“[Musicians] always leave loving it because it’s a nice, relaxed place,” she said. “There are no crashing dishes. There’s no loud crowds. There’s no smoke.”

Oklahoma City is loaded with great places for music, from spacious theaters to beer-soaked honky-tonks. But a number of venues exist one might not immediately think of when it comes to live music.

Grand House China Bistro, 2701 N. Classen Blvd., is one such place. But Friday nights showcase the aptly named Grand House Trio performing jazz standards. The group includes pianist Larry Pierce, drummer Randy Coyne and a rotating third player, while Pierce’s wife, Susan, often joins for vocals.

“We don’t play bebop or
anything like that. I call it ‘user-friendly jazz,’” Pierce said. “We
get a lot of parents dancing with their kids. It’s a real family place
without it being a Chuck E. Cheese; there is a bar here. It’s a
delightful place.”

dim sum and jazz are comfortably compatible, the same is true of
schnitzel and Glenn Miller. For roughly 20 years, Ingrid’s Kitchen, 3701
N. Youngs, has played host Saturday afternoons to a five-piece band
dubbed The Silver Tops.

would come here and play on Saturday at noon for a couple of hours,”
said Maggie Miner, Ingrid’s general manager. “People would get up and
dance and just have a good ol’ time. They play everything from the Big
Band era all the way to the current.”

popularity of Saturday’s music prompted Ingrid’s to expand live
performances. For more than a year, the eatery also has featured live
music most weekend nights.

“We have many regular customers as a result. It’s amazing,” Miner said.

Phil Bacharach

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