Podcast: Change of venue

Reflecting on new beginnings and ownership changes at several Madison clubs.


Hanah Jon Taylor and friends break in Café Coda in February. Photo by Robin Davies.

Hanah Jon Taylor and friends break in Café Coda in February. Photo by Robin Davies.

We’re not even three months into 2017, and already this year has brought so much change to the landscape of music venues in Madison.

First, the Cardinal Bar, which has long been an essential place for jazz and electronic music in Madison, was sold, closed at the end of January, and is now in the process of being turned into the Nomad World Pub. The new owners have promised that music will still be a part of the place, and we’re waiting to see what that looks like.

Next, the large Madison-based concert promoter Frank Productions announced that it will build a 2,500-capacity venue of its own on East Washington Avenue, the Sylvee, slated to open in summer 2018. Next, saxophonist and longtime Madison resident Hanah Jon Taylor opened up a new jazz club, Cafe Coda, just off of State Street.

And then most recently, Frank Productions announced that it would buy local rock club the High Noon Saloon, just a block away from its planned new venue.

Long story short, all of this creates a lot of uncertainty. This week two people involved in the local community from different perspectives joined me on the podcast to take stock: Allison Geyer is a staff writer for Isthmus who has reported on the Frank Productions venue. She’s also a member of a local band called Exploration Team. Rob Dz is a Madison-based rapper, spoken-word artist, and educator, who also frequently collaborates with the local jazz community and was honored at the White House last year for his work at the Madison Public Library. Give our discussion a listen below. Oh, and the music you’ll hear on the episode is from Madison-based Afro-Peruvian jazz outfit Golpe Tierra, who often played at the Cardinal.

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