The Artists' Quarter Closes

Tell us your memory of The Artists’ Quarter in the comments below.

The Artists’ Quarter was a Twin Cities jazz club that existed in various incarnations since the early 1970s, eventually settling in downtown St. Paul in 1995. It saw many famous players on its stage with profiles both national and local. The club that DownBeat magazine once called one of the “150 best places to hear live jazz worldwide” closed on New Year’s Day 2014, much to the disappointment of many local jazz musicians. 

“The last time I played there was New Year’s Eve. It was great, but bittersweet. It was a really nice sendoff for [owner] Kenny and the whole Horst family. It was a home where we could try new ideas and we knew we were going to be supported. Those things don’t happen very much.” -Chris Bates, bass

“The Twin Cities music scene needs an institution like the Artists’ Quarter, which is both an incubator of new music and a reservoir of jazz tradition. The two go hand in hand. As
trombonist J. J. Johnson once said, ‘Jazz is restless. It won’t stay put and it never will.'”
–Don Berryman,

“I wish I could lament the loss of the one very cool and long-storied venue among a thriving set of similar unique and important clubs, because in that light I could have a normal level of disappointment and nostalgia, but instead, the Artists’ Quarter closing has eliminated the whole category for a vast geographic area. I do remain hopeful.” –Steve Kenny, hybrid trumpet/flugelhorn “flumpet”

BAR AND MUSIC EQUIPMENT MUST GO – $50000 (St.Paul) Custom 20×10 Mahogany Bar. Complete bar setup. Closing for business. All equipment for sale. 40 plus tables. 100 plus chairs and bar stools. Beer, wine coolers. Walk in cooler. Beer tap system. Ice Machines. Complete PA sound system. Yamaha C7 Grand Piano. Drums, Digital 24 channel Mackie mixer. 5 12’’ Powered Mackie speakers. Monitors, mics stage lights. The former ARTISTS QUARTER. Selling it all. Way too much to list. Sorry, no photos, or wall art included. SERIOUS INQURIES ONLY PLEASE!–Craigslist Entry

“Hopefully there will be other dedicated people willing to invest in opening another jazz club like the AQ. The jazz community owes Kenny Horst and the Artists’ Quarter a huge debt of gratitude for all their years of dedication to live instrumental jazz.”–Chris Lomheim, piano 

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