The Glasshouse Kitchen|Bar has enjoyed a unique appeal, hosting workshops, events, weddings, anniversaries, and casual dining. What’s not to like: three glass walls and a ceiling bringing in lots of natural light, lush green plants as well as large, well-spaced tables and high tops. It’s a living, breathing space that immediately creates an emotional connection with people.
Following the success of numerous urban eateries, Glasshouse has once again outfitted itself as a local Friday night music venue. In its bid to become a beacon of local music, it successfully ramped up the quality of bookings with rotating artists such jazz pianist Terry Jorden, folk singer Beth Portman, pop-country artist Jimi, and poet-musician Dylan Greenough.
Live Music Friday is creating just the right buzz in a suburb searching for sublime entertainment, said Shannon Butler, director of Passionate Hospitality Group. Since Passionate took over the restaurant space two years ago, it has focused on upping the culinary experience.
By adding an entertainment space that launched Jan. 28, Butler notes, “the interest has been overwhelming. People are excited when live music is here. They sing and want to be out enjoying themselves.”
Jorden, an Edmonton-based regional pianist, is fully supportive of the newly created entertainment space. Since its inception, he has performed twice at Glasshouse.
“It’s my favourite situation. It allows me to play the music I love the most. I’m a crooner and that’s what Glasshouse allows me to do. Some musicians dominate a room with loud music. I try to complement a room, not dominate it,” said Jorden.
The crooner-pianist is very aware of an old maxim floating around piano bars — the louder a musician plays, the more people drink.
“But I don’t think my job is to create alcohol consumption. My job is to create a beautiful atmosphere where people want to stay.”
Initially a journalist working at community newspapers on Vancouver Island and the lower mainland, he eventually spent 10 years working in communications for the Alberta government and public sector before retiring.
“My heart wasn’t in it. I was a good journalist, but music was my passion.”
As a singer-pianist, Jorden is inspired by many greats, ranging from Diana Krall, Nat King Cole, Tom Waits, and Elton John, to Billy Joel, Fats Waller, and Burton Cummings. And he has performed at large and small venues ranging from the Fantasyland Hotel to the St. Albert Legion, as well as at many high-profile restaurants.
“I love Shannon and the owners. They are music lovers. They understand what music can bring to people. I can tell when the audience is interested in music. There’s applause and they come up and make requests. Glasshouse has a nice interactive audience, and I appreciate they make the commitment to live music.”
Jorden’s next performance is Mother’s Day, May 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In the meantime, the schedule features Jimi (Julia Nicholson) for March 11; pop singer Brooklyn Trapp on March 18; poet-musician Dylan Greenough March 25; roots musicians Sarah and Nadine on April 1; country singer Tracy Miller April 29; and folk singer Joe Nolan on May 13.
Live Music Friday starts at 6:30 p.m. The Glasshouse Kitchen/Bar is in the Enjoy Centre, 101 Riel Drive. No cover.