Review: The 10 Best Bars in Downtown San Diego

This Little Italy bar, with its stage for live music, multiple rooms, and friendly staff, has a real feel-good vibe and pleasant atmosphere. The bar’s selection of small plates is diverse, from Hawaiian ahi poke to Korean kimchi to Indian hummus and naan bread. This full bar keeps its customers supplied with all they could wish to drink, with long lists to select various cocktails and wines from as well as unique beers, some of which are made locally in San Diego.

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Preview Article: Third Story at The Back Room @ 98 Bottles

Third Story may be the best young San Diego jazz group that most San Diegans have yet to hear. That’s because the quartet’s leader, bassist Danny Weller, and guitarist, Jeff Miles, now live in Brooklyn, while drummer Jens Kuross is a Los Angeles resident. The only member still based here is Joshua White, the nationally acclaimed piano phenom, who may soon be tempted away by the more alluring musical pastures of Los Angeles or New York.

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Show Review: Third Story at The Back Room @ 98 Bottles

Third Story with special guest, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos practically tore the roof off of The Back Room at 98 Bottles last night with an exciting performance that bodes well for the future of jazz music, not just in the San Diego scene, but in the global sense as well […] This is a remarkably balanced group of top-flight, adventurous improvisers exploring a rich vein of imaginative themes and original material.

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Show Review: Paul Keeling at The Back Room @ 98 Bottles

Chuck Perrin and Dizzy’s first production in The Back Room at 98 Bottles, featured former San Diegan and current Vancouver pianist Paul Keeling, performing with local stalwarts Rob Thorsen on bass and Duncan Moore on drums. Apparently word got out about this event– it sold out. The trio opened strong with the out-of-the-box selection of Pat Metheny’s “Bright Size Life”, a tune that doesn’t get covered often, especially by pianists. Keeling’s been playing this song forever, and it showed with his effortless navigation of the form and his distillation of solo ideas.

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Preview Article: Bert Turetzky at The Back Room @ 98 Bottles

Both before, during and after his tenure as a music professor at UC San Diego, Bertram Turetzky did more to establish the contrabass as a solo instrument of unlimited range and richness than any previous musician you can name. He also served as a key mentor to Mark Dresser, Nathan East, Kristin Korb, Rob Thorsen, Danny Weller and many other bassists of note.

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Preview Article: Paul Keeling at The Back Room @ 98 Bottles

Keeling was inspired not only by his musically intellectual family, but by the notable musicians from Del Mar who he grew up listening to locally. A few of his idols include local jazz guitarist Peter Sprague, saxist Steve Feierabend, pianist Rob Schneiderman and vocalist Kevyn Lettau — all of whom went on to have successful careers in music.

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