For students, D.C. and surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia offer up a generous variety of live music venues, nightclubs, dive bars and a seemingly overwhelming yet necessary surplus of coffee shops (of which the variety is much less apparent). One thing that is less certain to be found in abundance in this city is a venue that can offer several of the essential ingredients to a night out under one roof.
If the name of the venue “Jammin’ Java” isn’t already indication enough – such a place does in fact exist, and it’s slated to kick off its fifth anniversary celebration this Sunday with a full day of performances.
Founded in 2001 by three brothers Daniel, Luke and Jonathan Brindley, the Vienna, Va., based Jammin’ Java has grown as one of the premier local and national venues where notable live music acts, quality food, alcohol and coffee converge for customers seven mornings and nights a week. Despite its’ location – 15 miles west of D.C. – Jammin’ Java is well known to many locals and, according to co-owner Daniel Brindley, “brings in customers from all over the District, Maryland and Virginia areas.” Jammin’ Java is widely recognized as a top local venue and was ranked by the Washington Post as one of the top five “Best Bets” of 2005 and 2006. What is even more impressive for a venue its size (standing floor holds about 200 people) is the national recognition that it has received as one of the Top 100 clubs in the World for ticket sales in 2005, according to the Web site Pollstar.
Those who have frequented Jammin’ Java over the past five years are familiar with the venue’s unique offering of diverse yet complementary entertainment and coffee-house experiences. As a venue that opens as early as 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 to 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Jammin’ Java is undoubtedly one of the most unique locales for a morning shot of espresso.
By lunchtime, Jammin’ Java offers a variety of light and more sizable fare to choose from including salads, sandwiches and gourmet chili. But it is the arrival of the evening hours that are really the key focus of the venue, which according to Brindley is “definitely more about the music than the java.”
Typically seven nights a week, Jammin’ Java emerges as a live music venue showcasing everything from local talent in open-mic sessions to notable national acts including past performances from Butch Walker, Citizen Cope, Matt Kearny and Teddy Geiger – to name a few.
Jammin’ Java has thrived off of its’ “eclectic offering of music, which offers a little bit of something for everyone,” Brindley said. In addition to hosting regular open-mic sessions for local musicians, Jammin’ Java offers music lessons for all skill levels and ages from professionals and local performers. Children’s entertainment is also occasionally booked throughout the daytime.
Brindley said there isn’t a specific formula that guides the booking process for shows or events held throughout the day or evening. “We try to bring in artists who we think are talented and might appeal to a variety of people,” he said.
One of the recurring acts featured on the Jammin’ Java stage is an act that is, in fact, very close to home for Brindley, who is himself a touring musician with his brother and business partner Luke. Together, Daniel and Luke form the alt-pop-rock duo Brindley Brothers, which has earned especially favorable recognition for their latest record, “Filled With Fire,” which was nominated by the Washington Post as one of the Best Rock Albums and Best Debut albums of 2004.
As a touring musician and full-time owner of Jammin’ Java, Daniel Brindley often juggles many things at once, which can be a challenge. But the experience, he said, only complements the creative process. “Our music is definitely creatively inspired by the time we spend at Jammin’ Java,” he said.
A performance from the “Brindley Brothers” seems appropriate for the Jammin’ Java anniversary celebration this Sunday. The event is beginning with a morning set from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. that is geared toward children. By 7 p.m., Jammin’ Java will offer a solid line-up of rock and alternative performances from the Brindley Brothers, The Echoes, Shane Hines, Welbilt, The Getaway Car and Brainfang among others.
Brindley said he hopes to attract many first-time visitors to the event, and said that Sunday’s festivities will be “a great way for students to experience Jammin’ Java for the first time.”
Jammin’ Java celebrates its Fifth Anniversary on Sunday. Children’s entertainment runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Evening rock and roll kicks off at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Jammin’ Java is located in Vienna, Va., at 227 Maple Avenue East (1.2 miles from the Vienna Metro stop on the Orange Line).