Jazz music accompanies dinner at the opening night of Ace Hotel & Swim Club's jazz dinner series in Palm Springs.
When Ace Hotel & Swim Club decided to embark on its open-air dinner series, they took the opportunity to pair a new genre of music to the Palm Springs hotel’s playlist with a southern cuisine menu crafted by chef Ysaac Ramirez.
So while the mix of food and music in the same evening may not be a new concept in the desert, Ace took a road less traveled by going with jazz music instead of the electic, avant grade or DJ-driven music that has been their trademark since opening in Palm Springs 11 years ago.
“I think it really started from a place that we can look at ways that we can have outdoor dining on our patio and do it in a way that felt very Ace,” says Charlie Jane Pleasant, the hotel’s marketing and programming lead. “The jazz series is really set up for our locals and neighbors, and giving them a space to come to.”
The outdoor patio area has been elevated with new lighting and more greenery.
Ace tested the concept on two consecutive nights in February and liked the vibe it created in the audience. If the March 17 opening night sell-out is any indication, they may have hit on something. Starting with the opener and for the remainder of this month on Wednesday evenings, the jazz series will feature women jazz players.
“We’re calling them the first ladies of Socal jazz,” Pleasant says. “They are really shifting the face of jazz and guided it into almost a new light.”
Sharada Shashidhar, who has close to 10,000 monthly listeners months on Spotify, will entertain during the 7-9 p.m. dinner on March 24 in an open patio area of the hotel. A vocalist and producer, Shashidhar molds her sound from a mix of north and South Indian classical music. Jazz trumpet player Tatiana Tate is booked for March 31 featuring a mix of “spiritual, afro-futurist jazz with hip-hop rhythms and global influences,” according to the Ace website.
“We have really elevated the experience, extra lighting, extra plants, it’s very organic,” Pleasant says. “There’s no stage. It’s more than a doing experience.”
On the dining side, Ramirez was part of the team that opened the Ace Hotel in New Orleans. His entrees range from a Twin Palms burger to a Redtop Farm pork chop with buttermilk mash to a short rib with Hanson mills grits. There is an ample set of sides like Maitake mushrooms to Field Peas hummus to flat bread with charred broccoli, onions, double cream, lemon, parmesan and peas.
Sharada Shashidhar performs March 24.
Pleasant says the menu will continue to evolve as the jazz series does along with a drink specials. The music lineup has been built out through May with “very dynamic and progressive jazz artists,” she says.
Above all, they want to create a safe, outdoor dining experience that follows Covid protocols complete with QR code menus. “Right now, there is that demand. People want to get out. They want to connect safely. Everyone knows they can come here and feel at home,” Pleasant says.