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39 years of Dee Felice Café - end of an era!

Updated: Oct 16, 2023


February 9, 2020 by Jim Woodford


July 4th 2023 was the wrong kind of fireworks for a northern Kentucky jazz institution. Founded in 1984 by Shelly DeFelice-Nelson and her father, a jazz musician who performed under the stage name Dee Felice, it is now not a jazz note but rather a sad note. The club is no more. Take a moment and reflect on your own experiences over the years and/or reflect one more time through the previous experience below.


Sunday nights in Dayton are normally the time for the Jazz Central jazz jam at Jazz Central out at 2931 East Third St. in Dayton, a club that has been doing jazz for over 45 years. As I like to say, “you never know what is going to happen, but it is always interesting.”


But 2-9-20 found Jazz Central closed, falling prey to the flu bug that has closed some many area schools. Lucky for me, I was made aware of (more accurately, reminded of) a Sunday night jazz performance down Cincinnati way at the Dee Felice Café– 529 Main St. in Covington, KY to be exact, the very first exit when you cross the Ohio River on I75.


The Phil DeGreg Trio holds forth every Sunday night from 5:00 p.m. until between 8:00 & 8:30. The red beans and rice were incredible but they have a full restaurant and bar also. The Trio consists of Phil DeGreg on piano, John Taylor on drums and Aaron Jacobs on bass. They played a wide range of jazz tunes, all tastily performed, and several from two of their CDs that we discussed on break. I heartily recommend both Queen City Blues, which includes Taylor and Jacobs, and a previous recording done in California, Down the Middle. The title tracks from both recordings are noteworthy. I first heard this trio at the Dayton Art Bob Ross jazz series at the Dayton Art Museum. They are excellent musicians, listen to each other as they play off each other’s solos and do this every Sunday night, well worth the trip!


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