Selba – more jazz than anywhere else in Richmond

Bogart’s moved, Cous Cous no longer has music and The Camel is hosting fewer jazz events than in the past. Opened in July, Selba is quickly turning into the most consistent jazz venue in Richmond.

Bogart’s moved, Cous Cous no longer has music and The Camel is hosting fewer jazz events than in the past. Opened in July, Selba is quickly turning into the most consistent jazz venue in Richmond. With jazz five nights a week and a sunday piano brunch, it’s tough to miss out on the music.

The live music schedule as of now is as follows and usually the musicians/groups playing are listed on selba’s facebook page:
Tuesday-Thursday 6-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 7-10 p.m.
Sunday Piano Brunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Wednesday Night Jazz Jam 9p.m. – 12 a.m.

The man behind the bookings and even sometimes the piano is Brian Mahne. A student in the VCU jazz program, Mahne’s professional career as a pianist started years before he began classes. In his short time at Selba, he has created an impressive schedule of music that includes pianists Larri Branch, David Tenenholtz, Bryce McCormick and countless other musicians.

Wednesday nights, Mahne teams up with bassist Andrew Randazzo and drummer CJ Wolfe to host a jazz jam session. Vocalists, saxophonists, trumpeters, trombonists and guitarists get an opportunity to sit in and perform jazz standards. Crucial for the development of jazz musicians, this is the jam session Richmond has lacked and needed for the past few years.

Just a few steps inside the front door is a baby grand piano. In Richmond, very few venues that aren’t the Jefferson hotel have pianos. To make things better, the band is amplified through ceiling speakers in every corner of the restaurant. Jazz can be heard everywhere from the smoking room to the garden room and even in the bathrooms. Yes, Selba has a plush smoking room and even a large climate controlled indoor garden room. I’m fairly certain there is no other place in the world with jazz, a smoking room and a garden room all under one roof.

With really great parking for a restaurant in the fan, high quality food, classiness and live music, hopefully Selba will become a popular downtown spot for suburbanites and the jazz schedule will continue to grow.

Selba is good for Richmond and it is definitely good for jazz. When asked about the future, Mahne enthusiastically replied, “We are planning to start having late night trio’s/quartets on Fridays and Saturdays as soon as business picks up enough to support it. I’m excited to start booking groups in such a new amazing venue for the Richmond jazz scene.”

Click here for Nathan Cushing’s preview of Selba.

Booking Contact:
Brian Mahne

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Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams loves music, basketball (follow @rvaramnews!), family, learning, and barbecue sauce.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Sounds awesome! Can’t wait to check it out when I’m back in town. Way to go, Mahne.

  2. BOPST on said:

    the problem with jazz is that it doesn’t make any money.

  3. Brian Mahne on said:

    Wednesday nights has proven quite the contrary. We are starting to build a pretty regular crowd for the jam session thus far! Come see for yourself. It doesn’t matter what genre you provide. If it’s bad music, it doesn’t generate interest. If it’s good music, it generates interest. I don’t care if you play soul, country, blues, reggae or polka. If you play GOOD music, people will come to listen.

  4. Brian Mahne on said:

    oops… that should read Wednesday nights have proven

  5. BOPST on said:

    True. I wish you the best.

  6. Aaron Williams on said:


    I am not being critical of those venues for changing their approach I am just stating facts.

    There are definitely venues in Richmond that have benefitted from being patient with jazz and jazzish groups. No BS! had nights in the beginning with small crowds and look at what they have done.

    Selba is approaching jazz differently than The Camel or Balliceaux and I applaud their efforts and wish them the best.

  7. anonymous on said:

    Jazz has certainly paid off for Hippodrone and Center Stage.
    The City politicians gave them millions of dollars in subsidy.

    I think you should call up Marty Jewell and ask him for some taxpayer funds.

  8. An Interested Party on said:

    As a fan of jazz, in this town and beyond, I feel it is the musicians that are killing the scene. A terrible sense of entitlement, both to huge crowds and huge paychecks, sets them up for failure. The No BS example cited earlier, although very accurate, is almost like comparing apples to oranges. Show me a jazz band (that isn’t FtBB) that has all members promoting and pushing the music and THE GROUP towards success? No BS has been successful because of their consistant performances at a high level and their group mentality when it comes to promotions and progressing the band. Jazz musicians have become too self oriented and have forgotten what made the Miles’ Quintet or Coltrane’s Quartet so great….chemistry. Both in playing and on the business side, it takes the whole band on board in order to make anything happen.

    I am happy, very happy, that Selba is pushing towards becoming a jazz club. I think that could be great for the town. The differences between a jazz club and a restaurant that has jazz is huge. Right now, I think Selba is a restaurant that has decided to have jazz music. It would be amazing if people associated it with both equally.

    Good luck to jazz, I hope it doesn’t meet the same fate as the Latin language…

  9. Anthony Dowd on said:

    The problem with “bass players” (or is it bass owner?) is that they start booking a pretentious room and have no memory of the history of music in this town.
    My trio at Benjamin’s lasted eight years. It ended due to management problems outside my control. During that time (1985-1993) it was the center of the jazz scene in Richmond. Some great players got their earliest jazz experience in my trio: Alvester Garnett, James Genus and Clarence Penn, to name just a few. It paid $60 a man eighteen years ago, And We Did It Without A Cover Charge. Times haven’t changed that much to suggest it couldn’t happen again.
    Bopst, your statement alone proves you’ve gone to the other side. One more casualty for live music. As far as “anonymous” and “interested party”, if you don’t have the balls to use your name, keep your uneducated opinions to yourself.
    Club owners, jazz societies and the bands themselves have to share in the responsibility of promotion. Brian, good luck, and don’t let the naysayers get you down.

  10. No Balls to Use My Name on said:

    Jazz obviously causes way too much hostility, let’s all listen to dubstep forever

  11. Happy to see a resurgence of classic and modern Jazz in RVA. A place for musicians to jam and patrons to enjoy live music while they dine. Food is fantastic too! Hope to see more new places follow the trend! Also, yes, “Jazz” is an undying trend and has made me more money than anything else in my life, it just takes a bit more effort and conviction. But it’s never been about the money anyway . . . thats why I teach.

  12. Aaron Williams on said:

    Now we are getting into an interesting conversation.

    a) What kind of financial compensation should “entitled” jazz musicians receive for playing?

    b) Should there be a difference in pay for playing a restaurant like Selba vs. playing original music in a club like FTBB or No BS!?

    “An Interested Party” fails to address question b entirely.

  13. i think everyone should just chill and refer back to comment one . . .

  14. Evan Sarver on said:

    @interested party: The “jazz” musicians are so killin around here that they ARE the ones playing in great Richmond bands of other genres.

  15. The only way this article could have gotten more comments is if it was titled:

    Selba – more “jazz” than anywhere else in richmond.

    see what I did there?

    As for the restaurant, I haven’t been but I plan to go real soon, and I like that there is a real jam session happening now. Hasn’t been one for a while.

  16. R. Hudson on said:

    The jazz is brillant and the food is awesome! What a great combination. Good luck, Selba

  17. Does this, or any other open jazz jam still happen? Upright bass player looking to play jazz in a casual environment…let me know!

  18. BOPST on said:

    You know what all Richmond jazz restaurants/bars/clubs have in common? They are all closed. The shows mentioned in this article did not last. Why? Simple math. They didn’t make any money.

  19. blobiooker on said:

    Great, BOPST! You win!

  20. Jeff E. on said:

    Marketing can be an issue as well. For example, I didn’t even know they were doing jazz here at this time. I go to Emilio’s on Fridays every now and again but it’s not the greatest setup.

  21. Anthony Dowd on said:

    Bopst, it’s easy for a restaurant to make money when they aren’t paying the musicians money, just crap ass PBR. I don’t see Balliceaux giving food and liquor to their patrons, y’all just give away the music. Check yourself before you try to speak again.

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