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The Last Page: Awake! Jazz and Poetry Lounge

Photo courtesy of Ritchell Aboah

The Last Page is a new space to highlight community members of all ages who are helping to create culture in the Fargo-Moorhead area, making it such a wonderful place to live. If you know someone who is making a difference—maybe through their art, volunteering or just being a good person— email or reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook and let us know.

Ritchell Aboah was dying for a slice of East coast culture when she moved to Fargo. She recalled the vibrant music and nightlife she had once experienced and noticed there was a problem. Not only did Fargo lack a creative space for people to showcase their work, but there was no place to listen to live jazz. That was when she realized that Fargo needed a jazz and poetry club. Now, a building has been found in West Fargo and it has a name, Awake! Jazz and Poetry Lounge.

Aboah says she surveyed several students on the campus of NDSU, gauging their interest in a space of this sort. The results were surprising, “People were saying how great of an idea this was and how they would totally come to a place like this,” Aboah said. “I never thought many people my age were interested in this kind of environment. I always thought they enjoyed the music of our generation, not classical jazz and poetry.”

The younger generation is the demographic Aboah is trying to reach. “My target market is young adults and urban youth,” she said. Aboah’s plan is to have the club be a cafe during the day with a coffee bar. It would turn into a nightclub in the evenings as the space already has a full service bar (from the previous tenants) which Aboah says she would hate to waste. Other amenities will include a fireplace, a private room and possibly a full kitchen. However, Aboah has not made a decision regarding the kitchen, but the building does have space set aside for it.

“I want musicians, artists and anyone who is fascinated by this idea to contact me and join me on this journey.”

You can find the club at 1410 9th St West in West Fargo, which is where the Pickled Parrot West used to be. Although renovations and updates need to occur, Aboah foresees a June opening for the club. If not June, expect to see the blue fluorescent lights out front to be turned on sometime this summer. Regardless, there will soon be a live jazz club opening in a budding corner of West Fargo.

Interested in hearing more? Contact Ritchell Aboah:

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Written by Nolan P. Schmidt

Nolan is the Editor of Fargo Monthly. Schmidt is also the Editor of Spotlight Media's Bison Illustrated and Future Farmer publications. He is originally from Bismarck, N.D. and is a proud graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead.

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