Our History circa 1957

1957 – The original Yardbird Suite opened its doors at 10444 Whyte Avenue in 1957. Founding members included Terry Hawkeye, Zen and Ray Magus, Ron Repka, Gary Nelson, Ken Chaney, and Neil Gunn.


After 1962 the Yardbird Suite relocated to 9810 Jasper Avenue when the Steak Loft moved from its original location on Jasper ave and 98 street. The Steak house moved into a new building further west on Jasper and the Yardbird Suite moved into the vacated Steak Loft premises. The Yardbird Suite operated at this location pretty much as it does today with the exception that the volunteers in those days were all musicians and their wives and girlfriends. In those days the Yardbird Suite operated most often 5 days a week.


After a few years on Jasper Ave the Yardbird Suite moved once again. This time back to the south side in an old VW garage across from the old CP station on 102st and 81st Avenue.


In 1973 the Edmonton Jazz Society, a non-profit organization, was formed to promote live jazz music in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The EJS and the Yardbird Suite reorganized, closed the location on 102st and 81st Ave and continued to stage concerts at the Captain’s Cabin on 89 Avenue and 99 Street, Palm’s Cafe and a few other locations. EJS continues to provide Edmonton with jazz entertainment and education today thanks to support from government programs, foundations, and individual donations. Entirely volunteer run, the Edmonton Jazz Society continues to operate successfully thanks to the volunteer contribution of board members, individuals, staff, musicians, and patrons.


On September 13th 1984, thanks to the hard work and dedication of a volunteer crew, the Yardbird suite reopened at its current location at 11 Tommy Banks Way. Known then as the Malone Warehouse.

Want to dig a little deeper into our history? Visit our archive site here

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