Hermann’s Jazz Club began 40 years ago, on February 25, 1981, at the Bastion Inn on Government St, when German entrepreneur Hermann Nieweler [Knee-well-er] was persuaded by his friend Barry Stubbs to book Al Pease Trio (Al Pease, Toni Blodgett and Ross Botten) to bring a "better class of people" to the lounge. Then they brought up the Friday Harbor’s Island City Jazz Band for a weekend performance at his hotel lounge. Performances by Dixieland Express soon followed, and they moved the show up to the mezzanine and dance floor. Hermann’s love for a good party, lively music and happy patrons led to his establishment of the Dixieland Inn at the hotel.
Hermann moved the club to the current View Street location in 1986 when it was renamed “Hermann’s Jazz Club”. In 2000, our 753 View St location suffered heavy damage from a fire. A testament to his commitment, Hermann rebuilt at great personal expense. Our friend Hermann passed on June 10th, 2015. From 2015 to 2019 his family faced many issues but have remained dedicated to their father's legacy. After running a successful fundraising campaign the non-profit Arts On View Society has taken over as of July 15th 2019. We will continue to operate Hermann's as a community spirited venue with the support of the venue's generous patrons.
Many nationally and internationally acclaimed acts have graced our stage over the years. Longtime local bands continue to play at the club, including CanUS, Dixieland Express, the Tom Vickery Trio and local legend/reedman Al Pease . Multiple generations of musicians interact and perform at this local institution and contribute to its role as an incubator of local talent. These musicians have travelled the world and helped to put Victoria on the national and international music map, while helping attract renowned local transplants such as David Vest from the USA, Michael Kaeshammer from Germany and Pablo Cardenas from Cuba. With world class acoustics, a relaxed atmosphere, and top notch cuisine, Hermann's Jazz Club is a landmark in the world of modern live performance.