Chicago’s Jazz Record Mart Closes

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Jazz Record Mart has closed after more than 50 years of busines.

(Photo: Courtesy of Jazz Record Mart)

Chicago’s Jazz Record Mart, the self-proclaimed “Largest Jazz and Blues Record Store,” has closed after more than 50 years of business, according to manager Kent Richmond.

The store’s final day of operation was Monday, Feb. 15, the same day the company was sold to the Nevada-based Wolfgang’s Vaults, a private company specializing in the sale of music memorabilia.

Jazz Record Mart was owned and operated by Bob Koester, who opened the store at its previous location at the intersection of State and Grand Street in downtown Chicago in 1962. The store specialized in jazz, blues, r&b, gospel and international music, and carried tens of thousands of LPs, CDs, cassettes, books and magazines.

On Monday, Koester told the Chicago Tribune that rising rents influenced his decision to sell the store. The company announced that it was closing on its website.

Koester also runs Delmark Records, one of the oldest independently operated record labels in the country. Koester plans to keep the label in business despite the store’s closure.

For more information on the store’s history, visit jazzrecordmart.com.




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