By making minor changes over the past 15 years, including adding two bars, updating the sound system and aligning with other local businesses, the Brindley brothers have maintained Jammin Java’s reputation as one of the best concert venues in the country.
Fifteen years ago, brothers Daniel, Jonathan and Luke Brindley purchased the venue and embarked on a journey to make it one of the most popular concert venues in the Metro-D.C. area.
“It had a lot of elements and things we were excited about, and so we were kind of like, ‘Well what the heck, let’s give this a try,’” Daniel Brindley says.
The Brindley brothers have made changes to keep artists and visitors coming back. First, they got a liquor license, which allowed them to install two bars. They also got rid of the existing recording studio and updated the existing stage. More recently, the Brindley brothers installed a state-of-the-art sound system, which “makes for a better experience for the artist and for the audience,” Daniel Brindley says.
In its 15th year, Jammin Java added a South Block Juice Co. juice bar, boosting its daytime traffic. The venue also aligned with I.M.P., a Bethesda, Maryland-based concert producer and event production company, bringing it into a partnership with the 9:30 Club.
“We’ve really hit our stride,” Daniel Brindley says.
Nowadays, Jammin Java quickly fills up its calendar, but it wasn’t always that easy. In the first few years, the brothers booked as many shows as they could and built strong relationships with musicians. Good customer service and word-of-mouth also helped their business.
Word quickly spread. In 2007, Paste magazine declared it one of the top venues in the country, and The Washington Post called it the classiest music venue in the area.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the range of artists that the venue attracts.
“We’ll, in a given week, have the quietest singer-songwriter to the loudest of rock bands, sometimes in the same night,” Daniel Brindley says.
The 15th anniversary celebration, which will be held on Oct. 15, will have an array of artists, all of whom have been working with the brothers for years. Rocknoceros will perform first at 11 a.m., Luke Brindley will perform at 6 p.m., and Welbilt, The Blackjacks and Crash Boom Bang will perform at 9 p.m.
“For 15 full years of our lives, these guys have been playing gigs; we’ve helped them along, and they’ve helped us along,” Daniel Brindley says.
In the future, the brothers see themselves focusing on their nonprofit, Music Makes Life Better, which donates proceeds made from its clothing line and special events at Jammin Java to local charities.
“It’ll be a cool way to grow outside the walls of Jammin Java,” Daniel Brindley says.
Notable Acts That Have Graced Jammin Java’s Stage
• Citizen Cope (April 2005)
• Fun. (September 2009)
• Cracker (February 2010)
• Vanessa Carlton (July 2011)
• The Lumineers (April 2012)
• G-Eazy (February 2013)
• Lisa Loeb (March 2013)
• Black 47 (October 2014)
• Pat McGee Band (October 2014)
• Aaron Carter (January 2016)
• Crash Test Dummies (March 2016)