15 Years At Jammin Java: Co-Owner (And Musician) Luke Brindley Does A YouTube Dive

By Joe Warminsky

This weekend Luke Brindley will be celebrating 15 years of music at the Virginia club that he bought with his brothers. He's got a new solo album, too.
This weekend Luke Brindley will be celebrating 15 years of music at the Virginia club that he bought with his brothers. He's got a new solo album, too. Courtesy of the artist

Fifteen years after being purchased by the musical Brindley Brothers, the Vienna, Virginia, club Jammin Java has become one of the D.C. area’s workhorse venues, especially for folk and rock artists.

Saturday it’ll mark its anniversary, and the show includes a performance by one of the brothers, Luke Brindley, who released Invitation To Joy, an album of finger-style guitar compositions earlier this year. Family obligations have kept him from hitting the road as much as he’d like to, he says.

“Honestly, sometimes it feels like a gift to not have to be touring all the time to make ends meet,” he says. “I love having the club as a home base, and being able to catch up with friends as they come through town on tour.”

One of the key elements of keeping Jammin Java popular with fans and artists, he says, is trying to avoid the “corporate vibes” that can spoil the experience at other venues.

“As performers ourselves, we know how we like to be treated when we get to a club, during soundcheck and after the show, and we try to make sure that happens every night,” he says.

Jammin Java has one thing in common, though, with just about every other music venue: Smartphone videos by fans. We asked Brindley to dig around on YouTube and choose a few that highlight what the club has been up to for a decade and a half:

Brindley: “We’ve had many legendary performers on the stage throughout the years. Here’s a clip of David Johansen [New York Dolls, Buster Poindexter] from just a few years ago.”

Brindley: “This was a fun, last-minute surprise show. Nick [Jonas] announced it the afternoon of the show on Twitter and, literally, within minutes there was a long line of teenage girls at the door.”

Brindley: “Needtobreathe is one of the hard-working bands that have gone from playing our stage to bigger and bigger venues. I believe this was a ‘secret show’ while they were on tour with Taylor Swift. This past summer, they headlined Wolf Trap — about 7,000 seats.”

Brindley: “Another band that we were fortunate to have early in their career before they blew up. Paramore was on a multi-band bill 10 years ago.”

Brindley: “We had Mike Posner a year ago – just before his second big hit, ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza,’ blew up.”

Brindley: “We do a lot of guitar music and Andy McKee is one of the standout performers. He rose to international fame via a viral YouTube video but has the talent to turn the initial renown into an international touring career.”

Brindley: “Pierre [Bensusan] is another internationally touring guitarist. He is a world-class musician and his shows are always special.”

Brindley: “This video is from this summer. There was a lot of buzz about the Stray Birds leading up to the show and we get the feeling that they are one of the bands on their way up in the Americana scene.”

Jammin Java’s 15th anniversary party — including Luke Brindley’s album release show — is Saturday.

  • funoka

    Nice job — I live in Vienna and we are very fortunate to have seen some great shows at Jammin’ Java through the years . . . a mix of old-school and new rock, folk, Americana, and R&B. Just caught Caroline Smith last week, and she put on a great show for a few of the faithful. The staff is friendly and . . . standing or sitting . . . the sound is usually great.