a touch of the blues
Successful people all have one thing in common. They share an overwhelming passion for what they do, so much so, that their line of work is often a direct derivative of a former hobby or leisure pursuit. Designers, entrepreneurs, inventors, artists - we've had occasion to rub shoulders with some of these remarkable individuals during the past eighteen months and each has his or her special story to tell.
Take the Blues Room in Johannesburg for example. The owner of this inimitable venue, George Worthmore, is living proof that work can be fun. More importantly, is immeasurable success in only two years, is testimony to the fact that money and success are natural by-products of job satisfaction.
Having sharpened his musical talents on the cynical whetstone of New York City audiences over the years, Worthmore possesses a natural flair for sifting out the good from the mediocre, when it comes to talent, professionalism and stage performance. Jazz, Rock and Roll and of course, The Blues, which he describes as 'a simple song form upon which are hung lyrics describing every aspect of human experience', have played a significant role in shaping his musical career. And they formed the foundation for his particular blend of musical expression - a style that met with much success and one which saw him snapping up highly sought after gigs at some of New York City's most prestigious night clubs.

Because his own road to recognition on the music scene was marked with hardships and disappointments, as well as highlights, he has compassion for fellow artists, local and international, for whom he is able to provide a valuable promotion platform at his South African Venue. Coleske, Ed Jordan, Robin Walsh, Lionel Bastos, Just Jinger, among others, have all appeared at the Blues Room, with some forming long-standing relationships with the club, something which management strongly advocates. A close affiliation to the club, will often secure future work for these artists, for George Worthmore is not only in a position to source local gigs, but through his many contacts, also undertakes to promote local talent in other parts of the world. In fact, The Blues Room is much more than a venue. Worthmore uses it for recording, broadcasting, political fund raisers and other events. That it has also become the "darling" of the corporate function world, is something companies such as Land Rover, L'Oreal, Polygram, EMI, Gallo and so on will attest to.

Perhaps this is because unlike other nightly haunts, The Blues Room is in the business of selling shows and glamour - although they do offer an appetising international menu. But for the most part, discerning patrons who frequent the venue, come for the bands and the music. "You will never see a bad band at The Blues Room," claims Worthmore.
True to his word, should he be unable to find a first-class band to perform on a certain night, Worthmore, together with his own, impressive, three-piece band, 'The Divebombers', entertain the crowds themselves. If you haven't seen this resident band in action yet, now's the time! They perform live at The Blues Room every Tuesday night!

The club was formed in 1996, after Worthmore decided to make South Africa his home. The talented artist sought a creative but profitable outlet for his particular passion, and found it in the creation of The Blues Room. Reminiscent of a typical night club in New York City in bygone days - yet devoid of the asphyxiating smoke, rowdiness and violence, often accompanying night spots of this kind - upon entering the club, one is instantly transported into another world and another time. The 'neglected elegance' look with clever use of space and the unusual yet effective paint techniques on the walls and pillars, is successfully set off with the use of candles and soft lighting throughout the room. The tables, which boast white, crisp linen, the finest crockery and cutlery and high-backed, stylish chairs are strategically placed around the stage and dance floor and introduce a sense of style and romance to the room, making for casual but elegant surroundings.

Located in the Village Walk, one of Johannesburg's trendiest shopping centres, The Blues Room promises an unforgettable evening's entertainment. Although the venue has been named after 'The Blues', the mother of both jazz and Rock and Roll, (which came to America directly from Africa), Worthmore tries to incorporate a fair amount of Rock and Roll into his musical menu, so as to encourage people to 'let their hair down' on the dance floor. The Blues Room is a place where you can dance your cares away in a convivial yet safe environment. The music is unequalled, the atmosphere great, the food good and the service impeccable.

An entertainment charge - which is payable regardless of whether one partakes of a meal or not - is well worth forking out for, as it enables the club to host some of the world's best bands at this top class venue.

Your first visit to The Blues Room is sure to be the first of many! Remember, booking is essential! Tel: (011) 784-5527.

taken from Think
Summer Edition 1999