The Home of Les Paul
Les Paul & The Iridium History
In keeping with its legacy as the audiophile venue that Les Paul called home for over 14 years, The Iridium has undergone a substantial upgrade of its stage and sound system.
With renovations totaling $150,000, including a unique lighting and stage treatment designed by Abigail Rosen, The Iridium initially debuted its new look in September 2015 welcoming back Front and Center, public television’s critically-acclaimed music series, for the filming of four all-new episodes. These initial Front and Center tapings featured performances by singer-songwriter BØRNS, iconic pianist and five-time Grammy Award nominee Joe Jackson, Platinum selling Country star Kip Moore and British singer-songwriter George Ezra.
The Iridium is a musical landmark famously known as a destination for intimately experiencing the best rock, jazz, and blues artists in the world. Over the last 20 years, The Iridium has built up a reputation for attracting iconic instrumentalists and vocalists seven nights a week, and as a result has grown in the diversity of its music offerings as emerging songwriters seek to join in the room’s rich history of music discovery. Among the superstar acts that have graced The Iridium stage are Les Paul, who played weekly at The Iridium until his passing in 2009, Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, Buddy Guy, Joe Walsh, Zakk Wylde, Joe Satriani, The Rolling Stones’ Mick Taylor and Charlie Watts, Max Roach, Michael Brecker, among many others. Today, in addition to its consistent draw of legendary rock guitarists and jazz and blues musicians, The Iridium regularly showcases next generation talent spanning a variety of genres including folk, indie pop, alt rock, R&B, cabaret and world music.
Les Paul, revered as a pioneer in electric guitars and music recording, has influenced The Iridium becoming one of the only NYC concert venues to double as a live recording studio boasting its own music label – IridiumLive. Since 2011, notable releases on the IridiumLive label have included Grammy-winning guitarist Albert Lee’s ‘Live At The Iridium’ and ‘Les Paul Trio And Friends: A Jazz Tribute to Les’ featuring Les Paul’s band performing with special guests Nels Cline of Wilco, jazz guitar legend Stanley Jordan, Jane Monheit, and Bucky Pizzarelli. Jeff Beck’s Grammy-nominated ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Party Honoring Les Paul’ is also among the historical recordings at The Iridium.
A 180-capacity venue centrally located at 1650 Broadway, The Iridium is available for private events and offers upscale contemporary cuisine along with one of the finest wine lists in the city with its 450-bottle cellar.
June 9, 1915
Les Paul is born in Waukesha, Wisconsin as Lester William Polsfuss
Gibson introduced the Les Paul model
Jeff Beck makes the induction speech as Les Paul enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Iridium Jazz Club opens its original location on 63rd Street and 8th Avenue
May 20, 1996
Les Paul performs with Brian Setzer and Slash at the Iridium Jazz Club
September 6, 1999
Les Paul performs with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons at the Iridium Jazz Club.
Les Paul regular Monday night shows at New York's Iridium nightclub
May 27, 1996
Les Paul performs with Chet Atkins at the Iridium Jazz Club.
August 1, 2001
The Iridium moved to its current location at 1650 Broadway on 51st Street
April 23, 2001
Paul McCartney joins Les Paul on stage at the Iridium
August 13, 2001
Les Paul performs with Slash, Lou Pallo, and Paul Nowinski at the Iridium Jazz Club
November 2, 2001
Les Paul performs with Dickey Betts at the Iridium Jazz Club.
August 12, 2009
Les Paul passes away