INTERVIEW: Who Is Uncle Cheef? The Story Behind The Hudson Valley’s Newest Live Music Lounge
Back in May we broke the news that a new live music lounge would soon be opening their doors to the Hudson Valley. Located in Brewster, Uncle Cheef, owned and operated by Ian Hendrickson-Smith and his wife, Jenny 'Cheef' is open for business, bringing soulful jazz to the area in a hand crafted space, and recently celebrated their opening weekend.
I had the chance to sit down with Ian and Jenny ahead of the opening weekend festivities to learn about the inspiration behind the music venue, the process of selecting the perfect space and adding their personal touches, and even hear some stories about what life as a member of The Roots is like, and how it is to be the official band of The Tonight Show.
Who Is Uncle Cheef?
A nickname that has followed him since his college days, Ian Hendrickson-Smith, aka Uncle Cheef, currently the saxophone player for The Roots, formerly with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, has always dreamt of opening his own club and live music space.
A resident of the Hudson Valley for about eight years, he and his wife and co-owner, Jenny, spent a lot of time finding the perfect spot to bring their dream to reality, quite literally constructing by hand, much of what you will see inside Uncle Cheef.
What's it like to be part of The Tonight Show?
What's the story behind the clocks that decorate the walls inside the restaurant and music lounge, and the mascot near the entrance?
These are just some of the things we discussed ahead of Grand Opening Weekend at Uncle Cheef in Brewster recently. Listen to the interview below:
Uncle Cheef, located at 988 Route 22, Brewster, NY is open Wednesday - Saturday 6:30pm-11pm with live music each night, and for Sunday Brunch 11am-3:30.