Zebulon Café Concert opened in 2004 and immediately became a center for the expansive Williamsburg music scene. With adventurous programming that ignores genres and borders, a rustic yet welcoming interior, and music-loving French proprietors, Zebulon offers something unique in a city filled with music venues. Guillaume Blestel and brothers Joce and Jef Soubiran forged a friendship that revolved around music, film and art and dreamed of creating a venue for the musicians and artists that they loved.
Six years since they found a home for their vision, in a building on Wythe Ave, Zebulon serves as a hub for the musicians of Brooklyn; a place to perform, congregate, converse, dance and drink. The diverse crowd is comfortable amid the candle-lit café tables, eclectic sounds from the turntables, (selected by the musician bartenders or resident Djs) and the antique American décor with accents from Argentina and France. Music from around the world or just around the corner can be heard seven nights a week, and there is never a cover charge or a minimum. Instead, the Zebulon staff passes a basket, and the appreciative crowd gladly contributes for the opportunity to hear amazing artists in such an intimate setting.
Our roots are in jazz, and we’ve hosted greats (Ravi Coltrane, Butch Morris, Kenny Wollesen, Marshall Allen, Daniel Carter, Cooper Moore, Charles Gayle, Billy Bang, Henry Grimes, John Tchicai etc.) along with the best of Brooklyn’s younger jazz crew (Ryan Sawyer, Stuart Bogie’s Superhuman Happiness, Colin Stetson, Peter Evans, Mostly Other People Do The Killing). Dave Sitek’s studio was just around the corner, which meant we had a steady stream of Brooklyn’s emerging bands coming through our doors. As we got to know our neighbors, our programming evolved to incorporate the best of the Brooklyn folk, experimental and rock scenes (TV on the Radio, Celebration, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, Lucky Dragons, Bow Ribbons , Z’s, Skeletons, Francis and the Lights, etc.). We continue to strive to bring the best in danceable world music to our stage on the weekends. Zebulon has become a home for international artists who reside in New York, and a destination for those on tour in North America. (Vieux Farka Toure, Baye Kouyate, Janka Nabay, Khaira Arby, Forro in the Dark, Jovanotti etc.)
Music is our passion, but we love to have a place where anything can happen. This is a place where the Dome Theater could create a spontaneous theater performance, where Jonas Mekas could film the first day of his 365 Day Project, and where Ira Cohen could celebrate his poetry and his 70th birthday. This is the place where Marshall Allen could celebrate his 81st birthday by playing until 3am with such intensity that his hand was bleeding. This is the place where Sir Richard Bishop came to give free performances every Monday in July. We exist to explore these possibilities, and we thank you for your support as we make them our reality.
Zebulon, a cozy cafe, bar, and concert venue, was established in 2004 to support live, local music. The club, which hosts avant-garde, jazz, and world music, fills with the neighborhood crowd and pious audiences. The snack menu includes a smattering of small and ambitious French plates, as well as sandwiches named after various record labels. It’s a great place to walk into just to see what’s going on, and the bills are always ecletic.