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Celebrating the New Year with a taste of jazz

By Staff | Jan 11, 2019

Community members visited Domestic on New Year's Day for a jazz brunch with the Matthew Holmes Quartet. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Jazz music filled the air, as the Matthew Holmes Quartet celebrated the New Year on Jan. 1, with a jazz brunch at Domestic.

The New Year’s Day Jazz Brunch attracted jazz and food lovers alike to the restaurant, which hosted the event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I could hear the music from my apartment and out front,” said Sean Riley, of Shepherdstown, as he walked his dogs, Ewok and Max, past the restaurant. “I’m just hanging with my dogs, listening to music at Domestic.”

For Jason and Darlene Weller, the promise of live jazz music was what drew them out from their Charles Town home for brunch.

“We came for the jazz — a happier start to everything,” Darlene said.

Jason agreed, mentioning he and his wife were looking forward to attending the annual event.

“It was just good music and good food. I hope for a healthier new year, as we are getting older, and we have to put more focus on our health now,” Jason said, mentioning he and Darlene are growing more aware of how the food they are eating influences their long-term health.

In fact, during the brunch the couple met an organic farmer whose clean-eating lifestyle made an impression on them.

“As I was sitting beside an organic farmer in there, I was feeling guilty eating my french fries,” Jason said, with a smile.

Along with wanting to hear good music, some community members came to the brunch because it was one of the few events going on in town on New Year’s Day.

“One of the reasons I came today, is that it’s one of the only places open today. Normally I’m working on New Year’s Day, so I’m happy I had the time off,” said Kellen Healy, of Shepherdstown. “I’m a big fan of jazz music, so this was a nice bonus to my meal.”

Fellow jazz lover Mike Tollifson, of Shepherdstown, said he was glad to hear the New Orleans-style music being played.

“It just amazes me all of the things that go on in this town. We appreciate music, we appreciate art, we appreciate good food,” Tollifson said, mentioning he moved to Shepherdstown several years ago, to be near his mother.

“We’re not a typical West Virginia town. I’ve lived in nine states — I can’t think of a nicer place,” Tollifson said. “How many towns have a jazz concert for New Year’s Day?”