A good experience in a bar is just like a good jazz record, you can’t quite put your finger on exactly what makes it so great. It’s when all of the pieces work together in perfect harmony. It’s the ice, cocktails, music, ambience, service, yes – but one thing never outshines the others. They each have that same level of brilliance. That’s the 118.
The same level of 118’s service, surroundings, and unmatched quality of food and beverage is now available to your own guests for private events and gatherings. Our bar exhibits décor in keeping with the classy and music infused parlors across America, inspired by the interiors of traditional speakeasies and whiskey distilleries.
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We are an upscale piano/jazz bar offering an assortment of crafted cocktails, signature wines, and high end whiskeys. The 118 hosts live entertainment every Friday and Saturday (check out our Entertainment Page for a list of piano players and bands). We also offer an extensive selection of hors d’oeuvres with assorted dinner specials on Tuesday through Thursday. Check out our Menus for more information.
Head Chef – Chef Jim
“To me, being a chef means being creative and open to new ideas. I’ve been cooking since I was 17 years old and prefer to make all of my dishes from scratch. Over the last 20 years I have had the ability to learn from some great people. My specialties include seafood, steak or pasta. Give me your best foodie challenge!”
Private area available for groups of 6 to 35 guests
118 offers a luxurious setting for your event, including a one-of-a-kind cocktail bar and access to our back patio, For larger parties or more private occasions, please email us [email protected] about facility rental.
All day – Sunday & Monday
10:00am – 4:00pm Tuesday – Saturday
– Corporate luncheons
– Wedding showers
– Baby Showers
Open Jam Session – grab and instrument and come show us what you got – possibly get a formal Saturday gig at 118
Fridays: Piano player 8-11pm
Saturdays: Live bands 8-11pm
Jazz music, partly planned – partly spontaneous, gives the musician an opportunity to create their own interpretations as the song develops. It lives and breathes, evolving as it moves. One thing is sure: Jazz remains America’s only original living art form. Today, its influence envelops the globe. It’s expressive. It’s enriching. Call it what you like—jazz is here to stay.
Recording artist with Jazz fusion in his soul. Inspired by a family of musicians, Saxy Rob has developed a distinct sound for all genres of music.
“Saxy” Rob Thompson, not only a professional showman with a sax, he is a long time entrepreneur, a composer, teacher, a community volunteer, motivational speaker and most importantly a full time dad. Born and raised in the Football Hall of Fame city Canton, Ohio he attended the former Washington Elementary, moved onto Hartford Junior High School and then eventually McKinley Senior High. A product of the Canton city school district encourages his belief that it is possible to come from low income urban areas of a small city and still thrive as an artist. Inspired by a family of musicians, Saxy Rob has developed a distinct love for all genres of music and the ability to translate that by way of saxophone!
He has performed, either live or in the studio with big name musicians, such as former Eagles drummer Joe Vitale Sr., Mud Morganfield or “Muddy Waters Jr”, “Funky” Leroy Harper Jr from the James Brown Band, famed local percussionist Elec Simon of “Stomp”, a broadway production, as well as many other very talented musicians over the course of his professional career. Having the unique ability to pick up and play with anyone within a moments notice has catapulted him into the limelight. He has been featured in several news publications, including local media giant Canton Repository. “Saxy” Rob is more than a saxophonist, he is an exceptional entertainer whose ultimate goal is to have a blast playing music, creating intimate musical moments with a focus on audience interaction, providing a guaranteed entertaining experience!
Michael Sonata – Frank Sinatra tribute artist
Michael Sonata is one of the most sought after Frank Sinatra tribute artists in the country. His vocal styling and presence is second only to the masterful embodiment of the singing legend himself. Michael Sonata is truly the Frank Sinatra experience.
From concert halls to corporate events, Michael Sonata brings the sights, sounds, and simple sophistication of “Old Blue Eyes” live to the stage.
Actor and singer, Michael Sonata, was born and raised in Canton, Ohio in a wonderful Irish Catholic family. The eldest of seven children, Michael graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School and went on to earn a Business Management Degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s Degree in Speech from Kent State University. Throughout his educational life, he was always involved in various aspects of performance by participating in plays, choirs, and the University of Notre Dame Glee Club where he traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe.
After school, Michael pursued acting professionally, working in theaters in Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Chicago for about seven years. He eventually came back to the Canton area to work in his family’s lumber and construction business. He made the Canton Players’ Guild his home base and was seen in many leading dramatic, comedic, and musical roles including the Guild’s annual rendition of A Christmas Carol.
In 2004, Michael decided to make a career change and to go back into the performing arts for a living. He auditioned for a role in a local murder-mystery play called The Contraltos by Jan H. Kennedy. Being a spoof of the hit HBO series The Sopranos, it called for a character loosely based on the “Chairman of the Board” himself.
Michael’s preparation for that role led him to reinvestigate Sinatra’s music and unique style of singing. And with weeks of research, meticulous observation and rehearsal, he came up with a very life-like recreation of “Old Blue Eyes” himself. Audiences wondered aloud if Michael was really singing or merely lip-syncing to Sinatra’s classics.
After the show closed, a local music producer suggested that he should expand his repertoire of Sinatra and work up a one-man show to take around to local venues. And after a couple of months of more intense rehearsal, research and preparation, Michael’s Tribute to Frank opened to amazed and very appreciative audiences in March of 2006. His shows reflect a wide range of Sinatra’s styles: the young innocence of The Columbia years, his swinging revival of The Capitol years, and the supreme confidence of the Chairman during The Reprise years.
Michael’s repertoire now includes over 100 songs that Sinatra recorded with more being added all the time. This helps to keep the show fresh and also allows him to often take requests from the audience. He has also evolved to using professional musicians rather than the backing tracks for his shows. A jazz keyboardist, jazz trio, 12-piece or 17-piece Big Band can now be provided for a more exciting all-live show.
Michael and his lovely bride Lisa still reside in Canton. They have one child, their son Brendan who recently graduated from The University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio. Their love and support mean all the world to him.
5/21 Sam Blakeslee trombonist /composer
During his time at the University of Akron, he was a member and composer for the Jazz Trombone Group, which won first place in the International Trombone Association’s Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition.
Sam Blakeslee is a trombonist/composer originally from Columbus, OH but now resides in Cleveland. Sam graduated from Youngstown State University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies where he studied with Dr. Dave Morgan, Dr. Kent Englehardt, and Dr. Michael Crist. In 2013, Sam graduated with a Master’s Degree in Brass Performance from the University of Akron where he studied with Ed Zadrozny and Jack Schantz. From 2013-2014 Sam served as Instructor for Jazz at Youngstown State University. He currently is the Director of the Jazz Prep Program at Cuyahoga Community College and is the Instructor of Improvisation at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Sam has performed at multiple jazz festivals across the world such as the Fano Jazz Festival, Mosciano San Angelo Jazz Festival, and Parma Jazz Festival in Italy as well as the Deutsche Musikfest in Chemnitz, Germany. While at Youngstown State, Sam was selected one of fifteen people nationwide to attend The Steans Institute for the Young Artist at Ravinia where he studied with Curtis Fuller, Rufus Reid, Dr. Nathan Davis, and Dr. David Baker. He also attended Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center which is a two week residency where his original music was broadcasted to worldwide audience.
During his time at the University of Akron, he was a member and composer for the Jazz Trombone Group, which won first place in the International Trombone Association’s Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition. In June of 2013, he traveled Columbus, GA to play his original music at the International Trombone Festival with the University of Akron Jazz Trombone Group. He is also well versed in classical music and was a 2013 recipient of a Tuesday Musical Scholarship in Brass.
Sam is also very busy freelancing in the Northeast Ohio area where he has played with artists Sean Jones, Jiggs Whigham, Aretha Franklin, Dominic Farinacci, Bernard Purdie, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson, and Derrick Gardner. Sam appears regularly with local big bands The Jazz Heritage Orchestra and the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. Sam also leads his own projects which includes his “Sam Blakeslee Large Group,” which is a 17-piece contemporary jazz ensemble which features all original composition of his and other members of the group. Sam has performed in many New York City venues including ShapeShifter Lab and the prestigious 55 Bar. In more recent news, in May 2014, Sam attended the International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre where he studied with Vjiay Iyer, Ambrose Akinmusire, Steve Lehman, Tyshawn Sorey, Nir Felder, Warren Wolf, among others.
The Just Jazz Trio consists of saxophone. guitar, and bass – bringing a simple yet authentic
approach to the only true American artform – JAZZ! The trio is composed of Tom Blair on
saxophone/flute, Britt Reed on guitar, and Paul Martin on bass/saxophone.
Tom Blair – Saxophone/Flute
Tom Blair grew up in the Cincinnati, Ohio area amidst a rich music heritage and access to jazz greats. Tom won numerous state and national awards as a high school jazz player. During this time he had the thrill of setting in with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and jazz legend Maynard Ferguson. More recently, Tom is the Lead Pastor at Mansfield First Assembly of God, and maintains a busy music schedule performing with the jazz trio Just Jazz; as well as, the pop-jazz ensemble S’yVelt, the KROC Center Big Band, the Musician’s Union Jazz Band, and Ribticklers Dixieland Band. Tom is a Trustee for the American Federation of Musicians, Local 159, having joined in 2010.
Britt Reed – Guitar
Britt Reed has played professionally in Progressive Rock, Lounge Jazz, Reggae, and Blues acts since the late 1970’s. He has studied music theory throughout the years, notably with Jason Hagen, NYC session player and Atlanta Institute of Music instructor. Britt also studied jazz performance and theory for two years under the instruction of Dr. Matt Warnock. Britt is an RGT certified guitar instructor teaching music theory/application on Skype. Britt is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 159, having joined in 2014.
Paul Martin – Saxophone/Bass
Paul Martin is a gifted saxophonist/bassist, and big band arranger. Paul began playing professionally at the age 13 with the Dick Robbins Quartet, Kyle Robbins’ band Ambyr, and Leo Jones’ dance band Mem’ries. Over the years, Paul has performed with numerous jazz bands around the state, most notably the historic Jimmy Franck Band. Paul also leads his own bands: the Artistic Jazz Orchestra, the Stardust Dance Band, and PM Jazz Combo. He also continues to perform select dates with the Percy Hall Orchestra. Paul is the President of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 159, having joined the AFM in 1987.
Food And Drink
Crafted Cocktail Menu
Drinking! We admire it. It is a fine invention, and we have tried in our own way to make innovations upon it. These are the 118’s cocktails, made our way, with the usual high specifications for all ingredients. So knock off work and kick back with a cool, hand-crafted cocktail or craft beer and drink among friends. Happy hour is Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 7. Ask the bartender about our specialty drinks. Got a favorite mixed drink in mind? We can do it.
Hors d’oeuvres Menu
We recognize that drinkers must also occasionally eat. With that in mind, The 118 has assembled a menu featuring a few fantastic “small plates” crafted especially for those with distinctive tastes. Try our Truffle Fries or Lamb Sliders …both fan favorites! Served daily from 4 to 11pm.