New venue, UrbanBeat Event Center, hosts PD9 in Old Town

Friday, Feb. 10 – PD9 @ Urban Beat Event Center, 1213 Turner St., Lansing, $15, urbanbeatevents.com.

The newest addition to Lansing’s music and entertainment scene, UrbanBeat Event Center, hosts Planet D Nonet, aka PD9, one of Detroit’s top little big bands. Co-founded by bandleader RJ Spangler in 2007, the group is known for its early jazz repertoire, spanning from the 1920s through the ‘40s. PD9’s latest album, “A Salute to Strayhorn,” features musical selections from composer Billy Strayhorn, best known for his collaborations with Duke Ellington.

As for the venue, building owner Terry Terry — also founder and CEO of Old Town media and PR firm MessageMakers — said the newly opened space has been vacant for years but has a rich local history.

“It hadn’t been really used since the late ‘80s,” Terry said. “It was the Mustang Bar — that was its last official use.”

As for the length of time it sat empty, Terry said he was waiting for an entrepreneur with an artistic vision. He decided to collaborate with his business partners, John and Joni Sztykiel, on the new venue. The space offers a little under 3,000 square feet and a capacity of 50 to 150 people, depending on the floorplan.

“We developed this idea of an events center that’s kind of unique — a blank canvas with unique characteristics, with brick walls and wood floors,” Terry said. “We wanted a space where people could come in and make it their own.”

Urban Beat allows each promoter/host to place seating and the stage wherever it best suits the event, Terry said.

“We have a catering kitchen, and we have a great sound and lighting system going,” he said. “We are investing heavily to make it a premiere place in Lansing for intimate concerts and events.”

Those looking to book an event can visit UrbanBeat’s website, urbanbeatevents.com. Terry said the venue is open to music, comedy shows, weddings, dinner parties, corporate meetings and other unique events.

“We’re doing a variety of things,” he said. “On Valentine’s Day, we’ll have a dinner that will be a benefit for Habitat for Humanity. We are booking and promoting some of the music shows, but others organize and sell tickets on their own.”

Terry said he’s excited to bring PD9 to Old Town, and he plans to continue booking talent from across the state.

“PD9 is a phenomenal group,” he said. “We’re glad to bring in Detroit talent. We want to showcase the best talents of Lansing but also bring in outside talent to share with Lansing.”