On June 24, 1964 in Chautauqua, Bill Ingram had made a bet with his two other brothers: Whomever was the first to pick up a girl at the College Club mixer could have free rein of their mother’s car for the night.
At age 16, Kev Rowe received his first electric guitar and began his first job working as a cook in Hot Rocks, now the Brick Walk Cafe, at Chautauqua. Now a professional solo musician with three albums produced, Rowe returns to perform at 9 p.m. tonight in the College Club.
Born and raised in Jamestown, N.Y., Rowe worked at Chautauqua part-time for years while trying to jump-start his musical career. He worked as the chef garde manger in the Athenaeum Hotel for six years, after having been moved from the Hot Rocks to the Park Grill in the St. Elmo.
“Way beyond just having a job there, there’s a culture at Chautauqua of arts and free thinking and that’s kind of in the air, and that soaks into you over time,” Rowe said. “So it’s cool for me to be able to come back and play, doing what I love, in a place that helped get me to where I could do it.”
For anyone who has tuned in to 106.9 KISS-FM in the Jamestown area lately, the name Jackson Rohm may ring a bell. For anyone who lives in Chautauqua, Rohm has become a local music-scene staple.
Rohm will perform at 9 p.m. tonight in the College Club. He has been making appearances at the College Club in Chautauqua for the past 15 years.
Rohm has wandered the grounds for longer than the years he has performed. He grew up swimming in Chautauqua Lake and biking around the Institution, memories that add a tinge of nostalgia to his performances.
“Chautauqua’s changed so much, in so many ways for the better,” Rohm said. “Chautauqua’s been a part of my life since I was a little toddler, so it’s great to see the way it’s flourishing even now still.”
Although the majority of the crowd at ’80s night on July 5 will between 18 and 20-something, Chautauquans of any age can come to the College Club to enjoy their famous plate-sized cookies.
The College Club, located in the Pier Building by the Miller Bell Tower, is open every weekday from 6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and to 1 a.m. on weekends. An open space with couches, a big-screen TV, WiFi and foosball, it is a paradise for the young adult crowd who may be homesick for their college environment during the summer.
Singer and guitarist Kev Rowe returns to the College Club at 9 p.m. tonight for an evening of original acoustic folk music. Rowe, a native of Jamestown, N.Y., has been playing at the College Club for more than 10 years. He said he finds the energy at Chautauqua inspiring.