JAZZIZ Nightlife features first-class cuisine and world-class entertainment. The 12,000 sq. ft venue is replete with a state-of the-art kitchen, cigar/piano, champagne and indoor and outdoor bars and lounges and one-of-a-kind sound stage for nightly shows and weekly concerts from national recording artists; presenting a palette of music, culinary and lounge delights, masterful live performances, creative events and social experiences.
Our story begins in 1983, when Michael Fagien, then a medical student at the University of Florida’s Medical School, founded JAZZIZ magazine. Fagien, who was financially assisted by Gatorade inventor Dr. Robert Cade, had long enjoyed listening to and writing about music. He also loved making mix tapes for friends. He’d bring all those interests to the fore with JAZZIZ, which became the first magazine to include a CD—essentially a mix tape for a far wider circle of friends—with every issue. That innovation would soon be adopted by a numerous computer, gaming and music magazines.
Throughout the remainder of the ’80s and into the early ’90s, the JAZZIZ team refined the magazine’s design and editorial approach, forging fruitful relationships with major players both inside and outside the music business. The magazine reached new audiences by sponsoring music festivals and other events, and through partnerships with various non-jazz enterprises. As a result, JAZZIZ grew into the world’s largest-circulation jazz magazine.
Through the years, Fagien has consulted for and embarked on successful ventures with top entertainment companies, from Universal to Time Warner. In 1995, he partnered with renowned jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour, label operator Mark Wexler and PolyGram Records to found the i.e. music. That record label, which produced A Twist of Jobim and other popular and critically lauded albums, was eventually sold to Universal. Among other achievements, in tandem with American Express Publishing and Food & Wine magazine, Fagien went on to launch Great Taste, a line of cookbooks bundled with music CDs.
In the late ’90s, not long before relocating from Gainesville to Boca Raton, Florida, Fagien began working with famed New Orleans restaurateur Dickie Brennan on an idea that would leverage Fagien’s expertise in media and music with Brennan’s expansive knowledge of the food industry. Basically the idea was to launch a JAZZIZ-themed restaurant and live music venue in the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans. Hearing about this concept, entertainment developer Michael Cordish contacted Fagien about transporting his idea to Seminole Paradise, Cordish’s entertainment complex in Hollywood, Florida. JAZZIZ Bistro—subsequently hailed as the “Best Place for Live Music in South Florida” by Boca Raton Magazine—soon opened for business. Eventually Cordish sold Seminole Paradise, a move that led JAZZIZ Bistro and several other tenants to vacate the property.
Since moving to South Florida, Fagien had kept a close eye on Mizner Park. He befriended Charlie Siemon—a staunch supporter of the Boca Raton arts scene—and the two began talking building a jazz club at Mizner. The ideal location became available in 2011. At that point, Fagien, along with his wife Zakiya and twin brother Steven, began assembling a dream team which included a seasoned general manager, talented chefs and restaurant personnel, a venerated booking agent, top-shelf sound engineers, and a plethora of additional skilled and trusted business associates (details of each below). The collective expertise of everyone involved led to the creation of the first JAZZIZ Nightlife.