Regattabar, where giants such as Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie and Herbie Hancock have all played, has been closed for more than three years. That changes Friday, when the iconic jazz club reopens after a years-long hiatus due to COVID-19.

The venue, which is located in the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, first opened in 1985. Alex Attia, general manager of the Charles Hotel, said he is excited for the 220-seat capacity space to reopen its doors — and so are longtime patrons.

“We've gotten a minimum of a dozen emails a month from regulars, both artists and customers, that are looking forward to getting back to the Regattabar,” he said. “That’s what I'm really excited about.”

The Boston-area jazz scene has had a gap in recent years: Ryles Jazz Club shuttered in 2018, and Wally’s Cafe and Jazz Club in the South End didn’t reopen after the pandemic until late last year.

“Unfortunately we lost a lot of jazz venues,” Attia said. “It's important for us to continue with the jazz concept. We were able to cultivate a really great list of artists and a great community of jazz lovers.”

The grand reopening event on Sept. 15 will feature a performance by saxophonist and Blue Note recording artist Walter Smith III.

Smith, who is also chair of woodwinds at Berklee College of Music, said Regattabar was his favorite place to attend shows when he was a student in Boston — and that Boston has been missing the club’s unique programming.

This is a photograph of a man. He is wearing a white button down shirt, a skinny black necktie and black pants. His hands are in his pockets. He is leaning in a doorway. To his right is a silver truck, on top of it is his saxophone.
Walter Smith III
Walter Smith III Courtesy of the artists

“That’s the thing that’s missing here, there are so many up-and-coming performers at the colleges, it's important for them to have access to people that they listen to,” he said. “That is the most important thing, giving access to people and inspiring them. It’s going to be great that it’s back. It’s going to bring a lot of excitement for the music community here.”

Musician Terri Lyne Carrington, who is the founder and director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, said she felt the club’s absence when it was closed.

“It’s really important that we have those size clubs and that the jazz community doesn’t take these places for granted, and supports them,” she said. “With the reopening, I hope that people support and make sure they show up for the artists.”

Regattabar is located on the third floor of The Charles Hotel at 1 Bennett St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. More information on upcoming performances can be found here.