GRNoir is a wine and jazz bar that exists to celebrate the Global and American cultures of wine and jazz. It's a place for joy, a space to laugh and love, to share stories and meet friends old and new.
It’s live music, a rich offering of global wines, surprising small plates and a welcoming place to learn more about wine, jazz and the people and places that gave birth to them.
We invite you to discover, smile, savor and admire the world and cultures of wine and jazz with us. All are welcome!
GRNoir's Co-owner and Level II Sommelier, Shatawn Brigham, shares his thoughts on the intentionality behind the GRNoir experience and his journey to acquiring his Level II Sommelier status.
Shatawn earned his Level II Certified Sommelier with Wine & Spirit Education Trust through Napa Valley Academy. The coursework involved learning to identify the major grape varieties, regions and wine theory, as well as blind tasting to assess a wine’s quality and characteristics.
Favorite Wine Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Current Favorite Jazz Genre: Smooth & Neo-Soul
Shatawn Brigham is a multi-passionate educator, consultant, jazz buff and most recently, a Certified Level II Sommelier. Shatawn and his wife Nadia are co-founders of both Brigham Consulting, LLC & GRNoir Wine & Jazz. Shatawn also serves as Community Schools Coordinator with Kent School Services Network and Kentwood Public Schools. With over 20 years of professional experience in education and equity, Shatawn aims to bring his passions and training in these areas to GRNoir. He strives to cultivate a welcoming and approachable space to educate folks of all backgrounds about the rich histories and cultures of wine and jazz.
Favorite Wine Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Current Favorite Jazz Genre: Big Band & Traphouse
Nadia Brigham is principal of Brigham Consulting, LLC and co-founder of GRNoir with her husband and business partner, Shatawn. Nadia is highly experienced and educated in equity and leadership training and education, and, along with Shatawn, an avid fan of wine and jazz. With over 20 years of experience advancing racial equity, leadership and community engagement in philanthropy, Nadia translates these principles and values to GRNoir's brand by welcoming folks of all backgrounds and experience levels with wine and jazz. She encourages a community that celebrates the rich histories and cultures of wine and jazz, and Black America's contributions to these spaces.
Kevin Jones is a percussionist, band leader, producer and educator. A native of Englewood, New Jersey, Kevin grew up in a household immersed in jazz, soul, gospel and blues—from Charlie Parker and Lou Rawls to Nat King Cole and Mahalia Jackson—along with the pop and R&B legends of the times.
During his career, Jones has shared the stage or recorded alongside the likes of Hilton Ruiz, Walter Bishop Jr., Harold Vick, Grady Tate, Frank Wess, Jamil Nasser, Ray Copeland, Joey DeFrancesco, Teodross Avery, Ameen Saleem, Pat Martino, Jim Rotundi, Eric Alexander, Vince Ector, Papa John DeFrancesco, Melvin Sparks, Art Blakey Jr., John Benitez, Bebe and Cece Winans, Jermaine Jackson, Angela Winbush, Norman Simmons, Luisito Quintero, Billy Hart, Frank Lacy, Luis Perdomo, Alex Blake, Randy Weston, Winard Harper, Jimmy Owens, Billy Harper, Reggie Workman, Steve Turre, Michael Dease and Bob DeVos.
Currently, Kevin continues to teach children in underserved communities; A passion he relentlessly pursues.
Kevin is our jazz expert and booking agent! If you are interested in performing at GRNoir, please send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
GRNoir Wine & Jazz co-owners Shatawn and Nadia Brigham are proud to announce four exciting accomplishments: Shatawn’s elevation to Level 2 Certified Sommelier, the upcoming release of the second wine in their GRNoir Collection, their club’s one-year anniversary and being named the top 2021 Beverages Newsmakers by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.
The Brighams opened their doors at 35 S. Division St. in Grand Rapids to dine-in customers on Feb. 1, 2021. Choosing Black History Month this year to mark Shatawn’s new sommelier certification level and the upcoming launch of their new wine is part of the couple’s mission to make wine more accessible to people of color. Both Brighams work with the Michigan Wine Collaborative to increase diversity in the state’s wine industry.
“Growing up, I always thought you had to look a certain way or have a different socioeconomic status to drink wine,” said Shatawn, the only Black male sommelier in Grand Rapids to hold a Level 2 certification and likely the only one in Michigan. “When I look at my past work in social work and education, and now looking at the work I’m doing in wine educating people, it’s all the same. What we’re creating at GRNoir is a space where people who look like us, and all others, can discover that wine is approachable.”
Shatawn earned his elevation to Level 2 Certified Sommelier with Wine & Spirit Education Trust through Napa Valley Academy. The intermediate coursework involved learning to identify the major grape varieties, regions and wine theory, as well as blind tasting to assess a wine’s quality and characteristics. A 2-minute video of Shatawn talking about his journey is here.
“I want to be the very best I can be,” Shatawn said. “When I’m tasting now with my wine reps, I’m tasting a little more intentionally. I want to make sure I apply the knowledge that I learned about what I’m tasting and what I’m looking for.”
The newest addition to the GRNoir Collection is a semi-sweet blend of gamay, pinot noir, malbec, cabernet franc and merlot grapes. Named The Red Monk in homage to the late jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, it’s being announced two months after the collection debuted its Select Harvest Riesling, also created in partnership with Chateau Chantal Winery on Michigan’s Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City.
Brian Lillie, director of hospitality and distribution for Chateau Chantal Winery, said he’s eager to see what GRNoir customers think of The Red Monk. The Select Harvest Riesling was received very well, and Lillie is pleased with the partnership between his winery and GRNoir.
“Creating this Select Harvest Riesling and now The Red Monk for the GRNoir Collection was a wonderful opportunity for both of us,” Lillie said. “The partnership between people who love to make outstanding wine and a sommelier who loves to serve it is a special relationship. We want to congratulate Shatawn on attaining his new status as a Level 2 Certified Sommelier.”
The Red Monk will be available later this month in-store at GRNoir Wine & Jazz or online for pickup or shipment throughout Michigan.
The Grand Rapids Business Journal awarded the Brighams its top Beverages Newsmakers Award on January 26 during its annual Newsmakers of the Year event naming winners in 16 categories. The couple designed GRNoir to be a place where guests from all backgrounds can celebrate the complex and colorful connections between American and global cultures through wine and jazz while learning more about both.
“Our business model is about people exploring something they may not have come in contact with, whether that’s jazz or wine. And I feel like we’ve been successful in doing that,” Nadia said. “You see the generational divide being bridged. You see elders and college-aged students here to watch the young jazz players, people pulling up in everything from scooters to limousines. This is community.”
The GRNoir Collection is our exclusive, private label wine. It harmonizes wine with American jazz—born from the richness of Black culture—to create a space for laughter, love and storytelling. We invite you to open a bottle, turn on some jazz and share in the joy of good wine, music and conversation.