Jazz Beat – The Most Popular Venues
by Mike Pagán // Jazz Pianist
First time visiting Kansas City? Great. By now you’ve probably gathered that this is our first run of “The Record”. For this inaugural issue, let’s look at some of the most popular jazz venues in KC – the ones you should try to hit if you’re a musician or enthusiast who is new to town, or just passing through.
Disclaimer: This listing is not in any ranking order.
The Blue Room (1616 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108) located at the historic corner of 18th and Vine in the historic jazz district of Kansas City. The Blue Room is open Mon, Thu, Fri and Sat. There is no cover on Mondays and Thursdays and Monday is a jazz session. If you are an instrumentalist or singer, be sure to head in. Entertainment usually starts at 7:00 p.m. on weeknights and 8:30 p.m. on the weekends. For more information, visit americanjazzmuseum.org and click on Blue Room.
The Mutual Musicians Foundation (1823 Highland, KCMO 64108) is a true historic landmark in KC and home to the famous all-night jam sessions on Friday and Saturday nights, literally going until 5:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Because of the after-hours nature, many marquee-name, touring jazz musicians appearing in KC stop in the MMF after their evening performances to sit in. You’ll never know whom you may see at the MMF. For more information,
The Majestic Restaurant and Jazz Club (931 Broadway, KCMO 64105)is another popular venue exclusively presenting jazz. There is live music on each of the restaurant’s two levels and a Sunday night jam session beginning at 6:30 p.m., no cover. For more information, visit majestickc.com
The Phoenix (302 W. 8th St., KCMO 64105) has jam sessions on Monday and Tuesday night beginning at 7:00 p.m., no cover.
The elegant Westchase Grille (11942 Roe Ave., Overland Park KS 66209) presents jazz Wednesday through Sunday nights. For more information, visit westchasegrill.com.
Dick Hawk’s Gaslight Grill and Backroom (5020 W. 137th St., Leawood Kan. 66224) has live jazz Wednesdays through Sundays at 6:30 p.m. as well. For more information, visit gaslightgrill.com.
Take Five Coffee Bar (5336 W. 151st St., Leawood KS) is a true coffee house with a bar and delicious goodies. Visit takefivecaffeebar.com for a schedule of the many jazz shows they present, including a Sunday night jam session at 7:00p.m.
Chaz on the Plaza, the intimate lounge of the Hotel Rapheal (325 Ward Pkwy., KCMO 64112) has live music featuring jazz Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, visit raphaelkc.com/chazontheplaza.
Whether you are a visitor or a “homie” be sure to get out and support live jazz in Kansas City.