Much as we love our favorite jazz haunts—Jardine’s, the Blue Room, the Phoenix, Majestic, Chazz, etc— it’s nice to see some fresh paint behind the bandstand.
So check out these new (or newer) additions to the Jazz Time geography.
Quality Hill Playhouse (10th and Main downtown): Usually reserved for Kent Barnhart’s slick cabaret shows—an entertainment mainstay of the 65+ crowd—QHP plays host to chanteuse par excellence Marilyn Maye all week long. You could pay $60, buy two over-priced drinks and have to tip the doorman at the Metropolitan Room or Michael Feinstein’s place in NYC—or you can catch Marilyn in the comfy, nicely-appointed confines of the QHP, a great place to see her jazz eminence. And parking’s next door.
Accurso’s (50th and Main): If you’ve had Italian deli in Midtown, you know this is a name synonymous with a nice pastrami and hip potato chips. Glad to see the operation presenting that estimable keyboard man (and City Light alum) Tim Whitmer Tuesday at 6pm. I can think of few better sounds to accompany a Dr Brown’s cream soda or Boulevard wheat.
AMC Mainstreet Marquee Lounge (13th and Main): That place has everything—a great restaurant, bar, movies, popcorn stand—and now some great jazz. Especially now that Jardine’s owner Beena Brandsgard is booking the new club. Actually, this isn’t a totally new thing (I’ve seen some of my 12th Street Jump gang working the room before they head over to the Marriott Saturday nights at midnight). Wednesday you can catch vocalist Shay Estes and that dashing demon of the 88s Mark Lowrey. Vocalist Kathleen Holeman fronts a group Friday night from 7 to 10. After a set, check out Rocky 12 or something equally inane on the big screen.
Hollywood Theater (500 Delaware in Leavenworth): I’ll have to trust keyboard ace and jazz flack Roger Wilder on this one. Apparently, things are happening besides cons and commanders up in L-town. Roger, long-time Son of Brasil, joins Stan, Doug and the guys Saturday night at 8PM at the aforesaid establishment. That mellow sound is just right for those environs—anything snappier and the inmates might get out of hand.
And some of our area’s fanciest eateries are getting the jazz bug, too. Justus Drugstore (Smithville) plays host Sunday night to Rob Scheps and stickman Todd Strait. And Kerry Strayer welcomes the aforesaid Ms Holeman to the West Chase Grill (119th and Roe in Leawood) for a jazz return to that location, which was called Trumpets in an earlier life. And Taste in downtown Overland Park joins the musical fray with the CoCo Trio featuring Stephanie Annable Friday from 6:30 to 10.
Welcome to the jazz scene, you new guys on the block. Here’s hoping you stick with it.