Today: A Christmas Olive Branch from Jardine’s Owner to Local Jazz Musicians

In an open letter to Kansas City jazz musicians, Jardine’s owner Beena Raja reached out Christmas Day in an attempt to mend fences and restore sanity to an out-of-control situation that has resulted in the club’s going dark much of the past three weeks.

That after Raja found a handful of her staff drinking illegally at the club at 4 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. Jardine’s general manager / cook then resigned. Two staffers were fired, a third walked out and confusion over what had gone down lead other staffers to believe they too had been fired.

An incident with one server, whose father is a leading member of the local jazz community, resulted in the father calling for other musicians to boycott Jardine’s.

It’s been downhill from there.

Will Raja’s reaching out to musicians work? Is it too late?

Here’s Raja’s late night letter:

"To All,

You don’t know the facts of why this happened.

I had a great time doing what I do.I welcome anybody that can take over and do what I have done since 2003. I think you were praising me for a while. Dont forget most of you hated (former Jardine’s owner) Greg Halstead. He was the bad guy. I guess I am the one now. It’s how it is. No big deal.

You need me to leave KC? No. That’s not your call.I am a citizen just like you.

I have paid everyone and treated everyone with respect (musicians and employees) and have paid more to all since 2003 when I took over and have hired more musicians and supported Jazz in this city and made Jardines what it is.

Am I hurt? Yes.

 Did I make a penny. I did not. I worked for you guys.I am happy. I am not complaining.

I am not perfect. I do not claim to be.

I do know most of you. I loved every minute of getting to know you. I spoke and listened.

I know who I am. You may be better.

I enjoyed working with all my employees and you musicians. I did not even know Jazz and still do not.

Yes, I am from India, but very proud to be an American.This country gave me the opportunity to be who I am.

No regrets. You don’t know me. Thanks for the Opportunity that you gave me to get better!! I did it.

You cannot put me down. I refuse to. It’s my style, my faith, my truth and my integrity and I was not trying to prove that to you. I don’t care at this point.

 This journey may be over. If it is, I will embark on the next one.I am not afraid.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year!!!



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62 Responses to Today: A Christmas Olive Branch from Jardine’s Owner to Local Jazz Musicians

  1. harley says:

    the question that has not been answered as of today (maybe i missed it) but has this woman paid the
    musicians and the former employees? If she has and admits a mistake then everyone should move on
    and make their decisions based on their own beliefs. If not…then thats a different story. Yoou hearne
    said that the people would be paid…and that you put in your story that all of this would be worked out.
    If it has…lets all chalk it up to miscommunication and move on and hopefully this broad will get to
    keep her business. If not…if the people were not paid then it’s time for average people to stick up for
    those who need our help. Imagine going thru christmas without money for the holidays because someone
    withheld themoney you were owed.
    If the rightful money has not been paid…i and many other will continue to boycott the business. How cruel can
    a human being be to people who worked there for many yearsl Un fortunately too many times the business
    owners stiff their employees and the owners walk away with extra cash and the employees get stiffed.
    If the woman paid her bills…al lwill be forgiven and we won’t fight it.
    However…if she hasnt kept her word…i’m thinking that suits will be filed…em;loyees will continue to
    legally try to get their money and the media will contniue to cover this story.
    I feel for the employees and having talked personally with a entertainer who has worked that bar
    I can see that there were serious problems long b efore the jardine 15.
    Pay up…or shut up. Its that simple. Hearne post the chec ks or receipts for all people paid and
    we move on.
    No way i want to see this business go down…but when you get in bed with get fleas (chucky
    knows all about this).
    Make good on your promises…and then thing s will work out for you.
    Its great to see musicians banding together as a group to further their cause as a group and make
    it known that they have power and a voice.
    Hearne…report back and then we’ll decide what the do…thanks…

  2. harley says:

    having seen numerous photos and seen this woman
    she doesn’t like she’s hurting for money. In fact she looks like she’s pretty well off.
    Hopefully this boring story can end because she paid ev eryone off who was owed
    This story has gone on too long…and since when are you hearne the mouthpiece for
    people like this.
    You should be ashamed of yourself if noone got paid.

  3. siddhartha says:

    Totally false
    Hearne, don’t you care about your reputation? Why do you persist in being the mouthpiece for this witch?

    ”I have paid everyone and treated everyone with respect…l

    That’s all folks! Read no further! Total delusional crap. Total BS!

  4. Orphan of the Road says:

    When you piss in the corn flakes and wonder why
    no one wants to sit down to breakfast, it’s between a rock and a hard place. If the musicians come back you have a chance to rebuild your reputation. It has been an interesting pissing match to watch from afar. I know some of the musicians involved and how the club has advanced their careers. But the talent will shine anywhere so you have to provide a solid payday.

    If the musicians return, so will the patrons. If the young lady has truly been unable to make money during her time running the club, now is the time to take a hard look and see why. I know owners who subsidize their clubs through other efforts. But a club such as Jardine’s should provide a good income with proper management.

    For all involved I offer a toast to better times for all

  5. HARLEY says:

    if siddhartha is right hearne…
    and the employees havent been paid and you and the woman lied to everyone..
    you are finished…without your blog offering her the chance to make good on what
    you and her promised its over
    pay the people and move on…til then you wil continue to fight an uphill battle.
    And you both will continue to look bad.
    hearne is your credibitlity wortth a measly $1400? If it is…you are stupid.
    Stop helping theives.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Hollister says:

    After all is said and done I’m still not hearing that anyone got paid. You know the old saying…money talks, bullshit walks.

  7. viceroy says:

    How is that an olive branch or an attempt to mend fences? “You don’t know the facts….I have paid everyone and treated them with respect…..I’m not perfect….I still don’t know anything about jazz….you don’t know me….you can’t put me down…this journey may be over…Happy New Year!”.

    I realize I picked out the least fence-mending quotes, and while I don’t think anyone would expect Beena to just fall on her sword that is a pretty horrible attempt to reach out to the jazz community. While I seriously doubt everyone has received their money as she states, I will say that if she HAS paid everyone off then it is pretty shitty if they don’t chime in here to let everyone know after providing so many updates to the contrary.

    I’m not going to jump on the cocaine bandwagon, but I will say that Beena does sound like someone who needs to address some serious issues. Victim, victim, victim, expecting everything to go back to normal as soon as she (sort of) says she’s sorry- like none of her history has anything to do with the boycott. She gives lip service to wanting to mend fences, but will mention zero concrete examples (other than claiming everyone has their money) of what she’s even talking about, it’s all general “I’m a good person, I’m misunderstood, I’m hurt, I love you, I have worked for you, you cannot put me down” generic allusions to vague points that could be to anyone and refer to anything. She does sound like someone who has a substance abuse problem, painting herself into a corner and defiantly accepting minimal responsibilty because in her mind all of her current woes are a result of this one overblown incident.

    In all of the attempts to investigate and report Beena’s side of the story, I do hope that Hearne or anyone who is close enough to her to get that information doesn’t ignore the substance abuse possibility for the sake of a good dramatic story or getting ammo against people for whom they do not particularly like. Among all of the other painful details you may be getting from her, that is one worth addressing as well. If you care enough about Beena to be invested in her continued success, then the best thing you can do here is stop reporting anything at all…positive or negative. If she’s in an emotional or chemical spiral, all that the constant reporting is doing is reinforcing her behavior and emotional state. Whether she’s right or wrong is irrelevant to all of THAT. The whole “I am here to report a story, this is how news is done, you return my call and I tell your side, I do not currently know Beena well enough to confirm or deny any chemical dependency issues, I report news” angle is a total cop-out if you consider her even a peripheral friend.

    Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying Beena’s health and wellbeing rests on the shoulders of KCC, she is responsible for herself and makes her own decisions. However, the numerous quotes and statements she has provided in the past two weeks just scream of serious personal issues. If she’s going to sell Jardine’s, if too much damage has already been done to repair relationships, etc., those ships have already sailed. There isn’t anything left to be done here besides drag out pointless drama for the sake of site traffic. And while I agree that is positively the bread and butter of how news is reported in an electronic age, why not see if you have a chance to do some good for someone in obvious need of help? Hearne and Craig can’t talk about feeling bad or concerned for Beena and at the same time feed the drama that is taking an obvious toll on her. Being her one available mouthpiece isn’t doing her any favors, I know you have to realize that. How great of a story will it be when she completely flames out? I know you’d really be able to boost your readership by playing devil’s advocate when people start hammering the shit out of you for not sharing the same level of grim details that you’ve provided in other recent instances.

  8. harley says:

    excellent post viceroy
    wish i could write that good. Hopefully chucky can take some notes from you
    on how to write correctly because the guy is flipping over the top with crap.
    I’m not a good writer…but chucky makes me look like shakespeare. lol

  9. Lance the Intern says:

    Olive Branch?
    Perhaps we have a different definition of what it means to offer an olive branch….IMO, it takes an immense amount of courage to extend an olive branch, as it often comes with an admission of wrongdoing and regret.

    I see neither here.

  10. siddhartha says:

    there’s no ‘reporting’ going on here
    If hearne was actually here to report on the story-and did any checking whatsoever- he would know that not only has everyone not been paid, but NO ONE has been paid, sans 1 of the 15, and that includes maryln maye and dave stephens still being owed. But at least Hearne got his xmas party! (Which sucked by all accounts)

  11. harley says:

    wow….I’m really pissed now….
    siddhartha…is it true that marilyn maye wasn’t paid…i saw her last week and my family has known her for many years..
    very close friends…I commented that jardines had closed down.
    do you have proof that marilyn wasn’t paid? I reported thatmy sources andmy conversations had mentioned she
    had gottdn stiffed but i asked hearne to investigate it with his girlfriend.
    If thats true that is not only low…but stiffing a lovely woman like marilyn in this town could be the kiss of
    death….how could anyone do that to a legend in this town.
    When i mentioned it to marilyn she was a little taken aback.
    Hearne…check this out…you need to delve into this and see if she ws paid.
    I hope its nto true…i really do…because tht would only add serious fire to this entire situation…..

  12. Lance the Intern says:

    It’s my understanding….
    That Beena Raja recently sent an email asking the jazz musicians to return. The email stated in part

  13. Super Dave says:

    Hearne let this issue either die on it’s own or come back and report the place has been sold.

    That is the most pathetic letter or statement to say whatever I have ever seen.

    I mean let

  14. siddhartha says:

    blathering harley
    Hey Harley!

    If your family is so close to Ms Maye, why don’t you quit all your excessive non sensical hot air blathering and contribute something useful 4 once.. Confirm it yourself!

  15. 1 of 15 says:

    Not paid
    I haven’t been paid. Neither has Dave. Neither have 13 others. I’m not sure about Marilyn.

  16. chuck says:

    harley is good friends with Baloon Boy

    Hey Harley does Beena owe Balloon Boy any money?

  17. Merle Tagladucci says:

    She’s f’d and she knows it. Tick tock.

  18. Disgruntled Contractor says:

    I would have to agree with Super Dave, this is a pretty lame letter.

    It says nothing and apologizes to no one. It steals from Popeye (“I Yam What I Yam”), reads like the Beena Raja Cliche Festival, and must have taken three bottles of wine to compose.

    It’s wrong in one respect however: yeah, we do know you, Beena. We had you figured out all along.

  19. KCMonarch says:

    Doesn’t make sense
    I don’t know any of the parties involved but have followed the happenings on KCC. I have to say the club owner’s side of the story makes no sense. We are to believe a bunch of musicians, typically independent minded, banded together because somebody’s kid was rightfully terminated for breaking the law? And other employees somehow wrongly assumed they were fired without hearing it from their actual employer? And somebody’s check didn’t clear because an account was closed? (you can instruct a bank to allow outstanding checks to clear by giving them check numbers and amounts.) And employees were owed less than $800 total yet the employer needed weeks to settle with them? The tone of this letter is unprofessional and demonstrates it’s author is a bit immature. Really nothing I’ve read from her side of the conflict makes sense. If it doesn’t make sense it’s not true. Can’t give somebody the benefit of the doubt when the doubt is so large.

  20. Correction says:

    Harley didn’t mean to say he knew Maryln Maye
    He meant to say, “Man Am I Gay.”

  21. mark smith says:

    She isn’t exactly Louisa May Alcott
    At the risk of mad servers picketing my front yard, Im going to go out on a limb and guess that Beena speaks better than she writes. Maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t able to convey her true humility and remorse in the kings english. Or maybe she meant to sound self absorbed and spoiled. One thing is clear, it wouldn’t matter if she paid 3 times what she allegedly owes, there is an element of commentors who won’t be satisfied until she is run out of town on a rail. As opposed to running around town doing rails. The real story in this petty non news squabble is that a Fox 4 reporter colored outside the lines of credibility and ethical reporting. Hearne nailed that one, but it’s drawn a miniscule amount of outrage compared to Beenas personal issues.

  22. bemused watcher says:

    More proof that just because the government gives you a piece of paper it doesn’t make you “American” any more than getting a library card makes you a Librarian. Beena treats her people the way subordinates are treated in India — but at least she’s got American style excuse making down pat.

  23. 1opinion says:

    With Hearne’s help
    Thank you Hearne, for without your help Beena might have managed to keep ownership of Jardine’s…

  24. Mary says:

    Beena seems to imply of only 2 people who have ever held ownership of Jardine’s..Greg Halstead and then herself. She claims to have “made Jardine’s what it is”. Truth is, Jardine’s was going strong before she ever bought it. She also failed to mention of her co-owner at the time, Pat Hanrahan, to where the real credit is due. Beena wasn’t even in the country for a good deal of the period that she claims “she made Jardine’s what it is.” Pat was running the place, and did an excellent job. She showed her appreciation by taking him to the cleaners and wiping him out.

  25. Sandy says:

    A yellow bug, in that guys hair?
    I just want to know, what is that bright yellow thing crawling around in that guys hair, in the pictures on the front page.

  26. chuck says:

    I don’t know about the yellow bug,
    but that medallion around Beena’s neck, according to “The 15” represents her rank in the Illuminati from where she gathers power to control the Portals of Hell.

    It is well known that she can summon demons and has in fact abducted wasted waiters and waitresses to join Peresphone working the line at the Gates of Hell Bar B Q, where there are NO tips and you better get a fuckin tray.

  27. chuck says:

    As usual Harley, real classy.

  28. paulwilsonkc says:

    nice job hacking me, harley
    Looks like I need to change passwords. Luckily, people can read your lame attempt at being me and tell its hardly my style, looser.

  29. Harold says:

    That yellow bug in that man’s hair looks like a crab, a bright yellow crab, A VERY SCARY YELLOW CRAB. OUCH!!! Is it biting him him in the head? Will the man himself turn into a yellow crab come the next full moon? Forget the paychecks, i want to know about these yellow crabs. Could this become an epidemic, like bedbugs?

  30. Hearne Christopher says:

    Just reporting the news, dude. Take it or leave it.

  31. Hearne Christopher says:

    H Man, I’m not making this news, I’m reporting it. You don’t get that? When I quote what somebody says, it’s them saying it, not me.

  32. Hearne Christopher says:

    Hey, the party was excellent. What accounts?

    This is strictly news; an email; letter that was sent to jazz musicians. That’s news.

  33. Hearne Christopher says:

    I’m covering it for you guys, come what may.

  34. David Hayden says:

    A bit of fact checking
    None of the 15 I spoke to today have been paid.

  35. Mary says:

    For Shame!
    ” I have paid everyone and treated everyone with respect”….. I guess it doesn’t look like it….. 🙁

  36. Mary says:

    Why these “yellow crabs” have anything pertinent to do with the subject matter presented here is beyond me, however I do believe they are the “crown” part of a “Crown Royal” whiskey neon sign that just happened to be placed in an unflattering angle to the subject’s head. Perhaps the photographer should have been paying a little better attention. Still, I don’t understand why this has warranted the amount of attention that it has been paid… it’s just a sign… there are much bigger issues at stake here!!! Geez!

  37. Leaster says:

    Yellow crabs can be a very very serious condition, and should not be brushed off so lighlty.

    This one time at band camp, there was an outbreak of yellow crbas, and 83% of the campers were attacked by these insideous creatures and although I am willing to believe that drinking Crown Royal can lead to getting crabs, (a lot of the campers did drink it) I dont see what having a simple sign for Crown Royal has to do with getting crabs.

    According to the CDC website, the man in the picture should seek immediate medical treatment and be very very careful from now on, becasue these crabs look larger than any crabs I have seen, and I have seen some very large blue crabs….. but that is a whole nuther story.

  38. Mary says:

    Some Comic Relief
    Thanks, Leaster! I don’t know who you are, and crabs really have nothing to do with this story, but I have to admit, you did cause me to chuckle….. Of course, the “Three Stooges” movie I’m watching right now might have something to do with that also….. Anyway, thanks for the laugh!

  39. Leaster says:

    Cheers Mary 🙂

    Have a Happy New Year, and a prosperous 2012

  40. chuck says:

    my wife….take her….please!
    life is tough, I live in a complete hell hole. My family life is tough. Please…please take my wife. Save me

  41. harley says:

    Hearne is looking really bad right now…
    you’ve defended this woman. You took her side. you have not just reported the news. You gave her a public forum
    yet gave none to the people who got screwed. Publish a letter from the people and the musicians who got screwed.
    Lets hear their complete story and let them tell their side not in the comments section but in a huge main story.
    You have not reported the news. When you were gi ven tips you brushed them off. We understand your personal
    conecction to the woman but as a journalist fair play is needed. Ask the ones harmed to write a letter to’the woman
    and publish it. Also when you see your girlfriend ask her is she burned marilyn may.e
    You were the cheerleader for those shows at jardines…you wrote at least a dozen articles about her appearance…
    you never gave us details about the rest of the story…so hearne you are takiing a beating in the public’s eye…
    come out of your closet and tell us the whole real story.

  42. Guy says:

    This is Beena’s problem…..
    I know for a fact that one of her headliners that plays there, was willing to come back…..if Beena would sign a contract that would insure that the performer would get paid for her services. Beena refused.

  43. RamJet says:

    Beena’s Cheap Motel
    She runs her place like one of those swami-owned, incense infested, thin blanket, see-through pillows, rum dum motels where you pay at the drive-up window and hope the bed bugs aren’t hungry that night.

  44. Hearne Christopher says:

    Local clubs and promoters seldom to never sign contracts with local artists. Plus, which artist?

  45. John Altevogt says:

    No, this isn’t news
    News is when you present both sides of the story, simply presenting one side is propaganda. She claims she paid these people. Where are the interviews with them supporting that version of the events, or giving there side?

    Club owners who screw musicians and staff should be boycotted and driven out of business. Until we see interviews from a credible source that the bands and staff that were owed money there is no reason to ever patronize this club.

  46. Hearne Christopher says:

    John, you’re wrong. News can come from any single place. Or from multiple sources as you suggest.

    With rare exception, most of the ex Jardine’s staffers bunkered after the early stories. Stories here on KCC that gave a far different side of things than the owner said, once she came out of hiding.

    Now that her story is out, the key former staffers don’t want to answer any hard questions, so they hide out instead in the various comments sections.

    You’re quite a little behind the curve on this news, it appears, so my advice to you is to stay tuned.

  47. John Altevogt says:

    You’re right, Hearne, you can get the entire story from this woman. She claims to have paid the people she owes money to. Where are the canceled checks? Are they hunkered down also? Surely she didn’t pay the bands in cash, particularly knowing there was a controversy, and I suspect they’re not hunkered down anywhere. As for the credit card tips, any business worth its salt would keep accounting records of receipts and pay outs to staff. Where are those? This story doesn’t have to be a they said – she said. Issues of money in business are always well documented. You’re a trusted friend of this woman and have certainly demonstrated your ability to be open minded and fair to her. There’s no reason she can’t share that data with you and allow for the publication of evidence that would end the story once and for all. And I’m trusting you to put me ahead of the curve here.

    One nice thing I’ve learned from this is that I no longer tip through my credit card. I hand my server cash at the table.

  48. Hearne Christopher says:

    You still don’t get it.

    There’s a difference between reporting news and telling the entire story. Most of what passed for “the entire story” early on – including here – was written with no input whatsoever from Jardine’s.

    Now that the expats got their side out, they’re laying low.

    I’ll continue to report whatever developments that I come upon and readers can sort out the truths for themselves. Just like you are doing now.

    It’s not an “end it now” deal as far as I am concerned. This is a very difficult, delicate, behind the scenes deal and I am not privy to the day to day inner workings of the owner’s mind. I’m giving you what I can get when I can get it.

    It’s the simple. This is not something I’m in control of or a party to

  49. Speg says:

    Is Jardine’s open
    Hey, I just want to know if Jardine’s is open now (driving by last weekend the windows are papered up and it looks all dark inside) and/or is it going to open for business in the future. That’s all KC wants to know – where can we go to hear our favorite musicians and groups who have played there for years? Will they be back? If you look at the website, there is nothing on the calendar for January 2012. Doesn’t look hopeful. Can someone just run the place and feature the great local talent that is KC Jazz once again, in a normal fashion?

  50. Ha Ha Handmaidens says:

    for someone who beat up a professor who supported evolution, your sense of right and wrong is pretty twisted Altevogt. why not get lost?

  51. David Hayden says:

    They aren’t bunkered, they just aren’t talking to you. You have reported here that you have had extended conversations with at least one, but you didn’t run any of that. You did instead run a story from a mother of one of the fifteen that you thought made them look bad. When you talk to Beena, I don’t see answers to the tough questions. They would talk to you if they thought for a moment you would give them a fair shake. I don’t think anyone who has followed your end of the saga trusts that would happen.

  52. Hearne Christopher says:

    Good question. I’m out of town, but I’m hearing a deal may be in the works

  53. Hearne Christopher says:

    I did listen at length and run a quote from the source. I did not run the entire account at the time because it did not fit in to the early reporting on the closing.

    I did however refer back to what I was told as he confirmed that the servers were in the bar drinking illegally after hours on Thanksgiving morning. As he confirmed that the manager had resigned as manager, wanted to stay on as cook and later resigned that post.

    You my friend, did not so much as make the slightest attempt to get the other side of the story. Which is fine; you’re a waiter not a journalist. Although you do love to play one in the comments section.

    I do have to hand it to you for using your real name.

  54. mike says:

    Hearne, why do you tell one guy that it is being a jounalist to only report one side of the story, but then tell another that he is just playing a journalist by doing the same?

  55. Hearne Christopher says:

    Simple. You’re putting the wrong words in my mouth. News is news. If the owner reaches out to musicians, that’s news. If she announces she is in talks to sell that’s news.

    When wading into a he said / she said story, you have to either talk to both sides – which I did – or at least attempt to contact both sides, which our waiter friend did not.

    Pretty simple stuff, dude.

  56. Guy says:

    To answer your ?, Hearne
    Rhymes with Side of McBeef. And yes they do sign contracts, with the heavy hitters, which…no pun intended I believe she qualifies as one here in KC.

  57. Lance the Intern says:

    Checked out the Jardines Website Calendar…
    And found this posted on the Calendar for December 31st:
    “New Years celebration with Pete Cole, Chris Clark and the gang $5 cover Special menu
    Beena is fired . Its a brand new year!!! Please come and welcome the new owners Robert and Joseph and carry the jazz tradition!!
    7 to 1 am”

    Hearne — Can you confirm?

    Here’s the link:

  58. David Hayden says:

    You had their side of the story. You did not report it, but only used the pieces that fit the story you wanted to tell. I am a waiter, a blogger, and a published author. I never claim to be a journalist. Maybe you should do the same. I will proudly add “guy who pisses Hearne Christopher off” to that list of accomplishments though.

  59. paulwilsonkc says:

    @Lance – Beena Fired?
    The web site has said all kinds of things. It’s been hacked for some time now in multiple places and obvioualy not noticed. Its in the screen crawl where it says “skintimate” instead of intimate, its in the drink menus where martinits are now Jardinis… which “taste like broken dreams”…. and on and on, if you look closely. So, theres no telling what you saw or when. I did see “Beena Fired” and the new owners part.

    Dont know whos doing it but its been going on for nearly 4 weels now. Beena is still there. No Robert, Mary or Joseph as new owners.

  60. mike says:

    question to paul
    Is Jardine’s still for sale and are you still a candidate to buy it?

  61. paulwilsonkc says:

    @Mike – Yes and Yes
    Thats been identified several times by several people. We are still interested.

  62. mike says:

    to paul
    Thank you for your response. That is what I thought but with so many conflicting rumors today, I was not completely sure. Happy New Year!

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