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:
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!!!