Jazz notes sound again in Midtown

Chef Richard Martin, Manager Pat Hanrahan and Owner Neil Pollock at the Broadway Jazz Club.

Chef Richard Martin, manager Pat Hanrahan and owner Neil Pollock at the Broadway Jazz Club.

Pat Hanrahan, former general manager of now-closed jazz club Jardine’s, wants to return a jazz scene to Midtown.

The manager and a principal at the two-month-old Broadway Jazz Club talked music on Tuesday.

“When Jardine’s closed (in 2011), it left a void,” he said. “We’re trying to fill that void.”

The club at 3601 Broadway has some new things going for it, he said.

Besides the older jazz legends in the city, young artists fresh out of music conservatories locally and elsewhere are here attracting new listeners.

“They’ll still do a lot of standards but also a lot of original work that takes it in a new direction,” he said.

The late Thursday bands at the club feature Brazilian jazz, with the Sons of Brasil and Arara Azul alternating in the spots.

That plays well, and so are bookings for Valentine’s Day on Friday.

The late dinner seating with Eboni Fondren singing is almost sold out, he said, and the 5:30 seating with sax player and singer Eddie Charles is also selling well.

Jazz club chef Richard Martin, whose Mississippi restaurant was wiped out by hurricane Katrina, says he specializes in creole cooking but on Valentine’s day offers a restrained main course choice: filet Mignon, salmon or creole chicken.

For dessert, Mississippi mud cake is an option. But so is New York style cheese cake.

Hanrahan said jazz and fine dining thrived along Broadway as late as the 1960s: “Fifty years ago, this was the spot.”

Back then, the Broadway club was a jazz joint called the Hampton House, he said, and Colony Steak House across the street featured jazz in the Ambassador hotel, and the Riviera jazz club was in the Valentine shopping center.

As for jazz itself, Hanrahan said, “It has always been around – I think it will always be around.”

He hopes its younger fans and artists can come together with older ones on Feb. 24, when the Broadway Jazz Club holds a fund raiser for artist Everette DeVan.

The keyboard player, who helped many young players over a long Kansas City career, suffered a stroke last weekend and friends are trying to raise money to help him.

One Comment

  1. Michael Grimaldi says:

    Very sad to hear about Everett’s stroke. We loved his performance on 12th Street Jump and elsewhere around town. Prayers for his recovery.

    On another note, I remember when Marilyn Maye performed at the Colony in the Ambassador. I wasn’t old enough to be there, but it was definitely a legendary part of midtown. Best wishes for the new venue.

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