Kansas is the city of the creative spirit. Its rich jazz and blues legacy has created a community where music, creative expression, innovation, and collaboration are celebrated. From the 1920s through today, Jazz has been a significant part of Kansas City culture.
In the early 20th century, this city was the epicenter of jazz music. The big names came here because, at one time, there were more than 100 nightclubs in the city regularly featuring exciting new live jazz music. From 1914 to 1942, jazz was America’s latest popular music.
But after the Great Depression and the segregation laws during and after World War II, most venues and groups were forced to close, resulting in just 40 clubs remaining today that feature live jazz music.
It’s difficult to pin down the precise beginnings of jazz. However, we can say that it solidified itself as an American phenomenon right here in Kansas City. With more than 40 nightclubs featuring live jazz, we’re listing down the top 5.
It is located in the heart of Kansas City on the first floor of the historical Phoenix Hotel, situated in a Garment district. This building is the oldest in Kansas City (and has survived world war II).
It is on the National Historic Registry that was built in 1888. Kansas is a town rich in history.. The Old Town area was a hotspot for travelers and locals alike, where they met to drink, play cards, and shoot pool.
Frank Valerius founded the Phonix in Kansas City, Missouri, the USA, in 1905. The name was earlier called “Valerius Saloon.” Frank sold it to his neighbor, Madame Laws.
She was an adoring customer who eventually became the proprietor of this bar. The current owner claims that sometimes, they still hear footsteps in the hallway or sounds that can’t be explained late at night.
They just shrug it off, knowing that Frank and Linna are still around to keep an eye on the club. After moving through different proprietors, it finally got sold in 1990, and then the Phoenix transformed completely.
It became much more than a local bar. Now, the club attracts thousands of visitors every year. Today, the Phoenix has many of the same drag performances, such as Tim Whitmore and Millie Edwards.
Visit The Phoenix via thephoenixkc.com.
The Blue Room is a world-class jazz venue and intimate listening room located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, which is named after the 1930s jazz club; this historic venue features today’s influential jazz artists.
The Blue Room Museum pays homage to the countless jazz musicians who crafted a sound known by Americans and people from all over the world. This is the place where anyone can experience a night of incredible jazz music.
One of the cons of this club is that they don’t serve any cuisine or food to their customers. However, if you’re under the age of 21, they’ve got you covered. If an adult is accompanying any minor or an underage child, they too can buy tickets.
Visit Blue Room via eventbrite.com.
The Majestic Restaurant
The Majestic Restaurant is in the Fitzpatrick saloon, which is an old building located on Broadway Boulevard. A hundred years ago, this old saloon building was in the middle of Kansas City. It stood by while world war II went on.
In the early days of Kansas City, there were a lot of different kinds of people. There were cowboys and gangsters and people from the city who liked to dance in this club. The jazz club was opened in 1911 with the support of some people.
At that time, it was located on the first floor of the building, but later it came to its lower floor, which we know today as the Majestic Jazz club Restaurant. The music is what draws people to this fabulous restaurant and bar, aside from the best steaks in town. The restaurant serves various dishes from its menu, including New Zealand lamb chops and beer-battered pork chops.
Visit The Majestic Restaurant via majestickc.com.
Green Lady Lounge
Green Lady is a comfortable lounge that features Kansas City’s Jazz musicians. Live music every night of the week with no TVs – it’s an intimate setting where you can enjoy music without distractions.
Green Lady Lounge and Black Dolphin have been playing together, and their original music is a throwback to the days of jazz clubs everywhere. You can catch them at their shows or tune in to Green Lady Radio.
With its red velvet walls and vintage oil paintings, the atmosphere here is all about style. The comfortable and cozy Green Lady Lounge offers a selection of cocktails, delicious food, and live jazz entertainment, all in one place.
The music pours from two separate stages, keeping your feet tapping and your body moving all night long. They offer live jazz music seven times a week and 365 days a year!
Visit Green Lady Lounge via greenladylounge.com.
The Black Dolphin is, without a doubt, one of the best restaurants in the area of Kansas. Located on Grand Boulevard, this restaurant has a stunning vintage retro design.
It is a fabulous place to get lost in the calm, inviting atmosphere of Kansas City’s famous jazz clubs. Not only will you have a great time, but you can also enjoy the drinks are at a great price.
Be sure to make new friends and party in this local Jazz club. The only possible downside is that they will serve drinks but no food.
Visit Black Dolphin via facebook.com.
Looking for more jazz clubs around the US?