We were recently invited along to check out, Kansas Smitty, a new jazz and julep bar on Broadway Market. Named after its resident house band, an eight-piece jazz band of young and hungry virtuosos, Kansas Smitty’s mission is to turn the genre’s exclusive and snobby reputation on its head.
Thanks to regular appearances at places like Ronnie Scotts, 606 and Nightjar, the Kansas Smitty’s house band have become well-loved enough to take this rare step of opening up their own place. And this intimate basement bar, is the band’s clubhouse.
It is unpretentious, fun and approachable. From the moment we walked in everyone from the excellent cocktail staff, to members of the band struck up a conversation with us, making us at home.
The sixty-capacity venue serves a variety of bourbon Juleps designed by Sean Fennelly of Milk & Honey, infused with raw spirit with botanicals and flavours to create a wholly unique takes on the original cocktail.
As a genre, jazz has acquired a certain reputation over the years, however recent trends within the London jazz scene have changed its perception for the public, by making jazz music accessible, budget-friendly, and completely un-pretentious.
Long gone are the days where costly visits to affluent West-end bars was the only way to seek out the popular genre, and East London in particular is now rife with Jazz bars and events, showcasing some of the most talented musicians in the UK.
This jazz movement is continuing to grow, and as more and more live music venues are closed down across the capital, people are flocking to the smaller basement bars, where live music and dancing until the early hours takes place under the streets of London.
We recommend heading down to Kansas Smitty’s on a Wednesdays, when the bar hosts its ‘Basement Tapes’, weekly concert featuring new projects, guest performers, secret shows and new pieces written and rehearsed that week in the bar.
Kansas Smitty’s can be found at 63-65 Broadway Market, underneath Off Broadway.
Kansas Smitty’s brings Jazz to Broadway