Kansas Smitty’s is a new jazz and julep bar launching Friday 22nd May 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. Situated in an intimate basement bar, Kansas Smitty’s will be the band’s clubhouse: an unpretentious, fun and approachable space bringing original swing music, real people and great cocktails to East London.
Located underneath ‘Off Broadway’, the sixty-capacity venue will serve up a menu centred on Kansas Smitty’s signature drink: the Julep. Smitty’s Juleps infuse raw spirit with botanicals and flavours to create eight wholly unique takes on the original cocktail. Alongside the cocktails will be a selection of wine and local craft beer.
As proven at their gigs in eclectic spaces from Ronnie Scott’s and Shoreditch House, to Mardi Gras at Vault Festival and a Jazz Rave at Wilderness, when Smitty’s eight members get together, the vibe is electric. A sour mash of jazz genres, the Kansas Smitty’s gritty style is influenced by the sounds of New York, New Orleans, Paris, and Havana. Made up of musicians whose musical flights are more like athletic miracles than practice room exercises, Kansas Smitty’s performances are both aurally and visually stunning – and unlike anything else out there.
With Jazz in the UK usually confined to niche and expensive clubs, or gimmicky theme nights, Kansas Smitty’s is opening up this exciting and evolving genre of music to a new, young audience and starting a new trend. Welcoming and accessible, the bar is about letting people experience jazz for themselves, in a relaxed environment.
Throughout the week, the venue will be used by the house band and guest musicians to rehearse, perform and create music, a unique setting for live jazz in London. On Wednesdays the bar will host the ‘Basement Tapes’, a weekly concert featuring new projects, guest performers, secret shows and new pieces written and rehearsed that week in the bar. With limited space and high calibre performances these will be hot tickets to get hold of. At other times, band members will play their favourite records for guests, providing a soundtrack of bangers all night long.