On Saturday afternoon we received a notice from our good friend Dave Stephens from the Dave Stephens Band warning his fans not to show up to his performance that night that was scheduled to be at Jardines Jazz Club in Kansas City near the Plaza. Dave said that Jardines had fired their entire staff with no advance notice on Saturday or perhaps on Friday. Currently, there is a sign on the door that says "closed for repairs", but according to several inside sources Jardines is closed for good.
It's hard to imagine the circumstances that may have surrounded the closing of Jardine's, but it had to have been something out of the ordinary due to the "sudden death" manner in which it closed. To hear that the entire staff was suddenly fired is proof that something was rotten at Jardine's, and to cancel a show on Dave Stephens at the last minute when they know that he flies all the way in from his home in Los Angeles just to perform at the club is just not right. Surely there is a good explanation for the closing of Jardine's as they have not done any sort of odd things like this in the past. They have been a steady rock in the rough waters that are the Kansas City jazz scene, as Kansas City jazz bands and jazz musicians hardly have anywhere to perform as it is.
Ironically enough, Kansas City is known for Jazz, but in reality there are less than a handful of venues that actually feature and promote live jazz. Jazz musicians are mostly loners, who are fairly arrogant and only want their own name to be known, this is why they don't really put together bands, rather they "sit in" with each other - or jazz performers with some notoriety put together a random group of jazz musicians to "back" their performances, often introducing each musician several times during a performance. Featured jazz musicians who will be affected by Jardine's closing will be Dave Stephens and his band, The Kansas City Lights, Danny Embrey and several other Kansas City bands. This is a serious blow to the jazz community as they are losing one of the most well known jazz venues in Jardine's, and they will be forced to look elsewhere for jazz gigs. A local booking agency is offering free sign up for jazz bands and jazz musicians at www.bandsforhirelive.com to help them find gigs in Kansas City and other areas in the Midwest.
Jardine's owner Beena Johnson hails from Pune, India and is an IT specialist (what else to they do down there, of course she is an IT specialist) and she was not available for comment on the closing of Jardine's jazz club in Kansas City.