Jazz & Juleps & A Whole Lot More At Kansas Smitty’s, Hackney

09 Aug 2016

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have seen Madeline Bell at the institution that is Ronnie Scott’s. Singing, dancing, it was probably the best night of jazz I have ever had the pleasure of attending. Running out of steam at the end of the evening, we decided it was time to leave, but just as we were heading out a new band was introduced. Step forward Kansas Smitty’s House Band.

The lead and the drummer were so charismatic; it became impossible to walk out. Given that this was the late, late show, the music was mellow yet enticing. The bandleader, Giacomo Smith, has the ability to capture you and hold your attention; yep, this young clarinet player is a definite talent.

And that is how I first met Kansas Smitty. So, when I was invited to their bar, I thought yes, yes and more yes.

Situated in the lively Broadway Market, is this very unassuming bar underneath a bar, named after the resident house band, Kansas Smitty.

Launched on the 21st May in Broadway Market, this bar is the epitome of real people who just love jazz and a good drink!

We all love the classic jazz bands from Louis and his Hot Five, Miles and his Quintet, however this band will have you jumping, dancing and singing along, even when you don’t know the words. With strong influences from swing, blues and a touch of Giacomo Smith magic, this is a type of genre that can’t just be owned by jazz lovers, but people who just love real music.

Now on to the bar, this unpretentious place is all about three things- jazz, drinks and having a good time!

When we walked into the bar, we automatically thought ‘where have we been sent’?  Very low key and not very busy – were we in the right place? Bags held tight, we descended down the stairs, to what can only be described as a 1940s Kansas City lounge bar.  Wherever you sit, you feel like you are at your mate’s house in the garage, listening to them jamming.

If you don’t like the idea of just chilling in a bar listening to Jazz, then the drinks alone are definitely worth the trip to Broadway Market. However, the choice is slightly limited with the Julep being the house signature drink, and it comes with a strong punch, so sip with caution.

This brilliant bar (and its Julep) is hitting the road and will be in Scotland from the 4th to the 28th August for the renowned Edinburgh Fringe – to be precise, at the Leith Biscuit Factory along with acts such as Kitty, Daisy and Lewis.

Kansas Smitty’s Bar has teamed with the guys at Jim Beam, meaning their famous Julep will have a brilliant bourbon twist to it. And with good old American soul food on offer too, well, what more can you ask for?


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