Skip to content
Kansas City Jazz: The Backstory
“Jazz was born in New Orleans, but grew up in Kansas City,” is an oft-used quote about Kansas City’s role as the cradle of jazz attributed to Congressman and former Kansas City Mayor Emanuel Cleaver. Kansas City Jazz is a style that transitioned from the original New Orleans 2/4 jazz beat to 4/4 – a more improvisational form that allowed for extended solos. Fans of “America’s music” started “goin’ to Kansas City” for its famous jazz in the 1920s. Back in the day they came to hear modern riffs on New Orleans jazz by legends like Count Basie, Bennie Moten, Big Joe Turner and Charlie “Bird” Parker in smoky clubs and speakeasies in the city’s downtown district. Today they come to hear the idiom articulated in old school and newer forms by current legends like smooth jazz pioneer Max Groove, Joe Cartwright, Angela Hagenbach and Brian Ruskin throughout the city, from classic downtown jazz joints like the Blue Room and Mutual Musicians Foundation to upscale Kansas City jazz clubs like Chaz on the Plaza. Chaz is one of the popular places where jazz’s history continues to unfold. Stylings performed range from bebop, blues and swing to Brazilian, fusion, gypsy, smooth and swing. One of the most vibrant music venues in Kansas City, Chaz showcases a diverse variety of regional composers and performers nightly and during Weekend Jazz Brunch. In addition to jazz, other music genres presented include blues, classical, rock and pop. The variety allows for travelers to experience a larger body of Kansas City sound––music that is real, being created and performed by local artists. Travelers will find the hotel’s blog-style entertainment calendar with performer bios helpful in planning their visit to Kansas City music venues. In addition to hearing about the music, travelers may learn more about it at the American Jazz Museum and through Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors, a not-for-profit dedicated to promoting jazz in Kansas City.
Sunday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm & 5:00 – 9:00 pm
Monday – Thursday 6:00 – 10:00 pm
Friday 7:00 – 11:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm & 7:00 – 11:00 pm
Strings on the Green Outdoor Series (May – September):
- Friday 4:00 – 7:00 pm
- Saturday 4:00 – 7:00 pm
- Happy Hour Specials
- Weekend Jazz Brunch
- Wine & Spirits Tasting Events
- Food & Beverage
- Live Entertainment
Complimentary valet parking at Raphael front drive or complimentary self parking in The Raphael garage immediately south of hotel (enter off Wornall Road on West side of building.