The Jazz Kitchen recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary.
In 1994 at the age of 25, Indianapolis native David Allee opened the doors to this jazz club. A signature Indianapolis locale for music, food and culture, The Jazz Kitchen consistently blends a contemporary feel with the rich jazz history of the city.
It all began when Allee and his friend drove by the location 20 years ago and decided it needed to be a jazz club. Since opening, Allee has tried to bring in the best of local, regional and national acts and through the years has been improving on culinary items such as catering.
Throughout the years, The Jazz Kitchen has featured a broad range of music genres including soul, R&B, hip-hop, classical, Latino, Indian, Brazilian and more, further contributing to the unique environment. They have been hosting jazz legends such as J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr., Poncho Sanchez, Jimmy Smith, David “Fathead” Newman, James Moody, Victor Wooten and many more.
“This place has grown a lot,” Allee said. “One thing we learned is we can’t play the same music every night. We’re fortunate in having a large umbrella of music; one night can be more contemporary jazz, swing, Avant guard … we try to mix it up.”
Allee’s father was a jazz musician and Allee played trumpet throughout high school, but there really was no business plan to start up the club.
“It’s an evolutionary process; as time has gone on we’ve tried to stay flexible,” Allee said. “Three years in we were trying to figure out how to fill the place.”
Allee’s plan was to feature different themes on different nights.
Thursday nights are Latin Dance Night with the best in tropical and modern Latin music. As a staple in the Indianapolis cultural nightclub scene, Latin Dance Party continues to create an environment of curiosity that attracts people of all nationalities and backgrounds.