The Kitano on Park Avenue is more than just an upscale hotel for tourists and visitors, it also has a trendy jazz lounge that brings jazz lovers some excellent entertainment. The Kitano has a great line-up of talented pianists, vocalists, and instrumental professionals, and this past weekend was not a disappointment with Ronny Whyte performing. Although Mr. Whyte does attract a more mature crowd, his songs were upbeat and you couldn’t help but swoon in your chair; it almost became infectious!
Ronny Whyte is considered a premiere performer of Classic American Popular songs, an outstanding jazz pianist, and an award-winning songwriter. His trio that preformed alongside him included Boots Maleson (bass) and David Sullivan (drums). Mr. Maleson was a whiz at the bass, while David kept the drums very well integrated with Ronny’s voice.
The lyrics and instrumentals were wonderful. The songs preformed were about love–back in the day when a love song was actually a love song and “courting” a woman with words was the norm. The beauty of jazz is that this generation of music has not lost the feeling of lust, and the magic of the era continues on to the modern music world today. The style is romantic, soothing, fun and holds your attention. A performance such as this one, and like many others at Kitano, are perfect for dates, parents, and even grandparents who miss the spark and life of the music they once used to listen and dance to.
Kitano also features a very nice, but select wine list with small champagne bottles at very reasonable prices. The wines by the glass were slightly pricy, but the pours were very generous, which made customers order more than one glass. The menu also features sake and whiskeys, along with a very inventive cocktail menu featuring everything from classic margaritas to Negronis and French Martinis. The plating presentation for the food was simple, yet very enticing as we watched plates of Duck Spring Rolls and Fried Calamari come steaming hot right out of the kitchen. The service staff is very attentive about checking on each table, but aware not to disturb the performance. The service is quick and the menu items are delicious and certainly do not need any seasoning, like the calamari–perfectly salted with just the right amount of lemon and marinara sauce.
The French Pear Martini should be your go-to cocktail when you visit Kitano, as it was flavorful and sparkling, with the perfect amount of Grey Goose Piore Vodka. Kitano Jazz brunch would make a great Father’s Day gift for dad at a cover charge between $10-25 and small plates starting at $15 you cant go wrong with an enjoyable afternoon or evening of jazz. Kitano has a variety of performers 7 days a week, and you can check out their site to see which one you may be interested in; you will certainly not be disappointed.