Where to listen to jazz in Kyiv
Music is food for the soul, but combining a good meal with spiritual nourishment is hard to find in Kyiv. Nonetheless, the Kyiv Post has tracked down a few places where gourmet food and blues, ragtime or modern jazz are served.
Panorama is a popular spot for music and food lovers alike, with jazz performances from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. seven days a week. Located on the roof of a business center, the restaurant also has a splendid view of downtown Kyiv. The red upholstery, chandeliers and other decor elements are straight out of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” The place has the atmosphere of early 20th century America. Panorama’s motto is “Jazz, Wine and Cigars,” and there’s plenty of all to further add to the atmosphere. The choice of food and wine is excellent, as is the range of Cuban cigars, from Hr 116 to Hr 280. You can also get Nicaraguan cigars for Hr 85 each. The quality of the fare is matched by the music, with performances of jazz, blues, light soul and ragtime by artists such as Maria Zhyhinas, Komilfo Band, duet Sun in Beat, and pianist Illya Milshteyn.
Double Bass is a trendy jazz restaurant nestled in a 19 thcentury building in Podil, Kyiv’s oldest and most scenic district. Over the last ten years the place has become a favorite with local jazz lovers, who come here to listen to masterly performances by both famous and not-so-famous bands and soloists. But with the economic downturn, the restaurant has cut back on its live program, and now only offers live music from Thursdays to Saturdays. When there is music, one can enjoy jazz standards, as well as blues and jazz versions of popular hits. Kyiv blues and rock band Ivan Blues and jazz duet Sezam are regular performers in Double Bass. The high-quality music complements the restaurant’s cozy interior, which has comfortable leather sofas, and the décor includes violins and double basses on the walls. The restaurant’s delicious European-style cuisine is surprisingly reasonably priced - a salmon carpaccio goes for just Hr 139, and turkey breast with cranberry sauce is Hr 144. The restaurant also has a well-stocked bar with the world’s bestknown brands of alcoholic drinks.
Closer art club
Being an art club, Closer doesn’t just offer its visitors live jazz, but exhibitions of modern paintings, art workshops, movie screenings and live concerts with a range of music styles. The club’s trendy loft-style interior is a good match for its industrial exterior – it’s situated in a former weaving mill. Unusually for Kyiv, the club’s menu is dedicated to Catalan cuisine. A Catalan-style sandwich with salmon and capers is Hr 60, and pasta with chicken breast and tomatoes is only Hr 60 as well. Jazz concerts are held every Thursday from 8 p.m. One can hear anything from avant-garde and experimental jazz to the classic jazz standards. Once a month the club organizes a large jazz concert featuring famous jazz musicians, such as the Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet or the Dennis Adu Big Band.
Ukrainian jazz singer Chrystyna Luhova and her band Chrystyna Jazz Band give live jazz performance in Kyiv’s restaurant Double Bass on July 14, 2013. (Courtesy by Double Bass)