Kitano Hotel – Japanese Ambiance Meets Jazz
Anyone who visits The Kitano is struck by this famous hotel’s diversity. The Kitano is the first Japanese hotel in New York City, and offers world-class live jazz performances. It is also exquisitely decorated with original works of art, including a prominent piece in the middle of the lobby – a whimsical bronze sculpture titled “Dog” by the world-famous Columbian sculptor Fernando Botero. And all of this is within walking distance of the United Nations, Grand Central Station, and Broadway.
The Jetset Extra crew was invited to visit the Kitano for Sunday Jazz brunch. Renowned jazz great Tony Middleton, performs there every Sunday. Tony is being inducted in the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame for myriad jazz accomplishments, including writing the song “Church Bells May Ring” and his work as the former lead singer of the Willows, circa 1960. The setting is both intimate and engaging.
Falling in line with the Japanese ambiance of the hotel, The Kitano also offers a high-end, authentic Japanese eating experience. Hakubai is located on the ground floor and has hosted celebrities like Madonna and Maria Sharapova. They offer traditional kaiseki-style multi-course dining. Inside Hakubai, you will find regular table seating and traditional Japanese dining in the tatami rooms (shoes off, sitting on the floor).
On Monday evenings in The Bar Lounge, jazz is up-front and center with their Open Jam Night. Musicians and singers come from all over the city to perform. It’s informal and free to the public. On Friday and Saturday nights, crowds pay $25 per person to see sold-out performances by professional, often world-class jazz musicians.
Gino Moratti puts Open Jam Night and the weekend shows together. Gino came to the Kitano four years ago with the idea that jazz would entice guests and non-guests to the hotel for a relaxing and entertaining evening. Now the Kitano is regarded as one of the top jazz venues in the U.S.
With its prime location, intriguing Japanese charm, high-end jazz music, and outstanding service, Kitano is all about class and comfort.