Monday, October 6, 2014

Take Five, Version 1.0

Four years ago, Lori Chandler offered up her six month old Leawood coffee shop to host a fundraiser for a jazz band trying to go to Paris. Up until then, she had made a seat available for a guitarist, just as coffee shops are supposed to do, I suppose like Phoebe on Friends. But a jazz band? Lori didn’t really know what to expect.

She was blown away by the music of Diverse – Hermon Mehari on trumpet, Ben Leifer on bass and Ryan Lee on drums – and by the acoustics in her little coffee shop. Soon, Take Five was hosting bi-weekly Sunday night jam sessions. Musicians asked if their groups could perform there, too. And Take Five Coffee + Bar developed into a quaint coffee shop by day and a serious jazz club on weekend nights. Many nights, bodies squeezed into every corner of the room, to the delight of musicians and the crowd.

At 151st and Nall, in Leawood, Kansas, audiences turned out for jazz.

Jazz fans weren’t the only people to notice. So did developers of nearby shopping centers. Later this month, Take five moves into more than double the space in the Corbin Park shopping center at 135th and Metcalf, behind the Von Maur department store.

On Sunday, August 28th, Taske Five closed its original space with its first jazz band, Diverse. Below are photos of how it looked. As always, clicking on a photo should open a larger version of it.

Take Five Coffee + Bar on its last night in its original location with the band that started it all, Diverse.

Diverse. Left to right: Hermon Mehari on trumpet, Ben Leifer on bass and Ryan Lee on drums.

Trumpeter Hermon Mehari

Bassist Ben Leifer

Early in the evening on the original Take Five’s last night.


Drummer Ryan Lee

Hermon and Ben

Diverse on the last night in the original Take Five

The last night in Take Five, Version 1.0

1 comment:

  1. How did I not know about this place? Coffee + doesn't get much better. Thanks for the info!


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