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  • Writer's pictureJAM

Reno Club Returns to Downtown Jazz Scene with Lonnie McFadden on the Bill

Around the corner and down the street from its original location at 602 E 12th St, the Reno Club rises up again, this time with KC jazz great Lonnie McFadden on the bandstand—and on the club’s moniker. Lonnie’s Reno Club opens Thursday, November 5 for what its boosters hope will be a long, successful run.

Located at 1111 Grand, KC newest jazz supper club will be ensconced in the Ambassador Hotel, a Marriott Autograph Collection hostelry. “Our lower level ballroom has been vacant for a year,” explained Eric Willey, the hotel’s Food and Beverage Director. “We added music and entertainment to our outdoor space this summer. That got us thinking about doing something indoors, once the weather got cooler.”

The club’s namesake is thrilled about the opportunity. “This is a dream come true for me to be able to partner with the folks at the Ambassador Hotel,” praised Lonnie. “I had no idea, when they hired me to play for two Saturdays outdoors, that I would end up having a permanent residency at a place named after me.”

Lonnie’s Reno Club patrons can enjoy dinner and a show every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. There will be a fixed price for dining and entertainment and a cover charge later in the evening.

“I’ll be doing what I do—people know I’m an entertainer,” continued McFadden. “The Reno Club had a floor show. My father used to dance at the Reno Club. I’ll be playing trumpet, tap dancing, telling stories, singing , doing skits and bits—just like they did in the heyday of Kansas City jazz .”

Lonnie’s sidemen include KC jazz stalwarts Andrew Ouellette on keyboards, Zach Beeson on bass and Tyree Johnson on the drums. The quartet will be mixing up Kansas City jazz with standards, some Motown and other favorites of McFadden’s legion of fans.

“Lonnie’s the ultimate entertainer—an icon of Kansas City,” continued Willey. “We wanted to develop a jazz club around him. The Reno Club is a nod to the 1930s, when Count Basie and a lot of famous KC jazz artists were discovered.”

For social distancing purposes, the Reno Club capacity will be reduced to forty patrons at tables six feet apart. Guests will be required to wear masks at tables.

For reservations and information, call the Ambassador Hotel at 816-298-7700 or visit online at

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