No Black Tie Delivers As The Go-To Place for Jazz & Soul
Unwinding in a softly lit haven of music will perfectly cap off a day of sightseeing. And if you’re a jazz or R&B aficionado, the cleverly named No Black Tie is the place to be. Cozy and inviting, the venue tops several lists as the best spot for jazz in Kuala Lumpur.
You wouldn’t expect a Southeast Asian venue to do justice to such a distinctly African-American musical form. But NBT doesn’t disappoint. It hosts accomplished jazz and soul performers from around the globe. Such talents include Indigo and the Lights, a four-piece Malaysian ensemble headed by vocalist Fatima (first name only) and specializing in jazz, soul, neo soul, R&B and the blues.
The group played the evening we visited the club. For more about the accomplished Fatima, check out my profile.
NBT Owner Evelyn Hii was born in Malaysia but trained in the United States as a classical pianist. She’s created a club that feels as cozy as a living room (one with amazing acoustics). The performance space boasts paneled walls the color of pecans, accented glass and a floor layout that makes every seat the best in the house. That includes the additional seating at tables upstairs that overlook a balcony to the stage.
Walk through the front door, and you’ll immediately see a photo wall of past performers alongside images of jazz greats. A prominent portrait shows Miles Davis wailing away on his trumpet. The long bar is gleaming and stocked to the ceiling with bottles of libations.
NBT’s ambiance is chill, with murmuring conversations from an extremely diverse crowd: tourists and locals, seniors and twenty-somethings and all ethnicities. Ever attentive wait staff skirt the tables, delivering drinks and tapas.
Kicking back in NBT is the perfect complement to a hectic day of seeing the sights of Kuala Lumpur. As for No Black Tie’s vibe, the name says it all.