Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej loved jazz. In fact, the Rama 9 king wrote more than 49 songs and could play saxophone, clarinet, trumpet and piano. So, in fitting fashion, jazz continues to live on in the Kingdom. One local jazz club that cannot be missed is Moment’s Notice.
Moment’s Notice jazz club is a diamond. It’s compact, elegant and regal. Borrowed from the name of a John Coltrane song, Moment’s Notice is tucked down a row of small shops and restaurants just off Sridonchai Road. The soft white glow of text reading ‘Moment’s Notice’ hangs above the glass entrance and there’s usually a number of music lovers and musicians sipping drinks outside on any given evening.
There’s a 1920s speakeasy vibe to the interior. You’ll be greeted by the staff’s warm smiles and a classy u-shaped bar. One can find oneself cozy and right at home under the dim lights. The bar area has a good selection of beers, cocktails and light munchables. While prices are a bit higher than most other local joints, the music at Moment’s Notice is always free. A few pricy drinks easily compensates for the gorgeous atmosphere and music.
Local expat Na Mi Hyeon said about Moment’s Notice, “I was surprised at the unexpected performance of the musicians. We are in Chiang Mai, not in Paris! My soul dances with the live music. The audience and the performers come together as one.”
The music truly is the best bit. The live musicians are exceptional. Some of the finest jazz musicians Chiang Mai has to offer perform at Moment’s Notice nightly. Music usually begins around 8pm with a soft solo acoustic act followed by two main acts. Two local acts that must be mentioned are the solid three piece jazz band ‘ATM’ and ‘Doijao’.
Doijao is a five piece contemporary jazz outfit led by female jazz vocalist Pacharapone Nilprayoon. Pacharapone and company perform jazz standards as well as originals. Incredible renditions of Amy Winehouse, Daniel Caesar and Chet Baker songs carry listeners into the night. Both acts play regularly and have the ability to give goosebumps.
The back half of Moment’s is where the acts perform; It’s narrow but manageable. The tight seating adds to the intimate atmosphere. There is theatre-type seating located across from the performers. Seating is limited so it’s best to arrive early. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat then you’ll be sitting snug, but, you’ll also be in acoustic heaven. The sound is excellent. Patron and jazz enthusiast George Perry said of the sound, “I’d say what makes Moment’s
Notice different to other jazz clubs in Chiang Mai is the sonics,” he continued, “Here is a jazz club that actually focuses on the music!”
Moment’s Notice was started by a musician. The owner is Warin Thatan or ‘Tao’. He was born and raised in Chiang Mai. He went to Silpakorn University to study jazz music and started working as a musician at many famous jazz bars and 5-star hotels. Tao has played with a lot of renowned jazz musicians. He became a part-time instructor at Silpakorn University right after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2009. After graduating and receiving his Master’s Degree in 2018 he decided to come back to his hometown where he could take care of his parents and open his own jazz club. Moment’s Notice was opened in December 2018.
“The jazz scene in Chiang Mai is very good now,” Tao said, “It seems like musicians are now very active to play and do more practicing since we opened the club.” Tao is now teaching music theory and private lessons at Moment’s Notice. Tao and Moment’s Notice also created the 1st ‘Chiang Mai Street Jazz Festival’ last year with the collaboration of four other jazz bars in town (North Gate, The Mellowship and Thapae East). Attendance was very impressive.
Whether you’re coming to Chiang Mai for a short stay or you’re a long term expat, Moment’s Notice should not be missed. Expert jazz enthusiasts and casual listeners alike are all welcome to enjoy. Hell, even punk rockers would have a great experience.
Hours are from 6pm – midnight every day of the week with live music starting around 8pm. If you love quality jazz music or you’re just looking for a lovely night out, Moment’s Notice is the place to be. Cool vibes, tasty drinks and a mellow atmosphere: John Coltrane would be proud.
Contact, schedule and information:
193 11 Sridonchai Rd, Tambon Chang Khlan,
Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100