A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I recently stumbled upon this amazing jazz bar/café, nestled away on a small street near de Burcht, called ‘De Twee Spieghels’, or the two mirrors – although there are many more mirrors on the walls inside. The interior is small and intimate, great for having a relaxing evening. Go there in the evenings and it’s invariably buzzing with energy. The crowd has its set of regulars, mostly oldies in the early evenings, and more students later at night. Tucked away on the far side from the entrance is the small but radiant stage, and it is from here that the mesmerising mix of music issues forth as the musicians work away their fingers and vocal chords with dexterity. The music is kinetic and infectious, literally taking you with its flow and movement. A great ambience, or what the Dutch would truly call ‘gezellig’.
The Alban Claret Swing Band
The jazz bar features live music four times a week from 4-7pm, and jam sessions on Monday nights from 9pm. It also has a good selection of wines imported by the owner from France. De Twee Spieghels has a long history of hosting travelling musicions from around the world, hallowed particularly through its association with the American saxophonist Ben Webster who played his last here in 1973 and to whom a tribute is paid every year. The jazz bar is also the locus of the Leiden jazz festival, which happened earlier this year in January.
Furmi Gomez trio
One of the nice things about the place is the owner’s patronage and the way various groups of musicians are brought together for gigs, providing a great range of music and some really exciting performances, such as these ones by Furmi Gomez. Its one of those experiences where the only negative aspect is the end. A great hangout!