Rhythm room: Jenks venue rocks and rolls with live, local music – tulsapeople.com

Seven nights a week, Maggie’s Music Box brings live music to the heart of Jenks. 

Nestled in a renovated historic building at 201 E. Main St., the venue boasts both indoor and outdoor stages and hosts local musicians and nationally touring acts. Maggie’s is the realization of a dream for Amy Smith, who owns the venue with her husband, Kevin, and their friend, Rick Huskey

Smith attributes her early love of music to her older brothers.

Since October 2020, Maggie’s Music Box has welcomed music lovers to Jenks for a venue celebrating local music.

“I remember my oldest brother driving me to Sound Warehouse to buy my first album,” she recalls. “From that point on, I would sneak in their rooms and listen to all of their albums because they always had the ultimate stereo setup. I made sure to put it all back in the right place, but they knew I was doing it.”

Later, as an adult, Smith turned to music in the aftermath of a divorce. That experience sparked the idea for what eventually became a business.

“As a woman, it’s really hard to go out by yourself when you’re going through something like that. I found places I could go and feel safe and listen to a band. I got to know the local music culture, and that was kind of my therapy during that time I was single,” she recalls. “I knew if I ever had a place, I wanted it to feel safe and welcoming, even if you’re by yourself, whether you’re a man or a woman. A place where you can learn about the local music scene and come to enjoy it.”

When Smith met Kevin in 2011, he shared that dream. Both artists, they opened Studio818 in the building now occupied by East Village Bohemian Pizzeria, 818 E. Third St. in Tulsa. The space functioned as an art studio during the week, with live music on the weekends.

Amy and Kevin opened a new venue in 2013. For six years, Soul City near 11th Street and Utica Avenue was a popular destination for its food, drinks and, of course, the music. However, the neighborhood posed some challenges for the business, so after finding the Jenks property, Maggie’s opened in October 2020.

“Kevin is truly the wizard behind the curtain at Maggie’s that keeps it all working,” says Smith, who spends her days at Cajun Blackbird, her art studio and store just down the block from Maggie’s, where she sells her own work and works from local musicians that play at Maggie’s.

Named after the song “Magnolia” by Tulsa Sound icon JJ Cale and personified in the large painting of a mermaid created by Smith’s son Jonathan Heckman (mural artist Jox), Maggie’s is everything Smith hoped it would be.

“I think people were hungry for community,” she says. “At Maggie’s, musicians, artists, our patrons, our staff, the ownership — it’s like this family, and more people join the family every day.”

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