Hottest NYC Jazz Clubs
As our Holiday season comes to a close, the festive NYC spirit remains alive! Enjoy an NYC winter getaway filled with culture and music. Although jazz music did not originate in New York City, in many ways, it has become the center of the jazz world with an array of elevated venues accessible from all AKA New York locations. Imagine a crisp winter evening in a cozy jazz bar where you can soak up the culture, enjoy people watching, have a bite (and maybe a drink too), and listen to both well-known, and up-and-coming jazz musicians.
Birdland is one of NYC's staple jazz bars, having opened in 1959 and named after legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, nicknamed “Bird". Birdland is located among the neon lights of Times Square, steps away from AKA Times Square. It is a haven for great jazz musicians including Joe Lovano and Kurt Elling as well as performers like John Pizzarelli and Aaron Neville. The club stands out for its roster of bands-in-residence and a full weekly schedule of performers.
Village Vanguard has been nestled in a Greenwich Village basement for more than 80 years, hosting the finest of mainstream jazz talent such as Billy Hart, Andrew Cyrille, Vijay Iyer. A few notable musicians who have played at the Village Vanguard include: John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Bill Evans. The 16-piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra has been the Monday-night regular for more than five decades and continues to be so - be sure not to miss it!
While jazz clubs may be perfect for an evening activity, Blue Note offers jazz brunch as well to start your day off right and nestled in the buzzing streets of the West Village. Blue Note has been one of the best jazz clubs in New York, and the world, since the 1980s. It offers live performances every night at 8 p.m. and 10:30, and on Friday and Saturday nights at 12:30 a.m. as well, showcasing emerging talent. If you're looking to get a taste of jazz in NYC, this is the place. Over the years, legendary performers include Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, and Ray Charles, as well as contemporary jazz acts such as Wynton Marsalis, Keith Jarrett, and Chris Botti.
If you are looking for a more F&B focused jazz experience in an aesthetic space, The Django is the spot! Descend into The Django located in Soho, modeled after the boîtes of Paris, with vaulted ceilings, exposed brick walls, and a disco ball. The venue consists of two cocktail bars, an open dining space and a stage for live performances. The Django provides opportunities for rising stars, seasoned performers, and audiences to enjoy a range of jazz music seven nights a week complemented by a hand-crafted cocktail program by award-winning mixologist Natasha David and an elevated dinner menu.
The Iridium is known as a destination for intimately experiencing the best rock, jazz, and blues artists in the world, attracting iconic instrumentalists and vocalists seven nights a week and welcomes emerging songwriters seeking to join the room’s rich history. A few superstars that have graced The Iridium stage include: Les Paul, who played weekly at The Iridium until his passing in 2009, Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, Buddy Guy, Joe Walsh, Zakk Wylde, Joe Satriani, The Rolling Stones’ Mick Taylor and Charlie Watts, Max Roach, Michael Brecker, among many others.
Smoke Jazz and Supper Club, located in the Upper West Side is renowned for offering top-notch programming of accessible, timeless jazz featuring legendary performers, modern talent, and rising stars. Smoke Jazz stands apart with its intimate candlelit dining room and classic American cuisine. An evening at Smoke is a stylish and classic New York City nightclub experience. There are two adjoining rooms, one dedicated to listening, candlelit tables, plush red velvet curtains, exposed brick walls, antique chandeliers, and the second with a full-length bar and café seating.
On your next NYC vacation or staycation, explore the wonderful immersive cultural jazz experience, unique to NYC