Manhattan Jazz Clubs listed alphabetically
55 Christopher St. (Seventh Ave. So. / Waverly Place)
Bar dates back to Prohibition, having opened in 1919. Miles Davis Band veteran, Mike Stern holds most Mondays; and other regulars include: Sweet Georgia Brown, and KJ Denhert. Small cover and 2 drink minimums for late sets. Early shows begin around 6 or 7PM with no cover; and late shows begin around 10PM. Weekends can get a little bluesier. Get here early for prime seating because the club is small and Mike Stern et. al. packs them in. Everyone booked here is playing for keeps, so you’re bound to find some of the best young players around pointing you in a forward direction along with the seasoned veterans.. Live music 7 nights a week. No kitchen.
5C Jazz Café
68 Ave. C (southeast corner of 5th St.)
A living example of Bruce Morris’ vision was the creation, with Trudy Silver, of the 5C Cultural Center. A performance venue for poetry, music and theater, 5C features emerging artists as well as great masters. 5C also features a display of exquisite photographs of musicians, out of print books, rare records, independent labeled CD’s, cassette tapes and other cultural artifacts. The 5C Cultural Center features accomplished piano jazz soloists among their offerings. Call ahead for schedule. A modest cafe with reasonable prices completes the picture. 5C is a dream come true for die hard fans of East Village jazz history and jazz lovers alike. Monday – Friday from 7 AM – 7 PM; and Saturday and Sunday 9 AM – 7 PM. Jazz is always the vibe.
The Allen Room
Jazz at Lincoln Center
60th Street at Broadway
212 258-9800 (general information)
212 721-6500 (City Charge tickets)
This wonderful new amphitheater, boasts a soaring 50-foot glass wall overlooking Columbus Circle and Central Park. Check their website for updated schedule information.
American Legion Post (Col. Charles Young #398)
248 W. 132nd St.
(7th / 8th)
Harlem wouldn’t be the same without live jazz at this member’s-only-but-guests-are-welcome military veteran’s club. The free Sundayevening session begins 7:00 P.M. until the hall closes at 11:30. The kitchen serves up a heaping plateful of reasonably priced and delicious soul food. And the warm weather months are enjoyed on a beautiful back patio. Seleno Clarke keeps the spirit of defunct jazz club, La Famille, alive with his tasteful licks on Hammond B-3 organ and an international quartet of sidemen help anchor the weekly jam session. The drink prices are by far the best in town, and the familial atmosphere is even better than that. Jazz music from 7-10ish also on Wednesday(fish fry) nights with saxist Jason Marshall’s trio; and Thursday nights are cooking with saxist Ray Blue and company. Note: You are required to sign a guest book as you enter, but there is never a cover charge. Seating is very limited so early arrivals are rewarded – if you do take a table please do support the venue by ordering something from the bar or kitchen. If you’re a musician be prepared to sit in. (Friday and Saturday nights are for dancing to the classic soul records, but no live music and it’s pretty much a members’ scene on those nights).
American Museum of Natural History Series discontinued RIP
On 81st St. off Central Park West (Hayden Planetarium)
Jazz is now offered only the first Friday of the month under the Sphere at the Rose Center for Earth and Space (some will know it as the Hayden Planetarium). There are two sets monthly (5:45 / 7:15 PM) by highly regarded musicians such as Jimmy Heath, Lou Donaldson, Steve Turre, and David “Fathead” Newman and their quartets and quintets. The show admission is included with museum price (suggested donation), and drinks and tapas are available. This is the early Friday show to make, especially if you haven’t been to the complex before — it will surely impress even the most jaded New Yorker.
19 West 8th St.
(5th Ave. / MacDougal)
Come for fine cocktails, tapas and chit-chat and stay for the jazz. 8th Street is awash with restaurants and lounges and Analogue was clever enough to elevate itself from the crowd by offering jazz on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesdays. Great New York players get the gigs and tell their great musician friends to come and sit in. No cover charge, relaxed but talky atmosphere. Music from 7-11PM (and they are considering adding more nights).
Antique Garage Restaurant
41 Mercer St.
(Grand / Broome)
Jazz nightly: 7:00 – 10:30 with
Saturdays and Sundays Brunch: 1:30PM – 4PM
Check the calendar for their top shelf musicians
34 East 2nd Street (Corner of 2nd Ave)
This little bistro (seats about 25) is my favorite new find — even though it’s been open since the late 90’s. The Russian/French menu is filled with surprises that tasted like heaven at half the price. And they squeeze in live music that is intimate and engaging: Look for the extraordinary, Grace Garland on the schedule.
57 Grove Street (NW corner of Grove and 7th Ave. So.)
Since 1937. Longest continually run jazz club in NYC. Jazz: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Pay close attention to Eri Yamamoto’s trio burning up the cozy stage on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Dixieland jazz: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays. Blues and R&B from 9 p.m. – 3 a.m. from Tuesday through Saturday; and 11 p.m. – 3 a.m. on Sunday and Monday. The Creole Cooking Jazz Band, and over 50 years of the Grove Street Stompers. Sweet Georgia Brown and Alyson Williams have been playing here weekly forever, and for good reason: They romp and stomp the house. No cover charge. Weak drinks. All about the atmosphere. Calendar
Arturo’s Coal Oven Pizza & Restaurant
106 West Houston St. (Corner of Thompson St.)
Live jazz hits seven days a week in this hectic and aromatic coal oven pizza shrine. Here for over 40 years on the borderline between the Village and SoHo. Jimmy Young was enshrined behind his piano on weekends for as long as anyone can remember anchoring his loosely swinging quartet. Home of the late great pianist, Harry Whitaker. Jazz sets are Fri – Sat: 9-2. Sun – Thurs: 7-12. No cover. Great food. No website.
Bar Next Door
(to La Lanterna Caffe)
129 MacDougal St. (W3rd / W4th)
Jazz 7 nights a week where it belongs on old school, funky MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village, USA: I can’t get over how great this club is, and how well it fits that fading niche of a romantic, intimate, subterranean, beautiful, reasonable, friendly, and above all, a place to hear great jazz. The Bar Next Door is too good and it’s true.
Monday through Thursday Sets: 8:30 to 9:45pm and 10:30 to 11:45pm. $12.00 cover-all night. Friday & Saturday Sets: 7:30 to 8:30pm, 9:30 to 10:30pm, 11:30pm to 12:30am. $12.00 cover per set. Sunday Sets: 8:00 to 9:15pm, and 10:00 to 11:15pm. $12.00 cover-all night. NOTE: There is also an Emerging Artist set starting some nights at 6:30 with no cover charge. Full Premium Bar, Dining Until 2AM. Check Calendar for current schedule. For that fading Village vibe, make sure that you stop in for an espresso and pastry in the enclosed garden next door at La Lanterna Caffe.
Big Apple Jazz / EZ’s Woodshed RIP – Closed July 2008:
(212) 283-JAZZ (5299)
2236 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (7th Ave)
(131st / 132nd)
Open 7 days a week – Jazz from 2PM – no cover and no minimum. Up to 3 bands and 8 sets daily. EZ’s Woodshed is our own establishment in the back of the Big Apple Jazz Boutique and Cafe, located down the street from the legendary “Corner,” where Harlem’s mystical Tree of Hope once stood. EZ’s is a “Day Club,” that offers you an opportunity to hear great local jazz during the daytime. Musicians show up to sit in or promote their night gigs and cd’s. You may come by when a living legend stops by to play or hang out. Consider this your jazz home away from home. The store carries all the essential cd’s that were recorded live in local New York clubs, and the largest selections of independent cd’s by currently gigging NY musicians. If you’re looking for the next Miles, Mingus and Monk, or Billie, Betty, and Bobbi, all roads lead to EZ’s Woodshed. We also carry a wonderful selection of local jazz-themed art in our gallery and less expensive framed or rolled posters of vintage concerts from NY’s legendary clubs and performers. And you have to try our Bebop Coffee, Swing Potato Pie and other pastry delights. No cover charge. Great hand-crafted wood design by master woodworkers: Michael T. Stevens and Matthew Erickson. Open daily from 10:30 – 8:30. Friday and Saturday nights we have EZ’s Evenings, with sets from 8:30PM – 11:00PM for a small cover charge and no minimum. While you’re here, don’t forget to check out Chris Wallace’s remarkable hand-carved EZ’s Woodshed sign, and Nina and Dizzy portraits in wood.
315 W. 44th St. (8th / 9th Aves.)
One of the top jazz and cabaret venues in the city with musical choices 7 nights a week, a fine menu and complete bar. The original Birdland, named for alto-sax jazz giant, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker was located on Broadway across the street from the Ed Sullivan Theater (where talk-show host, Stephen Colbert’s show is currently taped). This incarnation of Birdland, now in its third location, is perfectly situated amidst the Times Square hotels, and just upstairs from the A Train’s 42nd Street stop. Check their website for weekly events and legendary bookings; and vocalists are encouraged to join in on the very popular Monday night open mic.
131 W. Third St. (6th Ave./ MacDougal Street)
Opened in 1981, the Blue Note is arguably the world’s most popular jazz club. World renown talent often take the stage for six day runs. Monday nights often feature a half price bargain to see a one-off show by younger upstarts, near legends, or even full blown superstars who only have one night to offer. Sets generally start at 8:00 and 10:30. Prices are $15-$85 for table reservations + minimum, or $10-$45 cover at the bar. Get there early to get inline outdoors for the best seating options. And while standing there, take note of the wonderful grand piano awning above. Weekends feature a special funked-up show for cheap at 12:30 AM and a Sunday brunch set as well.
Blue Water Grill
31 Union Square West (Corner West 16th St.)
Fine restaurant with live jazz booked for downstairs dining area. Call for reservations. No cover, but meals are high end.
Cachaça – RIP – CLOSED – March 15, 2009
35 West 8th Street
The latest and greatest addition to 8th Street since Jimi Hendrix opened his studio across the street. Great live jazz in a great location. Watch out for the parking regulations on 8th street late at night. Cover charge $10 – $20.
Cafe Creole – RIP 2004 -Moved uptown to Perks – also closed now.
99 MacDougal St. (W. 3rd / Bleecker)
A new addition to the subterranean MacDougal Street music scene with Cajun and Caribbean cuisine and jazz served up Tuesday thruSunday from 6:00-2:00 and Mondays from 9-2. No cover. No website, so call for schedule.
Café Noctambulo (at Pangea)
178 Second Ave. (11th / 12th)
Discover the hidden charms of a backroom dedicated to singers in an established East Village Italian restaurant that’s been around since the coolest days of this neighborhood. Cover charges apply.
The Cajun — RIP as of July 30, 2006 – after 28 years in business
129 Eighth Ave. (16th / 17th Streets)
Dixieland and swing nightly 8 – 11 as a backdrop to a New Orleans dining experience.
Monday: Kevin Dorn’s Traditional Jazz Collective
New to the Cajun – 8:00 – ll:00 pm
Tuesday: Stanley’s Washboard Kings
Dixieland Music – 8:00 – ll:00 pm
Wednesday: Canal Street Dixieland Jazz & Blues Band
Featuring Authentic New Orleans Jazz – 8:00 – ll:00 pm
Thursday: The Manhattan Ragtime Orchestra
Conducted by Orange Kellin – Radical Pop Music from the Ragtime Era – 8:00 – ll:00 pm
Friday: Johnny Tupelo & The Sidekicks
1950’s Pop, Rock & Country – 8:00 – 11:30 pm
Saturday: The Red Onion Jazz Band
Featuring New Atlantic Jazz – 8:30 pm – Midnight
Sunday: Kevin Blancq’s Crescent City Trio
New to The Cajun – 7:30 – 10:30 pm
The Cajun is a wonderful “change of pace” jazz location in Manhattan, which consistently tips its hat to the cradle of jazz. If you are a Trad. Jazz fan or are deciding on a night of affordable dinner and jazz with guests who are timid about jazz in general, then The Cajun is the no-brainer choice. No cover, good Cajun food, and a bar far from the music where conversations are not overwhelmed or intrusive, makes this a great New York City locale.
Cassandra’s – RIP
2256 7th Ave. (Adam Clayton Powell) (132nd/133rd)
Pianist Dwight Dickerson anchors this new jazz club’s nightly line-up of Harlem regulars, featuring a baby grand. Strict $10 per set and a two drink minimum. $20 cover for jazz-lover’s seating in front of the band.
Chez Suzette – RIP
675 Ninth Avenue (46th /47th Streets)
Chez Suzette maintains an especially inclusive policy by featuring a different singer every night. In addition to the ever-rotating schedule of singers, Chez features Trudi Mann’s open mic on Wednesday evening – 8:30pm – 12 am (sign in starts at 8pm) and Sunday brunch: 1pm – 5pm (sign in starts at Noon). Please bring two copies of your music for piano and bass. On most Fridays at 9:00 Chez’s Musical Director/Vocalist, Melody Breyer-Grell, hosts a singer’s Salon with the Ellen Starr trio. NO COVER – $11 minimum will get you great French meals and/or drinks. “Chez Suzette is a serious little bistro; a remnant of what was once a neighborhood of little French places.” Bryan Miller, New York Times
2485 Broadway (W. 92nd / W. 93rd)
Live jazz nightly from 7/8pm to 1/3am. No cover. $10. minimum for food or drinks from Cleo’s eclectic Mediterranean menu. Big screen sports competes with your attention on the south end of the bar, but this is a real jazz lovers club nonetheless with an opportunity to jam nightly and show off your vocal chops on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday nights. Chances are you will see top shelf national and international jazz giants who find their way to a late night jam session here. Cleo’s is recommended as a great neighborhood jazz club with late hours; a nice menu; a place to hang out and pay close attention to wonderful jazz or hang back by the bar, and enjoy the company of your friends with a live jazz backdrop. Friendly Warning: turn down your volume when clicking to their website.
212 East 52nd St., 3rd Floor (2nd / 3rd)
The new kid on The Street. Bass player, Richard Bona, opened this club in 2015 to try to shake things up in the industry and give musicians a chance to make real money for their gigs. So be prepared to pay top prices for top musicians, but be comforted that the musicians will be getting their share. Drinks are sourced locally for a true New York experienced. First Tuesdays of the month are an open jam. VIP seating available.
Cornelia Street Cafe RIP
29 Cornelia St.
(Bleecker / W. 4th Sts.)
Jazz is one style that is primarily featured in this neighborhood standard-bearingcafe. Expect eclectic tastes that push the envelope as opposed to background music. Gourmet meals are served upstairs in the sidewalk cafe, or downstairs in the cabaret. If you are seeking the Greenwich Village jazz experience or your dreams, check out the Cornelia Street Cafe. First Monday of every month since Jan. 3rd, 2005: check out the legendary David Amram. See the website for CSC’s music and other cultural events calendar.
2167 3rd Ave. (118th Street)
Great Creole cuisine by way of New Orleans and music from around 8PM – 12AM – check schedule for music nights – also check their website to find out the cover charges and minimums and the music policy for the night in question. Expect to find a lively scene with good food, live music in a fine looking Spanish Harlem restaurant/club.
Detour – RIP
349 E. 13th St. (1st / 2nd Aves.)
RIP Oct. 28, 2006
Detour is the place to go in the East Village to catch Matt Wilson, John Funkhouser, and Adam Klipple for free on their way up. They are among the talented new breed gigging at this inconspicuous diamond in the rough. Talk loudly or listen closely, all are welcome. This is also the only place in the city where we’ve found the triple threat of Rheingold beer, Zapps potato chips and free jazz. Sun. – Thurs.: Music starts at 9:00. Fri. – Sat: Music starts at 9:30. No cover charge, but 2 drink minimum is informally enforced. For more information see: Big Apple Jazz Detour Club Profile by Gordon Polatnick
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Jazz at Lincoln Center
60th Street at Broadway, 5th floor
This is one of the latest and most ambitious of the BIG 6 venues to open in NYC in a while. Wynton Marsalis and your friends at Jazz @ Lincoln Center moved their stages to the Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle and have added 2 additional world class venues (Frederick P. Rose Hall and the Allen Room) to enjoy jazz for all tastes. 2 sets of top name jazz artists fill the calendar nightly, and then there’s an 11:15pm late-night set Tuesdays – Saturdays for LE$$ featuring the best local artists around for an intimate glimpse of the scene hidden to most NY jazz fans who haven’t made use of this extensive list of Big Apple Jazz clubs or taken a Big Apple Jazz Tour. Reservations are key for the main sets, but you just need to line up for the late night sessions.
EZ’s Woodshed / Big Apple Jazz RIP – Closed July 2008:
Now Big Apple Jazz Tours
(212) 283-JAZZ (5299)
2236 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (7th Ave)
(131st / 132nd)
Jazz from 2PM – no cover and no minimum. Up to 3 bands and 8 sets daily. EZ’s Woodshed is our own establishment in the back of the Big Apple Jazz Boutique and Cafe, located down the street from the legendary “Corner,” where Harlem’s mystical Tree of Hope once stood. EZ’s is a “Day Club,” that offers you an opportunity to hear great local jazz during the daytime. Musicians show up to sit in or promote their night gigs and cd’s. You may come by when a living legend stops by to play or hang out. Consider this your jazz home away from home. The store carries all the essential cd’s that were recorded live in local New York clubs, and the largest selections of independent cd’s by currently gigging NY musicians. If you’re looking for the next Miles, Mingus and Monk, or Billie, Betty, and Ella, all roads lead to EZ’s Woodshed. We also carry a wonderful selection of local jazz-themed art in our gallery and less expensive framed or rolled posters of vintage concerts from NY’s legendary clubs and performers. And you have to try our Bebop Coffee, Swing Potato Pie and other pastry delights. No cover charge. Great hand-crafted wood design by master woodworkers: Michael T. Stevens and Matthew Erickson. Open daily from Noon – 8:30. Friday and Saturday nights we have EZ’s Evenings, with sets from 8:30PM – 11:00PM for a small cover charge and no minimum. While you’re here, don’t forget to check out Chris Wallace’s remarkable hand-carved EZ’s Woodshed sign, and Nina and Dizzy portraits in wood. EZ’s Woodshed on YouTube.
Farafina Café & Lounge Harlem– RIP
(212) 281 2445
1813 Amsterdam Avenue (W149th/150th)
African restaurant and supper club with a great neighborhood vibe that is hitting its stride offering great entertainment by the people who know how to throw down the good times along with the good tunes, and now abetted by Farafina’s great food. Look for a good time on Saturdays with featured local and internationally known stars, and encourage management to keep the jazz flowing on Sugar Hill where it belongs. We saw Alex Blake, Warren Smith, Leopoldo Fleming, and Edith Lettner give it all they had on a recent Saturday night. Plus the food was fantastic.
75 Christopher Street (at 7th Ave. South)
(note: reopened in summer 2007)
Fat Cat is back. 2 or 3 shows 7 nights a week; jam sessions run until 3 or 4 AM) nightly. This club is “around the corner pocket” from Smalls and down the lane from 55 Bar, and features billiards and jazz (sold separately). The jazz is great, the vibe is college clubroom cool or Village bohemian, and nobody is pushing you to keep drinking if you just want to hang out all night and play games or just bob your head. Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens of Brooklyn have been reviving West Village souls here for years on Friday nights and should not be missed. Kind of Blue drummer, Jimmy Cobb, brings his Mob down from time to time, which is validation enough for this crazy loud place to hear jazz. $3 cover and no age descrimination. Beer, wine, soft drinks only.
Feinstein’s At The Regency RIP after 14 years in January 2013
540 Park Ave.
(61st / 62nd)
Cabaret music policy.
A partnership between the entertainer Michael Feinstein and the Regency Hotel. Seven shows weekly – $60.00 cover charge. Tuesday through Saturday – 8:30 p.m. (seating begins at 6:00 p.m.) – a la carte dinner menu. Dinner required Friday & Saturday only- 11:00 p.m. (seating begins at 10:00 p.m.) a la carte supper menu.
Fez under Time Café RIP March 2005
380 Lafayette St. (at Great Jones Street)
Every Thursday Night: Mingus Big Band. Doors Open at 8:30 & 11 pm with sets at 9:30 & 11:30. Cover: $18. Late show is $10 for students with valid ID. Mingus Big Band features the bad boys of New York’s big band players.
Garage (RIP end of 2015)
99 7th Ave. So
(Just South of W 4th St.)
A funky and spacious 3-tiered restaurant with a gregarious and expansive oyster bar / drinks bar and 2 bands playing live jazz nightly into the wee hours. Starting as early as 6/7 PM. Garage features aspiring jazz groups getting a foothold in a competitive market to local legends with years of touring and recording experience. No cover, plenty of outdoor seating if you’re skipping the jazz, plus a jazz brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Check schedule for artists such as Peter Valera and The Jump Blues Band, David Coss’ Trio, and don’t miss the rotating roster of big bands on Mondays. Surprisingly, few jazz places in the area serve food, the Garage does but it’s not particularly cheap.
308 Malcom X Blvd (upstairs) (125th/126th)
Harlem needed a place like this and Gin Fizz came through. Brought to you by the folks who livened up this stretch of Lenox Ave that sits on top of the 1 and 2 train stop, with their ground level restaurant, Chez Lucienne. Gin Fizz is poised for greatness. It hosts the hottest jam in Harlem on Thursday nights from 10:30 till jazz hours: Harlem Sessions is hosted by pianist mover and shaker, Marc Cary, and if you’re a jazz fan or a musician you need to be on the scene. Friday night they feature vocalists, perfect for their dimly lit chic hide-away decor. So far just Thursdays and Fridays are dedicated to jazz but we have hope for more of the same coming throughout the week sometime down the line.
Ginny’s Supper Club at Red Rooster Harlem
310 Lenox Ave
(W125th / W126th St.)
Currently the swankiest best kept secret of the Harlem jazz scene. Local and internationally known talent are filling up the schedule in this roomy subterranean speakeasy. Tickets range in price from $15-$30. Get to the bar early to hold a spot if you are not planning on dinner. Owner and heck-of-a-nice-guy-celeb-chef, Marcus Samuelsson created a space in Harlem for an elegant night out with a down home feeling. Upstairs at Red Rooster’s bar the music is free and swinging but space is limited due to swelling crowds. Gospel brunch offered on Sundays featuring Boncella Lewis, who’s got what it takes and then some. Check out jazzy nights at Ginny’s particularly Thursdays and Saturdays.
The Greenroom RIP
765 Sixth Avenue (25th / 26th Streets)
This could be the most charming and unexpected jazz room in NY. Tucked in the midst of Chelsea’s floral district (thus the name), The Greenroom is part cafe and part plant shop. Call ahead for current jazz schedule. No cover. Nice Bar. Food Served. Weekend jazz brunch as well as evening jazz. Great neighborhood/non-touristy vibe.
Guggenheim Museum – No Mo’ Jazz – RIP
1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street)
Ed. note: Check website to see if live music program is still on…
Fridays and Saturdays 5 – 8 PM. Worldbeat jazz program. After viewing the exhibits and collections, relax with a cocktail in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda and enjoy music that reflects both classic jazz and international musical influences. Museum tickets: Adults $12; Students and Seniors (with valid ID) $8; Children under 12 Free; Members Free.
Il Valentino at the Sutton Hotel – RIP
330 E. 56th St. (1st / 2nd Aves)
Northern Italian cuisine is served in this restaurant within a hotel that features 82 year old clarinetist Sol Yaged and his band: Performing every week, Tuesday through Sunday night, 7 pm to 11 pm. “Since 2001 he has been playing at Il Valentino, which is in the Hotel Sutton and was once a club run by the bandleader Eddie Condon. For a handful of diners each night Mr. Yaged turns back time, playing the same songs the same way he did a half-century ago. This is the Sol Yaged who hired the saxophonist Coleman Hawkins and the drummer Cozy Cole as sidemen and who wrote music for the film “The Benny Goodman Story,” teaching Steve Allen to play the clarinet for the title role. Even now Mr. Yaged routinely plays into the wee hours…His usual group is Rick Stone on the guitar and Bob Arkin (the younger brother of the actor Alan Arkin) on bass, but he often invites friends to sit in.” ~By COREY KILGANNON (NYT)
1650 Broadway (at 51st St)
This venue features top internationally known artists, and below the radar names deserving wider attention. The Iridium was once known for the adoring shows of the Les Paul Trio every Monday. This spacious but intimate Times Square music venue’s current passion is for the high energy, guitar-lovin’ groovers and rockers, but the young and old jazz stars have a place here as well. Set Times at 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Cover charges typically hover between $25 and $30 with a $10 minimum and small bar.
Jazz Gallery current location
1160 Broadway, 5th Floor (W27th / W28th)
Pure jazz. If the music and musicians are what you care most about when hearing jazz live, you will love this jazz-lovers venue. Check the link for schedules, events, and membership discounts. 7.30pm + 9.30pm sets.
Jazz Gallery Historic location – RIP
A second floor jazz art and artist showcase. Call ahead for events. Most nights sets begin at 9:00 and 10:30 for a $10 cover charge. Monday’s feature Frank Lacy’s 14 Piece “Vibe Tribe.” A recent series of concerts features duo performances of four hands on one piano. This and other Jazz Gallery performance series are funded in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, Presenting Program. Also featured is a Sunday series of concerts on the river aboard the historic ferry “Yankee” moored at Pier 25 directly at the foot of North Moore Street.
A moveable fiesta
Jazz Mobile offers free summer concerts in NYC neighborhoodsMonday through Friday and around historic Harlem landmarks (such as Grant’s Tomb every Wednesday and Marcus Garvey Park every Friday). The quality and renown of the players is invariably high. This is Jazz Mobile’s 5th decade and it’s still New York’s best kept secret. It doesn’t get more real than this. Even with this notice, you will see 99% New Yorkers at these gigs, although visitors are more than welcome. Bring a folding chair and picnic to Grant’s Tomb shows for more comfort. Lately, the actual truck and rolling stage have been out of commission so donations are needed to keep Billy Taylor’s dream alive.
under Blue Smoke
116 E 27th St. (Park / Lexington)
Blue Smoke is the barbecue restaurant on the street level, and the Jazz Standard is below featuring live jazz music nightly. Jazz Standard is a nicely appointed basement club with 130 seats. Live jazz, and sometimes a blues act like Lucky Peterson, is tossed into the mix. Show times are 7:30 & 9:30 pm. Cover charge typically varies from $25-$30. There is no barbecue and beverage minimum. This is also latest and greatest home to the Mingus Bands every Monday!
65 St. Marks Pl. (8th St.) (1st / 2nd Aves.)
A friendly, and casual French bistro with some outdoor seating, great food and abundant wine selection, and a deep love of jazz! Jazz nightly starting at 8:30 going to 11:30PM. If you’re a fan of good wine and jazz, or mussels and fries with jazz, you’ll love the vibe. The musicians you’ll see here are the same ones gracing all the stages of the city and traveling the world, but few joints are this intimate and serve great food. Make a point to hear Dizzy’s guitarist, Ed Cherry when he’s in town.
MOVED to CHELSEA
37 West 26th (Broadway / 6th Aves.)
NOTE: K’av’eh’az has closed its SoHo location for good this June 30th and has moved to a new and improved location in Chelsea: 37 West 26th Street between Broadway and 6th Aves.
A Euro-styled coffee house and art gallery in Chelsea that has jazz nightly and starting in the afternoon on weekends. They feature straight ahead and vocal artists as well as Latin jazz. Weekly features: flamenco guitar (Sundays from 4pm-7pm). An open blues jam takes place Mondays 9pm-12am. Tuesdays, 8pm-12am “Lullabies of Birdland” – Female Jazz Vocalists. $8 minimum on food or drink. If you are in Chelsea and need to relax in a wide open space with an extensive coffee and tea selection, and great live music, I can think of no better place than K’av’eh’az.
68 Park Ave. (37th / 38th)
Intimate and somewhat sophisticated Japanese hotel jazz lounge booking some top NY players. Mostly piano trios and quartets, some vocalists. Open Jam Sessions Mondays, featuring vocalists. Tuesday: Young Pianist Showcase. Wednesday through Saturday:
Knickerbocker Bar and Grill
33 University Place (at 9th St.)
Opened in 1978. A restaurant/bar — specializing in gigantic steaks — and as comfortable as a well lit, neighborhood watering hole. Jazz music is presented Friday and Saturday, beginning 9:45 PM for only a $4 – $5.00 cover charge. Knickerbockers has often featured legends with stars as bright as Ron Carter, Junior Mance, Mulgrew Miller, John Colianni, Earl May, Joel Forrester, Christian McBride. This is the last hold out in an area that was once a Golden Triangle of informal jazz haunts including the venues: The Village Gate, Bradley’s and The Cookery. To its credit, this is not a hip place, and it does not offer anything in the way of show biz presentation. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman used to dig the joint. The only way a visitor off the street would know that they are witnessing jazz legends performing at arm’s length, is to listen closely to the unerringly high quality of music.
Knitting Factory – RIP moved to Brooklyn
74 Leonard St. (Broadway / Church St.)
This is the granddaddy long legs of “downtown jazz” venues — featuring a genre bending blend of envelope pushing and utterly deserving acts on several intimate stages throughout the deceptively vast complex. There are too many shows to mention so just go to their web site calendar or call them directly to attain schedule and ticket information.
Le Jazz Au Bar – RIP
41 E.58th (Park / Madison)
This is one of the big players on the upscale (read: expensive but usually well worth it) NYC scene. Recent vocalists include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kevin Mahogany Ruth Brown, and Marlena Shaw. Expect cover charges to hover around $35.
The Lenox Lounge – RIP
hoped to soon reopen at 333 Lenox Ave sometime in 2013, but it never happened
GET HERE FAST. CLOSING AT THE END OF 2012. NEW JAZZ CLUB SAID TO BE TAKING OVER THE SPACE UNDER DIFFERENT NAME AND MANAGEMENT.
288 Lenox Ave. (124th -125th St.)
Recently renovated to its 1939 art deco splendor. The Zebra Room in back has a baby grand piano, tiled floors and leather banqueted booths and is one of the finest looking jazz spaces in town. Local jazz legends booked on weekends with a $20 cover charge and $16 drink minimum per set. The 2 Sets are 8:30 and 10:30. Monday nights with Patience Higgins and the Sugar Hill Jazz Quartet or Eric Wyatt’s band with the jam following and heating up till 2:30 AM. Tuesdays feature vocalist, Sweet Georgia Brown, the last of the red hot mammas. Wednesdayhas the remarkable Nathan Lucas organ quartet from 8:00-12:00. Thursday Urban and R & B covers with Fred McFarland. Sundaysvocal jam session gets cooking at 7:00 PM and goes till 11:00 PM led by the great pianist Lafayette Harris. Southern style cooking served. After hours jam sessions with Harlem legends Bill Saxton and Greg Bandy were added in 2011 Friday and Saturdays after midnight. Legendary comedian Paul Mooney is featured monthly.
Louis 649 – RIP
649 E. 9th St. (Ave B / Ave C)
An East Village cafe/wine bar paying homage to Armstrong with live jazz solo piano on Tuesdays, piano trios featured every Wednesdayand Thursday, and a Trombone/bass duo on Sundays. Performances are 9 -11:30. Pre-recorded jazz playing all other times.
Marie’s Jazz Bar And Performance Center For The Arts – RIP
51 West 46th Street
(5th / 6th)
Expect live jazz bands 5 nights a week, but not Wednesdays nor Sundays. Internationally recog’nized jazz musicians find their way to Maries including Bob Cranshaw, John Colianni, Dave Hopkins, Harvie S., Kenny Werner, Billy Drewes, Tony Marino, Jamey Haddad, and Dave Schnitter. About $10 cover for bands. Call for updated information. Check out Monday night jam session with Art Lillard.
34 West 22nd St.
(5th / 6th Ave)
Downtown’s premier jazz cabaret. Great talent booked regularly – check calendar for legendary vocalist: Annie Ross! The club features excellent sightlines, and intimate ambiance; snacks menu and specialty drinks. 2 drink minimum plus cover charge.
206 W 118th Street
(7th / St. Nicholas Ave.)
Minton’s Playhouse is unique in the history of Harlem Jazz. It is known as the Birthplace of Bebop, where jam sessions during the recording musicians’ strike of the early 1940’s evolved the new style of jazz from players like Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, Oscar Pettiford, and Charlie Christian. Re-opened in October of 2013 and re-modeled in glorious splendor the new Minton’s is a chic room with an elegant menu by way of celebrated chef and co-owner, Alexander Smalls. Music is provided by a house band configured in duos, trios, and quartets of established jazz stalwarts steeped in American jazz history, as well as a rotating roster of New York’s best players and vocalists. Bar seating in the back carries a two drink minimum; and table seating closer to the bandstand is for dinner and brunch reservations and carries a cover charge. Live music Wednesdays-Sundays.
Minton’s Playhouse: aka Uptown Lounge RIP Scheduled to reopen again in 2013 — see above
210 W 118th Street
(7th / St. Nicholas Ave.)
RE-OPENING DAY HAS COME – May 19, 2006. There will be jazz 7 nights a week in the style of the proprietor’s last foray into uptown jazz: St. Nick’s Pub. St. Nick’s Pub is still going strong up on 149th Street (see listing below), but patrons wishing to revisit the heyday can try finding it at Minton’s Playhouse, where they will see weekly performances by Bill Saxton, Eli Fontaine, Gerald Hayes, Wayne Escoferey, Patience Higgins and tap dancer, Omar Edwards, along with their groups. Sunday though Tuesday will have no cover charge. Wednesday – Saturday: $10 Cover/ 2 Drink minimum. Show times: Sunday Starting at 9PM. Monday-Friday starting at 10PM. Seating First Come First Served — Bar opens at 3PM. NOTE: Big Apple Jazz is running a Harlem tour including Minton’s Playhouse and other hidden jazz haunts that continue to excite audiences in ways that downtown clubs have been trying to emulate for the past 80 years. Call Gordon for tour reservations and details: 212 283-JAZZ. and visit our Tour Page.
Mo’Bay – RIP in 2012
17 W. 125th Street
( 5th / Lenox)
Music from 8:30 – 12:00 on Tuesdays through Sundays, in the lounge of this fine Jamaican restaurant newly opened in Harlem. Gospel brunches from 11 – 5 on Sundays and dinner music after that till 10PM. Please check their website for menus and entertainment updates. The food is so good and the atmosphere is so lively, you’ll have a great time every time.
Moldy Fig – RIP
178 Stanton Street
Lower East Side of Manhattan
We have a winner folks. Moldy Fig is a Cafe and Bar that brings killer jazz acts to the Lower East Side 6 nights a week, and they bring it in style and under budget – between $5 and $10 cover for music from 8 till late. The jam session starts at midnight nightly but on Sunday they rest. July 4th, 2011 was their grand opening and I expect they’ll be around for a long time. Moldy Fig is the sister act of Fat Cat Billiard, a well worn and well loved West Village jazz joint, that inspired the addition of board games, shuffleboard and an all-ages always welcomed vibe. The big difference between the two, is that you won’t feel out of place coming from a pricey restaurant and landing in the bare brick wall, fine leather couch, dim lighting chic of Moldy Fig. Nothing moldy about this fig. Another great feature is all the uptown jazz players who are being booked into this downtown spot.
Nabe Underground – RIP
2367 Frederick Douglass Blvd (corner of W.127th downstairs)
You will be happily surprised to find this little underground speakeasy lounge/Japanese noodle house, which is offering live music throughout the week. Pay special attention to Monday night’s open jam presented by Harlem jazz hostess, Berta Indeed, featuring Harlem royalty: Berta’s daughter, Lady Cantrese on vocals, and Sugar Hill Jazz Quartet survivors who bring the St. Nick’s Pub scene back to Monday’s in Harlem. Also look out for Sasa’s Lounge on monthly Saturdays and Blues Wednesday’sfeaturing Captain Keith Gamble and new-to-the-scene-but-stealing-the-show, Seydurah Avecmoi and the Avecmoi Blues Band.
National Jazz Museum of Harlem
58 W 129th St. Ground Floor,
104 E. 126th Street
Coming “soon” to 125th street across from the Apollo in Harlem. Check their website for updates and further information on museum plans. In the meantime, enjoy a weekly array of activities from live archiving interviews with NY’s jazz elite, jazz movies, concerts, lectures and fund raising events. Also, check out their visitors center, and Savory Collection of rare recordings from the golden age of jazz. This promises to be the most important jazz institution in the world, which will accommodate visitors seeking out the jazz history of Harlem in a way that’s never been accomplished on this scale before and is way overdue. Events currently take place in several venues throughout Manhattan so check ahead for addresses.
Opia Restaurant– RIP
130 East 57th Street (Park/Lexington)
Classy jazz trios, and vocalists like the Tony Middleton turn Opia into a jazz lounge every Saturday night between 8:30 – 11:30PM. No Cover.
Orbit Restaurant and Bar – RIP
2257 1st Avenue (E. 116th Street)
“A Different Planet Lands in East Harlem.” Call ahead for current jazz policy. The room is great with a warm vibe and great food.
2021 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (7th Ave)
(Corner 121st St.)
All roads lead to Paris Blues. Nightly music that always allows for guest musicians sitting in at later sets means the atmosphere is inviting and the vibe is loose. Opened as a bar (1969), it has evolved in recent years as a prime spot for Harlem regulars (fans and musicians) to hang and play jazz ranging from Hard Bop with the Melvin Vines’ Harlem Jazz Machine on Fridays; and Bop Grooves with Les Goodson, Don Pate, Marcus Persiani, Victor Wise making up the Intergalactic Voodoo Jazz Groove Hooptidoo Band on Wednesdays; Tyrone Govan’s Der Secret holds down R&B, Jazz, and Blues on Thursdays, and John Cooksey swings with his Spontaneous Combustion quartet on Mondays with Marvin Horne on guitar, and Charles Davis Jr. on sax. Sundays rotate between Latin Jazz with Eliot, or the Banda Ramirez; and Lucious swinging the ballads. Soul music Tuesdays with Annette Bland McCoy & the Sultans of Soul. Free hot food served nightly, and warm smiles from Esther, Judy and Sasa behind the bar. Sam Hargress Jr. is the proprietor, and he makes everyone feel welcome.
555 Edgecombe Ave, #3F buzz #107 (Corner of 160th St.)
On the corner of Count Basie and Paul Robeson stands the Triple Nickel. This is the essence of Harlem jazz — a rite of passage for all jazz fans and musicians alike. Get buzzed up to Apt. #3F, Marjorie and Rudel welcome you into their home every! Sunday afternoon at 3:30 sharp to enjoy a long set standards and original music provided by a rotating roster of jazz legends and local talent. Marjorie’s living room is absolutely the warmest, most spirited 200 square feet in all New York. No cover; tip jar; free snack and refreshment. Sundays are never in question, just show up early enough to get a seat with sight lines. Be prepared to generously donate or I’ll come get you.
Porters – RIP
216 Seventh Avenue (22nd / 23rd St.)
Porters is the latest neighborhood jazz club/restaurant to open in Chelsea in Manhattan’s vibrant Westside community. Here you can enjoy a great meal and great jazz in an intimate setting which features sidewalk seating in warm weather, and a great wine selection. The musicians are chosen from the top of the talent heap including Harold Mabern, Dave Liebman, and Eric Lewis. Cover charges vary. There is the 216 Lounge downstairs they feature happy hour stand-up comedy on Thursdays, DJ parties and private functions other nights. Check their current schedule for jazz nights.
Go to Queens Jazz Clubs
please submit names of other Queens jazz venues (Email Bigapplejazz)
Red Blazer – RIP
32 W 37th St. (5th / 6th)
M-Th four sets starting at 7 pm. Fri-Sat 9 pm – 12:30. Mondays they have trios, and the bands get larger through Saturday. The focus is swing music for your dancing pleasure, and vocalists accompany each night.
Redeye Grill – – NO MO’ JAZZ as of summer ’08
890 Seventh Avenue (Corner of 56th Street)
Jazz nightly Tuesday – Saturday: 8-11:30, Sunday jazz brunch 12 – 3. Here is a link to their monthly jazz calendar. Redeye Grill is conveniently located near many midtown Manhattan and Times Square hotels. It’s interesting to watch the band perform in a tight balcony space above the bar and do their best among the crowd of diners and imbibers below. The jazz is good, and the food is fine, and there’s no cover charge, and if you want to talk during the performance you will not be made to shush.
Robin’s Nest Restaurant & Bar – RIP
457 W. 125th St.
(Amsterdam / Morningside)
This is the most recent of Harlem’s modest restaurants where you can catch classic R&B mixed with pounding Hammond B-3 based jazz. There is no cover charge, just a two drink minimum. The week is starting to fill up with jazz players and other entertainments: Sunday — Jam Session with superior drummer Eli Fontaine; Rotating weekend talent makes good use of the Hammond B3 organ. Please call them for scheduling updates. Delicious Harlem style soul food dinner and lunch are also available at reasonable rates.
Jazz at Lincoln Center
60th Street at Broadway
212 258-9800 (general information)
212 721-6500 (City Charge tickets 212 721-6500)
Designed for jazz, but boasting a flexibility to also showcase opera, dance, theater, film and orchestral performances. Expect Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to perform here for now on as opposed to their previous home up the street. Other jazz educational events and two other Jazz at Lincoln Center venues are worth looking into at the same address.
Roth’s Westside Steakhouse – RIP
680 Columbus Avenue (93rd / 94th)
(93rd / 94th)
Great neighborhood steakhouse is now a jazz haven on weekends from 10PM – 1AM. Jazz piano also accompanies dinner hours from 6 or 7every night. This is the place to enjoy jazz on the Upper Westside without the sports bar intrusions of another local favorite. Keep a look out for vocalist Annette St. John and Frank Senior. Jazz Brunch at noon on Sundays.
188 Ave. B (11th / 12th)
The East Village is coming alive again with jazz. On the same street that hosts Charlie Parker Place, and a few blocks from C5 Cultural Center. No Cover charge at Rue B, jazz nightly usually starting around 8:30. They have a Steinway piano, and a great looking little menu. Weekend brunches also include live jazz.
Satalla – RIP
The Temple of World Music
37 W. 26th Street (Broadway / 6th Ave)
To see the show you must be groovy with day-glo and black lights. This is a chance to take a trip around the world without a plane and around your brain without drugs. World music means music from the rest of the world. This is a new club from the people who brought you K’av’eh’az (which is right next door — when you want to chill out and sit back). Call ahead for admission prices and student discounts. Music presented in two sets nightly starting around 7:30 or 8:00.
St. Nick’s Pub – RIP – March 2011
773 St. Nicholas Blvd. (Corner of 149th St.)
This club had an amazing run for the last decade and is now under newmanagement. The owners are giving St. Nick’s Pub a second chance at greatness. They’ve added inexpensive, microwave-heated soul food with $3 table charge to entice fans back uptown to see the latest roster of players who are filling up the schedule with weekly gigs, 7 nights a week from 8PM to 10PM then a second band from 10:30pm – 2:30am. Mondays jam with Melvin Vines – trumpet, Chip Crawford -keys, Mike Grey – trombone and Tuesdays join them again with a featured guest and Kay Mori with the Harlem Jazz Machine. Wednesdays has Rahn Burton on keys and Vicky Kelly’s old school vocals, and on Thursdays different bands rotate through. Friday night is the standing room only event of the week, as Donald Smith leads the best weekly session you’re likely to see, which follows the Skill-it Show. West African music every Saturday at midnight following Arlene Talley’s session. And Sundays belongs to TC III’s singers’ workshop, which follows a two-hour jam by Atiba Wilson and the B4 Quartet. St. Nick’s Pub, club review with additional photos.
375 West 125th Street
(East of Morningside Ave.)
Tues – Thurs. sets: 8:30, 10, 11:30. Friday and Saturday sets: 9:30PM, 11:30PM & 1:30AM A beautiful blending of the genteel and the earthy soul histories of Harlem can be found in this well-appointed jazz showcase, which has been home to the greats (e.g. Sara Vaughan, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Eartha Kitt, Pearl Bailey) since 1942. (In its current location since August of 1998). A Hammond B-3 organ graces the stage, and is put to good use by Danny Mixon, Seleno Clarke, and Nathan Lucas among others — call to check their schedule. Soul food appetizers are always available — free for the asking. Two drink minimum (@ $14 minimum) per set is strictly enforced.
183 W. 10th St.
(West of 7th Ave. South)
Word is out, Smalls has come back to life in the newly refurbished Brazilian bar it had briefly become after a strong 10 year run, and now it’s under new management as well. Jams till late once again! The cover is $20. Pay one price, and hang out as long as you want catching 2 or 3 bands nightly. You really can’t beat the Smalls experience if you’re a jazz fan. The crowds are willing to listen, the music is compelling, and there’s always the chance you’ll witness magic in a setting like this where the music matters and the people are hungry for authenticity over comfort and flash. No reservations and no tables but plenty of opportunities to find a good perch early and stay late. Big Apple Jazz “Old” Smalls Review. RIP May 31, 2003 Read All About It. Resurrected in March 2005.
Smith’s Bar & Restaurant NO MO’ JAZZ
701 8th Ave
(Corner of W44th Street)
Smith’s is perfectly placed in midtown next to hotels, subways and easily found around the corner from the more popular Birdland. Jazz is brand new in this decades old Irish pub with a strong neighborhood vibe. Reedman, Dave Hopkins, plays twice weekly with the stunning John Colianni on piano and renown bass hero Bob Cranshaw as the main trio every Wednesday and Friday. No Cover. No Minimum. Call in advance to confirm and keep up with their jazz programming for 2005 which has added jazz nights Mondays through Fridays. Easily, the most laid back yet spirited jazz evening in Midtown for free (most nights). Always a great chance to sit in or watch the stars come out with The Hopkins Trio. Music from 9:00PM – 1:00AM. Some nights feature the likes of Harold Mabern, Kenny Werner, Dave Liebman, Rachel Z., or Harvie S. Check in advance if a cover charge applies for special engagements.
2751 Broadway (105th / 106th)
Picking up where Augie’s (its forerunner) left off, Smoke has developed into a hip and casually swank jazz joint with the chops and personalities to recommend it to serious fans of NY jazz. Located on Broadway and Duke Ellington Blvd it is easily the standard bearer for quality jazz, food and service north of Columbus Circle and south of Harlem. Sets: 7pm, 9pm & 10:30pm. Round Midnight sets start at 11:30PM and after-hour weekend sets are: 11:45pm & beyond. Kitchen open till 2AM. Bar closes at 4:00. A food/drink minimum often serves as the cover charge during the week. Big name acts on Fridayand Saturday costs more (around $40), and reservations are a must on weekends and special shows. $38 prix-fixe menu available.
Mondays: Jam session & special guest artist. Tuesdays: B3 organ grooves & soul jazz
S.O.B.’s (Sounds of Brazil)
204 Varick Street (Corner of West Houston St.)
This long standing dance hall claims Brazil in its name, but its music policy opens the stage to bands from any country that can fill the place with a groove and a butt shaking beat that keeps you dancing all night long. A tropical party ensues most nights of the week. And of course, Samba Saturdays, when the real sounds of Brazil start spilling out onto Varick Street. Nobody would call this a jazz club, but if you’re favorite style of jazz is Latin and Bossa Nova or something you can dance to, than this is the earthiest place in the city to get your sweat on.
221 W. 46th St. (Eighth Ave. / Broadway)
This is the Italian restaurant at the 1931 Edison Hotel which features jazz music in its bar Tuesdays – Saturdays 7:00 P.M. to 12:00. Call ahead for schedule. Every Monday and Tuesday!!! Join Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks (11-piece band) for a great evening of Dinner & Dancing at: Club Cache -downstairs- at the Edison
Somethin’ Jazz Club – née Miles – now RIP
212 E. 52nd St. 3Fl.
(2nd / 3rd Ave.)
Name changed from Miles Cafe.
E/M train to 53rd St./ Lexington, 6 train to 51st St.
Midtown jazz fans and musicians on the Eastside will be happy to know that a spot just opened up in the spring of 2010 that is all about jazz. Check schedule of nightly events. Every Sat. 3-6pm Open mic for vocalists. Japanese cuisine cause it is the sister club to Miles Cafe in Tokyo. All shows are $10 cover/$7 min. (unless noted otherwise). Most nights feature two bands playing two sets each starting at 7:30PM for the early set; and the next band starting at 9:30PM till 11:30.
Phone number(212) 473-0043
is located in the closed up looking space at the corner of
Avenue C and E.2nd Street.
This is John Zorn’s baby; a not-for-profit performance space dedicated to the EXPERIMENTAL and AVANT-GARDE. MUSIC: Tuesday thru Sunday – 8 and 10pm. closed on Mondays. ADMISSION: $15 per set (unless otherwise noted). All ages welcome. There are no advance ticket sales. All admissions are at the door prior to each performance. Opened in 2005, it will most likely become the venue that the Knitting Factory started out to be 20 years prior. Expect folding chair comfort and intense quiet from the worshipping crowd. If it’s all about the music for you, than you will rejoice in the nightly pushing of envelopes. Loisaida, as Avenue C is known, is turning out to be a great place to hear music that is true to the neighborhood’s history of cultural activism. The Stone, 5C, and the Nuyorican are within blocks of each other and are great compliments to one another. Come refreshed as refreshments aren’t sold.
Subway Station at Columbus Circle
Below W.59th Street and Broadway
Take the A Train
Chances are that you will see one of the many jazz artists or other performers who play for tips on the city’s many subway platforms.
Sugar Hill Bistro / then Baton Rouge – Both RIP
(aka Renaissance Jazz Lounge)
458 W 145th St (Amsterdam / Convent Avenues)
Opened July 31, 2001
A new addition to Harlem’s historic Sugar Hill neighborhood, this finely appointed restaurant/lounge features Jazz Friday and Saturdaystarting at 9:30 pm. Look for Dennis Jeter to evoke Nat King Cole as he sings and swings on trumpet every Saturday and see Tenor sax titan Bill Saxton recently added on Friday nights. A Gospel Brunch has been added for Sundays starting at noon. Jazz fans from around the world should stop in and support the Harlem jazz scene while in NYC. The Sugar Hill Bistro also offers the best opportunity to see Wynton Marsalis sitting in unannounced, among other jazz luminaries. Call ahead for schedule updates. No cover charge. Excellent menu features the best crab cake in Harlem.
Sweet Basil – RIP then…
Sweet Rhythm – RIP
Sweet Basil – RIP — closed April 30, 2001
88 7th Ave. South (Bleecker/Grove Sts.)
Sweet Rhythm is now open for business 7 days a week. Taking up where Sweet Basil left off, the club is again up and running after a year and a half restructuring. Their sound leans more on world rhythms but straight ahead fans will be satisfied with their bookings as well. Housed in the heart of Greenwich Village, Sweet Rhythm features both live and recorded, traditional, contemporary and hybrid music from all over the planet including jazz, blues, salsa, rai, reggae, merengue, samba, high life, flamenco and many other styles. Sweet Rhythm has been outfitted with a state of the art sound system. The sounds and the environment are complimented by a menu featuring meat, fish, and fowl dishes, as well as vegetarian items. The club also features a modern yet comfortable decor and an emphasis on a friendly relaxed ambience. Sweet Rhythm has featured several jazz greats such as Kenny Barron, Steve Lacy, Jon Lucien, Victor Lewis, Rasheid Ali, Sonny Fortune, John Hicks, Kenny Garrett and many others including: Los Hobres Calientes, salsa from Manny Oquendo y Libre, the Senegalese drum choir known as Sing Sing Rhythms; the funk of Craig Harris and the Nation of Imagination, the Brazilian samba and bossa nova of Vinicius Cantuaria and Soli, the blues of Chicago-born guitarist Marvin Sewell and the soulful folk music of the multi-linguistic Marta Topferova. Musicians, poets, djs and other artists take the stage at 8pm and 10pm with midnight shows on Friday and Saturday. Cover charges range from $10 to $25, dress is your option.
349 W. 46th Street (8th / 9th Aves.)
Swing 46 is a restaurant/bar offering swinging dance bands 7 Nights a week usually from 8:30-11:30PM. Weekend dance bands from 9:30 – 1AM. Suggested dress code – no jeans or sneakers but jackets are not required. Dance lessons are also a welcomed feature prior to the show. This is a place that worships at the alter of swing – the music, the style, the dance, and the big band sound. There is no other place in Manhattan that takes it to this level 7 days a week.
Times Square Brewery – RIP
210 West 42nd Street
(7th / 8th)
A real brewery making beer and serving food with a lively bar scene right next to the Lion King at the crossroads of the world. And jazz playing nightly. From 8-12:30 Tues – Sat. and on Sunday and Monday from 6 – 10:30. Wednesday pre-matinee at noon till 4:00. Old school jazz from the 20’s and 30’s is featured. Check out John Booker’s Big Apple Jazz Band, Sol Yaged, Red Blazer Too Jazz band led by Bob Cantwell.
Tonic – RIP Click on the link though to make the connection.
LAST WEEK April 13, 2007
107 Norfolk St. (Delancey / Rivington Sts.)
Sets vary beginning either 8:00 or 10:00 for $10. A midnight show might cost $5. Happily, no pretensions past those usually associated with the avant-garde. Down below there can be found a dj spinning in the Subtonic Lounge Thursdays- Saturdays. Sunday brunch features the klezmer band of the week. This is the one club to visit if you want to mix an earthy community vibe with a good night of esoteric sounds.
“After more than 9 years as a home for avant-garde, creative, and experimental music, Tonic will reluctantly close its doors on Friday, April 13th, 2007. We simply can no longer afford the rent and all of the other costs associated with doing business on the Lower East Side.
The neighborhood around us has been increasingly consumed by “luxury condominiums”, boutique hotels and glass towers, all making the value of our salvaged space worth more then our business could ever realistically support. We have also been repeatedly harassed by the city’s Quality of Life Task Force which resulted in the debilitating closing of the ))sub((tonic lounge in January. Coincidentally, this campaign began as our immediate neighbor, the Blue Condominium building – a symbol of the new Lower East Side – prepared to open its doors.
As a business, we take responsibility for mistakes made along the way. If profit had been our chief motivation we could have changed our programming to something more mainstream and financially lucrative. Instead we were more committed to a certain type of music and loyal to the community that supported us. As a result, we’ve always just survived but never really prospered. It is, however, unfortunate that it is so difficult for small businesses to operate in this city and that a chain store that can afford a high rent is more desirable than a place like Tonic that has a different kind of value.
While this is certainly the end of Tonic at 107 Norfolk Street, we remain committed to what Tonic represents and plan to try again in some form as soon as possible. In the interim, Tonic will make efforts to present new music in existing venues such as the Abron’s Arts Center located just a few blocks away.
We invite you to join us as often as you can over our remaining days to help us celebrate Tonic and more importantly the amazing artists, our unwavering staff, and the nurturing community that made Tonic possible. It’s because of you that we’ve stayed open as long as we have. Thank you! Sincerely, Melissa and John
Contact: [email protected]”
HELP SAVE TONIC! Posted January 31, 2005… SAVED — you did it.
“Since 1998 Tonic has been a haven for creative music. We have helped nurture the vital community of musicians and audiences who keep this music alive. Now we are in danger of closing and ask you to help us keep Tonic alive. Over the past few years we have suffered a series of blows: our rent has doubled since 1998, our insurance costs have tripled, we’ve been robbed, and we’ve been plagued by the expense of maintaining a building in ill repair “ including the collapse of our main sewer line. Any of these things would be challenging on their own but together they’ve taken a more serious toll and we are now facing the threat of eviction. A number of outstanding musicians have come forward to help save Tonic and throughout February we will be holding a series of fundraising concerts. If Tonic has been an important venue to you, we ask that you please attend as many of these concerts as possible. Those who cannot attend but would like to help, please consider making a contribution. For Tonic to survive we will need to raise a upwards of $100,000 in the next few weeks. Only with your support can Tonic continue playing its role in presenting this important music to its fans. Our deepest thanks.”
Torch – RIP
137 Ludlow St. (Stanton / Rivington Sts.)
Closed due to fire but also due to reopen–stay tuned.
Come for dinner or drinks. No cover. Stylish dress is encouraged by this trendy hideaway with a penchant for charismatic vocalists who hope to put you in mind of a time long ago and far away. Open Sun – Thurs. from 6:00 P.M. – 2:00 A.M.; and on the weekend till 4:00 A.M.
Tutuma Social Club – RIP but morphing downtown at Raymi
164 East 56th Street
(Lexington / 3rd Ave)
This is the first Afro-Peruvian jazz venue in New York City (2009). The top musicians in the world are playing live. Open 7 days a week, lunch through dinner, 11 am -2 am. No cover. Singers and musicians to look out for: Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, Laura Andrea Leguia, Hernan Romero, and Gabriel Alegría. Great food presented gloriously for a jazz club, that is exotic and authentic. This is exciting jazz; and you may run into some instruments last seen 50 miles into an arid wilderness.
178 Seventh Ave. (At 11th St. and Max Gordon Corner)
The Vanguard opened its doors in 1935 and is the archetypal Greenwich Village jazz club which has the right vibes and an excellent booking policy, and a history of breaking all the new artistes that soon took over the world. Every jazz fan should visit the Village Vanguard at least once in their lives, no exceptions. Sets: 8:30 and 10:30. Mondaynights, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, established by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis 40ish years ago continues their modern big band tradition to a full house weekly. Cover/Minimum: $30.00 plus a 1 drink minimum. Say hi to founder Max Gordon’s love, Lorraine, still running things into her 90’s.
WhyNot Jazz Room Closing Nov. 2015 – RIP – and becoming Dominic’s
14 Christopher Street
(Corner of Gay)
Hallelujah. Jazz in the West Village is taking a turn for the awesome with the recent opening of WhyNot’s subterranean jazz room. It’s post-modern Euro vibe somehow manages to throw you back to the hip Greenwich Village of your dreams, where people cluster close together and enthuse after the music in a very connected way. The menu is cafe portions and features the best sliders and spicy chips we’ve tasted in a long time. Expect a $10 cash cover and a two drink minimum. Monday nights equals the good funk of Ian Gittler’s Greasers (we want credit for discovering them on February 24th, 2014). 7 nights a week.
Zinc Bar – New Location
82 West 3rd Street (Thompson / Sullivan)
Open 7 days 5 P.M. – 4 A.M. Weekly theme nights dominate the schedule. Monday showcases the guitar trio and jam of Ron Affif -later, and a featured vocalist -earlier. Tuesday night later the Revive Da Live Evolution jam found a new home for the young and hip NY vibe th jazz room. (FYI – Old Address: 90 W. Houston St.)