The most populous city in the United States, New York City is made up of five boroughs namely Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and the Staten Island situated on one of the largest natural harbours in the world. Home to the most number of billionaires, the city is filled with attractions that are world-renowned such as the Empire State Building, the Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and loads of cultural hotspots and destinations that make travelling around the city an experience of a lifetime. With no two experiences alike in the city, a visit to the city would be incomplete without getting to know its music scene. For the lowdown on some of the best musical performances and exhibitions in the world, here is a list of the top jazz bars in New York City.
1. Blue Note Jazz Club
Located in Greenwich Village, Blue Note Jazz Club is one of the premier jazz clubs in the world. Started in 1981, the intimate club features shows every evening between 8pm and 10:30pm, a late night groove series on Friday and Saturday nights, and a Sunday brunch between 11:30am and 1:30 pm. With the goal of preserving the history of jazz music, Blue Note showcases the best of the city’s up-and-coming artists and contributes to the development of the local musicians.
Blue Note Jazz Club
Address: 131 W. 3rd St, New York, NY 10012
Website: Blue Note Jazz Club
Opening hours: 9am - 12am (daily)
2. The Iridium
Located on the Broadway, the Iridium is well-renowned as the club that hosted weekly performances by Les Paul and John Colianni for about 15 years. Established in 1994, this basement jazz club has undergone three major renovations and still exists as the destination to intimately experience the best jazz artists in the world. The Iridium has a capacity of about 180 persons and features provisions for private events and an upscale cuisine and a cellar with more than 450 bottles of fine wine.
Address: 1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
Website: The Iridium
Opening hours: 7pm - 12am (daily)
3. Birdland Jazz Club
David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band kicks off another month of great performances tonight at 5:30PM! https://www.birdlandjazz.com/attraction/david+ostwald%27s+louis+armstrong+eternity+band/Posted by Birdland Jazz Club on Wednesday, 1 May 2019
Started in 1949, this Classic Theatre District Jazz Club has hosted many jazz legends and been home to every major jazz style through its illustrious history. Once popular with many writers of the beat generation, the club’s reemergence has transformed midtown Manhattan as the place that enjoys the best jazz in the world. Featuring red decors, a large bar, and Cajun-influenced food, the club is an essential part of the city’s jazz history.
Birdland Jazz Club
Address: 315 W 44th St Suite 5402, New York, NY 10036
Website: Birdland Jazz Club
Opening hours: 5pm - 1am (daily)
4. Village Vanguard
VANGUARD JAZZ ORCHESTRA 53rd ANNIVERSARY! FEBRUARY 11 - FEBRUARY 18 SAXOPHONES Dick Oatts (lead alto and soprano...Posted by Village Vanguard on Monday, 11 February 2019
Located in Greenwich Village, this club was opened in 1935 and hosted folk music and beat poetry events before it started hosting jazz performances in 1957. The club has kickstarted the careers of a number of musicians and has hosted the recordings of many masterpieces in its basement. The club is also well-renowned to have hosted the iconic jazz saxophonist, John Coltrane in the sixties.
Address: 178 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
Website: Village Vanguard
Opening hours: 7:30pm - 12am (daily)
5. Red Rooster
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Situated in Harlem, this club serves American cuisine and hosts events on a platform that celebrates local musicians and artists. The bar area of Red Rooster hosts live-music events every day of the week with performances that will transport you back in time. The restaurant also serves excellent soul food and craft cocktails that blend in perfectly with the musical performances.
Address: 310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027
Website: Red Rooster
Opening hours: 11:30am - 2am (daily)
6. Nublu Classic
Nublu Classic is a compact club that hosts avant-garde acts and international musical performances. With a backyard garden and fun vibes, the club features offbeat jazz events that draw in people from all over the city. The club also owns a record label with a mix of jazz, bossa nova, and electronic acts.
Address: 62 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009
Website: Nublu Classic
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 7apm - 4am (closed Fri - Sun)
7. Smalls Jazz Club
Founded in 1994, Smalls Jazz Club was well-renowned in the nineties as the “hotbed for New York’s jazz talent” and for good reason. The club hosts an array of talented musicians with modern renditions of bebop and hard bop styles of jazz music. Smalls Jazz Club is one of the very first clubs that recorded its performances and streamed its shows live from its website.
Smalls Jazz Club
Address: 183 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014
Website: Smalls Jazz Club
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7:30pm - 4am; Sat: 4pm - 4am; Sun: 1pm - 4am
8. Fat Cat
This diverse venue features live music that includes genres ranging from Jazz to world music. The club also features innovative educational programs that are designed to encourage the blending of disciplines such as maths, science, logic, music, and art. The venue offers ping pong tables and a variety of gaming choices such as billiards, foosball, chess, and scrabble with tournaments happening every month.
Address: 75 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
Website: Fat Cat
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 2pm - 4am; Fri - Sun: 12pm - 4am
9. Bill’s Place
Started in the early years of the Prohibition era, this small no-frills club hosts some of the best jazz performances in town. Located in Harlem, the club was once the starting place for careers of legends such as Billie Holiday and Fats Waller and keeps the tradition of straight-ahead jazz well. Note that no alcohol is served at the club and you can bring your own alcohol if needed.
Address: 148 W 133rd St, New York, NY 10030
Website: Bill’s Place
Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 7:30pm - 11:30pm (closed Sun - Thur)
10. Smoke Jazz & Supper Club
This influential jazz club on the Upper West Side was founded in 1999 after a former jazz club at the same location was closed due to financial problems. With a seating capacity of just about fifty persons, this cosy venue features candlelit tables, antique decors, and a full-length bar. The venue serves American cuisine and offers some of the best acoustic systems in the room making it one of the best jazz clubs in the world.
Smoke Jazz & Supper Club
Address: 2751 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, USA
Website: Smoke Jazz & Supper Club
Opening hours: 5pm - 3am (daily)
Treat your ears to some of the best jazz music in the world
Often called as the jazz capital of the world, New York City has witnessed the best part of the music genre’s evolution and has helped in the emergence and growth of many important jazz musicians and artists. The above list of the best jazz bars in New York City features iconic performers in a great setting along with tasty brunch and dinner options. Take your pick and treat yourself to some of the best jazz music performances on the planet.
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