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Popular Jazz Venues in New York City


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The following New York City venues generated the most reader interest at Jazz Near You. Jazz Near You, All About Jazz's companion website is a global jazz events calendar and club & festival directory supporting over 300 cities from Austin to Zurich.

  • Blue Note New York

    131 West Third Street
    New York, NY 10012, United States
    [email protected]

    The Blue Note jazz club is like a precocious kid who has skipped a few grades and graduated early: it's younger than its achievements would have you believe.

    Or, to put it in terms of the trade, compared to some of the elder statesmen of New York City jazz clubs, the Blue Note is a 23-year-old young lion. Since opening its doors on September 25, 1981 (modestly, billing Turk Mauro & Friends), the Blue Note has grown into nothing less than a jazz institution in the city, so that now it's hard to imagine West 3rd Street without this vibrant hub of improvised music.

    The Blue Note regularly attracts the most boldface names in jazz and its history boasts many of the bigwigs as well: Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Tito Puente, Ray Charles, Milt Jackson, Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett, for starters.

    [ More Info | Calendar ]
  • Birdland

    315 West 44th Street
    New York, NY 10036, United States
    [email protected]

    Ever since most of Chicago's top musicians moved to New York in the mid-to-late 1920s, New York City has been the Jazz Mecca. Nearly every major jazz style of the past seventy years has been initiated in the Big Apple.

    It was Charlie Parker, familiarly known to his fans and fellow musicians as "Bird," a contraction of Yardbird, his formal nickname, who was the dynamic creative personality and genius of the alto saxophone who served as the inspiration for Birdland.

    When the original Birdland opened sixty years ago in December, 1949, Charlie Parker was the headliner and the club was located on Broadway, a block west of the 52nd Street scene, which was a hotbed of jazz in the 1930s and 40s.

    Miraculously, just as the scene on 52nd Street caved in, Birdland was born and quickly came to prominence.

    [ More Info | Calendar ]
  • Village Vanguard

    178 Seventh Avenue South
    New York, NY 10014, United States
    [email protected]

    In the jazz world, Mecca is located to the West. The West Village specifically. The Village Vanguard is to jazz what Yankee Stadium is to baseball, Coney Island is to beaches, Saint Patrick is to cathedrals. It's the top. High honors for a club situated one narrow flight downstairs, in a basement below a pizza parlor, but undisputed nonetheless. Lovers of the music come from all over the world just to hear a set in the room that has become synonymous with jazz. The club's red canopied entrance at 178 Seventh Avenue South, located between the intersections of West 11th Street and Greenwich Avenue to the north and Perry Street and Waverly Place to the south is a true New York City landmark, as noted by the blue street sign memorializing the block's angular tip as Max Gordon Corner.

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  • Dizzy's Club

    10 Columbus Circle
    New York, NY 10019, United States

    Love may be in the eye of the beholder but this self-described "club in the sky" has got it all or as Billie Holiday has been known to sing, "more and more and then some."

    This is not an easy accomplishment. Navigating the imposing marble, glass and steel interior of the Time Warner Center that houses Jazz at Lincoln Center can seem a bit daunting even for a seasoned jazz-goer. Whether you enter from Broadway fronting Columbus Circle into the shopping mall or from W. 60th Street, it's hard to believe that there's a cozy, inviting spot on the fifth floor; the elevators look so corporate and put you off. But what a wonderful world it is once you've made it through those big wooden doors and into this gorgeous house of sound, one of three venues (including Frederick P. Rose Hall and The Appel Room) envisioned and realized by JALC founder and jazz visionary, Wynton Marsalis, which officially opened October 18th, 2004.

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  • Smoke Jazz & Supper Club

    2751 Broadway
    New York, NY 10025, United States
    [email protected]

    Smoke Jazz & Supper Club presents world-class jazz seven nights a week. Candlelit tables, plush velvet banquets, antique chandeliers, and an historic full-length bar create a real jazz vibe. Smoke also serves the perfect complement to classic jazz—soulful American cuisine. The room has seating for just over fifty, which ensures that every listener is close to the action. During Smoke's renovation, the primary focus was on creating an unparalleled room for music...and it shows. The acoustics are some of the best anywhere. Pianist David Hazeltine remarked, "I love playing this room. It's rare that the piano can be heard as clearly as it is in this club." Harold Mabern added, "It's the best jazz club in the world." In the 15 years since its opening, jazz has continued to thrive at 106th (aka Duke Ellington Boulevard) and Broadway and Smoke is adding a few new chapters of history to a location that has been host to a legendary jazz venue for over 40 years.

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  • Iridium

    1650 Broadway
    New York, NY 10019, United States
    [email protected]

    The Iridium and its legacy as "The Home of Les Paul" has established the audiophile venue as a musical landmark in New York City, known as a destination for intimately experiencing the best rock, jazz, and blues artists in the world. Over the last 20 years, The Iridium has built up a reputation for attracting iconic instrumentalists and vocalists seven nights a week, and as a result has grown in the diversity of its music offerings as emerging songwriters seek to join in the room's rich history of music discovery. Among the superstar acts that have graced The Iridium stage are Les Paul, who played weekly at The Iridium for more than 12 years 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.

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  • St. Nick's Pub

    773 St. Nicholas Avenue
    New York, NY 10031, United States
    [email protected]

    Jazz fans and musicians alike consider St. Nick's Pub in Harlem's Sugar Hill section their place to cut loose and rub elbows with jazz history. Six nights a week (excluding Tuesdays) starting at 9:30 pm, and blowing hard throughout the night, St. Nick's treats us to a weekly roster of musicians who've come to play. And in this historic jazz haunt, the ghosts of Harlem past are ever-present to make sure that jazz in its purist form stays alive in the neighborhood that nurtured its evolution from stride to hard bop.

    In this no-frills pub, owner Earl Spain collaborated with the reigning queen of Harlem jazz promoters, Berta Alloway, in 1993 to create a Monday night jam session that recalls the heyday of Minton's Playhouse, the renowned birthplace of bebop. Thelonious Monk, the house pianist for Minton's, would not have tolerated the lack of a suitable piano at St. Nick's, but current musicians (Bobby Forrester, Marcus Persiani, Rahn Burton, Patrick Poladian, and Oliver von Essen) make the best of the electric keyboards and organs that take a righteous pounding nightly. The players themselves keep the spirit alive, even if their electric instruments fall short of paying homage to this club's deep associations with the piano.

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  • Smalls Jazz Club

    183 West 10th Street
    New York, NY 10014, United States
    212 252-5091
    [email protected]

    Spike Wilner has spent a good chunk of his life fronting the piano at Smalls, at its first incarnation as the wildly popular BYOB that Mitch Borden created in the '90s and during the less storied but still musically vibrant era of the last couple of years.

    Now, ensconced in a tiny pocket of an office tucked into the back of the premises at 183 West 10th Street, he's talking about his plans for the legendary Greenwich Village club, which he has just acquired with a partner, Lee Kostrinsky, an old friend. He and Kostrinsky promise to bring Smalls back to the play-hard (in terms of fun and music), live-loose vibe of its glory days while ensuring, hopefully, its staying power into the future. Not easy in post-9/11 NYC.

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  • ShapeShifter Lab

    18 Whitwell Place
    Brooklyn, NY 11215
    (646) 820-9452
    :[email protected]

    ShapeShifter Lab is a 4,200 square foot performance space in Park Slope; this newly renovated performance space hosts the world's most innovative artists who are looking for a flexible platform to present their work. Bassist Matthew Garrison, son of Jimmy Garrison (bassist for John Coltrane), is the co-owner and creative director with his business partner, Fortuna Sung. With many years as a successful touring musician under his belt, Matt and his team have designed the space with versatility in sound, lighting and layout, each of which can be tailored to each artist. With state-of-the-art equipment and raw space, Matt and his team are creating something truly unique and desperately needed in today's venue scene in New York City.

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  • Bar Next Door

    129 Macdougal St
    New York, NY 10012, United States
    [email protected]

    The warm, lingering tones of Jonathan Kreisberg's hollow body guitar filled the dimly lit semi-subterranean space at La Lanterna di Vittorio's Bar Next Door one Wednesday last month, mingling with the cosmic strains of Gary Versace's organ and the crashing vibrations of Mark Ferber's cymbals.

    Skip to Sunday when Peter Mazza's trio created an equally transporting experience as the guitarist soloed over a sample of himself on the standard "My Funny Valentine," forming a lush, intricate string orchestration, while Will Vinson added a compelling dynamic on saxophone. A group of cheerful Greek tourists continually clinked their wine glasses while a family of four and a relaxed couple sipped their martinis by candlelight.

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  • Zinc Bar

    82 W 3rd St
    New York, NY 10012
    [email protected]

    Just off the corner of Houston Street and LaGuardia Place, where the West Village meets SoHo, a short flight of stairs below street level, the Zinc Bar may very well be as close in size and spirit to a '50s 52nd Street jazz club as one is now likely to ever find in this city. Not much more than a sliver of a room, the Zinc has nevertheless played a large role in keeping the future of the music bright in an area where constantly rising real estate values have all but banished the bohemian aura that once defined the neighborhood.

    The Zinc Bar is not a jazz club per se. It's more than that. The room presents a melting pot of music—African, Brazilian and AfroCuban—along with jazz. But it is the free spirit of jazz that defines the excitement of all of the sounds that emanate from the crowded space between the bar and the back of the wall that separates the rest rooms from what serves as the bandstand. With a drum kit jammed into the corner and the piano intruding into the waitress station, there is barely enough room for a quartet, but on some nights percussionists spill out into the seats and horn players line the lane of the club.

    Unlike many great clubs where the music unexpectedly takes over and creates a lively scene never envisioned by the management, the Zinc Bar's success is in no small part the result of the nurturing philosophy of its owners, brother and sister Alex and Kristina Kaye. The two were up-and-coming young professionals climbing the corporate ladder in the early '90s, when Alex couldn't take it any more. "I planned to open an espresso bar with live music—two of my growing passions at the time [the fall of 1993] and stumbled upon the basement on West Houston Street," he recalls. "It was a run down shop in the front building with leaky pipes and lots of dust, but it had a great feeling. The rent was a thousand dollars a month."

    [ More Info | Calendar ]
  • The Cutting Room

    44 E 32nd St
    New York, NY 10010
    (212) 691-1900
    [email protected]

    The Cutting Room is an elegant bar and music club in the heart of New York City's Flatiron district. With live music in the intimate performance and art space, and an eclectic American menu and lounge scene up front, The Cutting Room maintains its vibe as one of NY's best kept secrets. Co-owners Chris Noth (Sex and the City) and Berklee School of Music alumnus Steve Walter have provided an intimate space for established artists, and a hospitable environment for new artists and music of all varieties, including jazz, rock, chamber music, world beat and singer/songwriters.

    [ More Info ]

Click there for more New York City jazz venues.

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