Go Where the Cool Cats Gather
We know how the world looks like to a jazz fan. Everything simply flows to its own rhythm, it dances and it changes shape. The world sits still as if it knew it was being painted with musical notes and that some people are there simply to enjoy the view. Your passion for jazz may be old or new, but strong nonetheless. And this is why we wanted to help you get reconnected or stay in touch with the jazz scene and enjoy live performances. Sure, you can sit back at your own place and listen to good quality jazz music, or you can go out and enjoy it with the rest of the cool cats.
Here are 8 great jazz venues in New York
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Photo credit: Zhang [email protected]
Image description: Inside the Small Jazz Club in New York
Founded in 1994 by Mitchell Borden, the Smalls Jazz Club is probably the most popular venue of its kind. Since the very beginning, this was the place where the needs of the musician and of music lovers came first. The most fascinating thing about it is that since 2011, every show was recorded with the intention of creating a valuable music archive. Smalls Jazz Club, 183 West 10th Street, basement, Greenwich Village, NYC, 10014
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Image description: Street view of The Blue Note Club in New York
This club has been around since 1981 when it was founded by Danny Bensusan and it is just the place where you can enjoy the world’s finest jazz music in an amazing setting. Patrons can listen to the jazz of veterans as well as to progressive and innovative sounds. Blue Note main acts feature Chick Korea, McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, John Scofield and Chris Botti. Blue Note Jazz Club, 131 West 3rd Street, New York, NY 10012.
This is the place where you can enjoy some fine Southern cuisine and barbecue seasoned with warm hospitality and, of course, world-class jazz. Not only is Jazz Standard one of the finest New York venues, it is one of the best such venues in the world. Jazz Standard Club, 116 E 27th St, New York, NY 10016
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Photo credit: Zhang [email protected]
Image description: Inside the Village Vanguard Club in New York
Looking for something with a historical pedigree? Then go and sit at a table in a club opened in 1935 by Max Gordon and imagine having been there when the Live at the Village Vanguard albums of John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Bill Evans were recorded. This place is unique both in physical appearance, program as well as character and background. Village Vanguard Jazz Club, 178 7th Ave South, New York, NY 10014
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Image description: Street view of The Iridium Club in New York
Renovated and reopened in September 2015, the Iridium now has unique lighting, an amazing stage treatment and the sound system has benefited from a consistent upgrade. Need more reasons to check out this location? Then know that it attracts some of the best musicians of the genre. This is the place where you can spend a night in the presence of jazz, rock and blues legends. Iridium Jazz Club, 1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
The Jazz Gallery
Video description: Musicians talking about the Woodshed project that allows them to rehearse at The Jazz Gallery free of charge
Founded in 1995 by Dale Fitzgerald, Lezlie Harrison and Roy Hargrove, the Jazz Gallery is known as “the most imaginatively booked jazz club in New York”, according to the NY Times. The place serves as an international culture center with programs built to nurture the future jazz generations. The 21 Century Jazz showcases emerging artists; the Residency Commissions supports the creation of new works; the Mentoring Program pairs young musicians with established jazz veterans and the Woodshed provides a free practice space. Jazz Gallery, 1160 Broadway, 5th fl, New York, NY 10001
More than a jazz club, Fat Cat presents itself as a diverse cultural institution where class trips can be organized for music classes. This is an art space with musical offerings to highlight both emerging as well as established artists. Also, if you are looking for a place for a unique birthday party, you have just found it. Fat Cat Club, 75 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
Video description: Abigail Richards and Jane Monheit performing live at Birdland on August 1, 2013
The original Birdland opened in 1949 on Broadway and had Charlie Parker as a headliner. Other club regulars were Count Basie and John Coltrane. The club’s name has found a place in their musical legacy as Count Basie recorded George Shearing’s “Lullaby at Birdland” and John Coltrane’s Quartet recorded “Live at Birdland”. It was a place frequented by celebrities such as Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Joe Louis, Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Sugar Ray Robinson. Birdland, 315 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
New York is packed with amazing music venues and it would take more than a lifetime to go to all of them. Compiling this short list alone was difficult as there were a lot of options to sort through, a lot of music styles, a lot of venue experiences and a lot of other specific details to take into account. Some places are intimate while others are crammed and you have to keep your elbows about you so as not to spill the drinks on other tables. In some locations you can enjoy a nice meal or an art exhibit. There is something for every taste and every type of jazz lover. In the end, we all just go where the music takes us.
Discover 8 of the most popular jazz venues in New York. You can see firsthand how young musicians experiment with their instruments or you can enjoy a night in the company of famous jazz veterans.