New York City is known for being the birthplace of jazz music. Many of the most outstanding jazz performers of all time like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane have called neighborhoods like Harlem home. Today, their music can still be heard on the streets thanks to the number of jazz clubs you can find in the Big Apple. Whether you’re looking for some easy listening or a song that will get your feet tapping, you’ll find the right jazz tune at these NYC clubs.
Jazz in New York City
Every Friday and Saturday night, jazz can be heard playing in Harlem at Bill’s Place. The “Bill” in the name is Bill Saxton, a neighborhood saxophonist who plays on stage with the Harlem All-Stars. When you step into this one-room brownstone, you can hear Saxton and the All-Stars play their classic sound right before your eyes.
Dizzy’s Club lets you hear jazz music high in the sky, thanks to its above-ground location at Columbus Circle. Every band that performs here is framed by gorgeous views of the city skyline behind them. The stage has been called home by bands from around the world, so you’ll always hear the sounds of something new.
Birdland Jazz Club
Named after Charlie Parker, Birdland Jazz Club in Midtown West offers two floors of all kinds of entertainment like jazz bands, album releases and visits from Broadway legends. You can even hear styles from around the world, like the rich sounds of Afro Latin jazz. Snack on some Southern or Italian food during the evening, and get a taste of music from the early days and today.
Take a trip back in time at Coby Club. The venue brings the experience of an underground club every Friday night from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. with music and burlesque performances. Enjoy the menu of bites like the salmon tostada, Mediterranean hummus and the charcuterie board, along with imaginative cocktails like the “Orient Express” and the “Beijing Sling.”
Smalls Jazz Club
Smalls Jazz Club knows how important the music’s history is, and they’ve set out to preserve it at their West Village location. You’ll find a new band performing on their stage tucked inside a club basement every night. You can listen to the smooth sounds of a complete set, or you can dance along to an open jam session.
Slate in Chelsea hosts live jazz performances on Mondays and Tuesdays. The schedule rotates out various musicians who play numerous (you can see the roster here). Visitors can enjoy shareable comfort foods (like nachos, pizzas, “Philly Cheesesteak Empanadas”) and fun specialty cocktails like “The Battleship” and the “Queen’s Gambit.”
Winnie’s Jazz Bar
Step into the 1920s jazz scene at Winnie’s Jazz Bar near Bryant Park. This club is located inside the Refinery Hotel and creates the style of the time when the genre was born. You’ll find a rotation of performers you can listen to throughout the weekend with a plate of American food and a signature cocktail at your table. Be sure to visit on Wednesday nights for their classes on making your own whiskey cocktail.
Classic Harbor Line
Enjoy jazz from the water with yacht trips aboard the Classic Harbor Line. Saturday and Sunday evenings, the 1920s yacht features “The Boat Band,” playing jazz classics throughout the 90-minute cruise. In addition to live music, passengers will get a great look at some of New York City’s best attractions. Top off your experience with cocktails and upscale bites for a memorable cruise.
Known as “the birthplace of bebop,” Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem is an excellent piece of jazz history. Since 1938, the biggest names in jazz music have performed on its stage, and today’s top artists continue to visit. You can dine on all of your favorite dishes while listening to the classic sounds you know and love in the place where they were first created.