New York City is one of the best places in the world to enjoy a jazz performance. Some say it’s the jazz capital of the world — so it’s unsurprising to learn that there are many New York City jazz clubs worth a visit.
Bill’s Place (148 West 133rd Street)
Bill’s Place is an intimate BYOB club. It’s in a brownstone, and is run by Bill Saxton & the Harlem All-Stars. It was Harlem’s only authentic speakeasy during the Prohibition era, and it continues to embody the vintage aura of the Roaring ’20s.
There are live sets every Friday and Saturday at 8pm and 10pm. It’s first-come, first-served (reservations highly recommended).
Minton’s Playhouse (206 W 118th Street)
This is one of the most important places in jazz history. It was founded in 1938 by Harry Minton, a saxophonist. It was the birthplace of bebop. Today, it’s a registered New York City landmark.
Some of the greatest jazz performers in history have played here. They include: Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Charlie Christian, and Kenny Clarke.
Showmans Jazz Club (375 W 125th Street)
This is one of Harlem’s longest-running jazz clubs. It’s been home to greats such as Sarah Vaughan, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington and Pearl Bailey.
Ginny’s Supper Club (310 Lenox Avenue)
This is right under celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster restaurant. It’s one of the rising stars in the New York City jazz scene. Some of the city’s hottest, most talented young musicians appear here.
Smoke Jazz & Supper Club (2751 Broadway)
This cozy, popular venue features both local and established acts. It serves seasonal American cuisine and also has a weekend jazz brunch.
Dizzy’s Club (60th & Broadway)
Lincoln Center’s jazz club boasts Central Park views, fantastic acoustics and Southern-inspired farm-to-table food.
There are nightly sets at 7:30pm and 8:30pm. Tony Bennett has called this “the best jazz room in the city” — high praise from a jazz icon. There are also Late Night Sessions at 11:15pm on Tuesday through Saturday each week. Those feature rising stars in jazz.
Birdland Jazz Club (315 W 44th Street)
This jazz club, named after Charlie “Bird” Parker, has a large bar and Cajun-inspired menu. Parker himself once called this “the Jazz Corner of the World.”
The club has hosted Oscar Peterson, Pat Metheny, and Diana Krall, as well as the big bands of Chico O’Farrill and Maria Schneider.
The Iridium (1650 Broadway)
This intimate jazz club is associated with Les Paul, “godfather of the electric guitar.” It’s one of the best places for experiencing virtuosic, guitar-driven jazz performances.
Here, you’ll find a world-class sound system and acoustic design to provide a true audiophile experience for live jazz, blues, and rock.
Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club (349 W 46th Street)
If you’re looking to dance the night away, this is your place. Swing 46 has live swing bands, free swing lessons and a full service restaurant. On Sundays, you can tap dance.
The Jazz Gallery (1160 Broadway, 5th Fl)
This is an international non-profit cultural center and venue space. It offers music lessons, cultural events, and more. It’s open three nights a week and presents both established jazz figures and emerging artists.
Jazz Standard (116 E 27th Street)
This Danny Meyer-owned venue features both new and well-established jazz musicians. The New York City Jazz Record named it “Venue of the Year” in 2017. Come here to enjoy BBQ, jazz, and good vibes for everyone.
Arthur’s Tavern (57 Grove Street)
This historic tavern, which opened in the 1930s, used to regularly host Charlie Parker. It’s a go-to spot for bebop, rhythm & blues, and hot jazz.
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Blue Note (131 W 3rd Street)
This intimate venue features genre-crossing jazz musicians and classic American food. It also hosts new jazz voices at its Late Night Groove series on Fridays and Saturdays.
Jazz legends have been known to make appearances as walk-on performers here. So, if you’re lucky, you could see a jazz great up close.
The Ear Inn (326 Spring Street)
This venue is in a landmarked building that’s been serving drinks since 1817. Here, you’ll be right up close to the music (it’s a small space).
Village Vanguard (178 7th Ave South)
This iconic venue, which opened in 1935, features jazz icons alongside up and comers. It’s famous for its great, recognizable sound (which is usually attributed to its triangular shape).
The 55 Bar (55 Christopher Street)
This Prohibition-era dive bar features nightly jazz, funk and blues performances. The cover charge is reasonable and the talent is fantastic.
Mona’s Bar NYC (224 Avenue B)
This bar boasts pool and frequent jam sessions. On Tuesdays starting at 11pm to the wee hours of morning, you’ll find ’20s and ’30s hot jazz here.