NYC’s music scene is undoubtedly one of the best, thanks to the variations of genres you’ll find, the concerts that roll through our venues, and the intimate bars and clubs hosting local acts. Even though Mardi Gras just passed, our jazz scene is one of the best around, and even includes places Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane used to perform in. Perfect for a night of toe-tapping, or even an alternative date night idea, you can never go wrong with a little saxophone! These are our favorite jazz clubs in NYC for live music!
1. Smoke Jazz & Supper Club, Upper West Side
Originally opening in 1999, Smoke Jazz Club rose to fame as one of NYC’s most iconic spots, before getting set back the past few years due to the pandemic. Now, after reopening in the fall of last year, they’ve become one of our favorites once again! Offering swanky vibes and classic and modern jazz, their newly expanded space hosts jazz events Wednesday – Sunday at 7 pm and 9 pm, as well as additional sets on Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 pm. Their new space features more room, a full-length bar, and much more. Check out their schedule here!
Where: 2751 Broadway
2. Blue Note, Greenwich Village, Greenwich Village
Blue Note is known not only for their NYC venue, but also their international brand as one of the top jazz curators around. With other locations in Milan, Tokyo, and more, they bring in some of the hottest acts into intimately small ballroom for nights on end. In terms of the jazz itself, you can expect a variety of contemporary artists, who also tend to dip into hip-hop, soul, and funk. Not only have legends like Sarah Vaughn and Lionel Hampton graced the stage, but Blue Note makes an explicit effort to also showcase Greenwich Village’s local musicians by giving them a chance to perform in one of the world’s finest venues. Check out their calendar here.
Where: 131 W 3rd St
3. Rose Room, Theater District
This speakeasy/jazz club duo is hosting an ongoing event, The Rose Room: Parlor of Wonder that you need to check out! Going on now, you can check out an evening of jazz cabaret and magic performances that are as cozy and intimate as you like. Get ready to sip delicious wine or cocktails and be dazzled by acclaimed vocalists and renowned magicians at these weekly shows!Buy your tickets here!
Where: 358 W 44th St
4. Ornithology Jazz Club, Bushwick
Fitting beautifully into the creative neighborhood that is Bushwick, Ornithology is a little whole in the wall spot that has jazz shows, serves vegan food, and even has a rooftop in the summer. It’s a cute little Brooklyn hangout whose jazz acts range in genre and fame. We suggest hitting this spot in the summer when you can enjoy saxophones on the roof, but there’s really no wrong time to stop in and have a good meal and hear some tunes. Check out their calendar here.
Where: 6 Suydam St, Brooklyn
5. Zinc Bar, Greenwich Village
Legends like Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Thelonious Monk have touched the Zinc Bar stage, which has been one of NYC’s most legendary jazz spots since the 1940s. It’s inspired by a classic Bogie gin joint, complete with a zinc-top bar stocked with vintage decanters and a champagne chiller straight out of a classic movie. Once the heavy red velvet curtains peel back, you’ll be greeted to lovely Latin jazz, African sounds, or Brazilian bands depending on the night. Every detail, down to the art-deco curated by the owners will have you feel like you’re stepping back in time. Check out their full schedule here.
Where: 82 W 3rd St
6. The Iridium, Midtown West
This intimate basement jazz club associated with Les Paul brings in top-of-the-line national & local jazz performers. The 180 person capacity venue attracts an upscale crowd that fits right in with their contemporary cuisine and extensive wine list (from their 450-bottle cellar). Not only is their atmosphere tight-knit and lovely, but their new and improved sound system is one of the best amongst other jazz clubs in NYC. Check out their schedule here.
Where: 1650 Broadway
7. Birdland Jazz Club, Midtown West
Just steps away from Times Square is Birdland Jazz Club, a cozy nest of serenity amongst the bustling Midtown. It’s a great spot for a date night or a night out on vacation, especially if you can’t score tickets to a Broadway show on one of the neighboring streets. Over the years, artists like Duke Ellington and more have made appearances, with many even having residencies. Nowadays if you want to stop by, we suggest snagging tickets early since it’s right smack dab in the middle of everything. Check out their schedule here.
Where: 315 W 44th St #5402
8. The Django, Tribeca
The Django is located under the Roxy Hotel, and it’s cave-like Paris-inspired feel makes this one of our favorite spots to catch a show. The programming here is some of our favorite, including New York jazz artist Conrad Herwig who puts on 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm shows on Tuesdays until May 30. Playing Latin versions of Miles, Mingus, Hancock, Coltrane and more, the 4 time Grammy nominated artist is not to be missed! Check out full calendar here.
Where: 2 6th Ave (Cellar under Roxy Hotel)
9. St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club, Williamsburg
St. Mazie is an intimate kickback that’s perfect to have casual sips and listen to good music. They have a great happy hour, an incredible oyster deal, and of course great music. The live music portion of the place is upstairs, while a restaurant awaits downstairs. They have live music every single night so be sure to check out what’s on here!
Where: 345 Grand St, Brooklyn
10. Terraza 7, Elmhurst
This live music venue and community center sources the best local jazz musicians, songwriters, folklorists, bold experimentalists, and others alike to “hangout” and exchange their knowledge and ideas to create beautiful music and art forms. Many performers here tend to fall on the Latin jazz side, but you’ll see any sort of folk or blues on any given night. The crowd is always awesome and diverse plus their food and cocktail menu is superb. See what’s happening here.
Where: 40-19 Gleane St, Queens
11. Bill’s Place, Harlem
Harlem’s music scene is well documented and Bill’s Place sits among the best. On Fridays and Saturdays you can head here and listen to saxophonist Bill Saxton and the Harlem All Stars’ play classic jazz for hours on end. The best part? It’s BYOB! Bring in your own drinks and have fun while you listen to some authentic live jazz. Check out the schedule here.
Where: 148 W 133rd St
12. Village Vanguard, Greenwich Village
The Village Vanguard has been around for over 80 years, cementing itself as one of the most iconic clubs in Greenwich Village. Famous names have come and go, and nowadays you’ll find a little bit of everything. What we always love though is going on a Monday night when you can watch the 16-piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra be the star of the show. Check out their calendar here.
Where: 178 7th Ave S
13. Minton’s Playhouse, Harlem
Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem works in tandem with The Cecil Steakhouse in order to provide a dinner/show combination like none other. The interior of the club’s walls are filled with photos of jazz legends, and the unique design, lighting, ambiance and music makes it second to none. What we suggest doing is going early to eat dinner and enjoying a show afterward, that way there’s no drink minimum and you can fully enjoy yourself! Stay tuned to their Instagram to see when new shows are announced.
Where: 206 W 118th St
14. Smalls Jazz Club, Greenwich Village
If you’re a jazz fan to your core, you need to check out Smalls at least once. This jazz club is more of a hole-in-the-wall spot rather than a dinner/show combo, so everything feels authentic. Their programming includes nightly shows and occasional jam sessions, and you can even shop jazz records here on occasion! This is the closest “immersive” jazz experience you’ll find in NYC. Check out their events here.
Where: 183 W 10th St