Jazz Clubs in New York City

New York City is the "hub" of the Jazz World. All the greats made their names here, and young up-and-comers flock to the city for the chance to prove themselves.

List maintained by Gordon Polatnick: Gordon Polatnick moved back to New York City in 1995 and was immediately bitten by the jazz bug. Soon after, he developed West Miles Disease and has been scratching that itch all over town in search of improvisational healing. Gordon invites the curious jazz novice and the aficionado to share in his thrill seeking adventures from the Village to Harlem, every night of the week.

See Jazz clubs in Brooklyn and Queens


55 Bar 55 Christopher St. (btwn. 7th Ave. So. & Waverly Place) 212-929-9883
Leni and Mike Stern hold court, also Sweet Georgia Brown, Billy Bang and Wayne Krantz. $5-15 cover and 2 drink min. Weeknight shows begin at 7pm and 10pm. Early show Friday and Saturday are at 6pm. Friday and Saturday late shows begin at 10pm (9:30pm on Sunday). Get there early because the club is small and Mike Stern et al packs them in. Expect a $15 cover on Mike Stern nights.

Arthur's Tavern 57 Grove St. (N.W. corner of Grove and 7th Ave. South at Sheridan Square) 212-675-6879
Since 1937. Longest continually run jazz club in NYC. No cover charge. Jazz: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Dixieland jazz: 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Blues and R&B from 9 p.m. - 3 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 p.m. - 3 a.m. Sunday and Monday. The Creole Cooking Jazz Band, Grove Street Stompers and Sweet Georgia Brown have been playing here weekly forever, and for good reason: they rock the house.

Birdland 315 West 44th Street (btwn. 8th and 9th) 212-581-3080
All show times: 9:00 and 11:00 P.M. (with early 5:30 tribute sets added to the Mon., Tues. and Fri. schedules). Music charge varies, $20-35. There is a $10 food/drink minimum per person at the tables. At the bar, the music charge includes one drink. Sundays belong to Arturo O'Farrill's Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band, Mondays have been reserved for the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin for the later sets, and now every Monday from 5:30 - 7:30pm - The Art Blakey Jazz Messenger's Revue perform. Tuesdays typically go to The Famous Duke Ellington Orchestra directed by Paul Mercer Ellington with early sets at 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. showcasing David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Centennial Band. From Wednesday - Saturday expect the best in local and internationally touring artists. Just added: Every Friday from 5:30 - 7:30pm - Lew Anderson's All American Big Band. All will enjoy the excellent sightlines to the stage.

Blue Note 131 W. 3rd St (btwn. 6th Ave. & MacDougal St.) (212) 475-8592
Opened in 1981, the Blue Note is arguably the world's most popular jazz club. World renown talent take the stage for six day runs, with Mondays usually reserved for excellent local talent. Two sets are 9:00 and 11:30. Prices are $35 for table reservations + minimum, or $25 cover at the bar. There is $5.00 cover charge for the Friday and Saturday late night jam sessions. Sunday brunch served Noon - 6 PM. Show times at 1:00 PM and 3:30 PM.

Blue Water Grill 31 Union Square West (Corner West 16th St.) (212) 675-9500
Fine restaurant with live jazz booked for downstairs dining area. Call for reservations. No cover, but meals are high end. Website does not mention who's playing, indicating that the jazz is an afterthought. That is, they don't book musicians who are in a position to complain if the audience noise level starts to peak. Call for performance calendar.

Cleopatra's Needle 2485 Broadway (btwn. 92nd & 93rd) 212-769-6969
Music from 9 pm - 4 am. No cover. $10. min. per set. Eclectic menu, big screen sports and weekly showcases, featuring Eric Lewis Trio on Mondays. And nightly open jams from 2 am - 4 am. Jazz vocalists open mic every Sunday 1 to 5 pm.

Dizzy's Club 10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019 212-258-9595
In the Spirit of Swing.The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for Jazz through performance,education and advocacy.Time : 7:30pm & 9:30pm.Late night session : 11:30pm, Tues-Sat.Only Age above 7 are allowed.Price : Mon–Thu, Sun: $20-$40 Fri–Sat: $40-$45.Each person is responsible for a $10 food and beverage minimum.

Fat Cat 75 Christopher Street (at 7th Ave. South) (212) 675-6056
This club is "around the corner pocket" from Smalls and features billiards and jazz. $10 admission for 6 hours of music from 10pm-4am Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Fat Cat is the little brother of Smalls and features a similar posture and roster. It has reopened after wrinkles have been ironed out, check it out and tell us what you think.

Fez under Time Cafe 380 Lafayette St. (at Great Jones Street)212-533-7000
Every Thursday Night: Mingus Big Band. Doors Open at 8:30 & 11 pm with sets at 9:30 & 11:30. Cover: $18. Late show is $10 for students with valid ID. Mingus Big Band features the bad boys of New York's big band players.

Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street) (212) 423-3500
Fridays and Saturdays 5 - 8 PM. Worldbeat jazz program. After viewing the exhibits and collections, relax with a cocktail in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda and enjoy music that reflects both classic jazz and international musical influences. Museum tickets: Adults $12; Students and Seniors (with valid ID) $8; Children under 12 Free; Members Free.

Iridium 1650 Broadway (at 51st St) 212-582-2121
Top internationally known artists play six day runs, and Les Paul Trio every Monday. Sets: Mon. - Thurs. 8:30 and 10:30. Fri. & Sat 3rd Set at Midnight. Minimum cover charge: $20.00. $10.00 Drink Min.

Jazz Gallery 1160 Broadway, 5th floor New York, NY 10001 (646) 494-3625
A second floor jazz art and artist showcase. Call ahead for events. Most nights sets begin at 9:00 and 10:30 for a $10 cover charge. Monday's feature Frank Lacy's 14 Piece "Vibe Tribe." A recent series of concerts features duo performances of four hands on one piano. This and other Jazz Gallery performance series are funded in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, Presenting Program. Also featured is a Sunday series of concerts on the river aboard the historic ferry "Yankee" moored at Pier 25 directly at the foot of North Moore Street.

Jazz Standard 116 East 27th St (btwn. Lexington and Park Ave South) (212) 576-2232
A finely appointed basement club with 130 seats featuring straight ahead jazz artists. Sets at 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. weekdays; 8:00, 10:30 and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays; and 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Sundays. COVER: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Sunday $18 + $10 min. Student discount: half price cover on the second set, if not sold out. Friday and Saturday $25 + $10 min. Student discount: half price cover on the midnight set, if not sold out. A street level lounge and restaurant, 27 Standard, also features jazz at with no cover charge, nightly.

Jules Bistro 65 St. Marks Pl. (btwn. 1st & 2nd Aves.) 212-477-5560
A friendly, and casual French bistro with some outdoor seating, great food and abundant wine selection, and a deep love of jazz. Jazz nightly starting at 9:00 on weekdays and 11:00 on weekends. No cover. Jean Michel Pilc and other noteworthy artists perform here. Sunday jazz brunch starts at 12:00 and goes till 3:00.

Knickerbocker Saloon 33 University Place (at 9th St.) 212-228-8490
Opened in 1978. $5.00 minimum on food or drink -- specializing in gigantic steaks. Jazz music presented Wed. through Sat. Often featuring legends with stars as bright as Sir Roland Hanna, Junior Mance, Mulgrew Miller, Billy Drummond, and Earl May. This is the last hold out in an area that was once a Golden Triangle of informal jazz haunts including the venues: The Village Gate, Bradleys and The Cookery.

Knitting Factory 74 Leonard St. (btwn. Broadway & Church St.) (212) 219-3006
This is the granddaddy long legs of "downtown jazz" venues -- featuring a genre bending blend of envelope pushing and utterly deserving acts on several intimate stages throughout the deceptively vast complex. There are too many shows to mention so just go to their web site calendar or call them directly to attain schedule and ticket information.

Metronome: Jazz Lounge 915 Broadway (Corner of 21st St.) 212-505-7400
Music showcased: Wed. to Sat. 7:00 - 11:00. No cover - Enjoy a swanky downtown setting and menu while you enjoy a good mix of the city's talented performers. Find out what night Danny Mixon is playing before booking your reservations.

Smalls Live 183 West 10th Street (at 7th Avenue) +1 646-476-4346
Open: 10 pm - 8 am. Smalls has at least 3 bands nightly. 10 hrs. of jazz on weekdays, 12 hrs of jazz on friday, saturday and sunday. Cover just $10. Stay as long as you like. Self serve free non-alcoholic beverages at the bar or bring your own. Early bird free show on Saturdays at 7:30. Keep an eye out for regular sax phenom, Myron Walden.

Smoke 2751 Broadway (at 106th St) 212-864-6662
Picking up where Augie's (its forerunner) left off, Smoke has developed into a hip and casually swank jazz joint with the chops and personalities to recommend it to serious fans of NY jazz. Sets at 9, 11, 12:30. Bar closes at 4:00. $10 drink tickets serve as the cover charge. Big name acts could cost quite a bit more, and reservations are a must on those special occasions. Monday and Thursday night jam sessions encourages vocalists and players to step up. 10:00pm Monday Jam Session hosted by John Farnsworth & special guests. Late Night Thursday Jam Session hosted by Joel Frahm - >From 1:30 am until 4 am.

Swing 46 349 W. 46th Street (btwn. 8th & 9th Aves.) 212-262-9554
Swing dance & supper club. Featuring Live Bands - Swing & Jump Blues 7 Nights a week. Each night there is a dance lesson at 9:15 pm followed by a live swing band. Sunday - Wednesday the ticket price is $7. Thursday - Saturday it's $12. Suggested dress code - no jeans or sneakers and Jackets are not required. Sundays have featured early evening tap classes: Legendary hoofer, Buster Brown's "Crazy Tap Jam," 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Village Vanguard 178 Seventh Ave. (near 11th St.) 212-255-4037
Sets: Sunday - Thursday 9:30 and 11:30, Friday and Saturday 9:30, 11:30, and 1:30. Monday nights, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, established by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis over 33 years ago continues their big band tradition. Sunday - Thursday: $25.00 at the door (includes $15.00 admission plus a $10.00 drink minimum). On Friday and Saturday: $30.00 at the door (includes $20.00 admission plus a $10.00 drink minimum). The Vanguard opened its doors in 1935 and is the archetypal Greenwich Village jazz club which has the right vibes and an excellent booking policy. Catch pianist Tommy Flanagan here for a perfect jazz night out.

Zinc Bar 82 West 3rd Street (btw Thompson & Sullivan) 212-477-8337
Open 7 days, 6pm-2:30am on weeknights, and till 3am on weekends. $5 cover and a one drink min. Weekly theme nights dominate the schedule. Monday showcases the guitar trio of Ron Affif at 8:00 and 9:00. Featured bands play 3 sets Mon. -Thurs. at 10:30, 12, and 2:00. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are jazz nights, while Thursdays are Latin, Fridays are African and Saturdays are Brazilian Bossa Nova. Fri. and Sat. the first set starts at 11. Sundays bring poetry readings at 6:30, and Brazilian Samba groups into the night. A lounge exists in back for your smoky comfort.

List maintained by Gordon Polatnick: Gordon Polatnick moved back to New York City in 1995 and was immediately bitten by the jazz bug. Soon after, he developed West Miles Disease and has been scratching that itch all over town in search of improvisational healing. Gordon invites the curious jazz novice and the aficionado to share in his thrill seeking adventures from the Village to Harlem, every night of the week.

Big Apple Jazz Tours