Best Jazz and Live Music in New York

New York has some of the best jazz in the world. There are so many unique and amazing venues in the city, including legendary landmarks, modern hotel bars and hidden speakeasies that offer a diverse variety of live jazz music. I have rounded up my favorite places that New York City has to offer from Westvillage, Soho, Manhattan to Williamsburg.

BEMELMANS BAR | The Carlyle Hotel at 35 East 76th Street

Named in honor of Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the classic Madeline children’s books, Bemelmans Bar is a timeless location inside the prestigious Carlyle Hotel with nightly live entertainment. If you want to pretend you’re in a timeless, romantic and glamorous movie on the Upper East Side, this is the place to do it. The atmosphere, the people, the jazz  everything will transport you to a Woody Allen movie set in Manhattan. Famous movie director Woody Allen plays the clarinet there on Monday nights with the Eddy Davis New Orleans jazz band. Drinks and tickets are expensive but definitely worth the visit.

VILLAGE VANGUARD | 178 7th Avenue South

Located at 7th Avenue South in West Village, Village Vanguard is the oldest jazz institution in the city and has been around since 1935. “On any given night, one can descend the flight of creaky steps that lead down to the dark basement club of the Village Vanguard, whose green felt walls and other decorative trappings have remained unchanged for decades.” The atmosphere and live music is absolutely wonderful for any music lover. Although I recommend arriving at least 30 minutes before to get better seats and keep in mind that there is a one drink minimum policy. The Vanguard also discourages taking videos or photos and cell phone use of any kind.

THE DJANGO | The Roxy Hotel at 2 6th Avenue

Descend the stairs to the cave-like bar inside the famous downtown Roxy Hotel feels like you’re entering another world. The Django has been around and entertaining guests for many years with its nightly jazz concerts. The venue features different jazz groups throughout the month. This place is a great winter evening date night spot. The earlier you arrive, the better your seats during the set.

CANARY CLUB | 303 Broome Street

Start the night by dining at the cajun inspired restaurant in the Lower East Side, later head down to the basement live music speakeasy. The intimate lounge atmosphere and craft cocktails transport you straight to New Orleans. Reservations are highly recommended for the Tuesday through Saturday night performances. 

BLUE NOTE JAZZ CLUB | 131 West 3rd Street

One of the great jazz clubs in New York City.  Blue Note Jazz on 6th Avenue and 3rd in the Village has become another institution over the years. The place is very popular and is pretty much always packed, especially during the weekends and holidays. The shows are spectacular and always showcase some of the greatest music jazz has to offer. It is also worth checking out their late night sets featuring lesser known musicians. The tickets are cheaper at the bar than at the tables. 

ST. MAZIE BAR & SUPPER CLUB | 345 Grand Street, Brooklyn

Nice cozy bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn excellent for 1920s jazz and great cocktails. If you want to eat dinner while catching a show, I recommend making a reservation in advance to ensure a table. But you could also show up, sit at the bar and drink a martini. There’s live music most nights and a free garden in the back open during warm summer nights. The prices are also quite decent, which is rare in the neighborhood.