The Jazz music genre found its place in the industry in the early 20th century in New Orleans, United States. Since then, it’s spread like wildfire. Many big names came out of this genre such as Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong. With amazing Jazz bars and festivals around the world, It’s easy for fans of the genre to find their place.
The 1920s was when Jazz really peaked, and it took over the music scene at the time. Now entering 2020, let’s see if the roaring 20s make a come-back and bring Jazz along with it for another century of success! So, here’s a toast to prosperity and Jazz with 10 best places for live Jazz in the world.
10 New Orleans
New Orleans is where it all started! It’s the home of Jazz, meaning there is definitely no shortage of Jazz clubs here. With countless ones to choose from, The Spotted Cat Music Club seems like the place to be.
You can find this intimate Jazz club on Frenchmen Street. With 3 shows a day, 7 days a week, this is the perfect place to find entertainment with your dinner. This music club closes at 2 am, ensuring that you have available Jazz music and a drink until the late hours.
The Jazz scene in Paris is definitely present and thriving. Jazz bars are loitered over the city, making it easy to find one that appeals to you. Rue Des Lombards seems like a popular strip for live Jazz given that there are at least 3 just on this street. Duc des Lombards is a Jazz club and bar on Rue Des Lombards and has hosted many world-class artists like Ahmad Jamal and Kenny Barron. With creative cocktails, great live music, and a well-received menu, it’s definitely one of the best places to enjoy Jazz in Paris.
Montreal’s bright history with Jazz began in the 1920s. Montreal was one of the few places during the time of Prohibition where you could buy alcohol legally. Jazz bars and clubs became a popular place for jazz musicians and fans. Since then, Montreal has kept up its involvement in the Jazz scene with its countless clubs as well as the world-famous Jazz festival.
Montreal’s International Jazz festival is the largest and most famous one in the world, featuring hundreds of musicians and offering free shows for a 10-day long Jazz party, starting the last week of June. Surrounded by fellow Jazz lovers, this festival is the perfect place to hang out, hear some live Jazz and definitely meet some friends along the way.
7 New York City
New York City is home to some legendary Jazz bars and clubs that have hosted some very famous guests. With Juilliard sitting close by, the music scene in the city is perfect for anyone looking to catch a break.
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Fat Cat is a Jazz lounge in the west village. It’s definitely a must-go with its plethora of entertainment. Not only do they offer multiple live Jazz shows a night, but with pool tables, Ping-Pong and more games available, Fat Cat makes for a fun night. It’s gained a lot of attention from Jazz fanatics over the years so be ready for a lineup to get in!
6 Cape Town
Cape Town, the capital of South Africa celebrates Jazz in big ways. It’s annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival is held in March and is considered the 4th biggest Jazz festival in the world, as well as the biggest Jazz festival in the continent of Africa.
The list of Jazz-centered fun is endless in South Africa. Apart from the festival, Cape Town is home to many famous and popular Jazz clubs and restaurants such as The Piano Bar, Asoka, and West End Jazz club. Cape Town makes a great stop on any Jazz fan’s travel list.
Amsterdam has a very rich Jazz culture. The city hosts weekly Jazz concerts as well as offers a wide variety of live Jazz music through bars and cafés almost every evening. Amsterdam is also a stop for the North Sea Jazz Festival which brings well-known Jazz Musicians to multiple Dutch cities.
Bourbon Street Blues Café is a tribute to the origin of Jazz, New Orleans. With life-sized figurines of the Blues Brothers sitting on the roof, this is an obviously authentic place to enjoy some Jazz in the Netherlands.
Havana, Cuba takes soul into their own hands with their unique Afro-Cuban Jazz to offer. With Spanish guitars and Latin flare, Havana’s Jazz scene is not only thriving but is a place of community that any hardcore Jazz fan has got to experience. You’re sure to leave Havana with a deeper understanding of Jazz and a few more friends.
Jazz Café on the second floor of the Galerias Paseo Mall is the place to be for live performances. It is known for its amazing quality and live Jazz music. This Jazz club was once a place of practice for famous pianist Chucho Valdés. Get there early, this music hall fills up fast!
The Copenhagen Jazz Festival is a 10-day live Jazz event with an estimate of 1300 concerts for the upcoming 2020 dates. It starts on the first Friday of July every summer. The performances go on all day until the late hours, with about 120 venue options, including some historical and beautiful locations in Copenhagen. It is a huge event with many international, as well as local Jazz artists. Many of these performances are free, making this a great budget-friendly stop for someone visiting during the days of the festival.
Switzerland is home to the second-largest Jazz festival in the world after Montreal’s International Jazz Festival. The Montreux Jazz Festival is an annual event in early July, showcasing the newest and best Jazz talent in a series of live shows. It’s two weeks of free fun. The festival is mainly Jazz but has also hosted some other artists to diversify their event. 2019 included famous artists like Mac Demarco, Bon Iver, George Ezra and more. Stayed tuned for the 2020 lineup and get ready for a seriously soulful time.
Jakarta, Indonesia makes it possible for Jazz fans to get their live sound fix anywhere in the world. Jazz is usually associated with Europe and North America, but Jakarta puts Asia on the map for the best places to listen to Live Jazz.
Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival (JJF) is huge and arguably the largest Jazz festival in the southern hemisphere. Starting in 2005 with over 1400 artists and about 150 shows, it has only grown from there. It takes place in early March and makes for a great stop on your Asian tour.