New York’s vibrant jazz scene is the envy of the world. For decades, musicians from around the United States and abroad have convened in New York’s renowned jazz clubs. Jazz clubs attract people of all backgrounds and are locally in some of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York, including Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, and other places. New York City is widely considered as the Jazz Mecca and these five jazz clubs help maintain its status as the most premier jazz scene in the world.
All the venues listed below, prove that New York City was and will remain in the near future to be the undisputed Jazz Capital of the World.
From down the street, you can see a piano, slightly ajar, jutting out from the building. Above it a banner, in royal blue and white, is the iconic Blue Note logo with its eighth note in the middle. Inside, the scene is even more amazing. It’s feeling is intimate and the musicians can be heard clearly. The tables are compact and closely packed, instantly creating an intimate and comfortable setting to relax and enjoy the music. The club itself was founded on September 30, 1981, by the owner and founder Danny Bensusan. New York City’s premier jazz club boasts iconic performers ranging from Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, among others. The club is famous overseas as well by maintaining locations all around the globe in Japan (Tokyo and Nagoya), Italy (Milan), China (Beijing) and Slovakia (Nové Mesto nad Váhom), and elsewhere in the United States (Waikiki and Napa in Hawaii and California respectively).
Located five stories from the New York City’s always-moving energy is Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in Frederick P. Rose Hall of Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC). The iconic jazz club is sometimes considered the epicenter of the jazz scene in New York. Dizzy’s Club, the lights are turned down, the food is exquisite (and expensive). What is maybe the best part of Dizzy’s Club is the palette of musicians you are able to hear. From cool jazz, to R&B, to bebop and the blues, Dizzy’s Club really lives up to its hype.
The club itself is named after trumpeter Dizzy Gillepsie, one of the pioneers in the development of bebop and modern jazz in the 1940s alongside the alto saxophonist Charlie Parker.
The Iridium Jazz Club is easy to miss from the outside. On either side, a Mamma Mia! sign and a Stardust restaurant look much more imposing. But inside, Iridium is vibrant, far out teaching the energy in other places in New York City.
It is widely known as the “Home of Les Paul,” a now-deceased guitar legend that performed weekly at the venue. Located at 1650 Broadway, nearby Jazz at Lincoln Center, it is considered a musical landmark where with its neon signs, 180-seat capacity, and high-quality food, Iridium is a force to be reckoned with.
This club hosts some of the most renowned bands in the worlds as regular performers from the Mingus Big Band, to the Mingus Dynasty, to the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra. Located on the Lower East Side in the Rose Hill neighborhood of New York City, the Jazz Standard is owned by restaurateur†Patr Danny Meyer in the basement of one of his many Blue Smoke restaurants located around New York City.
Situated in Midtown Manhattan at 315 West 44th Street, Birdland Jazz Club is the sight to see. This coming December will mark its sixtieth anniversary since its founding in December 1949. Birdland has a rich history. Its headliner was the Charlie Parker, who alongside Dizzy Gillespie, was one of the forefront pioneers and champions of bebop and modern jazz. Consistently, jazz legends had been regulars at the iconic venue, From Count Basie to John Coltrane, the performers’ list has been nothing short of spectacular. It was at this venue that the now unforgettable George Shearing tune “Lullaby of Birdland” was originally recorded.
The clubs did not just attract jazz musicians but also household celebrities including Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra.