New York City Jazz Clubs

One of the best part of being in college is being opened up to new experiences and other cultures. Jazz is a genre that most don’t know how to appreciate until they are older, and college is the perfect time to start learning how to listen to it. Whether you are looking for a fresh place to find a drink or get exposure to an array of jazz clubs New York City is the place to be. City Walker has picked out some of the best to help you get started.

Jazz club in New York City

Birdland

Known for having great, well-known musicians and a cool vibe. The quality of the food can vary, but the drinks are good. The cover price to get in is a little much, but Charlie Parker’s music is alive and well here.

Blue Note 

This legendary jazz club provides great lineups filled with unique acts you won’t see anywhere else in the city, such as Lee Ritenour and Roy Hargrove Big Band. The experience is paired with a wonderful wine and cheese option, as well as many dessert options to satisfy any sweet tooth. A word to the wise, if you want to get a good seat, show up early because this club packs people in.

Iridium 

Rare to the city, this basement jazz club is known for having a friendly and accommodating staff. With a long standing association with Les Paul, Iridium is one of the few clubs that still draws big name acts. It is worth fighting through the Time Square traffic for a night out.

Jazz Standard 

Etienne Charles, Mingus Big Band, and the Russell Malone Quartet are just a few of the fantastic musicians that can be seen here. The service is nothing to brag about, but despite getting the occasional order, the food is so good you won’t be disappointed. This cozy, intimate jazz club will send you home in a swingin’ mood.

Smalls 

A no frills, old time club with exclusive midnight jam sessions that are perfect for classic jazz lovers. There is a $20 cover charge, which is lower than most clubs in the city. Shows can go until 4:00 am with audience jams so bring your instrument.

New music is a great way to start a conversation with your roommate or friends and when the parties with EDM and house music start to lose their appeal, find one of these clubs and experience a different culture. Jazz music is all about learning the rules so that you can break them. It is experimental and carefree. Learning to operate in this way can benefit your academics and career after college. Once you learn the rules you know how to push beyond them. This can help when you need to think creatively to write a paper, or to find a new angle for a project at work that may be unconventional, yet groundbreaking.

This mentality can be taken to everyday life and allow you to step outside of your comfort zone. Jazz music, especially impromptu jam sessions, can teach you about being in the moment, and working with what you have. When you are playing with a group of people and aren’t working from a practised piece of music you have to listen to each other and just go with whatever happens. In life you can’t always control a situation and being able to relinquish control and run with a new situation without getting frazzled is a really useful skill.

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