Jazz clubs in NYC: The five best bargain-priced options

Experience top-quality NYC jazz on the cheap, with our list of some of the best deals at local jazz clubs..

Photograph: Aubrey Therkelsen
The West Village's cozy Cornelia Street Café is one of the best jazz-club deals in town.

Visiting a jazz club in New York can be an expensive proposition. We've all had the experience of enduring a steep cover charge or minimum at a classy club in order to catch a marquee name. Here we present a list of some of the city's best jazz deals, for those nights when you can't afford to break the bank.

RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of jazz in New York

Bargain-priced jazz clubs in NYC

Cornelia Street Café

Critics' pick

Many a well-known bandleader has come to this West Village basement to work out new ideas in front of a small, intensely focused audience. Cover is typically $20, which thankfully includes your first drink.

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West Village

55 Bar

This comfortable prewar Christopher Street basement features music seven nights a week, ranging from hard-driving postbop to slick fusion grooves. Early sets at 6 or 7pm are free; late sets typically run you $10 to $15.

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West Village

Smalls

Critics' pick

You might encounter legendary old-timers or freshly arrived aspirants at this cozy hang; on the best nights you might even find them working together. It’s always $20 to get in, and every night but Friday and Saturday your first drink is covered by that charge too.

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West Village

The Stone

If you’ve got a taste for adventure and a hole in your pocket, head east—way east—to the Stone, John Zorn’s no-frills musical laboratory in Alphabet City. For just $10 a night (and sometimes even less), you can tap into the latest developments from the city’s storied downtown avant-garde scene. No drinks, no tchotchkes, just music.

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East Village

Barbès

This cozy French bar in Park Slope typically features all manner of folk and international musics. But jazz reigns on Wednesdays, when local reed ace Oscar Noriega hosts vanguard artists at the Palimpsestic Series; it'll cost you a measly $10 to get in.

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Park Slope

Comments

2 comments
Bobby
Bobby

How about a new Jazz group? The Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be putting out their 1st album in the bands' 50 year history on July 9th and hit NYC 2 days later. Check out their website, http://www.preservationhall.com, for more info!

Joe Bonacci
Joe Bonacci

Don't forget the SUGAR BAR at 254 W. 72 St. for the Best Bargains in Jazz.