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Jazz in New York: NYC's best jazz music, jazz artists and clubs

Find jazz clubs, events, and jazz fests featuring the best jazz artists and the best jazz in New York.

Roy Hargrove

New York City has always claimed bragging rights as the jazz capitol of the world, but in recent years, New York jazz has surged in a special way. Thriving indie labels (Pi, Aum Fidelity), new festivals and series targeted at young listeners (Winter Jazzfest, OutNow Music Nights) and the continued vitality of old standbys (from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center to the Stone) have combined to restore the music's status from respectably classy to genuinely hip.

Best jazz clubs in New York City: What's on

Smalls

For those looking for an authentic jazz club experience—rather than the cheesy dinner-club vibe that prevails at too many other spots around town—Smalls is a must. The cozy basement space feels like a speakeasy, or more specifically, one of those hole-in-the-wall NYC jazz haunts of yore over which fans routinely obsess. Best of all, the booking skews retro, yet not stubbornly so: You'll hear classic hardbop as well as more adventurous, contemporary-flavored approaches.

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Jazz Standard

Renovation was just what the doctor ordered for the jazz den below restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke barbecue joint. Now the room’s marvelous sound matches its already splendid sight lines. The jazz is of the groovy, hard-swinging variety, featuring such musicians as organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, Larry Goldings and Cedar Walton.

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Village Vanguard

After 75 years, this basement club’s stage—a small but mighty step-up—still hosts the crème de la crème of mainstream jazz talent (Joe Lovano, Barry Harris, Lou Donaldson). Plenty of history has been made here: John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Bill Evans have grooved in this hallowed hall. The 16-piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra has been the Monday-night regular for more than 30 years. Doors open at 8pm.

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Blue Note

The Blue Note prides itself on being "the jazz capital of the world." Bona fide musical titans (Cecil Taylor, Charlie Haden) rub against hot young talents (the Bad Plus), while the close-set tables in the club get patrons rubbing up against each other. The Late Night Groove series and the Sunday brunches are the best bargain bets.

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Get ready for a sonic adventure, as you peruse our list of the best NYC jazz clubs showcasing cutting-edge artists. Sometimes you're looking for that classic NYC jazz-club experience, the kind you'll find at old standbys such as Village Vanguard. On other nights, though, you're feeling a little adventurous, interested in catching a promising unknown rather than a time-tested veteran. Whenever the latter mood strikes, try out one of these top incubators of up-and-coming jazz talent. RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of jazz in New York ShapeShifter Lab Jazz bassist Matthew Garrison's slick Gowanus performance space hosts nightly performances of live experimental music. During the day, the joint provides state-of-the-art rehearsal, recording and exhibition space to the neighborhood's artists. Smalls For those looking for an authentic jazz club experience—rather than the cheesy dinner-club vibe that prevails at too many other spots around town—Smalls is a must. The cozy basement space feels like a speakeasy, or more specifically, one of those hole-in-the-wall NYC jazz haunts of yore over which fans routinely obsess. Best of all, the booking skews retro, yet not stubbornly so: You'll hear classic hardbop as well as more adventurous, contemporary-flavored approaches. The Jazz Gallery This beloved haunt, one of the city's premier incubators for progressive-jazz talent, has relocated from its former Soho digs to a gallery-like space near the Flatiron Building. Cornelia Street Café This 30-

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Bob S
Bob S

Jon Batiste & Stay Human bring the best of jazz to Webster Hall on 4/19. Don't miss out!