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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..

By Time Out contributors, edited by Hank Shteamer |
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corneliastreetcafe4
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 NYC

Bargain-priced jazz clubs in NYC

Cornelia Street Cafe
Photograph: Aubrey Therkelsen
Restaurants, American

Cornelia Street Café

West Village

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.

55bar1
Zenith Richards
Bars, Lounges

55 Bar

West Village

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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Music

Smalls

West Village

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.

The Stone
Time Out, Photograph: Dominic Perri
Music, Music venues

The Stone

East Village

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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Barbès

Park Slope

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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