Cleopatra's Needle Jazz

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Late-night hangs with burning jam sessions. Formal concert venues. Underground haunts. A romantic dinner accompanied by sophisticated song and swing. Around the world, jazz can be found seven nights a week in any number of settings. In this new guide, we've selected 100 great clubs around the world, featuring contact information as well as a short description of each. So get out and see some live jazz!



In the center of Midtown Manhattan, Birdland, the "Jazz Corner of the World," books top names and offers good sight lines and acoustics. The Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band, Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra and the Duke Ellington Orchestra have regular weekly gigs here. --D.Z.

Blue Note

For 20 years, the Blue Note has built its reputation as a premier destination in New York to hear the stars of the music. Big names such as Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Nancy Wilson and B.B. King perform here regularly. In addition, local artists fill the bill on Monday nights and in late-night jam sessions. --J.K.

Cleopatra's Needle

2485 Broadway New York, NY 10025 Tel: (212) 769-6969

A lively social scene distinguishes this unpretentious neighborhood club on the Upper West Side; people convene around a horseshoe bar, enlivened by jazz from some of New York's most gregarious, post-bop piano--bass duos and trios. --H.M.


Moving from the Lincoln Center area to Times Square, Iridium traded Daliesque trappings for a slick chrome and ebony look, but the acts, from Charlie Haden's Nocturne to Roney-Allen-Stern-Bartz playing Miles to Les Paul every Monday night, remain top choice. --H.M.

Jazz Gallery

The jazz loft lives! In this intimate, out-of-the-way, art-filled second floor room, where Randy Weston, Vijay Iyer and Yosuke Yamashita have played the piano from defunct Bradley's, and conguero Dafnis Prieto debuted, bookings reflect a progressive, internationalist perspective. --H.M.

Knitting Factory

A three-story downtown grunge circus, with alt.rock or out guitarists often on the Main Stage; substantive modernism in the Old Office, up-and-comers playing late, free and wild in the Tap Bar, plus diverse multimedia. --H.M.

Oak Room at the Algonquin

A sedate and pricey cabaret that's survived the modest renovation of the legendary literary hotel in which it sits. John Pizzarelli honed his act here; exquisitely erudite song-stylists are the main course. --H.M.


All-night jam sessions with top stars showing up almost as often as emergent artists, in a smokey basement where liquor isn't served and no one seems to care. --H.M.


In a bar that was a storefront, on the upper West Side near Columbia University, students typically crowd in, intent on fine small groups. --H.M.


A simple, brick-walled ex-wine warehouse in remote downtown Manhattan with folding chairs, basic bar and a wide open stage for cutting-edge artists like John Zorn, Vernon Reid and Milford Graves. --H.M.

Village Vanguard

For more than 60 years, Max Gordon's club (now run by his widow, Lorraine Gordon) has served as a cornerstone of the New York scene. Descend down the red stairwell into the long, cozy basement jazz oasis, where the top artists in the world play week-long (sometimes two-week) stands. --J.K.


Regatta Bar

This classy, upscale hotel bar offers dynamic top-notch live jazz, both national and international, as well as blues and world. --F.B.


This dual-personality stronghold has both downstairs (a noisy, bright room with good bar food and drink) and upstairs (a darker listening, dancing and party-time room). --F.B.


This pleasant hotel room seats 180 cozily; it's great for singers, with a fine sound system, good sound men and a sturdy reputation. In addition to singers, it offers jazz, Latin and cabaret. --F.B.


Cleopatra's Needle Live Jazz