A note about Harlem: If you're not hesitant regarding New York City in general, you need not be
hesitant about Harlem.
If you're not sure, take
a big apple jazz tour and see for yourself.
HARLEM CLUBS (and points north) Listings below in Bold print are known to book primarily jazz music nightly. All others are known to book jazz less frequently. They are
listed here for your convenience.
449 LA Scat (212) 234-3298
449 Lenox Ave.
(132nd / 133rd) Great
neighborhood art gallery, cafe, and jazz scene. Check out the jazz on
Thursdays through Sundays.. Call for other events. $10 cover
charge includes Sangria and other beverages and snacks. Thursday 6-9,
Friday 9-Until..., Saturday night
8-until.;Sundays two bands: 1PM-3PM and 4-8PM. Now
featuring a great piano donated by Melody Breyer-Grell by way of EZ's
Woodshed. The regular calendar features the super segueing sounds of
pianist David Durrah, and multi-talented Atiba Kwabena's Befo Quotet.
Aaron Davis Hall CCNY
Now known as: Harlem Stage: The Gatehouse, Marian
Anderson Theater, Theater B and Studio C
(212) 281-9240 X19
150 Convent Ave.
(At W. 135th St.)
Call or check online for event schedules.
CCNY campus on Sugar Hill in Harlem is the home of this state of the art
American Legion Post (Col. Charles
248 W. 132nd St.
(7th / 8th) The
free Sunday evening jam session begins 7:30 P.M. until the
hall closes at midnight. The kitchen serves up a heaping plateful of
reasonably priced and delicious soul food. And the warm weather
months are enjoyed on a beautiful back patio. Seleno Clarke keeps the
spirit of defunct jazz club, La Famille, alive with his tasteful licks on
Hammond B-3 organ and an international quartet of sidemen help anchor the
weekly jam session. The drink prices are by far the best in town, and
the familial atmosphere is even better than that. Jazz music has been
added on Wednesday (fish fry) nights with Jason Marshall's Quartet;
and Thursday nightswith a midweek Hammond B3 session with Ray
Blue and Greg Lewis. Note: You are required to
sign a guest book as you enter, but there is never a cover charge or
minimum. Seating is very limited so early arrivals are rewarded - if
you do take a table please do support the venue by ordering something from
the bar or kitchen. If you're a musician be prepared to sit in.
Friday and Saturday nights are for dancing to the classic soul records, but
no live music.
(212) 531-5300 X 305 for info
(212) 749-5838 for box office
(212) 531-5337 for tour
253 W. 125th St.
( 7th / 8th Aves.)
Apollo doesn't book much jazz these days, but they do present some wonderful
events like A Great Night in Harlem benefit and are a big part of the Harlem
Jazz Shrines Festival started in 2011. The legendary Wednesday
Amateur Night is still a strong draw though. The Saturday night
TV version of the same has been cancelled, but the live show is where
it's always been since Ella Fitzgerald won the competition in
1934. She had originally intended to go on stage and dance,
but, intimidated by the Edward Sisters, a local dance duo, she opted to
sing instead. She sang Hoagy Carmichael's "Judy" and "The Object of My
Affection," a song recorded by the Boswell Sisters, and won the first
prize of $25.00. Take the tour of the Apollo with Billy Mitchell
by reservation. There are also tours available from Big Apple Jazz Tours that
start from in front of the Apollo every Sunday and cover the legendary jazz
history of the area with lots of live music to enjoy.
Arka Lounge (212) 567-9425
(192nd / 191st)
Not sure if they still have live Latin Jazz. Certainly plenty of DJ
sounds. Call ahead for upcoming events.
A Touch of Dee:
657-659 Malcolm X Boulevard
(Lenox - corner of 143rd Street)
No cover, low-rent local jam in a neighborhood pub. It doesn't get any
more organic than this. Every other Thursday from 8 - 11PM. See
Sheldon Sweeper, Keith "The Captain" Gamble, Roger Anderson, Leeolive
Tucker, and all the usual suspects mix it up for 3 hours of pure Harlem old
2252 First Ave
Awash Ethiopian Restaurant
947 Amsterdam Ave.
(at 106th -- Duke Ellington Blvd.)
Jazz performers periodic Fridays.
Call in advance for their latest schedule.
(212) 281-2336 or 212 876-9300
458 W 145th St (Amsterdam / Convent Avenues)
Live music on the weekends -- sometimes jazz sometimes R&B, etc. The
setting in an elegant Sugar Hill brownstone is pure Harlem -- and a great
place to experience Creole inspired dishes by the folks who hit a grand slam
along with their MoBay Restaurants in Brooklyn and Central Harlem.
Friday nights feature crawfish boils, Saurdays are BBQ - all you can
eat for $20. And check the calendar for Speakeasy nights with great
jazz and blues. Closed on Mondays through Thursdays for private
Big Apple Jazz / EZ's
WoodshedRIP - Closed July 2008:
(212) 283-JAZZ (5299)
for more information and tour information please call 718 606-8442
2236 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (7th Ave)
(131st / 132nd) youtube page Open7 days a week with jazz from 2PM - no cover and no minimum. Up to 3
bands and 9 sets daily. EZ's Woodshed is our own establishment in the
back of the Big Apple Jazz Store and Cafe, located down the street from the
legendary "Corner", where the mystical Tree of Hope once stood. EZ's
is a "Day Club," that offers you an opportunity to hear great local jazz
during the daytime. Musicians show up to sit in or promote their night
gigs and cd's.
You may come by when a living legend stops by to play
or hang out. Consider this your jazz home away from home. The
store carries all the essential cd's that were recorded live in local New York clubs, and
independent cd's by the best NY musicians. If you're
looking for the next Miles, Mingus and Monk, or Billie, Betty, and Bobbi,
all roads lead to EZ's Woodshed. We also carry a wonderful selection
of local jazz-themed art in our gallery and less expensive framed or rolled
posters of vintage concerts from NY's legendary clubs and
And you have to try our Bebop Coffee, Swing Potato Pie and other pastry
delights. No cover charge. Great hand-crafted wood interior design by master
woodworkers: Michael T. Stevens and Matthew Erickson. Open daily from
10:30 - 8:30 (11:30PM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays). And check out Chris Wallace's remarkable hand-carved
sign and jazz portraits of Nina and Dizzy.
148 W133rd Street
(Lenox and AC Powell Jr. Blvd.)
(212) 281-0777 I
am very proud to be able to tell you of the most authentic Harlem jazz venue
to open up on 133rd Street since a 17 year old Billie Holiday was discovered
here 8 decades ago. If you really want to hear great,
nonsense straight ahead jazz by the masters, you'll find your way to this
finely decorated brownstone at 148 W133rd Street. Your host is Harlem
legend and bad ass saxist, Bill Saxton, who performs every
Friday and Saturday. If
the Big Apple Jazz stamp of approval means anything at all, it should
eventually help make Bill's Place the most worshipped weekend jazz scene in
the city. Two sets per night at 9 and 11
for a $20 cash cover. Some refreshments served and you can bring your
own as well.
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
(110th Street at 5th Ave. in Central Park)
A diverse weekly music festival ensues every summer for free. Sundays
from 2-4PM . Great music in a great setting. Check link for details.
On the body of water known as the Harlem Meer. Beautiful.
2056 2nd Ave.
- RIP - 2007 (212) 234-2357
547 W 145th St
(Amsterdam / Broadway) Sunday
gospel brunch is very popular in this neighborhood favorite.
Also live jazz dinner shows on Fridays and Saturdays.
The cuisine is Southern Soul. Closed Mondays.
Check their schedule by phone or web.
The Cotton Club
656 West 125th Street
(West of Broadway) This is not the original Harlem Cotton Club, which moved to midtown and
finally closed decades ago. The current Cotton Club is at the gateway
to Sugar Hill, way on the west side of 125th Street. Set up largely for groups
and rented out for private parties, they do bring back the heyday of the
Harlem swing tradition with a full size big band and vocalists. Buffet dinner & Jazz show
Friday & Saturday
evenings featuring Ann Sinclair. Monday and Wednesday
is Swing Dance Night. Doors open 8pm-12 midnight. $15 music charge. Gospel brunch at 12
and 2:30 on Saturday and Sunday. Call ahead to find out what's in
store for you.
2167 3rd Ave.
(118th Street) Great
Creole cuisine by way of New Orleans and music from around
8PM - 12AM - check schedule for music nights - also check their website to find out the cover charges and
minimums and the music policy for the night in question. Expect to
find a lively scene with good food, live music in a fine looking Spanish
Harlem restaurant/club. Tuesdays and Fridays are
consistently great with the celebrated jazz guitarist,
JC Stylles, on Tuesdays, and decidedly
heroic drum master, Killer Ray Appleton, leading a fine quartet on Fridays.
2150 5th Ave
(131st /132nd St.)
Check their schedule online to keep up with their jazz offerings. This
is a nicely appointed neighborhood hang, with a good menu and a lot of
spirit. (This is the former location of Gishen Cafe).
Duffie's Place Bar & Lounge
2361 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd
(7th Avenue @ 138th Street)
Presents Sunday Brunch Buffet. With Live Jazz 12pm - 3pm.
Open Mic 2-3pm. $10.00 Music Charge. Includes: Delicious Free Buffet.
EZ's Woodshed RIP - Closed July 2008:
(212) 283-JAZZ (5299)for more information and
tour information please call 718 606-8442
2236 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (7th Ave)
(131st / 132nd) Jazz from 2PM - no cover and no minimum. Up to
3 bands and 8 sets daily. EZ's
Woodshed is our own establishment in the back of the Big Apple Jazz Boutique
and Cafe, located down the street from the legendary "Corner," where
Tree of Hope once stood. EZ's is a
"Day Club," that offers you an opportunity to hear great local jazz during
the daytime. Musicians show up to sit in or promote their night gigs
and cd's. You may come by when a living legend stops by to play or
hang out. Consider
this your jazz home away from home. The store carries all the
essential cd's that were recorded live in local New York clubs, and the
largest selections of independent cd's by currently gigging NY musicians.
If you're looking for the next Miles, Mingus and Monk, or Billie, Betty, and
Ella, all roads lead to EZ's Woodshed. We also carry a wonderful
selection of local jazz-themed art in our gallery and less expensive framed
or rolled posters of vintage concerts from NY's legendary clubs and
performers. And you have to try our Bebop Coffee, Swing Potato Pie and
other pastry delights. No cover charge. Great hand-crafted wood design
by master woodworkers: Michael T. Stevens and Matthew Erickson.
Open daily from 10:30 - 8:30. Thursday, Friday and Saturday
nights we have
EZ's Evenings, with sets from 8:30PM - 11:00PM for a small cover
charge and no minimum. While you're here, don't forget to check out
Chris Wallace's remarkable hand-carved EZ's Woodshed sign, and Nina and
Dizzy portraits in wood.
EZ's Woodshed on
Ginny's Supper Club at Red Rooster Harlem
310 Lenox Ave
(W125th / W126th St.)
Currently the swankiest best kept secret of the Harlem jazz scene.
Local and internationally known talent are filling up the schedule in this
subterranean speakeasy. Tickets range in price from $10-$30.
Upstairs at Red Rooster's bar the music is free and swinging. Gospel
brunch offered on Sundays.
Now the Den. RIP
2150 5th Ave.
(131st / 132nd) Please
stay tuned to this site to keep up with the current status of this club.
We are not certain what their jazz policy is at this time.
Grill RIP 2007
2247 Adam Clayton Powell
Jr. Blvd (7th Ave)
(132 St / 133 St.)
Fine dining and live jazz one night a week. More info to come.
2153 Frederick Douglass Bvld
(NW corner 116th and Frederick Douglass Blvd. - 8th Ave.)
Jazz and New Orleans on Tuesday and Wednesday nights
respectively at this new beer garden located right on top of the C/B subway
line at 116th Street. Weekend brunches feature jazz as well.
Be prepared for a nice, loud party scene with plenty of big screen TV's and
a great selection of beers, cocktails, wine and interesting dishes.
For music lovers, ask to be seated at tables by the band or at the north
section of the bar. Big Apple Jazz Presents some of the
Tuesday and Wednesday night artists so you know the bookings will
be excellent. Check the calendar listings online. No cover / no
Stage: The Gatehouse, Marian Anderson Theater, Theater B and Studio C
(212) 281-9240 X19
150 Convent Ave.
(At W. 135th St.)
Call or check online for event schedules.
CCNY campus on Sugar Hill in Harlem is the home of this state of the art
Harlem Tap RIP (with
West 149th Street / Just West of St. Nicholas
One-of-a-kind tap and improv music jam in the tiny but superbly decked out
tap studio of married international celebrities, Omar Edwards and Dormeshia
Sumbry-Edwards. Bring your shoes or your axe or just come to party.
All night on most Saturdays from 9 until the sun soon comes up.
Hideaway Cocktail Lounge
(SE Corner 147th and Broadway) Local
lounge with a great neighborhood vibe and no cover charge.
Check in advance to see if live music is still being offered.
House in Harlem - RIP -
20 East 127th Street (Langston Hughes Place)
(5th / Madison)
(212) 866-3616 A moveable fiesta Call
the above number to see who's on...for now the web page is gone. Jazz Mobile offers free summer concerts in NYC neighborhoods
MondaythroughFriday and around historic landmarks (such as Grant's Tomb
every Wednesday and Marcus Garvey Park every Friday). The quality and renown of the
players is invariably high. This is Jazz Mobile's 4th decade and it's still New
York's best kept secret. It doesn't get more real than this. Even with this
notice, you will see 99% New Yorkers at these gigs, although visitors are more than
Jazz Museum in Harlem
104 East 126th Street. #2C
(Park / Lexington Avenues)
The Jazz Museum in Harlem proudly announces a new bi-weekly series, "HARLEM
SPEAKS." The series will be held at the museum's offices from
6:30pm-8:00pm on alternating Thursdays, starting on May 6th. Honorees
include Harlem-based songstress Melba Joyce, whose artistry has been praised
by Louis Armstrong and countless other peers (May 6th); the superb pianist
Danny Mixon, musical director of the Lenox Lounge (May 20th); Mr. Alvin
Reed, Sr., proprietor of the acclaimed Harlem jazz club and restaurant, the
Lenox Lounge (June 3);and Joe Gayles, saxophonist with Dizzy Gillespie's
1947 band (June 17th, 2004). Keep in touch with the current honorees
by calling or visiting their website.
812 W. 181st Street
(Corner of Pinehurst)
Jesse's is a bar/restaurant/lounge with live jazz Sunday's 12 - 3 for a jazz
brunch. Expect to find instrumental duets with a rotating roster of
local talent. No cover and no minimum.
Now Called Zip Code, JAZZ on TUESDAYS - Now
2207 7th Ave
(Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd)
(130th / 131st)
Fine dining restaurant/bar on street level. Live music lounge upstairs has private
and public events, so it's best to call in advance. Jimmy's is the best example of
catering to a new vision of Harlem that subscribes to a current aesthetic of glamour,
comfort and service. When you walk in your first impression is "New York,"
and not necessarily "Harlem."
Judi's Bar and Lounge
2308 7th Ave. (Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd)
(135th / 136th Streets)
Call ahead to see if there will be music playing at Judi's like the Hammond
organ nights they used to do.
The Lenox Lounge RIP in historic
location--soon may reopen at 333 Lenox Ave (212) 427-0253
288 Lenox Ave.
(124th / 125th Sts.) Recently
renovated to its 1939 art deco splendor. The Zebra Room in back has a
baby grand piano, tiled floors and leather banqueted booths and is one of the
finest looking jazz spaces in town. Local jazz legends booked on
weekends with a $20 cover charge and $16 drink minimum per set. The
Sets are 8:30 and 10:30. Monday
nights with Patience Higgins and the Sugar Hill Jazz Quartet or Eric Wyatt's
band with the jam following and heating up till 2:30 AM. Tuesdays
feature vocalist, Sweet Georgia Brown, the last of the red hot mammas.
Wednesday has the remarkable Nathan Lucas organ quartet from 8:00-12:00.
Thursday Urban and R & B covers with Fred McFarland. Sundays
vocal jam session gets cooking at 7:00 PM and goes till 11:00 PM
led by the great pianist Lafayette Harris. Southern style cooking
served. After hours jam sessions with Harlem legends Bill Saxton and
Greg Bandy were added in 2011 Friday and Saturdays after midnight.
Legendary comedian Paul Mooney is featured monthly.
2620 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
(139th / 140th Streets) Harlem's long standing fine
southern dining establishment, Londel's has been
featuring great food nightly and great jazz/blues Fridays and Saturdays. Sets
at 8, 9 and 10 in newly renovated bar with patio seating. Reservations are accepted. The
bands tend to be trios and quartets of local heroes such as Kathy Farmer,
Captain Keith Gamble, Brandon Sanders, with the occasional delight of
hearing Walter Blanding, Chip Crawford, Eric Wyatt or Tia Fuller sitting in. Closed Mondays.
Luci’s Cocktail Lounge 2306 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
(124th / 123rd )
Luci's is home to The legendary Harlem Renaissance Orchestra. Every Monday night
this 17 piece swing band kicks into high gear from 9:30 to 12:30 hosted by Berta Indeed Productions
(212 769-8275). The sliding scale cover charge of $7 for seniors and
students / $10 for wage earners, includes a free hot buffet. And on Thursday it is Club Luci's Jazz Night, with Russlan Khain on
bass and his trio. Call 646.548.0199 for further information.
Currently rethinking their music policy.
Stop by and mention that you're a jazz fan, and encourage them to give it
Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market
52 West 116th Street
(5th Ave. / Malcolm X Blvd)
Jam at the market.
JAZZ CONCERT & JAM SESSION EVERY SATURDAY 1:00PM -3:30PM
and the Satchmo Mannan Band
Malcolm Shabazz Mosque
102 West 116th Street at Lenox Av
at the confluence of Malcolm X Blvd. and St. Nicholas Avenue
Jazz on Friday nights featuring great local talent and the tradition of
cutting contests continues here but few other places in the city. A
buffet dinner and jazz show in the Malcolm Shabazz Mosque is about $25.
Shows begin in the early evening around 7:30PM and no alcohol is served for
obvious reasons. Make sure to check out unsung uptown hero and
Ellington protégé, Alvin Wink Flythe on sax.
The Miller Theater
(Columbia Univ. campus)
116th and Broadway
The Theatre's entrance is on the
northeast corner of 116th Street and Broadway.
The Miller presents a music series led by the talented jazz pianist Eric
Reed and special guest artists as they bring to light lesser known yet
unprecedented voices of Jazz composition. $30 per show, well worth the
price. Last season, the music of Elmo Hope, James Black, and Eric Dolphy was explored by the city's finest musicians.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
206 W 118th
(7th / St.
Nicholas Ave.) Minton's Playhouse is unique in the history of Harlem Jazz. It is
known as the Birthplace of Bebop, where jam sessions during the recording
musicians' strike of the early 1940's evolved the new style of jazz from
players like Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke,
Oscar Pettiford, and Charlie Christian. Re-opened in October of 2013
and re-modeled in glorious splendor the new Minton's is a chic (jackets
required) room with an elegant menu ($90 prix-fixe required on all days but
Sunday). Music is provided by a house band configured in duos, trios,
and quartets of established jazz stalwarts steeped in American jazz history.
Call for reservations, and schedules.
210 W 118th
(7th / St.
RE-OPENING DAY HAS COME - May 19, 2006. There
will be music up to 7 nights a week in the style of the proprietor's last foray
into uptown jazz: St. Nick's Pub. St. Nick's Pub is still going strong
up on 149th Street (see listing below), but patrons wishing to revisit the
heyday can try finding it at Minton's Playhouse, where they will see weekly
performances by Jack Jeffers, Eli Fountaine, Gerald Hayes,
Patience Higgins and tap dancer, Omar Edwards, along with their groups. SundaythoughTuesday will have no cover charge.
Wednesday – Saturday: $10 Cover/ 2 Drink minimum. Show times:
Sunday Starting at 9PM. Monday-Friday starting at 10PM.
Seating First Come First Served -- Bar opens at 3PM. NOTE: Big Apple Jazz is running a Harlem
tour including Minton's Playhouse and other hidden jazz haunts that continue
to excite audiences in ways that downtown clubs have been trying to emulate
for the past 80 years. Call Gordon for tour reservations and details: 212 283-JAZZ. and visit
LATEST NEWS for Minton's: As of 9/2/13 it is reported that Dick Parsons'
Minton's will open in mid-October 2013. See listing above.
Mo Bay RIP 2012
17 W. 125th Street
( 5th / Lenox) Music from 8:30 - 12:00 on Tuesdays through Sundays, in
the lounge of this
fine Jamaican restaurant newly opened in Harlem. Gospel brunches
from 11 - 5 on Sundays and dinner music after that till 10PM. Please check their website for
menus and entertainment updates. The food is so good and the
atmosphere is so lively, you'll have a great time every time.
National Jazz Museum of Harlem
(212) 348-8300 58 W 129th St, (Lenox / 5th Ave)
Open Mon, Wed-Fri 10am-4pm; Tue 10am-8:30pm
Coming "soon" to 125th street across from the Apollo in Harlem. Check their website for updates and further
information on museum plans. In the meantime, enjoy a weekly array of
activities from live archiving interviews with NY's jazz elite, jazz movies,
concerts, lectures and fund raising events. Also, check out their
visitors center, and Savory Collection of rare recordings from the golden
age of jazz. This promises to be the most important jazz
institution in the world, which will accommodate visitors seeking out the
jazz history of Harlem in a way that's never been accomplished on this scale
before and is way overdue. Events currently take place in several
venues throughout Manhattan so check ahead for addresses.
New Amsterdam Musical Association
107 West 130th Street,
(Lenox / 7th), The nation’s oldest Black musical association has its weekly jam session on
Monday nights from 7:30PM - 11:30PM, and all are welcome. The organization
dates back 100 years and has a storied history that includes some of the
biggest names in jazz including Jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson, Eubie
Blake, Sonny Greer, Zutty Singleton, Dicky Wells, Count Basie and many great players who
never became household names. The association is located in the same
brownstone that it has occupied since the 1930's. Join tenor saxist,
Willie Mack, 73, the group's premier teacher, and John E. Johnson,
President of NAMA for other activities helping to pass jazz in Harlem into
the hands of the next generation of players.
New Leaf Café
1 Margaret Corbin Drive,
Fort Tryon Park
(Take the A train to 190th Street)
(Plenty of parking)
New Leaf is literally the most hidden jazz haunt in Manhattan and therefore
most romantic. Even having the address doesn't begin to help you find
this charming depression era stone cottage in the midst of Manhattan's
lovely Fort Tryon Park high above the city (in elevation as well as
streetwise). Look for it down the road from the Cloisters Museum.
Check website for jazz events.
"A Different Planet Lands in East Harlem." This is a great
neighborhood hang with an excellent menu and some very fine entertainment
and wonderful decor. Please call in advance for reservations and to
keep up with their live music schedule. There is a bar for those not
choosing to enjoy a meal. No cover charge. Open till the wee
Paris Blues 212-864-9110
2021 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (7th Ave)
(Corner 121st St.) All
roads lead to Paris Blues. Nightly music that always allows for guest
musicians sitting in at later sets means the atmosphere is inviting and the
vibe is loose. Opened as a bar (1969), it has evolved in recent years
as a prime spot for Harlem regulars (fans and musicians) to hang and play
jazz ranging from Hard Bop with the Melvin Vines, Charles Davis, Jr, et. al. making up the Harlem Jazz Machine
on Fridays; and Bop Grooves with Les
Goodson, Don Pate, Marcus Persiani, Victor Wise making up the Intergalactic
Voodoo Jazz Groove Hooptidoo Band on Wednesdays; Tyrone Govan's Top Secret
holds down R&B, Jazz, and Blues on Thursdays, and John
Cooksey swings with his Spontaneous Combustion quartet on Mondays with
Marvin Horne on guitar. Sundays rotate between Latin Jazz with
Eliot, or the Banda Ramirez; and Lucious swinging the ballads. Soul music
Tuesdays with Annette Bland McCoy & the Sultans of Soul. Free hot food
served nightly, and warm smiles from Esther, Judy and Sasa behind the bar.
Sam Hargress Jr. is the proprietor, and he makes everyone feel welcome.
555 Edgecombe Ave, #3F buzz #107 (Corner of 160th St.) On
the corner of Count Basie and Paul Robeson stands the Triple Nickel. This
is the essence of Harlem jazz -- a rite of passage for all jazz fans and
musicians alike. Get buzzed up to Apt. #3F, Marjorie and Rudel welcome you
into their home every! Sunday
afternoon at 3:30 sharp to enjoy a long set standards and original music
provided by a rotating roster of jazz legends and local talent.
Marjorie's living room is absolutely the warmest, most spirited 200 square
feet in all New York. No cover; tip jar; free snack and refreshment.
Sundays are never in question, just
show up early enough to get a seat with sight lines. Be prepared to
generously donate or I'll come get you.
an online article.
553 Manhattan Ave.
(W. 123rd / W. 124th)
Call ahead for current jazz policy. Mondays are kicking. Wednesday features the serious
grooves of Ian Hendrickson- Smith from the Dap Kings. Thursday
is open jam with the
Campbell Trio from 8-12. No cover. (For
those who miss the Cafe Creole down on MacDougal Street, this is where
the proprietors ended up).
2367 Fred. Douglass Blvd.
(8th Avenue & 127th St.)
French Caribbean Creole Cuisine. Live jazz policy is still being worked out, so keep in touch
to find out what's in store.
The River RoomRIP. Now Tian. Now Riverbank Grill (2013)
Riverbank State Park
at the western end of 145th Street
Great Views of the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge make this
one of the more beautiful and serene restaurants. Call ahead for swing
band and Latin jazz nights.
Robin’s Nest Restaurant & Bar
RIP (212) 316-6170
457 W. 125th St.
(Amsterdam / Morningside)
This is the
most recent of Harlem's modest restaurants where you can catch classic R&B
mixed with pounding Hammond B-3 based jazz. There is no cover charge,
just a two drink minimum. The week is
starting to fill up with jazz players and other entertainments: Sunday
-- Jam Session with superior drummer Eli Fontaine; Rotating weekend
talent makes good use of the Hammond B3 organ. Please call them for
scheduling updates. Delicious Harlem style soul food dinner and lunch
are also available at reasonable rates.
St. Nick's Pub CLOSED UNTIL
FURTHER NOTICE - March 2011
photo of club
773 St. Nicholas Blvd. (Corner of 149th St.) This
club had an amazing run for the last decade and is now under new management.
The owners are giving St. Nick's Pub a second chance at greatness.
They've added free food with no cover charge and
stage lights to entice fans
back uptown to see the latest roster of players who are filling up the
schedule with weekly gigs, 7 nights a week from 10pm - 2am. Mondays
jam with Melvin Vines - trumpet, Chip Crawford -keys, Mike Grey - trombone
and Tuesdays join them again with featured vocalist, Kay Mori and the Kortet. Wednesdays has Rahn Burton
on keys and Vicky Kelly's old school
vocals,and on Thursdays different bands rotate through. Friday
night is the standing room only event of the week, as Donald Smith leads the
best weekly session you're likely to see. West
African music every Saturday. And Sundays belongs
to TC III's singers' workshop.
St. Nick’s Pub, club review with additional photos.
Showman's (212) 864-8941 375 West 125th Street
(East of Morningside Ave.) Tues - Thurs. sets: 8:30, 10,
11:30. Friday and Saturday sets:
9:30PM, 11:30PM & 1:30AM A beautiful blending of the genteel
and the earthy soul histories of Harlem can be found in this well-appointed
jazz showcase, which has been home to the greats (e.g. Sara Vaughan, Lionel
Hampton, Duke Ellington, Eartha Kitt, Pearl Bailey) since 1942. (In
its current location since August of 1998). A Hammond B-3 organ graces
the stage, and is put to good use by Danny Mixon, Seleno Clarke, and Nathan
Lucas among others -- call to check their schedule. Soul food appetizers are always available
-- free for the asking.
Two drink minimum (@ $14 minimum) per set is strictly enforced.
2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd
(W133/ W134) If
you're looking for an ever-changing uptown musical scene where genres are
busted wide open without losing focus on the beat, then you'll love to hang
out at Shrine. It's laid back enough so you don't have to worry if
you're dressed right, and cool enough to take your most insecure hipster
pals. Named for the Lagos, Nigeria musical enclave of the Fela Kuti
clan, the interior design features a great low-budget reproduction of the
Afrobeat master and plenty of bargain bin lp covers that will send you
reeling back to the music heard on transistor radios in Harlem decades ago.
Shows are often free and the kitchen is often open and the vibe is always
chill. When there's not live music there's a dj keeping up the groove.
The future of Harlem if found today in Shrine.
Silvana 646-692-4935 300 W. 116th Street (SW corner of Frederick Douglass Blvd/8th Ave) Sister
to club to Shrine, it has a similar musical approach with a Middle
Eastern vibe in the kitchen and around the upstairs cafe and hookah
lounge. Jazz is usually presented starting around 6 and going
till 8 before the other genres of world music get their chance on the
eclected stage. Tip buckets rule and no stated minimums makes
this the right place to chill and hang and hear great music.
Sister's Uptown Bookstore
1942 Amsterdam Avenue
at W. 156th Street
(212) 862-3680 The first Thursday of every month will
feature a jazz performance by a member of the Hamilton Heights/Harlem
community. The series, which began in March, 2008 has already presented Dave
Bixler (sax) & Mel Greenwich (Billie Holiday song stylist). The next
performance will take place on Thursday, May 1st @ 7:30pm, featuring
Vea Williams (jazz vocalist). The admission fee is $15 (includes light
refreshment), making this a very affordable evening of fine music.
Sugar Shack Cafe - RIP
2611 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
(West 139th and 8th Ave) Call
ahead to see if there is jazz at the Sugar Shack these days. We hope
so, cause it's a cool place to hang.
Hill Bistro -- Check for current status before going,
Now Called Baton Rouge
(aka Renaissance Jazz Lounge)
458 W 145th St (Amsterdam / Convent Avenues) Opened
July 31, 2001
A new addition to Harlem's historic Sugar Hill neighborhood, this
finely appointed restaurant/lounge features Jazz Friday and Saturday
starting at 9:30 pm. Look for Dennis Jeter to evoke Nat King Cole as
he sings and swings on trumpet
every Saturday and see Tenor sax titan Bill Saxton recently added on Friday
nights. A Gospel Brunch has been added for
Sundays starting at noon. Jazz fans from around the
world should stop in and support the Harlem jazz scene while in NYC. The Sugar Hill Bistro
also offers the best opportunity to see Wynton
Marsalis sitting in unannounced, among other jazz luminaries. Call
ahead for schedule updates. No cover charge. Excellent menu features the
best crab cake in Harlem.
328 Lenox Ave
(125th / 126th)
This world famous soul food restaurant also serves up a jazz brunch every
Saturday with Lonnie Youngblood. Every Sunday is they have a
historic Gospel brunch. Music on weekends is from 12:30 - 4:00. Please call for
street / (Broadway / Hamilton) / (917) 693 9686
Fabulously decked out converted house of worship with intriguing
programming, excellent vibrations, best backyard around, great inexpensive
one plate fits all meals, and the newest kid on the block.
Terrace In The Sky
400 West 119th Street
(Amsterdam Ave / Morningside Drive)
Reservations suggested for guaranteed seating. Sky Grille & Cash Bar.
Live music 7:30PM - 9:30PM every other Tuesday. Great looking
venue with rooftop seating and jazz offered from time to time, mixed in with
other styles of music.
Tian at the Riverbank (formerly The River Room and Earl Monroe's) (212) 234-1023
679 Riverside Drive
(Riverside Drive & West 145th Street, Riverbank State Park)
The veteran Harlem Renaissance Jazz Orchestra perform from 8 till 11:30 on
Thursdays for swing dancers and wall flowers alike. There is a
$10 cover charge and no minimum unless seated -- then a $20 minimum is
expected. This is the restaurant that has been known under many names
in the past but maintains some of the best Hudson River to George Washington
Bridge views around. Outdoor seating on fine weather days and nights
is priceless. Tuesday night caters to salsa dancers via a dj.
2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (8th Ave.)
(116th / 117th)
Art gallery. Call ahead for current details on jazz policy.
22 West 135th
(5th / Lenox
Ave.) Catch 22 West in its historic state before it's gone -- as so many of the
classic Harlem lounges have succumbed to changing tastes. This is the historic Malcolm
X hang-out where his famous autobiography was related to author Alex Haley. A
casual restaurant adjacent to the lounge serves daily specials of Harlem soul food.
R&B karaoke is still a Friday night tradition and proves to be the warmest room in
town. Call ahead for current status.
United House of Prayer for All People
2320 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
(At 125th Street) Sundays at 11AM and Tuesdays at 8PM.
Voted: Best Place To Hear Church Music With God, Unamplified-by The Village
Voice in 2002 with the review: "If the Sun Ra Arkestra were the band at your
church, wouldn't you go more often? The McCullough Sons of Thunder brass
band at the UNITED HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL PEOPLE make an anarchic, joyful
noise as they wander the aisles during the service. For the past few years,
they've had to share a double bill with an upstart band of young'uns who the
pastor won't allow to play outside the building. When the preaching's done,
check out the cafeteria across from the chapel." -Josh Goldfein
Uptown Renaissance Restaurant
108 West 116th Street
(Lennox / 7th Avenues)
This restaurant is experimenting with live music and starting with steel pan
jazz on May 1st, 2005. If you are in the neighborhood stop by to show
your support. Give them a call to find out what they have planned for
live jazz in the future.
Urban Jem Guest House RIP
2005 5th Ave.
(124th / 125th)
Jane, your hostess, has recently added a Sunday jazz recital to her
beautiful bed and breakfast within an 1878 renovated brownstone townhouse.
Shows run from 4pm - 7pm on alternating Sundays. Reservations are
recommended and a $10 cover charge applies. Refreshments are also
Restaurant RIP 2247 7th
Famous home of chicken
and waffles and swing dancing
Windows Over Harlem Supper Club
(212) 665-4337 / 862-6341
165 W125th and 7th (Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.)
A dress to impress supper club on the 3rd floor of the Adam Clayton Powell
Jr. State Office Building (one block from Bill Clinton's offices).
Call in advance for reservations, schedule and cover charge. Dinner is served from 6pm to 9pm.
Zip Code Restaurant & Lounge
2207 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.
(Bet. 130th & 131st Sts)
No jazz policy currently.
= 8th Ave Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. = 7th
Ave Lenox Ave. = Malcolm X Blvd. = 6th
Ave Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. = 125th St.
St. Nicholas Ave. = from W.110th - 125th (Diagonally between Lenox and
Manhattan Ave. )
St. Nicholas Ave. = On Sugar Hill (East of Amsterdam/Convent)