Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where do you like in/around Manhattan (NY- I must specify because I'm from Manhattan- KANSAS!- the "little apple")
I'd also add Jazz Standard on 27th between Lexington and Park. If you like Indian food, it is right next to Curry Hill (Lexington between 27th and 28th) which has a whole bunch of Indian restaurants, including Chinese/Indian fusion ("Chindian" food) and South Indian food (which is less common compared to the typical North Indian Fare). Price-wise similar to the Vanguard, the Mingus Big Band holds court on Monday nights, and the list of top names playing there is pretty good.Yep, ZootTheSim mentioned a lot of solid places for sure. To help give you a better idea of what to expect, it might be helpful to describe them a little bit since there's a huge range of vibe, atmosphere, and price tag among NYC's jazz venues. I'll add a couple more, too.
55 Bar: probably my favorite place to hear jazz. Tends to the very modern, edgy, contemporary side. Affordable but cash only and a two drink minimum per set! Kettle of Fish is a great bar right next door to it with a midwestern vibe and excellent tap list.
Fat Cat: the most affordable and casual of all, but very fun, and some absolutely world-class people play there. Get a game of pool or ping pong in while you're at it.
Bar Next Door: a little more expensive than the above but a very good vibe with great food and drinks. Usually only trios play here but they're often phenomenal.
Rockwood Music Hall (stages 1, 2, 3): HUGE range of music on these three stages but lots of the best modern jazz folks play here regularly so check the listings. My groups have played at Rockwood more than any other venue. We love it dearly.
Zinc: moving up the ladder cost-wise, but it's a really well-curated venue with a good vibe (not super casual but far from formal). Lots of modern straight-ahead and Brazilian jazz here, as well as some soul-jazz vibes.
Village Vanguard/Smalls: these two are more expensive than the ones above but they're legendary for good reasons. Worth investigating, but bring money. Vanguard a little more old-school, Smalls a little more new-school, but similar tiers of quality.
Blue Note/Birdland/Dizzy's: more expensive still! Great listening rooms and they showcase fantastic artists, so worth it for the right billing. People might dress up a little more for these and your tab is not going to be small.
Have fun! And seriously, if you want to have a good time while saving money and you can tolerate some NYU students... Fat Cat is a diamond in the rough.