Birdland Jazz Club in Midtown New York has been described as 'close to perfection' by the NY Times, and is a hallowed venue for all serious fans of jazz. Named in honour of Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker himself, Birdland has showcased all the greats since the original club opened in 1949. The intimate, timeless ambience oozes New York cool, and you don't need to be a jazz aficionado to enjoy the experience. You can book online before you go - and I would recommend the centre seating. There are small lamplit tables close to the stage and tiered tables further back, or you can choose to sit at the bar. If you want dinner, there is an extensive American menu with a Cajun twist.
We walked from the north side of Central Park up Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem to the Lenox Lounge. It's a famous Harlem jazz bar and club where the likes of Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and John Coltrane plied their trade.
Malcolm X worked here before he found religion.
More recently this place has featured in movies such as Malcolm X (obviously) and American Gangster.
288 Malcolm X Boulevard (between 124th and 125th streets)
New York, NY 10027-4921, United States
The Jazz Standard is an amazing night out with good cocktails and great jazz. If you book the early showing you can catch dinner upstairs too, which is yummy.
The River Cafe has great views of Manhattan being on the other side of Brooklyn bridge – again, they do good cocktails and good food. It is very pricey though so definitely one for a treat!
This clean cut, corporate sponsored jazz club feels like NY's best kept secret. Good food and potent rum cocktails keep the punters refreshed, whilst the jam sessions give NY's legendary clubs a run for their money. Attached to the new Jazz @ Lincoln Center complex, you may just see legends such as Wynton Marsalis turn up and play with local students. Great value. Get their early and get a table near the stage with jaw dropping views across Central Park.
5th Floor, Broadway at 60th. Columbus Circle Subway.
Like Los Angeles (not just Hollywood) NYC is teaming with familiar film locations-hundreds of movies have had scenes shot in Central Park for example. Many parts of Manhattan and the adjoining boroughs have seen action in film productions from the likes of Woody Allen or Martin Scorsese and films like The Godfather, Ghostbusters or Spiderman are just a few of very many box office hits that have been shot here.
As for jazz it may well have been born in New Orleans was nurtured in Chicago but this was where it came of age. Jazz clubs abound some of the finest (and most expensive)like Birdland, Bluenote and the Village Vanguard are in or near Midtown Manhattan whereas the less pricy but very good clubs like The Cotton Club, Lenox Lounge and St Nicks are in Harlem a reasonable taxi ride from Midtown.
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