The Voll-Damm International Festival is back from this weekend to 30 November with local and international artists and bands.
This weekend (19-20-21 October), which unfortunately looks like it will be rainy, has free outdoor concerts between 13.30 and 16.30 at many of the bars and cafés in the city centre. See the website for venues.
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Amazing, smoky little jazz bar. Live bands all night, every night since the 70s and entrance is free. The venue is recognised alongside Preservation Hall (New Orleans) as a World Jazz Hotspot. The main man behind the bar is amazingly friendly - he even remembered us when we came in the second night and asked the band to play us a special song. Fantastic atmosphere, great fresh kolsch, the chance of catching some big jazz names and all the peanuts you can eat!
Notorious is an intimate music venue that captures the heart and passion of Buenos Aires. This treasure is tucked in the back of a CD shop in the Recoleta district of the city. We went to hear a jazz trio one night and were knocked out by the experience. The musicians were hot; the music was original; the food (it's also a restaurant) was fantastic and the service was both friendly and efficient. What more could you want? We were so impressed that before we left we booked to hear another group two nights later. If you like to listen to music (jazz, blues, tango, latin) played with passion, Notorious is the place.
A jazz festival set in a Unesco Heritage site is a truly memorable experience: live music, amazing architecture and the atmosphere that only the Brazilian public can offer - engaging even for those who are not big fans of jazz.
This yearly festival happens every September, and fills the hilly and winding streets of this remarkable town with music from around the world.
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.
As its name may suggest to those jazz aficionados reading this, the Yardbird is the place to go in Birmingham for the best jazz, blues and soul around. Although the entry prices have a tendency to skyrocket at the weekend, during the week they offer numerous cheap or even free jam sessions and gigs to diverse and friendly crowds looking for a much needed alternative to Broad street.
Make sure you have a full wallet on you though because you can't pay by card.
Paradise Place, Birmingham, B3 3HJ
+44 (0)121 212 2524
nearest station: Birmingham New Street
Google map: bit.ly/c0w0VZ
One of the hippest, not to mention most stylish places in the center of the city is all about jazz! Open all day for coffee, drinks or food, hosts live jazz music every night. Delicious Mediterranean cuisine by chef Kostas Stavrou, cool art exhibitions, excellent decor, and a line-up of top-notch local and international jazz bands, show off modern Athens at its best.
A charming, unspoilt market town on the banks of the River Aulne in central Finistère. Good fishing, good restaurants and a wonderful jazz festival on the banks of the river in the summer (30 July-1 August 2010) with a bit of a "Woodstock" atmosphere. www.fest-jazz.com
In Central Finistère, one hour's drive from Roscoff ferry port, 50 minutes' drive from Brest airport.
Google map: tinyurl.com/36km7b3
Very nice arty Jazz club and although in the famous Calle Huertas, is not touristy in that sense. Two sittings and the repertoire changes every a few days.
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
This is a fairly standard hotel bar six days a week, but there is live jazz here on Fridays, and while fairly mainstream, it's about as good as you will find in the UAE, where all too often, "jazz" is understood to mean some flat voiced woman singing "Strangers in the night" backed by a cheesy pre-programmed keyboard. There is a core of four regular musicians and when they are all there, the music can be very good indeed, and it is also a very friendly atmosphere.
Location: Novotel Centre Hotel Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Street
Tel: 02 633 3555
Pleasant live music venue, featuring local jazz and "world music" musicians, along with some more interesting contemporary Greek acts.
Popular jazz trio Human Touch are highly recommended, although they do not play here as often as they used to. Armenian Haig Yazdjian is another regular who is always worth hearing.
Konstantinoupoleos & Agiou Orous, Kollonos,
Post code: 10447
Live Jazz venue at the music school run by outstanding bassist Giorgos Fakanas. Apart from his own band, who are usually outstanding, I have seen acts there such as Allan Holdsworth, Wallace Roney, Mike Stern and Birelli Lagrene. Highly recommended to all jazz fans.
3 Poseidonos Ave., Neo Faliro,
Tel 210 4813605
Cantina Bentivoglio in Via Mascerella is a wine bar that serves brilliant food. The pork in balsamic vinegar sauce is meltingly tender, and the beef in red wine on polenta - so delicious. I finished off with lemon sorbet with "wodka" (the English translations in the back of the menu provide a few laughs). Plan to eat at 9 or 9.30 and you get to listen to live jazz - makes for a great evening!
Via Mascarella (round the back of the Palazzo Bentivoglio)- look up "Cantina Bentivoglio" on the net for more details
Just a short walk away from the Camden Lock and the tube station is the buzzing Jazz Café. You can enjoy a perfect evening either dining upstairs, or chill out with friends, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the bands and performers that play here every few days.
I have been on a number of occasions and never had a bad time, mostly due to the music! They play a variety of genres, from jazz to hip-hop to blues, and for some of the bigger nights you may have to book in advance, but it's definitely worth it. Drop by if you fancy a night of relaxing with a few beers and some melodic jazzy tones.
5 Parkway, Camden, London, NW1 7PG
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!
PJs is a restaurant in Covent Garden. The food is always outstanding and the crowd of theatre patrons and West End/Theatreland insiders makes the people-watching and eavesdropping great. The staff of the restaurant is always kind, charming and attentive. A big plus is that it is also within a five minute walk of about half a dozen theatres. PJs also has late night jazz live music on weekends.
PJ's is at 30 Wellington Street WC2E, Covent Garden is the nearest station.
If you get some down-time, go to the Huxington Tea House in the Yu Yuan Garden. This is apparently Shanghai’s oldest tea house and they perform a traditional tea ceremony every evening from 8.30pm to 10pm. Be sure to get a table on the top floor looking out over the lake. And for something livelier to do in the evening, The House of Blues and Jazz gets a good range of international acts and is an intimate venue with a music-loving crowd.
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