Are there still jazz clubs around?

I’ve been listening to a lot of 1940s-1960s jazz lately. Are there still any of the classic jazz clubs open? I"m sure most of them would be smoke free now, but are there any places that would have the atmosphere of the classic smoke filled club where you could hear John Coltrane?

The Green Mill in Chicago is an example of a ‘classic’ club.

Blues Alley, Washinghton DC
Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, Seattle

Not sure if you can smoke in either of these places. I doubt it, though.

In Seattle, Jazz Alley.

Thanks to that place, I know that Dave Brubeck wears New Balance sneakers instead of dress shoes. Can’t blame him for that one, not many people get that close to the piano.

There are a shitload in NYC. The Blue Note is a pretty well known one.

In both SF and Oakland, Yoshi’s (though they also have a lot of blues in their calendar, too).

Cleveland has Nighttown.
Tonight: John Pizzarelli.

Not exactly the cool 50’s bebop scene but, but I would have to say Preservation Hall in New Orleans is authentic as it is going to get. You cant smoke and you have to bring your own beverage, though. Fritzel’s around the corner serves a fine Martini and you will never be more than fifteen feet away from the band.

A quick online search showed that there are apparently something like a dozen jazz clubs in Washington, D.C. In particular, besides the already mentioned Blues Alley, there’s Bohemian Caverns. Just try an online search for your nearest city.

Yoshi’s has two locations in the Bay Area.
If you find yourself in London, there’s always Ronnie Scott’s.

When I was in Budapest a few years ago, we were walking down the street and heard what sounded like jazz coming from below the sidewalk. We looked around and found a doorway with a stairwell behind it, went down the steps, and walked straight into the Beat-era early '60s.

It was a small room lit red, with air you could cut with a knife, packed with lots of dudes wearing black turtle-neck sweaters, berets, and goatees, reading Sartre and smoking like it was their job, while a gaggle of people on the stage made a noise like someone with whooping cough buggering a goose. We stood amazed for a couple of minutes, then a particularly bad honk from the stage made us turn around and leave.

I’m still wondering if I dreamed the whole thing.

You didn’t manage to catch the establishment’s name, did you?

There are quite a few, but only Blues Alley gets the A-list performers. There are two wonderful jazz clubs in Old Town Alexandria, Laporta’s and 219, but the house bands are not on the Dave Brubeck/Diana Krall level of prominence.

Is Baker’s Keyboard Lounge still around in Detroit?

Yes. And they still have the best fried fish I ever tasted. The blues singer was beautiful and a little drunk, I think.

I regret not.


Sounds to me like it could be a place called Lámpás. Does this at all look familiar? They do a variety of music, jazz being one of them. I used to also go to a place called Long Jazz Club, and I seem to recall it being down a set of stairs, too, but it was a fairly large space, and I don’t recall red lighting. And I think it may be long gone by now.

Of course, you can’t actually *smoke *in any of them anymore, as the OP mentions, so in that respect, no, they no longer exist. But the music endures. And The Dude abides.

There are a bunch in New Orleans, including Donna’s, Fritzel’s, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, Preservation Hall, Snug Harbor, Palm Court Jazz Cafe and Dos Jefes Cigar Bar.