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Chris' Jazz Cafe

CREDIT: G. Miller for Visit Philadelphia

CREDIT: Photo courtesy of the Kimmel Center

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Top Places to Listen to Live Jazz in Philadelphia

Explore the city’s reputation as a go-to destination for jazz

As the birthplace and hometown of some of the most notable figures in jazz history, including Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Ethel Waters and Dizzie Gillespie, Philadelphia’s jazz roots run deep. Luckily for us, the city’s reputation as a go-to destination for jazz music doesn’t stop there.

Almost any day of the week, you can find a stellar lineup of local, national and international talents performing at one of the city’s many jazz clubs and concert venues. As acclaimed bassist and Philly native Warren Oree once said, “There’s another ‘Sound of Philadelphia’ — the sound of Philadelphia’s jazz.”

Here are a few places where you can find the sweet sound of Philadelphia jazz all year long.

Note: Schedules do change, so check with the venue in advance to ensure live jazz will be taking place on a night you plan to attend.

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Time

Three bars to choose from

Like a multiplex theater for drink and music lovers, Time houses three very different venues within the bar. Patrons can choose the whiskey bar, the absinthe lounge or the main dining room, where they can enjoy nightly jazz and soul and happy hours from Sunday to Friday. Don't miss open mic nights on Tuesdays, which draw talent from all across the city.
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SOUTH

Local and national acts nearly every night of the week

SOUTH fuses its modern Southern fare with soulful table-side jazz nights. The restaurant's Jazz Parlor welcomes local and national acts six nights per week and invites diners to enjoy a meal and an extensive selection of American bourbons and whiskeys while relaxing in front of the smooth tunes.
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Relish

Mt. Airy's weekend jazz offerings

In Philadelphia’s Mt. Airy neighborhood, Relish restaurant fuses traditional and modern southern cuisine with incredible live jazz performances Thursday through Saturday nights. Plus, the cozy seating area resembles a 1950s-style jazz lounge.
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Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

World-class venue, world-class jazz

With two gorgeous music halls, a stunning restaurant/bar (Volver) by Chef Jose Garces and a steady lineup of internationally-acclaimed jazz talents, the Kimmel Center is one of the city’s finest destinations for live jazz. Keep an eye on their year-long concert schedule for a series of shows that appeal to music lovers of all ages.
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Warmdaddy's

National acts and more, right by the water

In its location near the Delaware River, Warmdaddy’s has a low-key vibe, a down-home Southern menu and a get-down lineup of national music acts Friday and Saturday nights. Most evenings feature soul and blues artists, with the occasional jazz virtuoso.
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Paris Bistro

Dinner and drinks alongside Philly's hottest jazz musicians

Housed beneath the Chestnut Hill Hotel, Paris Bistro is a 50-seat jazz cafe offering performances Thursday through Sunday nights. Patrons can enjoy full food and drink lists while taking in hour-long performances from some of Philadelphia’s hottest jazz musicians.
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Heritage

Live music, every single night

Featuring live jazz every night of the week and during brunch on Saturdays (plus bluegrass music during Sunday brunch), Northern Liberties' Heritage has become a go-to spot for music in Philadelphia. Best of all, the entertainment comes cover-free and alongside a menu full of innovative and seasonal eats.
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Sassafras Bar

A classic Philly neighborhood bar in Old City

Serving Philadelphians for more than 35 years, this Old City bar brings in a live jazz trio to entertain guests Sunday through Thursday.
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Bob and Barbara's

A South Street staple for over 20 years, packing the house every weekend

Live music plays into the wee hours of the morning every Friday and Saturday night at Bob and Barbara's. Led with a Hammond B-3 organ, The Crowd Pleasers – a staple band of the bar for more than 20 years – play jazz-inspired tunes starting at 9:30 pm and lasting until 2 a.m.
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M Restaurant

Outdoor jazz in the summer, cozy indoor performances in the winter

Catch live jazz every Wednesday and Friday at M Restaurant, where summer brings jazz nights under the stars in the huge outdoor garden and winter invites musicians into the restaurant's cozy French bar.
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Volver

Thursday nights bring live jazz at this award-winning spot

Recently given a five-star rating from the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide (and the only Philly restaurant to have received the 2016 accolade), Volver offers both top-notch eats and weekly Thursday jazz nights in the bar section of the restaurant.
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Aqimero

Weekly jazz and champagne

Thursdays at the Ritz-Carlton's Aqimero are jazz nights, bringing a three-piece jazz trio to fill the stunning marble lounge with soulful and relaxing tunes. Settle in with a flute of champagne, offered by the glass in every available variety for the special evening showcases.
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La Peg

Performances curated by FringeArts paired with modern American food

FringeArts' in-house restaurant La Peg hosts late-night shows most Friday nights. While events range from cabaret acts to funky dance-music combos, you'll often see jazz on the curated calendar of events. Shows are free with a suggested donation.
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LaRose Jazz Club

The spot for authentic jazz in Philadelphia

LaRose Jazz Club in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood is considered one of the most authentic of the city’s clubs, thanks to its traditional jazz and blues offerings in a cabaret setting.
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Jerry's Bar

Relaxing signature Sunday jazz brunch

While Jerry's Bar only has live music one day per week, its Sunday jazz brunch has become a signature, well-talked-about token of the restaurant. Relax with a "Bloody Jerry" or mimosa, waffles, eggs and/or house-smoked meats, all while waking up with some merry live tunes.
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Square on Square

Pan-Asian food meets weekly free jazz performances

Every Wednesday, the charismatic All-Star Jazz Trio – featuring a pianist, drummer and bassist, often in tandem with songstress Peggy King — present a free jazz show at Center City's Square on Square. On Fridays, a guest artist is brought in, and musically talented staff from the restaurant often join in, too. Guests to the Pan-Asian spot are invited to BYOB or take advantage of the full bar while kicking back to enjoy the music.
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Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz

Preserving and promoting jazz through performance and education

More of a performance space and educational center than a club or lounge, the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz aims to promote jazz — past, present and future — with workshops, classes, private lessons and, of course, concerts. Swing by on Monday nights for the Jazz Jam series, an open mic that welcomes budding and longtime vocalists and musicians.
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Friday Night Jazz at Woodmere Art Museum

Weekly evening concerts in Chestnut Hill

Weekly Friday Night Jazz events at Chestnut Hill’s Woodmere Art Museum often feature toe-tapping tributes to icons including Miles Davis, Carole King and more. Tickets for the events are sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis starting one hour before the concert and include complimentary wine.
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Jazz It Up Philly

Organized jazz nights at venues throughout the city

Not a venue but a curator, the Jazz It Up Philly group organizes jazz nights citywide at various places throughout the month. The events feature some of Philly's top talent and are often paired with dinner and/or drink specials.
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