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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

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Chris' Jazz Cafe Photo courtesy Visit Philadelphia
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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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SOUTH

Local and national acts nearly every night of the week

Live jazz show at SOUTH Live jazz show at SOUTH
— Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

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.

Where: SOUTH, 600 N. Broad Street

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02

Chris' Jazz Cafe

One of the best places to hear jazz in the world

Couple at Chris' Jazz Cafe Couple at Chris' Jazz Cafe
— Photo courtesy Visit Philadelphia

DownBeat Magazine got it right when they named Chris’ Jazz Cafe one of the “100 Great Venues Around the World to Hear Jazz.” In addition to surprisingly affordable tickets and some of the greatest names in jazz, this spot also boasts cuisine that’s both budget-friendly and delicious.

Where: Chris' Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom Street

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03

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.

Where: Time, 1315 Sansom Street

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04

Relish

Mt. Airy's weekend jazz offerings

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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.

Where: Relish, 7152 Ogontz Avenue

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05

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

World-class venue, world-class jazz

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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.

Where: Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street

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06

Warmdaddy's

National acts and more, right by the water

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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.

Where: Warmdaddy's, 1400 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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07

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.

Where: Paris Bistro, 8229 Germantown Avenue

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08

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.

Where: Heritage, 914 N. 2nd Street

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09

Sassafras Bar

A classic Philly neighborhood bar in Old City

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

Where: Sassafras Bar, 48 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia

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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.

Where: Bob and Barbara's, 1509 South Street

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M Restaurant

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

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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.

Where: M Restaurant, 231 S. 8th Street

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12

Walnut Street Cafe

Interior Walnut Street Cafe Interior Walnut Street Cafe
— Photo courtesy Walnut Street Cafe

The team from New York City’s acclaimed Rebelle are behind this casual, 3,000-square-foot bistro, serving refined breakfast-through-dinner fare. Hit up the spot — located in the foot of the shining FMC Building — every Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. for jazz brunch, featuring hits from the Golden Age of Jazz.

Where: Walnut Street Cafe, 2929 Walnut Street

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13

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.

Where: La Peg, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard

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14

Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant

Local brews and tunes every Tuesday

Live music at Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant Live music at Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant
— Photo courtesy Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant

Every Tuesday starting at 7 p.m., live jazz sessions take place at Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant. Enjoy a house-made draft while you listen.

Where: Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant, 4120 Main Street

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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.

Where: LaRose Jazz Club, 5531 Germantown Avenue

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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.

Where: Jerry's Bar, 129 W. Laurel Street

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The Saloon

Old-school setting with Saturday music nights

Interior of The Saloon Interior of The Saloon
— Photo courtesy The Saloon

On Saturdays, Bella Vista’s old-school, Italian-inspired restaurant The Saloon offers live musical performances, which are often jazz. Relax in the dimly lit, antique-filled setting with a meal and live grooves.

Where: The Saloon, 750 S. 7th Street

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Friday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Jazz, drinks and more, every Friday night

Jazz concert at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Jazz concert at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
— Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts an intimate cabaret on Friday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. A mix between jazz and international performances fills the grand main stairway with music while visitors enjoy snacks and cocktails and take in the amazing artworks in select open galleries.

Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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19

Square on Square

Pan-Asian food meets weekly free jazz performances

Every Monday and Wednesday night, 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. Guests to the Pan-Asian spot are invited to BYOB or take advantage of the full bar while kicking back to enjoy the music.

Where: Square on Square, 1905 Chestnut Street

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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.

Where: Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz, 738 S. Broad Street

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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.

Where: Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue

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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.

Where: Various locations including Vesper, 223 S. Sydenham Street

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SOUTH
Chris' Jazz Cafe
Time
Relish
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Warmdaddy's
Paris Bistro
Heritage
Sassafras Bar
Bob and Barbara's
M Restaurant
Walnut Street Cafe
La Peg
Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant
LaRose Jazz Club
Jerry's Bar
The Saloon
Friday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Square on Square
Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz
Friday Night Jazz at Woodmere Art Museum
Jazz It Up Philly
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