8 Best Places to Listen to Live Jazz in L.A.

If music is a place, then jazz is the city.

Jazz music is unique for many reasons. You can improvise with it, you can expand upon it harmonically and interpret it in a thousand ways. It is smooth and calming to listen to. It is electric and inspiring. It undulates and swings and echoes the rhythms of Life. Jazz music as a live experience has had a resurgence and has  grown over the last couple years in Los Angeles, California. 

This has resulted in clubs popping up in Los Angeles, each offering a jazz-like vibe, cocktails, and other activities. 

In response to this, more people have come to embrace this trend, flocking to the new clubs. However, not every club in the city offers that perfect jazz vibe. 

If you want to spend an evening enjoying some of the best jazz Los Angeles has to offer in true La La Land fashion, this article is for you.

Let’s jump right into it.

How Did Jazz Music Start?

Jazz music is a genre that started in the 20th century in the United States city of New Orleans. It owes its origin to the blues and ragtime.

As for famous jazz musicians, we note and esteem Buddy Bolden, who is often credited as the father of jazz. There are also other outstanding jazz musicians who shaped and developed the sound. 

Fans regard Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie as the genre’s “founders” and performers who set the standard for jazz.

Additionally, Jelly Roll Morton was an icon known to have pioneered jazz in Los Angeles.

Today, these people are considered icons of jazz music.

Where to Listen to Live Jazz in Los Angeles

Of course, after reading this, the next question that pops up in your mind is, “How do I find live jazz near me?” Not to worry: You will get to know these eight best jazz clubs in Los Angeles. 

The Baked Potato

Since the 1970s, The Baked Potato has offered delicious potatoes and fantastic jazz music. In addition to having one of the largest potato-based menus in Los Angeles, the Baked Potato hosts local jazz musicians like David Anderson, John Daversa Big Band, Cheryl Barnes, and Otmaro Ruiz. It caters to a niche market and quickly became a favorite among jazz lovers. It was a hit in Los Angeles thanks to the sizable community of black jazz fans, and during its heyday, it was one of the most well-liked jazz venues in the city.

Catalina Jazz Club

The Catalina Jazz Club is a legendary Supper Club in Hollywood  and hosts headlining artists from around the world. You name the artist, they have most likely performed at Catalina Jazz Club. Great performers like Grover Washington Jr., George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Jane Monheit, Lisa Fischer, and many more. 

Performers love to play at Catalina Jazz. It is a beautiful spacious club in red decor with its signature Catalina Jazz Club logo on the back of the stage, fantastic sound, and great food. Cajun catfish, rack of lamb, and shrimp scampi pasta are a few delectable dishes on their menu. Catalina also hosts personal events as well. 

La Puglia

Enjoy wonderful wines, crafted drinks, exquisite Italian feasts, organic baked goods, homemade gelato, and more at this Santa Monica eatery while the sounds of live jazz serenade you every Tuesday night. Check out their website at the link above to see who’s playing each week!

Urban Press Winery

Featuring great eats, fine wines, Prosecco  and champagnes, indoor and patio seating, this Burbank restaurant boasts some truly great jazz events in addition to other types of music in this cozy establishment. Join them every Sunday for Jazz from 2-5pm featuring some of the best jazz musicians in the city and those traveling through town. 

They also feature live jazz every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Campus Jax 

Newport’s only Supper Club! 

Hand Crafted Cocktails, Savory Dishes, Exceptional Musicians and swinging concerts Tuesday-Sunday nights.

Check the schedule at the link above to see what’s featured each week. 

Sam First Bar

One of those undiscovered gems is Sam First; it doesn’t just feel hidden in its particular neighborhood, it feels hidden in time. The decor is contemporary but has a retro feel, and the cocktails match when you visit on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for live jazz and classic drinks. 

The menu is concise and delicious and the decor is unpretentious and approachable.

The Lighthouse Cafe

The Lighthouse is a historic, iconic place for jazz musicians. When you walk in, you feel the history and the great music played by legends. Lighthouse Cafe presents a variety of genres every day of the week and hosts performances. On weekends, the venue is packed for jazz brunch, but there is no cover charge during the week. 

Occasionally, Lighthouse Cafe features a live band that performs everything from Latin jazz to pop, classic rock to soul music.

Vibrato Grill Jazz

At this Los Angeles restaurant, tucked in a strip mall in Bel Air,  Vibrato, diners are treated to an exceptional and thrilling dining experience that includes delectable food and enduring music played by world-famous jazz musicians. 

This elegantly appointed restaurant has an inviting atmosphere that matches its delicious food and exceptional music.

Rhythm Room

The Rhythm Room is a comfortable lounge bar where talented bands put on live jazz performances as well as other genres of music. The menu at the bar features pub fare like burgers, fries, and many other items. 

A variety of cocktails, beers, and wines are also available. This elegant location also provides space for gatherings, celebrations, and parties.

The Drake in Laguna Beach

The Drake is Orange County’s premiere intimate dining and live music experience with a New York style supper-club setting. 

The Drake’s nightly live entertainment program of live jazz, R&B, blues, and special performances are up-close and unplugged. Exceptional artists provide the interactive, intimate, and immersive performances that leave audiences feeling the ‘music magic’ all evening.

Last Words

Jazz music is, once again, steadily growing and capturing more people’s attention, with more clubs springing up to meet people’s needs. 

Now that you have learned all about these Los Angeles jazz clubs, you have the option to choose. Keep your eyes open for more innovative spaces for live jazz music to pop up.

If I were you, I would make plans today to try out one for yourself to enjoy some lovely jazz and the sweet feelings that come with it. A wonderful moment awaits you.

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