Jazz Clubs in Paris Experience a Vibrant Part of Parisian nightlife
After a long day sightseeing in Paris, what could be better than making the most of the city’s jazz legacy and chilling out to live music in the evening? The smoky bar, the smooth, luxurious sounds of the saxophone as the crowds are little more than a quiet murmur, hypnotized by the music and sipping their drinks from time to time. This isn’t the opening to the next great novel or a new movie. For many Parisians, this a regular night as jazz clubs populate their gorgeous, beloved city. If you plan on visiting Paris to experience its rich culture sometimes this year, don’t just spend time at restaurants, museums and city landmarks.
Paris has swung to the rhythms of jazz for nigh on a century. Legends Bud Powell, Chet Baker, and Miles Davis has woven deep in its history, and pioneers Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli is providing the backdrop to its cafe society. Jazz is as much a part of the capital’s cultural heritage as art, philosophy, and literature.
From iconic jazz halls to unknown jazz bars we’ve rounded up the best jazz bars in Paris to sway along to a tune or two.
Jazz Club Etoile
Jazz Club Etoile being a stunning jazz bar, has an impressive reputation. This club has held mythical status on Paris’s jazz scene for four decades. Many jazz and blues legends including Cab Calloway, BB King, and Lionel Hampton have passed through these doors. The clientele is a heady cocktail of music lovers and hotel guests who come down from their room to find this incredible jazz clubs.
Le Duc des Lombard
Le Duc des Lombard is famous in Paris as Ronnie Scott’s is in London. It’s is the place where every up and coming jazz musician wants to prove their worth. As a result, it’s one of the liveliest venues in Paris. World class talent also plays here, and it’s not unusual to have one of the best jazz musicians in the world sharing the stage with someone you’ve never heard of. Oh, and the cocktails are fantastic too. The atmosphere is cozy, the musician brilliant and it’s just a great place for a romantic jazz infused evening.
Le Baiser sale is probably the most adventurous club on this list. Conceived in the ’80s, this is a crazy place where young talents are discovered, and old ones come back. The director’s motto is something along the lines of freedom for the artists. So if you’re into new experiences, this is your spot.
Studio de l’Ermitage
Studio de l’Ermitage industrial space used to be a biscuit factory, but what’s inside now is even more of a treat. The double height room, complete with mezzanine level and long bar is the perfect place for a relaxed evening or a lively one depending on who’s performing. While jazz is front and center, you’ll find an emerging artist from all over the globe taking to the stage.
Sunset/Sun side Jazz clubs:
Choose between Sunset or Sunside when you stop by these adjacent jazz buildings. The clubs website has a calendar of upcoming shows so that you know what you’re in for when you visit. These clubs host at least two concerts daily every single night of the week. Sun side is on the ground floor, and sunset is a hollow space in the basement. You can see all the great names in Jazz here as well as a new talent in their genres. It attracts an eclectic crowd, many of whom often go out of curiosity not knowing in advance who’ll be performing.
Le Caveau de la Huchette:
If you want to travel back to the 50’s you need to pay a visit to Le Caveau de la Huchette. The atmosphere is crazy. There’s dancing crooners, brass bands, an orchestra and the sound of hot jazz filling the air every night. The building is 500 years old and has been frequently compared to a cellar or labyrinth.
La Belleviloise is the hidden gem of the 20th arrondissement. It is tucked away in the trendy northeast with an eclectic music program on most nights. The venue has a great history. Being the site of Paris first workers cooperative, it is a famous cultural landmark since 1877. It’s a perfect summertime spot as the venue has a massive terrace above its two-story structure, where you can soak up the sun’s rays while sipping a cocktail and listening to some of the best jazz musicians the city has to offer.
Cave du 38 Riv:
Entering this underground jazz club does feel like descending into a cave, not least because exposed stone walls frame the stage, well we say stage there aren’t one and musicians lay right in from of you. Giving slower tunes and an extra level of intimacy and upbeat pieces infectious energy while the free, relaxed vibe might put up in mind of the 50s or ’60s. The music runs the gamut from classic to contemporary, and the party goes on until 4 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Who’s say that you have to enjoy jazz music indoors when you can listen to it on a boat. This authentic Peniche built in 1925 offers styled tapas delicacies such as tacos, guacamole, and chorizo for bargain prices while putting on an energetic jazz show. It is situated on the Quai del’ Hotel de Ville of the Seine with incredible views of Notre Dame, listening to a two-piece jazz band.
While sipping Champagne and watching the boats go by is a great way to spend a few hours. They often host parties and have an outside bar on the terrace open from May to October. Two hundred people can dine at the makeshift tables of the garden and in the main room of the barge itself, making it one of the most unusual and lively venues to enjoy jazz in the whole of Paris.
To help you seek it out, we’ve put together a checklist of some of these best live jazz venues in the city.