If you love jazz, then one of the places on your radar has to be none other than the big apple – New York City. As the most vibrant place of the last century New York also became the go to place for up and coming Jazz music as acts flocked from elsewhere in the states to the big city where crowds of Jazz lovers now called home. Weekends were full of live Jazz bands as clubs were filled to the rafters with people dancing and saxophones blaring. It was at this time that many of the biggest names in Jazz were in their prime and New York was their backdrop.
Today although the legends of Jazz have passed on long ago, those still around and anyone looking to step into the scene also need somewhere to showcase their talents. Luckily New York City still obliges those who love mad rhythms and bouncing bass scales in the form of several functional jazz bars. Although it may not be the Jazz era anymore the love for the genre has not died as you can see by the full schedules offered by the clubs themselves. If you are a fan of the Jazz scene or simply just want to get a taste for what it was like in vintage New York on a Friday night, then check out these happening spots.
Opened back in 1949 this club was named after and opened by none other than the great Charlie Parker himself. This place quickly became the place to be for headlining Jazz musicians and other celebrities of the times too. Birdland was frequently visited by Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe among others. Unfortunately, as the new style of Rock ‘n’ roll became increasingly popular fans went elsewhere for their music and the Jazz scene quietly went comatose with the club closing its doors. Luckily in the mid ‘80s the club reopened to a resurgence of fandom but this time in a different location, after many of its original line up graced the new stage it was clear that Jazz fans hadn’t disappeared entirely. Eventually the club returned to its rightful home in midtown and continues to play to packed crowds today.
The modern day Birdland reflects much of its past, firstly the layout of the venue alone reflects the large open ballroom style settings of the past as many round tables fill the space right up to the stage. You can book a meal here today and enjoy a full night of dining and fine music just like the legends who attended half a century ago. Their sets also give a nod to the old ways as Birdland was known for its triple bills that lasted all night long. Now evenings manage to squeeze four or five acts into a night for several hours of entertainment. Experience some of the biggest names in modern Jazz here with all of the class of the ‘30s and ‘40s without having to see through all of the smoke.