A Musicians Guide to Jazz in NYC
The Roxy Hotel New York

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600 https://www.roxyhotelnyc.com

NYC Jazz Clubs To Know, According To Mark Whitfield

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I graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston in May of 1987 and moved to NYC a few weeks later to embark on what I sincerely hoped would be a long and successful career as a Jazz guitarist. The “CITY” did not disappoint! Clubs change, people come and go… but NYC has been and will continue to be the center of the Jazz World. It is with great pride that I offer this list of my favorite places in Manhattan to enjoy “America’s classical music”… Jazz.

The Village Vanguard

The Village Vanguard is one of the oldest and most prestigious Jazz venues in the world. Still family-owned and operated, the Vanguard has survived hurricanes, pandemics and the ever-changing musical landscape and is still the #1 NYC destination for those who aspire to achieve the highest standards in creative music.

Birdland

Although the location has changed several times since Birdland first opened its doors more than a half-century ago, the club named after the legendary Charlie “Yardbird” Parker is the only upscale Jazz venue in the theater district.

 

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Smoke Jazz Club 

Smoke Jazz is NYC’s premier “upper west side” Jazz destination and for years has served as a sort of “home base” for legends like George Coleman and the late Harold Mabern.

Jazz at Lincoln Center

Venture just a few blocks further uptown from the theater district and you will arrive at the crown jewel of NYC’s Jazz scene known only as “JALC”… Jazz at Lincoln Center. A beautifully integrated upscale lifestyle facility and three state-of-the-art performance spaces, Dizzy’s Club—the traditional Jazz Club setting, The Allen Room—a small theater setting and Rose Hall… Lincoln Center’s answer to Carnegie Hall.

The Blue Note

The Blue Note was once a stand-alone Jazz club but the Greenwich Village hotspot is but one of a huge network of international performance venues offering a slightly more commercial take on modern Jazz and related styles.

 

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The Django

“The Django” located in the basement of the Roxy Hotel in Tribeca has given musicians and music lovers alike a reason to venture down below Canal Street.

Zinc Bar

The Zinc Bar sits just a few blocks east of the Blue Note and boasts a weekly lineup that showcases some of the finest musicians on the Jazz scene.

Smalls Jazz Club & Mezzrow

Smalls and Mezzrow are “sister” clubs both owned and operated by Jazz pianist Spike Wilner. There are two bands performing a total of four sets every day of the week as well as a celebrated late-night jam session which consistently features the best and brightest of NYC’s up-and-coming musicians.

Website: markwhitfield.com

Instagram: @markwhitfieldtheguitarist

WORDS Mark Whitfield

PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy of The Django 

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The Roxy Hotel New York

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600 https://www.roxyhotelnyc.com
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