The Best Jazz Clubs In Los Angeles
Los Angeles was once host to a thriving jazz scene that centered on Central Avenue, especially around the recently-revamped Dunbar Hotel that hosted Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway and Lena Horne. The Central Avenue Jazz Festival has been continuing that legacy each summer since the mid-1990s, but on any given day you can find these clubs all around town keeping that spark alive.
Photo courtesy of Pour Vous on Facebook
CATALINA BAR & GRILL
This supper club is a mainstay in the L.A. jazz scene. There's a cover charge and a two-drink minimum, which is standard for a high-end jazz club, but it's worth it. The Catalina Bar & Grill has had some of the best musicians swing by to perform, including Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Ray Brown and more.
Catalina Bar and Grill is located at 6725 W Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, (323) 466-2210
THE BAKED POTATO
If you're down for a carbtastic foray into the jazz world, this is your jam. The Baked Potato has been around since 1970, serving up over 20 varieties of its namesake spuds alongside some of the best jazz acts around. There's even a documentary on the place that claims it helped to launch the careers of Al Jarreau, Kenny G, Larry Carlton, Tom Scott and Lee Ritenour. Definitely worth checking out.
The Baked Potato is located at 3787 Cahuenga Blvd West in Studio City, (818) 980-1615
THE BLUE WHALE BAR
Little Tokyo's Blue Whale gets some really cutting-edge acts coming through. Sitting through a set won't cost you quite as much as some other spots around town, and you'll likely find more younger, avant-garde acts. The emphasis here is on the music, but they also serve appropriately-themed eats, like the Bitches Brew (mixed wild mushrooms sautÃ©ed with garlic, parsley white wine and cream with brie and organic polenta) or the Ginger Django cocktail (Courvoisier, Grand Marnier, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, and a twist of orange).
Blue Whale is located at 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street in Little Tokyo, (213) 620-0908
This Bel-Air jazz mainstay off of Mulholland Drive is a bit on the pricey side, but it makes up for it in charm. There's some serious talent rolling through, and it's worth keeping up to date with their online calendar. It was founded by Tijuana Brass frontman and native Angeleno Herb Alpert. He told Los Angeles Magazine, "There are so many great musicians in L.A. I run the place so they’ll have somewhere to play."
Vibrato is located at 2930 Beverly Glen Circle in Beverly Crest, (310) 474-9400
Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
The Charleston's resident Tuesday night act, the Richard Glaser Band, also plays at Jet Tila's new weekend jazz brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Chicken and waffles, bottomless mimosas and craft cocktails are just some of the highlights—along with the good music, of course.
The Charleston is located at 2460 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica, 310.828.2115
French-themed cocktail bar Pour Vous hosts a jazz night every Tuesday from 10 p.m. until closing. You don't have to get as gussied up as you would for their Black Tie Night, pictured here, but dress code is strictly enforced. Tacky sports gear and flip flops need not apply. Cheers to that!
Pour Vous is located at 5574 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, (323) 871- 8699