For years, jazz was a niche form of music that only die-hard fans would travel the world to seek out. Fast forward to today though, and it’s going through a purple patch. From old
1. Ronnie Scott’s, London
This Soho institution has been hosting the rising stars and established names of the jazz world since it opened its doors in 1959. Founded by the saxophonist Ronnie Scott, the club has been in its current location since 1965, and puts on numerous jazz sessions every night of the week – but it’s best to book if you don’t want to be turned away at the door. Secure a spot for the main show and hang around for the ‘Late Late Show’ (which runs until
Ronnie Scott’s, 47 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4HT, UK
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2. Village Vanguard, New York
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014, USA
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3. Cotton Club, Tokyo
A legendary spot in New York’s Harlem neighbourhood during the prohibition era, the Cotton Club helped launch the careers of numerous jazz icons including Duke Ellington. Although the original space shut its doors in 1940, it is part of the genre’s folklore and has even inspired a venue thousands of miles away. Opened in 2005, the club is located in the Tokyo district of Marunouchi and prides itself on bringing back a taste of jazz’s golden age, from the quality of the performers and elegant interiors down to the food and drinks on offer, with there an extensive cocktail list featuring some favourites that were served at the original Cotton Club. When it comes to the music, international faces rub shoulders with up-and-coming local talent in a packed schedule that features two shows a night. Reserve yourself a spot and enjoy a performance and setting from yesteryear.
Cotton Club, 2 Chome-7-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo, Japan
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4. Hot Clube de Portugal, Lisbon
Nestled between a hamburger joint and Italian restaurant on an unsuspecting road in the northern area of the Portuguese capital lies one of Europe’s oldest jazz clubs. From the
Hot Clube de Portugal, Praça da Alegria 48, 1250-004 Lisboa, Portugal
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5. Thelonious, Buenos Aires
The soulful sounds of jazz aren’t limited to the northern hemisphere, and in South America the genre has taken on a distinctly Latin flavour. Although there are bars dedicated to jazz from Colombia to Chile, it’s in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires where the scene is truly bouncing. The city has a handful of notable spots, but it’s Thelonious that steals the show. Named after the American pianist Thelonious Monk, it’s a New York-style venue that has an edgy, exposed interior common with other spots in the trendy Palermo district. The vibe changes depending on the night of the week you go – head there on a weekday evening for some musical appreciation, or on a Friday or Saturday if looking to move your feet – but one thing remains the same every night, and that’s the appreciation of jazz.
Thelonious Club, Nicaragua 5549, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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