Whether you’re new to the city or just interested in our opinion, we’ve compiled a list of a few jazz venues in the city with a short description and rating. For a compete list of venues that have jazz music, please click here (link to reference page). Thank you for supporting live music!
South Kitchen & Jazz Parlor
600 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130
South, the newest jazz club on the scene in Philadelphia, is the brainchild of the Bynum Brothers, who previously owner and operated legendary jazz club Zanibar Blue. While South opened just two years ago, it continues to bring in top quality musicians with some of the best southern cuisine in the city. The venue is separated into two sections, the dining area and the jazz room. While the cover may be a little more steep then that of Time or Chris’, South frequently brings in the some of the best jazz musicians in the world such as Orrin Evans, Christian McBride, and the great Gary Bartz. Well worth the cover.
Time Restaurant, Whiskey Bar & Taproom and Music Venue
1315 Sansom St, Philadelphia, 19107
There is no other place like Time in Philadelphia. This unique venue has three sections, an upstairs bar and dance floor, a whiskey bar, and a taproom/restaurant area, where the music happens. Our favorite time of year is during the summer when they open the large windows of the taproom and let the music flood out into the streets, often drawing crowds of people who stand outside listening to the bands play. Here, you’ll get to hear jazz music that is influenced by a number of outside genres such as hip-hop, reggae, neo-soul and more. With very reasonable a cover but 21+ later on in the night, we recommended Time to all those “of age”.
1220 N Mascher St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
@Exuberance is a really special place in Philly. It is the most notable venue on this list, because it’s not really a venue, it’s actually someone’s home. Over the course of two years, Philadelphia resident, Matt Yaple, has transformed his home into an intimate space where he hosts monthly private jazz performances. In order to attend these exclusive events, you have to sign up for the mailing list and RSVP when you receive the evite. But don’t wait too long to RSVP; Matt’s place is packed for every show and you usually won’t have luck just showing up at the door day of. While refreshments are served before the show, once the music starts, there is no talking or cell phone use permitted. Matt also has a penchant for picking the best musicians such as Jeb Patton, David Wong, and Philly’s own Farid Barron. Upcoming performers include Terell Stafford, Bruce Barth, and the great Albert “Tootie” Heath.
914 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
The sister restaurant, bar and music venue of Time, this venue in Northern Liberties offers a wide selection of beer, great food, and even better music. Usually playing at Heritage are smaller groups of two, three or four musicians set in a speak-easy type venue. More frequently visited by patrons who are 30 and under, we recommend you stop by if you’re in the area.
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
300 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Located on the Avenue of the Arts in Center City, the Kimmel Center is a prominent figure of the Philadelphia music scene in just the building alone. The jazz programming works to bring a wide variety of performances to Philadelphia throughout the year. While tickets can be pricey, you can attend a variety of jazz offerings from big band orchestras to small ensembles at this wonderful venue. Some jazz artists that have graced its’ stages in recent years include jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, as well as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
LaRose Jazz Club
5531 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144
This intimate club, located in the heart of Germantown, is a staple in the local community. This is a great spot to hear some of Philadelphia’s finest local musicians, such as Rob Henderson, Jack Saint-Clair, and local jazz legend Tony William. While the performances are somewhat infrequent, you’ll hear great live jazz here and you can enjoy a great home cooked meal here during the performance!
Chris’ Jazz Café
1421 Sansom St, Philadelpha, PA 19102
Chris’ Jazz Café has been presenting live music to the Philadelphia community for over 25 years. In the past, Chris’ largely focused on presenting local artists such as James Santangelo, Mike Boone, and Victor North, however more recently they’ve begun to bring in more artists that are based outside of Philadelphia. While Chris’ is one of the first jazz clubs that come to mind when asked where to see live jazz in Philadelphia, their restaurant focused atmosphere leaves something to be desired if you’re coming in specifically to listen to the music. While they do have dinner service, if you want to sit at a table, it’s a $10 minimum.
Ars Nova Workshop
If you’re looking to get funky, Ars Nova Workshop is for you. They call their programming “jazz and experimental music” and focus on avant garde music and free jazz. While they don’t operate in just one location, their stellar partnerships with renowned Philadelphia festivals like Fringe Fest and programming includng bands like The Bad Plus, they lend themselves as something that is definitely worth checking out.
Ars Nova Workshop:https://www.arsnovaworkshop.com/