Ibeam Brooklyn, Gowanus
Ibeam Brooklyn is a compact practice-pad-cum-venue which is run by Brian Drye – a trombonist and has recently become a go-to for jazzers of Brooklyn. Brian Drye’s cozy, tiny, artistic digs keep overheard down to offer a low-cost alternative to more lavish jazz venues of the city, highlighting the most progressive minds in the local scene.
Iridium lures the crowds with a lineup which is split between household names and other people known only to the jazz-savvy. The sound system and sight lines are truly worthy of celebration.
Located near the Flatiron Building, the Jazz Gallery is one of Manhattan’s premier incubators for progressive-jazz talent. It has been relocated from its former Soho digs to become a gallery-like space.
Nublu Classic, East Village
First-timers at Nublu Classic will have to ask the smokers outside if they have come to the right place which as marked by a blue light. Inside of this remote Alphabet City outpost, people settle in for the avant-garde acts and offbeat jazz such as Wax Poetic of its owner Ilhan Ersahin. Live Brazilian music and dance are offered on Wednesday nights. Nublu 151, a sister venue of Nublu Classic, also hosts live music just a few blocks away.
Smalls, West Village
For those who are looking for an authentic jazz club experience instead of the cheesy dinner-club vibe which prevails at so many other spots around the town, Smalls is a must-visit destination. It offered a cozy space that feels like a speakeasy. And its booking skews retro, yet not stubbornly so: You will hear classic hardbop and more adventurous, contemporary-flavored approaches.
Smoke Jazz & Supper Club, Upper West Side
Owners Frank Christopher and Paul Stache have created a jazz joint’s jewel. On weekends, guests gather around the block to listen to a set by jazz’s remaining big names, and they are well-rewarded: comfy sofas, low-lit chandeliers, unobstructed sight lines, and plush carpeting – all together make it seem like you are enjoy these things in your living room.