Paris, Jazz capital: 6 unmissable jazz clubs

From the Saint-Germain district to the iconic rue des Lombards, Paris is one of the world’s hottest spots for swinging jazz!

Paris was Europe’s jazz capital from the ‘30s to the ‘60s, attracting the greatest jazz artists on the planet. It was here, in its cafés, that the famed guitarist Django Reinhardt popularized gypsy jazz.  And it was here that American musicians were welcomed after being abandoned by their country, resulting in Paris revealing some of the greatest exponents of the genre such as Duke Ellington, Memphis Slim and Miles Davis – who claimed his relationship with Paris was a “love story” and said of the city that it had “changed his vision of things forever”.

The story between Paris and jazz is a long love affair, immortalized in Boris Vian’s writings, and very much alive today thanks to the emergence of new clubs with specialist programming.

From the historic Caveau de la Huchette to the alternative New Morning, discover the capital’s most legendary jazz clubs.

Caveau de la Huchette

You can’t talk about jazz without talking about this temple of the genre, immortalized in the film La La Land in 2016.

Located in a cellar in the heart of the historic Latin Quarter, the venue was once allegedly used as a meeting place for the Knights Templar and later for Freemasons. Since 1946, the Caveau de la Huchette has hosted some of the greatest names in jazz: Sidney Bechet, Bill Coleman, Lionel Hampton, etc. It’s a must-visit to enjoy the music, have a drink and let off some energy until the early hours of the morning – because the Caveau is the only jazz club in the world where you can dance.

Best of all, the club is open every day, all year round. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the nostalgia of a timeless club, permanently in fashion since the 1940s.

Dates at Caveau de la Huchette :

Malo Mazurié 26-28 February

Paddy Sherlock 1-10 March

Megaswing 3-10 March

Jean-Paul Amouroux Boogie Woogie Machine 5 March

Ellen Birath & the Shadow Cats 6-9 March

Caveau de la Huchette – 5 Rue de la Huchette 75005 Paris

 

Jazz Café Montparnasse

The former Petit Journal Montparnasse, legendary club of the Left Bank, was replaced in 2017 by the Jazz Café Montparnasse.

Completely renovated, the venue remains in the continuity of its predecessor with a rich and varied programme that showcases jazz, swing and gypsy jazz every evening.

The atmosphere is warm and the kitchen serves up creative gourmet dishes. The perfect recipe for an enjoyable evening!

Dates at Jazz Café Montparnasse:

Adrien Brandeis 26 February

Original Blues Session 27 February

O’Djila 28 February

Sidney Bechet Quintet 5 March

Crocodile Dandies 6 March

Caloé 7 March

Jazz Café Montparnasse – 13 Rue du Commandant René Mouchotte 75014 Paris

 

Jazz Club Etoile

Located within the elegant Méridien Etoile hotel, the Jazz Club Etoile has been home to some of the most famous names in jazz, soul and blues for over 40 years, including Lionel Hampton, BB King and Dee Dee Bridgewater. The venue also hosts new talent from the current jazz scene as well as tributes to music legends.

The contemporary, designer décor is the perfect backdrop for appreciating the swinging vibe of the music over a refreshing cocktail – any why not treat yourself to a dish from the cuisine of chef Laurent Bélijar?

Dates at Jazz Club Etoile:

Concert Jazz Club Etoile 22 February-9 March

Jazz Club Étoile Hôtel Le Méridien Étoile – 81 Boulevard Gouvion Saint-Cyr 75017 Paris

 

Radio France

One of the city’s emblematic concert halls since it first opened in the 1960s, the Maison de la Radio – Radio France hosts the studios of several French public radio stations, including France Culture and France Musique.

In 2014, it acquired a new auditorium, a concert hall designed in the shape of an arena with musicians at its centre to optimize the listening experience. The complex also includes Studio 104, a long-standing venue that can be adapted to all styles of music and offers up an eclectic programme all year round, including symphonic concerts and chamber music, as well as jazz and contemporary creations.

Dates at Radio France:  

Fred Hersch Solo 9 March

Radio France – 116 Avenue du Président Kennedy 75016 Paris

 

Sunset-Sunside

The French capital’s most mythical jazz district is rue des Lombards! Here, you’ll find many of the best Parisian clubs, including the very first one to grace this street, the Sunset-Sunside.

The venue offers not just one but two concert halls, each with a different atmosphere. Head to the Sunset for its electric jazz and world music; or try the Sunside and its acoustic jazz sets. There’s something for every jazz fan!

Dates at Sunset-Sunside:

Viktoria Tolstoy & Jacob Karlzon 22 February

Nico Morelli Trio 27 February

Jean-Pierre Como 1 March

Jerry Bergonzi 5 March

Jazz & Goûter 3 March

Sunset-Sunside – 60 Rue des Lombards 75001 Paris

 

New Morning

Located in the frenetic 10th arrondissement, this alternative venue resembles an aircraft hangar, its minimalist décor meaning there is nothing to distract from its real aim: exceptional, cutting-edge programming.

Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Dizzy Gillespie all played here. And Prince’s improvised gig here in 2010 will long be remembered: at 4 hours, it was doubtless the longest of his career.

A must-play venue for the best jazz artists, the New Morning has also opened its programming to other genres, from hip-hop to folk and world music.mamm

Dates at New Morning:

Tommy Castro & the Painkillers 25 February

Jacques Schwarz-Bart 26 February

New Morning – 7/9 Rue des Petites Écuries 75010 Paris

 

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