Miami's Eight Best Jazz Nights

Miami's jazz community is deeper than you think.
Miami's jazz community is deeper than you think.

While most think of cities like New Orleans or New York when they think of American jazz, our own Magic City also has its share of hot spots where you can catch local and international artists playing skat, hard bop, mainstream, fusion, and Latin jazz.

Miami's oddly large jazz community is partly due to the outpouring of students and graduates from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. But it seems whatever part of town you like to frequent, there is a venue not too far away where you can hear horns blaring, pianos boogying, and the plucking of an upright bass. Some venues will even devote a whole night to it, which brings us to the reason we've gathered you here today: Miami's best jazz nights.

Rodolfo Zuniga, the musical director at the Globe.
Rodolfo Zuniga, the musical director at the Globe.
Photo Courtesy of the Globe

8. The Globe, 377 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables; 305-445-3555; theglobecafe.com.

This Coral Gables restaurant features Saturday night jazz which is accompanied by special entries on their food menu. Recent players have included the John Yarling Trio, John Hart & Gary Campbell, the Osvaldo Vargas Trio, Roxana Amex, and Felipe Lamoglia. The Globe does not charge a cover, but all seats are subject to a $20 minimum consumption per person.

Lilt Lounge
Lilt Lounge
Photo Courtesy of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

7. Lilt Lounge, 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-351-7403; liltlounge.com.

This downtown club is for those feeling a bit fancy. Lilt features live music every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 p.m. to midnight and every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday nights are Sax and the City Jam Sessions featuring Alex Berti on upright bass, Aldo Salvent on sax, and special guests.

6. Le Chat Noir, 2 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-8899; lechatnoirdesalis.com.

This wine, cheese, and live jazz venue provides a little slice of the French Quarter right in downtown Miami. Le Chat Noir's website event page advertises "live jazz all the week," and that includes Wednesday's Descarga Latin Jazz Jam and Le Chat Eddy's Thursday Night Jam. In the month of June, Fridays at 10 p.m. will feature a trifecta of trios downstairs in the venue's cellar: Kemuel Roig's Trio play on June 3, the Richie Cole Trio on June 10, and Federico Brito's Trio will play on June 17.

The bar inside Jazid.
The bar inside Jazid.
Photo Courtesy of Jazid

5. Jazid, 1342 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-9372; jazid.net.

As you can tell by their name, one of South Beach's oldest bars planned to exclusively be a jazz club when it opened twenty years ago. Most nights they feature reggae, hip-hop, and fusion, but every Friday night they stay true to their name with Jazz at Jazid.

 

Zach Larmer is a Frost School graduate and Lagniappe's music booker.
Zach Larmer is a Frost School graduate and Lagniappe's music booker.
Photo Courtesy of Zach Larmer

4. Lagniappe House, 3425 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-576-0108; lagniappehouse.com.

The charming midtown hangout describes itself as a New Orleans-style wine house and jazz bar. There's live music every night starting at 9 p.m. which features a heavy rotation of local jazz curated by Zach Larmer, a local jazz musician and Frost graduate. And while there's not a specific weekly jazz night, Sunday nights lately have featured the KJ Circles Band, a project led by bass player and composer Kenneth Jimenez, accompanied by Derek Fairholm on keys and Rodolfo Zuniga on drums.

The CornerEXPAND
The Corner
Photo by Karli Evans

3. The Corner, 1035 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-961-7887; thecornermiami.com.

Tuesday night Downtown Jazz at the Corner was named by this publication as Miami's best jazz night a couple of years back. You can generally expect the bands to start the first of their two sets at around 10:30 p.m. One of the more interesting recent nights featured a three-piece known as Vector that played jazz interpretations of indie rock bands like Blonde Redhead and Fleet Foxes.

A crowd gathers outside Churchill's.
A crowd gathers outside Churchill's.
Photo by Alexander Oliva

2. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com

For 16 years, Monday night at Churchill's has belonged to the Miami Jazz Jam. Starting around 9 p.m., the city's jazz aficionados gather in the pub's indoor stage to bebop. Their recent 16th-anniversary party featured the Larry Kendzora Hornucopia Dixieland Band along with Fernando Ulibarri on guitar, Gola Jose on bass, and Jonathan Joseph on drums. If you're looking to partake, Monday night on the outside stage hosts Theatre de Underground, an open mic night featuring poets, musicians, storytellers, jugglers, and comedians, as well as aspiring jazz players.

Giacomo Gates performing at Ball & Chain back in May.
Giacomo Gates performing at Ball & Chain back in May.
Photo Courtesy of Trinity Group PR

1. Ball & Chain, 1513 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-643-7820; ballandchainmiami.com.

The renovated Little Havana landmark generally has a live jazz set Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 6 to 10 p.m. But on the last Thursday of every month, the local jazz station WDNA-FM (88.9) broadcasts live performances from Ball & Chain. It's free admission, and this month's simulcast is happening on June 30. Special jazz performances coming up this summer include jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany on June 17 and Danny Burger and the Tuscany Reunion Band featuring Brian Murphy, Matt Bonelli, and Randall Dollahan on June 23. 

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Ball & Chain
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Churchill's Pub

5501 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33137

305-757-1807

www.churchillspub.com

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The Corner

1035 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33136

305-961-7887

www.thecornermiami.com

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Lagniappe

3425 NE Second Ave.
Miami, FL 33137

305-576-0108

www.lagniappehouse.com

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Lilt Lounge

270 Biscayne Blvd Way
Miami, FL 33131

305-351-7403

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Jazid

1342 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-673-9372

www.jazid.net

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Le Chat Noir

2 S. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33130

305-377-8899

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The Globe Cafe & Bar

377 Alhambra Circle
Coral Gables, FL 33134

305-445-3555

www.theglobecafe.com


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