Our Favorite Real Deal Jazz Bars

January 03, 2013 | by —Simona Rabinovitch | Homepage

Village Vanguard
First opened as a speakeasy in 1935, this legendary little club has been a New York jazz staple and music scene haunt since the mid-1950s. Made for sound and reverberating with jazz history (all the greats—John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie—have played here), the joint's authentic allure factor continues today with live music virtually every night. Go on a Monday night, when the Grammy-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (est. 1966) has its regular set. 178 7th Avenue S.; 212-255-4037

Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
For upscale jazz performed by the cream of the international jazz crop, this posh 140-seat restaurant and jazz club, part of Jazz at Lincoln Center, delivers the goods. With jazzmen like Wynton Marsalis on the bill, the elegant institution considers jazz to be a metaphor for democracy, and all are welcome. 10 Columbus Circle #5, 212-258-9595

Zinc Bar
This dark, subterranean Greenwich Village institution welcomes both jazz legends and fresh talent performing everything from Afro jazz to flamenco to funk to cabaret and everything between. A true neighborhood jazz club down to its red velvet curtains and long mahogany bar, Zinc serves up excellent live music pretty much seven nights a week. The crowd varies from locals to longtime regulars, and many musicians hang out here, too. Back in its heyday, the bar was a favorite of both Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra. 82 West 3rd St., 212-477-9462

Jazz Standard
For a night on the town, you can't go wrong with jazz and barbecue, and Danny Meyer's upscale joint Jazz Standard aims to please, serving Blue Smoke’s barbecue and top-notch live jazz every night. Artists range from classic jazzmen to upcoming talent, and service is excellent. Sunday afternoons, the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra performs to raise money for the Jazz Standard Discovery Program, which connects schoolchildren with jazz. 16 East 27th Stt., 212-576-2232

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