Jacksonville, the city bordering the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean, is an underappreciated jewel in northern Florida and a great city for live jazz. Read on to find out more about the best jazz clubs in Jacksonville.
Jacksonville has a fantastic nightlife with plenty of options for jazz lovers. Many of the clubs and bars stay open long into the night, many of which offer regular live jazz.
But before we dive into the best venues for live jazz, did you know that Jacksonville has hosted a major annual jazz festival since 1981?
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival attracts jazz lovers from North Florida and beyond every Memorial Day weekend. After launching three decades ago, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival has grown into one of the biggest free jazz festivals in the States.
Over the years, the event has attracted some legendary jazz musicians to Jacksonville, including Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Mavis Staples and more.
This year celebrates the 40th year of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and continues to be a highlight of the cultural calendar in Northeast Florida.
Now, onto Jacksonville’s best venues for enjoying live jazz all year round.
Top 5 Jazz Bars in Jacksonville, Florida
Breezy Jazz Club
The Breezy Jazz Club is a local favourite for hearing the city’s up-and-coming jazz performers in a calm and friendly atmosphere. If you’re a musician, it’s a great place to meet and play with other players on the scene.
After your first visit, the Breezy may become your go-to live music venue thanks to its relaxed atmosphere, great music and tasty food menu specialising in Southern cusine.
As one of the few venues dedicated to jazz, Breezys is without a doubt one of the best jazz clubs in Jacksonville.
The Volstead, a lively retro-style cocktail bar and lounge located at 115 W. Adams Street in downtown Jacksonville, is hidden behind the curtains, both metaphorically and physically.
The best artisan cocktails and custom mixes in town are served at the Volsted, one of Jacksonville’s top cocktail bars.
The club has a quaint nightclub ambience that harks back to the prohibition era. The bar hosts great jazz music from local musicians and a weekly swing dance every Sunday evening.
Element Bistro Bar and Lounge
In a sophisticated setting with an adjacent nightclub, this Jacksonville joint offers regular live music nights.
Taking place every Friday night, the venue programmes a range of genres but jazz is a common feature on its live music calendar.
They also have a creative menu that pairs well with their incredible drink menu, which features some of the most innovative drinks flavoured with fresh fruits and prepared by some of the best bartenders in the city.
Grape and Grain Exchange
Looking for a spot to unwind with some great live jazz and seasonal cocktails? Be sure to pay the folks at Grape & Grain a visit.
Although best known for its expertly curated menu of craft beers, local spirits and wine, the venue also offers some of the best live jazz in the city.
On weekends, the venue often programmes jazz music along with other genres like folk and indie rock.
Keep an eye out on their socials to keep up to date with their live music offering.
Blue Jay Listening Room
Jacksonville’s Blue Jay Listening Room hosts live jazz music every Tuesday night.
With a capacity of just 75, the venue has an intimate feel and since opening in 2016 it has become a popular haunt for live music and jazz fams.
With a dedication to the city’s music scene, the venue encourages its customers to focus on the present moment, take a deep breath, and unwind. It’s a fantastic place to connect with like-minded jazz fans and get to know the local scene so be sure to check it out.
That concludes our rundown of the best jazz clubs in JAcksonville. Thanks for reading! Of course, this list could go on, so if you’re a local jazz fan who knows the scene, give us your recommendations in the comments.
Discover more great jazz clubs in Florida with our list of the best venues in Miami. And be sure to head over to our dedicated page for jazz clubs and festivals to find out more about the best cities for jazz across the world.
The label ‘Discover Jazz’ is attached to articles which have been edited and published by Jazzfuel host Matt Fripp, but have been written in collaboration with various different jazz musicians and industry contributors. When appropriate, these musicians are quoted and name-checked inside the article itself!