One of our first weekends in Paris, some of our new friends invited us to join them for Saturday afternoon jazz at a hip but classically Parisian coffee and wine bar. We loved the music, and it felt like the most Paris thing to do ever, crowded around a few tiny tables, enjoying good company and appreciating good music.
Since that day we sought out as much jazz around the city as we could, especially after realizing how many options there are any night of the week. On any given day, there are give or take 20 jazz concerts throughout the city, varying from a simple live band at a bar to world renown musicians.
You have your choice of standards, gypsy jazz, swing, blues, or experimental, and can decide whether you want an intimate environment and how much you’re willing to pay.
Once I discovered this, but also knew we were moving back to the US, I was at once thrilled and devastated, as there’s just no place in the US (or anywhere in the world??) that can offer as much good jazz as Paris, except probably New Orleans or maybe New York or London. Regardless, from that point on, I tried to see as much as we could while we still lived in the city.
We certainly haven’t been everywhere, but here are a few of our favorite places to see jazz in Paris:
A chill way to spend a Saturday, featuring a regular 3 or 4 piece ensemble. Outdoor seating is a bonus when it isn’t too cold.
Choose from a list of hundreds of Italian wines at this cozy hole in the wall where the ambiance is 100 and the clients are all locals. Monday nights only.
This underground cellar with room to dance has been a mainstay for the jazz scene in Paris, offering live music nightly since 1946. Fun fact, it was featured briefly in La La Land.
Grab a drink (required for entry) at this intimate venue where everyone is fully focused on the music.
During this international festival, jazz bands and other musicians pop up all around the city including at your favorite iconic sites like in the gardens of Palais Royal and on the steps in front of the Opera house.
Parc Floral – Paris Jazz Festival
Bring a picnic and lay in the grass at this outdoor amphitheater where you can soak up some sunshine while enjoying the free summer jazz festival.
The Paris Jazz Club website has the best roundup of all the concerts going on day-by-day. They make it super easy to find events as they sort the list by date, time, location, price, and type of jazz (vocal, piano, swing, etc.). Check it out here.
Do you like jazz? I’d love your recommendations on where you love to see live jazz 🙂