Hotel Giraffe’s Reservations Manager, Steve, takes us on a quick tour of the West Village Jazz scene. A Wisconsinite and lover of everything jazz, Steve offers his favorite places that gave him the feel of home when he first arrived in New York City:
We adore the bright lights of Times Square and the magic of Broadway, but tucked away in the West Village are some wonderful lesser known attractions that I love recommending. The West Village is home to NYU and the fully completed High Line, but did you know it also plays host to some of the most famous Jazz musicians in the world?
In dimly lit clubs throughout the neighborhood, the only sounds piercing the room are that of talent finely tuned through decades of practice. The number of clubs is plentiful here, so I have listed below a quick guide to three of my favorites.
Smalls Jazz Club
If you’re looking for a comfortable atmosphere to enjoy a modern version of old jazz, Smalls is the place to visit. This 60 seat basement hot spot is always welcoming and full while offering modern takes on smooth jazz. While there you’ll most certainly encounter freshly arrived aspirants to the NY Jazz scene and legendary old-timers at this cozy club; on the best nights you might even find them working together. It’s always $20 to get in, and every night but Friday and Saturday your first drink is included!
183 W 10th St. Between 7th Ave and 4th Street — http://www.smallsjazzclub.com/
While not touted as a “traditional” jazz club, Fat Cat offers guests a hub of vibrant jazz and activities. I would recommend this to a young-spirited, as it boasts multiple games including chess, ping-pong, pool and shuffle board at a small price per hour. The jazz here is phenomenal, with a true New York feel. They have multiple couches set up in front of a small stage where music-lovers can just relax and enjoy the feel. A small cover charge of $5 generally applies, and the atmosphere provided makes it well worth it.
75 Christopher at 7th Ave — http://www.fatcatmusic.org/
Dubbed the “Carnegie Hall of Jazz”, Village Vanguard is arguably one of the most historic and appreciated clubs in the city. Opened in 1935 with the original owner still at the helm, the Village Vanguard does jazz the right way. While they do charge a pretty steep cover($30 Fridays and Saturdays, $20 most other nights), it is well worth the price for the quality of both venue and music as you truly feel you are experiencing a slice of New York history.
178 7th Avenue South — http://www.villagevanguard.com/
Please feel welcome to share any questions or recommendations for your fellow travelers and our team! If you would like further assistance contact our concierge team at the Hotel Elysee, Library Hotel, Casablanca Hotel, or Hotel Giraffe!