Best Jazz Club in Boston

2013 Best Jazz Club

Wally’s Cafe

Boston

Jazz is inherently cool—but Wally’s makes it even cooler. Maybe it’s the club’s 66 years of history? The weekend jam sessions? The diverse and friendly clientele? Or maybe it’s just…Read More

2012 Best Jazz Club, Casual

Wally’s Cafe

Boston

The South End has risen and fallen as Boston’s jazz center, but 65 years after Joseph Walcott originally opened Wally’s, the place still grooves. Every evening of the year, the…Read More

2012 Best Jazz Club, Upscale

The Beehive Cafe

Boston

One part jazz club, one part restaurant, the Beehive is our go-to spot for a laid-back night out on the town. The stellar list of libations (we’re fans of the…Read More

2011 Best Jazz Club

Wally’s Café

Boston

With a hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, raw jazz, and bartenders who bust ass, Wally’s is an institution unto itself. A conglomerate of Berklee students, longtime barflies, and twentysomethings keep the narrow bar…Read More

2011 Best Jazz Club, Upscale

Regattabar

Cambridge

Jazz in its live form requires a venue that does it justice. With a slew of world-class acts ranging from timbale guru Eguie Castrillo to prog-funk trio Garage à Trois,…Read More

2011 Best Jazz Club

Wally’s Café

Boston

With a hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, raw jazz, and bartenders who bust ass, Wally’s is an institution unto itself. A conglomerate of Berklee students, longtime barflies, and twentysomethings keep the narrow bar…Read More

2010 Best Jazz Club

Regattabar

Cambridge

The tasteful Regattabar may not have the indie cred of the crowded, noisy neighborhood jazz joints around town; it’s in the Charles Hotel, after all. But there’s no beating the…Read More

2009 Best Jazz Club

Regattabar

Cambridge

With all that energy and spontaneity rippling off the stage, hearing jazz live is always best. Less clear-cut is the choice between the atmospheric, loosey-goosey neighborhood haunt or the more…Read More

2008 Best Jazz Club

Wally’s Café

Boston

Jazz is a music born of small spaces, of packed New Orleans clubs and speakeasies. Around here, no destination captures that better than Wally’s. The 61-year-old sliver of a South…Read More

2007 Best Jazz Club

Regattabar

Cambridge

A knack for luring the top names in the biz has elevated the Regattabar to its rank among the very best in the East. Far from the popular conception of…Read More

2006 Best Jazz Club

Regattabar

Cambridge

What this third-floor space lacks in atmospher—it’s more cruise-ship quarterdeck than smoky back-alley haunt—is more than overcome by the quality of its acoustics and the pedigrees of its bookings. The…Read More

2005 Best Jazz Club

Scullers Jazz Club

Boston

With its elegant low-lit atmosphere and glittering river views, Scullers is the cool king of local jazz haunts. Intimate without being overcrowded, it sports a heady roster of legends and…Read More

1999 Best Jazz Club, Scene

Wally’s Cafe

Boston

Its old location, across the street from where it is today, hosted the likes of Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday. The present-day stage has seen Branford Marsalis and Chick Corea….Read More

1999 Best Jazz Club, Traditional

Scullers Jazz Club

Boston

So it’s in a hotel, so what? Suits and garment bags can be forgotten in this dimly lighted club with its huge windows overlooking the Charles. Scullers consistently provides the…Read More

1998 Best Jazz Club

Regattabar

Cambridge

Some may complain that it’s a bit pricey, but it still delivers the highest-caliber jazz acts in town. From Sonny Rollins to Herbie Hancock, Don Byron to Tito Puente, you…Read More

1997 Best Jazz Club, Scene

Wally’s Cafe

Boston

With the shutdown of the Willow and the yuppification of Bob the Chef’s, Wally’s proposed expansion into the space next to its current Massachuetts Avenue hole-in-the-wall is the best thing…Read More

1997 Best Jazz Club, Traditional

The Regattabar

Cambridge

The only place in town to catch big-name out-of-town acts like Sonny Rollins, Cassandra Wilson, and Tito Puente. A front-row table here for Betty Carter or Christian McBride is one…Read More

1997 Best Jazz Club, Cutting Edge

The ICA Theater

Boston

The Regattabar occasionally offers avant-garde performers like Don Byron or Michael Marcus, but no one would ever confuse with New York’s Knitting Factory. The Institute for Contemporary Art, on the…Read More

1994 Best Jazz Club, Back-to-the-Roots

Wally’s Cafe

Boston

Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie have all played this small, dark, and smoky landmark. It’s no wonder the owners have had to defend themselves against complaints of overcrowding;…Read More

1992 Best Jazz Club

Willow Jazz Club

Somerville

Known to jazz addicts simply as the Willow, this club is inelegant, tiny, and out-of-the-way, yet accessible to big- and small-name musicians alike. jazz was born in dumps like this…Read More

1991 Best Jazz Club

The Regattabar, the Charles Hotel

The Regattabar is the place to go to hear big-name jazz artists. Sonny Rollins played there in May, and Herbie Hancock and Dizzy Gillespie are no strangers. July renovations—including additional…Read More

1990 Best Jazz Club

The Regattabar

Cambridge

Yes, it’s noisy. Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, the taste is mainstream. No matter. Any club that can survive five years on Boston’s anemic jazz scene must be doing something right…Read More

1989 Best Jazz Club

Regattabar

Cambridge

The competition around town isn’t tough, but the Regattabar picks up where old Jazz Workshop left off: top players in an intimate setting. But will someone work on the sound?

1987 Best Jazz Club, Last Gasp

1369 Jazz Club

Cambridge

At the start of 1988, this 80-year-old jazz club will be singing the blues when the landlady takes its lease away…Read More

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