5 Destinations for Jazz Lovers

Best Western Travel Zone

From its roots in the deep south to more surprising finds today throughout New England and into Canada, jazz has permeated the world. Here are five noteworthy jazz destinations for your next music-inspired trip.

New Orleans, Louisiana

With diverse cultural influences, New Orleans, considered the birthplace of jazz, is a must for jazz-loving travelers.

At the New Orleans Jazz Museum, you’ll find an impressive collection of music-related artifacts and rotating jazz-themed exhibits.

While strolling along the Frenchmen Street corridor, keep an ear out for music spilling from a number of popular venues like The Spotted Cat Music Club and Three Muses. Don’t skip on shows at Preservation Halland Little Gem Saloon, two historical must-sees with top live acts.

Plan a visit in late April and early May and time it up with the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a draw for jazz lovers from around the world since 1970.

Book your stay at Blake Hotel New Orleans, BW Premier Collection.

Photo by Now Orlean’s Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Kansas City, Missouri

With its swinging style, Kansas City’s signature jazz ushered in a new era, from Big Band to a more improvisational style of jazz. With notables like Count Basie and native Charlie Parker claiming Kansas City as home, and with more than 40 jazz and fine-dining venues offering tunes every night of the week, Kansas City must be on any jazz-lover’s list.

Stop in for a set at the Green Lady Lounge or the The Majestic Restaurant & Jazz Club, a one-time saloon that serves steaks and classic jazz nightly. The Mutual Musicians Foundation International continues to host its longstanding after-midnight weekend sessions as it has since 1930.

At the American Jazz Museum, learn about the legends and legacy of jazz in Kansas City and snag tickets to a live show at The Blue Room, an intimate venue showcasing the area’s top musicians with regular free jazz sessions.

Photo by The Blue Room at the American Jazz Museum.

New York City, New York

In the city that never sleeps, there’s no shortage of jazz experiences, however intentional or happened-upon.

Book an evening at Jazz at Lincoln Center, directed by Wynton Marsalis, and experience the stunning skyline views at a show at Dizzy’s Club.

Classic venues that won’t disappoint include the Blue Note in Greenwich Village, which features some of today’s most revered artists plus up-and-comers across genres. Birdland in the Theater District is another historic mainstay, once home to headliner Charlie “Bird” Parker. In Harlem, Bill’s Place continues the legacy of tenor saxophonist Bill Paxton. From iconic 1960s gigs by John Coltrane, Village Vanguard is another must: catch the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra live on Monday nights.

Happen upon a set at a great club, like Tomi Jazz in Midtown, or any number of restaurants and cafes that offer duos and trios nightly as you dine.

Montreal, Quebec

Known most for its widely popular annual International Jazz Festival, Montreal is a must for any jazz fan. Each summer, the festival hosts thousands of artists over 10 days, with artists performing on a dozen outdoor stages.

For a jazz night out any time of year, head over to Diese Onze for a live set and elevated fare. Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill offers an intimate setting filled with a variety of live artists most nights, plus a robust dinner menu and cocktails.

Photo by Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire 

The Portsmouth Jazz Festival, now known as Tommy Gallant Jazz Festival, renamed in honor of the legendary local jazz pianist and composer, has been an annual draw for music lovers for 40 years.

Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a worthy stop-in for any jazz head and is listed as part of our Best Things To Do in Portsmouth, New Hampshire list. Engineered with acoustics in mind, Jimmy’s prides itself on being one of the top “listening rooms” in the country, worthy of showcasing some of the top jazz musicians from around the world. The Press Room is another popular option for catching a live set and pub fare.

Read the original story at Best Western’s Travel Zone.

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