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Boston Jazz Clubs

Three must-see jazz clubs in Boston

By Kiana Golchin

Photo By Mirabel Chen

Boston, a city rich in culture and art, has a particularly close relationship with jazz music and has historically welcomed the genre. From hosting Charlie Parker in the 50s to Miles Davis throughout the 80s, this city has been bustling with jazz clubs and cafes for quite a while. Visiting some of these jazzy hotspots is essential to living in Boston, and here are some perfect spots to hit on a date, girls’ night out, or simply a memorable solo evening filled with soulful music and delectable drinks. 

Located in the South End, The Beehive is a restaurant and bar with higher-end comfort foods and drinks. This underground eatery is well known for its live music, including jazz, burlesque, reggae, funk, and blues performances. Their website features an online calendar for all of their events, but they have live music every day of the week except for Mondays. There’s seating right up in front of the band and further back bar seats — it’s up to you to decide if you’d rather enjoy the music upfront or be a little louder and chat by the back. This spot is perfect for special occasions in the South End and each person can expect to spend 30 to 50 dollars. The dim lighting and bohemian decor create an ideally romantic atmosphere, so if you need an eclectic new date spot, make a beeline straight for the Beehive! 

Founded in 1947, Wally’s Cafe is the first Black-owned jazz club in New England and has since established itself as a famous nightclub with a mixture of trained jazz professionals and student performers. They pride themselves on providing the students of Boston’s renowned institutions with space to showcase and nurture their skills. Open all days of the week from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., the cafe welcomes guests of all ages and backgrounds to join their cozy audience. On Fridays and Saturdays, the house jazz band performs at 10 p.m. and presents a mixture of original pieces and covers. Take a trip to Mass Ave and bring a snack or meal —they don’t serve food, but welcome any outside grub. Although Wally’s is on the smaller side, the rich and lively performances from its musicians transform the ambiance into something that far transcends its physical size.  

Since its opening in 1989, Scullers Jazz Club has hosted some of the biggest names in not only jazz but a plethora of other genres. Michael Bublé, Eartha Kitt, and Wynton Marsalis have all graced the stage with unforgettable performances, so feel free to check the Scullers online calendar to save the dates for upcoming events. This club has a classic setup: the focus being the main stage with tables set up in front. With an enchanting view overlooking the Charles and dim, intimate lighting, this is a comforting and relaxed setting to enjoy some of the best jazz in the city. It’s best to reserve seats in advance or buy tickets for special events, as it can be difficult to secure last-minute spots. If you’re looking for a more formal jazz experience, head to Scullers in Cambridge, where you’ll find refined performances, cuisine, and drinks. 


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