With the Annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival finished for another successful year, and The Beaches Jazz Fest just wrapping up, there are no shortage of incredible Jazz clubs around Toronto where you can take in the smooth and mellow tones of some of the finest musicians all year round.
Here’s are the top 5 Jazz Clubs from north to south of the core:
The Berkeley Bicycle Club (504 Jarvis St. Toronto):
The Berkeley Bicycle club, not only offers great jazz on Monday nights, it is also a historical mansion built by the famous Gooderham family. operates the venue, hosting small events, such as weddings and private parties.
Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St West Toronto): Lula lounge is where you go ‘get your party on’! The vibe is electric, as the room heats up with hot musical acts from all over the world. From Salsa, to World music to modern jazz, people come here to dance and to let loose! This coming October, Lula Lounge will host the 6TH Annual Latin Festival, featuring Latin music and culture.
The Rex Hotel (Jazz and Blues Bar, 194 Queen St. West): is the premier venue to hear jazz. Someone once said of The Rex, “Where jazz musicians come to hear jazz!” It has grown into a musical mecca presenting 19 shows per week, for over 40 years! They’ve affectionately named their restaurant “Rextaurant,” and offers a more casual menu of burgers and pub-fare. It definitely maintains its historical status along trendy Queen West.
N’awlins (299 King St. West Toronto): N’awlins is the quintessential jazz bar. It has been operating in the entertainment district of Toronto, for over 20 years. The interior is stylistic of a vintage saloon, with rustic open brick wall and beautiful oak stained bar with old fashioned style saloon lanterns. N’awlins has a cool, yet intimate vibe and is the perfect place to dine with a small group, or a special date. It features beautiful paintings on the walls of the jazz greats, like Billie Holiday and Fats Waller. The menu offers Cajun-Creole dining that will definitely have you dreaming of heading south to the real deal, New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Reservoir Lounge (52 Wellington St. East): has the vibe of an intimate hide-a-way, located in the heart of Toronto right across from the flat iron building. It is “just below street level, and just this side of the wrong side of tracks”. It offers a very eclectic array of musicians, from DeeDee and The Dirty Martinis, Tyler Yarema And His Rhythm, to Alex Pangman (known as “Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing”). Canadian Icon Michael Buble` also got his start here.
So grab a martini and “look sharp” as Joe Jackson would say! Get out on the town, and listen to some of the finest players in Toronto “trade fours”. They may just be channeling the spirits of Jazz cats Miles, Chet or Charlie.