We might not be New Orleans or New York, but South Florida has a large audience craving the uniquely American sounds of jazz. All around Broward and Palm Beach Counties are venues where performers take the stage following the great lineage of Satchmo, Bird, and Miles. Here are ten spots where you can count on getting your jazz fix.
10. Soulful Jazz Sundays at Gulfstream Park
Bummed that you didn't do well at the poker table, slots, or horse races? Gulfstream has a cure to make sure you don't end the weekend with a sour disposition. Every Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m., saxophonist Travis Bridges takes the stage at Champions Plaza to soothe you with his Soulful Jazz Sundays.
9. Sunday Jazz Brunch at Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk
The first Sunday of every month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the City of Fort Lauderdale presents free jazz performances by local artists. Kids and pets are invited to attend. Three different stages with three different acts ensure there will be something for everyone.
8. Q-Bar Burgers & Blues
This New Orleans-inspired gastropub opened this past January with a commitment to providing live music to Fort Lauderdale. They advertise craft beer, wine, liquor, a chef-driven menu, and live jazz and blues.
7. South Florida Jazz
This Plantation-based organization's mission statement is to provide "performance venues for musicians, local, regional, national, and international, whom we regard as treasured talents." Their season 25 kickoff concert is on November 5 at Miniaci Performing Arts Center featuring Etienne Charles, a Trinidadian trumpeter.
6. Gold Coast Jazz Society
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Gold Coast Jazz Society in Fort Lauderdale curates a seven-concert jazz series presented in the Amaturo Theater each year from November through May. This year's program starts off with Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers on November 9 and Jon Faddis Quartet on December 14.
5. Kreepy Tiki Lounge
This Fort Lauderdale tiki bar specializes more in garage and punk rock but does manage to mix in the occasional jazz night with their tropical drinks. The no-cover nights are hosted by Zach Bartholomew and feature an open jam session.
4. 33rd Street Wine Bar
Located in Fort Lauderdale's North Beach Art District, 33rd Street Wine Bar has over 120 wines by the glass to choose from as you sip through the best South Florida has to offer in be-bop, fusion, or vocal jazz. Friday nights in October featured the Anthony Corrado Duo.
3. Arts Garage
The nonprofit multimedia arts venue, nestled in the bottom of a garage, brings theater, visual art, and hip-hop to Delray Beach. But it also finds a way to provide plenty of jazz. November 5 sees the Dirty Bourbon River Show with the Jon Stickley Trio, November 12 has jazz fusion by Jeff Lorber, and November 17 showcases the Latin jazz of Paquito D'Rivera.
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2. Blue Jean Blues
This Fort Lauderdale spot offers live music seven nights a week. Though in October jazz was relegated to only Monday nights, with other nights showing off blues and classic-rock cover bands, their musical schedule changes every month. It's smart to keep tabs on their website for when you might hear a great improvisation on a John Coltrane standard.
1. All That Jazz Cafe
Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from 6:30 to 11 p.m., this Sunrise restaurant mixes jazz with a blend of New Orleans and world cuisines with absolutely no cover charge. Thursday nights are dedicated to New Orleans-style jazz and food. Friday nights are jazz vocals and 1970s pop hits with Argarita and the Hot Mess Band. Saturday nights are classic jazz with the All That Jazz Trio.