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A melting pot of jazz musicians and up-and-coming singer-songwriters, New York is a haven for the musically inclined. Whether you’re looking for disco beats on the Lower East Side or want to be within arms’ reach of underground DJs, our list of live music venues will ensure you know where to find the city’s hottest musical lineups.

Bar LunÀtico

A bona-fide music bar, Bar LunÀtico offers a completely different style of tunes every night, ranging from “guitar goddess” trios to reggae and Brazilian beats. Nestled in Brooklyn’s too-cool-for-school Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood, this is the place to expect a low-key, artsy crowd clustered around the bar to sample agave-based “liquid love” cocktails and cubano negronis. Whether you’re looking to chill out to some old-fashioned tunes or get up and tango, you’ll be sure to find something your speed on LunÀtico’s event list, curated by the three touring musicians who own the bar.

Baby’s All Right

A Williamsburg favourite where you can catch the likes of Kate Bollinger, Geowulf and Instagram sweetheart Charlotte Lawrence busting out their latest albums, Baby’s All Right is in a constant energetic state. Though live music is almost always featured, the house sometimes also curates dance parties, including those themed around Rihanna X Beyoncé and bubblegum pop. Beyond the cocktails being mixed for the pretty young things lining the bar every night, this venue also has a restaurant in the front and dishes out a great weekend brunch.

The Django

In the cavernous basement of The Roxy Hotel (also home to Paul’s Baby Grand, a favourite nightclub among the city’s international crowd) lies The Django, a buzzy jazz club. This sleek cocktail bar with red seats feel distinctly Parisian, while its exposed brick walls and individual table lamps are New York jazz club staples. Come early for dinner, or grab a drink at the bar and watch part of the show before heading upstairs to Paul’s later in the evening.

Apotheke

Tucked away on a winding cobblestone alleyway in Chinatown – an anomaly amid the typical gridded streets of NYC – is Apotheke, a hard-to-find cocktail bar. Bartenders in pharmacist coats serve up tipples classified as painkillers and stimulants while entertainers, including guitarists and DJs, liven up the atmosphere every night. This is the perfect spot for date night, as the clandestine entrance paired with the music of the night – whether that be mambo or mashups – makes for an undeniably fun and spontaneous evening.

Bar Belly

This Lower East Side classic draws in a variety of cool crowds, from Milanese fashionistas in town for the week to NYU students who can’t get enough of the bar’s truffle popcorn and spontaneous costume parties. On weeknights, while there’s typically a DJ spinning, you can sometimes catch a live jazz band performing in the back, so grab a table and some violet-infused Casanova cocktails for a chilled night out set to tunes ranging from Duke Ellington to Paco de Lucía.

Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel

Renowned for its Fashion Week after parties and for a jet-set clientele dancing late into the night, Rose Bar puts on several weekly music nights, including jazz each Tuesday and Thursday. Its most exciting live music offering, however, is probably Rose Bar Sessions, when performers such as BØRNS and Third Eye Blind have taken centre stage in the intimate space for the evening. Events are invite only, so of you can snag spots to a Sessions night in advance, grab a rose-and-prosecco cocktail and work your way to the front row (not that you’ll be too far away from the artist in any part of the intimate, velvet-draped space).

  • +1 212 920 3300
  • Go to Website
  • Gramercy Park Hotel
    2 Lexington Avenue
    10010

Le Poisson Rouge

Le Poisson Rouge is a downtown establishment that draws in SoHo dwellers and out-of-towners alike. A cabaret-style space blending art and revelry, this bar offers – in its own words – “one of the widest varieties of entertainment in the city”. There are 80s-themed dance parties and hip-hop nights, as well as musical renditions of cult films such as Cruel Intentions, making it one of the most creative places to spend a night out. Dress wisely based on the theme and prepare for everything but the expected.

Elsewhere

A hub for Brooklynites, Elsewhere occupies a massive space in Bushwick, with various rooms featuring different DJs and art installations on given nights. The summertime rooftop features a variety of sunset performers and music events including tiki nights and disco sessions, which are often available to the first arrivals for just a few dollars. Anyone searching for a big night of dancing and a creative crowd, look no further.

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