Since opening its doors in 1981, the Blue Note Jazz Club has established itself as one of the premier jazz venues in the world and a cultural institution in New York City. Founded and owned by Danny Bensusan, the club has hosted performances by pretty much all the big names in jazz music. Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson are some of the artists who had stopped by during the past. More recently, prominent jazz musicians like Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, Cassandra Wilson and Ron Carter have been household names. The Blue Note Jazz Club’s brand has become an icon for jazz music fans all over the world. The success of the Big Apple’s venue has led to the foundation of the Blue Note in Milan, Tokyo and Nagoya.
There’s probably no better place to get some hot live jazz in the Big Apple than the Blue Note. Located in Greenwich Village, one of New York’s most buzzing neighbourhoods, the venue has been hosting top-class jazz acts for over thirty year. Throughout the years, many of the national and international big names in jazz music have called the Blue Note “home” and have come back to perform. For numerous up and comers, the venue has represented the big stage that have marked their breakthrough.
Live Music And Food In An Intimate Setting
The Blue Note Jazz Club presents a busy weekly schedule filled with multiple music sets each night. Opening acts usually start playing around 8pm, followed by another show at 10:30pm. Longer nights even hosts a late night set, which begins after midnight (note: the admission price varies depending on the performing act). All this, in a cosy and intimate atmosphere.
In fact, many have praised the Blue Note for being a club that allows people to be very close to the action. It can happen often to sit just a few meters from the main stage or even to see a musician signing CDs while enjoying a drink at the bar. Not many places in the world gives visitors the opportunity to see their favourite artists up close and personal.
On Sundays, the venue hosts its popular jazz brunch. The price of $29.50 includes two shows (at 11:30am and 1:30pm), the brunch (served from 10:30am until 3pm) and a drink. The menu is comprised of brunch drinks such as Bloody Mary, Screwdriver and juices, eggs Benedict, the popular Blue Note omelette, corned beef, turkey, salads, chicken and grilled black angus burger. The complete menu is available here.
The rest of the week, the club offers a wide selection of appetizers, pasta, soups, salads, numerous entrees and delicious desserts. Its sophisticated bar is well-known for its impressive variety of champagne, rose, red and white wine. The complete list of food and drinks can be found here.
Record Label, Music Festival And The “Others”
In addition to being one of the hottest places for jazz New York has to offer, the Blue Note Jazz Club has also launched its own record label and jazz festival. For over a decade, Half Note Records, this is the name of the label, has released a series of albums recorded live at the club – by artists such as James Carter, Avishai Cohen, Elvin Jones and Jeff “Tain” Watts. Half Blue Note hasn’t limited itself to releasing live album only. McCoy Tyner‘s 2008 album Guitars and Kenny Werner‘s 2010 release, No Beginning, No End for example, are some of the studio albums released by the record label.
Since 2011, the Blue Note has even been organizing its own music festival. World renowned artists like Chaka Khan, Bobby McFerrin, The Roots, Esperanza Spalding and Wayne Shorter have all performed at the event. This year’s edition will be held in New York, June 1st-30th. More information regarding the lineup will be available here.
The Blue Note Jazz Club’s own success has quickly reached the other side of the pond. In 1988, Tokyo launched the Blue Note Tokyo. Taking inspiration from the Greenwich Village’s own club, the Blue Note Tokyo has rapidly established itself as one of the country’s high-end jazz venues. Japan also has a second Blue Note, in Nagoya. Blue Note Nagoya, located in the heart of the Sake District, is the place to go for all those who want to hear worldwide favorite such as Keiko Lee and Natalie Cole. You may not speak a word of Japanese, but you can be sure that you will be blown away by universal language of music! On March 19th 2003, Milan, one of Europe’s most popular destinations, saw the birth of the Italian version of the popular club based in New York. Now, eleven years since its opening, the venue is still going strong. Presenting music six nights a week (Tuesday-Sunday), and live music from September to May, the Blue Note Milano has become one of Europe’s top-class music venues.
Like always, I would like to conclude by addressing you! Have you ever been to New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club? If yes, what’s your take on it? If not, who would you like to see performing there? Feel free to leave your comment here and on your favourite social media: Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
131 West 3rd Street
New York, NY 10012