Today’s Birdland is more than 40 years and two venue changes removed from the original club, but the legacy it represents is one of the most celebrated in the jazz world. Named for bebop saxophonist Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, the original Birdland represented the epitome of jazz, with its illustrious line-up, famous clientele, and all-night jam sessions. The club also played host to a number of iconic live recording sessions by such artists such as Art Blakey and John Coltrane.
Today, Birdland’s bookings generally stick to well-known jazz artists and “Songbook” revue shows. With somewhat steep ticket pricing and a required food and drink minimum, Birdland is not the most cost-effective introduction for the jazz newcomer. However, for the aficionado or the casual music-lover willing to give up stage-side seating and top-billed performers, Birdland is a perfect venue to soak up a semblance of the atmosphere that birthed the sounds of Stan Getz, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie. Check out the regular Sunday-night performances by Chico O’Farrill’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra ($25) or the Friday-night spots by the Birdland Big Band ($25) for some smokin’ jazz that won’t break the bank.
- Public Transportation: Very good (located two blocks from the A, C, and E subway lines at 42nd Street/Port Authority; and accessible by buses M11, M16, M20, M42, M50 and M104)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 250 performances are presented at Birdland per year
- Ticket Prices: Range from $20 to $65, depending on the performer. There is also a $10 food and drink minimum per person. Half-price tickets are occasionally available on Goldstar.com
- Group Discounts: Many party and tour-group packages are offered.