The original Smalls opened in 1993; over the course of its 14 year life, it became a wildly popular late-night hangout for a truly diverse group of musicians and jazz lovers. Luminaries from Norah Jones to Brad Mehldau trod the dive-y boards of the basement performance space. But 9/11 and financial problems caused a great amount of upheaval in the mid-2000’s and the fate of Smalls was in question.
Today, Smalls is under new ownership and up and running, with more of the best jazz the city has to offer. Even with a fresh coat of paint, the club still has the vibe of a living room concert with 100 of your best friends who all happen to be very serious about their jazz. The late night jams are notorious for extending long into the wee hours of the morning and Fridays and Saturdays feature the Smalls Master Series with performances by the finest players you’ve probably never heard of.
While the cover charge is a little steep at $20, that’s good for the whole night, a luxury seldom afforded at other jazz hot spots. Note that the cover charge is not a guarantee of good, or even any, seating, so arrive early if you plan on sitting.
Smalls Jazz Club Information
- Public Transportation: Very good (easily accessible by subway lines 1 at Christopher Street; A, B, C, D, E, F, and M at W 4th Street/Washington Square; the PATH at Christopher Street; and buses M5, M8, and M20)
- Handicapped Accessibility: No
- Performances/Programs: Three shows nightly at 7:30p.m., 9:30p.m. and midnight
- Ticket Prices: $20 (applies for the entire evening). Half-price after hours.