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Washington, D.C.: Jazz

Washington DC Jazz: Jazz Around Washington DC

Below are our Washington DC Jazz recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, venue history and other points of interest in Washington DC Art.

Blues Alley

As the quintessential D.C. jazz supper club, Blues Alley has played host to any number of legendary jazz players since its opening in 1965. (The club claims to be the longest continuously running jazz supper club in the country.) Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughn, Nancy Wilson, and Maynard Ferguson have all graced the stage in this very intimate setting.

Located in the …more…

Bohemian Caverns

The historic Bohemian Caverns has gone by several names and seen its fair share of jazz legends pass over its underground stage. The club began in the basement of a drugstore in 1926 under the moniker “Club Caverns.” It became an after-hours destination for Washington’s elite who came in droves to hear the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway. The club would …more…

Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives

Washington D.C. has a jazz tradition dating back to the beginning of the genre, and has been home to some of its most important innovators. The Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives was born in 1988 with the purpose of documenting the rich living jazz tradition of the nation and its Capital. Named after longtime area radio personality Felix E. Grant, …more…


HR-57 takes its name from a U.S. Congressional (House) resolution passed in 1987 that designated jazz as “a rare and valuable national American treasure.” The club strives to bring together developing jazz musicians with the best of the best and the jazz aficionados who support them. The venue features live jazz jam sessions every Wednesday and Thursday at 8:30 pm ($8 admission) and weekly live performances by a variety of …more…

Kennedy Center (KC Jazz)

The Kennedy Center is one of the nation’s most important arts venues and as such, its jazz series draws some of the most important and celebrated musicians in the U.S. to Washington, D.C. KC Jazz recognizes the diversity within the jazz world and frequently expands beyond traditional jazz to incorporate blues, world music, and even hip-hop into its series, which …more…

Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival

(May) The Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival was founded in 1996 by the late Dr. Billy Taylor, to showcase the incredibly talented and underrepresented women of jazz, and was named in honor of the late, great jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams. Over three nights in May, The Kennedy Center hosts stunning concerts by some of the biggest names in jazz. The likes of Janis Siegel, Lauren …more…

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra is the orchestra-in-residence at the National Museum of American History. It’s mission is to explore and present to the public the rich history of this uniquely American art form. The SJMO presents a number of programs and concerts throughout its season and regularly tours with smaller contingencies of the orchestra to venues all around the …more…

Twins Jazz

Originally opened as an Ethiopian restaurant on Colorado Avenue in DC, Twins Jazz became a hot spot for live music in DC and is now celebrating over a decade at it’s current location on U Street. Acts who have graced the stage include Shirley Horn, Bobby Sanchez, Roy Hargrove and Nancy Wilson.

Live jazz Tuesday-Sunday sets the tone for a lovely evening of good food and …more…

Utopia Bar & Grill

Utopia Bar & Grill is one of the funkiest little jazz venues in DC. The performers are a rotating roster of acts, but we don’t hesitate to recommend a venue which so prominently features Brazilian jazz in its lineup. The food can be hit or miss here, but the drinks are good and strong.

If you’re not a night owl, you will be sorely disappointed if …more…