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Boston: Jazz

Boston Jazz: Jazz Around Boston

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

Acton Jazz Café

Although located slightly off the beaten path (in Acton, MA, neighboring historic Concord), the Acton Jazz Cafe regularly hosts many of the Boston area’s most established professionals. Local saxophone legend and jazz guru Jerry Bergonzi leads his trio here every Wednesday night, and Thursday-Sunday features a diverse array of talent from the greater Boston area. In addition to being steadfastly dedicated to the preservation of live music performance, the AJC (as it’s …more…

Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival

The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival began in 2001 under the direction of Daryl Settles (of the Beehive) and has become one of the biggest yearly attractions in Boston. Held in late September, this not- for-profit festival takes over most of Columbus Avenue for an entire day of great jazz on several different stages, with everything from international stars to up-and-coming local student ensembles.

Ticketed portions of the festival take place at …more…

Jazz Boston

Jazz Boston is Beantown’s one and only jazz support organization, dedicated to stimulating interest in America’s art form, bringing great jazz events to the city and educating the next generation of jazz lovers. One of Jazz Boston’s biggest yearly events is the late-April “Jazz Week,” which features a whole week’s worth of concerts and screenings of jazz documentaries all over the city. “Jazz Week” brings together contingents from the local …more…

Outpost 186

Originally know as the Zeitgeist Gallery, Outpost 186 has undergone ownership and location changes in the past few years and recently has emerged as one of Boston’s centers for creative music and multi-disciplinary art. To call it small would be an understatement; the gallery occupies one tiny room at 186 ½ Hampshire St. in Inman Square, a stone’s throw from Ryles Jazz Club and the Lily Pad.

For several years it …more…


A true Boston legend and arguably the most reputable jazz club in the whole New England area, the Regattabar offers authentic jazz from top-notch talent. Frequent performers of note (past and present) include Elvin Jones, Dave Holland and Kenny Werner. Since its opening it has also hosted its own annual summer jazz festival, the aptly named Regattabar Jazz Festival.

Located inside the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square, the Regattabar has been …more…


For the better part of the past two decades, Ryles has been a bastion of music and culture in Cambridge’s historically culture-rich Inman Square. With a lineup that blends traditional jazz, world music and a variety of up-and-coming Boston-area talent, the Ryles stage has hosted quite a few internationally renowned performers (notable past performers include McCoy Tyner, Maynard Ferguson, and Arturo Sandoval) while also serving as a stepping stone for …more…

Sculler’s Jazz Club

Loudly proclaiming its own fame, Sculler’s Jazz Club in Boston generally lives up to the self-hype, featuring world-class acts, such as Tony Bennett, Lou Rawls, George Shearing, Marian McPartland, and Wynton Marsalis, as well a variety of emerging acts. Claiming to have helped launch the U.S. careers of artists like Diana Krall, Jamie Cullum, and Michael Bublé, Sculler’s has established itself as one of Boston’s foremost jazz venues since opening …more…

The Beehive

The newest addition to Boston’s jazz club circuit, the Beehive provides a less expensive alternative to some of the city’s better known jazz spots. The drink prices can be a bit steep, but the lack of a cover charge already puts you in better shape than many other venues. The Beehive offers live music almost nightly, and, in an almost successful attempt to outdo their rivals, they offer TWO jazz …more…

The Lily Pad

Originally an art gallery that offered space for artists of all stripes to make and display their creative wares, the Lily Pad has evolved into one of Boston’s premiere venues for all things slightly left of center. Many of the most creative musicians coming out of the programs at Berklee College of Music or the New England Conservatory spend their off nights here developing their craft and jamming with other like-minded …more…

Wally’s Café Jazz Club

Beginning its long history in 1947, Wally’s Café, formerly Wally’s Paradise, weathered the storm of the 20th century to retain its classic charm and great lineup to be one of the longest-lasting and most respected venues for jazz in Boston.

Founded by Joseph Walcott, the first African-American jazz club owner in New England, Wally’s was able to keep the jazz hot and the overhead low by bringing in young talent from …more…