Jazz clubs in Singapore have become a rare breed in recent years, with musical tastes trending more towards the electronic dance and indie side, as can be seen by the success of festivals like Ultra Singapore, Neon Lights and Laneway. But fear not jazz lovers, there are still a handful of sultry clubs where you can watch a live band while sipping on a cocktail or whisky.
The secluded B28 has all the hallmarks of a speakeasy; to find it, look for The Club in Telok Ayer, but instead of going in, walk down the alley next to the hotel until you reach a set of double doors. A flight of stairs transports you to this basement bar – and straight into a bygone era. With shelves of top-tier whisky and live performances by local and international artists, this is the low-key haunt every jazz aficionado needs to know about. The bar specialises in independent bottlers and distilleries of Scotland, so whisky lovers will feel at home here as well.
28 Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069708. T: +65 6808 2180
One of Singapore’s most popular live-music venues for local, up-and-coming acts, Blujaz Cafe is located in historic Kampong Glam, sandwiched between Haji Lane and Bali Lane. This much-loved joint hosts performances spanning all genres of music and even stand-up comedy. One of its house jazz bands is the Blue Monks who play on the third Wednesday of every month. For a full rundown of events, check out the schedule on the website. Blujaz Cafe is also associated with Piedra Negra and Muzium Cafe, which serve up delicious Mexican and Mediterranean food, respectively.
11 Bali Lane, Historic Kampong Glam, Singapore. T: +65 6292 3800
Montreux Jazz Café
Montreux Jazz Café is located inside the Pan Pacific Orchard hotel, in the heart of Singapore’s famous shopping district. A perfect way to wind down after a day of retail therapy, the club showcases homespun and global jazz and blues artists. Right now, the team are accepting submissions for jazz piano, vocal and guitar entrants for the Montreux Jazz Competitions. The soulful music genre fills every nook of this café, down to the menu, with dishes like Ella’s Cheesecake inspired by Ella Fitzgerald.
10 Claymore Road, 1-2 Pan Pacific Orchard, Singapore 229540. T: +65 6733 0091
No 5 Emerald Hill
One of the oldest bars in the neighbourhood, No 5 Emerald Hill is housed in a beautifully decorated, two-storey Peranakan shophouse from the turn of the century. On the drinks menu is an array of meticulously crafted martinis and creative cocktails, while live jazz performances are hosted on the second floor. Be sure to check out the happy-hour specials for ‘gentleman’s pour’ mixed drinks (75ml instead of 50ml) until 9pm and 1-for-1 martinis from 9pm until 1am.
5 Emerald Hill Road, Singapore. T: +65 6732 0818