Once a rather down-trodden corner of Barcelona, these days El Raval is very much a happening place thanks to its vibrant multiculturalism, trendy late-night bars, community art projects and vintage stores. Its gritty, alternative nature has made it a popular place for underground music venues and some of the best jazz clubs in the city can be found in El Raval.
Located on one of El Raval’s liveliest squares, Robadors 23 is one of the best independent live-music venues in the city. Informal, intimate and without any attempt at glitz or glamour, Robadors 23 is where you can hear some of the city’s best amateur and professional jazz musicians. Not exclusively a jazz club – Saturday nights are all about flamenco and it is one of the best shows in town – this is a particularly good place to come if you’re a fan of gypsy jazz and Balkans jazz. Get there early if you want a seat or you’ll be perching on the stairs at the back of the room with everyone else.
Despite its small size, JazzSí is popular concert hall in Barcelona’s Raval neighborhood. JazzSí has opened opportunities for young artists and musicians by allowing them a space to showcase their talents for over two decades. With a daily live music offering, it welcomes many visitors in to experience jazz and flamenco by some great local artists. Kick back, relax, and enjoy some cold tapaswith a nice beer while taking in the jazz.
Tucked away on a quiet side street in the heart of El Raval, Big Bang Bar is an authentic late-night jazz club with live music from Wednesdays to Sundays every week. With its black and white checkered floor and its soft, red-hued lighting, the Big Bang Bar is the perfect place to grab a table in a quiet corner and lose yourself to the night. Friday nights kick off with jazz jam sessions which are accompanied by a local jazz trio. While Saturday nights have more of a concert feel even if musicians are still able to join in.
Something of a local institution, Freedonia is multi-function cultural centre which hosts live music, theatre workshops, second-hand sales, DJ nights and more. As much about social inclusion and community spirit as it is about having a good time, Freedonia is representative of the kind of mindset that gives El Raval its edgy character. On Wednesdays, Freedonia hosts a gypsy Balkan jam session for just €5 ($6.25) cover charge with musicians from across Europe joining in the fun.
Named after the free-thinking characters of Argentine author Julio Cortázar‘s books, the Club Cronopios is a cultural centre and association located not far from the popular Carrer Joaquin Costa and its bustling late-night bars. The Club Cronopios is a members-only club but membership can be acquired on the spot for a symbolic euro and lasts for a year. If there aren’t jazz performances every day, they are regular and it’s certainly worth checking out the schedule for upcoming dates as the performances are generally very good and the atmosphere is intimate, friendly and just a little quirky.
While technically located in the Gothic Quarter, just meters away from La Rambla and neighbouring El Raval, Jamboree Jazz Club is one of the most well-known and well-regarded jazz clubs in the city so certainly worth considering if you’re in that area. There are live jazz performances every day with some big name performances taking place weekly. Not as intimate or as informal as some of the jazz clubs in El Raval, Jamboree is a reliable option if you’re looking for more of a dancing atmosphere, and a DJ takes over once the live music is over.