Turkish Jazz: Istanbul’s Best Jazz Bars

Istanbul - Oct 2008 - Nardis Jazz Club Trumpeter
Istanbul - Oct 2008 - Nardis Jazz Club Trumpeter | © Gareth Williams/Flickr
Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

Although jazz music is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Istanbul, Turkey does have a jazz history with live music bars — having made their mark in the early 50s. Jazz is alive and well with the help of Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegün, co-founders of Atlantic Records, and the annual Istanbul Jazz Festival that is hosted by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, bringing the best international artists to the city. We rounded up the best Istanbul’s jazz clubs that are doing their part in promoting local and international talent.

1. Nardis Jazz

Nardis Jazz

Certainly one of the most famous among Istanbul’s jazz clubs (and named after a Miles Davis song), Nardis’ intimate stage has hosted the best of local talent from trios to funk units. Plenty of imbibing opportunities are presented at the bar, while the tables upstairs allow for a nice bird’s eye view. Make sure to get there early to snag a seat and bring some cash for the entrance fee.

Galata Kulesi Sokak No. 8 Galata, +90 212 244 63 27

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This tiny venue (literally 60 square meters) is as intimate as it gets in terms of listening to some of Istanbul’s most talented musicians. 60m2 also hosts ‘Müzik Boğaz’dan Gelir’ — a jazz concert series where performances are held on a boat cruising the nighttime Bosphorus waves. Keep track of upcoming performances via their Facebook page.

Şehit Muhtar Caddesi No.2/2, Talimhane Taksim, +90 212 293 0809


3. Atöyle Kuledibi

Atöyle Kuledibi

Located right next to Nardis Jazz Club, Atöyle Kuledibi is a bit more bohemian in terms of its aesthetic and repertoire. With a tiny performance area in the corner, you simply have to find a seat among the comfy sofas and curl up to some good live music.

Galata Kulesi Sokak No. 4 Galata, +90 212 243 7656


4. Divine Brasserie & Jazz Club

Divine Brasserie & Jazz Club

Istanbul’s upscale neighborhood Niştantaşı’s jazz bar is of course a fancy affair complete with a special jazz bar menu and wine. Divine Brasserie & Jazz Club‘s regular live jazz events are a favorite among the area’s residents, so make sure to reserve a table.

Nişantaşı Ihlamur Yolu Sokak, Sokullu Apt. 34/B, Şişli, +90 212 231 8469


5. Noasis Jazz Club & Bar

Noasis Jazz Club & Bar

Let’s not ignore the Asian side that enjoys its own wealth of very worthy venues. Noasis Jazz Club mixes a pub aesthetic with a casual jazz bar feel, complete with a great lineup of very talented local musicians (and plenty of delicious beer).

Osmanağa Mahallesi, Rıza Paşa Çıkmazı Sokak No 3, Kadıköy, +90 506 509 0975

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