Best South Carolina Blues Clubs And Bars

A saxophone Saturday night at Snuffbox
A saxophone Saturday night at Snuffbox | © Courtesy of Snuffbox
Samuel Spencer

As you might expect from the home of jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, South Carolina has a thriving jazz and blues scene. From dive bars to dinner theaters, discover the state’s best musical spots, featuring well-known joints and hidden gems that all music fans should know about.
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Charleston Harbor Tours

Charleston Harbor Tours

Set sail on the Charleston’s Ashley River with Charleston Harbor Tours’ Blues & BBQ Harbor Cruise on Thursdays and select Fridays until October. Featuring a live blues band and a BBQ buffet, the company’s ship, The Carolina Queen, is one of the most unusual places in the city to hear live blues. A 400-person capacity boat with working paddle-wheel and smokestacks, the boat is evocative of the Mississippi River boats of old as well as the Golden Ages of the blues, and makes for a fantastic musical experience like no other.

Charleston Harbor Tours, City Marina, 17 Lockwood Drive, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, +843 723 5098

Blues Boulevard Jazz

Recently moving from Spartanburg to Greenville, Blues Boulevard Jazz has quickly established itself as a premier venue for jazz and blues in its new-build location. Featuring live music every day from Tuesday until Sunday, it is the perfect place for relaxed drinks or a meal. Choose from their extensive tapas or à la carte menus while serenaded by some fantastic local and international groups. There is a reason that this place has become known as the prime location for live music in Greenville, and it is well worth discovering why with a visit.
Blues Boulevard Jazz, 300 River Street, Greenville, South Carolina, USA, +843 242 2583

High Cotton

Dining at High Cotton is a fine way to get a taste of the Lowcountry

With locations in both Charleston and Greenville, High Cotton is that rare thing, even on this list; a venue with live jazz every single night which can be heard throughout the restaurant and bar, giving the venue a truly special ambiance. Not only that, but it is a restaurant with a great menu of locally-sourced fresh ingredients; Low Country cuisine staples such as fried oysters; and a seriously good (and extensive) wine and cocktail list. A popular venue with often ecstatic reviews, High Cotton really is a must-visit.

South Carolina Jazz Festival

Dizzy Gillespie, Cheraw’s Famous Jazz Son

What more perfect place for a jazz festival than Cheraw? The city is the hometown of Dizzy Gillespie, the legendary jazz musician who played for an astounding eight different presidents at the White House during his illustrious career. In tribute to the great man, the city comes alive every October with a week of jazz of all kinds taking over its bars, restaurants and public spaces. Pay tribute to the great jazz trumpeter, and maybe even discover a new jazz talent to rival Gillespie, at the South Carolina Jazz Festival.
Various Locations, Cheraw, South Carolina, USA, +843 537 8420

Home Team BBQ

BBQ

Named by Esquire Magazine as the restaurant serving the “most life-changing ribs,” the two Home Team restaurants are run by classically-trained chefs who bring their fine dining experience to barbecue and southern cuisine. This means delicious versions of all the classic Southern staples are available daily. Furthermore, they also offer a truly jam-packed schedule of touring bands, with frequent blues bands bringing music to Home Team BBQ that is as fantastic as the ribs.
Home Team BBQ, 2209 Middle Street, Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, USA, +843 883 3131

Ruby Lee’s

A true family-run establishment, with local hero Tim Singleton (the former local high school football team coach) teaming up with his mother in a restaurant named after his grandmother, Ruby Lee’s serves their family recipe soul food and comfort food classics. By day, Ruby Lee’s is a sports bar, with a particularly popular happy hour, but by evening it serves up a line-up of blues and jazz as delightful as the food.

Trio Club

Despite the name, Charleston’s Trio Club is really a club of two halves. Upstairs, the DJ plays a popular and well-reviewed set of mostly hip hop, but downstairs has a completely different atmosphere, with a selection of live bands playing anything from rock to, of course, a great selection of jazz. It is a high-energy alternative to the sitting-and-eating format of many live jazz venues in the city, and, as such, is always a busy and vibrant place to be. Trio Club is frequently voted the “best dance club” in the city.
Trio Club, 139 Calhoun Street, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays

Across 28 weeks of the year, Greenville’s popular entertainment plaza NOMA Square features live music every Friday, with two sets at 5:50 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. Compared to many live jazz and blues night, Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays is completely family friendly, with a “Kid’s Zone” providing entertainment for the kids, leaving parents free to listen to the great lineup of acts over the remaining course of the free events series.
Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays, NOMA Square, Greenville, South Carolina, USA, +864 235 1234

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