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The Best Jazz Venues In Melbourne

Courtesy of Paris Cat Jazz Club
Courtesy of Paris Cat Jazz Club
Across Melbourne, smouldering rhythms and swoon-worthy saxophone solos drift from laneways, back alleys and up from basement bars. Jazz cats can check out bebop, classic standards, brassy big bands, fusion, scat kings, crooners and legends who know how to sing the blues. With shows on almost every night, here are the six most swinging jazz venues in Melbourne.

Bennetts Lane

Labelled by Lonely Planet as ‘the world’s best jazz bar,’ Bennetts Lane is a back alley club that hosts local and international artists seven nights a week. Opened in 1992, the intimate Bennetts Lane consists of two rooms – the Jazz Club and the Jazz Lab – and has seen the likes of Prince, Harry Connick Jr, Maceo Parker, Kenny Kirkland, and many others swing a tune. Look for the sign out front.

Bennetts Lane, 25 Bennetts Ln, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, +61 3 9663 2856

#jazz

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Bird’s Basement

The offspring of New York’s iconic Birdland Jazz Club and the first of its kind in Australia, Bird’s Basement is located on Singers Lane opposite Flagstaff Gardens and dishes up dinner and a show twice a night, every night. The Italian menu and extensive wine list paired with local and international artists make for a sophisticated and sultry evening of food and music.

Bird’s Basement, 11 Singers Lane, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, +61 1300 225 299

The incomparable Pharoah Sanders with Nat Reeves on bass! @birdsbasement

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Uptown Jazz Café

For a taste of uptown funk, head to Brunswick Street’s Uptown Jazz Café where you can discover local improvised tunes and the best of the ‘Melbourne sound’ with a host of resident artists as well as local and international players. Swing around Wednesday through Saturday for nightly gigs and satisfy your taste buds downstairs with Japanese cuisine.

Uptown Jazz Café, 177 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia, +61 3 9416 4546

Dizzy’s

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Having recently moved to Bridge Road, above Boheme Restaurant, Dizzy’s has embarked on a new era in its long history. Opened in 1998, this stylish club hosts local acts as well as up-and-coming talent. Join them on Big Band Wednesdays or drop by on Friday or Saturday evenings. Dizzy’s also holds occasional special events on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can even book a table and enjoy a Mediterranean meal prepared by Boheme.
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Paris Cat Jazz Bar

Flavoured with Parisian post-war ambiance, the Paris Cat is located off Lonsdale Street, behind Hardware Lane, and attracts artsy alley cats who prowl in Wednesday through Saturday. Paris Cat holds three shows on both Friday and Saturday nights and hosts both local and international acts. Bob Dylan has even dropped in for a listen. The venue is split over three levels and features a rustic tapas bar, a Parisian loft upstairs, and the iconic basement where Robbie Williams held a gig in 2015.

Paris Cat Jazz Bar, 6 Goldie Pl, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, +61 3 9642 4711

#melbournenights #catnight #jazz #pariscat #datenight #nightlife #livemusic #nightout

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Lido Cinemas Jazz Room

Beneath a movie screen at the historic Lido Cinemas sits a cosy jazz room which slinks into life every Friday and Saturday from 9 pm to 11 pm. The Lido Cinemas Jazz Room has room enough for 40 people and hosts both local and touring musicians, complete with an impressive gig guide curated by Sonny Rehe of Uptown Jazz Café.

Lido Cinemas Jazz Room, 675 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia, +61 3 8658 0000