• September 10, 2023
  • Lauren Critzer
  • 0

Your Guide to the Best Jazz Bars in Austin: Get Groovin’ in ATX

As a local Austinite and jazz enthusiast, I’m thrilled to help you wander off the beaten path to discover some of the city’s jazz hotspots. Austin’s heart beats in sync with the rhythm of jazz, offering a decadence of experiences ranging from underground jazz dens to retro-style lounges. This expansive city undoubtedly strikes a perfect chord with jazz lovers. Here, we’ve compiled the ultimate local guide to the best jazz bars in Austin, a harmonious trip that promises eargasms aplenty.

Dive into The Elephant Room’s Underground Jazz Magic

Lower your way under the bustling streets of downtown Austin and find yourself in a jazz lovers’ paradise – The Elephant Room. Known for its subterranean charm and great acoustics, this venue is a haven for both seasoned jazz enthusiasts and those looking to get their initial taste of the genre.

  • The Scene: Here, jazz doesn’t keep a calendar – it’s an everyday affair. From lofi jazz trios to big band extravaganzas, there’s always a number that’ll get your toe tapping. Regular on-stage jam sessions give the place an electric atmosphere, while also providing a platform for budding local talent to strut their stuff.
  • The Cocktail symphony: Their cocktail menu is as varied as the jazz it accompanies. The ‘Spiced Apple Sidecar’ is great for those chilly Austin nights. Traditional favorites like Old Fashioned and Manhattan are spot on for those who appreciate classic concoctions.
  • Jazz Workshop: The Monday Jazz Workshop is a must-attend event. Watch musicians jam, improvise, and create absolute magic, showcasing the true spirit of what makes jazz such an enchanting genre.

C-Boy’s Heart & Soul: The Sounds of the SoCo

Another jewel in Austin’s crown is C-Boy’s Heart & Soul. This Southern-styled bar on South Congress has long been a go-to for music lovers who crave a more organic experience.

  • The Downstairs Stage: With some of the most talented local jazz musicians on the roster, every performance here feels like it’s tailor-made, creating an intimate and personal atmosphere for everyone in the audience.
  • The Ruby Red Lounge: Secluded upstairs, this Japanese-themed lounge imparts a serene vibe, far removed from the city’s usual bustle. Enjoy a fantastic view of busy South Congress while sipping on a drink of your choice.
  • Iconic Drinks: Try their famous “Japanese Highballs.” It’s a crowd favorite and for good reason. Their finely tuned tap list and thoroughly selected wine also add a touch of sophistication to your, already, impressive night out.

Enjoy Munificent Melodies at The Monarch

More than just a cafe, Monarch offers Austin’s particularly laid-back brand of jazz spotlighting their love for coffee and music in one harmonious swing.

  • A Jazz Retreat: Regular jazz days serve as an invitation to unwind with some coffee (or something stronger if you prefer) while getting lost in the musical performances that define Monarch’s ambience.
  • Food for the Soul: Their brunch menu radiates diversity and presents an encore to your palate. Imagine munching on artisan sandwiches, while a nearby saxophone puts on a show – certainly a date that your senses won’t soon forget.

Jazzed Up on Gueros Taco Bar

Gueros Taco Bar, with its delightful fusion of Southern cuisine and fresh, unique jazz, is an evening well spent on savoring Austin’s unique combination of flavours and music.

  • Wednesday Jazz: Amidst the ordinary hustle of midweek, jazz washes over the establishment and transforms it into a musical haven. Established acts mesh with new arrivals to breathe life into various forms of jazz, making for a highly memorable night.
  • Taco ‘n Tune: The authentic taste of South Texas is encapsulated within their menu. While the music fills your ears, let your taste buds dance to the local culinary delights paired with engaging cocktails served at the bar.

Get The Parker Jazz Club Experience

Parker Jazz Club pays homage to the golden age of jazz bars with its boutique aesthetic and high-quality performances.

  • Jazz Aficionados, Unite!: With local talents and world-class musicians gracing its stage regularly, each performance is not just a show, but an experience, the essence of which is intensely jazz-centered.
  • A Taste of Parker’s: Their signature collection of cocktails provides a delightful accompaniment to the music, with taste notes as nuanced and layered as the jazz itself.

Enjoy Jazz at The Skylark Lounge

Affectionately known as a local favorite, Skylark Lounge is where good music, strong drinks, and warm camaraderie find a blissful entry into every jazz lover’s heart.

  • Jazz Under the Stars: In keeping with its slightly retro setting, the Skylark offers a patio, a perfect place to enjoy the Austin evening while listening to enchanting live performances.
  • Sky High Sundays: Sundays are renowned for the Blues Jam — a perfect blend of jazz, blues, and soul. Free-form performances and spontaneous collaborations make it a treasure of aural delight.

Visit The Continental Club: An Institution of Live Music

Last but not least, we journey to the Continental Club, an Austin gem that’s been shining bright since 1955. You’ll discover jazz at its finest, while also appreciating a diversity of musical genres, all under one roof.

  • The Melting Pot of Tunes: Besides jazz, there’s blues, country, and rockabilly to keep everyone in the groove. Such a vibrant mix ensures that your musical horizons are forever expanding during your stay.
  • Where Legends are Forged: Over the years, numerous legendary musicians have graced the stage of the Continental Club, performing memorable gigs that are etched in the heart of Austin’s live music scene.

There you have it, our local’s guide to the best jazz bars in Austin. From the underground allure of The Elephant Room to the neat, chic sophistication of The Parker Jazz Club, each venue offers a unique introduction to Austin’s jazz scene. Come explore these musical landmarks, drink in the atmosphere, savor the local eats, and feel the rhythm of the night. Remember, in Austin, we’re always groovin’, especially to jazz!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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