SF is well known for its eclectic music scene, and jazz is no exception. Jazz is a complex music form characterized by improvisation and fluidity. New Orleans was a prominent place for 20th-century jazz, but the music form quickly spread throughout the United States and is still an important part of our cultural fabric today. Whether you’re a major jazz enthusiast or want to broaden your live music horizons, you can find plenty of amazing jazz performances in SF.
1. Local Edition
Located in the historic Hearst Building in Union Square, Local Edition is a well-known cocktail bar that regularly features live music. Performances include a jazz orchestra, quartets, and many more performances. Plus, the intimate vibe and great drinks make the atmosphere perfect for listening to live music.
This intimate jazz club features live bands Wednesday through Saturday. Founder of the club, Jay Bordeleau, brings his love for art and wine expertise to the space, creating a must-try jazz club. Plus, Mr. Tripple’s partners with Fat Cat to serve savory dumplings and Dim Sum.
Bix has been full of lively jazz and classic cocktails since it first opened in 1988. The classic jazz bar has live music every evening, from solo piano to jazz duos and trios. The long-standing club has a sophisticated dinner menu with locally sourced ingredients and decadent bites, including a halibut crudo and a Wagyu steak.
This cozy lounge is perfect for relaxing and listening to jazz on a rainy day. The lounge has no cover, although a two-drink minimum is in place. The lounge hosts a variety of live music, from piano solos to rhythm and blues bands.
5. SF Jazz
You can’t discuss jazz music in San Francisco without mentioning SF Jazz. The organization is the largest nonprofit jazz presenter in the world, and while it might differ from your typical jazz club, it’s still a great place to listen to world-class jazz music in San Francisco. The Jazz Center includes performance spaces, practice rooms, and an accompanying restaurant.
This classic jazz bistro is in the same space as El Matador, an iconic 1950s nightclub that hosted some of the biggest names in jazz. The bistro offers dinner accompanied by live jazz four nights a week, with two seating’s each night. The intimate shows are played to hushed audiences, and a curated dinner menu is available.
The Marina District may not seem like the place for a classic live jazz bar, but Geelou has been delighting guests since opening its doors in 2022. The new bar has a spacious and elegant interior, with regular live performances; don’t be surprised to see it packed on a Saturday night.
This classic supper club features world-class artists paired with a specialty cocktail menu and an extensive wine list. The space includes a dining room by the stage and a bar and lounge with free entry. The club describes its interior as “grit-meets-glam, ” with intimate seating, booths, and plenty of dark-hued velvet.