I came back to Paris a couple of years ago. Beforehand, I lived in Singapore from 2012 until 2017. And I was coming to Paris four times a year on average, mainly through work. I was usually accompanied by my colleagues and clients. Whether they were 30, 50 or 60 years old, American, British, or Australians, many of them asked me where to go to enjoy good jazz live music in Paris.
As such, I started discovering with them many great bars in Paris where we enjoyed some amazing jam sessions and jazz gigs until the middle of the night. Every time, I made sure I noted down the address. I started to appreciate jazz music with them throughout the years, and I am actually going back to these places on a regular basis now that I am a real Parisian.
So here is my selection of the best live jazz bars you can find in the French Capital!
Jazz Bars on the Left Bank (Rive Gauche)
5 Rue de la Huchette, 75005 Paris – Metro Saint-Michel Notre-Dame or Odeon (line 4) or Cluny La Sorbonne (line 10)
Le Caveau de la Huchette is probably one of the most iconic jazz bar in Paris. Open for centuries, philosophers and thinkers used to come here during the French revolution (1789). But it’s only at the beginning of the 20th century that Jazz arrives in Paris, and specifically at the Caveau de la Huchette. The most famous jazzmen of the world takes over the place since. Nowadays, they play live jazz every single night. The stage is small, nonetheless the quality of the sound is great. The atmosphere is friendly and the dance floor open to all!
52 Rue Galande, 75005 Paris – Metro Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (line 4) or Cluny La Sorbonne (line 10)
The music and live session made the jazz-club famous. Drinks are not cheap but we come here for the performance and the acoustics more than anything else. They propose a mix of jam sessions, jazz concerts, blues, soul, but also stand-up comedy shows (most of the times in French – on Saturdays). It’s best to arrive 30 minutes before the concerts to make sure to get a seat!
33 Rue Blomet, 75015 Paris – Metro Volontaires (line 12)
It all started during the Roaring Twenties at Le Bal Blomet. People used to gather in this iconic place to speak about politics, and it quickly changed to leave space for music and dance! Both famous jazzmen and local artists perform on the Bal Blomet stage. The staff is friendly and the place comfortable, ideal to enjoy jazz concerts.
Jazz Bars on the Right Bank (Rive Droite)
38 Rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris – Metro Hôtel de Ville (line 1 and 11)
A great place to listen some jazz in a friendly atmosphere. The programming is eclectic and let us discover different countries and music culture. The jam sessions are lively and some other jazz concerts can offer a more intimate setting. Beware the place is tiny, but has its charm thanks to the vaulted old stone cellars!
1 Avenue Corentin Cariou, 75019 Paris – Metro Corentin Cariou (line 7)
La Gare Jazz is a famous address known by locals (only a handful of tourists know the place!). It used to be a train station a few years back, and has been refreshed to host concerts. Beware, graffitis are still on the walls and grass is growing everywhere. The restaurant is spacious (inside and outside), the drinks are affordable and the jazz concerts wonderful. Make sure you bring some coins to tip the musicians!
Jazz concerts every evening at 9pm, followed by a DJ set at midnight
Rue des Lombards
Rue des Lombards, 75001 Paris – Metro Châtelet – Les Halles (line 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14)
It’s hard to write about jazz bars without mentioning this dynamic street of the 1st Arrondissement. Indeed, many bars in Rue des Lombards propose live music, and especially jazz. They are overall more touristic than other jazz bars in Paris. However out of them all we recommend Sunset/Sunside and Baiser Salé which propose great jam sessions.
23 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris – Metro Colonel Fabien (line 2) or Gare de l’Est (line 4, 5, and 7)
L’Apostrophe organise wonderful jam sessions and jazz concerts every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. They invite young and talented artists to take the stage to share their passion of jazz, through generous performances. The place is unpretentious, and managed by a music lover. No wonder why we like the place! It’s lively and warm, and has everything we like!