From outdoor shows at the State Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park to open mike night at Decatur's Eddie's Attic, Atlanta has a venue for live music enthusiasts, regardless of their favorite genre. And with the city hosting Atlanta Jazz Fest, one of the country's largest of its kind, it's no surprise that jazz music thrives here 365 days a year. From gritty dive bars to upscale listening rooms, here are Atlanta's best jazz clubs.
Don't let the looks of this tavern—a rare relic of the Westside's gritty, industrial roots—scare you away. This dive bar is home to some of the city's best live blues and jazz music with the likes of Uncle Sugar and the Breeze Kings playing here. While Northside Tavern presents shows seven nights a week, there's no cover charge on weeknights.
You might rub elbows with celebrities like Clint Eastwood while tapping your feet to mainstream, contemporary and funk jazz alike at this iconic jazz club in Sandy Springs. Cover ranges from $10-15, and the popular Big Band Nights, held every other Monday, are worth reserving your table in advance.
Elliott Street Deli and Pub
Located in the historic Castleberry Hill neighborhood right near downtown's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, this small neighborhood pub hosts music several nights a week on a variety of stages, including the 51Club downstairs, as well as an outdoor stage and a more intimate patio room. Want to stay close the action? Rent one of three rooms upstairs from the venue at the Elliott Street Inn.
Known for its award-winning blues shows in the heart of the charming Virginia-Highland neighborhood, this club named for legendary songwriter Blind Willie McTell hosts its fair share of jazz artists, too. Eat pub-food like wings and gumbo while listening to national and internationally renowned artists, with live shows Tuesday through Sunday weekly.
Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint
A throwback club specializing in soulful food and music, Sweet Georgia's has two locations for jazz lovers: the original downtown location in the former Macy's building and at Concourse C at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, so weary travelers can stop in and hear live music without having to venture into the city.
Get a taste of the Big Easy in Atlanta at McKinnon’s Louisiane. Located in the dining and shopping district of Buckhead the city's oldest operating restaurant features live music Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Indulge in a menu of New Orleans favorites like crawfish étouffée and seafood gumbo while you soak in the sounds of soul and jazz.
Who better to curate shows at a restaurant and bar dedicated to live music than the front men of Atlanta's own Yacht Rock Revue? Visit this Old Fourth Ward gem on Tuesdays for "Jazz Jam." The concerts, hosted by Joe Gransden and his house band, are free, but we recommend calling ahead for reservations to guarantee your listening spot.
Lumen Bar at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
Belly up to this sleek bar in the downtown Ritz-Carlton, sip on a signature cocktail and share small plates like fried oysters or flatbread while listening to live music, including jazz, Tuesdays through Saturdays, every week.
Red Light Cafe
With seating for just over 100 guests, Red Light provides an intimate listening experience across several genres from folk and the blues to jazz and rock. Its proximity to Midtown's Piedmont Park and the Eastside Beltline Trail makes it easily walkable and accessible for visitors and residents alike.
St. James Live!
Located just a few miles from Atlanta's airport on the city's Southside, this club feels like an intimate concert hall and features local mainstays and national acts like Grammy award-winning keyboardist Phil Davis as well as "Smooth Jazz Sundays" for fans of the genre. The venue also presents a free "jazz on the lawn" series from May through October on the green at the Battery at SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.
Come early for the burger and stay late for the music at this East Atlanta Village mainstay. Listed as one of America's 40 Best Music Venues, the Earl hosts concerts ranging from indie acts like The National and Death Cab for Cutie to blues, rock and of course, jazz.