The first thing to spring to mind when you associate music and Argentina may instantly be tango. Not so fast! Jazz is growing in popularity every year, as evident by the success of the Buenos Aires International Jazz Festival, as well as these excellent jazz venues.
Notorious is just that in terms of jazz in Buenos Aires, one of the better known clubs in town. While it appears to be a mere CD/DVD store from the outside, the inside proves not only to be an elegant jazz club but fancy restaurant as well. Prices on the menu tend to be high-end, but the food is fresh and delicious. The stage is a bit awkwardly placed, up against a wall, so there may be some head craning if you get the wrong seat. However, the line-up usually merits the effort. Or, you could forgo that and purchase tickets and make reservations beforehand. Also, if you are lucky enough to be in Buenos Aires in the spring, check out the lush, green patio section at the back of the restaurant.
Open every day at 9:30pm onwards. Price varies according to artist.
Address: Av. Callao 966, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (+54) 11 4813 6888
It is hard to say something new about the Thelonius Jazz Club. It's has been reviewed many times online and in guide books, a testament to its popularity. Why so popular? The club is consistently given high marks for its decor, barman's skill, food, and, of course, line up of amazing jazz singers and bands, both international and local.
Inspired by the New York jazz club scene, musicians Lucas and Ezequiel Cutaia founded Thelonius in 2002. Located on the first floor of an old building the dimly lit interior offers a 13-meter long bar, a stage lorded over by a bundle of strung lights, and leather couches and tables in an alcove at the far reaches of the club. The club offers a respectable bar food menu which includes pizzas, meat and cheese trays (picadas), and desserts - making it a great option for before or after dinner. The club prides itself on the variety of cocktails they mix up behind that 13 meter long bar.
The bar is open from Tuesday to Saturday, starting at 9:30pm. It's entry way is easy to miss, a simple plaque with its name. Get there early or make a reservation, as the narrow space fills up quickly. There is normally a cover charge, but how much depends on the act performing.
Address: Salguero 1884, 1st Floor, Palermo, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (+54) 11 4829 1562
Café Vinilo offers a very relaxed vibe, with a mix and matched set of wooden furniture, quaint bar, and vined plants hanging down and crawling across the yellow painted and red brick walls. The club offers drinks, appetizers, and food.
The club's music roster is eclectic, but has a goodly amount of jazz. There are also special arts events and private parties at the club. Cover charge ranges from 20 to as high as 60 pesos (which is still just $15USD). Be sure to get there early, the venue is charming but on the smaller side, and is filled on a first come, first served basis.
Address: Gorriti 3780, Palermo, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (+54) 11 4866 6510
A special thanks to Nick Mills from the Argentina Independent. His article, Top 5 Jazz Clubs, was a great resource for the descriptions above.