Long before there was any type of electric, pop, dance, or house music, there was jazz. Jazz music has always been THAT girl and throughout the decades has been quite incomparable to other genresConsidered a more mature/refined musical taste, we sense a comeback of this vintage vibe that has been brewing for years. A jazz comeback has been brewing for years with ‘La La Land’ being one of the most remembered movies of the century and Jon Batiste most likely being featured on your favorite artists tracks, could 2024 be the year of the Jazz revival?
Village Vanguard – NYC, New York
The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra originated as the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1966, initially booked for three Monday nights at the Village Vanguard jazz club in New York City. The performances were a hit, leading to an indefinite extension. Despite over half a century and more than 2700 Monday nights passing, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra remains a unique and enduring force, standing out among contemporary ensembles and maintaining its strength and vitality.
The Elephant Room – Austin, TX
The Elephant Room is a local jazz club situated in the basement of the Swift Building, a late 19th-century commercial structure with a tripartite stucco façade along Congress Avenue in old Downtown. Since 1991, the venue has been a hub for jazz enthusiasts, featuring Chicago, Kansas City, and New York-style jazz. The candlelit space adorned with famous autographs operates seven nights a week, starting happy hour music at 6 pm. Regular performers include Sarah Sharp, Stanley Smith, Jon Blondell, and Michael Mordecai.
Green Lady Lounge – Kansas City, MO
Green Lady Lounge is an exclusive Jazz lounge in Kansas City, rooted in the city’s rich jazz tradition. Devoid of televisions, the venue encourages patrons to focus on music, atmosphere, and conversation. The lounge showcases original Kansas City Jazz compositions by musicians from Green Lady Lounge and Black Dolphin. The establishment takes pride in featuring live performances by some of the world’s best jazz musicians. The ambiance is retro, with red velvet walls adorned with vintage oil paintings and mid-century hanging lamps. The staff, dressed in suits and ties, contributes to the elegant yet casual atmosphere. The main stage features a Hammond B-3 organ and a drum set, while the lower level Orion Room hosts a grand piano and a second drum set. The lounge’s commitment to live jazz performances and its unique, timeless atmosphere contribute to its status as a distinguished jazz destination in Kansas City.
The Spotted Cat Music Club – New Orleans, Louisiana
Located in the vibrant Faubourg Marigny near the French Quarter, The Spotted Cat is a beloved local venue for live New Orleans music. It offers a diverse range of genres, including Traditional and Modern Jazz, Blues, Funk, Klezmer, and more. Visitors can immerse themselves in the lively performances of local musicians, creating an enjoyable and authentic musical experience.
Bimhuis – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Since its establishment in 1974, the BIMHUIS has been a celebrated hub for jazz history, nurturing young talent, and fostering conversations about musical conventions and freedom. Rooted in free thinking, the venue has been a vital part of the national and international network of groundbreaking music. The BIMHUIS shapes the changing world by facilitating projects, initiating the creation of new work, and providing a platform for mutual understanding through careful listening at all levels of the organization. Originally founded by saxophonist Hans Dulfer, wind player Willem Breuker, and pianist Misha Mengelberg, the BIMHUIS has evolved into one of the most important Dutch stages for improvised music. Over the years, it has hosted renowned musicians and supported new initiatives, maintaining an open and progressive attitude. Through renovations and relocations, the BIMHUIS remains an intimate space for live jazz, breaking rules, demolishing boundaries, and preserving the spirit of musical exploration.
Tramjazz – Rome, Italy
Tramjazz in Rome offers a unique cultural experience combining live jazz music, gourmet dining, and a scenic tram ride through the city. Participants enjoy a nostalgic journey on a historic tram while being treated to live jazz performances and a gourmet dinner. The experience includes views of Rome’s iconic landmarks, and reservations are recommended due to limited seating. To get the latest and most accurate details, it is advisable to check official websites or contact the organizers directly.
Porgy & Bess – Vienna, Austria
Porgy & Bess in Vienna is a non-profit Jazz & Music Club that emphasizes a diverse and inclusive program. Functioning as a platform for musical encounters and collaboration, it focuses on accommodating the wide range of expressions within Austria’s jazz scene. The club encourages collaborations with international guest musicians and serves as a meeting point for local artists, fostering exchanges across stylistic and aesthetic boundaries. The venue aims to prevent musical compartmentalization by promoting collaborations among local musicians with diverse artistic backgrounds. Porgy & Bess also identifies itself as a European jazz club, showcasing creative contemporary European music through partnerships with clubs and festivals across Europe. Additionally, it recognizes the historical roots of jazz as Afro-American music and continues to present both renowned American solo artists and the emerging “next generation” of jazz talents.
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club – London, England
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, founded in 1959 by Ronnie Scott and Pete King, is an iconic and historic jazz venue located in Soho, London. Known for its intimate and welcoming atmosphere, the club hosts live jazz performances featuring both established and emerging artists from various jazz genres. It is renowned for its late-night jam sessions, adding a dynamic element to the music experience. With an international reputation, Ronnie Scott’s attracts a diverse audience and has become a significant institution in the global jazz scene. The club also offers a restaurant, bar, and a membership program, contributing to its status as a landmark in London’s music culture.
Artists To Watch
Obviously we had to include Mr. Jon Batiste. He is a versatile American artist known as a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, composer, and television personality— Phew. He has collaborated with a diverse range of artists, including Stevie Wonder, Prince, Willie Nelson, and others. Batiste led the band Stay Human and served as the bandleader and musical director on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert from 2015 to 2022. He holds roles as the music director of The Atlantic and the Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. In 2020, Batiste co-composed the score for the Pixar film Soul, earning him several prestigious awards. With 5 Grammy Awards from 20 nominations, he is definitely someone we are expecting a lot more from in 2024.
Miki Yamanaka, a pianist with a notable presence in the jazz scene, emphasizes the art of comping during performances, showcasing her unique touch at recent shows like the trombonist Nick Finzer’s album release at Birdland in New York City. Yamanaka recognizes the nuanced impact of her comping style, drawing inspiration from jazz legends like Horace Silver and Herbie Hancock. Rooted in a big-band background, influenced by legends such as Count Basie and Duke Ellington, she has evolved to appreciate contemporary giants like Geri Allen and Paul Bley. Yamanaka has released four albums as a leader, showcasing her growing prowess in both accompanying and leading roles. As she envisions her future, she aims to further step into the spotlight, travel, and collaborate with admired musicians to make their music even more special.
Vibraphonist Simon Moullier showcased his musical prowess at the Jazz Gallery in Manhattan with his latest album, Isla. In collaboration with pianist Lex Korten, bassist Alex Claffy, and drummer Jongkuk Kim, Moullier’s expressive and technically adept performance highlighted his unique approach to the vibraphone. Despite his proficiency with the instrument, Moullier emphasizes that his focus lies more on the expression and the act of composing, playing, and improvising. His quartet’s concept revolves around the timbral marriage of piano and vibes, creating a blended sound akin to an invisible third instrument. Influenced by classical impressionism and modern jazz giants like Horace Silver and Wayne Shorter, Moullier explores various musical realms, from West African and Brazilian music to film scoring. With a trio album already in the works, Moullier’s future promises an expansive and innovative exploration of musical boundaries that you won’t want to miss.
Mali Obomsawin, hailing from the Odanak First Nation, is recognized as a prominent figure in the emerging wave of Indigenous jazz artists reshaping the conversation around the intersection of Native American and American musics. Featured in her critically acclaimed 2022 debut, “Sweet Tooth,” Obomsawin stands out as an exceptional composer, bassist, and bandleader. The album, billed as ‘a suite for Indigenous resistance’, showcases her adept leadership and collaboration with accomplished musicians, including Taylor Ho Bynum, Noah Campbell, Allison Burik, Miriam Elhajli, and Savannah Harris. Obomsawin discusses the challenges of balancing her roles as a bassist and bandleader, emphasizing the need for recognition of Indigenous artists beyond symbolic gestures like land acknowledgments. While she is working on another jazz album, she recently recorded a shoegaze album, demonstrating her versatility and refusal to be confined to a single genre or framework. As she navigates the evolving landscape of her musical journey, Obomsawin continues to defy expectations and embrace a diverse range of influences.
Abbey Smith, now known as Yebba, gained widespread recognition with her soul-stirring performance of “My Mind” at a SoFar Sounds show in New York City. However, tragedy struck when she lost her mother shortly after. Using music as a coping mechanism, Yebba found solace in jazz bars, where she began expressing her emotions through jam sessions. Grammy-winning producer Mark Ronson, impressed by her authenticity, is producing several tracks for her upcoming debut album. Yebba’s music explores themes of time, grief, and healing, aiming to offer listeners a sense of peace and freedom. Despite personal hardships, Yebba’s unwavering commitment to her art continues to shine through, making her a powerful and authentic voice in the music industry.
French singer-songwriter Gabi Hartmann’s debut album showcases a distinctive fusion of chanson, jazz, and folk, expressed in three languages: French, English, and Portuguese. Collaborating with songwriter and producer Jesse Harris, known for his work with Norah Jones and Melody Gardot, Hartmann draws inspiration from diverse influences such as Billie Holiday, Billie Eilish, Sudanese flutist Ghandi Adam, and Guinean guitarist Abdoulaye Kouyaté. Her recent album reflects a musical journey that blends her love for various genres and her memories of travels in Africa. The songs, sung in English, Portuguese, and French, including notable pieces like “Une errante sur la terre” and “l’amour incompris,” highlight the uniqueness of Hartmann’s voice in a vibrant and colorful palette. She’s definitely someone you’ll want to look out for in 2024.