Are you a jazz enthusiast struggling to stay updated with the ever-changing jazz venues in Vancouver? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we’ve curated a list of the city’s top jazz joints that are sure to captivate your musical senses. From intimate clubs with old-school charm to trendy venues hosting soulful performances, Vancouver offers a diverse and thriving jazz scene. Join us as we dive into the vibrant world of live jazz in this bustling Canadian city, uncovering the most noteworthy spaces where you can immerse yourself in the soul-stirring sounds of this genre.
Frankie’s Jazz Club
The only dedicated jazz club in town is Frankie’s Jazz Club at 755 Beatty Street downtown. Frankie’s has an old school Italian ambiance with its warm wood bar and booths. There’s live jazz four nights a week from Thursday to Sunday at 8 pm, and often late-night shows on Saturdays at 11 pm called After Dark. The main shows are booked by Artistic Director Cory Weeds, who used to own the Jazz Cellar in Kitsilano. He still runs his Cellar Jazz record label, and some live recordings are made during Frankie’s shows.
According to their website, “Frankie’s Jazz Club is Vancouver’s home for Live Jazz and Blues. We are a live jazz hub featuring local, national, and International world-class musicians. With 80-100 seats, a full-service menu and bar, along with traditional instruments such as a beautiful Steinway piano, Frankie’s brings the full experience to you. Frankie’s is proud to support Jazz and Blues artists within Vancouver and beyond and takes part in the Coastal Jazz & Blues Society.” You can view upcoming shows at Upcoming Events – Frankie’s Jazz Club. Cover charges range from $10 to $30 per person.
2nd Floor Gastown
The second venue which frequently has jazz is The 2nd Floor Gastown upstairs at the Water Street Café. They have nightly live music which also includes soul, indie, and pop. In addition, there is a jazz brunch on Saturday mornings and some Sundays. The room is cozy and intimate and often not busy at brunch. Reservations can be made online, and the schedule of upcoming shows is available at 2nd Floor Gastown | Water St. Cafe. The cover charge is $6 and up and is listed on the website.
Guilt and Company
Guilt and Company at 1 Alexander Street in Gastown has two live music shows nightly and often has performers. The venue is warm and funky with brick walls and barrels for standing room only guests to use as tables at the back. Their schedule is at Guilt & Company. They don’t take reservations, so it is best to arrive before showtimes.
La Fabrique St. George
La Fabrique St. George is a funky industrial urban winery near Main and 7th with exposed pipes, brick, and whitewashed walls. They have rotating jazz trios on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 pm and Saturday afternoons from 2-5 pm. They serve wine, cider, and an assortment of cheese, bread, and meat to make your own charcuterie. Upcoming events are listed at Events | La Fabrique St-George.
The Infidels Jazz
The Infidels Jazz curates and presents several live Jazz performances a month in the Vancouver area, with regular series currently being held at venues like Frankie’s Jazz Club, Hero’s Welcome, The Lido, Tyrant Studios, The Painted Ship, The Heatley, All-City Athletics, and Chill X Studios. According to the website, “Tim Reinert works in the Vancouver area as a Jazz concert promoter, label head, event MC, podcast host, and occasional writer. With his Infidels Jazz brand, Tim’s mission is to build community around the music that he loves.”
Chill X shows are held weekly on Wednesday nights at 2270 Manitoba Street. Usually every other Sunday Hero’s Welcome, the bar at the Legion at 3917 Main Street hosts jazz events from 1 to 4 pm. The venue is relaxed and welcoming, with affordable drinks and food and a $5 cover charge.
Tyrant Studios is an intimate space above the Penthouse on Seymour Street. They have jazz shows on Friday and Saturday nights and occasionally on Thursdays. Their website states, “Tyrant Studios is a cozy “upstairs bar” featuring live entertainment presented by Seven Tyrants Theatre Society. This historic venue is located above Vancouver’s legendary Penthouse Nightclub and has been a frequent haunt for the greats of performing arts history, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Oscar Peterson.” Shows start at 9:30 pm, and you can find the event schedule at Tyrant Studios. For more information on Infidels shows, check out their website. Tickets are available online.
The Sylvia Hotel
The Sylvia Hotel at 1154 Gilford Street in the West End hosts live music in the cocktail lounge on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 pm. The performances range from jazz, pop, to easy listening. It is an old-fashioned lounge with a great view of English Bay. The listings are available at Live Music Schedule | Sylvia Hotel.
Several restaurants and venues have weekly shows. At Pourhouse at 162 Water Street in Gastown, rotating jazz trios play on Thursday nights from 7 to 10 pm. The cover charge for reserved seating is $5 per person which goes to the musicians. Walk-ins are also welcome. Pourhouse has a warm wood interior and a full drink and food menu. Their schedule of live shows is at Live Music — Pourhouse Restaurant & Cocktail Bar – Gastown, Vancouver, Canada.
Provence Marinaside at 1177 Marinaside Crescent in Yaletown hosts live shows every Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm with rotating performers. Their restaurant is award-winning and their wine bar has over 100 wines on tap! Their upcoming shows are listed at Events – Award Winning Restaurant Yaletown, Vancouver, BC.
The Admiral Pub
The Admiral Pub in Burnaby at 4125 Hastings Street hosts a weekly jazz jam on Sundays from 3 to 6 p.m. The venue is old school Italian with a wooden bar and booths. There is a dance floor if you feel like kicking up your heels, and it is family-friendly. Their events are listed at Events – Admiral Grill.