Jazz has always been considered one of America’s leading contribution to the world of music. As an art form, jazz is constantly evolving as new artists introduce new musical influences and styles to the genre.
Los Angeles is a hotbed of amazingly talented jazz musicians. As the center of the entertainment industry, Los Angeles boasts a great jazz scene with lots of clubs, concerts, and festivals available to help you get your jazz on!
Jazz on the Radio
Kjazz is a public radio station that broadcasts from California State University, Long Beach. Offering listeners the entire spectrum of jazz, KKJZ plays everything from bebop to cool jazz, Latin to straight-ahead, and swing to big band styles. This is the station to hear the masters, including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane, as well as the hottest up-and-coming artists like Grace Kelly, Doug Webb, and Brad Mehldau.
Jazz Concerts in Los Angeles
Los Angeles features some of the finest concert halls in the country. Most host jazz concert series throughout the year.
For more than 20 years, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has hosted jazz concerts in Los Angeles at the Jazz at LACMA series. The series runs from April through November and has featured LA’s finest local jazz musicians along with legends like Wayne Shorter, Kenny Burrell, Les McCann, and Ernie Watts.
A great venue for listening to music, the Broad Stage boasts impeccable acoustics and seats so comfortable, you’ll be hoping for an encore or two! While the jazz series is a bit sparse, you can definitely find some talented jazz musicians.
Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is an amazing venue to catch a concert. Home of the LA Philharmonic, the Hall also hosts an annual jazz series led by Herbie Hancock. There’s not a bad seat in the house for watching these high-profile jazz acts!
Nothing beats spending a beautiful summer evening under the stars with a picnic and live jazz. Another venue curated by Herbie Hancock, iconic performers come from around the world to play at this amazing venue. The season kicks off with the famous weekend-long Playboy Jazz Festival (more on that later!)
Jazz Festivals in Los Angeles
Along with ongoing jazz concerts in Los Angeles, the city hosts some of the most dynamic jazz festivals in the country.
2014 marks the 36th year of the world famous Playboy Jazz Festival. The two-day festival held at the Hollywood Bowl has featured some of the jazz world’s most luminary figures in years past. 2014 is no exception, with performances scheduled by Al Jarreau, Stanley Clarke, Dianne Reeves, Dave Holland, and the Arturo Sandoval Big Band.
West Coast jazz was born on Central Avenue and this festival is a celebration of community and music. This year marks the 19th annual festival and will feature performances by some of LA’s top up-and-coming artists.
Jazz Clubs in Los Angeles
Los Angeles boasts one of the most dynamic jazz club scenes anywhere! From intimate supper clubs to world-class jazz clubs, LA has something for everyone.
This club was designed by trumpeter, producer, composer, and jazz executive Herb Alpert. It’s a classy joint with great acoustics and live jazz six nights a week.
This intimate Hollywood club is one of the priciest venues in the city, but it’s certainly worth it, as it features an impressive lineup of touring jazz greats and local emerging artists.
Located in an unassuming concrete mall in LA’s Little Tokyo, the Blue Whale is one of the top jazz clubs in LA. This club is both romantic and vivacious, and has its finger on the pulse of the LA jazz scene. CD release nights are common here and the weekly jam nights offer listeners a chance to catch the newest up-and-coming musicians in the city.
Whether you’re searching for jazz concerts in Los Angeles, or an intimate club where you can discover the newest rising stars, the Los Angeles offers tons of opportunities for music lovers. Happy listening!
Photo by bongo vongo