Jazz music swings, grooves and proudly sounds in Hamburg. For lovers of the genre, the city is home to many fantastic venues where the art form can be enjoyed. We won’t scat around much more – here is a quick list of just a handful of our favourite jazz venues in Hamburg. Happy listening!
The Nancy Tilitz Galerie
The Nancy Tilitz Galerie is truly a special place in Hamburg. Run by New York native and professional musician Jerry Tilitz, Nancy Tilitz Galerie is about as authentic as a jazz venue can get. Each week, some of Europe’s finest performers take the stage to celebrate everything jazz and delight audiences as they do so. Jerry and his team have been running their Friday evening shows for over 15 years and do all they can to make sure audiences feel like they are amongst friends. With free entry every single week, it’s the perfect place to come together to kick off the weekend. Shows start at 9pm, so don’t be late – you won’t want to miss a second.
The performance venue found at Halle424 has a fascinating history. Originally constructed in the 1950s to form part of Germany’s largest cargo handling facility, the space has been transformed into a refuge for music and performance. Since 2014, the former industrial monument has been delighting visitors from Hamburg and beyond with a rich programme of artists from all over the world. Make sure to check out their website to get an up-to-date overview of what’s on.
The Hamburg jazz scene would not be the same without Cotton Club. With its origins dating back to 1959, Cotton Club became Hamburg’s first jazz bar. After being taken over by its current owner, W-Dieter Roloff in 1961, the club has continued to go from strength to strength and remains a firm Hamburg favourite. Drawing in performers from far and wide, there is plenty of variety for you to enjoy. With shows almost every day, an evening at Cotton Club is an absolute no-brainer. Doors open at 8pm and tickets can be bought online or at the door.
Another titan of the Hamburg jazz scene, Birdland is a club with over 35 years of history. Many famous names from the international scene have taken the stage here including Art Blakey, Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade, Chet Baker, Diana Krall, Eddie Harris, James Moody, Joe Henderson, Johnny Griffin, Monty Alexander, Ray Brown, Rebekka Bakken, Tommy Flanagan, Viktoria Tolstoy and many, many more.
Originally founded in 1985, today’s its owners warmly invite jazz lovers from far and wide to join them to grab a drink, leave the world behind and settle in for an evening of top-quality music.
Hamburg’s Pony Bar is something of an institution within the city. Billed as ‘Hamburg’s smallest cultural centre’, Pony bar is famed amongst the large student population. The venue prides itself on promoting culture and young talent, and aims to make the arts accessible to all. For this reason, and in their own words, ‘entry is free on principle’.
Amongst a diverse programme of cosy concerts, open mic nights and rap showcases, there are weekly jazz performances – details of which can be found on Pony Bar’s website.
Jazzraum at Hafenbahnhof
No plans for a Monday evening in Hamburg? Hafenbahnhof’s Jazzraum is the place to go! This cosy jazz venue gives its visitors a prime opportunity to get truly up close and personal with the music. Beyond this, Hafenbahnhof also boasts a fantastic beer garden and open air stage where you can whittle away a relaxed summer’s evening with good music, good people and a great vibe.
With live jazz concerts taking place every Monday from 19:30, make sure to get down to Jazzraum early to grab yourself a seat!
So, there you go. Jazz in Hamburg is truly thriving and there are plenty of venues you can enjoy. Which one is at the top of your list?
Header photo credit: Annemone Taake Photographie
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