Chicago's Jazz and Blues Clubs Host the Hottest Musical Performers

Megy Karydes

By , Local Expert, Chicago
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Music lovers crowd Chicago’s blues and jazz clubs where legendary figures as Von Freeman, Franz Jackson and Eddy Clearwater have played. The city is called the “Blues Capital of the World” for good reason.

The city’s annual Chicago Blues Fest and Chicago Jazz Fest are popular events that take place during the summer. Past performers of the Blues Fest include Ray Charles, B.B. King, the late Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and the late Koko Taylor while the Jazz Fest shows off Chicago's vast jazz talent alongside national and international artists to encourage and educate a jazz audience of all ages.

Luckily one doesn’t need to wait...  Read more »

  • 1

    Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

    Green Mill is perfect for those who appreciate live jazz in a very cool, speakeasy atmosphere.

    Local Expert Tip: "If you want a table, get there early and enjoy some cocktails or whiskey before the bands go on."

  • 2

    Rosa's Lounge

    Rosa's Lounge is an unusual northside haven for Blues where one can hear local greats like Melvin Taylor...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "The owner, Tony, will call you a cab if you need one."

  • 3

    Blue Chicago on Clark

    A mellow and soulful bar that often gets lost in a sea of tourist-heavy attractions. The low cover charge makes this place even more attractive.

    Local Expert Tip: "Arrive early for a seat."

  • 4

    Andy's Jazz Club

    Conveniently located close to the Magnificent Mile, Andy's Jazz Club performances begin at 5pm nightly.

    Local Expert Tip: "Bring cash for the cover"

  • 5

    Buddy Guy's Legends

    For a city known for its blues, Buddy Guy's Legends is a great venue to hear live music.

    Local Expert Tip: "Consider the public pay lot just south of around the corner if you drive."

  • 6

    Jazz Showcase

    Showcase invites kids to the Sunday 4 p.m. matinee provided the fans-in-the-making observe the unwritten "no-talking" rule.

    Local Expert Tip: "Kids under 12 are free during Sunday matinee."

  • 7

    Kingston Mines

    Local blues and jazz artists often stop by here after their sets at other clubs and the party continues until way into the morning hours.

    Local Expert Tip: "Admission is free or discounted for students, seniors, military and members of the trade."

  • 8


    It wouldn't be unusual if you find yourself seated next to a well-known blues artist in this tiny club.

    Local Expert Tip: "Pistol Pete plays every Monday."

  • 9

    The Underground Wonder Bar

    In addition to live blues and jazz, Underground Wonder Bar hosts live reggae musicians.

    Local Expert Tip: "Arrive early if you want a seat at this tiny club."

  • 10


    Katerina's hosts some of the hippest jazz, funk, blues, boogie-woogie blues, R&B, classical and world music performers.

    Local Expert Tip: "If there are two sets during the evening, you will have to pay two separate covers."



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