10 Best Live Music Haunts in the City That Never Sleeps

The power of live music to make folks feel good is on full display at a host of New York night clubs, cabaret spaces, and rooftop bars with spectacular views of the Hudson or East River. If listening to bands and vocalists show off their skills is how you like to spend an evening, you'll find that New York does things right. Multiple options let you tap into the venues that 10Best readers favor, like Amateur Night at the fabled Apollo in Harlem, or  B.B. King's Blues Club & Grille steps away from Times Square or you can get a taste of the New York natives' favorites like barbes in leafy Park Slope, Brooklyn with its convivial atmosphere and eclectic musical selections or stick with the sleek tones of a rooftop bar at Winnie's Jazz Bar you''ll be face to face with the Empire State Building and cool tones. Keep in mind that where you go is just as important as when you go to a place – some nights the place is sizzling, sometimes it's the luck of the draw. Try to keep up with the acts you really want to see and book them when you see the listing, this is NYC people act fast. Best source for the current week's happenings and live performances is the weekly magazine, Time Out , the L Magazine or PAPERMAG which keeps a close eye on pop culture, nightlife and music.

Set in midtown in the heart of the fashion district, this lounge is a fairly new arrival set inside The Refinery Hotel. Paying homage to the neighborhood's storied past, Winnie's Jazz Bar derives its name from Winifred T. McDonald, the...  Read More

For those who wouldn't think of leaving Manhattan to catch a live band, consider this: Folks who're regulars at Park Slope's barbés have no intention of passing up the free shows here. Who can blame them? The two French musicians and long-time...  Read More

The Apollo Theater

The new Harlem Renaissance is in full swing inside this neo-classical structure, home to The Apollo Theater. Designed in 1914, it received landmark status in 1983. Some say it is one of the most influential entertainment venues in the world....  Read More

Lower East Side

Housed in a lovely Beaux Arts building that dates this music venue was built just before the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Today it brings top acts while also maintaining its edgy attitude. What's more, the classic swankiness of the brass...  Read More

East Village

Attached to the Public Theatre, Joe's Pub is an intimate venue that's highly regarded all over the city for its eclectic weekly lineups. On any given night, the featured performer may be a little-known jazz ensemble or a pop-culture icon like...  Read More

(Le) Poisson Rouge

(Le) Poisson Rouge is a multimedia art cabaret founded by musicians on the site of the historic Village Gate. LPR boasts a robust and varied calendar, filled with Jazz, Classical, World, and Rock music, art exhibitions, spoken word nights, and...  Read More

Cornelia Street Cafe
Photo courtesy of Cornelia St. Cafe

In May 1977 three artists stumbled across a tiny storefront in the heart of Greenwich Village and thought it was the perfect place to open a café. Years later, it was proclaimed a culinary and cultural landmark. Every inch of this place reeks...  Read More

Big-label types arrive here in the hopes of discovering new talent. For cutting edge sounds and up-and-coming jazz, rock, reggae and alternative acts, few places hold a candle to this music club, which boasts a younger sister in Hollywood. A...  Read More

B.B. King's Blues Club & Grille

Named after the celebrated "king of the blues" B.B.King and ideally situated in bustling Times Square, is a space that hosts musical talent from blues, jazz, and hip-hop to funk, blue grass and even heavy metal.There is clear viewing access to...  Read More

Lower East Side

Rockwood started off as a cramped storefront space that has expanded into one of the most loved downtown multi-stages. Located between Houston and Stanton, Rockwood is a cozy listening room that engages patrons with its sophisticated atmosphere...  Read More


Meet Maria Lisella

No matter how many countries Maria Lisella has visited (62), this native New Yorker finds the world at her doorstep in amazing Queens where its residents speak 138 languages.

Maria writes...  More About Maria