Jazz Up Your Evening at These Swingin' D.C. Venues

Many musical genres can be defined quite easily but try to put parameters on jazz and it will leave you scratching your head because improvisation is at the heart of this soulful music. As the birthplace of jazz legend Duke Ellington, Washington, D.C. has a number of venues that will keep your toes tappin' and fingers snappin.' 

Opening its doors in 1965, the Georgetown-based Blues Alley has welcomed many jazz legends over the years including Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis. While taking in a show at this intimate venue, be sure to order an entrée off their menu – each selection is named after a great jazz performer. Anyone up for Tony Bennett's shrimp and artichoke hearts or Jerry 'The Iceman' Butler baked salmon? 

Some venues focus exclusively on jazz talent while others offer shows in additional to other genres of music. Be sure to check the show calendar at hot spots like Madam's Organ to find out when amazing jazz acts while grace their stages.  

A number of area restaurants like Georgia Brown's and the Tabard Inn host jazz nights where performers can showcase their talent in a relaxed, causal atmosphere.

Whatever venue appeals to you, jazz up your night by heading to one of these top district clubs.



Named for the Adams Morgan neighborhood the venue calls home, Madam's Organ features live entertainment seven days a week and bills itself as the place "where the beautiful people go to get ugly." While known for showcasing jazz and blues bands,...  Read More

Tabard Inn Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Angela N.


Dubbing itself a European-style oasis on American soil, this venue offers both a charming place to sleep and a restaurant featuring a seasonal dish menu which changes every day and inspired by local, fresh offerings. Be sure to go for dinner...  Read More

Columbia Station


Located in Adams Morgan, this night spot is a place where jazz and blues fans can come to have a great time and listen to some fantastic music. The atmosphere is cozy and family-friendly so wear something comfortable or get dressed up in your...  Read More

Howard Theatre
Photo courtesy of Howard Theatre


First opened in 1910 and geared toward African American musical acts, the Howard Theatre underwent renovations in 2010 and reopened its doors in 2012. Some of the recent shows include Salt N Peppa, Babyface, and Jody Watley. Like many other...  Read More

Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club
Photo courtesy of Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club


Built in the late 1930s, this venue's former life included serving the area as a movie theater. Today, guests from all over the region come to enjoy a classic continental fare dinner along with seeing some amazing musical talent. Folks will find...  Read More

Georgia Brown's


Sunday brunch never sounded so good when you combine great food with live jazz music. If you like the show on Sundays, be sure to come back for another jazz performance held on Wednesday nights from 6 to 10 p.m. Fine Southern cuisine is on the...  Read More



Seating between 65 to 100 guests, this jazz club gives patrons the opportunity to listen to music in an intimate setting that is full of unique character. The stage may be small but the music remains big. Order a dish off their...  Read More

KC Jazz Club
Photo courtesy of Kennedy Center


The Kennedy Center is one of the country's busiest performing arts centers hosting more than 3,000 events and welcoming more than 2 million guests so you will enjoy the intimate setting they provide for jazz music. From hosting fresh, new...  Read More



Walk through the doors of this Georgetown gem and you will be transported back to the supper clubs of the 1920s and 1930s. Founded in 1965, many well-known artists have played here including Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis. While taking in a...  Read More

Jojo Restaurant and Bar
Photo courtesy of JoJo Restauarant & Bar


Blending nostalgia of the early 1920s with a contemporary flair, guests will find an impressive selection of live jazz music at this U Street venue every evening except Mondays. Opened in 2003, JoJo features two levels each with a full bar. With...  Read More


Meet Gina Gallucci White

Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She...  More About Gina