Best Jazz Clubs in Dallas

10 best places for live jazz in the Dallas area

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is no stranger to jazz music. After all, it's where you'll find the University of North Texas, one of the top institutions for jazz studies in the nation. The area is also home to Deep Ellum, a neighborhood once considered a hotbed for jazz and blues musicians. It's where legendary artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter all got their start.

For those looking for an authentic jazz club experience, will definitely want to check out the Balcony Club, a venerable hole-in-the-wall joint that offers an incredible lineup of music seven nights a week. Esquire Magazine even named it one of “America's Top 100 Bars."
Also worth hitting up is Sandaga 813, a bar and live music venue that's considered by discerning jazz fans and musicians alike to be the best spot for jazz jams in town. Even Wynton Marsailis and Erykah Badu have played gigs here.  And though, Deep Ellum might not be the jazz mecca it was during the early 20th century, you can still find places like the Free Man Cajun Cafe and the Twilite Lounge keeping the music very much alive almost every night of the week.

If that's not enough to get you in the groove, check out 10 best's full list below, there's a place to suit jazz lovers of every stripe.


The Mansion Bar
Photo courtesy of The Mansion Bar

Nestled inside the iconic four-star Rosewood Mansion Hotel on Turtle Creek, the Mansion Bar is the ultimate debonair drinking den-- blending a wow-factor interior with snazzy bar bites and top-quality (albeit pricey) tipples. In fact, the building is actually the former residence of an ultimate debonair cotton magnate, Sheppard W. King, and the bar was originally King's dining room. It's definitely a see-and-be-seen type of place, but it's also one of the more elegant spots in the city to find jazz, R&B and pop on offer every Friday and Saturday night. Just be aware that there is a $15-$25 cover charge per person once the music begins.

Recommended for Jazz Clubs because: When you want to step out in style, the Mansion Bar is the best place to go.

Ilene's expert tip: Enjoy half-price wine by the glass, and discounts on select cocktails and beer during happy hour from 4-7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Read more about The Mansion Bar →

Welcoming like your local dive bar, but impressive enough to bring a date. That is exactly what the musician/owners of this Big Easy-themed drinking den set out to create when they opened it in 2012. But this isn't your typical dive bar, it's much more. From its classy decor, replete with red leather booths and chandeliers to its cozy French Quarter-style courtyard and a stellar list of libations, Twilite is just the kind of locale you can easily pass the night in. And with a steady stream of free entertainment, ranging from local jazz acts to DJ sets, karaoke and stand-up comedy, you probably will.

Recommended for Jazz Clubs because: Twilight Lounge covers all the bases: friendly people, great libations and an outstanding line-up of free entertainment.

Ilene's expert tip: Twilite Lounge offers daily happy hour specials from 4-8 p.m. and all-night drink specials throughout the week.

Read more about Twilite Lounge →

Ellie's Restaurant & Lounge
Photo courtesy of Robert Tsai

Not only is the glamorous HALL Arts Hotel in the Dallas Arts District a dream retreat for art lovers, it's also a hidden gem for jazz fans, where live music is on offer Thursday through Saturday evenings in Ellie's Restaurant & Lounge. Perched on the upper level overlooking a sculpture garden, the lounge boasts a Steinway grand piano as its centerpiece and a dazzling cocktail and wine menu to compliment the elegant surrounds. It's a perfect place to go for those looking for a chic, sophisticated evening out. Oh, did we mention there's a jazz brunch on Sundays?

Recommended for Jazz Clubs because: Between the wine selection, music and ambiance, this spot is ideal for a date night.

Ilene's expert tip: Score half-priced select cocktails and wine during Happy Hour, from 4-6pm Monday through Friday. Park in West Village and take the free McKinney Avenue trolley.

Read more about Ellie's Restaurant & Lounge →

Opening Bell Coffee
Photo courtesy of Opening Bell Coffee

Tucked away in the basement of a former Sears Roebuck building, this hip coffee house has more going for it than just liquid assets. Along with coffee drinks, wine, local craft beer and decent food options (think sandwiches and pastries), Opening Bell also brews up a regular program ranging from standup comedy to live music. There's something on offer almost every night as well as on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. As for the musical lineup, expect to find a rotating cast of local and national acts churning out everything from folk to soul, jazz, and pop. Fun fact: Many of the musicians who have performed here went on to be contestants on the television show, The Voice.

Recommended for Jazz Clubs because: Opening Bell is where to go for a laid-back evening of live music.

Ilene's expert tip: Parking is free in the black gated retail parking lot on Austin Street.

Read more about Opening Bell Coffee →

Library Bar
Photo courtesy of Library Bar

If you are looking for a mind-blowing delicious cocktail in surroundings perfect for a romantic rendezvous or catch-up with friends, you've come to the right place. Tucked inside the lobby of the Warwick Melrose Hotel (a historic Dallas landmark dating back to 1924)-- this suave drinking den is quite possibly the coziest place to sip a drink in the city. Not to mention, it's also where you can listen to a host of spectacular jazz musicians tickling the ivories six nights a week. As for those cocktails, expect to sort through a drinks menu that covers everything from crafted tipples to over 20 selections of wine by the glass.

Recommended for Jazz Clubs because: The Library Bar was named one of the "30 Iconic American Bars" by Business Insider.

Ilene's expert tip: There's never a cover charge to get in, and the Library Bar also offers half-price wine by the glass and signature cocktails from 4-7 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. There is no charge for valet parking if you get your ticket stamped at the bar.

Read more about Library Bar →

The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge
Photo courtesy of The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge

Considering that Deep Ellum's historic roots lie in jazz and blues, it's only fitting that one of the premier jazz venues in town would be located here. Find jazz, blues, funk, R&B, swing, Dixieland and more on offer seven nights a week plus Sunday afternoons. Then at 10 p.m., the music switches over to everything from alternative rock to country, punk and hip hop. Expect to see gigs by the likes of Shawn Pittman; Three Quarters Fast; and The Freeloaders, whose lead singer happens to be the club's owner. The Big Easy influence doesn't stop with music, the restaurant also turns out New Orleans inspired cocktails and a full repertoire of Cajun grub. Best of all, most of the shows are free.

Recommended for Jazz Clubs because: The Free Man is so popular that even other musicians hang out here when they don't have a gig.

Ilene's expert tip: The Free Man offers Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday with $3 drafts, $3 wells, and select half price appetizers.

Read more about The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge →

Chocolate Secrets
Photo courtesy of Chocolate Secrets

Artisanal truffles, bonbons and chocolate confections, what could be better? How about wine, craft beer, champagne floats, and jazz? Virtually every evening this shop-cum-café comes alive with the sounds of live jazz and blues from performers such as Linny Nance & the Network, K. Cooks, and Dana Harper to name a few. Beyond the sweets, you'll find a compact list of more substantial offerings, think cheese platters, paninis, salads and savory crepes. If you're looking for a cozy, low-key date night spot, Chocolate Secrets definitely takes the cake. Just make sure you come early, especially on weekends when seating is limited.

Recommended for Jazz Clubs because: Chocolates, desserts and live jazz in intimate surrounds, it doesn't get any sweeter than that.

Ilene's expert tip: Score $2 off wine & beer from 4-6:30 p.m. weekdays. Best night to come is on Wednesdays when wine (bottles and by the glass) is 20% off all evening.

Read more about Chocolate Secrets →

Revelers Hall
Photo courtesy of Revelers Hall

As its name indicates, there's always a party going down at this New Orleans style bar where live music is on tap 7 days a week. On Mondays it's open jazz jam, Tuesdays feature a pre-wars blues band that brings out all the two-steppers; there's Texas tenor and saxophone legend Shelley Caroll performing Wednesday nights; and Thursdays bring a traditional jazz sextet playing smooth sounds from the 1920s-1930s. Come weekends, expect to find a solid rotation of two to three bands per day jamming from 5 p.m. on through the wee hours of the night. If you're looking for a high-energy place to cut loose, this is your spot.

Recommended for Jazz Clubs because: Reveler's Hall is where to go for a bustling jazz scene.

Ilene's expert tip: Find discounted beer, wine and liquor on offer during Happy Hour, weekdays from 4-7 p.m. Parking is available along the street and there are also parking lots in the area.

Read more about Revelers Hall →

The Balcony Club
Photo courtesy of The Balcony Club

As the saying goes, sometimes the best things come in small packages, which is undoubtedly the case with this pint-sized, 1,400 square foot jewel of a jazz joint. What this laid-back watering hole lacks in square footage, it more than makes up for in live music, which is served up seven nights a week. The club's repertoire features both local and national jazz artists, including the likes of Lucky Peterson, Dave Zoller, Linny Nance, and even the phenomenal Filter Kings. And it's not only jazz on tap here, but the musical genres also cover R&B, soul, funk, classic rock, and occasionally country. Not-to-be-missed are special events like the Open Blues Jam and Jazz Master Series.

Recommended for Jazz Clubs because: Potent cocktails and an incredible lineup of music seven nights a week-what's not to like?

Ilene's expert tip: Happy Hour is offered Sunday-Thursday from 5-7 p.m. Also, it's free admission on Sunday-Thursday.

Read more about The Balcony Club →

Sandaga 813
Photo courtesy of Sandaga 813

Lovers of smooth jazz 'n blues can't do much better than at this Exposition Park live music venue, which has a reputation for bringing in top-shelf talent from around the globe. Even musical heavyweights like Wynton Marsalis and Erykah Badu have played gigs here in the past. And Sandaga's regular roster of performers reads like a list of who's who on the local music scene as well, where regulars include Grammy Award-nominated artists, Shelly Carroll and Brad Leali. If jazz isn't your thing, no worries. The club also brings in DJs that spin everything from hip-hop and house to R&B and reggae.

Recommended for Jazz Clubs because: Best live jazz venue in town. It's number one on the list, need we say more?

Ilene's expert tip: Be sure to come early if you want to snag a seat.

Read more about Sandaga 813 →


Meet Ilene Jacobs

As a perpetual wanderer, foodie freak and wannabe chef, Ilene is always on the lookout for the best places to see, eat, drink and sleep. When she's not writing about the latest happenings in...  More About Ilene