One of the true tests of a city is, in my opinion, great jazz. Along with excellent markets, fabulous architecture, and great food, jazz is a marker of a city I’ll return to again and again.
Luckily, I live in Dallas, where excellent venues abound. Here are
5 Great Places To Listen to Jazz In Dallas, Texas
18th & Vine
Serving up Kansas City style BBQ and live music in a renovated frame house, 18th & Vine (named for the Kansas City history) is a cozy new addition to the Dallas food and music scene. Upstairs is The Roost, where the music happens, and from the looks of the place on a Wednesday night, the concept of “Que and food works.
The Roost is just big enough to be comfortable but not feel vacant on a slower night. Though the live music is found exclusively in the Roost, you can also order food there (downstairs is dedicated solely to the Que).
Dave Monsch is at the Roost every Wednesday with a jazz trio or a quartet. Other nights you’ll find blues, singer-song-writer duos, or other jazz musicians. The place has a hip but relaxed vibe and the single thing I look for, is it the kind of place where anyone could be comfortable? Definitely.
18th & Vine
4100 Maple Ave.
Shelley Carol with Jackie, Max Gerl and Todd Parsnow in front of 8 Bells Alehouse.
Word is that Shelley Carol is no longer a regular here. Check the website or call to find out about evening entertainment.
8 Bells Alehouse
8 Bells Alehouse is located near Fair Park and has a very warm and casual vibe, much like a European pub. This is the sister restaurant of 10 Bells Tavern in Oak Cliff, located in the space formerly known as New Amsterdam. You’ll notice it looks similar, but better. The new owners have added a kitchen serving up really good pub food, and the prices are easy on the wallet. The same great patio out back also benefits from some updating.
Every Sunday night is jazz night with legendary sax player, Shelley Carrol. If you live in Dallas and you’ve never heard Shelley Carol play, all I can say is, get thee over there immediately. No excuses.
Note: There is a two drink minimum. You don’t have drink alcohol, but you do have to order something. You can chose to dine if you don’t want to order drinks, which I recommend.
8 Bells Alehouse
831 Exposition Ave.
Chocolate Secrets has added paninis and a cheese plate to their menu. Stick to the chocolate, coffee and wine. They’ve also expanded and the new room is large, with lots of tables but not much personality. I prefer the original rooms which are still there. However, the night I was there the musicians played in the new space. So, go for the wine, chocolate, and music. Great combo I think!
Chocolate Secrets, located on the edge of Highland Park (almost in Oak Lawn), is a cozy little cafe offering wine by the glass or bottle, handmade Belgian chocolates, coffees, and desserts. It’s a romantic spot for a date night, or a small intimate group.
There is live jazz Wednesday through Saturday nights.
Chocolate Secrets does have a full event calendar on their website, so check it out.
3926 Oak Lawn
Tuesday Nite Jazz
Robert Swann produces the Tuesday Nite Jazz series at the historic St. Paul United Methodist Church. Robert is a well known figure in the Dallas jazz scene and recruites top musicians for his weekly series. Needless to say the acoustics at St. Pauls are excellent.
1816 Routh Street
Buzzbrews is a tiny coffee shop that is a surprising venue for great jazz.
Sunday nights, you can catch the Rebel Alliance Jazz Ensemble, an 18 piece big band, packed into this unexpected Deep Ellum location. The place is small, so if you are sound sensitive, you may want to sit in the back or take some ear plugs – you’ll still be able to hear, believe me! This music is fun and energetic – you’ll probably want to dance, and I’m pretty sure if you can find a spot, no one would mind. At the very least, you’ll be bouncing in your seats.
2801 Commerce St.
The Balcony Club , located above the Lakewood Theater in east Dallas, is a long time favorite, attracting an all ages crowd. On weekends there’s usually a bridal party or two, and always plenty of neighborhood locals. It attracts the famous and the not so famous, but it’s always friendly.
Recently updated and remodeled the stage has been moved away from the entrance and some groovy tables and booths have been added – good for getting cozy. The new stage is consistent with the art deco architecture of the space and looks great.
The website posts a calendar, but seriously, just go. It’s one of the coolest venues in Dallas, and they are open seven nights a week. Any night at the Balcony Club is a good night.
The Balcony Club
1825 Abrams (look for the art deco Lakewood Theater marquee)
Do you have anything to add? What have I missed? And if you’re in Dallas, let me know – we can go on a photo walk and then listen to some jazz!
This article is updated again. I also have an added article Read: 5 More Great Places For Jazz
All materials ©PennySadler 2013-2017. Please do not use photos without permission.