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Best Twin Cities Jazz Clubs

January 15, 2011 3:40 PM

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Barbette plays host to an eclectic late-night jazz scene that’s as fresh as the local and organic food it serves. (Credit: barbette.com)

Barbette plays host to an eclectic late-night jazz scene that’s as fresh as the local and organic food it serves. (Credit: barbette.com)

In the world of jazz, the Twin Cities are anything but flyover territory. This is a scene where national acts return again and again, and local talent abounds. From bebop to swing, and from neo-bop to fusion, the back-beat in this town is a continual groove. Here are six of the Twin Cities’ best bets.

artistsquarter Best Twin Cities Jazz Clubs

(credit: The Artists)

The Artists’ Quarter

408 Saint Peter Street
St. Paul, MN 55102-1130
(651) 292-1359
Website

Duck into the basement of the Hamm Building in St. Paul and you might mistake it for the Village Vanguard in Greenwich Village; not so much because of the décor or the underground address, but because of the vibe that resonates with reverence for the purity of jazz itself. Owned by working jazz musicians, The Artists’ Quarter offers a menu of music that runs the gamut from classic jazz to neo-bop and new fusion, and from icon to amateur. Hours: Monday through Sunday, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Barbette Restaurant + Amusements

1600 W. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 827-5710
Website

Avant-garde is a French term for things that are unorthodox, daring, even radical. So it’s no wonder this French restaurant in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood plays host to an eclectic late-night jazz scene that’s as fresh as the local and organic food it serves. The musical menu at Barbette features everything from classical jazz to cutting edge experimental, so expecting the unexpected at this one-of-a-kind venue is de rigueur. Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Friday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.

damico Best Twin Cities Jazz Clubs

D’Amico Kitchen transforms its subterranean level into a lounge on Fridays and Saturdays to showcase a longtime Minnesota jazz favorite, the Benny Weinbeck Trio. (Credit: damico-kitchen.com)

D’Amico Kitchen

901 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 767-6900
Website

The hippest eatery in downtown Minneapolis, D’Amico Kitchen transforms its subterranean level into a lounge on Fridays and Saturdays to showcase a longtime Minnesota jazz favorite, the Benny Weinbeck Trio. Weinbeck and company are known for their updated takes on jazz standards and refreshingly original compositions. And theirs is a soundtrack tailor-made for the perfectly posed loungers who look as cool as the cocktails they’re sipping. Music starts at 7:30 p.m. Hours: Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

dakota Best Twin Cities Jazz Clubs

The Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant is the club that more than a few national acts call their favorite. (Credit: dakotacooks.com)

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

1010 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 332-1010 (food)
(612) 332-5299 (music)
Website

The cornerstone of the Minnesota jazz scene, the Dakota Jazz Club Restaurant is the club that more than a few national acts call their favorite – many have been known to drop in for an impromptu late night set after performing at concert halls nearby. An accessible stage puts the stars within reach in a modern room that’s dark enough to be sleek and sexy, but warm enough to feel welcoming. Behind the scenes, the kitchen performs its own riffs on sophisticated American cuisine. Hours: The kitchen opens daily for dinner at 5:30 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m.; shows typically begin at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; closing time varies.

hellskitchen Best Twin Cities Jazz Clubs

Hell's Kitchen has an entertainment calendar bursting with jazz, funk, blues and rock acts. (Credit: hellskitcheninc.com)


Hell’s Kitchen

80 9th St. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 332-4700
Website

The home of “Damn Good Food” is also the home of damn good music, thanks to an entertainment calendar that’s bursting with jazz, funk, blues and rock acts almost every night of the week. Come for happy hour, when treats like sweet potato fries, bison burgers, steamed mussels and designer cocktails are a steal; stick around for the music, some of which starts at 6 p.m. Hours: Monday through Tuesday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

riversidecafe Best Twin Cities Jazz Clubs

Riverciew combines a wine bar, cafe and music venue in both a kid- adult-friendly way. (Credit: theriverview.net)

Riverview Café and Wine Bar

3745 42nd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 722-7234
Website

Somehow, this Longfellow neighborhood treasure has combined it all – café, wine bar and music venue – and done it in a kid- and adult-friendly way. Find the music scene in the café, where comfortable couches and a kids’ play area peacefully coexist. There, listeners will find a musical menu that’s heavy on jazz but peppered with a few surprises. Coffee drinks, light fare, beer and wine are available. Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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