While there’s no single venue that’s all-jazz-all-the-time on the Seacoast, there are several of them that do present jazz—some of them several nights a week, some of them only occasionally. We count our blessings. (Click on the venue name below to be taken to its website.).
THE PRESS ROOM
77 Daniel Street, Portsmouth // 603.431.5186
Since opening its doors in 1976, The Press Room has established itself over the years as one of New England’s premiere jazz rooms. Sunday Night Jazz at The Press Room has been an institution, originally hosted by Tommy Gallant and his Trio, these days by the Ryan Parker Trio. Sunday Night Jazz continues to welcome some of the best-known artists from the Seacoast, from New England, and indeed from all over the country. Larry Garland’s Tuesday night jam is another Press Room institution that’s been running for some four decades. Larry also hosts The Press Room’s long-running weekly Saturday Jazz Lunch, from 1 to 3.
UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
30 Academic Way, Durham,NH
UNH is a great and consistent presenter of jazz on the Seacoast. Its Traditional Jazz Concert Series, launched in 1979, is made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Ms. Dorothy C. Prescott. The Series features musicians of regional, national and even international prominence and to date has presented more than 200 concerts, featuring legendary jazz musicians such as Clark Terry, Benny Carter, Marian McPartland, Dave McKenna, Lee Konitz, Nicholas Payton, Frank Wess, Doc Cheatham, Vic Dickenson, and Red Norvo. In addition to this Series, UNH also presents frequent concerts by faculty members and student ensembles, these performances free to the public.
THE BLUE MERMAID ISLAND GRILL
409 The Hill (for GPS use 116 High Street), Portsmouth, NH // 603.427.2583
This well established Seacoast venue presents a Thursday night series called “Jazz Night Red, Hot and Blue.” A rotating lineup of area jazz groups perform.
328 Central Avenue, Dover, NH // 603.343.4332
Sonny’s is a relatively new venue on the Seacoast. On Tuesday nights, the popular Soggy Po’ Boys perform.
FURY’S PUBLICK HOUSE
One Washington Street, Dover, NH // 603.617.3633
Set in an historic mill building in Dover, Fury’s is a pub and restaurant that features a Sunday night jazz series, its focus on presenting the best local and regional jazz in its comfortable, casual setting.
THE DANCE HALL
7 Walker Street, Kittery, ME // 207.703.2083
The Dance Hall presents an eclectic mix of musical genres and performance types. Invariably, once or twice a month, there’s jazz on the schedule.
BOOK & BAR
40 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth // 603.427.9197
This is a small, comfortable room with a nice vibe. Pick through their Events Calendar, and you can usually find a night when jazz is presented.
THE MUSIC HALL
28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth // 603.436.2400
Called the “crown jewel of Portsmouth’s cultural scene” by Yankee magazine, The Music Hall in Portsmouth is a performing arts center featuring curated entertainment from around the world in a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, one designated an American Treasure for the Arts by the US Senate, Jazz, alas, is not often on The Music Hall’s calendar, but when it is, it’s probably somebody very, very big.