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.)
650A Congress St, Portland // 207.774.4111
Blue is an intimate venue for music & food, typically hosting multiple shows most nights of the week. One of the foremost locations in Portland for jazz, they also host their weekly Jazz Session on Wednesday nights.
JIMMY'S JAZZ AND BLUES CLUB
139 Congress Street, Portsmouth // 888.603.JAZZ
Jimmy's is a state-of-the-art jazz venue, which opened in September 2021, bringing award-winning jazz musicians to the Portsmouth, New Hampshire seacoast. The venue rivals any major jazz club in the country with jazz and blues icons gracing the stage nearly every night of the week.
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. In 2017, the venue’s ownership changed, and The Press Room closed for renovations. When it reopened in 2018, it emerged as a world-class music room.
The traditions continue. Sunday Night Jazz at The Press Room has been an institution, originally hosted by Tommy Gallant and his Trio. The Larry Garland Jazz Jam on Tuesday nights is another Press Room institution that’s been running for some four decades.
ARTHUR'S HOUSE OF JAZZ at THE SAHARA CLUB
88 Oak Street, Methuen, MA // 617.818.2084
Arthur's House of Jazz brings the area's most acclaimed musicians to the Sahara Club in Methuen, MA. Jazz shows typically run on Thursday nights.
UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
30 Academic Way, Durham // 603.862.2404
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 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.
THE JOY NEST
50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA // 978.572.1615
Glam-yet-sentimental décor and ambience charms as you dine on carefully prepared cuisine with ritzy Asian flair. The Joy Nest offers jazz at least twice a week with local and regional acts who love to play their stage.
CHAPEL + MAIN
83 Main Street, Dover, NH // 603.842.5170
Chapel + Main is a relatively new venue on the Seacoast. This local brewery & restaurant hosts Sunday night jazz during dinner in the Spring & Summer. Check their events calendar for indoor & outdoor music throughout the season.
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. If you're looking to boogie, check the show listing as they often clear the chairs for dancing.
BOOK & BAR
40 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth // 603.427.9197
Book & Bar is an intimate and comfortable room, lined with book shelves and 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.