For many years Leeds has had a strong jazz scene. With musicians coming out of Leeds College of Music, and venues hosting local and international artists, it is a leading city in the UK jazz world. Currently thriving, there are an array of jazz clubs in the centre and suburbs to swing by. Here are ten of the grooviest.
The Domino Club
Hidden downstairs in the Grand Arcade lies an underground speakeasy that offers all the smoky atmosphere and groovy bebop that any jazz fan could wish for. The Domino Club’s popularity reaches wider than its genre such is the quality of cocktails, vibes and music here. Lounge back in the leather banquettes or boogie to the nightly live jazz, either way you’ll feel like the coolest cat in town.
This unique venue, also in the Grand Arcade, is a tailors by day which transforms into a gin bar at night. The cosy setting steps back beautifully to the 1920s, where the gramophone crackles with the hippest new tunes and Tailors very own gin is poured deliciously. Sunday is Gin n Jazz day here, or swing by on a Thursday for Live Music Jam Open Jazz Nights.
For almost twenty years Sela has been doing the basement jazz thing with style. Down their steps on New Briggate leads to an underground space which is both chilled with ease and buzzing with energy. Weekly events include The Jazz Joint on a Tuesday and Jazz Jam every Sunday, plus keep an ear out for occasional expertly curated gigs by skilled jazz musicians.
Outlaws Yacht Club
This hip hangout opposite Leeds City Bus Station plays impossibly good music of various genres. Whilst experts in electro, Outlaws Yacht Club also have a healthy respect for jazz and have hosted live sessions, DJs and talks from some of the genre’s best. Bringing the jazz world to the modern ear, you’ll also hear jazz fusion and cosmic jazz here, in a venue that’s as relaxed as it is cool.
The HiFi Club
Since opening at the turn of the millennium, The HiFi Club is still a vital music venue in its downstairs bar and club. There’s live music from exciting jazz bands, there are long-standing and evolving club nights playing soul, funk and jazz, and the latter in particular gets involved at one of the city’s best ways to end the weekend, Sunday Joint.
Salon Prive bucks the trend of the basement jazz bar in its lofty position on the first floor of Dakota Hotel. It’s elevated location provides the same impact as its underground compatriots as a hidden gem which reveals itself to be a classy gin and jazz joint. There’s live music on Friday and Saturday evenings which can be enjoyed in style with your choice from their huge gin collection.
Leeds Jazz Club
Leeds Jazz Club are a bunch of jazz enthusiasts bringing great music to the city by hosting weekly live shows at Main Line Social Club in Pudsey. Having moved to their new home following the closure of Armley Conservative Club, Leeds Jazz Club continue to excel with the same ethos of inclusive nights every Tuesday, showcasing the best musicians from Leeds and beyond.
This two floor cocktail bar takes its influence from the music of New Orleans, which covers funk, soul, blues, and of course jazz. The vibe moves from a chilled evening social to a vibrant late night hangout, as DJs spin records of finely chosen jazz cuts for the effortlessly cool crowd.
Hyde Park Book Club
As one of the friendliest venues in Leeds, Hyde Park Book Club are outwardly inclusive in all they do. This approach is extends from their customers to their music, which has regular gigs from an array of upcoming artists. For jazz, head here on a Thursday when The Hyde Park Jazz Club host shows and jams in the downstairs live space.
In Chapel Allerton, Seven Arts provides the community with an array of creative attractions. From film and theatre to poetry and comedy, plus eclectic music that regularly specialises in jazz. There are great live shows put on by Jazz Leeds, and like some others in this list, Seven Arts are one of the hosts of the Leeds Jazz Festival in June.
Images: The Domino Club, Seven Arts, Outlaws Yachtclub, Hyde Park Book Club