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  • Nicole Sergent

Feeling jazzy?

It's no secret that Houston hosts an array of talented musicians. What some people don't seem to realize, is on any given day of the week, you can catch classically trained and natural savants alike playing their hearts out. This abundance of talents merits attention and attendance. In this little write-up, I am simplifying the meat and potatoes of where to catch some fantastic jazz organized by day of the week.


Perhaps of all days of the week, Sunday has the least amount of options so I figured I'd lead off with this one.

Often times on what this venue labels Jazz Sunday, you can find a nice matinee at Axelrad. This venue is very family friendly for being an establishment that serves alcohol and has a fantastic patio where they often host most of their talent. These lineups can range from experimental to traditional depending on the Sunday, but they are great at updating their online calendar to let you know who might play.

One of the best gems in jazz is khon's wine bar. On Sundays, this Houston institution nestled in the heart of midtown has a small jam session that attracts some of the brightest musicians in town. This session is equal parts expressive and technical, and often times hosts local area, musical veterans.

Pretty Dad performing at Khon's

Often times you can catch an occasional jazz musician on a Sunday bill at Emmit's Place, as they frequently host birthday parties for local musicians or sets for staples that day. This show isn't always promised, but another day of the week (if not most) you can find jazz there, and we will circle back.


Check out a nice set at Mercantile on Monday nights. Enjoy a late-night coffee or snack while hearing the sweet sounds of Houston Ensemble, which is a collective of jazz musicians involved in a variety of projects and performances across town, 7-9PM weekly.

If I have the opportunity to have the night off on Monday, you'll often find me at one of my favorite jazz lineups in town between Montrose and Midtown, Avant Garden. The performances tend to fall in line with a traditional and often technical side of jazz with ample improvisation as the night progresses. The musicians often go on around 10 PM. Say hi, I'll be there with a ginger ale in a corner.

For a more experimental take that's rather jazz-adjacent, check out the Nameless Sound series at Lawndale Art Center. Although often mostly abstract, a variety of talented musicians that perform jazz-adjacent compositions or performances can be found from 7:30-9:30 PM.


My personal affection for jazz was birthed in the clubs along Frenchman Street in New Orleans. Despite being late to the party and starting my listening as a teenager, I still get the insatiable itch to dance to brass. If you want the good sounds of jazz to move your feet to, check out The Flat on Tuesdays. They host Hot City Brass Band at 9PM.

Although performances aren't set weekly, or even regularly, local professor and sax master Danny Kimmins will frequently arrange shows that dance between experimental and jazz on Tuesdays at khon's wine bar. These are assuredly worth your time and will stimulate that creative part of your brain typically reserved for art museums.


If all your music is better paired with a meal, you'd be remiss to overlook Jazz Wednesdays downtown at Sambuca. You can dress up a bit if you're in the mood and check out some seasoned talent performing a curated set. Bottoms up!

Remember how I mentioned circling back earlier (but, Nicole, it's been so many words!)? Every Wednesday is affectionately dubbed Wine Down Wednesday at Emmit's Place. They host a weekly jam featuring experienced musicians that is worth checking out.

On the note of circling back, Axelrad hosts jazz every Wednesday as well! Music runs from 7-10PM at this spot so be sure to pop in and snag a hammock. This lineup is mixed with modern and traditional jazz performances, so be sure to check out the site to see who you might catch.


As you can see, there's a lot of jazz jams around town. As a writer, there's a level of objectivity I am supposed to hold surrounding events or talent, but this is not a Murdock-owned publication, nor do I give a shit, so I will go ahead and let you know that I think the weekly jazz jam at Eighteen Ten Ojeman is my favorite in town. Head over to Spring Branch to check out jazz classics performed by the Ojeband, a talented collection of local musicians that frequently delve into fits of well-executed improv, and stay for the open portion of the jam. This jam is inclusive of musicians of most levels, so performance age and skill vary. The drinks are cheap, the vibe is always funky, and it is where you find me most Thursdays. Music starts around 9 and ends when it ends.

Matt Serice, member of the Ojeband at Eighteen Ten Ojeman

You might be asking through this article, but Nicole, where is the Latin jazz? I've got your back friend. For a second day of the week, you can check out Sambuca. Thursdays they feature Latin music that often is jazzy in nature.

Sometimes you want your jazz in a corner of town with bare brick walls and fine cocktails on hand. If that's what you are looking for any given Thursday, look no further than the Heights. Ready Room is undoubtedly one of the coziest spots on this list that assuredly feels like a jazz club. Their Thursday lineups rotate, but be sure to catch the music go on at 8:30 PM .

For a jazz performance in a bar that is not a jazz bar, but has gorgeous views, check out Ivy Bar in the Tanglewood area, featuring traditional tunes by Boomtown Brass from 8-10 PM.


I lump these days together because the weekends often feature more of a buckshot of jazz offerings around town. Below I'll mention a few venue options not previously listed that often host jazz shows, but not with the regularity weekday gigs mentioned above.

First off, I'd be remiss to not mention Houston's Oldest Bar, Leon's Lounge. The venue will frequently host jazz groups Friday night or a duo on Saturday evenings. This venue often posts a monthly show schedule online on its site. Leon's is aesthetically pleasing and is a nice quiet spot for drinks at the end of a long week.

Another classic Houston bar in the Second Ward, How to Survive Land and Sea will host jazz on weekends, typically Saturday nights.

For a weekend jazz brunch set, Lucille's is the spot. They also historically have hosted jazz on some Thurdays, but I don't want to lead you astray on specific days here (a bit counterintuitive I'd say) so calling to confirm a midweek set would be the move.

Another spot worth mentioning is Phil and Derek's. This Midtown restaurant frequently hosts jazz Monday and Wednesday evenings (start time 8PM) but also will have jazz shows pop up on weekends.

Somewhere between the First Ward and Northside sits Taste Bar & Grill, a spot that features R&B as well as jazz sets. There seems to be more jazz on weekends, but check on the site for more details as it varies.

The only thing missing from these fine venues full of talented musicians is you. So go see a jazz set soon, tip your musicians, and tip the bar, I promise you won't regret it.

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