Where to listen to live jazz music in Nashville

We’re talking all that jazz and more. Here’s what to know about the scene in Music City, from education to live jazz performances.

The exterior of a building home to Nashville Jazz Workshop

Nashville Jazz Workshop is located at 1012 Buchanan St. | Photo by NASHtoday

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Nashville is known as the capital of country music, but the city’s jazz scene? It’s thriving, too.

Whether you’re a regular at Rudy’s Jazz Room, a professional musician, or a casual listener, there are many ways to appreciate the genre locally. Plus, get jazzed for International Jazz Day (Sunday, April 30) with special events at Nashville Jazz Workshop, City Winery, and the National Museum of African American Music.

Jazz education

Where can aspiring jazz artists learn from the pros? That’s where Nashville Jazz Workshop comes in. Lori Mechem and Roger Spencer started the organization in 1998 with a mission to expand access to jazz music education and performance in Nashville.

We caught up with Lori in 2021 to learn more about programs and classes available to the community, including weekly events in the Jazz Cave. Classes are open to students, professional musicians, educators — and anyone who wants to learn. Kids will love Jazz AM, an ongoing series spotlighting singers like Billie Holiday + Nat King Cole.

Music to our ears

In addition to the Nashville Jazz Workshop, let’s take a look at where you can listen to jazz year-round:

  • Rudy’s Jazz Room, 809 Gleaves St. | As the name suggests, this hub for jazz music hosts residencies and special performances six nights a week. Bookmark the calendar.
  • Skull’s Rainbow Room, 222 Printers Alley | Listen to live jazz nightly beginning at 7:30 p.m. — see the schedule.
  • Jazz on the Cumberland, Cumberland Park | Bring a blanket or lawn chair to this free family-friendly music event held on select Sundays May through October.
  • Schermerhorn Symphony Center, 1 Symphony Pl. | Upcoming Jazz Series performances include the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (May 21), Esperanza Spalding (Sept. 26), the Kenny Barron Trio (Oct. 29), and the Duke Ellington Orchestra (March 1, 2024).
  • 3rd and Lindsley, 818 3rd Ave. S. | The Time Jumpers bring western swing music (a combination of swing jazz and country music) to the venue every Monday night.

Pro tip: Join this Facebook group to get updates from musicians and jazz enthusiasts alike.

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