Referring to Detroit as Motown has almost become as popular as calling it the Motor City. The unique Motown sound combined the styles of soul music with a distinct jazz influence. Saxophones, trumpets, and other horns blended with soulful vocals made for some of the most popular songs in the 1960s. In the decades since, Detroit has kept its jazz roots thriving as musicians continue to put on thrilling live jazz performances featuring high energy, impressive improvisation, and just pure talent that demands to be experienced. The jazz scene is alive and well in the metro Detroit area, and these four fine establishments will show you the best musicians honoring the city’s rich jazz history.
You might enjoy a wide range of music at Detroit’s Music Hall, but the Jazz Cafe should please any jazz enthusiast on any given night. Now entering its eighth year, the Jazz Cafe at Music Hall offers an elegant atmosphere that showcases the top jazz musicians in not only the area, but the country as well. With multiple shows a week, you’ll want to see who’s coming and plan accordingly.
Since 1935, Cliff Bell’s has been showcasing the best jazz musicians in the metro Detroit area. The club features an extensive bar menu, along with a brunch and dinner menu, to go along with the lively music. The lineup is always impressive, but if you’re feeling adventurous you can put on your own show by hosting a private event.
If you’re a jazz enthusiast in the metro Detroit area, odds are that you’ve seen a jazz performance or two at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. From its small beginnings in the 1930s, to its designation as a historic site in 1986, the jazz lounge is known for its rich history. The intimate setting and vintage decor compliment the talented musicians on stage to make for a memorable night out. Performances take place nightly so be sure to check the schedule to see who’s playing on what night.
Fine dining and impressive jazz go hand-in-hand at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe. The Grosse Pointe Farms establishment offers both dinner and lunch menus to go along with your jazz any time of the day. Reservations are recommended for any show, so check out the schedule and be sure to call ahead to reserve your table.