Best Places to Listen to
Live Jazz in Miami

By: Kara Franker

Miami is home to a wide variety of live music venues offering performances by jazz artists.

One of America’s most beloved art forms, there’s nothing better than swaying to the sounds of live jazz music. In Miami, talented local jazz musicians pay homage to legends like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. The city offers a wide variety of venues—including everything from swanky lounges to al fresco concerts.

Mostly Jazz Live Music Series on Miami Beach

Check out the Mostly Jazz Live Music Series at The Betsy Hotel on South Beach. Kick back on one of the overstuffed sofas in the hotel lobby and sip on colorful cocktails. Musicians perform everything from classic jazz to Bossa Nova. For the best seats in the house, reserve a table for dinner at BLT Steak. The jazz concerts are free and happen weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Jazid on South Beach

Jazid's claim to fame is that it features live music every single night of the week and it’s one the longest running nightclubs on Miami Beach. While jazz is the star of the show, don’t be surprised if you experience a mix of genres—everything from funk and rock to cumbia and reggae. Modeled after a New York-style lounge, the upstairs club features a different vibe with DJs spinning house music. Show up early and you’ll have a better shot at free entry, otherwise there’s a $10 cover charge on some nights.

Live Jazz at LILT Lounge in Downtown Miami

Located in the lobby of the luxurious EPIC hotel, LILT Lounge offers a swanky atmosphere where you can sip handcrafted cocktails or Champagne with water views of the Miami River. Live jazz bands play every Tuesday through Saturday evenings and there is no cost for admission.

Southern Jazz Brunch at The Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne

The Sunday brunch at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami has become a staple luxury dining experience, with its lavish display of culinary stations, caviar and seafood, bottomless prosecco cocktails and an entire room dedicated just to homemade-style desserts. Experience a little piece of New Orleans flavor and fare at a Southern-style jazz brunch happening once a month on Sundays. A five-piece roaming band will serenade you as you nosh on Executive Chef Clayton van Hooijdonk’s and Executive Pastry Chef Laszlo Bollok's mouthwatering creations. For prices and reservations call Cioppino at 305-365-4156.

Jazz at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami

Head to the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami for its "Jazz at MOCA" concert series, held on the last Friday of every month from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Browse impressive works at art inside the MOCA galleries, then enjoy the year-round balmy weather for an al fresco jazz performance. Admission is free for members, $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.

Jazz in the Gables

A unique lunchtime concert series, Jazz in the Gables offers a mid-day break as soulful sounds fill the air in picturesque Coral Gables, just steps away from Miracle Mile. Opt for a picnic and enjoy Catering by Lovables’ array of box lunches for sale. Free jazz concerts are held in the winter (January through April) weekly on Wednesdays from 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m at the Coral Gables Museum plaza located on Salzedo Street.

South Motors Jazz Series at Pinecrest Gardens

Relax in a lush tropical garden and experience a smooth serenade from a variety of talented local artists. The South Motors Jazz Series offers everything from Big Band to Brazilian Samba. The series happens on select Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. at Pinecrest Gardens. Single admission tickets start at $25 per person.

Miami International Jazz Festival in Little Havana

The Miami International Jazz Festival showcases a combo of eclectic jazz performers at the Cuba Ocho Art & Research Center in Little Havana. Hosted by both The City of Miami and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the festival happens once a year in early May. Ticket prices start at $20 per person.

Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival in Miami Gardens

Another highly-anticipated yearly event, Jazz in the Gardens takes place each March and features an impressive line-up of well-known, Grammy-winning jazz and R&B musical artists. Celebrity performers have included Charlie Wilson, Neyo, Earth Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, LL Cool J, Fantasia, Mary J. Blige and Kenny G. The two-day event takes place at Sun Life Stadium and tickets typically start at around $60 per person, per day.

Insider Tip: Check out the Sunshine Jazz Organization for more jazz concerts and events located throughout Miami-Dade County.

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