Ever since most of Chicago's top musicians moved to New York in the mid-to-late 1920s, New York City has been the Jazz Mecca. Nearly every major jazz style of the past seventy years has been initiated in the Big Apple.
It was Charlie Parker, familiarly known to his fans and fellow musicians as "Bird," a contraction of Yardbird, his formal nickname, who was the dynamic creative personality and genius of the alto saxophone who served as the inspiration for Birdland.
When the original Birdland opened sixty years ago in December, 1949, Charlie Parker was the headliner and the club was located on Broadway, a block west of the 52nd Street scene, which was a hotbed of jazz in the 1930s and 40s.
Miraculously, just as the scene on 52nd Street caved in, Birdland was born and quickly came to prominence. For the next fifteen years, the club's survival formula was built upon memorable double and triple bills, commencing at 9 p.m. and sometimes lasting 'til dawn.
In addition to Bird, many jazz legends were regulars at the club. Count Basie and his smokin' big band made Birdland their New York headquarters, eventually recording George Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland" live at the club. John Coltrane's classic Quartet regularly appeared at the club in the early 1960s, recording "Live at Birdland." And the famous DJ, Symphony Sid Torin made a name for himself broadcasting live from the club to radio listeners up and down the eastern seaboard
This is an intimate venue that hosts outstanding performers. We saw the Django Festival Allstars, who were such a pleasure to hear and watch! The entrance fee is a bit pricey, but the quality of music and food make it worth while. I highly recommend the mac n' cheese! The service seems pretty solid overall, however our server forgot a drink order and to follow up on a dessert choice for a long while. I personally think a drink "on the house" or a discounted dessert should have been offered.
Great venue. Seating was comfortable. $10 minimum purchase on top of a $40 ticket seems excessive. ESPECIALLY with no $10 items on the menu. Cocktails start are $15. Maybe I'm just too poor for this kind of place. I just really wanted to see this particular artist in person. So yeah, cost was my only gripe.
Love this place! Perfect for dates or to go with a group of friends. I have seen here great performances always and the food is pretty good too
I came here for the first time on open mic night and it was amazing. I came with a friend who was gonna sing so we got a table that had a great view of the stage. The drink prices are good. Did not have any food but there is a snack menu. Love the vibe and I think that this would be a great place to bring a date or your significant other... very romantic!
I honestly don't know if I got lucky but this jazz bar is phenomenal. Drinks are spot on. Price reasonable but this place will go down in my life memories. Bar staff excellent service. Want a sneaky jazz nyc experience you can have it here.