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Birdland

315 West 44th St
212-581-3080

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



Reviews

Glenn Polin

Rating:
Sunday, May 27, 2018
My favorite of the jazz clubs. You can if you get there early get a perfect seat for any show and not be jammed in with other people. In general the seating is much more spacious then it is at the Blue Note Club. Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola has more spacious seating but not the same feeling of intimacy. There's something great about the two person tables right up front at Birdland. Music prices are reasonable and so is the cover charge. The food is decent - I think they make a real effort at it-- but certainly not great or fine cuisine. For some inexpensive early Friday night entertainment, consider the Birdland big band, which starts playing at 5:15 p.m. No music charge and only a $10 food cover charge. Come and have a drink or an appetizer. The band is excellent and is a true bargain as far as music goes in New York City anywhere near midtown.

Nickitas Georgas

Rating:
Friday, April 6, 2018
A very nice venue with attentive service and good acoustics. Some seats are better than others so if you don't want to be seated at the back side of the band you should probably ask. Prices are good for the quality. It has a bar to hang out at after the hour to hour-and-a-half that each paid seating lasts. Feels a little in and out, being timed and all, as compared to Joe's Pub for example, but if excellent jazz is your thing then it is a definitely worth a visit. Family friendly too.

Tobias

Rating:
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Stayed there on a Wednesday afternoon for the Louis Armstrong eternity band. We bought the ticket (30 Dollar) in advance but there was also some space for spontaneous guest. We had a very lovely table near the stage (be sure to come half an hour in advance to get the best tables). per set you have to buy drinks or food for 10 Dollars per person. The food and the drinks were on a good level, the Birdland burger was really good. The music was and the atmosphere were phantastique, the band played 1.5 hours which felt like half an hour.

Bob Hancock

Rating:
Monday, May 28, 2018
A first-class Supper Club setting for jazz. The acoustics are great, the food is excellent, and the staff is discrete during the performance. One of the few jazz venues in New York City where you are not packed in like sardines.

Priestly Canty

Rating:
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Celebrated my birthday here at Birdland. First time here; wanted to try something different. The aviance was relaxing. The food was very good, especially the Buffalo Shrimp, and the Ribs. The Collard Greens were seasoned very well. I am a fan of soul jazz, but all the performers during this cast party open mike night were very good. The band was soothing to the ears.

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