The Search: Live Jazz in NJ


By: Trish


Awhile ago I became hooked on satellite radio - for the channels, the variety, the clarity of the sound, etc.  But recently on a long car trip, bored with my usual stations, I stumbled upon Sirius XM’s Real Jazz station. I have always enjoyed a little John Coltrane or Miles Davis at home in the past but now, listening to it all the time in the car, I am obsessed. I am literally on a mission to learn more about this genre, and hear/see as much as I can.

First of all, what is Jazz? Jazz is an original style of American music. It is a unique blend of music with roots in gospel, African and Spanish music, the blues, and brass bands. It incorporates “musical notes that are bent to create emotion” in the music. The rhythm comes from a variety of instruments that change throughout the song. My favorite aspect of this genre is the improvisation - each artist’s interpretation of the music is unique and inspiring.

Where did it first start? Jazz was invented by African-American musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 1800s. The music became more popular in the 1900s, and took the country by storm in the 1920s. In the 1920s, the center for jazz moved from New Orleans to Chicago and New York City. 

So, where can you listen to live Jazz music in NJ?  I did a little research and came up with the following list. Who wants to accompany me on a night out?!

  • Clements Place is located at 15 Washington Street in Newark, NJ
  • Crossroads is located at 78 North Avenue in Garwood, NJ
  • Hopewell Valley Bistro - Jazz on Broad is located at 15 E Broad Street in Hopewell, NJ
  • Robins Nest is located at 3103 Tremley Point Road in Linden, NJ
  • Shanghai Jazz is located at 24 Main Street in Madison, NJ
  • Trumpets is located at 6 Depot Square in Montclair, NJ