Musician Resources

Support resources, from gigs to grants

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Frequently Asked Questions

One of Jazz Philadelphia’s goals is to connect, support and promote our homegrown talent, as well as our jazz presenters and advocates. If you’re a resource for musicians, please be in touch so we can add you to our listings.

We also plan to offer professional development and mentorship opportunities to musicians, as well as connections to support resources. While the following list of jazz jams, places to get gigs, promote shows, and find support isn’t comprehensive, it can help get you started.

If you’re looking for information on lessons or finding instruments, visit our education page.

As a reminder, don’t forget to register today for the Jazz Philadelphia Summit, to be held November 2 and 3 in Center City Philadelphia.

Where Can I Play in Jam Sessions?
Where Can I Get Gigs?
Where Can I Promote My Gigs or Find New Places to Play?
Which Nonprofits Support or Present Jazz?
What About Other Music Organizations and Cultural Institutions?
What Studio Spaces Accommodate Jazz?
What about larger venues and performance centers to see music?


Where Can I Play in Jam Sessions?

Chris’ Jazz Cafe
James Santangelo Trio Jam Session
Time: Saturday 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Food: American cuisine
Music: Standards, hard-bop, post-bop

Heritage
Mike Boone Jazz Jam
Time: Thursday 7 to 11 p.m.
Food: Dinner and brunch with American cuisine
Music: Standards jam

Larose Jazz Club
Jam Session led by Tony Williams. $10 cover
Time: Every 3rd Monday is a session from 5:30 to 9 p.m., other Mondays are scheduled performances
Food: Soul food
Music: Standards jam

Manayunk Brewing Company
Jazz groups from the now-shuttered 23rd Street Cafe host
Time: Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
Food: From American regional cuisine to hand-rolled sushi
Music: Standards jam

MilkBoy
Mike Frank Trio Jam
Time: Tuesday 7 to 10 p.m.
Food: American Cuisine
Music: Standards jam, vocalists encouraged, no drums

Parkside Beef & Ale
A mixed-genre jam
Time: Monday 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Food: Soul food & American fare
Buzzing pub with DJs, karaoke, and lively happy hours.
Music: R&B, funk, gospel, and jazz jam

South Jazz Club
Luke O’Reilly Jam Session
Time: Tuesday 7 to 10 p.m.
Food: South’s menu showcases the diverse, dynamic, genre-defining cuisine of the American south.
Music: Standards, soul, and funk jam

Time
Jazz Jam with the Tim Brey Trio
Time: Sunday 8:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Food: Full menu of elevated American cuisine
Music: Standards jam

Warehouse On Watts
Tim Brey Jam with a rotation of ensembles
Time: Wednesdays doors open at 7 p.m. Featured act is at 8 p.m. Open Jam is 9 to 11 p. m. $10 Cover at the Door
BYOB, mixers for sale at the bar
Food: No
Music: Wide variety of jazz styles


Where Can I Get Gigs?

Jazz-only Venues:

Chris’ Jazz Cafe
Center City
Chris’s Jazz Cafe has been one of Philadelphia’s must-see jazz venues for decades now. They provide a variety of music and present local and national artists year round in a full-service dining atmosphere with an upscale menu. There is a cover charge each night that goes directly to the band, and a $10 per person/per table minimum; student discounts are available with a valid I.D. They program music every night of the week except Sunday.

Club LaRose
Germantown
Better known as LaRose Jazz Club, this Germantown institution features live jazz performances, open stages, and a dining room and bar where guests can enjoy a night of food and beverages alongside great music. Call for schedules, or check their Facebook; they don’t maintain a website. Tony Williams and the Giants of Jazz take the stage every Wednesday.

South Jazz Club
Avenue of the Arts North
South Jazz Kitchen is one of the few spots in Philadelphia where you can show up nearly any night of the week to see live jazz—but they do take a break on Mondays. Most shows are two performances a night, and many of them feature top local, national, and international talent. They have an impressive food and beverage program that focuses on southern cuisine, and a carefully crafted, lush-but-comfortable space that includes a bar, dining room, and outside patio seating. They host a weekly jazz jam, and booking information is available directly on their site.

Philadelphia Clef Club of the Performing Arts
Avenue of the Arts South
The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts is a cultural organization located on the Avenue of the Arts South. The center offers eight fully equipped music studios and, a 200 seat performance space.  During performances, guest can go up to the bar and enjoy a beverage without having to leave the room, and the performance venue is also home to both renowned and emerging musicians, a youth jazz ensemble, and education and outreach programs that benefit the entire jazz community.

Small and Mid-Sized Mixed-Genre Venues

Ardmore Music Hall
Ardmore, Pa
The Ardmore Music Hall has a state-of-the-art sound system, a generous dance space, multiple seating options and a low and intimate stage. Notable jazz artists who have performed there include Mike Stern, Stanley Clarke, and Marcus Miller; they book a fair amount of funk and R&B as well. The food program is limited, but they offer 20+ craft beers on draught and a balcony viewing area for larger events. The booking agent for the venue is Point Entertainment.

Boot & Saddle
South Philadelphia
Boot & Saddle offers a wide variety of local and national acts alongside area-sourced eats, all housed in a historic site on Broad Street in South Philadelphia. They offer a full-service bar and restaurant in the front and a black box performance space in the back. Booking contact information is available on their website site.

Bourbon & Branch
Northern Liberties
Bourbon & Branch is a boutique live music venue located in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood. Built for musicians, by musicians, Bourbon & Branch embodies a commitment to the arts—and that includes a great sound system and an actual green room for musicians stocked with beer and water. Booking information is available on their site. Performers such as Pete Hill, Ross Bellenoit, and Christopher Davis Shannon are examples of jazzy acts that have played there. Like many venues, they are open to proposed evenings of any kind of music as long as you can bring people in.

Connie’s Ric Rac
South Philadelphia
Connie’s Ric Rac plays host to a variety of entertainment, from burlesque circus shows or punk rock karaoke to a night of acoustic singer-songwriters. The no-frills bar doesn’t offer food, but there are plenty of options—it sits in the middle of the Italian Market. They offer comprehensive booking information on their site, and they are one of the only venues in town that still accepts physical press kits. They are a DIY space open to all genres, and in the past, they’ve hosted the Community College of Philadelphia’s jazz band as well as acts such as drummer Charlie Heim.

Heritage
Northern Liberties
This modern-yet-rustic restaurant boasts a seasonal, locally-sourced menu, an extensive bar program, an urban garden, and great live music. Jazz is most of what they book, and they offer a jazz jam on Tuesdays from 7 to 11. It’s an expansive space on a block bustling with shops and restaurants in Northern Liberties, and booking information is available on their site.

Johnny Brenda’s
Fishtown
Johnny Brenda’s is a bar, restaurant, and music venue located in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia that features local food, and an impressive beer list, and a tap wine system. Marco Benevento, the Big Horn Jazz Band, the Julian Lage Trio and many other jazz acts perform there on a regular basis. Up the steep stairs from their first-floor restaurant, you’ll find a sizable stage with both an open floor and a second-story balcony for viewing shows, as well as two bars to serve patrons. Local bands are definitely welcome as the main event or as support for touring musicians.

Keswick Theatre
Glenside, PA
215-572-7650
The Keswick has become one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s most active and diversified venues, presenting internationally-acclaimed performers geared to virtually every taste and interest. If you’re a local musician, look for national jazz acts coming through town and be in touch with their booker about being support. While it’s not an easy gig to get, they are open to emerging acts who might help bring in extra people.

Ortlieb’s
Northern Liberties
After a renovation several years ago, Ortlieb’s installed a separate black box theater in the back where mostly local funk, jazz, folk, and rock acts perform. Patrons can expect to find no-frills burgers and burritos with a local beer program offered at the bar and at other limited seating. Like most venues, if approached with a bill, they are open to just about anything that will bring people through the doors.

La Peg/Fringe Arts
Old City
FringeArts offers hundreds of innovative programs throughout the year, including an experimental jazz series. Their still relatively new performance center on Delaware Avenue also houses La Peg, a full-service bar, and restaurant with a killer happy hour. If you’re putting together a jazz-related Fringe show, remember they offer opportunities to show work in development leading up to the festival, as well as free help in the form of marketing and promotion workshops.

The Painted Bride Art Center
Old City
As a multi-disciplinary arts presenter, the Bride collaborates with independent artists, supporting their creative process from inception to presentation. This support manifests in myriad ways, including identifying funding opportunities, cultivating strategic partnerships for audience development, and championing artists and their work to an international network of partners. They are home to the longest-running jazz series in the city and have partnered regularly with jazz presenter Ars Nova. Though they are selling their performance space they are fully committed to continuing to support innovative partnerships and artists.

Paris Bistro and Jazz Café
Germantown
Paris Bistro and Jazz Café in Germantown features music by some of Pennsylvania and the surrounding states’ most talented musicians. The style of music is often, but not exclusively, jazz. They describe what they book as “‘straight-ahead’ jazz, the music of the Great American Songbook, and the music of the Jazz Era 1910’s -1930’s and Gypsy Jazz.” Most often they feature a trio or quartet with a vocalist, and their full schedule is listed on their website, which runs Wednesday to Sunday. Their full bistro menu is served in the Jazz Café, along with a robust wine list and fully stocked bar.

Time
Center City Midtown Village
Time is located in the heart of the city and hosts music of all styles, with a heavy emphasis on jazz. Most happy hours, you’ll find a trio in the dining room corner, and a lively jam session takes place once a week. The large bar in the middle of the dining room also offers a great place to eat and see shows.

World Café Live
University City
World Cafe Live music venue is located in University City, and it offers a smaller upstairs venue and a large downstairs venue, so it can accommodate a large range of shows. The sound quality is excellent and they book a combination of local and national artists. It’s also the home to AAA radio station WXPN.

Woodmere Art Museum
Chestnut Hill East
215-247-0476
Celebrate music at Woodmere with Friday Night Jazz and Classical Saturdays. They offer audiences exceptional performers, an acoustically astounding space, and amazing works of art. Guests receive drinks and light refreshments with the purchase of a ticket.

 


Where Can I Promote My Gigs or Find New Places to Play?

All About Jazz/Jazz Near You
All About Jazz serves jazz and improvised music by advancing musicians, facilitating education, and increasing public awareness of the players and their medium. It provides a haven for jazz aficionados, curious listeners, and industry professionals. Musicians can create free profiles on their site and upload shows, which then automatically appear in concert listings all over the world, including right here in Philadelphia. Jazz Near You is a Jazz Philadelphia partner, and our gigs calendar is pulled from their content. If you want your gigs listed on the Jazz Philadelphia website, make sure you create a profile and upload shows there; they will appear automatically.

The Key
This online publication from local radio station WXPN is one of the more comprehensive music sites in Philadelphia, and they are definitely interested in covering jazz. It can be hard to find their contact information: check out the right-hand sidebar and follow the “Get in Touch” button to pitch stories.

Jump Magazine
Jump is a quarterly print magazine that covers Philly bands, venues, studios, history, bouncers, stylists, producers, clubs, boutiques, restaurants, deejays, music shops, record stores, labels, promoters, artists and anything else that has a connection to music in the city. They document all genres, from hip-hop and indie rock to classical, folk, jam bands, reggae, electronic, jazz, and hardcore. It’s soon to undergo a renovation, as local indie-media company Red Flag Media will be taking over production. You can pitch them directly through their contact page.

Philadelphia Weekly
Philadelphia Weekly is a free, alternative weekly print tabloid that that also offers digital content, including blogs, social media, and ebooks. Contact them especially for album releases or other major events. It’s always best to look through their coverage to see which writers have covered jazz in the past, and reach out to them directly with pitches.

WRTI
The mission of WRTI public radio is to broadcast the very best classical music and jazz recordings and produce innovative, entertaining, and informative content that enriches the daily lives of its audience and the cultural life of Philadelphia and the tri-state region.


Which Nonprofits Support or Present Jazz?

All That Philly Jazz
All That Philly Jazz is a place-based public history project that is telling the story of Philadelphia jazz from bebop to hip-hop, from Dizzy Gillespie at the Downbeat to The Roots mural on South Street. They map cultural assets, including jazz venues and landmarks, Walk of Fame plaques, historic sites, and murals.

Ars Nova Workshop
Ars Nova Workshop (ANW) acts as a facilitator between artists and their audiences while working to inform, inspire and challenge listeners in order to elevate the role of jazz, improvisation and experimental music in contemporary culture.

Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts
The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts is a world-class education center that supports, celebrates, and preserves the legacy of jazz through accessible education, talent development, programming, and public performances.  It offers education, performance opportunities, youth ensemble training, and individual lessons, among many other programs.

Philadelphia Folksong Society
The Philadelphia Folksong Society (PFS) is dedicated to preserving the past, promoting the present, and securing the future of folk music and related forms of expression through education, presentation, and participation. They strongly believe that folk music includes jazz, and invite jazz musicians to be part of the organization’s multifaceted programs: education programs for children and adults, including through the School District of Philadelphia; a musician co-op program dedicated to providing musicians with artist development and paid performance opportunities; and the chance to play at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, an annual four day festival with eight stages that draws over 35,000 attendees.

Philadelphia Jazz Project
Philadelphia Jazz Project (PJP) is a special initiative that works to inspire a network to support, promote, archive and celebrate the diverse elements within the Philadelphia jazz community, with the larger goal of connecting to the global community. Their goals are to expand the audience for jazz, increase creative opportunities for artists, and to extend the conversation about the music. They offer special events and productions that present a diverse and intergenerational picture of the Philadelphia Jazz community.

Jazz Lives Philadelphia
Jazz Lives Philadelphia’s mission is to celebrate jazz music through performance, education and community outreach. At Jazz Lives Philadelphia, we work diligently to bring musicians and communities together through swing through our educational initiatives and public performances. We believe jazz music transcends our differences while celebrating them. We believe that jazz music has the power to open the minds of young people and to allow people to express themselves as they see fit.

Jazz Bridge
The Jazz Bridge Project was established in 2004 by a group of caring jazz musicians and fans. It’s dedicated to assisting professional Greater Philadelphia Metro area jazz and blues musicians and vocalists in times of crisis by providing confidential and caring support in keeping with their personal dignity. Through donations, grants, and our neighborhood concerts, Jazz Bridge assists those coping with emergencies involving health, legal, financial, personal and professional needs, while building an awareness of the local jazz sound.

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts supports jazz in a multitude of ways. In addition to regular jazz performances, they offer a yearly, competitive residency program for Philadelphia jazz artists, a summer jazz camp for kids, school curricula such as Jazz4Freedom and KinderJazz, ensemble programs for talented teens, and access to instruments and lessons at select neighborhood schools. The Kimmel’s free, monthly “Sittin’ In” series is curated by the Kimmel’s Jazz Artistic Advisor Anthony Tidd, who makes it point to introduces audiences to new cutting-edge artists that defy genre, often drawing from everything from straight-ahead jazz to freestyle hip hop and all points in between. Their jazz season of performances features critically-acclaimed artists, high-energy soloists, internationally renowned groups, and diverse talent.

WRTI
The mission of WRTI public radio is to broadcast the very best classical music and jazz recordings and produce innovative, entertaining, and informative content that enriches the daily lives of its audience and the cultural life of Philadelphia and the tri-state region.

 


What About Other Music Organizations and Cultural Institutions?

Cultural Alliance of Greater Philadelphia
Cultural Alliance of Greater Philadelphia aims to support the growth of art organizations and their audiences, working to keep the arts in schools, preserving the diverse cultural activities in the community to make a difference in our neighborhoods.

The Folk Alliance
The Folk Alliance has six areas of concentration. It seeks to strengthen and advance organizational and individual initiatives in folk music and dance through education, networking, advocacy, professional and field development, and consumer development.

Philly Music Lab
Philly Music Lab cultivates a network of like-minded artists who want to support and grow Philadelphia’s robust and diverse musical landscape. In addition to networking events, they offer a musician co-op program that helps event planners and non-traditional presenters find appropriate acts for their programs. PML was also established to connect musicians, especially those doing innovative or cross-genre work, to the audiences seeking them out. Philly Music Lab believes that Philadelphia audiences have an endless thirst for new and different approaches to music, and seeks to support and develop innovative artists.

Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy
The Office of Arts, Culture and The Creative Economy (OACCE) supports Philadelphia’s arts, culture, and the creative industries through partnership, promotion, and education. Musicians should be aware that they give grants to artists for performance and other works a part of their work. OACCE partners with for-profit and nonprofit organizations—and City offices and agencies—to ensure culture and creativity are essential components of the City’s strategies for revitalizing and engaging communities, improving educational outcomes, and spurring economic development. They also promote quality resources and programming in the city’s neighborhoods work to close the gap in access to quality arts experiences.

Working While Playing
Working While Playing is a non-profit organization that seeks to sustain a vibrant and civically aware arts community on a local and global level. We know that poverty and institutional racism can repress self-worth and inhibit what people, especially minorities see as possible. This is a Human issue that we are committed to healing. We improve the self-worth of our communities through an intentionally inclusive community committed to civic responsibility with positive mind-sets, and artistic mentorship.


What Studio Spaces Accommodate Jazz?

Boom Room Studios
Kensington
The Boom Room is a private recording studio, a multi-camera live stream video broadcast studio, a fully equipped band rehearsal room, and an indoor/outdoor private event space owned and operated by drummer and music producer Gary Dann. It is located in heart of the artistically burgeoning and culturally diverse Fishtown section of Philadelphia.

Lil Drumma Boy
South Philadelphia
Lil Drumma Boy has been a Philadelphia recording studio for nearly 20 years. Following in the tradition of so many great studios that have produced the soundtrack of generations, their mission remains the same: Offer clients a high-quality, comfortable, professional, private and safe creative space to help bring their musical and audio-based ideas to life.

Marsten House Recording
North Philadelphia
Marsten House Recording Studio is located in the heart of North Philadelphia. They offer a wide range of services including recording, mixing, mastering, audio and video production.

Morning Star Studios
East Norriton
A premiere recording studio owned and operated by two-time Grammy Award-winning engineer-producer Glenn Barratt.

Rittenhouse Soundworks
Germantown
Rittenhouse Soundworks is a state of the art, multi-room facility located in the historic Germantown district of Philadelphia. Their turn of the century building, originally built by Chrysler, can accommodate all of your tracking needs, from full orchestras to voiceovers.

Turtle Studios
South Philadelphia
Turtle Studios is the home of producers Ross Bellenoit and Jay Levin, engineers Rob Shaffer and Sean Svadlenak, and chief engineer and producer Jeff Hiatt. Veteran producers are welcome and frequent visitors, and they also love to help new producers get their start.


What about larger venues and performance centers to see music?

There are many other medium-to-large-size venues in town, and many of them are great places to see the occasional jazz act. Check out the Filmore Philadelphia, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Mann Music Center, Tower Theater, and Union Transfer, which is open to having local acts as openers, or even headliners, if it’s an act with enough draw.

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