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There’s no shortage of jazz in Berlin. Here’s our guide to the city’s many jazz clubs.

For those who are willing to pocket the pills and put down the gear – at least momentarily – it’s obvious that Berlin is more than just techno, quasi art projects, and war memorials – there’s jazz, too. Following the demise of Das Edelweiss, that funky little speakeasy in the heart of Gorlitzer Park, we thought we’d put together a list of places you can still throw on a zoot suit, smoke a cigar, drink some cheap whiskey and tap your foot to some double bass and Dixieland sax regardless of whether you live in the East, West, or right in the Mitte.

B-Flat

The club that hardly needs an introduction, B-flat is anything but. Launched in 1995 by Jannis Zotos and his brother, the club has become the vanguard of jazz clubs in Berlin. Expect to see some of the best contemporary jazz performances every night of the week; and if you’re slightly skint, pull through on Wednesday evening, where bass player Robin Draganic throws down a free weekly jam session.

Address: Dircksenstraße 40, 10178 Berlin

A-Trane

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Established in 1992, A-Trane has been blowing pipes in Charlottenburg right up until present day. It’s an intimate club revered for its amazing acoustics. Having hosted some of the best names in the business, A-Trane still continues to give West Berlin a good name, showcasing high-quality acts every night of the week.

Address: Pestalozzistraße 105, 10625 Berlin

Zig Zag Jazz Club

Tucked away in the south-west near Innsbrucker Platz, the Zig Zag Jazz Club is a hidden gem often left undiscovered to those unwilling to leave their kiez. They host regular evenings of jazz, funk, soul and blues. The shows are free, but expect to throw in a few euros to keep the circuit of jazz musicians flowing through their doors.

Address: Hauptstraße 89, 12159 Berlin

Quasimodo

With the venerable title of oldest jazz club in Berlin, Quasimodo has been swinging since the ’20s. During it’s prime in the ’50s and ’60s, it hosted some of the biggest names of the time, including Dizzy Giuseppe and Chet Baker. Today it’s a Kantstrasse institution that caters equally to tourists and locals, but it’s still a great spot to hear some jazz.

Address: Kantstraße 12A, 10623 Berlin

Kunstfabrik Schlot

Located in the heart of Mitte just near to the Naturkundemuseum, Kunstfabrik Schlot is an intimate basement joint that has been blowing its own horn(s) since 1993. They host regular free and paid events, so there’s really no reason not to go.

Address: Invalidenstraße 117, 10115 Berlin

Jazzkeller69

Jazz. Keller. 69. Literally everything you want from a good night out is on the label. There’s really not much more to say here. The jazz is more on the experimental side of things, but who doesn’t like getting weird while blowing the old ‘bone?

Address: Oranienburger Str. 67, 10117 Berlin

Yorckschlösschen

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All that Jazz #berlin #yorckschlösschen #jazz #nighttrain

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Self-styled as the home of jazz and blues, and perched on the lip of Kreuzberg and Schoneberg, Yorckschlösschen delivers quality live music in a battered pub. The beer’s cheap, the food is delicious and the cover charge is low – what’s not to like?

Address: Yorckstraße 15, 10965 Berlin

Jazzy Berlin Jam Sessions

Not restricted to one venue, Jazzy Berlin Jam Sessions takes jazz on the road. You can catch them hosting nights at various clubs all over Berlin, including Gretchen and Klunkerkranich to name but a few. Follow them on Facebook for all their latest happenings.

Address: Check their website

The Hat

The Hat Bar is a cramped, brick-walled space nestled beneath the arches of the S-bahn rails near Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten. They offer free jam sessions every night of the week from 8pm, a great selection of whiskeys, and the atmosphere of a ’20s speakeasy during Prohibition (without the annoying accents).

Address: Lotte-Lenya-Bogen 550, 10623 Berlin

Die Kleine Weltlaterne

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Half kneipe, half jazz club, Die Kleine Weltlaterne has been a rendezvous for painters, writers and other artists since its inception in the ’60s. Step back in time and gaze upon the picture-lined walls of patrons stretching back decades, and enjoy the jazz that takes place here two or three times a week. Located at the far reaches of Wilmersdorf, it’s quite a trek, but the music and ambience make it a worthwhile pilgrimage.

Address: Nestorstraße 22, 10709 Berlin

Donau115

Closer to home (for most of us), Donau115 serves up decent jazz concerts in Neukölln. With a capacity of only 50 and experimental and improvised jazz on the cards, expect some dense, intense and sweaty crowd/musician interactions.

Address: Donaustraße 115, 12043 Berlin

Sowieso Neukölln

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Sowieso is a down-to-earth establishment run by Dutch painter Marc van der Kemp. His private atelier resides in the back, but the front of the house is dedicated to delivering local jazz to the Schillerkiez. It’s a no-frills venue where you can expect donation-based avant-garde jazz without the high-end cocktails and pretentious craft beers.

Address: Weisestraße 24, 12049 Berlin

Orania

An old newcomer, Orania is a swanky jazz bar currently occupying the same space as the historic Oranienpalast Cafe. Like its 1912 counterpart, Orania puts on extravagant jazz nights but infused with modern vibrancy. The venue reeks a little of gentrification, but the concerts aren’t any more expensive than an average night anywhere else in town. And no, it’s not that weird Afrikaaner town in South Africa.

Address: Oranienstraße 40, 10999 Berlin

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About Author

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He digs writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody's business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working assiduously at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes. [email protected]

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