Shanghai is perceived as the originating place of jazz music in China. The city has a history and tradition of jazz music woven into its colourful history, with the 1930s regarded as the golden age of this soulful music genre. Naturally, live jazz music is an integral component of the old Shanghai experience and a must-do for visitors who would like a glimpse of the city’s glamorous past. In recent years, the Shanghai jazz scene has seen a growing audience that is relatively younger, among them are students from music institutions and young musicians. Shanghai has also bred some of the best jazz singers and musicians in China, like Jasmine Chen, who was featured in the soundtrack of blockbuster film, Crazy Rich Asians. So the next time you’re in Shanghai, check out these five live jazz music venues for some of the best the city has to offer.
5 Local Music Venues For Live Jazz Music in Shanghai
Located in the former French Concession, Heyday is a vintage-style live jazz club that will take you back to the glamorous days of the 1920s and 30s Shanghai. The jazz club is small and intimate, with a handful of tables dotted around where the band plays. The charming local music venue has hosted numerous notable jazz musicians from around the world, including internationally renowned recording artists and Grammy winners, as well as local jazz talents like Coco Zhao. Their drinks selection is as stellar as the top quality live jazz music they showcase, from shaken cocktails to barrel-aged classics, Heyday offers a crafted cocktail experience in a live music venue.
Address: 50 Tai’an Road, Xuhui District
2. The Fairmont Peace Hotel Jazz Bar
The Jazz Bar at Fairmont Peace Hotel is a name you cannot miss out when mentioning real Shanghai jazz music. Situated on the famed waterfront promenade, the Bund, overlooking the Huangpu River, the iconic art-deco hotel drips with history. It has been serving as a glamourous playground for the city’s elites since the early 20th century, and their Jazz Bar is one of the oldest bars in Shanghai. The current resident jazz band is also the oldest (and most elderly) you can find in town, made up of six veteran jazz musicians with an average age of 82. Be transported back to the private clubs of the 20’s and 30’s with its classic décor and enjoy one of their cocktails inspired by what was on offer in the 1920s and 30s.
Address: 20 East Nanjing Road, Huangpu District
3. Jazz at Lincoln Center
Set up in celebration of the acclaimed Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) in New York City, the Shanghai offshoot is housed in a 1930-built building on the busy Nanjing Road East, just one block from the Bund. Led by Grammy-winning jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, JALC’s mission is to expand a global community for jazz music. Jazz legends and rising stars from around the world are regularly rotated in for two- to three-week residencies throughout the year, bringing world-class live jazz music to Shanghai fans. The classy, elegant venue also offers a cocktail and food menu, ideal for a date night for jazz lovers.
Address: 4/F, 139 East Nanjing Road, Huangpu District
4. Blue Note Jazz Club
Founded in 1981 in New York City by Danny Bensusan, Blue Note is a premier jazz club where countless notable jazz musicians like Sarah Vaughan, Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock once performed. The Shanghai club was opened in 2019 and is the 10th branch of the institution’s global chain. Occupying three floors and seating 300 guests, Blue Note Shanghai is one of the bigger jazz clubs in the city. Expect different international names from the jazz world each week, all handpicked by the New York headquarter. The jazz club combines music and culinary experience, offering international cuisine and a wide selection of drinks.
Address: 3-5/F, 867 North Sichuan Road, near Haining Lu
5. House Of Blues & Jazz
A mainstay in Shanghai’s live jazz music scene, the House of Blues and Jazz is a popular local music venue near the Bund dedicated to those who love soulful music. More like a living room than a typical livehouse with its warm ambience, this cosy space has been welcoming local and overseas jazz musicians from all over the world since 1995. It is essentially a jazz bar with a dining room at the side and a private lounge that offers a wide array of beers, wines, whiskeys and champagne, perfect for winding down an evening in the bustling Shanghai.
Address: 60 Fuzhou Lu (near the Bund), Huangpu District
Experience Shanghai With Lanson Place
Discover modern Shanghai and its charismatic past with Lanson Place. Three ideally located serviced residences welcome guests with ultimate comforts and home-like sanctuaries. Lanson Place Aroma Garden, near the Bund and Yuyuan Garden, offers guests great access to all the action in the bustling city centre and major attractions. Lanson Place Parkside is nestled amidst the vibrant Xintiandi neighbourhood, with world-class dining and entertainment at its doorstep. For those who like to stay closer to the expat community and trading zones of Shanghai, Lanson Place Sunland provides refuge in a tranquil area in the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone.