By Kim McNeill
There is no doubt that jazz, in all its incarnations, is a popular music style. A distinctly American invention, jazz, can be enjoyed equally as well in live performances as in recordings. In a venue where almost any seat is good, live jazz performances can be fulfilling. Here are some of Connecticut’s best places to see live jazz (and other) performances.
45 Crown St.
New Haven, CT
(203) 785 – 0468
Hours: 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Price: Tickets to the performances are $18 for the 8:30 PM show and $12 for the $10 PM show
A cozy bar downstairs and a performance area to listen to live bands upstairs is Firehouse 12’s offering. The band performs in Firehouse 12’s own recording studio, so naturally the venue is very intimate and the sound is one of a kind because of the acoustics of the studio. If you head to the bar to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere before the performance, make sure you remember to check your watch so you can head upstairs for the group performance at the right time. The calendar of performers is available online. Jazz performances are weekly on Fridays from mid-September until December and from March through June.
Southern Connecticut State University Lyman Center for the Performing Arts
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT
Hours: Depend on Show,
Box office Hours: Mon to Fri – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets vary from $35 to $22 depending on the show
The Lyman Center at Southern Connecticut State University is a diverse venue that has made a name for itself with its music. While not very intimate with seating for 1500, the seating arrangement allows the furthest seats to still be closer than you’d expect. With decent ticket prices and good performers, the combination is just right. You can get reduced ticket prices by buying tickets for the whole series.
Black-Eyed Sally’s BBQ & Blues
350 Asylum St
Hours: Lunch Hours: Mon to Sat: 11:30 a.m. to -4:00 p.m.; Dinner Hours: Mon to Thurs: 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Fri to Sat: 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Black-Eyed Sally’s BBQ & Blues lives up to its name. It has tons of great live music and decent BBQ. The corn bread is frequently praised. With live music most nights of the week, there is always a reason to visit. You can go and enjoy the bar area while listening to the music, or better yet stay for dinner if you want to get a closer view of the stage. No matter where you sit in the house you’ll be able to hear the music and a decent view.
Daniel Street Club
21 Daniel St.
Hours: shows usually start at 8:30 p.m.
Price: Tickets for performances range from $35 to $5 to Free depending on show and seating
Daniel Street is an eclectic live performance location, be sure to check out the concert listing online to find the perfect music for you. The venue is intimate and with no frills you’ll be sitting on folding chairs as the primary seating, focusing all your attention on the music. The jazz artists featured at Daniel Street are well-established in their own right. Reserved tickets are more expensive but guarantee a seat in the first four rows in front of the stage.
20 Greenwoods Rd. W.
Hours: Shows usually start at 8:00pm
Price: From $25 to $125 depending on the seats and the act
Infinity Hall is a concert venue with about 300 seats and featuring a restored decor. Serving all tastes of music, but with reliable big names, expect to find some jazz favorites. The ticket prices reflect the proximity of each seat in the house and the level of entertainment performing. Enjoy dinner and a cocktail at a table while watching the show in the upper level or sit in theatre seats in the main level. Like many restored theatres, leg room can be tight but the acoustics are worth it.