250 State St.
New Haven, CT 06510
New Haven’s Cafe Nine is a small, no-frills hangout whose main attraction is the bands that play every night. Plenty of local artists make their way to “The Musician’s Living Room” each week, along with several national acts spanning a variety of genres. Jazz buffs will want to visit every Saturday at 4:30 for its weekly jam session (where the cover charge is waived). But for exciting live music with top-notch acoustics, you won’t go wrong no matter when you drop in. All of shows are 21 and over and tickets may be purchased through Cafe Nine’s website.
295 Treadwell St.
Hamden, CT 06514
The Space has been welcoming the best musical talent Connecticut has to offer to its stage since 2003. The intimate club nonetheless has room for an arcade, boutique and a cafe that serves pizza, wraps and vegetarian dishes. If things get too crowded, you can always cross the parking lot to The Space’s new offshoot The Outer Space. This larger location is a craft beer bar that pours over 80 different brews and has a ballroom that features even more great shows.
350 Asylum St.
Hartford, CT 06103
Black-Eyed Sally’s is Hartford’s legendary Southern-style bar, and its live music is just as hot as its barbeque. Mondays are dedicated to jazz, with frequent performances from members of the Hartt School’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, named for the great saxophonist and Hartford resident. Michael Palin’s 18-piece Other Orchestra plays upbeat funk, soul and big-band jazz every Tuesday. Other nights you’ll encounter so many of the city and state’s most accomplished blues, country and rock musicians you’ll feel like you’re south of the Mason-Dixon line.
227 Summer St.
Stamford, CT 06901
This downtown Stamford hot spot underwent a makeover last year that has made it even more popular. Patrons love its menu bursting with tasty Moroccan fare from specialty soups and salads to kabobs to Mediterranean pizzets and its unique cocktails. The Fez is also known as one of the best destinations in the city for live music. Whether specializing in folk, pop standards or hard rock, homegrown talent can be found performing every week, while aspiring singers and players are invited to attend Open Mic and Jam Night every Tuesday.
781 Hopmeadow St.
Simsbury, CT 06070
Housed in a 19th-century tavern, the Maple Tree Cafe has been a part of Simsbury’s historic district for 120 years. In addition to traditional pub fare, it offers savory pizzas, pasta and other Italian dishes prepared by chef Attilio Ceneviva. The other draw is live music every Friday and Saturday night starring singer-songwriters, jam bands, power trios, guitar virtuosos and tribute acts from all corners of the state. All shows began at 9:00 p.m., and there is a cover charge.