Top Spots To See Local Musicians In Connecticut

May 12, 2016 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Catching a local act is often a more affordable option for those who want to enjoy some live music. Fortunately, Connecticut is teeming with hard-working musicians playing in a variety of styles. If you want to support the state’s local music scene and try to spot which acts may soon make a national splash, here are some good venues to visit.
Cafe Nine
250 State St.
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 789-8281

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.

The Space
295 Treadwell St.
Hamden, CT 06514
(203) 288-6400

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.

Black-Eyed Sally’s
350 Asylum St.
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 278-7427

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.

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The Fez
227 Summer St.
Stamford, CT 06901
(203) 324-3391

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.

Maple Tree Cafe
781 Hopmeadow St.
Simsbury, CT 06070
(860) 651-1297

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.

Related: Ask A Connecticut Expert: Top Ways To Discover New Music

Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on