The electric energy that charges Montréal during the Festival International de Jazz doesn’t just disappear with the close of the event: it lives on in the city’s many jazz bars all year long.
The oldest of the swing hotspots is The House of Jazz, a landmark in Montréal entertainment that has welcomed the likes of Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones (both native Montrealers) and Liza Minelli, just to name a few of the greats that have graced the club since it opened in 1968. Both a bar and a restaurant, this Montréal institution pulsates nightly to the rhythm of up-and-coming artists as well as seasoned jazz veterans. The house cuisine even brings jazz to the table, where Louisiana-style cooking is served for lunch and dinner in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Another music-lover’s favourite: Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, which has become, in a little more than a decade, a must on the Montréal jazz scene. Open 7 days a week, weekdays and evenings, Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill masters the grill and serves up delicious burgers, seafood, pasta and salads along with a diverse musical menu in a warm and inviting décor. Music enthusiasts and musicians appreciate the intimate setting where they enjoy the much-celebrated theme nights: jazz greats from here, the Big Apple and as far away as Vancouver that headline on Friday and Saturday nights, or the Musicians’ Series on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which features a resident musician for a month along with special guests.
New to the Montréal jazz scene, Dièse Onze has won over jazz aficionados in just a year, and the acoustics at this cozy jazz cave are a hit with both musicians and patrons. Here, variety is the word: with music styles from high calibre manouche to contemporary jazz coupled with a diverse menu of internationally-inspired tapas available in its new restaurant, Dièse Onze is sure to be a hit with those who simply want to sit back, relax and enjoy the music.