New York City is renowned for its vibrant music scene, and Central New York is no exception. From jazz to reggaeton, hip-hop to folk, the area offers a wide variety of musical genres for all tastes. If you're looking for a great place to experience live music, Baby's All Right is a cozy venue in South Williamsburg that features up-and-coming rock and electronic musicians, as well as the occasional jazz act. It is located next to a dimly lit bar and a restaurant that serves Latin American sandwiches.
The Sultan Room is another popular spot, with a carpeted mezzanine floor that surrounds a narrow dance floor and a stage backed by a wall of stained glass windows. Artists range from jazz bands to independent groups and rising stars of R&B. Birdland is an iconic club that first opened its doors on West 52nd Street in the late 1950s. Today, it features members of the jazz elite every night of the week, including a lengthy residency on Sunday nights by the excellent Afro-Latin jazz ensemble.
The Jazz Gallery is another great spot for live jazz, located in an office maze in a building right next to Madison Square Park. Bands play on an iron balcony overlooking the dance floor, which is activated after dinner. The Village Vanguard is one of the oldest and most renowned jazz clubs in New York City. Nearly 90 years old, this triangular basement in the West Village remains the crown jewel of the New York jazz scene, known for its superior natural acoustics, excellent reserves, and the litany of live albums recorded there (among others, more than one by John Coltrane and Bill Evans).
Each week a different group resides. Monday nights are reserved for the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. The Kaufman Music Center focuses on chamber music and contemporary classical music, with occasional performances by traditional musicians from around the world and Broadway stars. The Owl Bar & Cafe is another great spot for live music, offering soul, jazz and post-bop with maximum authenticity.
The calendar tends to what the owners call “live jazz” and “immigrant folk” at this Colombian-run bar on the border between Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. The Public Theater performing arts complex offers singer-songwriters, jazz groups, and international musicians, in addition to the occasional comedy show. Nublu is a link between experimental jazz and electronic music, contemporary classical music and dance. Every week starts off strong at this club in Alphabet City, where keyboardist Ray Angry has long presented the Producer Mondays jam session, which brings together musicians from all over the world of jazz, soul, rock and hip-hop.
Sound Room by Public Records is an almost ideal place to listen to DJs, experimental groups, and cross-cut jazz musicians. The attached restaurant serves an impressive menu of vegan dishes. Brooklyn's National Sawdust is another great platform for experimental music, especially jazz. Less frequently, it presents contemporary dance and theater productions.
The Lincoln Center complex on the Upper West Side includes David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic; the Metropolitan Opera House; and Alice Tully Hall, where the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society chairs. Reggaeton is a genre of urban music that merges hip hop with Latin American and Caribbean musical styles and that originated in Puerto Rico in the 1990s. For decades, folk music was popular in rural communities where it was called “the singing newspaper” since songs told recent news or gossip about the city. This style of dance music was popularized in New York City during the 1960s by Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians who moved to New York City in the early 20th century.
Pandora has redrawn the map of New York City to show areas of musical taste that do not always reflect expected limits. BTS has made an incredible impact on American music scene in less time than any other live music group - they are particularly popular in Queens where they have become the most popular live act in six different zip codes. Central New York offers something for everyone when it comes to music - from classic jazz venues to modern electronic clubs - so there's no excuse not to explore all that this vibrant region has to offer.