Whether it’s sultry soloists, fusion, or bebop trios, Singapore has in recent years proven that it too can do jazz. With an encouraging array of intimate music venues dishing out quality live tunes every night of the week, expect to be surprised by the diversity of jazz the city has to offer. Here are seven jazz venues in Singapore you should be doo-wopping into right away!
Are you a vinyl head? See our round-up of the best record stores in Singapore for vinyls, turntables, and cassettes. Incidentally, read our interview with British Grammy-winning artist Corinne Bailey Rae as she talks Sing Jazz.
Blu Jaz Cafe
Blu Jaz is arguably Singapore’s longest-standing jazz venue that’s still in operation today (sorry, Sultan Jazz Club), having set up more than a decade ago in 2006. Occupying three roomy floors as well as a sizeable al fresco area below, the first floor typically sees local jazz, soul, and funk bands jamming away; the second plays host to the party crowd with DJs dishing out all things hip-hop and reggae, and the top floor lounge caters to the occasional spoken word and poetry performance. In addition to the Wednesday night jam sessions and live music on Fridays and Saturdays, don’t miss their delicious Middle Eastern comfort fare and unique cocktails.
Blu Jaz Cafe is located at 11 Bali Ln, Kampong Glam, Singapore 189848, p. +65 6292 3800. Open Mon-Thu 12pm – 1am, Fri 12pm – 2am, Sat 3pm – 2am. Closed Sun.
Taking over the space of what used to be Catalunya, Monti is an extravagant waterfront destination that combines fine Italian food (think Garganelli pasta handmade using Manci flour and a full turbot fish served with potato crust) and elegant cocktails with soulful live jazz (curated by local jazz legend Jeremy Monteiro, no less) in the evenings, and funkier high-energy tunes courtesy of resident DJs Adam Sky, Stephen Day, and Tirso Garcia at night. Sundays see something special: an open jam session from 9pm till 1am. Take a seat on the comfy velvet furnishings – decked out in rich jewel tones – lie back, and enjoy the remarkable Monti experience. Read our review here.
Monti is located at 82 Collyer Quay, The Fullerton Pavilion, Singapore, p. +65 6535 0724. Open Mon-Thu 6pm – 1am, Fri-Sat 6pm – 4am. Closed Sun.
Montreux Jazz Cafe
No prizes for guessing where Montreux Jazz Café (which also sees six other bars around the world) is named after. Originally launched by Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nob, look forward to a fantastic local and regional line-up of jazz, soul, and blues veterans every single night. Amidst the glitzy and dim-lit space, innovative cocktails such as the Feeling Good and The Girl from Ipanema (both $18) are bound to get you all jazzed up as you sip to tunes by the likes of the Mario Serio Trio, Dawn Ho, Alemay Fernandez, and an impressive repertoire of international guest performers.
Montreux Jazz Café is located at Pan Pacific Orchard, 10 Claymore Road, Singapore 229540, p. +65 6733 0091. Open Sun-Thu 12pm – 12am, Fri-Sat 12pm – 1am. Closed Sun.
If you need to wind down until the wee hours, Lulu’s Lounge – along with its glamorous (and tad outlandish) 1960s lounge and dance floor – offers a norm-defying programme that sees frequent live jazz. The weekly Le Beat Bespoke event on Wednesday sees every one from Anne Weerapass to visiting artists like Jodie, while Saturday’s Cafe Bizzare will bring the bar’s resident jazz duo, burlesque, and resident DJ Matteblacc and Darker Than Wax’s Kaye onto the floor. Of course, you can’t do without the drinks here, like the chilli padi-infused Va Va Voom ($24) and strong-as-hell Take Me To Fiji ($26).
Lulu’s Lounge is located at 7 Raffles Blvd, Pan Pacific Hotel, p. +65 8322 4182. Open Wed-Sat 9pm – 6am.
It’s more than just awesome jazz at the Club Hotel’s intimate B28, which stocks one of the best whisky menus in Singapore, including some serious drams of Caol Ila 19, Old Malt Cask Craigellachie 20, and Bunnahabhain 21. Resident twin tenors Shmil Berniker and Nicole Duffell take the stage on Saturdays with their saxophones, with guest bills all week long, including the likes of Aaron James Lee Trio and Stockere Poh Pigneguy Trio. If you’re peckish, don’t hesitate to order the small plates on offers, from seared Wagyu Beef with roasted parsnips to a pan-fried Truffle and Brie Brioche bun. Do note that there’s a $15 cover charge, but hey, your first drink is complimentary!
B28 is located at 28 Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069708, p. +65 6808 2180. Open Mon-Thu 5pm – 1am, Fri-Sat 5pm – 2am. Closed Sun.
The Black Swan
The Black Swan is all about the glitz and glamour of the 1920s, and that includes quality jazz music. On Tuesday, head out to the restaurant’s lush al fresco garden – set under the stars – for sexy jazz and funk classics by resident band Fuze Collective as you indulge on $2 oysters, $9 bubbly, draught beers, and house pours, as well as signature cocktails like the B.B King and Whisky Business going for just $12. Need some food after a gruelling day at work? Chef Daniel Sia’s revamped menu sees yummy bar grub like the Smoked Eel Pâté and Caviar served with housemade crackers. Read our review here.
The Black Swan is located at 19 Cecil St, Singapore 049704, p. +65 6438 3757. Open Mon 11.30am – 11pm, Tue-Thu 11.30am – 12am, Fri 11.30am – 1am, Sat 5pm – 12am. Closed Sun.
Go back to 1960s Havana at Capella Hotel’s Bob’s Bar, a breezy semi-al fresco space that’s absolutely stunning. While it’s not exactly easy to make your way here, lounging on the plush armchairs armed with a Cuban-inspired cocktail will make it all worthwhile. On Wednesday to Fridays, look out for a Latin jazz band strumming to the iconic syncretic tunes so popular in Havana’s golden era while imbibing on your poison of choice, be it a classic Mojito ($26) or citrus-forward White Flora ($26). Read our review here.
Bob’s Bar is located at Capella Singapore, 1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098297, p. +65 6591 5047. Open daily 12pm – 12am.