Jazz

The Five Best Jazz and Blues Clubs in Denver

Dazzle celebrates its 25th anniversary in January.
Dazzle celebrates its 25th anniversary in January. Danielle Lirette

A year ago, El Chapultepec, Denver's longest-running jazz venue, closed after a nearly nine-decade run. While the spot had been an important part of Denver's jazz legacy, there are still some venues carrying that torch, such as Dazzle, Nocturne and Herb's, while The Muse Performance Space is keeping jazz alive in Lafayette (about a half an hour from downtown Denver) and Lincoln's Roadhouse is a hot spot for the blues.

Here are our picks for the best jazz and blues clubs in the area:

Dazzle
1512 Curtis Street
Since opening in 1997, Dazzle has brought in many a world-renowned jazz legend, including Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath and Carla Bley, while all also booking top-notch local talent. After two decades at its Golden Triangle location, Dazzle, voted by Downbeat magazine as one of the top 100 jazz clubs in the world, moved to much bigger digs at the Baur’s Building downtown in 2017. The venue and restaurant will celebrate its 25th anniversary from Tuesday, January 7, through Thursday, January 9, with performances from Mark Patterson, Convergence and Roberta Gambarini. 
Herb's hosts live music most nights of the week. - JUSTIN CRIADO
Herb's hosts live music most nights of the week.
Justin Criado
Herb’s
2057 Larimer Street
Located a block east of Coors Field, Herb’s has long been a hot spot for jazz (it’s owned by jazz saxophonist Laura Newman, who leads Alive on Arrival) and other genres such as rock, blues and funk. Jazz pianist and organist Glad Girshevich holds court on Mondays, trumpeter Gabe Mervine plays on Tuesdays, Diana Castro leads a funk jam on Wednesdays, bassist Dave Randon takes over on Thursdays, and a mix of acts fill the weekend slots. There is usually no cover charge.
click to enlarge Lincoln's Roadhouse offers more than meets the eye. - JUSTIN CRIADO
Lincoln's Roadhouse offers more than meets the eye.
Justin Criado
Lincoln’s Roadhouse
1201 South Pearl Street
Lincoln’s Roadhouse is known for its Cajun grub, but on the weekends, live bands play in a small space next to the front door. Lincoln’s is big on the blues (Westword has named it Best Blues Club three times), and it brings in some of the area’s finest blues acts, such as Johnny O and Michael Hornbuckle, along with the occasional national act, and local rock and rockabilly bands. There’s no cover charge.
click to enlarge Saxophonist Pete Lewis performs at the Muse, the Lafayette venue that he operates with his wife. - COURTESY OF THE MUSE PERFORMANCE SPACE
Saxophonist Pete Lewis performs at the Muse, the Lafayette venue that he operates with his wife.
Courtesy of the Muse Performance Space
The Muse Performance Space
200 East South Boulder Road, Lafayette
Pete Lewis and his wife, Clare Church, who have a long history of playing jazz and classical music, opened the Muse in 2018, knowing that music and arts creates community — and they wanted to keep the arts alive. While the venue brings in primarily jazz acts most Wednesdays through Sundays and hosts occasional jam sessions, the Muse also books singer-songwriter acts.
click to enlarge Watching the jazz band from the balcony. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Watching the jazz band from the balcony.
Linnea Covington
Nocturne
1330 27th Street
Scott and Nicole Mattson wanted to have a place that would make jazz more accessible to a broader audience with a unique hospitality experience, so they opened Nocturne in RiNo in 2015. The venue and restaurant features an Art Deco-style bar, classic cocktails and a stage-side dining room. Nocturne hosts live music five nights a week with some of the best in local jazz talent, who sometimes play monthly residencies; nationally known jazz musicians like Jeff Hamilton play there occasionally as well. 
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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon