The Prague Jazz Scene
Prague has a lot more to offer than beautiful scenery and cheap beer.
Perhaps you didn't know that the city is a paradise for the jazz devotee.
Every night you can choose from a wide variety, depending on your personal
taste in jazz and the kind of atmosphere you like. Prague hosts a number of
"pur sang" jazz clubs, but the music is played in hotels, restaurants and
bars as well.
What follows is a listing of Prague Online favourites, which should make your
choice easier in finding the right place for you.
Jazz Club Zelezna
- Zelezna 16, Prague 1. Open every night from 8 pm. till 1 am.
A jazz club like a jazz club should be. You enter the basement in a medieval,
arcadic cellar. It's quite a large place though, with a separate bar, a cd
bazar and of course, the stage. If you want to be sure of a seat, reserve a
table, otherwise it's standing room only in most cases. Zelezna offers a wide
variety: folk music, mainstream, bebop, dixieland, and blues. Wednesday
evenings are often reserved for cabaret, which is very amusing, no matter you
speak Czech or not. Jam sessions are held on Sundays, if you are among the
active jazz lovers. The quality of music offered can sometimes be
disappointing, but the atmosphere is great. A personal favourite.
AghaRTA Jazz Centrum
- Krakovska 5, Prague 1. Open every night from 9 pm.
till 12 pm.
Once famous for its underground reputation, it is said to have lost most of
its charm. AghaRTA is still a major jazz hangout in Prague though. Check out
the great Lubos Andrest, master guitarist, Frantisek Kop, saxofonist, and
singer Yvonne Sanchez. All the great names of the Prague jazz scene find
their way to AghaRTA regularly. The music should be the only reason for your
visit though, since the place offers little in terms of atmosphere and
U Maleho Glena
- Karmelitska 23, Prague 1. Open every night till 1 or
Perhaps the smallest music club in the city. On the first floor there is a
bar with the same name. Go downstairs and you enter the music bar.
Twenty-five people and it's already crowded, but it adds to the atmosphere.
Very intimate, and a good example of how musician-audience interaction can
boast a performance. Jazz jam sessions every Sunday. A personal favourite are
the weekly performances (on Mondays) of "Stan the Man and his Bohemian
Blues Band". Be there in time, or you will have to listen to the music in
the bar section of the place, and perhaps you will be able to catch a glimpse
of the performance by looking through the small doorway. Highly recommended
Jazz Club U Stare Pani
- Michalska 9, Prague 1.
Do you want to combine your dinner with jazz ? Then U Stare pani is the place
for you. A restaurant atmosphere, and the host of many top performers. The
well known Czech jazz giant Emil Viklicky (piano) is often heared here as
well as the forementioned Yvonne Sanchez. Mostly mainstream and bebop.
Hudebni Klub U Bubenicku - Myslikova street (near Manes), Prague 1.
When you are tired of the typical jazz club atmosphere, but still want to hear
it played, visit U Bubenicku. A typical Czech place, with good Dixieland jazz
every Tuesday evening. Be sure your vocal chords are in shape, since on some
nights the infamous singer from the Charles Bridge invites you to sing along
with his lyrics on well known jazz standards. The number one place where
atmosphere is concerned. A heavy metal fan can suddenly turn into a jazz
lover here. Something you must have experienced !|
- Malostranske namesti 21, Prague 1.
One of the larger clubs, more like a small concert hall. A large stage and a
separate bar. The atmosphere is consequently more official, and the programme
contains top names. Good acoustics and a wide variety of offerings, from folk
to rock. At least two or three times a week jazz or related music, mostly
Metropolitan Jazz Club
- Jungmannova 14, Prague 1.
The place to go when you are a traditional jazz devotee. Every night the club
hosts one of the many Prague based traditional jazz groups. Among the best of
them are the Jaroslav "Fats" Kos Trio and the Bob Zajicek groups. High prices
and an often unfriendly service don't contribute to the atmosphere, but for
the "trad-lover" the place is a must.
Klub De Lux - Vaclavske namesti 4, passage palac Astra, Prague 1.
One of the most recent new clubs to enter the scene, De Lux offers live jazz
nightly from 8 till 11. The club is a multi-entertainment centre, offering
Thai food, contemporary music to dance on, and hosts a jazz lounge. Good to
know: no coverage when you have dinner there. The jazz often comes from the
Najponk Trio, lead by Jan Knop, one of the city's best piano players.
Reduta - Narodni trida 20, Prague 1.
Probably the most famous jazz venue in Prague, it is a stylish place for the
"sophisticated" jazz lover. The club is very proud of the fact that Bill
Clinton once played his tenor there, since pictures of that memorable night
can be seen outside at the entrance to attract customers. An ideal place
though when you appreciate a more official atmosphere. The music is not
always of the highest quality, but incidentally a top-act is on schedule.
Chelsea's - Zelezna 24, Prague 1.
This restaurant offers live jazz three nights a week. Often small Dixieland
groups or trio's. The location enables you to combine a visit to Chelsea's
with Zelezna Jazz Club.
Radisson SAS Hotel - Stepanska 40, Prague 1.
A beautiful Art Deco interior features a BeBop bar. Also accessible for
non-guests, the music offered can be outstanding. If you're lucky you catch
the Jakub Safr quintet, which plays Swing a la Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson.
Expect high beverage prices.
Red Hot and Blues - Jakubska 12, Prague 1.
A restaurant offering Creole, Cajun and Tex-Mex specialities and live jazz
or blues nightly from 8 till 11. Not a place for the real jazz lover, but if
you like to dine with music it's perfect.
Besides the places listed, a number of other bars and restaurants offer live
jazz. Restaurant U Price for instance on the Staromestske namesti (opposite
to the astronomical clock). On many a night you can hear cheerful Dixieland
jazz coming out of the restaurant. Beware though, since U Prince is infamous
for its ripping of tourists.
Marquis de Sade (Templova 8, Prague 1) offers live music three times a week.
Jazz mostly on Wednesdays.
A complete listing is of course almost impossible, but the information
provided can be of assistance and should allow you to be able to plan a
"Jazz week" to Prague and check out the scene. There is something for