Top 5 Places to Hear Live Jazz This Week

A wise man once said, “Hot or cool, man, jazz is jazz.” Ok, so it was Louis Armstrong. And he had a point. Hot or cool, fast or slow, swing, bebop, or fusion, the genre of jazz has more flavors than a Baskin-Robbins, and Cincinnati’s music scene gives you plenty of jazzy options this week.

1. Ed Moss & The Society Jazz Orchestra at Schwartz’s Point Jazz Club
Formerly Cincinnati’s best-kept jazz secret, the Schwartz’s Point Jazz Club is now an official part of the local music scene. The ancient-looking triangular building perched at the five-point intersection at Vine Street and West McMicken Avenue hosts weekly shows in its bohemian-style lounge. On Tuesdays, hear Ed Moss & The Society Jazz Orchestra work their jazzy magic—get there an hour early for the complimentary buffet. Tues 8:30 pm. $10. Schwartz’s Point Jazz Club, 1901 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 651-2236,

2. Samba Jazz Syndicate at Cactus Pear
For a snappier take on the traditional jazz sound, try the Samba Jazz Syndicate, playing instrumental Brazilian and bossa nova-style tunes, along with American standards, at the Cactus Pear—because nothing says fusion like jazz and frozen margaritas. Tues 7 pm. Free. Cactus Pear, 9500 Kenwood Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 791-7724, 

3. Faux Frenchmen at Sitwell’s
If the words “gypsy jazz” make you think of Johnny Depp, circa his 2000 film Chocolat, then you’re already halfway to loving the Faux Frenchmen ( Each Wednesday night, the group brings their unique French gypsy-inspired take on American jazz—rounded out by an acoustic base, fiddle, and cello—to Sitwell’s coffee house. Wed 8-10:30 pm. Free. Sitwell’s Coffee House, 324 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, (513) 281-7487

4. Bekah Williams with Ricky Nye at Chez Nora
What better way to listen to the New Orleans-inspired stylings of Ricky Nye and the smooth vocals of Bekah Williams than on Chez Nora’s breezy rooftop terrace? Order up some Cajun-fried oysters, take in the view of the Ohio river and downtown Cincinnati, and Covington will start to feel like a little piece of The Big Easy. Wed 8-midnight. Chez Nora, 530 Main St., (859) 491-8027,

5. Triage at Blue Wisp Jazz Club
There’s a reason why Blue Wisp has been Cincinnati’s premier spot to enjoy jazz for almost 30 years: They consistently show off great local talent like Triage, a favorite local jazz duo with a “world jazz” prerogative. Thurs 7:30 (doors open at 6:30), $10, 318 E. 8th St., downtown, (513) 241-WISP,

Special thanks to Aubrey Johnson, creator and founder of The Jazz Half (

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