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, schwartzspoint.com

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, cactuspearcincy.com 

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 (fauxfrenchmen.com). 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, cheznora.com

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, thebluewisp.com

Special thanks to Aubrey Johnson, creator and founder of The Jazz Half (thejazzhalf.com).

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