Information on:

Birdland

315 West 44th St
212-581-3080

Ever since most of Chicago's top musicians moved to New York in the mid-to-late 1920s, New York City has been the Jazz Mecca. Nearly every major jazz style of the past seventy years has been initiated in the Big Apple.

It was Charlie Parker, familiarly known to his fans and fellow musicians as "Bird," a contraction of Yardbird, his formal nickname, who was the dynamic creative personality and genius of the alto saxophone who served as the inspiration for Birdland.

When the original Birdland opened sixty years ago in December, 1949, Charlie Parker was the headliner and the club was located on Broadway, a block west of the 52nd Street scene, which was a hotbed of jazz in the 1930s and 40s.

Miraculously, just as the scene on 52nd Street caved in, Birdland was born and quickly came to prominence. For the next fifteen years, the club's survival formula was built upon memorable double and triple bills, commencing at 9 p.m. and sometimes lasting 'til dawn.

In addition to Bird, many jazz legends were regulars at the club. Count Basie and his smokin' big band made Birdland their New York headquarters, eventually recording George Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland" live at the club. John Coltrane's classic Quartet regularly appeared at the club in the early 1960s, recording "Live at Birdland." And the famous DJ, Symphony Sid Torin made a name for himself broadcasting live from the club to radio listeners up and down the eastern seaboard



Reviews

Marc Spisto

Rating:
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Amazing venue to hear live jazz. Intimate and elegant. Wondering lineup of performances. Terrific selection of drinks and savory meals. We had the cheese plate appetizer, which was delicious. There is a $10 minimum the club imposes, which is understandable, given the economics of showcasing live music. Jazz is an American treasure that needs more exposure and visibility. We were seated up front, near the stage. Acoustics were incredible. There is not a bad seat in the place. Very impressed with the service and ambiance. A must see for any jazz fan.

Tony Pham

Rating:
Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018
Went to Jim Caruso's cast party on Mondays and it was a good time. Lots of first time and repeat performers with a variety of musical talent. Also tons of regulars in the crowd who bring energy to the room. Jim was telling us how Martin Short dropped by one evening and did standup, but that might be a rare occasion. My favourite part of the show have to be how the pianist, bassist, and drummer picked up songs so quickly. Also don't sit/stand on the piano if you are performing.

Glenn Polin

Rating:
Sunday, May 27, 2018
My favorite of the jazz clubs. You can if you get there early get a perfect seat for any show and not be jammed in with other people. In general the seating is much more spacious then it is at the Blue Note Club. Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola has more spacious seating but not the same feeling of intimacy. There's something great about the two person tables right up front at Birdland. Music prices are reasonable and so is the cover charge. The food is decent - I think they make a real effort at it-- but certainly not great or fine cuisine. For some inexpensive early Friday night entertainment, consider the Birdland big band, which starts playing at 5:15 p.m. No music charge and only a $10 food cover charge. Come and have a drink or an appetizer. The band is excellent and is a true bargain as far as music goes in New York City anywhere near midtown.

Joe Thornton

Rating:
Monday, July 9, 2018
Birdland Big Band on a Friday night proved to be a great night for our family in Manhattan. The band was awesome. Food was good. Atmosphere???? It's Birdland. Not crazy expensive compared to other NYC options on a Friday. Well worth the night out.

Ege Türkeri

Rating:
Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018
One of the iconic jazz bars in NYC. Sometimes it's a bit too touristy but worth it. Get there before door opening to secure a table with a good view of the stage. Service is excellent, too.

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