Nightlife & Music

Best Jazz And Blues Clubs In East Bay

August 9, 2012 11:00 AM

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LAS VEGAS - AUGUST 16: Recording artist B.B. King performs at his B.B. King's Blues Club at the Mirage Hotel & Casino August 16, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS – AUGUST 16: Recording artist B.B. King performs at his B.B. King’s Blues Club at the Mirage Hotel & Casino August 16, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Where in the East Bay can you find smooth, mellow melodies and speedy, hard-hitting rhythms of be-bop? Yearning to relish in the sounds of performers who rely on group feedback and unpredictable improvisation, like the sounds first displayed by jazz icons such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Rollins and Lester Young? If you’re looking for something special––an act dedicated to genuine performances––there are a number of places to get your jazz hands clapping and your feet shimmying to the beat. Take a look.

The Albatross Pub
1822 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 843-2473
www.albatrosspub.com

Click here for a calendar of events

Where else can you watch live jazz in Berkeley’s oldest pub while playing board games next to your pet pooch, with an order of food from another restaurant down the street? That’s right – nowhere else but The Albatross. Music at this bar is chosen with a persnickety affection for good jazz, folk, and rhythm and blues. The same fussiness is taken when it comes to choosing the insane beer and scotch collection. The Albatross hosts live jazz bands on Saturday nights for a $3 cover.

Related: Eye On The Bay: Tomales Bay Oyster Country


Barone’s Restaurant
475 St John St.
Pleasanton, CA 94566
(925) 426-0987
www.baronespleasanton.com

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Since the mid 90s, Barone’s has been a great spot for rehearsal dinners, intimate first dates and wedding parties. Come with a large group, a date or even by yourself and venture out to the patio where Barone’s hosts many live jazz bands. With fire pits, cabanas, ample seating and plenty of bars, Barone’s is the spot to watch talented singers and musicians light up this upscale and elegant downtown Pleasanton restaurant. The restaurant offers a variety of Italian and Continental dishes such as seafood, pasta and steak.


Yoshi’s
510 Embarcadero W.
Jack London Square
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 238-9200
www.yoshis.com

Click here for a calendar of events

If you’re looking for the best jazz around town, Yoshi’s has your hookup. Respected jazz performers, including Betty Carter, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. have all entertained at this jazz club. The club itself is in a completely separate room from Yoshi’s restaurant. If you plan to dine in the restaurant before the show, making a reservation is highly recommended. The menu is comparable to the quality of the music offered. In other words, the food served at Yoshi’s is superb.


57th Street Gallery
5701 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 654-6974
www.57thStreetGallery.com

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What’s not to like about being part of a life-pulsating venue that’s jam-packed to the gills with great live jazz, beautiful artwork and food and drinks – all for around $20? Come and see compelling musicians while admiring portraitures of some of our country’s most renowned jazz performers and soulful musicians hanging throughout the gallery. The acts you’ll find entertaining here are true and genuine. They are musicians complete with humor and do-overs. The vibe is refreshingly laissez-faire and informal.

Related: Unique Nights Out In The East Bay Area


Cafe Van Kleef
1621 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94620
Neighborhood: Uptown
(510) 763-7711
www.cafevankleef.com

Click here for a calendar of events

Order the famous Greyhound drink as you tap your toes to the classy jazz musicians who perform at Cafe Van Kleef. Two to four nights a week, live music from the Oakland area’s most seasoned jazz, blues, and contemporary musicians play here. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself sitting next to a table of Bohemians, and on the other side of you, a table of politicians. At this fanciful jazz bar, the mix of clientele is vastly diverse. Relax after a day of hard-line negotiations, or a deliriously exasperating morning of splashing paint onto canvas, or from a grueling shift of assembly line work. Regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you do, you’ll fit right in with everyone else.

Kelly Gullo is a freelance writer in San Francisco, CA. Kellys topics are about music and nightlife. Kelly has also written a variety of articles on health and dieting and topics related to the environment. Kelly has a degree in journalism and public relations from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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