Village Vanguard in New York

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The Village Vanguard is located at Seventh Ave South in Greenwich Village. It was first opened by Max Gordon in 1935, making it New York City’s oldest operating jazz club. Though, many people didn’t realize that this venue actually hosted beat poetry and folk music until 1957, when it became a home for jazz music. 

This is one jazz club that New Yorkers tend to discover early, as the 123-person Greenwich Village basement is the most famous jazz venue in the city. Throughout the years, this has grown to be a location that’s booked the best musicians, hosted the most live sessions, and embodied creative tension between the innovation and history that sparks impressive jazz.

Across the United States, between San Francisco and Greenwich Village, Jack Kerouac’s musical style was being embraced by everything from coffee shops to grottoes. And the Village Vanguard was in the middle of this movement, with Jack Kerouac himself taking the stage to perform poetry. 

This, however, is just one small part of the club’s history, as it’s hosted the likes of Bill Evans, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis throughout the years. And, after over 80 years, this iconic basement stage still hosts the best artists from mainstream jazz music, including the legendary 16-piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra which has taken the stage every Monday night since 1966. If you plan to visit NYC’s oldest jazz club, beware that they have a strict no cell phone policy, so seeing a show here really takes you back in time and allows it to be just you and the jazz. 

Profilbild Steffen Kneist
About the author

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

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