Club Renaissance at 8424 Sunset Blvd. Headliners were the top names in jazz, and they also showed up unannounced for late night jam sessions (I saw Jimmy Giuffre at one). Mike Berliner  

JAZZ VENUES, LOS ANGELES AREA, mostly 1960's-1980's

Edition of May 9, 2017

Mostly closed but for sure not forgotten. Your input welcome
Kevin Dwyer, jazz buff. Lived in L.A from 1978 to 1992 wrote me in April 2015: "That period seems to have been the swan song for live jazz, at least the legends, unfortunately. But it is very memorable. Thanks for your efforts."

Alfonse's 10057 Riverside Dr Toluca Lake
south of the 134 freeway, between Griffith Park and Burbank
jazz was nightly, favorite 'drop in' spot for the late Sarah Vaughn, Buddy Rich and many others. Appearances: Ann Patterson, alto saxophonist, and Ellyn Rucker, pianist and singer in 1989. Betty Bennett and Mundell Lowe 1988, Dave Pell Octet February 25-26, 1988 Bob Brookmeyer, August 1986. Google maps shows a "Sebastians" there now.
Alley Cat Bistro - Culver City  Opened in 1982 by Susan de Bois who moved on to De Bois productions, bookings, etc. Pat McKinley saw Mark Murphy and Julie Kelley there. Recordings there: FRANK CAPP/NAT PIERCE JUGGERNAUT, Nov.1987
At My Place Jazz Club,1026 Wilshire, Santa Monica  marginally a  "Jazz Club" but  Matt Catingub, son of Mavis Rivers appeared and Red Norvo often dropped in.  Kevin Dwyer saw Bobby Hutcherson there and I think Ollie Mitchell (L.A. cat) played here as well.
Baked Potato 
3787 Cahuenga Boulevard 
North Hollywood 
Entertainment / Bar /Club Jazz/blues, live music.Been around  a long time,  seldom feature straight-ahead jazz but their surviving proves they are doing something right. Can be seen via Google maps. Kevin Dwyer comment: 'Don Randi (of "The Wrecking Crew") originally owned The Baked Potato and played there regularly. He wouldn't let the bartenders use the blender while he did his electric piano solos. I saw some great fusion players there - Larry Carlton, Dean Parks, others, mostly sitting in with Abe Laboriel's Koinonia."
Banger's Pub, 5507 Reseda Blvd, Tarzana In 1989 they had blues with area musicians weekday nights and served a British menu as the name implies.
Bit,The Les McCann's hangout at the turn of the 60s. It was a fabulous coffee house and kids could go because they had food. I think it is now a falafel place.
Roy Brown, Santa Monica? unknown named Jazz Club that served Japanese food and where Roy Brown was musical director.
Bon Appetit, Westwood, featured jazz on Sunday afternoons
Bob Burns Restaurant--corner of Wilshire and 2nd Street, Santa Monica  torn down in 2001 after nearly three decades showcasing 
excellent pianists and piano duos, with 'regulars' such as 
John Mahoney ("Marty Crane" on the Frazier show), pianist Nat Pierce and  DJ Chuck Niles 
Chappy's -  Manhattan Beach. Restaurant near the corner of Manhattan Beach Blvd. and Sepulveda.  Chappy was a nice gent who loved jazz, featured mostly pianists and trios including the wonderful Jimmy Rowles.  Building is still there in 2001, named something like the Manhattan Beach Bar & Grille.
Carmelo's Jazz Supper Club - Sherman Oaks, 'by the freeway' Ruth R. Hoover owned and operated this longtime jazz venue. It continued under various names, 
"Flamingo"  (owned by Herb Jeffries), "Tracey's Steakhouse," but without great success. Pat McKinley recalls Richie Cole and Sue Raney there.
Catalina Bar & Grill,1640 N. Cahuenga, Hollywood. Kevin Dwyer saw Milt Jackson there. Ahmad Jamal, Horace Silver and others played there in 80's.
Cinegrill, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.
Appearamces: Blossom Dearie, fall 1997 with percussionist Luis Peralta then and now based in Seattle, a reunion for them.  Shirley Horn in 1995. Recordings: Cybil Shephard, June 2000.
Club Renaissance at 8424 Sunset Blvd. Headliners were the top names in jazz, and they also showed up unannounced for late night jam sessions (I saw Jimmy Giuffre at one). Mike Berliner May 9,2017)
Colombo's Italian Steak House 1833 Colorado Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90041reviews are good for food and live Jazz. website Currently live jazz some weekday nights.
Comeback Inn, 1633 W. Washington Blvd, Venice was closed in 1990 upon complaints of  loud music by a family living next door. Drummer Tootie Heath is one who appeared there.
Cosmos Alley had jazz
Crenshaw and Imperial Blvds??. 1970's- 80's situated behind what is now a flower shop."" Recalls interior but not the name, saw The Dells there.
Dino's - Pasadena Quite popular jazz club for awhile. From AllMusic by Ken Dryden, Tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins recorded his quartet there on several occasions in 1986. Not only is the sound that Perkins achieved very intimate, as if the listener was a member of the audience, but the band is extremely tight and adventurous. Pianist Alan Broadbent's driving chords , Gene Cherico plays bass on five tracks, with Putter Smith taking his place on the other four numbers of "Remembrance of Dino's" CD.
Donte's Jazz Supper Club, 4269 Lankershim, N. Hollywood.
near Universal
A stereotypical jazz club,  true hole-in-the-wall, a wonderful bastion of jazz.opened 1966 lasted April 1988. Carey Leverette's small 'funky' place,  low ceiling,  famous 'blackboard' behind the performing stage with  'celebs' signatures, posts obstructing some view, a long bar with tables and some 'front row' type theater seats in front of the stage. Bartender Bob Powell's  LP collection on display behind the bar. The entrance had a walkin from the sidewalk, some flora planted and you turned to your left to a door which was 90 degrees from the street.  Brought some girl friends from Orange County there in the 80's to meet Art Guiney.  One made the mistake of talking while the band was playing, a super no no with Art.  Carey and Mae Leverette. Tom Brokaw hung out there when he was doing local NBC news from Burbank. Contributor to this page, Geoff Nelson went there in the fall of '66. Said his most memorable visit was an afternoon rehearsal of the Buddy Rich big band in July '68. But the band didn't perform there until '72. I saw the Frankie Capp and Nat Pierce Juggernaut Band there about 1985. Capp and Pierce were from Massachusetts, Pierce from my hometown, Belmont. Super Sax, with Lou Levy on piano, and Carmen McCrae dropping by all the time. Kevin Dwyer got to see Joe Farrell, Pete Christlieb, many others there.
Grand Avenue Bar, Biltmore Hotel across from Pershing
Square 506 S. Grand Ave, L.A. 
The late Vince Desmond,  and the late Art Guiney and I would meet the late LaRue Brown-Watson there for the early evening gig with pianist Gerry "Wig" Wiggins. Other pianists appeared  in the Biltmore's Rendevous Court. 
Fairfax, Johnny Winter. guitar??? I am trying to remember the name of the funky blues bar that I would go to in Los Angeles in 1970 and 1971. One of the outstanding guitar players was Johnny Winter. (John Dawson Winter III, February 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014), known as Johnny Winter For some reason, I remember the bar being on Fairfax. Was there a blues bar on that street? Looking online I am seeing the names of some clubs that are ringing a bell, but Shelly’s Manne Hole was too sophisticated for me at the time. Only 16 or 17 years old, we could get in with no identification required, and were able to order cheap wine, sit in the smoke and be swept away by the music.
Jennifer Neale,
Hollywood Paladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood 
In 1964, it was announced that none of the jazz bands scheduled were to be paid and a riot ensued after the show was cancelled. Apparently that was the only time jazz was in the Palladium, since construction in 1940.
Hong Kong Bar Century Plaza Hotel, Century City, L.A. featured good jazz for a while such as hosting Buddy Rich's band for a stand - late Nov-early Dec '68. Grant Goodwin saw Joe Williams there. Atlantic Records, Dec. 2, 1968, Carmen McRae, Norman Simmons (piano), Chuck Domanico (bass) Frank Severino (drums).
Hop Singhs - Lincoln Blvd, Marina del Rey.  For a short while, Hop Singhs featured some well-known jazz talent such as Zoot Sims. Harold Land played there regularly early "80's to early '90's
Hyatt Sunset featured some legends, Kevin Dwyer caught Horace Silver, Harold Land of the great Clifford Brown band and Tommy Flanagan there.
It club Pat McKinley saw Thelonius Monk and Wes Montgomery seen there.
Jazz City, Hollywood Bob Meuse saw Billie Holliday there. Corky Hale backed her up on wonderful piano. Billie was stoned and walked on her heels, but she was great! "Symphony Sid" had a broadcast booth in the far corner and during intermission they piped in his radio program. Also saw Shirley Horn in the 1950s at a club in Hollywood, probably also Jazz City.
Jazz Safari - next to the Queen Mary, Long Beach small 'intimate' atmosphere, one of drummer Al Williams' many clubs (he later opened "Birdland West"). I went there several times after walking around the Long Beach Gran Prix scene. Cleanhead Vinson was usually playing there.  Yakked with Shav Glick, well known LA Times auto racing writer there.
Jazz Suite, Beverly Hills open for just a couple of months in '68.
Jean's Blue Room,North Hollywood
Ventura Blvd near Coldwater Cyn
Across the street from the Tail o' The Cock...Marvin Ash another pianist from the 40s, also playing in a piano bar but also playing jazz.
Le Cafe, 14633 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks An upstairs room featured nice singers such as Sue Raney 
Mark Murphy and many others. 
Lighthouse, Hermosa Beach  Opened in 1949, still going in 2001, featuring jazz on weekends. Among others,  Jonathan Dane, a wonderful trumpeter, incidentally who resembles Chet baker now plays there with Greg Eicher on bass and Michelle Faber on piano.  I went there alone from Anaheim in the 70's to see Bola Sete.
Los Feliz Inn -  restaurant near the corner of Hillhurst and Los Feliz Bl  Occasionally had jazz,  later re-surfaced as Pierre's and then
as "The Jazz Spot" which was run by photographer/singer Jim Britt. The Jazz Spot lasted for about a year as a theater-type jazz venue, competing with The Jazz Bakery (which Britt ran with singer Ruth Price).
Maiden Voyage across the street from MacArthur Park Lake, (short-lived, very early 80’s) Peter Erskine writes "this was Wynton Marsalis' LA debut as far as I know … Jaco Pastorius and I went there (circa May 1981) to hear him and Branford, et al, with Art Blakey’s band … wild."
Art Pepper appeared there, August 13, 1981 and produced some albums on his performance.
Marla's Memory Lane or Supper Club
2323 W. Martin Luther King Blvd, LA
Marla Gibbs re-opened Memory Lane as Marla's Memory Lane in 1981. It was hugely popular from 1981 until June of 1999. Some appearances: Kenny Burrell, Ernie Andrews, Bobby Hutcherson, Dorothy Donegan, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Gil Scott-Heron, Willie Bobo, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vincent, Red Holloway, Talita Long, Sherry Payne, Barbara Morrison, Jackie McLean, Eddie Harris, Ahmad Jamal, O.C. Smith, Etta James, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Witherspoon, Pee Wee Crayton, Albert Collins and Dee Dee McNeil
Marty's on the HillPat McKinley said too many artists to list.
McCabes - Santa Monica guitar shop and club was not really a "jazz" venue, but Blossom Dearie and Bob Dorough appeared there when in town. Hank Kalvin told me about it in 2009.
Memory Lane Supper Club Esther Phillips made several appearances at Larry Hearne’s club where Leslie Hope worked for a time and was introduced to Esther by Esther's dealer.
Merlin McFly's, Santa Monica, .....
Miceli's had jazz
Mission Hills, a club Geoff Nelson reports he was there several times late 60's to see Bob Jung's big band with drummer Jack Sperling.
Money Tree -  Toluca Lake restaurant  Comes and goes as a jazz venue. For many years was home for  Page Cavanaugh, Gerry Wiggins, et al.  2001 it is back as an occasional jazz venue. A fine young trumpeter/singer, named Anna Callahan, appears with her group on Wednesdays. Singer Cathy Segal-Garcia also has a singer's showcase.
Tail o'the Cock N.Hollywood
Ventura blvd near Coldwater Cyn
Johnny Guarnieri, March 23, 1917 – January 7, 1985. Obit LA Times, Obit LA Times ,part of the original Gramercy Five) playing solo piano, except when someone wanted to sing...alas a piano bar at times.
Nucleus Nuance, 7267 Melrose Ave. L.A. "80's-1994  John Hammond Smith, Dennis Rowland, Herbie Mann, Julie Kelly appeared there. A funky place to eat.
Palace, The, 1735 Vine St. Hollywood Doug Mattingly saw Alan Holdsworth and others at The Palace in the late 1980s.
Palomino, N. Hollywood Country and Western club had jazz - at least once; Geoff Nelson Woody Herman's band there; a one-nighter in the early 80's.

Parisian Room - Washington Blvd, Los Angeles
"1967 Red Holloway moved to Los Angeles and in 1969 became the coordinator of talent and member of the house band at the famed Parisian Room. This association lasted for the next fifteen years and saw Red hire virtually everyone who was anyone in the world of jaz and blues. Red quit as talent coordinator for the Parisian Room after his request for a cost-of-living raise was denied; the club closed eight months thereafter." Kevin Dwyer remembers seeing the Parisian Room marqee with Ella Fitzgerald on it in his early days and thinking, that's big-time. It was up on the hill, Washington and La Brea.
Pasquale's was at 22724 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. 1978-1984 Some who appeared there, George Cables, Frank Collett, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Harris, Tootie Heath drummer, Billy Higgins, Freddie Hubbard, Roy McCurdy, Carmen McRae, Ray Pizzi, Toots Thielemans, Sonny Rollins. Senatore plays upright bass." Bob Florence  returned to L.A. in the late 1970s and soon organized a band that met and performed at Pasquale's, was frequented by the irreplaceable L.A. jazz dj, Chuck Niles when he lived in Malibu. Willie Bobo and Clare fisher there on Sunday afternoons, along with Poncho Sanchez and Alex Acuna.  Kevin Dwyer comments: "was great, what a location. Owned by bassist Pat Senatore. Saw Clare Fisher and George Cables there often."
Pied Piper, Freddie Jett's where Esther Phillips played.
Playboy Jazz Festival, Hollywood Bowl Kevin Dwyer went to the first one in 1979. Too many greats to list.
Ram's Horn - Encino restaurant occasionally had jazz such as the under-rated and, unfortunately little-known, Wini Beatty, longtime L.A. pianist/singer. Changed to being Tractons II and continued it's jazz policy. 
Redondo Beach Club, Howard Rumsey's  'Concerts By The Sea' 100 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach Appearances: Rob Mcconnell & The Boss Brass,1981: Pat Martino solo on "Sunny"1978.Recordings: Charlie Byrd (guitar) Joe Byrd (acoustic & electric basses) Bertell Knox (drums). March 1-3, 1974. Originally released on Fantasy (9466). Down a narrow stairway, turn right and 'voila', theater seats, on your left a low stage, bar to your right. I stayed for all the late Willi Bobo's shows  there one night in the '80's.  I had Ingrid, a young  Swedish singer with me who was invited off stage to meet Dizzy Gillespie. Another time Art and I met Frenchy LeMarre and his wife for a performance.  Howard was close with Art.  He had a figure skater meet us there one night and he had to tell Howard  "she's under age".
Redondo Lounge --Sepulveda Blvd, 
Redondo Beach. 
a  little-known club, not highlighting 'big' names but such as
pianist John Bunch, unfortunately also 'little known'. .
Rusty Pelican 300 Harvey Dr, Glendale, CA 91206. had frequent jazz in the '70s, 1978 Jazzbirds, all female group. 2002 live jazz on Friday nights
Ssrdies, Hollywood Blvd. Conti Condoli and Pete Jolly were regulars there. Closed for a while and refurbished into a bigger place and brought in Ella Fitzgerald to open. Bo Meuse was there and was very disappointed that Ella spent so much of her time on stage plugging her records. Also saw Art Tatum live at a club near Highland Avenue and either Hollywood Blvd or Sunset Blvd. "Symphony Sid" had a broadcast booth in the far corner and during intermission they piped in his radio program. Howdy Joe: I moved from Boston to Hollywood in 1950 to go to the University of Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd. near Egmont Street a school for Recording and Film. Great memories for me. I was young and foolish. I’m now 92. Take care and cheerio. Bob Meuse
Silver Screen Room, West Hollywood area, near Le Mondrian Hotel  one of many clubs booked by Ozzie Cadena.  Others were Lighhouse Cafe amd Sangria Restaurant (68 Pier Ave), Hermosa Beach and the Hyatt on Sunset.
Siver Screen Room featured some top talent, including singer/composer Matt Dennis and his wife Gini Maxey. 
Shelley's Manne Hole - Hollywood The original was just about where Catalina's now resides on Cahuenga Blvd. The second one was on Wilshire and didn't last long.  I think Art Guiney had some "money" in one of them.  I never met Shelley, unfortunately. Appearances: 1970 Shelly Manne (drums), Ray Brown (bass), Hampton Hawes (piano) and Bob Cooper (saxophone). Recordings: Riverside RLP 9487, Bill Evans (piano) Chuck Israels(bass) Larry Bunker(drums). "Isn't It Romantic," "Round Midnight" and "Stella By Starlight." Riverside RLP 9487 May 30/31,1963.March 3-5, 1961 Shelly Manne (drums), Conte Candoli (trumpet), Richie Kamuca (tenor saxophone), Russ Freeman (piano), Chuck Berghofer (bass)
Smokehouse -Burbank  featured good piano players and singers.
Sophisticated Lady, Crenshaw district where Esther Phillips played was Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper. She also made several appearances at Larry Hearne’s Memory Lane Supper Club where i worked for a time and was introduced to her by her drug dealer.
Spur, Encino in the 50's Sunday afternoon jam sessions with Country Washburn (Bass), George Van Epps (Guitar), Frank Flynn on the vibes and Suzanne Ball singing and sometimes the Condoli brothers. That was great for Pat McKinley since they served food and I could go even though I was just not even quite a teenager.
Stinagree Gulch - was in a San Pedro hotel  In it's short existence this Ozzie Cadena club was a venue for all  L.A.-based jazz musicians. All Angelenos should be thankful for Ozzie establishing  and booking more jazz venues than any three others. 
Strand,1700 Pac. Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach also had some greats; Chick Corea, Joe Sample, B.Marsalis, etc. playing.also had some greats playing.
Studio Cafe  100 Main Street  Balboa  Party stanchion at Balboa Pier, entertainment / Bar /Club  Dance, Dive, Jazz/blues, Live music, Rock/pop. long 'thin' layout inside, bar inside door on your right, stage at far end ahead of you.  I never felt very comfortable there, would drop in and not stick around.
Sweetwater, Redondo Beach Kevin Dwyer saw McCoy Tyner/Elvin Jones band there around 1984. Pat LaBarbera on tenor.
Tap City on Western Avenue near Santa Monica Blvd beer only. no paid entertainers but I heard Art Pepper, and Gerry Mulligan often. They would just drop for a beer. They only had a little spinet piano that I used to play when there were few patrons. Jerry Mulligan was a good piano player.
“Tiffany Club”, 8th and Normandie L.A. Only the great ones played there; George Shearing whom I saw about 1952 there), Nat King Cole. Later they spent lots of advertising money to get Stan Getz. Unfortunately Stan was a drinker and and didn’t show up. They were lucky and located Ahmed Jamal who performed with Denzil Best, and (I think) Red Mitchell, bass. Shortly after Getz’s failure to appear, the great Tiffany Club closed. The last time I went inside it was a beer joint with apartments and a buddy of mine lived upstairs. I went over to the beat-up piano. I thought it should have been a fine piano to have people like Shearing and Cole play. It was a “Winter”. I’m sure that it couldn’t be the one that Shearing and Cole used. Howdy Joe: I moved from Boston to Hollywood in 1950 to to the University of Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd. near Egmont Street a school for Recording and Film. Great memories for me. I was young and foolish. I’m now 92. Take care and cheerio. Bob Meuse
Times, Ventura Blvd Operated in 1971 or '72 through 1975, after which the property was sold and buildings demolished in favor of a shopping mall. Many jazz greats such as Blue Mitchell, Warne Marsh, Buddy Collette, Jimmy Rowles, Helen Merrill with Clare Fischer Trio, Anita O'Day, Ernie Andrews, Carl Fontana and Jake Hanna's Hanna-Fontana Band, Noreen Jackson with Earl Palmer Trio, Betty and Mundell Lowe, Ruth Price, Karen Krog, and many others, including Lorez Alexandria and Victor Feldman with Monty Budwig, and Benny Golson with a quartet including Roy McCurdy, Warne Marsh Quintet. Musicians used to hang there and I did a lot of the booking. It was a great club while it lasted Also, there was another place called The Sound Room. Best regards, Noreen Jackson
Troubadour, Hollywood Music and comedy venue. Geoff Nelson emailed me in December 2012 that the Troubador had jazz - at least once. He believes in 1972, two sets with comedian Robert Klein preceding Cannonball Adderley's group. website
Two Dollar Bill's, 5931 Franklin Ave., Hollywood featured more modern stuff. Kevin Dwyer saw Chick Corea sit in with keyboardist Mike Garson once. May have had a Scientology connection, but it was a good club.
Velvet Turtle Restaurant -  southern Redondo Beach  Throughout the '70's and '80's featured  Paul Smith,  Ella Fitzgerald's pianist with bassist Wilfred Middlebrooks, who recorded many sessions with Ella 
Vine St. Bar & Grill, Hollywood, torn down 2007 Ron Bernstein ran a great jazz club here from early 80's through '90's. Shirley Horn recorded a notable CD there which re-ignited her career.  Appearances: Anita O'Day, Etta James, Richie Cole, Phil Woods, George Shearing, Benny Carter, Yma Sumac, Nina Simone, Dizzy Gillespie, Astrud Gilberto. Kevin Dwyer comment:"*Vine Street featured some greats also -- I saw Bill Watrous, Larry Coryell, others there. I think Dan Hicks as well (fun swing stuff)."

West End Gardens -- West Los Angeles near Santa Monica
 top talent here, such as Alan Broadbent and Dave Frishberg.
Zebra Lounge, Central Ave. at Manchester. Regulars included John Coltrane, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers .
Howdy Joe: I moved from Boston to Hollywood in 1950 to the University of Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd. near Egmont Street a school for Recording and Film. Great memories for me. I was young and foolish. I’m now 92. Take care and cheerio. Bob Meuse

Published sources on line, found via search:

Page compiled by Joe Nix at with information supplied by several dedicated fans.

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