Istanbul had a very cosmopolitan structure in the 19th century. Jazz music has a century-long history in Istanbul, thanks to the Levantines (Europeans trading in the West) in the city. Today, the best jazz clubs in Istanbul reflect the city’s Jazz culture.
Turkey’s big banks sponsor Jazz festivals every year. In this way, Jazz events take place in the biggest cities of Turkey, especially in Istanbul. In this article, you can find 8 nightclubs in Istanbul that are synonymous with Jazz music.
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8 Best Jazz Clubs in Istanbul 2022
The majority of the best Jazz clubs in Istanbul are located in the European side, such as Beyoglu, Sisli and Besiktas. Only one club on the list (The Badau) is located in Kadikoy on the Asian side.
Beyoglu is the most central location to listen to Jazz and Blues music in Istanbul. Beyoglu district, which includes neighborhoods such as Taksim, Galata, Cihangir and Karakoy, has a large share in Istanbul’s nightlife.
Districts such as Sisli and Besiktas, where large hotels are located, have also been rising in Istanbul’s nightlife in recent years. Kadikoy (Asian Side) is the district with the highest number of bars in the city.
1. Nardis Jazz Club
Local and foreign jazz artists perform at Nardis Jazz Club, which is one of the most popular places for live performances. You can watch some cool singers and bands like Ece Goksuz Quarted, Hacettepe Jazz Band, Loss Amigos de Herman, and Burak Bedikyan Trio at Nardis Jazz Club. Unlike many other places, new groups and orchestras are given priority at Nardis Jazz Club.
You should note that live performances, singers and the bands are not the only thing that makes Nardis Jazz Club attractive. We can easily say that Nardis Jazz Club has a rich drink menu as well. On the other hand, in opposition to many other places, the level of sound is not too high to disturb the audience and the acoustics of the place is arranged in a way to distribute the sound equally to every corner of the place clearly.
This is a must-visit place if you wish to spend good time while listening to jazz music.
2. 49 Cukurcuma
49 Cukurcuma stands out with its concept and different style and it’s easily one of the best places to listen to jazz music, if not a great live music performance. In fact, you can feel it by reading its sign at the entrance “Pizza, Coffee, Jazz”. It’s also one of the rare places where you can be far from the noisy and busy life in Beyoglu.
In addition to a peaceful and calm atmosphere, 49 Cukurcuma offers delicious dishes to its customers. The pizza menu of the place is really rich and you can find different types of pizza here that you can’t find anywhere else.
If you are looking for a place where you can rest and enjoy delicious food, 49 Cukurcuma is your best bet.
3. Babylon Bomonti
Babylon Bomonti, which used to be located at Asmalimescit in Beyoglu, is one of the places that come to mind when it comes to a live performance. Babylon was opened in 1999 and it’s been in service in the same place since then. Babylon was listed among the World’s Best 100 Jazz Clubs in 2002 and 2004 by a world-famous jazz magazine Downbeat.
Famous jazz singers and groups such as Ilhan Ersahin, Aydin Esen, David Murrey Quarted, and Patricia Barber performs at Babylon Bomonti that has 400 audience capacity. Moreover, compared to many other places, its sound system is designed in a way not to disturb its audience.
In short, Babylon is one of the established places in Istanbul where you can listen to great live performances. And Babylon began to serve its guests at Bomonti neighborhood in Sisli recently.
4. Kaset Bistro
Kaset Bistro was opened in Besiktas and it was named as Mitanni Jazz. It is one of the rare places you can choose for its good music performances, drink or food menu. Sarp Maden performs at Kaset Bistro regularly and live jazz music is performed at least once a week at Kaset Bistro Jazz.
Apart from the music, Bistro draws attention with its drink and food menu. It can be said Bistro turns into a very quiet and peaceful place on the days when there is no concert. Therefore, it becomes an ideal place if you want to escape from the chaotic and noisy Istanbul life and read your book in a relaxing and quiet atmosphere while listening to calming jazz songs. Therefore, Kaset Bistro is a place you should definitely visit.
5. The Badau
The Badau is one of the places that contribute a lot to Yeldegirmeni’s (Neighborhood in Kadikoy) character as it boasts a really different and an extraordinary concept. Indeed, Turkish culture is reflected both in the menu and concept of this place.
The Badau is managed by a jazz musician Eren Noyan and it houses some of the most authentic jazz artists such as Cagri Seretel and Senove Ulker.
You can find delicacies from the Mediterranean and traditional Ottoman kitchen in its rich menu. And as I mentioned earlier, its concept is really different and interesting. Therefore, you will find yourself in a unique atmosphere the moment you step inside the place.
Additionally, The Badau can still be called a quiet place despite live performances.
6. Jazz Company
Jazz Company, located in the center of the city, is regarded as one of the decent places in Istanbul. Apart from jazz music, you can listen to blues and Latin music at Jazz Company.
Jazz Company is a place that focuses on live jazz performance. Therefore, local and foreign jazz groups take the stage every week.
If you want to listen to good jazz musicians at a good and quiet place, you can visit Jazz Company after 22:00.
7. Divine Brasserie & Jazz Club
Divine Brasserie & Jazz Club is located in Nisantasi and it is one of the rare places that serves both as a restaurant and café. Moreover, live jazz music is performed on specific days of the week at Divine Brasserie & Jazz Club and it offers a cool atmosphere despite being a small place.
Despite being at Topagaci Square in Nisantasi, which is one of the most popular places in Istanbul, Divine is still an affordable place. Moreover, we can easily say that Divine has a rich food menu which consists mostly of beef and chicken dishes. In addition to its rich food menu, Divine has a rich wine menu too.
If you want to enjoy your meal and import wine while listening to jazz music, this place is just perfect for you.
8. Kumsaati Blues Club
Kumsaati Blues Club, located at Asmalimescit, is known for its blues and rock and roll performances. We can say that Kumsaati Blues Club is one of the first places that reflects blues bar concept thoroughly in Turkey.
Local blues groups perform at Kumsaati, which is a great place appealing to jazz and blues lovers with its playlists and live performances. If you still haven’t visited this place before, you will regret not doing so when you go to Kumsaati Blues Club. Apart from its live performances and music, the place offers a quite rich drink menu which has a moderate price range.
Don’t miss this place if you happen to go to Asmalimescit (Located nearby Istiklal Street, Beyoglu)
Written by Serhat Engul