The internal ambience of this atmospheric basement venue is modern, upbeat, and attractive, with natural bare stone walls, polished wood floor, candle-lit tables, comfy alcove seating, smart, unobtrusive lighting and designer furniture, enhanced by some music-themed artwork. The vibe is often described as ‘A real New York vibe – right here in Edinburgh‘. And with a capacity of 140, it’s a nice size, not too small, not too big. The perfect Edinburgh speakeasy.
What kind of people come here?
There’s always a wide audience age-range (18-80) at EVERY gig, even late-night (average age 29 or so) and a very broad, inclusive demographic, a diverse assortment of visitors, locals, tourists, musicians, students, parents, grandparents, and people just looking for a Good Night Out, with some great music.
What kind of music is on stage every night?
In spite of the name, there’s a lot more happening here than just ‘jazz’, so there are audience crossovers all over the place. About a third of what you’ll hear is ‘Jazz’ of some kind, another third is Acoustic/Blues/Roots, the remaining third being Funk/Soul/Electric. It’s a great mix – Jazz fans who are in to enjoy a jazzy gig may stay on to sample the next ‘Funk’ band and are surprised and delighted to hear a bit of really good, highly creative funk played by superb musicians – as opposed to your average ‘pub covers band’. Meanwhile, people in to catch an Acoustic or Blues gig, then hear stay on for the next band, may discover a JAZZ quintet – and be mightily impressed.
That’s how it goes here, constant variety!
Our bar service
We believe that quality of service is crucial, and our superb bar staff present an excellent range of draught and bottled beers, very nice wines, a tempting, extensive cocktail list (all freshly made before your eyes – try our Espresso Martini!), and some interesting and tasty spirits. We have specially imported Polish JAZZ VODKA in its amazing trumpet-shaped bottles and the empty bottles are available to purchase as a souvenir. We also do fine coffees and other hot drinks, but we don’t have space for a kitchen, so can’t serve food, just bar nibbles. Lots of nice eating places nearby!
Music & Economics
There is a small door charge for most gigs, and money collected on the door goes to the musicians playing on stage, so you can know that it’s money well spent.
The award-winning Jazz Bar has a special place in Scotland’s music scene, staging over 1,300 gigs a year: an average week is 23 gigs, the 10-day July Edinburgh Jazz Festival sees about 45 gigs, plus there are over 200 gigs in the 23-day August Fringe Festival! That represents a MAJOR contribution to Scotland’s music economy, as this venue generates over £250,000 a year for musicians, plus a valuable amount of (otherwise pretty scarce) employment, for musicians of all kinds.
We operate every day of the year apart from our annual ONE-DAY HOLIDAY – Christmas Day! That’s the one and only day of the year when this place falls silent.
The main Jazz Bar logo features London-based trumpeter Byron Wallen, photographed by Edinburgh cameraman Marc Marnie, backstage in the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. There’s a wonderful collage of photos of famous jazz musicians in the entrance stairwell wall, all also by Marc. These photos were taken while those people were performing in Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Jazz trivia quiz: how many can you identify?
See lots more, and order your prints from www.marcmarnie.com
Free WiFi – connect and use your laptop or smartphone in the bar area, password printed above the bar. Check in!