Jazz Clubs

Jazz In AmsterdamThe relation between Jazz and one of Amsterdam’s other prides, Marijuana, is far more prominent than one might expect. In fact it is a big part of Jazz history.

Jazz travelled to Europe from New Orleans, where, around the turn of the 20th century, ‘Storyville’, the city’s red light district, was infamous for its bawdy houses. Here customers were not only entertained by exotic ladies of the night, they were also treated to the strains of a new kind of music called Jazz played exclusively in these brothels by black musicians.

North Sea Jazz Club E-mail
Jazz Clubs

North Sea Jazz ClubNorth Sea Jazz Club, Bar Restaurant brings live jazz and jazz related music. Just like at the North Sea Jazz Festival, many styles are represented. On a regular basis, big names from the jazz scene will perform on the North Sea Jazz Club stage.

The program covers everything from experimental, progressive and mostly danceable live music, evolving into a clubnight with dj-acts. On these nights there is maximum capacity of 450 people.

Location: Westergasfabriek, Pazzanistraat 1

Jazz & Grass E-mail
Jazz Clubs

Louis ArmstrongIt was here that marijuana became an integral part of Jazz. Unlike alcohol, which dulled and incapacitated, marijuana enabled the musicians, whose job required them to play long into the night, to forget their exhaustion. Moreover, the drug seemed to make their music sound more imaginative and unique, at least to those who played and listened to it while under its sensorial influence.

In the 1930s, ‘reefer’ songs were the rage of the Jazz world. Distinctive and characteristic, it was music then written and played by and for black people. The music had a special feeling and it gave musicians and their audiences a sense of solidarity.

New OrleansAmong the tunes that topped the hit list of the era were Louis Armstrong's ”Muggles”, Cab Calloway's ”That Funny Reefer Man”, Fats Waller's ”Viper's Drag”, and many more by less famous artists, like ”Viper's Moan”, ”Texas Tea Party”, ”Smokin' Reefers”, ”Mary Jane”, and the ”Mary Jane Polka”, recorded by studios like Columbia, Victor and Brunswick. Even Benny Goodman got into the act with ”Sweet Marihuana Brown”.

References to marijuana, under the various aliases, were abound on early recordings: “Here Comes the Man with the Jive”, “If You're a Viper; Light Up” and “Jack, I'm Mellow.”

Many, if not all famous musicians of the glory days of classic modern Jazz smoked pot, or ‘reefer’ as they called it. Gene Krupa amoung other celebrities of the time such were all arrested at one point or another for possession of marijuana.

Tell It Like It Wuz
Jazz legend and pot smoker Louis Armstrong was caught with some stuff and sentenced in March 1931. He never recounted the story of this affair until shortly before his death in 1971, when he agreed to “tell it like it wuz”. In his biography by Max Jones Louis Armstrong says:

John Sinclair"We did call ourselves Vipers, which could have been anybody from all walks of life that smoked and respected 'gage'. We always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drunk and with much better thoughts than one that's full of liquor. But with the penalties that came, I for one had to put it down though the respect for it (gage) will stay with me forever. I have every reason to say these words and am proud to say them. From experience.”

Dizzy Gillespie was no stranger to pot either. He recalled in his autobiography, “When I came to New York in 1937, I didn't drink nor smoke marijuana.” “You gotta be a square muthafucka!” Charlie Shavers said and turned  me on to smoking pot. “Now, certainly, we were not the only ones. Some of the older musicians had been smoking reefers for 40 and 50 years. Jazz musicians, the old ones and the young ones, almost all of them that I knew smoked pot, but I wouldn't call that drug abuse.”

Panama E-mail
Jazz Clubs

Panama - Panama can be found East of Central Station. As well as being a contemporary nightclub with great theatre shows, live jazz & popular club evenings,  Panama also offers a trendy dance studio and a cafe restaurant with a grand terrace to the south for those mid-summer-nights...

Address: Oostelijke handelskade 4

Cotton Club E-mail
Jazz Clubs

Cotton Club - The Cotton Club is a bar in the heart of Amsterdam with in interesting history. Every saturday there is Live Jazz with Dutch and international top musicians.

Address: Nieuwmarkt 5.

Parsley Club E-mail
Jazz Clubs

Parsley Club - Live jazz combined with a daily fresh Italian/ French kitchen. The club is called after the herb Parsley. A small ingredient, but an unmistakeable, spicy  and unforgettable flavor. Good food, Light Jazz and an elaborate and carefully selected wine menu.

Address: Haarstraat 20

Casablanca E-mail
Jazz Clubs

Casablanca - The Casablanca jazz club is one of the oldest and most celebrated in Amsterdam. Since 1946, numerous groups, jazz legends and spectators have  come together in this smoky, jazzed up box. Bourbon Street, Bix, Vondelpark & Wicked Jazz sounds.

Address: Zeedijk 26

Alto Café E-mail
Jazz Clubs

Alto Café - For more than 20 years, Alto is THE people's choice when it comes to Jazz Music, with every night Live performances of the best musicians.

Location: Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 115

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