Five years ago, I posted “Boston Jazz Venues Come and Gone,” a look back at the dearly departed. Steve Provizer compiled the first version of that list, at the time when we learned Ryles Jazz Club was closing. Then I compiled a list, and we combined them, and ended up with about 200 entries. You can still find that list over at his blog, Brilliant Corners.

Now five years on and with more info in the database, I’m taking another crack at it, but with a twist. While the 2018 list included everything, this 2023 iteration covers only the years 1960 to 1990—more or less the years of The Boston Jazz Chronicles Part 2. This list goes beyond clubs and concert halls to include alternative venues like churches and galleries. However, I omitted most parks, playgrounds, and public spaces that were used by events like Summerthing or Boston Jazz Week. Too much work!

If anyone out there decides to compile an A-to-Z (Acton Jazz Cafe to Zeitgeist) list of Boston jazz venues covering the next 30 years, I’ll be happy to post it.

This is the most current information I have, but it is by no means complete, and I’m sure there are errors, too. My research cutoff is August 1988, when the 1369 Jazz Club closed, so some of the dates after that are best guesses. “No warranty expressed or implied.” Please leave a comment if you have a site to add, or if you spot something that needs fixing.

West End/North Station

Boston Visual Artists Union, late 1970s
Debbie’s, 1973-1974
Old West Church, early 1970s
Scotch ‘n Sirloin, 1973-1984
Stone Soup Gallery, mid 1970s

Faneuil Hall Marketplace to Summer St

Bay Tower Room, 1984-1992, maybe to 1998
Bette’s Rolls Royce, 1973-1980
Cafe Fleuri at Le Meridien Hotel, late 1980s
Chez Freddie, 1960-1967
Executive Suite, mid-1960s
Flower Garden, 1980s
Lily’s Cafe, 1983-1990
Limericks, 1988
Gallagher, 1977-1983
Gaslight aka XXI Gaslight, 1966-1967
Last Hurrah, Parker House Hotel, 1976 into the 1990s
Palm Court at Crickets, 1985-early 1990s
Sir Harry’s Lounge, 1980-1981
Studio Red Top Loft, 1978-1980

Downtown Crossing/Summer St to Kneeland St

The Channel, limited jazz dates in the 1980s
Friends of Great Black Music Jazz Loft, late 1970s
Gilded Cage, 1958-1965
Modern Theater, 1978-1980
Opera House (Savoy Theater), 1981-1991
Palace Bar, 1955-1965, then the Downtown Lounge to ~1970

Theatre District/Park Square

1-2-3 Lounge, 1953 to late 1960s
Backstreet, 1981
Bradford Hotel Grand Ballroom, concerts 1960s-1980s
Caribe Lounge, 1957 to ~1963, later a strip joint
The Cave, 1964-1966
Four Corners/Attic Lounge, mid/late 1960s
Number 3 Lounge, mid 1960s
The Other Side, late 1960s one night a week; later a gay bar
Park Plaza Hotel, mid 1980s big band dates
Playboy Club of Boston, 1965-1977
Playhouse Lounge & Cabaret, Charles Playhouse, mid 1970
Saxony Lounge, 1952-1965
Stuart Manor, mid-1950s to mid-1960s
Storyville (Ralph Snider’s), Hotel Bradford, 1960-1961
Tic Toc Lounge (third location), 1958-1964
Vagabond Cocktail Lounge, 1960s
Varty’s Jazz Room, Hotel Bradford, 1966

South End/Lower Roxbury

Ad for Sam Rivers at Shanty Lounge Nov 1962

Sam Rivers at the Shanty Lounge, Nov 1962. Saxe?

4-11 Lounge, late 1940s-1968
Basin Street South, 1961-1967 (Trinidad Lounge before that)
The Big M, 1956-1966 (the Savoy before that, 1943-1955)
Black Avant Garde Coffeehouse, 1970-1971
Estelle’s, 1964-1972
Handy Cafe, 1940s-1960s
Louie’s Lounge, 1948-1972; not much jazz in the 60s, but employed many jazz musicians
Lulu White’s, 1978-1981
Premier After Dark, 1986
Professional and Business Men’s Club, 1958-1964
Pioneer Club, late 1940s-1974; after hours
Shanty Lounge, 1961-1967
Slade’s (Bill Russell’s Slades), 1966
Tinkers, 1980-1982, occasionally to 1985
Union Methodist Church, 1966
Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 1986-2017; concerts of all kinds
Wally’s Cafe, 1947-present
Wigwam, late 1950s-early 1960s? (Eddie Levine’s before that, 1947-1958)

Roxbury/Dorchester/Jamaica Plain

Connolly’s (aka Stardust Room), 1957-1967; 1991-1998
Desert Lounge, early 1960s
Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts, 1973-1980
Flame Room, 1965-1966
Jamaica Plain Arts Center (aka Firehouse Arts Center), late 1980s
Pink Squirrel, Uphams Corner, 1971
Playhouse in the Park, Franklin Park, 1966-1973, summers
Savoy on the Hill, late 1950s-early 1960s
Strand Theater, occasional jazz dates from its 1979 reopening

Back Bay

Flyer for Luiz Henrique at My Apartment Lounge, Sept 1968

Luiz Henrique at the My Apartment Lounge, Sept 1968

Back Bay Theatre (Donnelly Memorial Theatre), 1959-1968
Berklee Performance Center, 1976-present
Church of the Covenant, 1973-1979
Copley’s Bar, Copley Plaza Hotel, 1973-1988
Darbury Room, 1948-1963; later The Point After
Emmanuel Church, 1969-1992; Jazz Celebrations series
Hatch Shell, Charles River Esplanade, 1960s-1990s
Hotel Eliot Lounge, 1948-1973, one-nighters to late ’70s
Hynes Auditorium, 900 Boylston St, 1966-1970 site of Boston Globe Jazz Festival
Inst of Contemporary Art, late 1980s and later
Jazz Workshop, 1963-1978
Jason’s, 1979-1982; Friday Jazz at Noon sessions
John Hancock Hall, jazz concerts 1949-1981
Lindy’s, early 1960s
Merry-Go-Round, Copley Plaza Hotel, 1970-1977
Montana’s, 1982-1987
Moulin Rouge, Hotel Vendome, 1952-1964
My Apartment Lounge, Hotel Vendome, 1965-1969
New England Life Hall, concerts 1945-1985
Paul’s Mall, 1964-1978
Plaza Bar, Copley Plaza Hotel, 1977-1996; later the Oak Room
Ritz Carlton Bar, 1980s
Satch’s Restaurant, 1979-1983
Satin Doll, Back Bay Hilton, 1983-1984
Sherry Lounge, Sherry Biltmore Hotel, 1955-1966
The Stable, 1953-1962
Studio Red Top Theater, 1980-1981
Top of the Hub, Prudential Center, 1965-2015
Turner Fisheries, Westin Hotel, 1984-1992
Zachary’s, Colonnade Hotel, 1973-1992

Fenway/Huntington Ave

Club Symphony, 1979-1980
Danceworks, 1983-1984
Danny’s Cafe, late 1950s-1964
Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, jazz concerts from 1947. Jazz concerts in Brown Hall from 1940.
Marie’s Keyboard, early 1960s
Michael’s Jazz Club, 1975-1981
Museum of Fine Art, concerts from mid 1980s
Northeastern University, Alumni Auditorium etc, concerts from mid 1970s
Studio 203, 1976-1984
Symphony Hall, concerts beginning with Paul Whiteman in 1925

Kenmore Square

Cafe Yana, 1960-1964
Kix, 1978, 1981Starlight Roof matchbox
Pooh’s Pub, 1975-1981
Rogue’s Lounge, Fenway Commonwealth Motor Hotel, 1968-1973
Safti’s New Orleans North, 1986-1989
Storyville (Ed Shamsi), Hotel Buckminster, 1981-82 and longer as a rock club; George Wein’s Storyville here 1951-1953.
Sonny Stanton’s Talk of the Town, 1971-1972
Starlight Roof, Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge, 1983-1986
Thru the Looking Glass, 1964-1965


Domino Lounge, Allston, 1961-1964
The Barn, Brookline, 1960-1964
Kismet Lounge, Hamilton House Hotel, Allston, 1965-1972
The One Gentleman and the Bolay Lounge, Allston, 1963-1964
Papillon Gourmet Cafe, Brookline, 1975-1985
The Paradise, Allston, occasional jazz dates 1977-1986
Starlight Lounge, Allston, 1960-1967
Scullers Jazz Club, Allston, 1989-present
Walter’s, Brookline, 1980-1989


Flyer for Claudio Roditi at 1369 Jazz Club

Claudio Roditi at the 1369, June 1986

1369 Jazz Club, 1976-1981; 1983-1988, also Springfields
Atrium Cafe, 1981-1985
Back Room at the Idler, 1975-1982; mainly folk, some acoustic jazz
Cambridge Community Performances aka Cambridge Custom Percussion, 1978-1982
Cambridge Public Library, 1982-1993 Sound of Jazz series
Cantares, late 1980s, Latin music and some jazz
Casablanca (Club Casablanca), early 1980s
Charlie’s Tap, 1984-1986, probably longer
Club 47, 1958-1968
Empire Room, 1970-72; later the Faces Disco
First Church Congregational, 1967-1992
Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, 1969-1972
Harvard University Sanders Theater
Hasty Pudding Theater, 1980-1983
Jake’s, 1976-1977
Joe’s Place, early 1970s
Jonathan Swift’s, 1977-1986
Joy of Movement Center, 1975-1985; mainly folk, some jazz
M.I.T. Kresge Auditorium, concerts from the 1950s
Lai Lai Restaurant, 1990
Middle East, 1988 into the 1990s
Nightstage, 1985 into the 1990s
Old Cambridge Baptist Church, 1983-1988
Oxford Ale House, 1974-1977
Pallysadoe Lounge, Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1977-1988
Performance Center, 1974-1975
Regattabar and Charles Ballroom, Charles Hotel, 1985–2020
Rise Club, 1977-1978
Royal Sonesta Hotel Lounge, 1985-1989
Ryles Jazz Club, 1976-2018
Speakeasy, 1976-1980
Springfield’s Jazz Club, 1981-1983, same location as 1369
Sunflower Cafe, 1978-1980
Tufts University Cohen Auditorium etc, very active 1980s
Turtle Cafe, 1983-1985
Western Front, 1970-1982; later mostly reggae
Willow Jazz Club, 1981-1997
Zircon, 1973-1975

East Boston

Brinkley’s Pub, Ramada Inn Logan Airport, 1978-1985
Hilton Lounge, Hilton Hotel at Logan Airport, 1982-1989, maybe longer
PJ Lounge at Lombardino’s, 1971-1980


Water Music’s JazzBoat, 1971-1988, maybe longer

More Jazz Inside I-495

My jazz map outside of Boston and Cambridge is spotty. The music was out there, although you needed a car to get to it. Here is a short list of venues located between Boston and I-495 active in the 60s-70s-80s.

North of Boston

Buddy’s Cafe, Revere, 1980-1990
Ebb Tide, Revere, 1960-1964; later the Beach Ball
Castle Hill, Ipswich, 1955-1988
Club Caravan, Revere ??
Fire Barn, Chelsea, late 1970s
Holiday Inn, Peabody; big-band dates 1971-1985
Lakeside, Topsfield, 1971-1974
Lennie’s-on-the-Turnpike, West Peabody, 1962-1972
Marblehead Unitarian-Universalist Church, summer jazz series 1985-2014
Romie’s Quarterdeck, Danvers, 1975-1988
Sandy Berman’s Jazz Revival, Beverly, 1973-1983
Stage Door Lounge, Lynn, early 1960s
The Surf, Revere, 1962-1966; later rock, then nude dancing
Town Line Lounge, Malden, early 1960s
Village Green, Danvers, 1965-1971
Wagon Wheels, West Peabody, big bands 1963-1964

West of Boston

Brandeis University, Waltham, mid 1950s onward
Chestnut Hill Mall, Rt 9 Newton, 1982-1995 and maybe later
Colonial Inn, Concord, 1980s-2020
Cottage Crest, Waltham, 1963-1970
DeCordova Museum, Lincoln; summer series from mid 1980s to mid 1990s
Duca’s, Rt 9 Framingham, 1980-1984
Ephriam’s, Sudbury, 1980-1989
Matrix, Natick, 1986-1987
Paris 26/Rick’s Cafe, Newtonville, 1985-1990
Piety Corner Gardens, Waltham, 1962-1972
Sticky Wicket, Hopkinton, 1971-1990
Stouffer’s Bedford Glen Hotel, Bedford, 1982-1986 maybe longer

South of Boston

Amaru’s, Dedham, 1972-1975
Beachcomber, Wollaston Beach Quincy, jazz one-nighters 1964-1973
Curry College, Milton, 1986-1993 Boston Jazz Society Annual Barbecue
Joseph’s, Braintree, 1963-1964
Great Woods Performance Center, Mansfield, mid/late 1980s, Great Woods Jazz & Blues Festival
Milton High School, South Shore Jazz Concert, 1959-1971
Moseley’s-on-the-Charles, Dedham; no jazz since the late 70s, but a shout out to a ballroom that kept dancing for 117 years, 1905-2022.
Showboat, Nantasket Beach, 1966
Westgate Lounge, Brockton, 1964-1968