Thursday, April 2, 2015

Jazz Up Your Stay in Washington, D.C.

Jazz music might not immediately come to mind when you think of Washington, D.C., but it should. The district is Duke Ellington’s birthplace, and it's home to several world famous jazz clubs. To make the most out of your trip to Washington, D.C., immerse yourself in the spectacular sounds of live jazz at a local club or at one of the hotels in Washington, D.C. that hosts live jazz nights.

Photo by Jeff Dunlap via

Jazz Clubs

Blues Alley

Blues Alley has been around since 1965, and is still a hotspot today. Many famous jazz musicians have appeared at the club and some have recorded there, including Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis. Blues Alley has live shows almost every night of the year. The music and the supper club give you a true taste of jazz, especially when you order a menu item like Tony Bennett’s Shrimp & Artichoke Hearts or Eartha Kitt’s Catfish Po’ Boy.

Twins Jazz

Named one of DownBeat’s top 100 jazz clubs in the world, Twins Jazz derives its name from its Ethiopian twin sister owners, Kelly and Maize Tesfaye. The club has live music every night of the week and encourages local music students to participate in weekly jam sessions. Twins Jazz is the perfect place to listen to the cool sounds of jazz while dining on a delicious assortment of American, Ethiopian, and Caribbean cuisine.

Photo by Sarah via

HR-57 Center for the Preservation of Jazz & Blues

The center is named for House Resolution 57, which designated jazz "a rare and valuable national American treasure." Its mission is to educate people about jazz through lectures, music lessons, exhibits, and experiences. The club at HR-57 Center for the Preservation of Jazz & Blues offers weekly jam sessions for aspiring artists and weekend performances by local jazz musicians and touring artists.

Jazz Hotels

The Henley Park Hotel

The Blue Bar lounge at The Henley Park Hotel has live jazz shows Saturday nights from 7:30 to 10:30. The shows feature well-known local artists, and there is no cover charge, so you can enjoy live music right where you're staying without paying a dime. The lounge also serves several small plates, including yucca fries, calamari, and stuffed mushrooms. You will love the hotel, a beautifully restored Tudor building with exquisitely elegant rooms.

The Hotel George, a Kimpton Hotel

The Hotel George, a Kimpton Hotel has a complimentary wine hour in its lobby every evening. During the wine hour, not only do you get to sample some wonderful beverages, you also get to take in the sound of live jazz music played on the beautiful grand piano. In addition, the hotel is home to an award-winning restaurant where you might run into celebrities who often dine on the savory French cuisine. The rooms are sleek and modern, yet comfortable.

An encounter with the jazzy side of Washington, D.C. will provide an excellent soundtrack for a memorable trip.

This post was written as part of the #HipmunkCityLove project.

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