Chicago is famous for its blues music and can count many blues legends like; Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, and Howlin' Wolf, as current or former residents. Long before Chicago became a home to the blues it was world famous for its jazz. Legends like Louie Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton filled massive and extravagant halls. The days of jazz and blues dominating the music scene are long gone, but there are still many good places to go and see see live music. The following are some of the best and most assessable clubs downtown.
Blues Clubs in Chicago:
Blue Chicago- An old school blues bar in downtown Chicago. They have a solid roster of local acts. It is a tourist favorite so do not expect a lot of locals. It opens at 8:00, 7 days a week, and bands do not start playing until 9:00. Blue Chicago
Kingston Mines- The best party atmosphere of the blues clubs in Chicago. It is a short cab ride north of downtown. They have 2 stages, set in separate rooms, so there is always someone playing the blues. It is the best blues club for groups who want to have a good time. The cover is $10 on Saturday and Sunday and free all other days. Kingston Mines
B.L.U.E.S.- Across the street from Kingston Mines it has a smaller club feel. It is probably the most traditional blues bar in Chicago. It is our favorite place to spend a quiet evening listing to the blues. The music starts at 9:30. Blues
Buddy Guy's Legends- Owned by Chicago's biggest living Blue's legend it is the nicest of the blues clubs. It is also the most expensive, the cover is $10 except on Friday and Saturday when it is $20. Shows generally start at 9:30. It is located on the southern edge of downtown. Buddy Guy's Legends
Jazz Clubs in Chicago:
Jazz Showcase- It moved to a bigger new location and now brings in national acts. It lacks intimacy and the only reason to go there is to listen to the jazz.
Green Mill- An old school jazz club. It is so old school Al Capone used to go here. It is a fun place and the music is of a high quality. Green Mill Jazz
Andy's- Located in the heart of River North. The have a wide variety of acts and several bands play every night. The opening bands play at 5:00 so you do not have to stay up late to hear jazz. Andy's Jazz Club
Chicago Symphony Center- Okay is not a jazz bar but they have international renowned bands play there 10 times a year. It is a more formal and stayed affair but the music is usually great. The past has seen both of the Marsalis and many a jazz legend. Chicago Symphony