Given a passing thought, one may not equate jazz to Spain, but it’s an amazingly popular music choice there, and Valencia offers some of the best venues in which to hear it. If you are a jazz aficionado, and you find yourself wandering the streets of Valencia looking for something to while away the hours, you owe yourself a stop at one of the many jazz joints the city has to offer. They’re all worth checking into and some even serve appetizers in addition to drinks.
The Black Note is a very popular club often used a layover of sorts for visiting jazz bands on world tour. American, African, and European troupes all settle in to play some sets and exchange ideas. The atmosphere is laid-back and friendly, with a wide variety of audience participates. Jazz is not all that finds its way here, but a good mix of blues, R&B, indie rock, soul, and even Cabaret are offered in case you desire a sampling of other styles.
For more discerning tastes or mature crowds, there is the El Loco Club at 12 Erudito Orellana in Juan Llorens assembles a huge number of events, of all kinds, with jazz being but one of them. Do check the programs before arriving, so whatever is playing is not a surprise. The club itself is large, with a big dance floor and eclectic crowd. Dress is anything goes, but this tends not to be a very young adult hangout and better left for those with a wide appreciation of music.
Jimmy Glass Jazz Bar, located at Baja, 28 in Carmen, is owned and run by a jazz lover, and it shows in the dark, smoky atmosphere of the club, walls adorned with interesting photos, a wide choice of coffees and spirits, and the obligatory pool table. Fine jazz is piped through at all times, and bi-weekly it becomes a haven for live jazz, which starts at 9:30 p.m., fairly early for the Spanish crowd.
Most Spanish venues offer more than one choice of musical stylings and Café Mercedes Jazz is no exception. While jazz is in the name, it also samples everything from chamber music to Flamenco. The atmosphere is fantastic, too, and conducive to relaxation or just ‘chilling out’. The bar is also varied and holds as many kinds of refreshments as the joint does music, from cocktails to coffee.
Across the road from the Municipal Baths in Calle Alta at Dr Chiarri 8 El Carmen, resides the club So What!, offering many different choices in music, but featuring jazz and a fun, funky interior. This venue draws a large, mixed crowd from around the world. It’s a friendly bar with lively shows and a packed program of something for everyone.
Valencia loves its jazz and has a lot of options at its disposal. If you’re a musician looking for a place to jam, Café Mercedes Jazz offers open sessions, among other venues. Just ask around and be ready to play. More importantly, be ready to enjoy!