Oakland and East Bay Bars and Clubs - Oakland Blues and Jazz Clubs

A trip to Oakland just wouldn't be complete without a visit to one of the city's jazz clubs. Oakland is the West Coast's home of blues and jazz, and the best way to experience this is to check out some of the East Bay's premier live music clubs. Oakland has several jazz festivals throughout the year, including the Art & Soul Festival and the Montclair Jazz & Wine Festival, but Oakland's live jazz clubs offer incredible music every day of the year. These local venues feature both nationally recognized jazz musicians and local Bay Area acts. In addition to having some of the best music in the country, many Oakland jazz and blues clubs serve up delicious cuisine, making them ideal for dinner and a show. With the smooth sounds of jazz in the background, a night out with a date or a group of friends will be one to remember.
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510 Embarcadero West, Oakland, California; Tel. 510.238.9200
An Oakland institution for over twenty-five years, Yoshi's Jazz Club regularly features world class talent from both nationally recognized jazz legends and local live music acts. The sounds and sights are the best you're going to find in Oakland, or for that matter in all of Northern California, and the soulful jazz sounds are magnificent from the state of the art speaker system. And as a nice juxtaposition, Yoshi's also houses a fine Japanese restaurant focusing on favorites like sushi and sashimi; but get there early if you want to enjoy dinner and a show, because this joint gets packed. Yoshi's Jazz Club is, quite simply, a landmark establishment and an Oakland must.

The 5th Amendment

3255 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, California; Tel. 510.832.3242
Oakland singles with a live music bent head to the 5th Amendment to score, but even if love isn't in the cards for you, the thumping, rollicking jazz, blues and R&B from various local acts will get your body moving nonetheless. An Oakland institution for live music, the 5th Amendmant is often standing-room only on the weekends, but the wall-to-wall crowds enhance the flavor and create an intimate "you know me, I know you " atmosphere, even if it does take a little longer to get a drink. Despite its meat market reputation, this club has more kitschy cool than any of your overpriced, cookie cutter clubs; you'll have a better time and hear the best live jazz in the East Bay.


1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, California; Tel. 510.525.5054
Ashkenaz is an all-ages dance venue for live music, and beer and wine are offered if you need that drink in order to lubricate your social wheels or get some liquid courage. However, once you hear the slamming beats from some of the Bay Area's and the world's best eclectic artists, drinks will seem superfluous. The live music is as diverse as the crowd, and the dance floor at Ashkenaz is packed with people gyrating to the music with seriously positive vibes.

Club Anton

428 3rd Street, Oakland, California; Tel. 510.463.0165
Club Anton is the chicest Latin Jazz club in Oakland whose live music choices pop as much as their décor, too often you see clubs go for style over substance, but not so with Club Anton. The musical guests are deeply rooted in the Latin vein, but do spread across into hip-hop and reggae especially when there's a DJ. Seriously if you're looking for one of the best places in Oakland for a fiery Latin dance party, Club Anton has got your back every weekend.

The Serenader

504 Lake Park Ave., Oakland, California; Tel. 510.832.2644
If you love the blues and aren't claustrophobic, head over to the The Serenader, Oakland's best party spot. This live music club is tiny and always full, but everyone is riding a phenomenal feel good vibe that doesn't end even at 2am. At The Serenader, the bands cook better than Iron Chefs, the drinks are reasonable and strong, and there's a patio out back if you need a breather—but with local Oakland blues blasting away, why would you? As a live music venue this is certainly the most hip, happening blues club around.

Paragon Bar and Cafe

41 Tunnel Rd., Berkeley, California; Tel. 510.843.3000
Paragon is a chic lounge that caters to the sophisticated set of Berkeley locals and out-of-towners, offering up soulful jazz acts four nights a week. You can sink yourself into one of many sumptuous leather couches or kick your swanky self back on the patio with its commanding view of the Bay. The libation selection is extensive and Paragon compliments its traditional cocktails with some choice house selections. Also, appetizers and dinner are offered, which are nothing short of delicious. Paragon does get crowded, but it's not your run of the mill bar throng; it's beautiful people.

Mingles Martini and Champagne Lounge

370 Embarcadero, Oakland, California; Tel. 510.835.3900
Patrons dressed to the nines queue up for a well-rounded evening at Mingles Martini and Champagne Lounge. Entertainment spans from standup comedy acts, to live underground jazz, to a thumpin' DJ that really gets the dance crowds moving. Mingles is upscale and hip, but without the elitism you'd expect from similar crowds at other clubs. We can't emphasize this enough, however: come dressed to impress and bone up on your jazz knowledge, or else you're not going to get much play, playa.

Kimballs East

6005 Shellmound St., Emeryville, California; Tel. 510.658.2555
Kimballs East has to be one of the top ten date destinations in the East Bay, they get phenomenal live music that's usually jazz or R&B, and the cuisine is of the fresh California variety. The service at Kimballs is always outstanding perfectly complimenting the drinks and food. So, impress your next date with a night out for some good food and hot live music; you'll prove yourself to be more sophisticated than they previously thought.
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