The jazziest cocktails Montreal has to offer

The city’s jazz tradition dates back decades to an era when giants like Gillespie, Ellington, Monk and Davis roamed the earth and stopped here while on tour. Their musical descendants are carrying on the tradition at a select group of jazz bars and suitably dodgy enclaves scattered throughout the city. You can enjoy a cocktail and take in classic and contemporary sounds at these local resto/bars and jazz holes.

Resonance Café

5185, av du parc, Montréal, QC H2V 4G4

Jazz and blues are on the musical menu at this spot in the Mile End. The local favourite, Kalmunity Jazz Project is known to frequent the stage regularly. The rotating schedule spotlights classical piano, jazz quartets and jazz improv groups on various nights of the week.

Jardin Nelson

407, Place Jacques-Cartier, Montréal, QC H2Y 3B1

What goes better with a crepe on the patio than live jazz? Enjoy the music outside, year-round in a protected courtyard in one of the most historic and romantic settings in North America. This is a place to impress visitors and your perfect excuse to revisit the old city.

Bar Bistro Bily Kun

354, av du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2T 1P9

The home for jazz on the Plateau, it’s famous for the ostrich head (you heard me) décor, attractive crowds and an Eastern European vibe that includes a good selection of Czech beers. The drink list features some offbeat, imported liquors and unique cocktails. There’s live music at least five days a week.

Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill

1254, rue MacKay, Montréal, QC H3G 2H4

The city’s prototypical jazz club has all the trappings, including an intimate room with subdued lighting, cozy seating and a well-stocked bar. You’ll be up close to the performers; mainly first-class local acts covering every aspect of the genre from balladry to bar room blues.

Bistro Le Modavie

1, rue Saint-Paul O, Montréal, QC H2Y 1Y6

There’s live music seven nights a week in this romantic setting in the Old Port. Drink, dine and listen to small, local combos featuring a vocalist and instrumentalist, Sunday to Thursday on the main floor. Horns roar on the top floor when big bands invade on Fridays and Saturdays.

Bistro A Jojo

1627, rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3K3

We’re taking liberties by including a blues bar on the list, but only a purist would object. The line between blues and jazz has been crossed and re-crossed by the world’s best-known musicians since the first recording needle touched wax. Listen for jazz in the blues – it’s there somewhere.

Diese Onze

4115A, Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2W 2M7

Such contemporary stars as Steve Kuhn, Steve Swallow and Joey Baron have headlined here, filling the tiny venue with keen fans that don’t mind the tight quarters. Catch a jam session during the week, or established local and touring artists on weekends while enjoying a cocktail and the tapas menu.

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