Prague Jazz Clubs
If you’re in Prague for a long weekend then the chances are you’ll be tempted to try a Jazz club. I do my best to describe the venues and their preferred genre of Jazz below. Some lean towards Blues or dixieland, others to swing and jazz-funk. All offer the chance to relax with a drink and listen to the music and most offer some kind of food.
I’ve put links in for venues where you can see event listings and you can buy tickets in advance etc. Under the program for each venue you’ll find photos of the performing band, click on the band name link for details of the band. In the venue “program” section, if you check the “upcoming events” lower down the page you can see when a specific band will be playing at that venue in the future.
DINNER EVENT – JAZZ CRUISE
The boat season starts on mid-February and then runs almost nightly until late October. This is a 2 and a half hour boat cruise with your choice of one of 4 menus accompanied by traditional jazz. If you like jazz and fancy a couple of hours on the river looking at the scenery then this could be for you. Book places below:
Prague Jazz Clubs – REDUTA
Reduta has been around for 50 years but largely became internationally popular post 1989 when it pulled in the big names after the Velvet Revolution and especially after Vaclav Havel became President. Located at Narodni Trida 20 (look for the big sign that says “Louvre” and the entry is underneath). When you get downstairs it’s worth checking your jacket into the cloakroom and getting a drink before you sit down. It’s a single basement room (red seating last time I was there) which is fixed so there is a cricked-neck danger after a while if you are on the side bench seating. Some people visit just to sit in the seat where President Clinton sat and there’s a plaque to tell you just where that is. Musically it’s a mix with a collection of Traditional, Contemporary and new bands (Reduta has a rep for giving a chance to new bands). You’re more likely to find “Big Band” and “Latin” jazz here. Very pleasant to get a meal at Cafe Louvre upstairs on the 1st floor before the club or the Reduta bar sells snacks.
Tip: Buy tickets via the Reduta Ticket Office online Below and you have the option for VIP Tickets which reserves you places in the best seats right by the stage.
Prague Jazz Clubs – AGHARTA
Agharta is located at Zelezna 16 just off the Old Town Square as you walk to the Estates Theatre. The entrance to the club is halfway along on the right through the big wooden arched doorway. This and Ungelt are probably the most famous of the Prague Jazz clubs in Prague. It’s a basement venue like most of this type of club but it has a beautiful high vaulted ceiling making the acoustics really good. The other thing I like is that all tables have an uninterrupted view of the large raised stage and they take orders for drinks from the table. Agharta attracts the biggest jazz names when in Prague so keep an eye on the listings.
Check Agharta program, band info and buy tickets
Prague Jazz Clubs – UNGELT
Jazz club Ungelt has something on almost nightly. The venue is a 1000 year old vaulted basement that is actually split into 2 vaulted areas. One is for the bar and tables for about 20 people. The other side is the music side with stage and the seating for @50 more or less on the same level as the band. It can get pretty warm here and many prefer the “close” atmosphere to a bigger club like Agharta etc. There’s a small balcony as seats are often reserved by regulars but if there are free seats going then it’s first come, first served. As the name suggests, Ungelt Jazz leans towards jazz/blues/funk i.e. the modern fusion end of the scene. I can’t ever remember “dixieland” being played here. So if you enjoy sax and solo blues guitar this will be your place.
Check Ungelt program, band info and buy tickets
Prague Jazz Clubs – BLUES SKLEP
Blues Sklep is located at Liliova 10. If coming from the Charles Bridge into the Old Town, take the first right which is Liliova and walk 75 metres when you will find the arched passageway on your left (Blues Sklep is mid-way down the passage on the right) has been around for more than 10 years and forms part of the regular jazz (Monday-Saturday) circuit in the city. Capacity is 65 people but they will be tightly packed. The venue once again is a vaulted cellar but its a long room with a shallow stage so the further back in the room you are you’ll still hear the music but you might not see the band. Emphasis here is on Blues/swing so lots of vocals and guitars. Sells Ferdinand beer and the spirits are very reasonably priced. It’s the favoured location for the local Czech band “Bluesberry”. You’ll find the area close to the bar doubles as a little dance floor.
Check the Blues Sklep program, band info and buy tickets
Prague Jazz Clubs – U MALEHO GLENA
The Jazz club U Maleho Glena (Little Glen’s) used to be a combined Jazz/Rock venue but they switched entirely to Jazz. Located at Karmelitska 23 in Mala Strana. The music room is downstairs and seats about 50 at separate small tables with bench seating along the walls. I prefer the single seats as the bench seating will give you a cricked neck after a while. There’s a very nice bar food menu upstairs so consider eating first and then going down to the club.
Check the U Maleho Glena program, band info and buy tickets
Prague Jazz Clubs – JAZZ DOCK
Have to warn you right now that this is not only a Jazz club and attracts a crowd wanting to try “alternative fusion” including folk, Latin, Gypsy and unclassifiable i.e. it pushes boundaries. Definitely check the listings for Jazz Dock. That said, it has many nights where they have jazz bands playing everything from Dixie to Blues and Swing. This is no basement bar. This is a floating boat moored on the Kampa side of the river at Janackovo nabrezi 2. It’s ultra modern, very chic and attracts a young smart crowd. On some nights it has a double performance i.e. first set is 1900-2200 and second group is 2200-0100.
Check the Jazz Dock program, band info and buy tickets