St. Paul >Bars & Clubs > Artists' Quarter
408 St Peter St, St Paul, MN | Directions 5510144.946349 -93.096657
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Core
Greatest Jazz Spot in the 13-county Twin Cities Metro – By far the best. They get the biggest names in the industry from London and Africa (Congolese drummers!). Obviously local talent is showcased as well.
Drinks are cheap and strong. At the door, Davis is the coolest guy you'll ever see doing Sudoku religiously. at the bar, Davey is the coolest guy who will ever pour you drinks.
The atmosphere is lively yet calm, dim but brilliant. Candlelight casts just enough luminosity on the unbelievable collection of jazz artwork adorning the walls.
Tuesday night (AQuesday) is Hammond B3 Organ night and oh my god is it just delightful. Say what's up to my main guys Downtown Bill Brown, Bill Franzy, and Kenny Horst. Billy Holloman used to grace patrons with his divine presence before he opted for a more temperate climate.
Best jazz club in the midwest outside Chicago. Hands down. Go. Now.
Cozy space with great live music – I am a regular here because they are everything a jazz club should be - dark, subterranean,and serious about serving up great music (and drinks) at a reasonable price . Mondays they have jazz at 7:30 and open mic at 9 - Tuesdays though Saturday nights @ 9 they feature solid, veteran jazz musicians who know their stuff. Great local bands like the Phil Hey Quartet, How Birds Work and the Pete Whitman X-tet (whose CD got a four star rating in Downbeat) play there monthly. Also there are regular visits from touring jazz greats like Eric Alexander, Mose Allison, Matt Wilson, Lew Tabackin, Jim Rotondi, and the great Roy Haynes who recorded his Grammy nominated CD there. I have also been to dozens of Jazz clubs worldwide, and the AQ is my favorite.
It's in Minnesota ...Suppose one shouldn't expect much. – Back in the day Tuesdays at the artist quarter was happening...even at the previous 2 locations..there was a mixture of musicians and people, the night was headed by a killer hammond player named Billy Holloman. Those days seem to be over at the AQ. Every blue moon you might catch a good act i.e. Kenny Garret's band stuck their heads in for a few tunes after a Mears Park gig..heavy! Maybe? you'll catch a bad ass local cat, but the usual is pretentious college kids playing real book stuff...not so heavy. Doesn't compare to other Jazz clubs around the world or in the states and yes...I've been to them all many times over!
Good Place to Hear Jazz – A very low key place in the basement but has a good atmosphere. Friendly staff.
Don't go there if you want to talk rather than listen to the music..... please
Best Jazz club in the twin cities – Some of the best jazz acts in the world along with some local favorites play this old haunt on a regular basis. Dave the bartender is always fun to chat with and sometimes will cut you a deal. Much more relaxing than other jazz places in the twin cities. Do yourself a favor and check out this world renowned hot jazz spot.
Magical. – I frequented this place in college while taking a Jazz History course and I continue to do so to this day. I took my soon to be wife here on our first "official" date. It was absolutely spectacular! From the doorman - not just any doorman - but a a very kind elderly gentleman you could tell had stories to tell, to the friendly bartender, everything was great! Now things may not be as perfect every night as they were on that night but they never fail to come close.
Almost every seat in the house has a view of the stage, and that to me is important. Lit candles on top of all white tablecloths scattered about provide the lighting. Prices are very reasonable. The music is the stuff of legends. The crowd at the Artist's Quarter is noteworthy - professional, articulate, cultured, and most importantly, brought together by the live music played their nightly, sometimes you almost get the sense you know everyone there.
I believe this is one of the best date spots in all of St. Paul. Check it their website before you go to find who's playing.
The classy little subterranean jazz club in downtown St. Paul's cultural epicenter. – In Short
This popular dark club is reminiscent of New York's Village Vanguard, lined with black velvet curtains, European jazz posters and photos of local legends. The large open space gives way for easy sightlines in crowds and offers first-rate acoustics. This is an instrumentalists' chapel, where small ensembles provides the liturgy. Generations of jazz fans meet here, from elders who caught Ellington his last time through to the young players injecting life into the local scene.
Great bang for your Buck (or 2 or 3) – This place is unique. From it's small, almost hidden tucked away entrance to the diverse crowd it almost aways attracts. Within it's walls however, there are stories and talent enough to go around. What is the best spot for real jazz in St. Paul, and gives the Dakota and other jazz homes a run for their money, this has all the look and feel of a New York or Chicago club. I must admit, I have never had an off night at AQ yet. Weither your looking to impress a date, try something new, or sit back and relax, Tuesday night's where it's at. There weekend features are definately worth the spending the big (read $10) bucks. I can't speak for the others because I haven't been, but when I do, I'll be sure to let you know!
Perfect Night – This is the place be, the live jazz is brilliant and the ambiance is quixotic and stylish. The admission is bargain basement priced as well as the drinks. Great for an after dinner bottle of wine and some smooth jazz, great place to impress your date.
Cool jazz, fine wine – The Artists' Quarter is a great place to catch top-notch local and national jazz acts, and its new location makes it easy to add to a night on the town.
Their extensive new wine list should please most guests and I've received decent service every time I've been there.
Two favorites - Ben Sidran & Irv Williams
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