Where to hear live jazz, blues and soul music in Brisbane

If you’ve got Georgia on your mind and want to find your own brown-eyed girl, perhaps you’ll find her at one of Brisbane’s live music bars – specifically those with a little more soul...

Forget the cover band playing Wonderwall at your local pub, pass on the soundscape artist at the nearest gallery space, and don’t bother with underground indie band – it’s time to get your groove on and put those jazz hands to good use.

Brooklyn Standard, Brisbane City

With free live music seven nights a week, there is never a bad time to visit Brooklyn Standard. As the beers flow and the pretzel bowls empty, hit the dance floor to the funky tunes. Funk, soul, blues, jazz, swing – Brooklyn serves it all.

Tip: Sundays is dedicated to the blues. First Wednesday of each month is Jam Night. Find out what's on via its Facebook page.

Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Paddington

Lefty's Old Time Music Hall

We’re happy to admit we were wrong – when we first heard that the bar opening in an old gentleman’s club would play country music we didn’t expect it to become one of our best. Taking out Australian Gourmet Traveller’s Bar of Year gong, order a whisky and fresh apple juice (house speciality) and get your toes tapping.

Tip: Check out its Facebook page for the weekly lineup. 

Brisbane Jazz Club, Kangaroo Point

It’s perhaps our most underrated bar. This riverfront jazz club has million-dollar views of the CBD and serves up live jazz every week. Catch the free CityHopper ferry over from Eagle Street Pier and soak up the atmosphere from the deck with drinks at pub prices.

Tip: As Brisbane’s only dedicated jazz club, this place has all sorts of cool festivals and events running through it. Check its website for gig details and tickets.

Sonny’s House of Blues, Brisbane City

Sonny's House of Blues

If it’s the blues (and beyond) that get you in the mood, head to Sonny’s. Little sibling to Lefty’s, the underground laneway bar features a live music bill five nights a week and serves an American-inspired fast food menu. There is no cover charge.

Tip: Check its Facebook page for the line-up. The menu has different specials for days of the week.

The Bowery, Fortitude Valley

Wednesday night is jazz night at The Bowery. Slide into one of the wooden booths with a classic cocktail in hand and tap your foot or get up and dance to the sounds of Mal and the Hot 5 from 9pm. On Thursdays and Sundays the bar hosts live bands, with DJs spinning tracks on weekends.

Tip: Make this your after-dinner go-to bar.

The Press Club, Fortitude Valley

Press Club

Since 1998 The Press Club has been bringing its own brand of funk to Brisbane’s bar scene. Step through the doors and into the steampunk-esque cocktail bar for a wild night of live entertainment. Tuesdays are RNB, Wednesday is jazz night, Thursday is swing, and across the weekend it mixes it up.

Tip: Check the music line-up online. 

Cobbler, West End

This whisky bar in West End stocks more than 400 bottles of the spirit and features live jazz every Friday night from 8pm to midnight. Even better, keep it going on Saturdays when DJs spin funky old-school soul tracks.

Tip: It is staffed by one of the top 25 bartenders in the world – leave your drink choice to the professionals.

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