Bebopping around Madison’s jazz joints

There are a plethora of places to hear good tunes.

The interior of Lola's, featuring people eating food in front of a wall of jazz albums.jpeg

Lola’s Hi/Lo Lounge plays jazz regularly. | Photo via Lola’s Hi/Lo Lounge (Nicole Hansen)

The legendary trumpet player played in Madison on a couple of occasions, making him one of the many jazz legends, and legends yet-to-be, to play on stages all around the 608.

From “Morning” to “‘Round Midnight,” here are some places to catch jazz in Madison.


Cafe CODA, 1224 Williamson St.
One of the premiere locations in Dane County for jazz, the cafe’s calendar is always full. Owner Hanah Jon Taylor is an internationally known saxophonist and flutist.

Cider Farm, 8216 Watts Rd.
The cidery frequently has live jazz playing in its tasting room on Sundays.

Hamel Music Center, 740 University Ave.
UW-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music has a wide variety of jazz ensembles that regularly perform, often for free, at the Hamel Music Center.

Lola’s Hi/Lo Lounge, 617 N. Sherman Ave.
The vinyl bar’s DJs play jazz regularly, spinning classics from the likes of Herbie Hancock and Billie Holiday.

North Street Cabaret, 610 North St.
Dedicated to roots music, the venue presents a wide variety of musical traditions.

Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St.
Jazz greats grace the Overture stage regularly. Delfeayo Marsalis (of the iconic Marsalis family of jazz musicians) played with his Uptown Jazz Orchestra not long ago.

Three jazz musicians play on a small stage (one on keyboards, one on bass, one on drums).jpeg

Cafe CODA is one of the preeminent places in the 608 that celebrates jazz in all its forms. | Photo via Cafe CODA


Madison Jazz Festival, June, various locations
2023’s event included The Bad Plus, Miguel Zenon, and Ranky Tanky, among others. The performers for this year’s festival have yet to be announced.

La Fête De Marquette, Thursday, July 11-Sunday, July 14, McPike Park
The French-themed festival brings a lot of NOLA to the 608, including jazz, zydeco, and more. 2024 headliners include the Low Down Brass Band and Cimafunk.

Jazz at Five, Wednesday, Aug. 7-Wednesday, Sept. 4, Corner of State Street and Capitol Square
Celebrating 31 years in 2024, the festival will bring jazz on State Street near the Square every Wednesday night.

For more information about jazz happenings in Madison, visit the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium.