When people think of jazz in Paris, rue des Lombards often comes to mind. But art and music is alive and kicking elsewhere in the city too. Where to go when you want to wander outside the comfort zone to hear and experience the unexpected? Here are our picks for some of the most exciting places, off the beaten path in Paris, to experience music and art. Let the magic of live performance transport you while rubbing shoulders with locals in the know.
Jazz might have been born in the States, but like many ex-pats, it’s found a second lease on life in Paris. If you’re looking to regain your joie de vivre head down to New Morning for an intimate night of live music at this venue known as the temple of jazz. Whether its jazz, reggae, rock or Cuban music, the world’s greats have passed through these doors including the likes of Chet Baker, Stan Getz, and even Dizzie Gillespie.
La Gare / Le Gore
If you love jazz, but it’s not the only thing for you, look no further than La Gare / Le Gore. Located in the hall of what was formerly Flandre station (a stone’s throw from La Villette) you’ll hear household names from the world of jazz, musicians in residence and students from the Paris Conservatoire. This spot transforms from a concert venue into a club at the stroke of midnight. Imagine if Cinderella’s pumpkin were a club. Here you can go from pensive listening to dancing the night away, forgetting who you are in the process.
Au Chat Noir
When we say “underground” venue, we mean it. Au Chat Noir looks like a traditional Parisian bar, but it’s the basement where the magic happens. It is here where you can listen to live music, poetry, and cabaret on any night of the week until 2 am. They even host open mic nights, so you can take the stage too. When in Rome… bon courage!
Le café de la plage
With concerts almost every night, Le café de la plage is another small Parisian bar with a basement concert venue. The drinks are inexpensive, the crowd is cool, and the space is intimate. It’s a beautiful marriage between a club and a cozy bar.
For a taste of multiple artistic disciplines all in one space, look no further than Point Éphémère. Billed as a “creative space,” and located on the banks of the Canal St. Martin, Point Éphémère is home to a concert hall, exhibition space, and rehearsal spaces. There is a lovely outdoor eating area overlooking the canal. Events feature everything from DJ sets, to soul rap and indie pop, release parties, and even experimental theater.
Halle Saint Pierre
Though it’s mostly known as a museum, and operates as such on a daily basis, Halle Saint Pierre also includes a listening room, gallery, bookstore, and cafe. Halle Saint Pierre’s permanent collection houses works by Max Fourney. The space often hosts events across various artistic disciplines. Montmartre is a stone’s throw away.
Another collaborative space, CENTQUATRE is a unique arts venue, in that it is also home to shops and restaurants. Intended to be a collaborative space, it hosts artist residences and productions. Their last season included music, dance, theater, visual and digital arts, and even some circus! Great for kids too as there are a host of children’s activities.
Park Avenue Pianos Music Salons
Yes, we’re talking salons like the ones Hemingway and Matisse would attend at Gertrude Stein’s. The roaring ’20s are back. Everything from well-known pianists trying their repertoire before a Carnegie Hall recital, to songwriters, premieres of new music, and poets share their work at Park Avenue Pianos Music Salons around the city. The location moves between different beautiful Parisian homes, and the list is invite-only. You can contact them here or at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to get on the list.
Le Bal Blomet
Le Bal Blomet it is the oldest jazz club in Europe. Part art cabaret and part jazz club, this venue plays host to a mixture of classical and jazz concerts, and assorted cultural events. However, it’s not just the music that takes the stage at Le Bal Blomet. This bar has a long history of attracting a famous audience – everyone from Albert Camus to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker, and Pablo Picasso. Come for the music, stay for the company.
Le Comptoire Général
A seafood bar and restaurant, Le Comptoire Général is a Parisian go-to for private events. If you aren’t lucky enough to find an invite, you’re still in luck. They’ve got a set of evolving exhibitions celebrating nature, as well as multiple spaces to enjoy brunch, dinner, and more.
At the very end of our list, and probably the most mysterious is the techno club, Carbone. The club opened in September 2022 and is a collaboration between Parisian event agencies Culture, Entourage Paris, and HAïKU. To keep it exclusive, visitors have to call Carbone’s phone number to find out the line-up. Photos are banned, and the capacity is always kept at 500. Don’t be shy – pick up your phone and dial +33 7 56 81 51 56.
New Morning – 7 & 9, rue des petites écuries, 75010 Paris
La Gare / Le Gore – 1 avenue Corentin-Cariou, 75019 Paris
Au Chat Noir – 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris
Le café de la plage – 59 rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris
Park Avenue Pianos Music Salons – 6 rue du Conservatoire, 75009 Paris
Point Éphémère – 200 quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris
Le CENTQUATRE – 5 rue Curial, 75019 Paris
Halle Saint Pierre – 2 rue Ronsard, 75018 Paris
Le Bal Blomet – 33 rue Blomet, 75015 Paris
Le Comptoire Général – 84 quai De Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
Carbone – 14 rue Philippe de Girard, 75010 Paris
- Read about Rue des Lombards, the Jazz Center of Paris.
- Explore La Villette, an amazing arts and foodie neighborhood.
- Discover performing arts in Paris with Fodors Travel Guide.
Written by Camille de Beus. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.