The sounds of smooth jazz reverberate throughout this brick-lined lounge, causing the light bulbs hanging by wires above the bar to sway ever so slightly. Don’t close your eyes while listening to the soulful music—you might miss out on any number of tasteful art deco accents.
Open until the sun rises at 5 a.m. on Saturdays, Kingston Mines isn’t as dark as its name suggests. The mood is decidedly lighthearted during the club’s renowned open jam sessions, when musicians hop onstage to test their chops alongside professional performers.
Just two blocks west of the Magnificent Mile’s trendy designer stores, Andy’s Jazz Club can seem a bit out of step with its surroundings. A neighborhood cornerstone since 1951, Andy’s stays true to its roots with old-fashioned dirty martinis and live jazz every day of the week.
This ‘40s-era venue has moved around Chicago a lot. Its travels have allowed it to stay in touch with the city’s music scene in the years since Dizzy Gillespie was a club attendee. In any event, the Showcase seems to be getting comfortable at its new location in the historic Dearborn Station building.
There’s an auto wrecker just across the street, but that’s no matter. The warm crunch of tube amplifiers drowns out the crunch of cars being flattened outside this rocking juke joint, which evokes plenty of nostalgia for the 1970s.
Katerina’s is as much a cultural center as it is a jazz club and cocktail lounge. The calendar of live music reads like a roll call at the United Nations, with Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Japanese, and Greek music styles all represented.
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