Header image courtesy of Hong Kong Fringe Club
Originally published by Sophie Pettit. Updated by Gabrielle Caselis.
We can all agree that music is a universal language, so wherever you are in the spectrum of music consumption—barely, leisurely, or passionately—there’s just something about live music that hits different. Whether you are a long-time lover of jazz or a total newbie, our city is overflowing with live music venues that are guaranteed to get your toes tapping. For a different kind of night out, these live jazz bars in Hong Kong are the ones you must visit.
Believe it or not, Ned Kelly’s Last Stand has been around since 1972—it’s almost 50 years old, but age only adds to the jazz bar’s unique patina. Its legacy is built upon experienced jazz musicians who know how to entertain and keep the crowd going—the old-school showmen way, of course.
Piano man Larry Allen passed the torch to Colin Aitchison and the China Coast Jazzmen, who know how to keep up with Charlie Parker’s fast tempo tunes and the genius of Duke Ellington. A visit to Ned Kelly’s will bring you back to the good old days of big band jazz music, and accompanying the live music played is their selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. No better way to liven up the night than with a little social lubricant!
Music is available every night from 9.30 pm to 1 am.
Ned Kelly’s Last Stand, 11A Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2376 0562
Located on bustling Peel Street—alongside other regularly visited nightlife spots—is Peel Fresco. Pull up a cushioned lounge stool and catch live jazz at its finest in this cosy hangout, which boasts a rotating list of guest musicians (be sure to catch regulars Wong Way Down). With performers lined up most nights, you will end up enjoying an evening of solid, no-fuss-whatsoever live music—check the public Facebook group to find out the latest schedule.
Peel Fresco, 49 Peel Street, Central | (+852) 2540 2046
If you like a touch of mystery with your jazz, then Foxglove is the spot for you. Hidden behind the façade of the Fox Shop umbrella boutique on Duddell Street, this hidden gem boasts some of the most impressive décors we have seen in Hong Kong, not to mention a roster of top-quality live jazz bands several nights a week.
Inspired by the globe-trotting adventures of a fictitious English gentleman called Mr Minza, who created the place to win the heart of his beloved (and named it after her favourite flower), this cinematic entertainment and dining venue transports you back to the golden age of cocktails and jazz, set inside a glamorous interior inspired by a first-class luxury liner from the 1950s—the perfect place to kick back with a martini and marvel at times gone by.
Foxglove, 2/F, Printing House, 6 Duddell Street, Central | (+852) 2116 8949
You can always count on our favourite creative venue to whip up some quality jazz. Although the live music schedule is irregular, there is always an event on the horizon at this arty landmark. From big band to jazz and blues and jazz fusion, the choices are endless and feature the best of Hong Kong’s local musicians. Keep yourself in the know for the Fringe Club’s next jazz show and check their live music calendar for the latest updates.
Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central | (+852) 2521 7251
A barbershop by day, a jazz club by night—Hong Kong sure knows how to work hard and play hard. After local hairdresser Benky Chan has put away his styling scissors and swept the floor after a busy day serving customers, he’s ready to get the party started. Watch him transform his barbershop into a hip jazz joint as he invites guests to enjoy gipsy jazz and Latin blues. With a “donate to the musicians” concept in place, this intimate setting is the perfect place to kick back and relax while enjoying the tunes of up-and-coming talents. Visage One can squeeze up to 30 people, so get in there quick—Chan might even treat you to a drink from his minibar!
Visage One, LG/F, Po Lung Building, 93 Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2523 8988
If you are feeling especially quirky, Salon Number 10 will match—and possibly surpass—that energy. A restaurant and bar along Arbuthnot Road, it serves exquisite French food and eccentric décor that channels a mid-century modern aesthetic. Entering the restaurant and taking in the maximalist style of the space for the first time, you will be drawn into a new world of colours and patterns. What better way to complement this wonderful sensory experience than with music? Jazz musicians and singers are on rotation so it’ll feel like something new every time you visit.
Salon Number 10, 10 Arbuthnot Road, Central | (+852) 2801 6768
Silencio does two things exceptionally well—Japanese izakaya fare and jazz music. While the kitchen is helmed by executive chef Sato Kiyoshi, the dance floor is dominated by some of Hong Kong’s best jazz musicians, who will no doubt make you shimmy in your seat. Melodic and instrumental accompaniment elevates the dining experience to one that appeals to all of your senses, from the visual impact of the Tomoo Gokita-led restaurant interiors and the gustatory excellence of expertly prepared plates to the auditory fulfilment of thoughtful live music.
Silencio, 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central | (+852) 2480 6569
Cue the background music. You enter the mystical and enchanted world that is Iron Fairies; you are seated and served an elegant cocktail with a whimsical name; you look up and take in the intricately designed light installation that dangles from the ceiling—and that’s just the beginning of your bewitching night here. Every night of the week, musicians of different genres—from post-bop jazz to R&B and reggae—step up on stage and bring the house down. Live life with a drink in hand and beautiful music serenading you.
Iron Fairies, LG/F, Chinachem Hollywood Centre, 1–13 Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2603 6992