New York Jazz Lovers Find a Cozy Hideaway at The Django

Jazz is a wholly American creation, but it imported well to Europe over the decades. Throughout the cities filling that continent, everything from pubs and taverns to stables to crypts became intimate jazz clubs where devotees could eat and drink in close proximity to the musicians.

A re-creation of that classic jazz vibe is alive and well in Manhattan  The Django at New York’s freshly remodeled Roxy Hotel. And, we do mean “freshly,” as the floor-by-floor redevelopment is underway as we speak and will continue for a few weeks.

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The Django craved out a small hall in the guts of the new Roxy and created a cozy, warmly lit and intimate performance space dedicated to jazz performers. Please, let’s not call it a Speakeasy. That’s a thoroughly worn out term thrown around for any smaller space offering original mixology and artisans food. This is a jazz club, and the music comes first. 

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On my visit, the jazz stuck to the classical style and shied away from the modern interpretational style. No, we’re not talking about Dixieland out of the soundtrack of a 70s Woody Allen movie. It was the smooth, improvisational and flowing blend of the 50s and 60s.

While the space isn’t necessarily a spot for a musical dinner with its smaller appetizer or Tapas style plates, The Django is a perfect stop for later in the evening — perhaps for the after-theater or concert crowds. You’ll find the complete barrage of traditional cocktails and a strong wine collection, alongside a shifting menu of original drinks.

As a credit to its rising New York “cred” rating, The Django is already a popular destination for Tribeca locals. So, before visiting, perhaps check with staff to make sure the club isn’t locked up with a private event. Even in such cases, the venue usually reopens later in the evening for its cooler walk in patrons.