Jazz Scene in the Capital: From 19th Century, New Orleans to Zagreb Today
If you are reading this blog, you probably already know something about jazz, so there's no point in writing about its origin and how influential it was for the evolution of music and what it has become today. We live in a time where EDM and hip-hop have taken over the majority of the clubbing scene everywhere on the globe. However, there's still a lot of jazz to be listened to in Zagreb. This blog deals with that question - where to listen to good, old jazz music in the capital of Croatia?
My friend once said that people who like jazz don't just listen to it, they live it. That's why it's somewhat important for the jazz music places to have a nice setting and interior so that the jazz listening experience could be complete. There is a growing number of places in Zagreb where you can listen to jazz. Among places like Golf Caffe, Jazz & Cabaret Kontesa, Caffe Zrinski, Vinyl bar, Sax Klub Hrvatskih Glazbenika, Vintage Industrial Bar and even restaurant Fidel Gastro, it was really hard to pick just four places to write about because they offer really good jazz music. However, these next couple of places are the top spots for me in Zagreb that I would recommend for every jazz music fan out there.
Harmica Jazz Pub
Its rustical location in the Zagreb centre attracts local jazz music fans as well as those who come here while visiting Zagreb. It's a pretty cool pub with an array of beers and wines in their offer. It's the only place so close to the centre where you can listen to live jazz performances every day, so coming in there, you know exactly what to expect. While it's a bit more expensive than the standard bar, you can also pay your drinks with credit cards, and the live music certainly makes up for it. Harmica works until 1 a.m. on the weekdays and an hour longer during the weekend. The best thing for some is that they can have a bite of authentic Croatian food from a nearby restaurant, Miseria Nobile. One could say that it's a place that is yet to shine in all its glow, but it's definitely worth checking out. The great atmosphere will win you over, and you'll soon be seeing yourself coming back for more.
Foto Credit: Iva Ricov/Boogie klub
Just 3 minutes walk from Harmica, a new jazz club recently opened its doors for jazz-loving visitors. With its four nights a week programme, it is certainly strong competition to Harmica. While performers playing there are mainly domestic, Boogie sometimes offers performances of foreign artists. Sometimes, you can even listen to some genres similar to jazz, for example, Latin, soul, and funk. Weekends at Boogie will make you stay there until the early morning hours because, after live performances, you can keep on enjoying jazz music played by the DJ. The very special thing about it is that you can enjoy the jazz experience in the way that you find most suitable for you because there's a bar on the ground floor, the upper floor is a lounge and for the ones who like to dance to jazz music, there's a basement beneath the bar where there's a club. The basement hasn't favoured the two previous clubs that were in the same location, but something gives me the hunch that won't be the case with the Boogie klub.
Image Credit: Iva Ricov/Boogie klub
Bacchus Jazz Bar
This jazz bar is named after the god of wine and wine-making. What else is there that needs to be said? Its location is also very accessible because it's situated just a couple of meters from Zagreb's main railroad terminal. Besides jazz, on Wednesdays, you can also enjoy some poetry. But the most unbelievable thing about Bacchus for me is its terrace that offers the most special atmosphere because it looks like you crossed through a dimension and went somewhere on the Mediterranean. Live jazz performances in Bacchus are taking place on Fridays and are hosting some of the best jazz musicians from Croatia and wider. Visitors of Bacchus can enjoy a lot of good conversation and some wine at very affordable prices.
Image Credit: Duje Oman/ Bacchus Jazz Bar
Kulturni Centar Mesnička
The last but not the least on this short but jazzy list is a completely new jazz spot in town. On Mesnička Street, at the place where there was once a restaurant that was run by the Tuđman family. Today it's a cool place where you can take a book off the shelf and read it with a cup of coffee or tea in hand. Alongside that, there is also a small art gallery in its 200 hundred square meters of room. The jazz itself takes place in the basement, so the atmosphere is just right. Kulturni Centar Mesnička is a project of three friends, Borko Rupena, Zoran Drlić and Tihomir Mrši, who are musicians, as well. Borko is a political scientist and a jazz drummer, Tihomir is a computer expert, mathematician and a journalist and Zoran is a bass player involved with a family farming business. Certainly, a solid base for a cultural centre of real quality.
So there you have it, these are some of the best jazz spots in Zagreb. Whether you are a jazz fan or you are going to become one, there is no doubt, there is certainly a good amount of places for you to pursue your love towards jazz music.
Header Image Credit: Iva Ricov/Boogie Klub
Author: Tibor Trupec