The Leeds jazz scene is always amazing with an ever-changing list of venues and bands. Jazz clubs pop up (and some unfortunately pop down again) so frequently it is hard to keep up. The best places are often out of town but there are encouraging signs of more jazz in the city centre too. So here’s (some) of what’s happening – why not visit them all! Twenty clubs to get you started on the Leeds jazz trail (in alphabetical order…)

Café Lento Headingley weekly jazz Fridays

Such a small place you need to get there early to get a seat but when you do the atmosphere is brilliant. The owner Richard Lindley is incredibly enthusiastic. Jazz, latin, funk, gypsy jazz, with mostly young bands from Leeds but also featuring visitors from as far away as Glasgow and London.

Cucina in Morley 

Live Jazz every 2 weeks (alternates with Poker!).  Ticket prices start at £7.50 plus 25% off your food bill on the night. Mainstream, singers, and more traditional jazz.

Domino Club Leeds City Centre Grand Arcade – jazz blues and soul every Wednesday – Sundays.

An underground bar with live jazz, blues, funk and soul serving smart drinks. Entrance just behind Lord’s Barbering in The Grand Arcade Leeds then down the stairs into the nightclub. Young crowd, very hip. Thursday and Fridays very busy. Not just another themed jazz bar it has good live music too

Head of Steam Leeds City Centre, Mill Hill

Every Sunday evening popular saxman and sometime singer Brendan Duffy has a residency at the Head of Steam, near the main railway station with different singers and guest players. Friendly and a bit quirky. 7.30pm start

Howard Assembly Room City Centre Grand Theatre New Briggate

Lovely acoustic room in the building the houses the Leeds Grand Theatre. Big touring jazz names and visiting groups Curated by Jo Nockels from Opera North

Hyde Park Book Club Hyde Park Headingley Lane.

Weekly jazz on Thursdays. The former petrol station has been converted into a bar and Arts Centre with all sorts of dance and art/craft events. Young bands from Leeds, Manchester or London who play the first set 8-9pm followed by a jazz jam till 11. Good acoustics despite the DIY look of the room. Curated by jazz pianist Alex Podraza

Jazz at Heart Headingley.

Based at Heart – a community arts centre housed in the formed Bennett Road school. Monthly jazz on Saturdays from 8pm with Leeds and UK contemporary jazz bands in the main concert room, jam session on first Friday of each month in the bar and regular Monday workshops on to learn how to play jazz. Curated by jazz trumpet player Lesley Jeffries. Some jazz now also happening on Tuesday evenings.

Jazz at the Spa, Boston Spa Leeds Saturdays –

One of the best traditional and mainstream jazz clubs in Yorkshire run by Les Brown and the team at Boston Spa Community Centre. Incredibly enthusiastic audience who bring their own food and drink, set the place up and clear up afterwards.

Inkwell and Seven Arts – Chapel Allerton Leeds

JazzLeeds promote evening gigs fortnightly on Thursdays at Seven Arts with international jazz names and Sunday afternoon gigs for regional bands alternating at Inkwell and Seven Arts. Also run an education programme with jazz workshops, a jazz choir, a Rush Hour jazz gigs monthly at Seven Arts, and Inkwell Divas singers gigs monthly at Inkwell on Saturday afternoons. Yjey run not one but two jazz festivals in Leeds – the Village Jazz festival in Chapel Allerton in September and the Jazz Leeds Festival in Leeds City Centre in July. Jazz Organiser Steve Crocker with an enthusiastic group of volunteers.

Leeds College of Music, City Centre St Peters Square Quarry Hill – a wide-ranging programme including concerts, workshops, FE, outreach and degree level

LS6 Jazz club, Hyde Park Headingley Lane. Wednesdays – young and very hip, good hangout for all the latest Leeds bands and visiting band who play 8-9pm followed by the biggest jam session in town till 11pm. Gets very busy during college term time. Run by saxman Jack Wilson.

Leeds Jazz Club Armley -Tuesdays. Leeds oldest continuing jazz club started in the 1960’s by John Wall, now organised by Malcolm Ford – a traditional jazz haven. Their current home is Armley Conservative Club Theaker Lane. More recently has attracted some of the younger swing dancers and jump jive bands

Nation of Shopkeepers 27 – 37 Cookridge Street Leeds. – Monthly jazz gigs free, usually Thursday evenings

Sela Bar  New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU -historic jazz venue – used to be the legendary Studio 20 club – a place for organ jazz specialists (they have their own Hammond…) young bands and student groups. 

Soft Pedal Cardigan Arms on Kirkstall Road every Sunday music starts 5pm – free. Food until late . Run by Tom Sharp

Undercurrent – White Swan City Centre LS1 63G next to the City Varieties in Leeds Centre. Monthly term-time concert curated by Jami Sheriff from leeds College of Music 8-11pm First Tuesday in the month Lots of great musicians coming to play – free entry.

Union Coffee House Mabgate  51 Great George St, Leeds LS1 3BB  next to the LGI. Jazz for dancing – Friday nights 

Wardrobe City Centre – St Peters Square Quarry Hill Jazz Soul and Funk promoted by Latin DJ Lubi Jovanovic and one of the venues for the Jazz Leeds Festival

Wharf Chambers- Sproggits City Centre –a music co operative in the city centre with improv/jazz on the 3rd Monday of every month

JAZZ FESTIVALS

Village Jazz Festival (week following August Bank Holiday)- part of the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival.  Various venues incl Chapel Allerton Club, Inkwell, School of Philosophy, Seven Arts, The Woods. Finishes on Sunday afternoon for the Jazz Blues and Salsa Sunday on the Regent Street stage. Jazz Leeds presents

Jazz Leeds Festival Third weekend in July – Runs Thursday-Tuesday. Various venues including Carriageworks, Seven Arts, Leeds College of Music, Millennium Square, Wardrobe. Jazz Leeds presents

Jazz Events in Leeds Day by Day
 

Mondays 

1pm  Closed Rehearsal - LS13  Citizens Orchestra  Over sixties band often looking for new players Rosefield Lawn Social Club Bramley. LS13 3RU. Adam Smith Promotes

4.30-6.30. Educational - LS28  Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra (LYJRO) Big Band consisting of young people from schools across Leeds. Rehearse at Pudsey Civic Hall, MD is Brendan Duffy. Often looking for new players.  ArtForms Promotes. Enquiries to www.artforms.co.uk.

7-9pm Educational - LS7 Inkwell Chapel Allerton. 31 Potternewton Ln. LS7 3LW Leeds Jazz Voices Choir – every other week. Directed by Tessa Smith. Open to all on a pay as you go basis. Jazz Leeds Promotes

7.30-9. Educational – LS6 Heart. Bennett Road. LS6 3HN Jazz Workshops at Heart.  Open to all on a pay as you go basis. Jazz at Heart promotes 

7.45-10pm Closed Rehearsal – LS4.  The Woodside Big Band Leeds based Jazz Collective.  Occasionally looking for new players to join. Burley Conservative Club, Leeds. Bankfield House, Bankfield Gardens, Leeds LS4 2JS  https://woodside-big-band.site123.me Jack Glover Promotes 8-late

Performance – LS2 Wharf Chambers. 23-25 Wharf St. LS2 7EQ 3rd Monday of every month Sproggits at Wharf  Chambers Imrov/Free Jazz Matt Aplin promotes

9-9.30 Educational – LS2 Jazz and Pop Choir  Leeds College of Music. LS2 7PD Monday evenings, September -July  8 - 9.30pm LCM Promotes Directed by Jenny Smith See https://www.lcm.ac.uk/.../community.../pop-jazz-choir/ 

Tuesdays

8-10.30pm  Performance – LS6 Heart. Bennett Road. LS6 3HN Gig in the Heart Cafe with some jazz. Check website for info https://www.heartcentre.org.uk Lesly Best Promotes

8-10.30pm Performance – LS12 Leeds Jazz Club – traditional jazz  weekly Conservative Club Armley Ridge Road, Armley Leeds LS12 3LE. Doors Open 7.30pm Band on stage at 8.00 til 10.30pm http://leedsjazz.club Malcolm Ford Promotes

8-10pm Closed Rehearsal – LS6 Heart. Bennett Road. LS6 3HN Bassa Bassa Leeds based Jazz Collective. Occasionally looking for new players to join. Bassa Bassa Promotes. www.bassabassa.co.uk  

9-late – LS1 Performance Band The Domino Club 7 Grand Arcade, Leeds LS1 6PG. Various acts/bands on Tuesday – Sunday Nights. All shows are free entry. Ryan Dewarne promotes

Wednesdays

1-1.45pm Educational/School Based - LS29 Big Band rehearsal open only to pupils of St Marys Menston SchoolPaul Scholey (Head of Music) promotes. 6-7pm 

Performance – LS7 “Rush Hour Jazz” Band on 3rd Wednesday of the month. Seven Arts Bar 31A Harrogate Rd, Leeds LS7 3PD Jazz Leeds Promotes

6.45-9.15 Closed  Rehearsal/Educational – LS14 Chapel FM Jazz Collective Formerly the Garforth band. It is a big band of sorts but it breaks down into smaller bands. Plays big band charts but also create our own pieces. Age 13-32 Chapel FM Old Seacroft Chapel, York Rd, Leeds  LS14 6JB dave evans Promotes

8-late Performance – LS6 LS6 Jazz Session Band and Jam 16 Headingley Ln, Leeds LS6 2AS Jack Wilson Promotes .

8-late Performance – LS1 Band – blues/funk/jazz Smokestack159A Lower Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LY http://site.smokestackleeds.co.uk

9-late – LS1 Performance Band The Domino Club 7 Grand Arcade, Leeds LS1 6PG. Various acts/bands on Tuesday – Sunday Nights. All shows are free entry. Ryan Dewarne promotes

Thursdays

7-9pm Performance – LS10  Cha Lounge 24-26 Dock St, Leeds LS10 1JF Cha Lounge's jazz & curry night every Thursday 3 piece Jazz band who play 7pm - 9pm. call 0113 242 4532 to book.

7-9pm  Closed Rehearsal – LS6 Heart. Bennett  Road. LS6 3HN Leeds Jazz Orchestra Leeds based Jazz Collective.   Occasionally looking for new players to join. Colin Byrne Promotes. See also www.leedsjazzorchestra.com

7.30-9.30 Closed Rehearsal/Educational – LS14 Mojo – Big Band. Often looking for new players Chapel FM Old Seacroft Chapel, York Rd, Leeds LS14 6JB dave evans Promotes 

7.30-11 Performance – LS7 Seven Arts 31A Harrogate Rd, Leeds LS7 3PD JazzLeeds International Jazz Series Thursday evening gigs are major international names with a local support group - fortnightly except summer months. Jazz Leeds promotes

7.30-late Performance – LS6 Hyde Park Jazz Club Band and Jam Session. Hyde Park Book Club. Weekly 27-29 Headingley Ln, Leeds LS6 1BL Aleks Podraza promotes. 

9-late – LS1 Performance Band The Domino Club 7 Grand Arcade, Leeds LS1 6PG. Various acts/bands on Tuesday – Sunday Nights. All shows are free entry. Ryan Dewarne promotes

8-11 Performance Band Fusebox – jazz, improv, new music 82 North St, Leeds LS2 7PN Monthly Dave Kane promotes

8-11 Performance Nation of Shopkeepers, 26 Cookridge Street Leeds LS23AG Jazz on Second Thursday of every month, free entry

8pm Performance - Cucinas 106A Queen Street Morley LS27 9EB - mainstream singers and traditional jazz fortnightly on Thursday evenings

Fridays

5-7 Performance – LS2. The “B” Side. Second Friday of the month in termtime (usually – check website for LCM details) Leeds College of Music. LS2 7PD LCM Promotes

7-10.30 Heart Jam. Bennett Road. LS6 3HN Jam Session + band – LS6  First Friday of the month Jazz at Heart Promotes. 

7/30-10.30 Performance – LS6 Café Lento 21A North Ln, Leeds LS6 3HW Weekly Performances Richard Lindley Promotes.  (Finishes in July 2018) 

9-late – LS1 Performance Band The Domino Club 7 Grand Arcade, Leeds LS1 6PG. Various acts/bands on Tuesday – Sunday Nights. All shows are free entry. Ryan Dewarne promotes

Performance - weekly jazz at the Union Coffee Bar  51 Great George St, Leeds LS1 3BB

Saturdays

9-12noon. Educational – LS2. Junior LCoM has jazz groups on the Saturday Music School (SMS) Performance and SMS+ courses for 14-18years. Leeds College of Music. LS2 7PD LCM Promotes.  ee https://www.lcm.ac.uk/courses/junior-lcom/

9.30-12noon Closed Rehearsal/Educational – LS17 North Leeds Jazz Orchestra. (Often looking for new players) Allerton CE Primary School. Lingfield Approach, Leeds LS17 7HL Sat mornings during term time. ArtForms/North Leeds Music Centre Promotes

1.30- 3.30pm Performance - LS7 Inkwell Divas. First Saturday of the month. Singers performance with Various jazz vocalists with Jazz Leeds Trio. Inkwell Chapel Allerton. 31 Potternewton Ln. LS7 3LW. Jazz Leeds Promotes

7-10.30pm Performance – LS23 Jazz at the Spa Boston Spa- weekly mainstream and traditional jazz Village Hall, High St, Boston Spa, Wetherby LS23 6AA Every Saturday. National and local bands - traditional and mainstream - at Boston Spa Community Centre. Les Brown Promotes

8pm LS6 Performance Heart Jazz concerts 1st Saturday of every month at Heart, Bennett Road, Headingley

Sundays

10—12noon Educational/Workshop - LS7 Jazz Leeds Workshops Dominic Moore and Tom Sharp Fortnightly Inkwell, Chapel Allerton. 31 Potternewton Ln. LS7 3LW Jazz Leeds Promotes

1.30-4.00pm Jazz Leeds Sunday lunchtime jazz – regional and some national bands Performance - LS7 Alternates between two venues. See website for venue details. http://www.sevenjazz.co.uk Seven Arts/Inkwell .  Jazz Leeds Promotes

5-7pm Performance – LS1 The Big Easy Band Residency. Friends of Ham 4-8 New Station St, Leeds LS1 5DL

5-8 Performace – LS5 Sunday Soft-pedal The Cardigan Arms 364 Kirkstall Rd, Leeds LS4 2HQ Tom Sharp Promotes

7.30-10.30 Performance – LS1 Brendan Duffy and Band Residency. Head of Steam. 1 Mill Hill, City Centre, Leeds LS1 5DQ Brendan Duffy promotes

8-11 DJ – LS2 DJ Barry Smyth plays jazz records The Brunswick 82 North St, Leeds LS2 7PN