What are the best lesser-known jazz venues in Glasgow for an evening out?

11 June 2024

Glasgow, a vibrant city in Scotland, is renowned for its rich music tradition, including one of the most invigorating jazz scenes in the UK. While many tourists flock to the well-known spots in Edinburgh, Glasgow's jazz scene remains a hidden gem. If you're in the mood for some live jazz music, the city's west centre offers a variety of bars and clubs where you can enjoy an evening of soul-stirring rhythms and mesmerizing melodies. In this article, we will explore some of the city's best-kept secrets that will give you a taste of Glasgow's rhythm and blues.

1. The Blue Arrow Club

Tucked away in Sauchiehall Street, in the heart of Glasgow city centre, lies the Blue Arrow Club. An intimate, basement venue, the club is renowned for blending the traditional with the contemporary, a reflection of the city's dynamic music scene.

The Blue Arrow Club is the epitome of a traditional jazz club. With its cosy atmosphere, dim lighting, and live band performances, the club offers a great escape from the city's hustle and bustle. The club is open seven nights a week and hosts a variety of bands, showcasing local talent and occasionally welcoming renowned musicians from across the globe.

What sets the Blue Arrow Club apart is the authenticity of its jazz nights. The club takes pride in its unwavering commitment to jazz, promising a unique experience every night of the week. Whether you're a long-standing jazz enthusiast or new to the genre, this venue will welcome you with open arms and an unforgettable melody.

2. Swing Ltd

For a nostalgic trip back in time, Swing Ltd is your go-to destination. Located in the heart of Glasgow's uber-hip West End, Swing Ltd offers an enchanting night of live music, dance, and vintage cocktails.

Swing Ltd is designed to transport you back to the 1920s with its distinctive speakeasy vibe and cool, vintage decor reminiscent of the Prohibition era. The bar's commitment to the era extends to its music lineup, with live jazz and swing bands dominating the stage on most nights.

What's more, Swing Ltd isn't just about the music. The venue is also renowned for its dance classes, offering lessons in Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Charleston. Whether you're a dance novice or an experienced swinger, these classes will get your feet moving to the beat.

3. The 78

A visit to Glasgow's west end isn't complete without stopping by The 78, a charming bar and restaurant that offers live jazz music every Sunday night. This lesser-known venue is a favourite amongst locals, providing a laid-back atmosphere where patrons can enjoy a leisurely meal while listening to the soothing sounds of jazz.

The 78 prides itself on offering a unique dining and entertainment experience. While the establishment serves a wide range of vegan and vegetarian food options, it's the live jazz nights that steal the show. Every Sunday, the venue transforms into a lively jazz bar, featuring local musicians and bands, and occasionally hosting touring acts.

4. The Jazz Bar

Although it's primarily located in Edinburgh, The Jazz Bar has made its mark in Glasgow as well. Known for its eclectic mix of music genres, The Jazz Bar caters to a diverse audience with its range of performances, from jazz and blues to funk and soul.

The Jazz Bar is a haven for music lovers, offering a cosy ambiance for people to enjoy live performances. Besides the music, the bar is also famous for its extensive drinks menu, featuring a wide array of carefully selected wines, bespoke cocktails, and locally brewed beers.

With its warm, inviting atmosphere, The Jazz Bar is perfect for those looking to unwind after a long day while enjoying the vibrant sounds of a live band.

5. The Hug and Pint

If you're looking for a venue that champions local musicians, The Hug and Pint is a must-visit. Located on Great Western Road, this intimate venue is not only a great place to discover new music but also serves up delicious vegan food and a wide selection of beers.

The Hug and Pint offers a unique blend of food, beer, and music. Named after a song by Arab Strap - a famous Scottish band - the venue lives up to its name by providing a cosy, welcoming space for patrons and musicians alike.

While it's not exclusively a jazz venue, The Hug and Pint hosts a wide range of musical acts, including jazz on selected nights. The venue's commitment to supporting local talent makes it a vital part of Glasgow's music scene. It's the perfect place to enjoy the city's vibrant jazz scene, offering a glimpse into Glasgow's pulsating rhythm, one beat at a time.

6. Oran Mor

Nestled at the top end of Byres Road in the heart of Glasgow West End is the converted church, Oran Mor. Known for its vibrant arts scene, Oran Mor is a unique venue that offers a combination of music performances, theatre shows, and dining experiences.

A significant part of the charm of Oran Mor is its architectural grandeur which lends a touch of elegance to any evening out. The venue features an exquisite bar where you can sip on your preferred cocktail before settling in for a night of live music.

What makes Oran Mor special is its commitment to promoting a broad spectrum of music genres. Although it offers a diverse programme throughout the week, its Sunday afternoon jazz jam sessions are a notable highlight. These sessions are open to all musicians, from the seasoned professional to the enthusiastic amateur, fostering a truly inclusive and vibrant jazz community.

Regardless of whether you are a jazz aficionado or simply a lover of good music and a great atmosphere, Oran Mor offers an exciting combination of music, culture, and history that is difficult to resist.

7. The Glad Café

Located on the South Side of Glasgow, The Glad Café offers an eclectic mix of music, food, and art. This cosy venue is not just a café but also a thriving hub for the local arts scene, hosting a wide range of events, including concerts, exhibitions, and film screenings.

Live music is at the heart of The Glad Café, with regular jazz sessions featured in their events programme. These sessions showcase both local and international talents, offering a delightful blend of traditional and contemporary jazz tunes.

Moreover, The Glad Café prides itself on being a community-oriented venue. Proceeds from the café go towards supporting the Glad Foundation, which provides affordable music lessons to people in the local area. So, when you choose to spend an evening at The Glad Café, you're not just enjoying great jazz music but also supporting a noteworthy cause.


From intimate basement clubs to converted churches, Glasgow's jazz scene is as diverse as it is vibrant. Each venue, whether it be the traditional Blue Arrow Club or the community-focused Glad Café, offers a unique experience that contributes to the city's distinct musical identity.

While the city centre is home to several well-known jazz clubs, it's worth venturing to the West End or South Side to discover some of Glasgow's lesser-known gems. Whether you're a seasoned jazz enthusiast or a curious novice, Glasgow's jazz venues offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in soulful rhythms and mesmerising melodies.

So, the next time you find yourself in Glasgow, consider spending an evening in one of these venues. With a cocktail in hand and live music filling the air, you're sure to experience the city's pulsating rhythm and blues, one beat at a time.

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