By Josie Gulliksen and Yours Truly
Let’s think outside the box here when it comes to hotels. In Miami, they’re for more than just a staycation with comfortable beds and luxurious pools. They’re also where the live music scene is thriving. Here we offer a look at seven you should consider for live music in Miami, and we’re including a laid-back, cozy spot in Brickell for great jazz.
Bar Centro by José Andrés
SLS South Beach, 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
At the chic, outdoor lounge Bar Centro the inventive cocktails featuring fresh herbs, liquid nitrogen and organic emulsifiers (signature José Andrés) pair well with their live music they feature every Wednesday from 8-11 p.m. The rotation includes The French Horn Collective, a multi-piece band performing a blend of gypsy and traditional jazz, French standards and original compositions on the first Wednesday of the month. On the second Wednesday Sol + the Tribu, a trio of Cuban Miami natives perform music influenced by the Afro-Cuban sounds of the Caribbean and the third and fourth Wednesdays feature De Ida y Vuelta, featuring guitarists and a flamenco singer performing their Rumba Flamenca.
2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Just a few blocks away, the Living Room inside the W South Beach lobby has a hopping music scene on Saturday nights from 6-10 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The four-hour sets rotate between local musicians, many of which are guitarist/singers like Manny Diquez and Rolando Grooscors who perform everything from rock to blues to contemporary tunes. For the longer sets starting at 9 p.m. DJ Theos takes over the decks for live house music.
1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
This boutique hotel has a stellar reputation as an arts and culture venue so it’s no surprise they have had a thriving live music scene for years. Billed as “the longest running live music series on Miami Beach,” they offer Latin jazz performances on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 7-11 p.m. The rotation of performers includes vocalist EnVee with piano accompaniment, pianist Mike Gerber whose been a fixture in their line-up for years, pianist Fanny Sarkozy and vocalist Leesa Richards with accompanying piano.
2988 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove
One of the neighborhood’s newest hotels Mr. C Coconut Grove has the buzz quotient and lovely city views. It also features the lovely al fresco Il Giardino, a European style terrace restaurant tucked away amongst lovely foliage just outside the hotel lobby. Aside from an enviable cocktail menu, they’re featuring live jazz the last Thursday of the month from 7-11 p.m. Enjoy the performance while sipping a signature Mr. C Bellini.
455 Grand Bay Dr., Key Biscayne
Aside from the amazing views at this luxurious resort and the beauty of any Ritz-Carlton really, the lobby there comes to life on Friday and Saturday nights from 7-11 p.m. with the sounds of Nostalgia. The multi-piece band plays mambo favorites including music by Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez and Machito. Make sure to wear your dancing shoes because you won’t be able to sit still.
2 South Miami Ave., Miami
A fixture of the Brickell area for years, the quaint and cozy Le Chat Noir features a dark wood interior with elegant light fixtures over a fully stocked wine bar. Enjoy a nice glass of your favorite vintage with favorites from their menu including charcuterie and panini sandwiches while listening to a rotating group of jazz musicians playing in the cellar. The Tuesday night Jazz Jam is one of their big nights, but performers grace the stage on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays too.
1677 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Collins Avenue’s elegant and legendary Art Deco hotel, National Hotel, is hosting Live Entertainment and themed Open Mic Nights at the iconic Blues Bar in celebration of its 80th anniversary. I went there (Karen) with a friend last week for Mic Night and we loved it. Here’s the scoop:
The Blues Bar is the hotel’s lounge where intimate live performances take center stage every week. Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 8:30 p.m., the lobby turns into an interactive show as guests enjoy LIVE! at the National. Guests are entertained with a range of favorites from jazz, blues, pop and Broadway. Every other Wednesday starting at 8:00 p.m., the National hosts the themed open mic night. Anyone can participate – singers and musicians are encouraged to RSVP in advance and send their song choice to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can sign-up during the event. The night we went there was a Tina Turner look alike belting out the songs, a lot of audience participation, and the place rocked.
Throughout each night, singers and audience members can enjoy 2-for-1 cocktails, available all night long, and $8 tapas. We had the chicken and beef satays and melted brie on baguette that were delicious. Plus, there’s no cover charge. For more information, visit www.NationalHotel.com. Follow the event on social media by using the hashtag, #OnlyatTheNational.
Want more choices for live music in Miami? Click here.