If you’re looking for groovy tunes, soulful vocals, cocktail concoctions, and all that jazz, these three chic spots in Singapore devote their nights to live music, with emerging musicians and local icons gracing their stages. From comfortable living room spaces to posh lounges, here’s the lowdown on some of the country’s best jazz bars and what to expect from an evening with them.
And, if you’re still in the mood for drinks after a night of listening to live jazz — we’d suggest a nightcap at one of these great rooftop bars with a view.
Awash in deep reds, luxe leather, and dark woods, with plush seats and Picasso lithographs, the bar is named after St. Regis’ founder John Jacob Astor IV. Just as elegant as the hotel it sits in, it hosts a Jazz in the City evening every night from 6pm onwards, with the slick tunes of its resident jazz pianist/singer, Ron Sinclair.
Since its New York flagship is famous for its Bloody Mary, the extensive cocktail menu here naturally offers a spicy one called Chilli Padi Mary that’s exclusive to Singapore. Replacing Worchestershire and Tabasco for chilli padi, Chinese old ginger, and lemongrass, the mix is a Southeast Asian adaptation of the original. While you’re here, you can also try the whisky and chocolate pairing or sip on glasses of wine.
Lobby level, The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Rd. 6506-6859. Sun-Thurs noon-1am, Fri-Sat noon-2am.
Part of The NCO Club’s multi-concept space, which houses Chinese restaurant Madame Fan and its bar, champagne, caviar, and oyster bar Fish Pool, and wine corner Stags’ Room within the South Beach development, Cool Cats is the entertainment lounge that’s sweet on jazz. Subtly hidden behind an unassuming wooden door, the cozy space is dotted mostly with tables for two, and centers around the small stage, which sees a revolving roster of resident artists perform on the regular.
Each night that it’s open, the soulful melodies of blues, jazz, and R&B tinkle through the speakers, with bands fronted by the likes of Mathila D’Silva, Carol Gomez, Louis Soliano, Rosanna Gaerlan, Rob Collins, and Dawn Ho. As you’re being serenaded by those velvety vocals, the cocktail classics, given a musical spin with legendary inspirations like Billie Holiday, complete the experience.
The NCO Club, 32 Beach Rd. 6818-1920. Wed-Sat 8:30pm-1am.
Decked out like an eclectic living room filled with mismatched couches and colorful artworks, the newest jazz bar in the local scene sits amongst the lush greens of Dempsey. Set up by former pianist Peter Ng, who gave up the ivory keys for real estate, the space is home to a listening lounge and bar that’s dedicated to the classics (in terms of music genres and drinks), and a private den, where VIPs gather to appreciate rare whiskies and vintage wines.
In the day, classical music forms the backdrop to the bar, while live jazz music takes over three times a week when the sun sets. 1819 Tuesdays is a jam session that spotlights up-and-coming musicians; Tiara Friday Club is a tribute to Shangri-La’s Tiara Supper Club in the ‘80s, starring Singapore’s top songbirds; and Saturday’s Best features a curated line-up by a monthly artist-in-residence. Crooners on the programme include familiar names like Jacintha Abisheganaden and Alemay Fernandez.
L3, 40C Harding Rd. 9756-4775. Mon-Thurs 2pm-1am, Fri-Sat 2pm-2am.
Hungry for more? Check out these stories:
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!