Small Music Venues -- The Cutting Room

(Credit: Marc Millman Photography)

Whether people prefer jazz, show tunes, rock or punk, New York offers various venues to hear aspiring and professional musicians. From the bright lights of Broadway to the sounds of the Lower East Side, here are some of the best music venues in the city. By John Friia/Tracy Dunstan


Cake Shop

152 Ludlow Street
New York, NY

The Cake Shop is a treat to the Lower East Side. For over 10 years, this bakery and music hall serves delicious sweets and sounds. Before heading down to the basement to listen to various bands, people can indulge in of more their cakes, cookies or order a cup of coffee. While the space is small, patrons fill the room throughout the week to listen to rock and punk bands that take over the stage.

Small Music Venues - Feinstein's/ 54 Below

(Credit: Feinstein’s 54 Below)

Feinstein’s/54 Below

254 West 54 Street
New York, NY 10019

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Feinstein’s/54 Below brings stars of The Great White Way and aspiring Broadway singers to the stage of this supper club. Located in Times Square, the club is known as Broadway’s living room and serves pre-theater dining. The lounge also offers a late night performances, with three performances offered throughout the night. While notable Broadway stars like Patti Lupone gracing the stage, Feinstein’s 54/Below also supports young artists with their 54 Concert Lab, a program dedicated to emerging singers with bright and innovative concert ideas.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 02: Fans queue outside by the marquee for CRWN A Conversation With Elliott Wilson & Meek Mill event at Gramercy Theatre on July 2, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 02: Fans queue outside by the marquee at Gramercy Theatre. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for

Gramercy Theatre

127 E 23rd St.
New York, NY 10010

The Gramercy Theatre has a good mix of historic charm and amazing music. It was built in 1937 and is located in the historical Gramercy area of New York City. Gramercy Theatre has been several different types of venues, such as an art film house in the 1950s, movie house, film house and off-Broadway playhouse. While it has hosted some big names, it is still a place to see local artists and is well known for doing so.



Joe’s Pub

425 Lafayette St.
New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-8778

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Nestled inside the historic Public Theater in downtown Manhattan, this intimate space has hosted artists like Adele and Kris Allen. Another perk to seeing a show at Joe’s is that the attached bar and restaurant is fantastic for grabbing a bite to eat after the show. Joe’s Pub is a “home base” for many local artists and is usually the first stop for emerging musicians.

Small Music Venues - Metropolitan Room

(Credit: In The Raw Photography)

Metropolitan Room

34 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10010

Just steps from the hustle of Fifth Avenue is the Metropolitan Room, which brings jazz and cabaret to the Flatiron neighborhood. From aspiring singers to established artists, their sounds can be heard throughout the intimate 115-seat venue three times a night with the first show at 7 p.m. and the last one at 11:30 p.m. During Friday and Saturday, people can relax from the work week at their Piano Bar in their downstairs lounge and sing or listen to songs.

Small Music Venues - Rockwood Music Hall

(Credit: Rockwood Music Hall)

Rockwood Music Hall

196 Allen Street
New York, NY

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Nestled in the heart of the gritty music scene of the Lower East Side is Rockwood Music Hall. Bringing a new music scene to the neighborhood, the recently renovated club boasts three stages with numerous shows a night. There is an eclectic selection of music that is performed at the music hall and most of the shows do not charge a cover fee. Other tickets can be purchased online.

Small Music Venues -- The Cutting Room

(Credit: Marc Millman Photography)

The Cutting Room

44 East 32nd Street
New York, NY 10010

After being closed for four years, The Cutting Room returned to Midtown in 2013 and is co-owned by actor Chris Noth. Attracting the likes of Lady Gaga, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow, the expansive music venue gives the opportunity to hear well-known stars, big bands, international aspiring performers and cover bands on a daily basis. Patrons can grab a drink and settle near the large stage that is encircled by a bold and vibrant emblem of the club for a night full of music.

The famous awning of the Village Vanguard legendary jazz club

The famous awning of the Village Vanguard legendary jazz club

Village Vanguard 

178 7th Ave. S
New York, NY 10014
(212) 255-4037

If jazz music is more your thing, then the Village Vanguard is the music spot for you. This spot opened in 1935 and has been a New York mainstay ever since. In the past, artists like Miles Davis, Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk have graced its halls. Today, you might see the Electric Masada, Bill Frisell or Milford Graves.

(credit: Union Hall)

(credit: Union Hall)

Union Hall

702 Union St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 638-4400

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The library-like décor of Union Hall is an awesome perk for literary lovers. This is not just a music venue. There’s a 5,000-square-foot bar, a restaurant, a bocce ball court, comedy and live music.

John Friia is a freelance journalist and native New Yorker writing about food, drinks and lifestyle. You can follow his adventures on Instagram.

Tracy lives in the downstate area of New York. Some might call her an avid graduation affectionate (MA, Fordham University & MLS, SUNY Buffalo). She’d say she’s just waiting for the right degree to come along with a promise and a ring someday. Her work can be found on