When it comes to music, New Haven holds a strict non-discrimination policy. For over a century, the city has invited acts of all decades and genres to perform for packed crowds at its many concert halls and invited talented artists of all ages to strut their sound at popular outdoor events like Music On the Green and the International Festival of Art and Ideas. Rooted in the early jazz era of the 1940s and 1950s, New Haven has fostered some of jazz’s greatest musicians, including internationally-renowned T.S. Monk, who, himself, has direct family ties to New Haven. Every year, the city comes together to celebrate this unique musical legacy at Jazz Week, a five-day series of live performances across the city restoring the tradition of New Haven jazz festivals of decades past when artists such as Ray Charles performed live on the New Haven Green.
In just a few years since opening its doors where the Palace Theatre once dictated New Haven’s late-night scene, College Street Music Hall has earned serious musical street cred for its killer lineup of live performances, from contemporary misfits like Phantogram and Young the Giant to classic rock-and-roll icons like Melissa Ethridge and Stephen Stills. But if it’s more low-key live music you seek – look no further than beloved New Haven venue’s like Fire House 12 and Cafe 9 (fondly dubbed a “musician’s living room” for its warm, old-world interior). And then, for the mainstream music crowd, there’s Toad’s, where the legends play.