As a huge jazz fan, Nairobi has been a great city to enjoy live music, especially of the jazz variety, for years. Granted, there was a slump during the COVID pandemic and a number of places that held regular Jazz nights either stopped or closed down. In the last year however, there’s been a resurgence of jazz culture and the city is abuzz with great options for jazz lovers throughout the week. You may need to book a table because some of these places are quite popular, so make sure to check first. Here are some of my favourite places to enjoy jazz in Nairobi.

  1. The Curve Kitchen

The Curve Kitchen is located on the ground floor of The Curve By The Park, an aparthotel featuring serviced apartments, a coffee shop, restaurant, pool bar, rooftop bar, gym and co-working space, located off Mombasa Road. The restaurant is a modern, cozy spot with an international menu, decent wine list and cocktail options. 

Their Jazz night is every Thursday from 5pm to 9pm and features BigSamSax. Depending on the weather, seating is indoors or outdoors by the pool. They have a BOGOF offer on their cocktails from 1pm to 9pm so you can come early and still enjoy happy hour. It’s a laid-back jazz night, perfect for couples and friends looking for a no fuss grown and sexy vibe.

  1. Bwibo

Bwibo is located on Kanjata road in Lavington and has both outdoor and indoor seating, with some of the outdoor seating on a beautiful elevated patio. Famous for their delicious loaded fries and cocktail trees, it’s a fun place to hang out especially on the weekend.

They have jazz every Sunday from 4pm to 9pm. They feature different artistes but Eddie Grey and Brian are usually on the lineup. A great thing they offer that no one else does is that at the end of their set they usually have an open session where anyone can get on stage and sing. Last time I was there I took the opportunity to get on stage and sang Killing Me Softly. It was a blast and quite memorable because when else will I ever get the chance to sing with Eddie Grey accompanying me? 

  1. Geco

Geco is the home of live music in Nairobi. They have something every day and it’s always a good time. Located off King’ara road in Lavington, it’s famous for its car wash and restaurant combo, and has both indoor and outdoor seating. The food is good with their pizzas being fan favourites. They offer most drinks and have a specialized cocktail bar. 

Because they have an artist playing pretty much every day, you can probably find a jazz act at least once a week on their roster. They still however, have a dedicated jazz night on Tuesday and Friday from 7pm.

  1. Two Grapes

Like the name suggests, Two Grapes is a restaurant that leans heavy on the wine life. Featuring a great wine list, beautiful indoor and outdoor garden seating, this is a great place to spend and afternoon or evening. 

Jazz night is every Thursday from 4pm to 8pm. It’s not strictly jazz though and has some rhumba in there too. They tend to feature different artistes and is a great way to unwind after a long work week.

  1. Cheche Steakhouse

Cheche Steakhouse is located at Kedong House off Lenana road in Hurlingham. It’s a restaurant/bar with a lot of events every week. 

Jazz night is every Thursday from 7pm and features one of Kenya’s best saxophonists, Edward Parseen, and is always a good time.

  1. The Copper Ivy

This is probably one of the most popular jazz night locations in the city. Copper Ivy is located at The Promenade on General Mathenge Drive in Westlands and is a modern restaurant with a great ambiance.

Jazz night is every Thursday from 6-9pm and Sunday from 5.30-8.30pm. They have a BOGOF happy hour everyday from 4.30pm and other offers on food spend. The music acts tend to be different most of the time, which is great if you’re looking for variety.

  1. The Monk

The Monk is located on Kanjata road in Lavington. It’s jazz night is every Wednesday and is fronted by New York to Nairobi. If you’re looking for a more traditional jazz experience, they tend to play in that direction. They have a daily happy hour from 4pm to 7pm, and jazz kicks off at 6.30pm.

  1. Samaki Samaki Seafood and Jazz

Samaki Samaki is modeled around seafood and live music, so it is a must on this list. Located in Kileleshwa at 28 Othaya road, they host several live music gigs every week. Jazz is usually on Sunday afternoons and features BigSamSax and DJ Chopstick, so a combination of jazz and a DJ set for a fun Sunday outing.

  1. Moov Café & Bistro

Moov is popular for alternative art events with a lot of interesting gigs happening there every week. It’s located on Wood Avenue in Kilimani. Jazz night is curated by vinyl guru Midl East and is every Thursday from 6.30-10pm with happy hour from 4-7pm.

  1. The Orchid Lounge and Grill

Orchid is one of the few proper nightclubs in Nairobi and is a really fun night out. It’s located at RFUEA Grounds (former Quinn’s bar) off Ngong road. They’ve added a jazz night every Tuesday featuring The Maestro Band, so if you’re looking for a jazz night with a nightclub vibe, it’s the perfect choice.

  1. Ibis Styles

Ibis Styles is a budget hotel in Westlands. The hotel features a restaurant, cute hotel rooms and a rooftop bar and restaurant. Jazz night is every other Friday and is at their rooftop restaurant and bar, Kilele Nyama. They have different acts playing, usually featuring a saxophonist and DJ. The views of the city are great and the vibes are nice so it’s a good option for dates.

Have I missed any of your favourite regular jazz in Nairobi gigs? Let me know in the list and I’ll check it out and add it to the list.

mwendeEventsMusicBigSamSax,Bwibo,Curve Kitchen,Edward Parseen,Ibis Styles,Jazz in Nairobi,Samaki Samaki,The Monk
As a huge jazz fan, Nairobi has been a great city to enjoy live music, especially of the jazz variety, for years. Granted, there was a slump during the COVID pandemic and a number of places that held regular Jazz nights either stopped or closed down. In the last...