Jazz Music in Madison, WI

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


If you’re looking for a great place to enjoy some live jazz music, you’ll want to check out Madison, WI. This city has a thriving jazz scene, and you’re sure to find a venue that suits your taste.


Jazz music is a genre of music that originated in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The style is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime. … Jazz is difficult to define, because it encompasses a wide range of music from New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1900s to the 21st-century jazz fusion.

The Jazz Scene in Madison, WI

Live Music Venues

Live music is a big part of the Madison, WI, scene and there are plenty of places to enjoy it. From upscale clubs and bars to more relaxed coffeehouses and restaurants, there’s something for everyone. Here are just a few of the many live music venues in Madison:

The Bachelorette Party – This club is known for its lively atmosphere and top-notch live music. It’s a great place to dance the night away or just enjoy some drinks and good company.

Cafe Carpe – This cozy cafe features live music almost every night of the week, ranging from folk and Americana to blues and jazz.

The Crystal Corner Bar – This bar is a bit off the beaten path but well worth seeking out. It’s a great spot for live blues and jazz, with occasional appearances by other genres as well.

The Frequency – This popular club features mainly indie rock bands but also hosts occasional Electronic Dance Music (EDM) nights. It’s one of the best places in town to catch up-and-coming bands.

Jazz Festivals

Madison is home to a number of different jazz festivals throughout the year. The largest and most well-known of these is the Wisconsin Ultrasound Jazz Festival, which takes place every summer. Other festivals include the Isthmus Jazz Festival, the Dane County Fair, and the Great Lakes Folk Festival. Each of these events features a variety of different jazz artists from all over the world, making them a great way to experience the local jazz scene.

Prominent Jazz Musicians from Madison, WI

Jazz music originated in the early 20th century in the African-American communities of the South. Jazz music has been a significant part of Madison, Wisconsin’s music scene since the early 1950s. The city has produced a number of prominent jazz musicians, many of whom have gone on to international fame.

Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper is a jazz musician from Madison, WI. He has been playing music for over 20 years and has performed with some of the biggest names in jazz. He is a member of the Wisconsin Jazz Orchestra and the Madison Jazz Collective.

Paul Dietrich

Paul Dietrich is a jazz musician from Madison, WI. He has been playing the trumpet for over 20 years and has performed with some of the most prominent jazz musicians in the world. He has also toured extensively, performing in Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Dave Stoler

Dave Stoler is a Madison, Wisconsin-based jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader. His playing is marked by a deep understanding of the jazz tradition, an inventive approach to improvisation, and a gift for creating memorable melody. In addition to his work as a sideman and leader of his own groups, Stoler has also collaborated with some of the world’s most acclaimed jazz artists, including saxophonists Joe Lovano and David Liebman, trumpeter Randy Brecker, and bassist Rufus Reid.


Jazz music is enjoyed by many people in Madison, WI. The Madison Jazz Orchestra is a great place to hear jazz music. They have concerts every Monday night at the Overture Center. If you’re looking for a place to drink and listen to jazz music, Checkerboard Bar is a great option. They have live jazz music every Wednesday night.

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