The Bird’s Eye Jazz Club Turns 30 !

The bird’s eye jazz club is one of the most sought-after jazz clubs in Europe. Over the past 30 years, countless jazz greats have filled the club with their music, giving it a central role in the Swiss music scene, as well as recognition worldwide for its excellent concerts. On five evenings a week, in a quaint club setting with a drink in hand, club-goers are treated to authentic, contemporary live jazz from international stars as well as by renowned regional musicians and up-and-coming talents.

When the bird’s eye opened its doors in 1994, it was located at Elsässerstrasse 184. The popularity of the club, where live jazz at a professional standard could be heard three days a week, secured the club a spot in Basel’s cultural landscape. After 5 years in the former Bell-Areal, the club moved to its new and still current location at Kohlenberg 20—the former prison gymnasium of the newly renovated Lohnhof. This unique venue with its optimal acoustics and sound system was actually constructed as a room-within-a-room, to absorb the noise and vibrations from outside trams as well as structure-born noises. This provides an optimal listening experience for the audience as well as ideal conditions to make high-quality multi-track and digital recordings. The bird’s eye jazz club has recorded many of their concerts and usually produce a sample CD every year under the label “Live at the bird’s eye,” with select excerpts fitting a dedicated special theme (these CDs can be purchased online or directly from the club).

For over 20 years, the bird’s eye also has reached out to the community by offering regular workshops for school classes as well as courses for adults, in which participants are introduced to the secrets of jazz music and related styles by musicians. Its connection and importance in the community is secured by private and foundation donations, as well as subsidy agreements with both canton Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft.

This 30-year anniversary marks a significant milestone for the history of the bird’s eye jazz club, as well as for the rich tradition of jazz in Basel. They will be celebrating this important achievement with a special anniversary program spanning the summer months of June, July, and August, with many great concerts and new collaborations. This anniversary program is a celebration of all the unforgettable moments of the past and a look forward to the musical adventures that lie ahead. You can check out their very special anniversary program online.

The bird’s eye jazz club is open Tuesday to Saturday from 20:00-23:30, with two concert sets per evening starting at 20:30 and 21:45. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, admission costs CHF 14 for adults (CHF 8 for reduced admission) and is valid for the whole evening. On Friday and Saturday, admission is CHF 12 for adults (CHF 8 reduced) and is valid for one set.

Tickets can be reserved by filling out the online form and are only valid if you receive a confirmation email; note that reserved tickets must be picked up/paid up to 20 minutes before the beginning of a set or they risk being released. You can also get tickets on the spot as long as the set is not sold out. Check out their website to see the full program. Note that if you can’t make a concert, you can listen to the live stream on the website.

If you are interested in receiving information about the club’s monthly program by email, you can register for their newsletter (at the bottom of their website), which also provides small samples of the artists’ work!