9. Blue Note – Present

Blue Note Jazz Club, one of the many jazz clubs in NYC

Blue Note in Greenwich Village was founded in 1981 by Danny Bensusan. While he struggled to turn a profit in the first few years in business, but was soon attracting legends like Sarah Vaughn, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Turrentine, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, and Tito Puente. By 1988, Blue Note began to open more locations internationally. The first overseas Blue Note location was in Tokyo. Today, there are locations in Italy, Brazil, and China.

In 2011, Blue Note introduced its own music festival that features “jazz, soul, hip-hop, R&B, and funk players, trailblazers, and influencers.” The month-long festival, which takes place in June, is hosted at a variety of different venues across the city. The headliners for 2023 include Grace Jones., Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers with special guests John Scofield, Kenny Garrett and Christian McBride and Chucho Valdés, and Paquito D’Rivera.