About two weeks ago I had a bit of a hankering to hear some jazz and to get gussied up and go out; there’s only so much flannel and gore-tex a person can take. I know it can be hard to have that kind of evening without feeling extremely guilty about the cost of food, drinks, entertainment, etc., but that’s why Jazz Alley was perfect: it totally satisfied my desire for a classy evening without being a budget-buster. This is possible because for first sets (~7:30p) on Wednesdays and second sets (~9:30p if there is one) on Thursdays, tickets for students are 50% off! You do need reservations (make sure to tell them you’re a student), and you do need to bring your student ID, but then you’re all set. It really is that easy. It goes from being kind of pricey — often $20-30 per ticket — to totally reasonable! Another plus: they have a free parking lot! In downtown seattle! Amazing!
Onto the actual experience of Jazz Alley. First, a warning: finding Jazz Alley can be a little tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It’s entrance is actually *in* an alley, and although its name is therefore quite apt, it means you have to know where you’re going. (Pro tip: it’s actually in the alley off of Lenora between 5th and 6th.)
Okay, so you’ve finally found the entrance. You walk into a small entryway where you are greeted and given your tickets. You can’t see any of the club from there because it is actually down one level; it’s almost as if you’re entering some secret speakeasy. Anyway, down the stairs you go and you enter a large, beautiful, dimly lit room, and are taken to your table. The people there for dinner get the best seats, but all of the seats are good seats. (Pro tip: don’t get dinner at Jazz Alley! It’s quite expensive, and it’s totally fine to go and not eat.) The music was superb, and they have a whole variety of acts and types of music that come through.
Drinks, as with the food, are a little pricey, with cocktails in the $10-12 range. Since it was my swanky night out and I had gotten such a great deal on the tickets, I splurged and got a drink. The dim lights were making me a tad sleepy so I treated myself to a kahlua & coffee, while my friend got a seattle sazarac. Both were quite tasty.
Jazz Alley is a great gem of a jazz club downtown that is surprisingly accessible for students. Their other offerings (food and drink) are certainly more expensive but as a special treat it’s a great option. Everyone, even forever-casual Seattleites, wants to have a nice night out every so often, right? This is definitely a great spot to do it.