Elephant Room jazzes up Austin scene

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By Editor Terry Hagerty

It has the feeling of a hip jazz club in post-WW II Paris, or perhaps New York City during the heyday of the 1950s jazz scene. Austin’s Elephant Room is a cozy, eclectic space to hear jazz in Austin, offering nightly live music. Its location in the basement of the building at 315 downtown Congress only adds to its charm. Downbeat magazine included the Elephant Room in its list of “100 Great Jazz Clubs.” And Wynton Marsalis, whose signed photo-portrait hangs inside the club, picked it as one of USA Today’s “10 Great Places To Get Jazzed About Great Jazz.”

And best of all – it’s free, most of the time. “Weekdays are usually free of charge…with a small cover on Friday and Saturday nights,” according to the club’s website. Music is from 8 p.m.-2 a.m., and also during Happy Hour, from 4-7 p.m. The bar offers more than 20 draft beers, wines by the glass, and liquor. As for the “free” aspect, musicians onstage surely appreciate patrons who drop some money in the tip jar. The venue also keeps a strong connection with the Austin music community, recently hosting a gig as part of the HAAM – Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. (All photos, Copyright 2017 by Terry Hagerty Photos)