Live music in Nice reflects a variety of musical tastes. There are piano bars for romantic cocktails, jazz clubs for the smart casual set, high quality concerts and operas for classical fans, throbbing rock clubs and plenty of places that mix up their musical program to attract the most customers. Although every style is represented in Nice, not every style is available every night. Sometimes it takes some digging around to find the music you prefer. Here's where to start.
Alas, many of Nice's old rock clubs have turned to DJs which makes more financial sense and also attracts fewer noise complaints. The following venues are old standbys that keep the rock tradition alive.
This casual bar-restaurant in the heart of the Old Town conjures up the ambiance of a British pub. Burgers and fish & chips are on the menu while baristas mix up all the latest cocktails. A series of rock, pop-rock and dance bands keeps the place rocking nightly from 8pm. Check out their website for general information and their Facebook page for the weekly music program.
Jazz, groove and soul fans can get their fix every night here. The music starts at 10pm but it's wise to arrive well in advance to get a seat. See their website for general information and their Facebook page for current programming.
The interior decor could be kindly described as shabby chic but there's nothing shabby about the programming which features some of the better musicians in the region. This venerable place attracts a loyal crowd of jazz fans that spills out onto the street on Saturday nights. The music starts at 7pm and runs until 10pm. Wednesdays are devoted to poetry slams. The monthly program is on their Facebook page.
This art gallery/cultural center presents regular jazz and classical concerts in its small basement theatre. Located in downtown Nice near the Old Town, it's cheap and casual. Check out the program here.
Hotel Aston La Scala Club
For a romantic evening listening to smooth sounds, sipping a cocktail and enjoying a view over Nice head to the 7th floor bar of the Hotel Aston. There's live music Thursday to Saturday 7-11pm. Check out the program here.
Nice's glorious 19th-century opera house is home to the Nice Opera, Nice Philharmonic and the Ballet Nice Méditerranée. In addition to their full presentations of opera, concert and dance, the Opera presents smaller, less-expensive "Afterwork" concerts in the Monserrat Caballé room (above) or in other venues throughout town. The Nice Opera is also affiliated with the Chagall Museum which hosts occasional concerts. There's a special series for kids and even an occasional "jazz cafe". Check out the calendar here.
Ensemble Baroque of Nice
This local group specializes in baroque music with concerts every month or so usually in the Saint Francois de Paule or Saint Martin-Saint Augustin churches. Program and ticket sales here.
Officially a "piano bar", Le Kosma presents a diverse musical program nightly from lounge music to world, pop, pop-rock, groove and funk. Weekend "midnight sessions" start at 5pm and run to the wee hours. See the program here.
The two venues --port and old town-- are bathed in Irish ambience which permeates the musical programming. There are also the occasional rock or pop bands. The website will direct you to the musical schedule of each venue.
Beer District Liberation
Live music is programmed two or three times a month and could be rock or jazz or hip-hop. The artisanal beer is another feature of this popular place in the Liberation neighborhood. See more on their Facebook page.
For pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop and world concerts, a good place to start is the Nice Music Live website which consolidates the concert programs and ticket sales. Big stadium concerts are held at Palais Nikaia but there's an assortment of smaller venues that offer a wide range of musical experiences. There's Salle Black Box for emerging local talents; the Conservatoire de Nice which features the most talented student musicians; the Theatre Lino Ventura, a medium-capacity concert hall for contemporary music of all kinds; the Theatre de Verdure, an open-air venue which presents pop and rock concerts in the summer; and the new Stockfish which covers rock, pop, jazz, DJs, hip-hop, world, reggae and more at student prices.
From the beginning of July through August, the region sponsors a full program of free music in Nice and throughout the region. All musical styles are represented. Check out the schedule here. Nice also hosts several prestigious music festivals.
Nice Jazz Festival
The famous Nice Jazz Festival attracts world-class acts. It's not just jazz; major pop stars also appear. More on the Nice Jazz Festival.
Nice Classic Live
The weekly free jazz nights at the Espace Culturel Lympia overlooking the Port run for about a month between mid-July to mid-August. Check out the program here.
Last updated October 5, 2022