Best Jazz Club Minneapolis 2009 - Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
The Dakota is hardly the only jazz club in town, or even the only great one (St. Paul's legendary Artists' Quarter is a perennial contender). But the Dakota's 1-2-3 punch is hard to compete with: Its incomparable acoustics make it one of the best-sounding environments for live jazz (or R&B or blues); its cuisine is among the best in downtown Minneapolis; and if any major jazz luminaries are on tour, the Dakota is where they play. In just one recent month the venue hosted tenor sax star Joshua Redman, bass prodigy turned rising star Esperanza Spalding, and the all-star SFJAZZ collective—as well as roots music icon Leon Redbone and Delta blues veteran David "Honeyboy" Edwards. The Dakota gives plenty of shine to local luminaries, too, hosting gigs by the likes of Debbie Duncan and Sophia Shorai almost every month. And while other downtown-area jazz venues like Rossi's and the Times Bar and Cafe are closing their doors (temporarily, hopefully, in the Times' case), the Dakota appears to be in it for the long haul.