On weekends, Jimmy's Uptown (see above) is the place to see, be seen, and dance the night away. But during the week, many bars offer live jazz sessions where aspiring soloists get a few minutes of play time with the house band, and boldfaced names occasionally show up for impromptu jams, too.
Hide*A*Way Cocktail Lounge A charming corner bar with a happening Sunday night scene. The stellar group Miss Cantrese and the Gerald Hayes Quartet plays the music, while Barbara pours the drinks. 3578 BROADWAY, AT 147TH ST. 212/283-8384
Lenox Lounge The recently restored Zebra Room of this jazz bar is where swells with deep pockets gather, but the fun is up front, around the Art Deco bar, during the house band's smoking sets. 288 LENOX AVE., BTWN. 124TH & 125TH STS.; 212/427-0253
Moca Bar & Grill Harlem's newest lounge, a few blocks south of 125th Street, has buzzy after-work atmosphere and a bumping hip-hop sound track. 2210 FREDERICK DOUGLASS BLVD., AT 119TH ST.; 212/665-8081
Nikki's A brandy at this classic seventies watering hole—red paint; twinkling lights; framed shots of Coltrane, Nat King Cole, and Billie Holiday—is the perfect nightcap after a show at the Apollo. 289 ST. NICHOLAS AVE., BTWN 124TH & 125TH STS.; 212/961-0565
St. Nick's Pub There's jazz six nights a week at this basement bar. The Monday-night jam session, which runs past midnight, attracts serious aficionados.773 ST. NICHOLAS AVE., AT 149TH ST.; 212/283-9728
Sugar Hill Bistro A fine brunch buffet with gospel accompaniment is served up on Sundays, but the Saturday night jazz is the draw, especially if you're lucky enough to catch Wynton Marsalis joining the band. 458 W. 145TH ST.; 212/491-5505