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Open Mics in Paris:

SundayPop’ In – only two songs, and you have to be there early to sign up because they accept only 15 singers, or slots. It starts at 9:30 PM , but you have to be there by 7 PM to be sure of getting a spot, and even then sometimes you might be 14 th . Still, they go like clockwork, so it runs basically 9:30 to midnight . Address: 105 Rue Amelot, 75011, Paris, Tél : 01 48 05 56 11. Metro Oberkampf or Filles du Calvaire.

- Lizard Lounge, 18, rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 75004 Paris, France. First Sunday of the month only. A classic open mic but with a drum set and possibility of running a whole band, or just guitar and vocals – as you want. Often turns into a jam session at the end of the evening. This was off my list for a while as it closed down for maybe a year or less when the old team that ran it for half a decade or more decided it was time to find a new team. It’s just buzzing along as usual. This location is made for an open mic: A classic brick cellar with vaulted ceilings, dark, humid and intimate. The ground floor bar and restaurant ticks along on its own as the open mic does its thing in the basement. Located near the Hotel de Ville in the Marais, this once-a-month gathering is well worth the visit – the only criticism I can have is that it is sometimes difficult to follow a full-fledged band with a quiet acoustic guitar and vocal number. Unless you’re somehow much better than the band!!! Watch out, also, for a fair amount of chatter, which can happen depending on the night.

- Caveau des Oubliettes jam session, 52 Rue Galande, 75005 Paris, 01 46 34 23 09. Blues Jam. See main entry under Thursdays, below.

- Bastille Blues Jam at the Angora, 3 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris – Tél : 01 47 00 25 00. Like it sounds: A blues jam. This is a great venue with a massive oak bar and the management likes music, running frequent concerts in the room on the first floor above the bar. But the blues jam takes place on the ground floor by the front window, because they cannot have drums on the first floor.

- Belushi’s, 159 Rue de crimée, 75019 Paris, France, 01 40 34 34 40. This is another incarnation of the open mic at this very cool location, in the same building of a youth hostel. I had taken it off this list when it disappeared a couple of years ago or so, but now I’m adding it again as I have just learned it restarted with a new crew running it (see Wednesday, below, at another Belushi’s). There is a jam side to it, if you feel like playing with the musicians that run it – but its open to solo.

MondayGalway Pub (get three or four songs in, normally): 13 quai Grands Augustins Paris 6, Téléphone : 01 43 29 64 50 This is a great open mic to play at in terms of its stage, as you play with your back to the front window of the bar, which opens in summer, and you get the feeling you are singing to the people in the street as well as the people in the bar. Which is, in fact, the case. But some nights are definitely busier than others in terms of the musician attendance. It can vary from absolutely great nights, to so-so nights. But it is definitely a “must do” in Paris open mice.

- Tennessee Jazz Bar, 12 Rue André Mazet, 75006 Paris, 01 43 54 36 10. Don’t be fooled by the word “jazz” in the name of the bar, this is a traditional open mic for any kind of music, mostly folk, pop, rock, etc., allowing two or three songs, and starting around 8:30. One of the most successful and long-standing open mics in Paris, it was for a long while MCd by expat American, James Iansiti in the cozy basement of a cool bar, and is now hosted by the same excellent host of the open mic that used to happen at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance, which became the Tireuse, which then ceased: Ollie Joe.

- Coolin Irish Pub Sign up is at 8:30 and the music starts at 9:30 at the open mic at this genial Irish pub in Paris. A great atmosphere: Young, fun, anything goes, tolerant, a nice sound system. Only two songs per person or band, though. Adresse : 15 Rue Clement, 75006 Paris, Phone: 01.44.07.00.92 Metro Mabillon or Odeon.

- Abracadabrabar Just once per month, on the third Monday of each month, a traditional open mic with a good sound system, bright lights and good organization. Write in advance to benoit@abracadabar.fr to be put on the list. ABRACADABAR 123 avenue Jean Jaurès 75019 PARIS

TuesdayLe Baroc, 36, Rue de Sambre et Meuse, 75010 Paris, 01 42 40 17 93. The atmosphere varies from week to week.

- Café Oz, 1 rue de Bruxelles, 75009 Paris, Tél : 01 40 16 11 16. First watch out: This is the Café Oz in Pigalle. There are several others around Paris and elsewhere in France. This open mic runs from 8:30 to 11 p.m., and sign up starts as early as 7:30. It is a classic open mic, a good sound system (two mics), a comfortable room, where the listeners gather in front of the stage area while the talkers gather on the other side of the pub. All together a nice experience.

- Pigalle Country Club, 59 rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009 Paris, near Metro Pigalle and a few others as well…. They call it the Wapaphalooza Open Mic, and it starts after 8PM and goes on until after midnight, maybe well after. It’s a romping, rocking affair, and usually run by the members of the Burnin’ Jacks band, an up-and-coming French band. The bar, located near the famous Place Pigalle, has this big country club name, but could not be further from a country club in style and atmosphere. It’s a freewheeling, laid back, small but cosy bar, and the open mic takes place behind a mic at the back with no stage. It’s as much a jam as an open mic, and it’s a free-for-all. Don’t expect to sign a list – just go and take the mic or join in with those who are already behind it. The accent is on acoustic rock and rock blues. Even classic rock.

- Acoustic Bazar. A fabulous open mic that has been around for 20 years but is only the first Tuesday of each month. And only two songs on your first try there, and you have to be there at 8:30 to get a spot. Le TEMPO, 18 rue Brochant 75017 PARIS Métro Brochant Tel.: 01 47 00 48 87

- French Flair, 40 rue Pixéricourt – 75020, métro place des fêtes – I have never been to this one. It just changed location. Takes place every Tuesday. But it looks like a classic open mic.

WednesdayThe Highlander, rue de Nevers, 75005, 7-year-old open mic hosted by Thomas Brun, a classic, but get there soon after 8 PM for a good spot. Each performer gets three songs. The atmosphere is always lively, the pub always full, the list of musicians invariably long. But this has become one of Paris’s longest running open mics, and the level of the presentation and music is guaranteed to make for and interesting night out.

- Soirée Buzz, at the Très Honoré restaurant, bar, salon, 35 place du marché St Honoré, 75001 Paris. Run by American expat, Brian Scott Bagley, this is a cabaret style open mic in the posh underground room bar of the restaurant. Anything goes at this open mic: solo guitar singer songwriter stuff, cabaret singing with the backup band, jazz singing with the backup band, pop-rock singing and playing with the backup band, dancing, burlesque, anything you want. The backup band consists of a pianist, keyboard player, bass player, guitar, sax, whatever. Expect a big show feel. The only drawback is the high cost of the drinks in this posh bar – oh, and when I did it, for a place that caters to singers, the vocal mic and speakers were not up to it.

- Belushi’s Gare du Nord, 5 Rue de Dunkerque, 75010 Paris, France, 01 70 08 52 22. This is located in another branch of the Belushi’s bar mentioned above on Sunday nights. But this one has a completely different feel: It is a cavernous beer hall that attracts a young, hip clientele, which is mirrored in the wall decorations of rock stars. The open mic is really special to perform in, as the “stage” is like a crow’s nest way high up above the barroom. You do not have much direct contact with spectators – who are not really there for the open mic, but to drink and talk – but it is a great feeling to play up there and a challenge to grab their attention. There is a jam side to it, if you feel like playing with the musicians that run it – a bass player and lead guitarist – but its open to solo. Starts around 8:30 PM and goes until 11:00 PM, unless things are really kicking, in which case they continue later.

- Swan Bar, 165, Bld du Montparnasse, 75006 Paris, 01 44 27 05 84 – an open mic that starts at 9:30 and is mostly jazz, but they accept people with a guitar doing any kind of music… But if you bring sheet music, a pianist will accompany you.

- Caveau des Oubliettes jam session, 52 Rue Galande, 75005 Paris, 01 46 34 23 09. Soul Jam. See main entry under Thursdays, below.

- Bandeàgudule Lesguduleries – Chez Gudule, is a kind of cabaret show on the first floor of this bar/restaurant. It is necessary to book a slot first, and you may have to wait for several weeks before you have a chance. This is an open mic, but one with a concept. There is only usually one musical act per evening, and the other acts are comics, actors, whatever. The audience votes the best performance of the night, and if you win that a few times you get the room to yourself for your own show. Contact Candice Carité to book a slot: 06 76 65 22 14, 65 Bd de la Villette M° Colonel Fabien ou Bus 46 arrêt Sambre et Meuse

- Les Chansonniers, located in the small lobby of a small hotel in Menilmontant, this is a classic open mic, which runs the third Wednesday of every month. Starts at 8 PM. A warm environment, a cool quarter of Paris. 113 boulevard de Ménilmontant, 75011 Paris, Metro Menilmontant.

ThursdayEscargot Underground, 7 rue Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, 75002 Paris, France, Phone 01 80 06 74 26, Email info@escargot.travel. An open mic in the basement of the office of a Russian tourism business? That’s this one. The Escargot Touristic Center is the business, and in the vaulted brick cellar of the office every Thursday night there is a small open mic, with often two or three Russian musicians. But it is entirely open to all kinds of music, has a half decent sound system, a set of drums, bass, amps, etc. Although it says on the invitation on Facebook that it starts at 7 PM or so, I think it’s not worth showing up until 8:30 – although that could change. Despite the Russian connection, this is an intimate, classic open mic.

- Le Carré St. Michel, 4 Rue Suger 75006 Paris, 01 46 33 78 42 This is a really wild, well-attended, and younger musician and audience kind of open mic and jam. It takes place just off the Place St. Michel, around the corner from the Rue St. André des Arts, and the open mic happens in the basement room, and you can buy your beer on the ground floor, and go out in the street and talk and smoke. A classic Parisien joint, quoi. But best to get there early, if only to manage to find a bit of room for yourself on the basement floor before the place fills up – to say nothing of guaranteeing a spot on the list.

- Kolok Bar, 20 rue du croissant, 75002 Paris, 01 44 82 53 44, laurent@lakolokparis.com. Attention: This is only run on the first and third Thursday of every month, and usually not in August. It is a small, warm bar near the Bourse, with a small, but warm and half decent sound system. The owner/manager likes the open mic, likes musicians, and the vibe is generally cool. That said, it is not the main business of the bar, and the open mic has been through different MCs, bringing the inevitable change in the style with it. Last time I went it was fun, three or four songs each and then finishing in a jam. Definitely worth checking out.

- Tennessee Jazz Bar, 12 Rue André Mazet, 75006 Paris, 01 43 54 36 10. One of the rare venues to offer a classic open mic two nights a week, check out the main entry under the Monday section, above.

- Lou Pascalou, 14 rue des Panoyaux, 75020 Paris, France, ATTENTION: This takes place only once a month, every second Thursday of the month. This is a very cool and cozy restaurant and bar with a neat stage and a pretty good sound system. It is a classic open mic with a list to sign up for and you can play three songs. The list can get full quickly in my experience. A pleasure to play on this stage – but people are often eating and preferring to talk rather than listen. Start at around 8 PM.

- Le Blues Bar jam session, 100 rue Ordener, 75018 Paris, France, 01 46 34 23 09. Run by American expat musician Thomas Arlo in a neat bar in a slightly out of the way part of Paris, this is now a once-a-month classic open mic. The bar is a great venue for an open mic, with the bar located in the front room on the street entry end of the building, and the open mic taking place in an intimate room in the back, with a small stage and a half-decent sound system. But it’s the intimacy that works: You can really communicate with the audience, most of whom come for the open mic. Sign up at 21:00 and the open mic starts at the humane hour of 21:00.

- Caveau des Oubliettes jam session, 52 Rue Galande, 75005 Paris, 01 46 34 23 09. This is not a classic open mic, but rather a classic jam session: A fabulous underground room with a great little stage, drums, keyboards, bass, amps, and a good organization. The idea is that you sign up to the list and join in the jam either playing an instrument or singing. You are grouped together with other musicians also signed up on the list. There are several jams per week: The Blues Jam on Sundays; the soul jam on Wednesdays; the funk jam on Thursdays. In my experience, you can fit in to any if you have something that comes close, even if it is not exactly, strictly, within the desired definition.

Friday Cabaret Culture Rapide Barman’s open mic is an open mic for music, poetry, spoken word. Can be very cool, and guitar singer/songwriters really welcome. Only problem is, unlike with the aforementioned blues jam, there is no microphone or amplifier. But in my experience the audience is often quiet and it’s a cool environment. 103 rue Julien Lacroix 75020 Paris, M° Belleville / Pyrénées, 01 46 36 08 04. Starts at 10:30 PM.

- Swan Bar – Mentioned above for its open mic on Wednesday, this also has a kind of open mic on Friday night and Saturday night starting at midnight to 2 AM . But it’s not always easy to get on, a little disorganized. Really the best is Wednesday for this, but if you’re in the area you can drop by at midnight to see. See address below.

- Saturday – Also again on Saturday nights the Swan Bar has a midnight to 2 AM open mic, mostly jazz.

- Quiet Man, is a longstanding mainstay of Irish music in Paris, and on Saturdays, starting at 18:00 there is an open mic for beginners, followed by a jam session for more advanced musicians that starts at 22:00 and goes on until 2 AM, or closing time. A wonderful feeling of really being in Ireland, but watch out: the emphasis is on reels and jigs and not so much on songs and singing. 5, rue des haudriettes, 75003 Paris, Metro Rambuteau or Hotel de Ville.

The main places you would probably want to start looking at for full-fledged bands and other cool stuff are:

- Bus Palladium, 6 rue Fontaine, 75009 Paris

There are shows there almost every night.

- L’International, 5, rue Moret 75011 Paris

Another bar/venue place that has concerts all the time, and mostly young people, new groups, etc.

- OPA, 9 rue Biscornet, 75012 Paris, bastille

Another place with bands, concerts, usually no cover charge (as with the above places)

- Le Truskel, 12 rue Feydeau, 75002 Paris, Metro Bourse.

- Le Motel, 8, passage Josset, Paris, France, 75011 more often a bar with DJ, it does have bands, concerts, usually no cover charge (as with the above places)

- Le Point Ephemere, 200 quai de Valmy 75010, Paris, France

You get off at Metro Jaures and this place is located down on the canal below. You’ll see all the people outside, usually. An art space, concert space, bar, DJ thing, restaurant, (even has some privately run recording studios where I recorded four songs in the summer).

Here are some places where the focus is jazz:

- Petit Journal,one in Montparnasse, 13, rue du Commandant Mouchotte, 75014 PARIS, or the same one in St. Michel, 71, boulevard St- Michel, 75005 PARIS

- New Morning, 7-9, rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010 Paris

- Caveau de la Huchette, 5 rue de la Huchette, 75005 PARIS

- Swan Bar, Montparnasse, mentioned above, which is owned and run by an American who has lived in Paris for years and always wanted to create a kind of NYC jazz bar in Paris – and did so; although it’s not alway jazz! It’s at 165 Blvd du Montparnasse, 75006

207 Comments

  1. Pingback: Brad’s Thumbnail Guide to Paris Open Mics, Jams and Other Venues – Oh, and David Broad at The Highlander « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  2. Just a little note on the Cavern. After asking if drummers could play and was told no they let another drummer play a couple of songs. One of the girls I sat with ask if I could play, and was told know because everyone elese would want to play. As a working drummer from new orleans I can understand that. However there was only 3 people in the bar so what was the chances that all 3 of us were going to rush the stage at one time.

    On a good note all of the bar tenders tried to make it work for me. A little note for management.

    Dump the ass hole.

    Good luck to a Grat bunch of bar tenders. You will need it.

    • Thanks for that information, David. It is true that I have seen guest musicians, but I never knew how they were selected. I always thought they were friends of the house musicians. In any case, ANYONE can go up to sing. But I once asked to go up with my guitar to play and sing, and they said no….

      • Hey Brad!
        Your work on the site has been really great to read and be informed on, as a fairly new musican of the age of 16 I’m at the point where I want to push through and meet other musicians, or at least gain experience playing more, where would you suggest is a good place to start? My musical roots tend to stem in blues acoustic, jazz.
        Cheers

      • Hi Jack, sorry to take so long… I was traveling and bogged down by work. That’s why I had this sudden hole on the blog too. Your question is easily answered: Start out at open mics and open jam sessions. Find the ones that most suit your kind of music and your kind of personality – ie, you want to feel comfortable with the people there too. I don’t know what city you live in. But if it is Paris, then my list of open mics on the blog is the place to start looking for places. If you are in another city, just do a search on google for open mics in that city. Best of luck, and maybe we will meet some day. Sorry again for the delay. I am just surfacing from the busiest period of work in my life!!!!!

      • bonjour je vient de decouvrir la page des endroit micros ouverts je suis chanteur sur bande son et j’ai un groupe pour les prestations plus importantes pour passer sur paris c’est pas facille je suis a100km il faudrer 2a3 bar pub le soir mon stylle. elvis. johnny .eddy . dick. pur rock en Français en champagne ardenne il y a rien pour les chanteurs si vous pouver me donner des endroits ou se produir sa serrer simpat …daniel

      • Bonjour Daniel, et merci pour la communication. En fait, c’est pas vraiment facile, et en meme temps, très facile. Je veux dire que sur ma liste de scènes ouvertes sur Paris, toutes les scènes acceptes tout type de musique, et normalement il n’y a pas de problème de faire la bande son aussi, du moment où c’est par un moyen facile comme iPhone qu’on peut branché sur le sono. Par contre, il est vrais aussi que quasiment la totalité des scènes ouvertes sur ma liste ne font pas vraiment le meme style que tu fait…mais justement, pourquoi pas y imposé?

  3. Pingback: Snowed Out Blues « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  4. Pingback: Another Wednesday Double-header, this Time with Joe on Violin « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  5. You should also probably check out Popin (live bands on most days and open mic on a Sunday), and occasionally Truskel have some good stuff on.

  6. Ah, I see you already have Pop ‘in. Apologies.

  7. Pingback: Stage Panic at the Abracadabrabar « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  8. Brad:

    Thanks for doing this. Will be visiting the last week of May and will report back to you. If I am blues focused and play the keys will there be a spot somewhere?

    Thanks,

    CM

    • Hi Conrad, thanks for the comment. For blues and keyboards, if you have your own portable keyboard it would be good to do it at Cabaret Culture Rapide on the Thursday. Also, there is a piano at the Tennessee Bar and you can certainly do blues on the piano, so that’s on the Monday night open mic. I have seen someone use a portable keyboard they brought to the Ptit Bonheur la Chance on Tuesday night, but it is not usually a place where this are long blues jam-type things. Again, if you have your own portable keyboard, try also Be There, on Sunday night. And finally there is the Caveau des Oubliettes, 52 rue Galande
      75005 PARIS. Check them out on the Internet because they have different days devoted to different open jams. But I think you can do that there, and most of their nights are blues oriented.

      Brad

      • Hi, I’m a singer-songwriter from Manchester, UK. I’m coming to Paris tomorrow, monday 11th July to start a busking tour of France. I’ll be in Paris for a few weeks. Can anyone recommend any decent open mics/gig venues that are still running? Cheers, Hugo.

      • Hi, if you check out my open mic list under my articles page, you will find the best list in the world for open mics in Paris. It is on this very site! I’ll no doubt see you at one of them. Cheers, Brad (in St. Pancras on the way back to Paris from Oxford)

      • Hi Brad, really sorry for the late reply! I’ve just found your page again…Thanks for the info it really helped. Played a few of the open mics and got a gig at Le Motel on tuesday so all good. Thanks again!
        Hugo.

  9. Pingback: Update of the Thumbnail Guide to Paris Open Mics « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  10. Pingback: Update of the Thumbnail Guide to Paris Open Mics, and an Upcoming Concert « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  11. Great news Hugo. Amazing you got a gig at the Motel already! Cool stuff….

  12. PS, I just listened to a couple of your songs on your myspace and it sounds really interesting. Hooves of the Herd the musical part at the beginning reminds me a lot of Space Oddity….

  13. Pingback: Monday Night Jam at the Nilaja, Near the Bastille « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  14. Hi Brad! Many thanks for your super helpful blog, I cannot believe what you have to offer in a one stop shop! An artist I work with is on travel in Paris for the month and just arrived today. She is a singer and plays piano/keys. I noticed above that the Tennessee Bar has a piano, by chance do you know of any other venues that might be able to accommodate? She very excited about being active in the Paris open mic scene. Thanks again! Thomas thomas.j.casey@gmail.com

    • Hi Thomas, thanks for the wonderful compliments! It keeps me driving onward…. Off the top of my head I can think of the Bus Palladium, the Swan Bar and the Baroc that also have pianos, in addition to the Tennessee bar. That’s a pretty good start!

      • Hi Brad! I cannot thank you enough! I had my friend – Zahra – http://www.zahrauniverse.com/main.php – stop by The Swan Bar tonight to discuss performing – and she now has a gig this Saturday at 730 PM! And may stay for the open mic later on Saturday. I will post the flier once I make one for her. Not sure if you will be in town or available, but would be cool if you two could meet. She will be performing her original songs acoustically – playing piano and signing. Your blog has been a life saver and with the other venues to contact she might have a steady schedule over the next month while in Paris. All the best! Thomas

      • Excellent! I am in town this weekend and might be able to drop by the Swan Bar on Saturday. It did occur to me that she might be able to get a gig there, but I didn’t say anything, since I know nothing about her playing….

  15. Hi Brad, if you can make it to the Swan Bar on this Saturday, Zahra would love to meet you. I will have her look out for you and maybe you can introduce yourself. If all works well and she can land a few more gigs, maybe I will fly over from the US to join her for a few on acoustic guitar. She is forever grateful for your blog/guide and will be in touch with the other venues in the hopes of lining up more gigs while she is over in Paris promoting her music and videos. In fact she has a song (Dancin by the Fire) with the artist Sorprano, who I understand is doing quite well on the charts over there.

  16. Pingback: My Dinner With an African Princess, Zahra Universe, of Virginia, U.S.A. « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  17. Hi Brad! After another look on your blog I found the page I was searching for. Really helpful so thanks. Hope to see you at the Highlander or elsewhere soon again!

    • Hi Izabella, thanks for letting me know you found it. Now I hope you find other places to go that you like!!!! Maybe I will see you at the others…. I’m off for a week on Tuesday, but certainly back in the open mics after that….. cheers, Brad

  18. Hi Brad,

    Thank you for the great job: so fortunate to have eyes and years in far off places :) I was wondering whether you can advice on which open mics are indie singer/songwriter friendlier?(as in blues/jazz friendly places). We’ll be in Paris for a week starting this Sunday, and having a clue about it will be priceless :)
    Thanks again!!!

    • Thanks very much for the comment. I was unable to hear your music, so I’m not really sure what it’s like and that makes it difficult to match up a place with the sound. (Maybe you have a myspace?) I’d try the Tennessee bar on Monday, the Ptit Bonheur la Chance and the Bus Palladium on Tuesday and the Highlander on Wednesday – oh, and not to forget the one that might be the most “Indie” of all, the Pop In on Sunday. Hope to see you!

  19. :) Thank you so much for the quick reply: wonder why technology works wonders for one and fails for another lol I’m sorry the website doesn’t work form its allocated space. Here’s a Myspace profile, the rest of the outlets are listed into it as well: http://www.myspace.com/gerix.
    And absolutely – It would be great to meet you! Let me know – if after you give it a listen -you have a better idea for open mic.
    Thanks a million, Brad!

  20. Pingback: Tiny Update to Thumbnail Guide to Open Mics, Jam Sessions and other Live Music in Paris « Brad Spurgeon's Blog

  21. Nice job !! But you forgot to mention the Nilaja’s on mondays !!! Yesterday and some of the jams are also drived by the bluesman Boney Fields…… See ya !!
    (PS : this thursday I’ll be MCing the Soüp Session Jam at the Centre Barbara Fleury in Barbès ; very big hall, and good artists in show case, with one of the founders of the legendaries Last Poets…..) Bizoux Brad !

    • Thanks for the comment, Doréa. No, I did not forget the Nilaja. I just have not yet done it! Updating such a page is easier said than disciplined! I’d love to drop by Thursday, but I leave in a few hours for Japan, then South Korea…. so out of town for a while….

  22. Thank God for your site! My 18 year-old daughter is headed to Paris in a little more than a week. I told her she had to find somewhere to play while she is there. She is currently doing a Gap year in Oxford and working on her career. She has fall break starting on the 22nd and decided to go to Paris for the week. She has a friend there to stay with, but I told her she needed to get out and find somewhere to play while she is there. Her french is not very good, so I think she is sweating it a bit. Do you have any recommendations or advice for a young American girl who has 4 years of High School French, but is not very good at speaking the language?

    • Hi Patricia,

      Well, thank God for your comment, since this kind of thing keeps me feeling like the site is worthwhile! I think you already found the best idea for your daughter, which is to go to the open mics, even if she doesn’t want to play – but obviously if she does, then all the better. But the thing is that at most of these open mics there is a good mix of international students and young people and French and English. So she will meet people there and have no problem wading into the French world, without being stuck in the English-only expat world. The best for her would be the Ptit Bonheur la Chance one on Tuesdays, and the Tennessee and Galway ones on the Monday, starting with the earlier Tennessee; and also the Highlander one on Wednesdays. She might like the Pop In on Sundays, too. Other than that, there’s no sweat, no big deal about her level of French in Paris – there are so many foreigners that the French are used to it….

  23. Hi,Im in Paris now so looking forward to seeing how they like my act,kind of bluesy funky solo bass with a bit of loops and a bit of singing….Maybe i’ll meet some of yers…I was wondering,what is the law regarding busking in paris?ive read and heard so many contradictory things,you seem like the kind of chap who’d know for sure..ps thanks for this guide,its great.Peace x

    • HI, I actually just arrived in India until next week. And I don;t know the law on busking in Paris. I do know that in the metro stations you are supposed to have a licence that you audition for. You get moved on if you don’t have it, and maybe worse can happen. I have friends who have busked in the streets and I have not heard of anything bad happening. But I imagine it is like anything to do with the law…it can range from nothing to very bad.

  24. You are going to love this! My daughter Tina, who never bothers to fully read what I send her, showed up at Petit Bonheur la Chance on Thursday night, with her guitar and 2 friends in tow. They informed her of course that the open mic was on Tuesday instead of Thursday. However, a clever manager quickly invited her to stay and play for them. They quickly set up the performance area and quieted the crowd. She played her original music for an hour! The patrons LOVED her! She made a lot of new friends. Thanks for your guidance. Even though she screwed up, it all worked out in the end.

    • Hi Patricia,

      That is great news. You’re right, just the kind of thing I love – and to think that this blog had a part in it is even better. I hope she returns for the open mic when I’m there. Yes, the owner/manager is a fine, open guy and that doesn’t surprise me he said to just go ahead and play! I had a similar thing here in India the other day as I arrived in the country on the Wednesday and wanted to attend an open mic here, but as it was a national holiday the bar was closed. I had contacted them in advance, and they decided to set up a gig for me for the following night. So I played two one-hour sets. Nothing better for a budding musician, of any age….

  25. I’m not sure which place you’d most recommend for for singer/songwriters with acoustic guitars — is it Petit Bonheur la Chance?

  26. also- do any of the places provide amps?

  27. Un nouveau lieu pour les Open Mic à Paris : Le French Flair (75 bis bd de clichy – Paris 9e) :

    http://www.bar-rugby.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27&Itemid=24

    C’est un mercredi sur deux à partir de 21h00

  28. I am a professional blues guitarist from Chicago currently living in Miami. I will be in Paris from December 16 until Dec. 22

  29. Hi Brad, thanks for your fantastic detailed blog of open mic spots in Paris! it is such a great resource and I just wanted to thank you for compiling it! I’ll be in Paris tomorrow for a week – I’m a singer songwriter, I use a loop pedal and my style is ‘hip-soul-folk’ I am looking forward to checking out a few venues! great! x prita

  30. Brad! Thank you for this detailed information. I’m a singer/songwriter from Ukraine, going to Paris in February. Definitely will attend some of them.

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  32. Brad, your blog is just what I was looking for (#1 result in Google.)

    My family and I will be traveling from Boston to Paris this summer from June 28th to July 7th. My son, who is 9, regularly performs at local open mics. He usually plays his electric guitar (e.g. Creedence, The Kinks, Chuck Berry, and lately Nada Surf) but will be bringing only his acoustic guitar along on our trip. He’s very good for his age, so he’s not picking out 3 Blind Mice or anything childish.

    Just wondering if you have any suggestions on a venue that would be best. Obviously we need an all-ages place (at least for the performers) and a starting time that’s not much later than 8-9pm.

    Thanks again for your very helpful site!

    • Hi, I am so glad the blog is a help and so prominent in the search! Love hearing these things. And I would love to hear your son! Must be cool. I will give some thought to this, but it could be tough, given the fact that kids under 18 are not allowed in bars… but there must be a way….

  33. Brad:

    Great blog.

    My wife and I will be in Paris for 10 days in October and I hope to find a couple of blues (or country or jazz) jams in clubs that have a piano or keyboard. Also, are there any cafes/bars with a piano that folks may play? I play piano in a band and a duo in Pittsburgh — a real mix of stuff — and would love play a few songs while in the City of Light.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    • Thanks very much Tim. Yes, the Tennessee Bar with its open mic on Mondays has a piano. So does the Baroc on Tuesdays. I’ll try to think of others, but that’s a start. They are both on my list of open mics…. Hope to see you….

  34. Hello, Brad:

    Many thanks for the reply. I did notice on your blog that the Tennessee Bar has a piano, and mercy as well for letting me know about Baroc.

    Along with piano, I also play a bit of accordion in our band here — we do mainly Louisiana music, including some Cajun, zydeco and New Orleans blues (along with a few originals) but doubt I’ll haul that along in October. Lately a guitar player and I have been playing old blues and jazz with a little Gospel and folk tossed in, and doing some gigs in Pittsburgh. I’ve done a couple solo gigs.

    PS: I see you have also been in journalism. I figure Paris must still be a great place to write. I drew cartoons for the morning paper in Pittsburgh for 30 years, and wrote (and illustrated) several Sunday magazine pieces.

    I do appreciate your blog and any other info you may pass along to me.

    Best,
    Tim

    • France loves accordions, of course, so you wouldn’t be out of place – but it would be heavy to carry, wouldn’t it…. I just remembered that there is also a piano at the Swan Bar, so you should check that one out as well.
      I am still working in journalism, in fact, which is the job that pays for my living – and my travel! This blog is just for fun….

  35. Wondering – Is Swan Bar the only place the provides an accompanist? Or do any of the others? Are there open mic nights that are most specifically for Singers?

    Cool list – thank for the info!

    Best – Heather

    • The Swan Bar is the only one I know of where you can go and bring your music and give it to the pianist and have him accompany you like that. But at many other open mics you can ask the MC to play guitar with you and he will do it – Tennessee bar I have seen this, probably at the Highlander too, and at the Mazet. Specifically for singers, there is the Cavern on Wednesday nights where you have a band playing pop standards, and you go to the mic and sing. Same at the Caveau des Oubliettes, where there is a vocal and music “jam” several nights a week.

  36. Hi Brad,

    What a fantastic resource you have here! I’m planning a trip to France in May but not planning to go through Paris this time. I’ll be visiting friends around Grenoble, Nice and Bordeaux. Any idea how I could find out about open mics in those areas? I’m especially interested in places that can provide accompaniment (guitar or piano)

    Cheers,
    Susan

    • Hi Susan, the only place I can help you with is Nice. THere is a new open mic every second Monday in the cosy basement bar of an Irish Pub called the Snug. Don’t have the address, though. There are a few other places that sometimes have open stages. Some may not still exist, but you can ask at Shapko if they have any possibility of accommodating you. There is a pub on the old port that has one on Sunday nights – or did – called Ma Nolan’s. There is another pub that has an open mic sometimes as well, called, Paddy’s Pub. Also try King’s Pub. It’s all pretty changeable though, so I leave you to your own devices mostly! I will be there myself in late May….

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  38. Hey Brad, What a great resource. Thanks so much. I played open mic at the Highlander four years ago and had so much fun. I’m going to be in Paris next Thursday and Friday nights. I can’t find a schedule for The Mazet and wondered if it still has an open mic on Thursday nights.
    Christy

    • Hi, and thanks very much for the compliment. I first saw this comment while sitting in a taxi in the early hours of the morning last night/today, on my way back home from the Mazet bar open mic! Unfortunately, though, it was the last one before it takes a summer break. So you missed it by one week. It will start again in September. Also, I will not be in town when you are here, so we will miss each other. Good luck, have fun!

  39. Sorry to hear that the Mazet open mic is closing for the summer and that I won’t get a chance to see you perform. I see in your blog post on the last night at the the Mazet, that you say there are others on Friday night. It looks like from your list above that Culture Rapide Barman’s and the Swan Bar are the other choices. Are there others? Also, do you think I would feel comfortable going to these places alone?
    Christy

    • You would have no problem in them alone, I assure you. They are not the busiest of open mics, or the most traditional. But if you have to do something on a Friday, that’s all that exists that I know of.

  40. Hey Brad, great blog! super useful thank you.
    I’ll be in Paris for work for a short few days from Wed Oct 3 till Monday Oct 8th and looking for open mic opportunities. I’m also a pop singer/songwriter with a few albums under my belt so keen to find opportunities to play in Paris whilst i’m there! I may be returning in April 2013 also, so i’m keen to investigate music venues for gig opportunities whilst i’m there in October. Are Ptit Bonheur la Chance and Pop-in still the best places to go for a solo acoustic act as far as open mic is concerned?
    Thanks!
    sophie (from Australia)

    • Hi Sophie, sounds like a great plan. Yes, those two open mics are still good. Depends what you’re looking for out of them. The Coolin open mic on Mondays is a fun new one, and the others, Tennessee, Highlander, etc., remain excellent. You might want to try out the Cavern as a venue to play at, although the open mic is just a live karaoke with a band. I’m sure you will meet lots of people and make connections for venues while you’re here. Your time here coincides exactly with when I will be in Japan, so unfortunately we won’t meet….

    • Hey Brad, I wondered if you’re coming to Austin to cover the F1 races. I’d love to catch you at an open mic here in the live music capitol (I believe we claim “of the world,” which may sound arrogant to the international visitor, but still might well be true). Actually, I have a niggling aspiration to follow in your footsteps and compile a list of open mics in Austin and/or blog about my experiences at open mics here. Let me know if you’re coming in for the big event, and I’ll give you a run-down on the open mics I know about. Yours, Christy

      My current blog which has nothing at all to do with open mics http://signsofsomething.blogspot.com/

      • Hi Christy! I will be in Austin starting on Wednesday night and lasting until the following Wednesday. I am indeed looking for open mics to play in – if you can help, that would be great. I have some names of places from people I have met from Austin (in Paris) but the choice is still pretty limited, and I understand there are a massive number of places. Would be great to meet you.

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  42. Really great Blog. Helped me Find some Open mics When I moved to Paris. It really is a one stop shop for everything, you wont find it anywhere else. So far I have been able to try Tennessee and Coolin. Tennessee I found to be really really good. Its was packed downstairs and i got to do 4 songs and during the more quiet songs the crowd was quiet and listened and during the faster ones they joined in. a really good experience. James who ran it was really nice and helpfull. I also tried Coolin 2 times and its very well Organised and Run, I would say stay away from quiet songs there though as its hard to hear yourself with the busy crowd. 10 out of 10 to Brad for the blog and work putting it together

  43. Hi Brad, Thanks for the really helpful information. I live in London and visit Paris from time to time. Do any of these venue allow a cappella singing? Would you know whether some of the house bands play for ‘instrumentless’ singers?
    Thanks, Judy

    • In my experience they all allow acappella, and at most you can ask someone to play along with you. If you want to sing with a full-fledged band, the Cavern is a place to go. Thanks for the compliments.

  44. Hello !

    A friend of mine saw you playing a couple of weeks ago in Paris. Then he was like: you have to invite this guy to your open mic, he is amazing and likes your kind of music.
    So here I am ! I do organise an open mic every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. So next one is October 4th. The place is called “la kolok” it’s in the center of Paris (20 rue du croissant métro bourse or grands boulevards). and the music begins at 8pm, till midnight.
    Like every other open mic i guess, we have mics…sono, guitars etc….most of the time we do have a drummer playing cajon, shaker, very little cymbals, to play along with any artist without a rhythm section. Indeed it’s free to play and there’s an happy hour from 5 to 8 in the bar.
    You can find us on facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Kolok-Paris/120835964646965
    We really try to promote jams ! Mainly with rock covers (N.Young, Radiohead, coldplay, pink floyd…)
    feel free to contact me if you have any questions: romaingaia@hotmail.com
    See you soon,

    Romain

    • Thanks very much for that, and thanks for the compliments. I really want to go to this open mic, and I will as soon as I can. Too bad it is not EVERY Thursday. I am travelling so much at the moment that I miss a lot of Thursdays in Paris. I will be in Japan next week, so I will miss it then. But I will go as soon as it is on when I’m in Paris. Thanks again.

  45. Brad, I’m a Montana Cowboy singer songwriter and have been playing for a living for 40 years. I’ve performed around the world some and have a short notice trip coming up to Paris. Would you give me any direction of places to check out to perform as a gig or open mic that I might get some good exposure and response? I leave Montana Oct 9th and return the 19th. I own a ranch here and have wagonride dinners shows during the summer. The music web site is http://www.CharlieRussell.com ( then select about the artists) and the ranch site is http://www.LastChanceRanch.biz. thanks in advance for any information you might be able to give me.

    Bruce Anfinson
    Helena, Montana
    bruce@mt.net

  46. Brad: Will probably play a couple songs on the piano at Le Tennessee Bar this Monday night (tomorrow). Played a couple last Monday. What talent they have at Open Mic — very impressive! If you’re in town and can stop by, would be great to meet you. Keep up the good work. Tim

    • Good luck, and thanks for letting me know. I will be playing at an open mic in Seoul, South Korea on Monday night, and flying back to Paris the following day for arrival on Wednesday – So I’ll miss you.

      • Brad: Sorry I missed you this time around. I got to the Le Tennessee Bar twice and played the piano a bit. It’s a fun spot and the open mic is very well run. As I said earlier, it gets a lot of talented musicians. Next time I hope to stop by a couple other spots you’ve listed. Again, many thanks for your blog and all the help you pass along. It adds a special note to a special city.

      • Sorry we missed each other, but thanks for the compliments – I’m glad the blog has been helpful….

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  48. Brad,
    I started writing you back last night, but I don’t think I ever sent it. Did you get long-winded description of Poodie’s Hilltop Bar from me? Anyway, I’m thinking of going to the open mic at Flipnotics on Thursday night with a friend. I’ve never actually been there, but it’s kind of a funky little coffee house/bar on Barton Springs Road. Love to meet you there or somewhere in the next week. Or let me know if you need a ride.
    Christy

    • I didn’t receive your long-winded description, unfortunately – you can tell by my blog that I am a fan of “long-winded.” But I check out these names and compare on my list, and let you know what I can do. Thanks.

    • Christy, really sorry to take so long to respond. I will explain later if I see you. I am definitely going to Flipnotics tonight. It turns out that it is within a fairly short walking distance from my hotel!!!!

  49. What I was trying to say in the long-winded comment I started and never sent was this: there are two main categories of open mics in Austin. Most of them are hip coffee houses, restaurants and bars in central Austin. But there’s another category of divey honky-tonk sorts of bars outside the city limits. The patrons lean more toward Nascar than F1. My favorite is Poodie’s Hilltop Bar which is about 10 or 15 miles outside of town. It’s a humble, low-ceilinged place with a bar on one side of the room, a ground level stage on the other side, and several 4X4 pillars between the two that you have to crane to look around if you want to see the stage. Poodie was Willie Nelson’s roadie, and sometimes Willie would show up unannounced at midnight after a local performance (Willie lives out in the that neck of the woods). Poodie died a few years ago and I think Willie’s surprise appearances have come to a halt. One night I was at Poodie’s and on my way to the ladies room I passed by a table that had been vacated temporarily by the patrons who had been sitting there. It appeared they were on their way back – probably just stepped out to the parking lot to get high. There were bags and sweaters thrown over the backs of the chairs crowded around the table. The ashtrays on the table were full. There was a half-eaten bowl of nuts. And a jug of some brownish liquid that looked homemade. The kicker is that one of the empty chairs around the table was a wheelchair. Poodie’s open mic is on Wednesday so I think it doesn’t fall into your schedule, and I’m not sure it’s what you’re looking for anyway. But it’s certainly an interesting patch of local color and they let you play more than two songs.

  50. Haha not a problem man!
    I’m currently in Paris as an expat. So I’ve been eager to break through the language barrier and play with other musicians in the area,
    Would you recommend any open mics in particular for a decent experience? I was looking at the highlander the other day and it seemed pretty ok!
    All the best!

  51. hey, very nice article, thank you!! do you maybe know open mics where there are drums ??

    • Hi Martina, I should start incorporating that information my descriptions, since I have people asking often about pianos, now drums…. Off the top of my head… last night the open mic at the Lizard Lounge, which unfortunately is just once a month – next one on 6 January – always seems to have a drum set. Otherwise, the vocal jam at the Cavern has one, but it is not for use by the people who sing – there is a house band. So not much good…. I think all of the jams at the Caveau des Oubliettes have a drum set for use by whoever wants to play them. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head… oh, they seem to have a single drum machine box thing that the organizer of the open mic at the Baroc on Tuesday nights plays with and he would perhaps let anyone use it.

  52. Hello Brad,

    My name is Anthony Bernhauser and I am a professional singer/songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. I will be traveling to Paris the last week of March in 2013 and I am looking forward to playing at some of the Open Mics listed on your amazing Blog! I am looking to play as many Open Mics as I can in one, two, or three nights. I have even considered trying to book a show at a venue like the Galway club but I don’t know if that would be possible. Any advice? My music is acoustically driven and is reminiscent of a Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Ben Harper esq vibe, but I’m told my originality still shines through. With that being said I play Rock/Pop and everything in between. You can check out my music at http://www.abernmusic.com if you would like to have a listen. I read your blog about playing 3 open mics in one night (at the Tennessee, Coolin, and Galway Pub) and I wonder if that is something I also may be able to do? Any recommendations that you can make to me would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks so much,

    Anthony

    • Hi Anthony, thanks for the nice comment. I listened to your music, and it sounds great. I hope I’m not traveling when you are in Paris so I can see you perform.
      For doing as many open mics as possible in Paris I suggest if you are only here one to three days then it is best to choose Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Doing three open mics in one night is possible, but often a difficult balance and a bit of luck is required. On Mondays, if you get to the Coolin by 8:30 you can sign up there, but the music starts at 9:30, so you can run over to the Tennessee, which is not far off, and play there if you get lucky – the MC does not make a list – then run back to the Coolin, and then walk to the Galway if it is still only around 11 PM or so. The Galway only goes until 12:30 usually.
      On Tuesdays if you want to try more than one open mic it is more complicated, as the two main options are the Baroc – near Col. Fabien metro – and the Ptit Bonheur la Chance, near the Pantheon. These are far away, and both tend to be crowded, so it is rare to be able to do both. I usually just do the Ptit Bonheur la Chance, which is one of the very best.
      Then on Wednesday it is another difficult thing, but if you get to the Highlander very early – 8:00 – and get early on the list, then chances are you can walk over the 15 minute walk to the Vieux Leon and play there to finish the night – although it often ends around midnight.
      All those are on my open mic list that you saw.
      As far as a gig somewhere, well, that is something that tends to grow out of playing at a place and being heard and meeting people – as with anywhere. But I see no reason why you should not try to contact people at the bars on my list and see if they want to hire you for a gig (although little money, if any, ever gets paid in most of those places). Same as everywhere on earth!

  53. thanks for this list. I’m a standup comedian from Denver, Colorado and will be doing some shows in London next week. How are the shows for standup comedy? and would you recommend any show to drop in and do a 5 min set in English? thanks!

    • THanks for the comment, Matt. I’m not very knowledgable about the comedy open mics in Paris, and it is not common to mix comedy with music open mics here. I can say that I do know that you can do comedy at the open mic on Friday night at the Cabaret Culture Rapide, which is on my list here. And English will pass OK, even though it is primarily a French open mic. But there are often English language people in the audience, and lots of the French will understand. I have seen a magician at the Baroc open mic on Tuesdays, so it might be possible there, but it could be more difficult there. I have seen some theatrical comedy and spoken word at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance open mic on Tuesdays, and it is a very cool and hip audience in general. You might want to check it out and see how it feels, then ask the MC if you can do a comedy routine. It’s pretty open, even if predominantly just music.

  54. Hi Brad! Thanks so much the information. I’ll confer with my comedy buddy, and we’ll go from there. Hope to see you soon in the City of Light!

  55. Hi, My boyfriend and I are in Paris 25th – 28th Feb, he plays jazz drums and I would love to find an open mic where he could play do you have any suggestions? Thanks x

    • Hi Ceri, yes, definitely. Go to the Caveau des Oubliettes on the rue Galande. They have a drum set and it’s an open jam session. Do a google search to find their hours and exactly what kind of jam it is on which day… I know they do several per week in the early part of the week. The styles vary by theme each day. That’s the only one that really jumps out in my mind. You won’t want to do it every night, I am pretty sure, anyway, so that should do it!

      Oh, also, there is a jazz jam at the Duc des Lombards, but I think it is on the weekend. You could find their site too on the web.

      • Hey Brad,

        Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. Thank you so much for all your help. I plan on Trying to perform at the Tennessee and the Galway Open Mic on Monday, and then Highlander on Wednesday. Are these venues close to a subway or tain stop?

        Thanks,

        Anthony Bernhauser

  56. Hi Brad,
    This is great thanks for this highly usefull list. I tried to compile one (and keep it updated) and i know it takes a bit of work.
    I would add that the biz’art jam has unfortunately stopped,

    And I would add the “Piston Pelican” as a nice little bar regularly featuring live music .

    Thanks for all this

    Eric (harmonica player – we met a couple times in the biz’art)

  57. Hi Brad,

    Firstly, thank you so much for your blog! I found it ages ago but am heading back to Paris in April so went straight to google to find it again. I’m a soul/R&B singer and am really interested in hitting up one or two of the open mic nights but unfortunately I don’t play an instrument (yet). I’m really into the neo-soul/r&B/hip hop scene but also am a lover of jazz. Is there any open mic nights that you’d suggest I definitely check out? I will be in Paris from a Friday to Monday. I was quite keen on going to Anthracite but won’t be able to go to that. Are there ones that have house musicians that could possibly accompany me?

    Thanks so much and keep it up with the blog, really enjoyable read!

    KC x

    • Hi, thanks for the comment. Friday and Saturday are the worst nights for open mics in Paris – almost nothing to speak of. Sunday night, it depends which Sunday of the month, often. Monday, if you are here in the night, you have the Tennessee where there is a piano and often musicians who can accompany you. But not certain. Unfortunately the one that is completely and entirely custom made for you is the one at the Cavern, which is on Wednesday nights and has a house band with which you sing. Even so, check out the web site for the Caveau des Oubliettes, which has musicians who jam together as a group and a vocalist who also joins them – but I cannot remember which nights are which for the kind of music they do. If you google the name you should find the site that lists when they have jams – it would work too. Oh, a final thought is the Swan Bar, which has its open mic on Wednesdays, but also does a kind of open stage late on Fridays and Saturdays, usually from midnight to 2 AM – but you should check first with them. There is a pianist who can accompany your singing, and the style will work. The Swan Bar is on my list.

      • Hi Brad, Thanks so much for your swift response! Well I get in at 3pm on the Wednesday so I might actually check out the Cavern. Would you suggest I get there really early? Or maybe check out their website and contact them directly? If I have time the other nights, I might check out the other venues you mentioned. Thank you again, I really appreciate it! :)

      • No need to arrive early, and I suspect that writing to their web site might be a waste of time. I suggest you arrive around 10:45 PM, as the jam starts at 10:30…but never does. Then you just raise your hand and say you would like to sing. They take you. You could even arrive at midnight and do the same thing, in my experience.

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  62. Hi, I was wondering where there would be a jam with a drum set there that I could “sit in” I am in paris at the moment for the next 8 days.

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  64. Hello. I am in Paris for tonight only – Friday, May 31. Hoping to get lucky and find an open mic night to jam. Suggestions / contacts would be appreciated. Thanks, George

  65. PS – I have my pedal steel guitar with me!

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  68. Arriving in Paris June 19th, jazz fan and singer. looking for a jazz pal to cruise the scene with on Sat. Night when my guitar playing husband will abandon me for th 24 hr. car race in Le Manz. You can see/hear me on my web page http://www.BonnieGibson.com (capitals not necessary). I’m staying in Latin quarter. Trusting to the jazz karma angels to be contacted by only cool people, i’m going to risk posting my email address here. Bon@bonniegibson.com. Ps. I speak English & spanish. My French is fairly hideous. I like prerty straight ahead melodic jazz. Love traditional trio style stuff– stand up bass/piano/drums. Always interested in and supportive of other singers.

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  73. Hi Brad,

    I coud add,
    Caveau des Oubliettes jam on sunday nights (blues rock) kinda loud, have to be there early to get a seat, and more importantly
    the excellent new jazzyblues jam at ‘le chair de poule’ , rue de meaux, hosted by Rob Armus :

    https://www.facebook.com/events/117205091797688/

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  75. Hey Brad,
    Thanks for the great resource! We’ll be in Paris from 22/8 through 26/8 (heading to London after that for some gigs) and I wanted to find some good jams to sit in at. I contacted Big Dez about the Caveau des Oubliettes, but this particular weekend he’ll be in Amsterdam so Jumpin’ Jeff will be hosting. I’ll definitely make that, but now (thanks to your blog) I have a few places to check out on Thursday, Friday, and Monday!
    Very, very helpful blog. Please keep it up!

    – Russell “Hitman” Alexander

    • Thanks very much for the nice comment. It turns out that I’m off to Belgium from the 22 to the 26 exactly! But I will be back for the evening of the 26th, and I’m keen to try out the Chair de Poule jam, which it seems to me from what I can see on their facebook, could be a good place for you too. I’ve not put it on my own page yet since I only put up places I have attended. here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/117205091797688/

      I also thought I should tell you that I learned last night that the Tennessee Bar open mic will still be closed on Thursday AND Monday, and is not scheduled to start again until September.

      In any case, have a great trip.

      Brad

      • Did the jam at Oubliettes last night, Jumpin’ Jeff was hosting (Big Dez was in Amsterdam). Not only is he an exceptional guitarist and performer, but he was a real gentleman and kept the jam moving. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the whole night as my wife was feeling ill. Be warned: it’s VERY hot in there, and the drinks are pretty expensive (11 Euros for a draft Guiness!) When we left, there was a fantastic guitarist from Italy playing, and a Japanese guy on harp blowing up a storm. The house band was extremely professional and provided a great rhythm section when I was playing, but there were many jammers there for drums and bass so they weren’t on for long once the jam started.
        Brad, see you at Chair de Poul tonight – it starts at 7:30pm. I’m the tall guy in the hat.

      • Hi Russell, thanks for the comment and the news. I traveled back from Belgium on Monday, and something came up that meant I couldn’t get to the Chair de Poule jam. I hope you return to Paris another time and I have the pleasure of hearing and meeting you. Thanks again. Brad

  76. After a few years of playing and singing for myself, I decided I would jump in front of some audience and try out some songs in public, playing my flashy steel dobro. I started last wednesday at the Highlander, oh well. A bit disappointed by the lack of attention from the audience. This must be a common complaint from beginner openmic performers like me… Anyway your blog is great. I will certainly keep on trying. Hope we’ll cross paths at some point.
    Cheers
    Poa

    • Thanks for that comment, and whatever you do, don’t be discouraged by the Highlander situation. I was not there that night, but I can assure you with all my experience with open mics and audiences around the world, that the Highlander audience is one of the world’s most challenging! The place, which I love, has a kind of tradition of incessant and raucous talk, talk, talk even during the best performances. Sometimes you CAN grab an audience and have them quieten down or sing along – but usually that is only with crowd pleaser songs. It is not representative at all of all open mics; although there are many with a similar situation. Just try a few more to see the difference…. And accept the Highlander as a big challenge!

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  85. Thanks Brad! Super useful list. Hopefully I’ll bump into you at one of these open mics so I can buy you a pint to thank you in person.

    -Blake

  86. I am looking to come to Paris on the 15th of Dec, I am a blues singer There for a couple of days thanks for your list

  87. I just booked the flight so yea that would be great. Whats a good area to stay in for good access to these jams?

  88. Look in airbnb.com, look for latin quarter, we stayed this spring for very reasonable prices good luck.

  89. Thanks Bonnie I will look at it

  90. Im looking at the Latin Quarter found erasable rates looking forward to the music and the city

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  95. Hi Brad,

    I manage an 18 yr old British singer songwriter Joe Miles, he has a Paris fan base who are keen to see him perform his new EP ‘All Good Things’ that he wrote with Amy Wadge.

    The french fans suggest between 50 and 100 will show up, but my problem is, where does he perform?

    Can you suggest a suitable venue for a small electro/acoustic band to perform?

    Thnaks

    Mark

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the message. The place that comes immediately to mind is Le Truskel, http://www.truskel.com which is a favorite place for young bands, and a real meeting place for young people around music and fun. At the same time, it has actually served as a place to play for people like Peter Doherty, members of the Cribs and Johnny Borrell. So, it’s cool and open to new music, obviously, although it is just a regular bar with a small stage. I am not entirely sure who does the bookings at the moment, although I know lots of people who play there or do DJ stuff. I could intervene, although I’m pretty busy in the next week – or you could just try yourself via the web site. There are other possible places, of course, as well, but that’s the place I’d start. Let me know if you want more.

  96. Many thanks Brad, I’ll contact them via their website and see how I get on. I’ll update you on progress or problems either way!
    Thanks again
    Mark

  97. Hi Brad, unfortunately neither of the venues are replying to my emails, do you have an idea as to who their booking agents are?

    Many thanks for your help.

    Kind regards

    Mark

  98. Many thanks Brad, will keep you posted
    Cheers
    Mark

  99. Great result, Joe and the Band are booked to Play Le Truskel on Friday 4th April.

    I owe you a Pint!

    Hope to meet you there, if you can make it.

    Cheers

    Mark

    • Fabulous! I’m really pleased with that! The only thing I don’t like is that I will be in Bahrain for the F1 race for my job. Too bad it hadn’t been booked when I was in town and could go – but I’m doing so much travel at the moment that it would have been tough any way you look at it! Hope it goes well….

  100. Many thanks Brad, shame you will be travelling.

    We will be back in Paris again, now we have a connection with the venue.

    Have a safe trip.

    Cheers

    Mark

  101. Hi Brad. Great Blog and such extensive and helpful open mic situation. My duo, Outlier, will be in Paris at the beginning of June this summer, and this list has really helped us get started figuring out where to play in Paris. We plan on hitting as many of these open mics as possible and hopefully get a gig or two. Thanks again and will be using your list as a guide while we’re in town. Take Care!!

    http://www.outlier-music.com

    • Thanks a million, I’m going to check out your music. Thanks so much for letting me know the page helps. That’s what I love about doing this.

      • Hi Brad, Many thanks for recommending Le Truskel, we had a great gig and an email from them asking why fans were queuing outside the venue before it opened!……….thats young women for you I guess! We are planning a return in September when Joe releases his next EP. Thanks again Mark

      • Hi Mark, I’m so pleased that worked out to such a degree that even the Truskel people were wondering what was going on! I only wish I could have been there. I hope I will be around in September, as I’ll be traveling a lot at that time too.
        I’m just in the middle of putting out a number of tracks I recorded in February, by the way, and don’t know if you saw the first of my videos with my song “When You’re Gone Away.” Check it out if you didn’t see it!:

        Maybe I can open for Joe next time ’round! ;-)

  102. Hi,

    First of all let me thank you for your article, it really helps open mic amateurs like me. Also I went to La Tireuse today and the barman told me they are stopping it (its been three weeks now) again.

    Finally I would like to ask you 3 questions ( I hope you’ll have the time to anwer all of’em):

    1. Which one is the best for you?
    2. Do you know any good one in London?
    3. Do you know any good one, in Paris or in London, that hosts alternative rock (specially shoegaze) open mic evenings?

    I would also like to thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to my questions. I hope i’ll see some time to have a chat.

    Regards,

    J.M

    • Hi, so sorry to take so long to respond, but I’ve been travelling and doing other pressing things. I just had a chance to update my guide for Paris, and I thank you for alerting me to the Tireuse, which I had not visited since it closed, and I hadn’t been told by anyone else that it closed. I’ve now confirmed that with the guy who ran it…. Well, honestly, my list is the best place to look for which of those I find the most fun an interesting – it also basically tells which ones will host a band; i.e., Lizard Lounge, Tennessee, Belushis. There are none that I know that host specifically alternative rock. As for London, that is one of the world’s biggest open mic centres, possibly THE biggest. The best way to approach open mics there, if you haven’t already done it is to use the guide on the web for all of England. Check virtually acoustic open mic on google and you’ll find it. It’s a great guide. I’ve not done any in London for around 5 years, I think, so my own experience there is a little outdated…. I do great ones in Oxford each year, though, and I have a guide to those on my site….

  103. I did a Brad Spurgeon open mic tour of Paris in 2012. Seven open mics in as many days. It was a slow walk down memory lane, as I was a professional folk musician in Europe for ten years back in 1975-85. I’ll be returning to Paris at the end of August and would love to play again. Thanks to Brad. I won’t have to look too far.

    • Thanks a million! I’m very pleased and honored to receive a message like that. Also, it keeps me working to make sure I keep the open mic list up to date! Hope we can meet in August.

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  105. Will be traveling to Paris early next week and this Open Mic guide is spectacularly helpful!

    Do you know if any of them have feature slots of some sort? Or know of any venues that might be willing to add me to a show this late in the game?

    Here’s what I do :: http://www.margotmacdonald.com :: http://www.facebook.com/margotmacdonaldmusic

    • Hi Margot, I’m so sorry it took so long to respond to you! I’ve been travelling and then catching up with various things. I’m leaving to travel again in a couple of days, so unfortunately I will miss you when you’re in Paris. Your music sounds fabulous! To answer your question, I don’t think many – if any – of these open mics have feature slots. The Lizard Lounge one does, but it’s just the first Sunday of the month, so I think you’re not here. On the other hand, lots of these places are probably open to a late gig idea – Tennessee Bar, Truskel are a couple of ideas that jump out at me. Or maybe the Cavern… (I’m not sure it’s still on my list because the open mic no longer runs – check out Cavern Paris in google. The others I have contact information for all of them.) If I have any other ideas, I’ll let you know.

  106. Hi Brad,

    I’d been told the Tenesse open mike stopped (but haven’t checked)
    And I’d like to recommand the “pigalle country club” open mike on tuesdays around 21h30
    59 rue pigalle
    It’s a young atmosphere , no registering of any sort, just a relaxed “get there and start playing” style

    • Thanks for your comment. On the other hand, the Tennessee bar open mic is indeed still functioning. It never stopped; but it did change MC last year. And I’m glad you can recommend the Pigalle Country Club open mic – it has been on my list of open mics in Paris for a year or so!!! I recommend it too! You must have missed reading the entry!

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  108. Hi I’m travelling to Paris 27-31st Aug. I’m a singer but don’t intend to perform, mostly want to check out the music scene and soak up atmosphere as an audience member. What night is the openmic at Le Cavern? Any other recommendations for vibe/atmosphere?

    Thanks, Mel

  109. Hey Mel. I did a Brad Spurgeon tour about two years ago; it was fantastic. As it turns out, I’ll be in Paris the same time you are. I suggest we meet at the Highlander on Wednesday Aug 27th. It’s a great little place. Thomas Brun, the local singer-songwriter, runs the place. Hey Brad, what about you? If you show up, bring a guitar. I didn’t bring mine this trip.

    • Great idea Paul! And thanks for the enthusiasm! Don’t forget that we don’t even need a guitar at the Highlander since Thomas provides one…. still, I bring mine anyway….

      • Yeah, we’ll do a couple of numbers together! I’m fairly decent on acoustic backup. I’ll be the white-haired guy with a college t-shirt. Also, if you know any French songwriters, invite them along. I’m looking for a French lyricist.

      • OK, cool. I’m sure there will be several French songwriters, although most have a tendency to want to write in English!

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  111. I’m headed for Paris in a few days without my guitar. Any open mics where a friendly local musician would loan me one?

  112. I had good luck at the HIGHLANDER a few weeks back. Thomas Brun is the host.
    From somewhere a guitar appeared and I played a three song set and had the honor of backing up Brad himself afterward.
    Three cheers to Brad for providing this service for us wandering troubadours.

  113. This is great information. I’m in Paris 31 Dec to 2 January. Do you think any of these venues will still be offering their events. I’d love to bring my travel guitar from the USA and play while I’m there.

  114. Theleens

    Try the Highlander if its open on those nights. Brad and I played there this summer.

    I’ve done two Brad Spurgeom open mic tours of Paris and loved both of them. I’ll be back for another next year.

    Paul

  115. Thanks Paul, I’ll be calling them both today! Will let you know.

  116. Brad, I called Le Bombardier. Joseph had me email him and he’d write back nearer the time if they DID NOT have open mic on New Year’s eve. I also spoke to the Highlander who said their open mic is definitely on, on 1 January. Looks like I have two venues to play some songs. Not sure if you or any other Spurgeon fans are in Paris but it would be nice to say hello. BTW, I like your video ‘When You’re Gone Away’. Paul, sorry I’ll miss you this time around.

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