A convergence of summer festivals used to mark the high point of the NYC jazz calendar—but with many of those showcases defunct or on the ropes, the annual Winter Jazzfest has become arguably the genre’s top local draw. Celebrating its 12th year, the festival features a dazzling array of talent and is both a bustling forum for discovery and a guaranteed musical blast. (Spring for the full-festival pass—a steal.) More than 100 performances take place at venues like Le Poisson Rouge, Minetta Lane Theatre, Judson Church, Subculture, the Bitter End, the Players Theater, Zinc Bar, Bowery Electric, Carroll Place and Greenwich House Music School.
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