Dance, Theater, and Music
“All that jazz and more at Shanghai’s longest running venue for live jazz and blues.”—Sharon Owyang, author, Frommer’s Shanghai. Live jazz brings to mind swinging Shanghai in its 1920s heyday; set in a smoky, Concession-era house with a few rambling rooms and an outdoor garden. 8 Fuxing Xi Lu; tel. 86 21 6437 7110.
JZ Jazz Club
“The smell of Cuban cigars mingles with the sounds of Latin jazz and some of Shanghai’s most elegant faces.”—Richard Baimbridge, Shanghai-based journalist. House band plays contemporary jazz most nights; Saturday is big band night; small club fills up quickly, so get there early. 46 Fuxing Xi Road; tel. 86 21 6431 0269. www.jzclub.cn
Nightly live music—foreign and local rock and indie bands; some open mic nights; takes its bar seriously; dark, cavernous interior. 137 Xingfu Road; tel. 86 21 6283 2769.
The new ground zero for China’s fashion and celebrity set; world-class DJs broadcast to several rooms, including one with a domed roof and giant plasma screens; multilevel nightclub ideally located on the top floors of a historic building at the foot of the Bund; panoramic views of both sides of the Huangpu River. 15 Zhong Dong Er Lu, 11th floor; tel. 86 21 6373 3588.
“The bar for the glamorous set to see and be seen. Bring your own Gauloises.”—Sharon Owyang, author, Frommer’s Shanghai. Huge face shots of beautiful women; showy bartenders who light the bar aflame; gorgeous international clientele. Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, seventh floor; tel. 86 21 6339 1199.
Steel-armored lounge is where the financial goes to ooh and aah over Pudong’s expanding skyline; above-the-clouds panoramic views; outstanding wine list. Jinmao Tower, 87th floor, 88 Century Boulevard; tel. 86 21 5049 1234. www.shanghai.grand.hyatt.com
“Pink-tinged chandeliers, funky retro sofas, and champagne cocktails make for a fantastic night out.”—Megan Shank, senior editor, Newsweek Select. Michelle Garnaut’s gorgeously conceived nightlife venture; delicate artwork and surreal picture-window views; live jazz on some weekends; located downstairs from M on the Bund. 20 Guangdong Road, 6F; tel. 86 21 6350 9988. www.m-restaurantgroup.com/
Chinese New Year or Spring Festival
First day of the lunar new year, generally late January or February. Commemorated with business closures (up to three days), private feasts, and fireworks.
Dragon Boat Festival
Fifth day of the fifth moon, generally May or June. Dragon boat racing and zhong zhi—sticky rice treats in bamboo leaves—are the final remaining vestiges of this national holiday, harking back to imperial China.
Fifteenth day of eighth moon, generally August or September. What’s an occasion in China that doesn’t involve food? This one entails yue bing—or “mooncake” pastries filled with your choice of black bean paste, dates, lotus seeds, salted eggs, and more.
Early September. Annual art fair begun in 2007 by a pair of European gallery owners interested in bringing attention to the budding Shanghai art scene, focused around the M50 district. www.shcontemporary.info
Shanghai International Arts Festival
Late November-December. Month-long festival exhibits the best of visual art and the Shanghai Biennale (even number years), as well as music, opera, acrobatics, and dance.
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