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Owners Joe and Rosie Clarke opened Forte Jazz Lounge in 2019 to provide a cultural centerpiece in the heart of Charleston, SC's bustling King St. district.  It was music that brought them together, and their commitment to preserving and nurturing the the jazz art form is unparalleled.  Joe is the founder of one of the region's most celebrated ensembles, The Joe Clarke Big Band, now Forte Big Band, and is known for his work as historic jazz music advisor for the film The Notebook, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.  


Thousands travel from around the globe to experience Forte's big city sound combined with Charleston's southern hospitality.  Visitors enjoy browsing the club's schedule of stellar headliners, including local legends, recording artists, notable touring acts, and Grammy winners.  Guests have their choice of plush VIP couch seating near the stage, premium bistro table seating, or general theatre-style seating.  Enjoy the music with a glass of wine, cocktail or beer, pairing them with our delicious food and desserts.

 Find a show and plan your visit!

General View

What People Are Saying...

"Great atmosphere and great live music.  We will definitely visit again!"

Joseph Griffin, via Facebook

"I highly recommend Forte Jazz Lounge and looking forward to coming back soon."

Amanda W. via Yelp

"I have to say, it was a highlight of our trip to the Holy City."

Tracy Carley. via Google

Plan Your Visit!


Visit Us

477 King St., Charleston, SC 29403


  • ​Metered King Street Parking​

  • Paid Lot: Corner of King and Radcliffe St.

  • Visitor Center Parking Garage: 63 Mary St.

  • Visitor Center Parking Lot: 375 Meeting St.

The Inspiration

Owner Joe Clarke has been entertaining the Charleston community for more than 30 years. As a local teacher and musician, he has both taught and performed his craft of big band style jazz with students and musicians from all over the Charleston area.


It has been his life’s work to create a venue for jazz artists to showcase their talents to the community and for visitors to enjoy leaving with a sense of Charleston life. Jazz music is his passion and he wishes to share it with the community and tourists of Charleston.

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