Marcus Shelby's picks

See this famous jazz musician's favorite hangouts
Irene Edwards

Amnesia. Hot jazz of the '40s comes alive on the first Sunday of the month at this dim, red-walled Mission District dive. A boho crowd in pinstripes and leopard coats gets down on the tiny dance floor. Gaucho, a tribute to gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, performs on Wednesdays. Cover charge varies. 853 Valencia St.; www.amnesiathebar.com or 415/970-0012.

Cafe Royale. Located in the gentrifying stretch known as the TenderNob, this laid-back lounge hosts film screenings, open-mic poetry slams, and jazz. Shelby rehearses in the basement studio. 800 Post St.; www.caferoyale-sf.com or 415/441-4099.

Dalva. Candlelight, an excellent jukebox, and a cozy upstairs nook (open Fri-Sat nights) set this narrow little bar apart from the usual grimy Mission watering holes. 3121 16th St.; 415/252-7740.

Enrico's. Steeped in North Beach history, with a heated patio for surveying the sidewalk scene. On Monday nights, kittenish crooner Lavay Smith performs with a trio including jazz veteran Allen Smith on trumpet. $$$; lunch and dinner daily. 504 Broadway; 415/982-6223.

Intersection for the Arts. Find theater, music, literary readings, and a gallery at this venue for alternative arts in the Mission. This month, the resident Campo Santo theater troupe debuts Haze (Thu-Sat Apr 13-29; from $9 Fri-Sat, no set fee Thu), a play featuring the work of local literary titan Dave Eggers, among others. 446 Valencia; www.theintersection.org, 415/626-2787, or 415/626-3311 (box office).

Jazz at Pearl's. Sultry diva Kim Nalley, who owns the North Beach supper club with her husband, is a throwback to a more glamorous era. Some Monday nights, she makes a guest appearance with the phenomenal Contemporary Jazz Orchestra; on occasional Tuesdays, she leads her own quintet. $; dinner daily. Two shows every night; cover charge from $10. 256 Columbus Ave.; www.jazzatpearls.com or 415/291-8255.

Red Poppy Art House. "One of the coolest spots in town," Shelby says of the intimate performance space, working studio, and gallery in the Mission. An artsy house-party vibe and acts from around the world make it feel like a discovery. 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri-Sat and by appointment. 2698 Folsom St.; www.redpoppyarthouse.org or 415/826-2402.

Tosca Cafe. Storied North Beach hangout, with the urban legends to prove it. Red vinyl booths and a checkered tile floor set the scene for after-hours celebrity shenanigans. Closed Mon. 242 Columbus; 415/986-9651.