If you're looking for some rousing music and a little camaraderie, there's nothing like a good piano bar. While in Paris, it's a great way to get to know some of the locals as well as other travelers.
Several of these cool places were recommended by Sheldon Forrest (www.sheldonforrest.com) who plays in New York, Paris and points beyond.
American Bar -- La Closerie des Lilas (171 Boulevard du Montparnasse; tel. 01/40- 51-34-50; www.closeriedeslilas.fr; 6th arrondissement, Metro: Montparnasse). In business since 1847, almost every famous 19th-and 20th-century French (and American) artist, poet, and writer has been here, so why not you? Maybe the next Hemingway will sit down next to you at the piano bar.
La Bélière Restaurant-Piano Bar (74 rue Daguerre; tel. 01/40-47-52-66; www.myspace.com/labeliere; 14th arrondissement, Metro: Denfert Rochereau) Devotees say that the food here is as good as the music.
Harry's New York Bar (5 rue Daunou; tel. 01/42-61-71-14; www.harrys-bar.fr; 2nd arrondissement, Metro: Opera) Legend has it that George Gershwin composed "An American in Paris" downstairs in the piano bar.
Le Sherwood Piano Bar (3 rue Daunou; tel. 01/42-61-70-94; 2nd arrondissement, Metro: Opera) A very friendly, laid-back piano lounge right next to Harry's.
Swan Bar (165 Bld du Montparnasse; tel. 01/44-27-05-84; www.swanbar.fr; 6th arrondissement, Metro: Raspail or Vavin) They take requests at this fun and informal jazz-and-cocktails piano lounge.
Aux Trois Mailletz (56 rue Galande; tel. 01/43-54-00-79; www.lestroismailletz.fr; 5th arrondissement, Metro: Saint-Michel) With a restaurant and piano bar on the main floor and a cabaret club downstairs, it's worth going just to pay homage to all the jazz greats who have played here since it opened in 1948: Sidney Bechet, Bud Powell, Bill Coleman, John Coltran, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong... and in the cabaret, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.