London Jazz Clubs
Looking to get out there and see some more live jazz? If you’re ever near London you won’t be in short supply. With music on 7 nights a week, you’re sure to find some great acts. Below are 10 of our favourite London venues for some of the hottest jazz around. Of course these venues only make a small snippet of what London has to offer for live music, if you feel we have missed somewhere please let us know by leaving a comment!
Click the title of each club below for more information on them.
Undoubtedly the most famous jazz club in London, if not one of the most famous in the world! The sound is phenomenal, and the acts are world class. There are regular jam nights you can attend, and tickets are often reasonably priced if booked in advance. Below is a small excerpt from the Ronnie Scott’s Website.
“In 1959, saxophonist Ronnie Scott opened the door to a small basement club in London’s west end where local musicians could jam. Today, in its new home in buzzing Soho, Ronnie Scott’s is one of the world’s most famous jazz clubs attracting full to bursting audiences practically every night. Since the early days of Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie and Miles Davis, the club continues to present the biggest names in jazz including Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson and Kurt Elling, all of whom shun the concert halls in favour of the intimate and welcoming environs of the club.”
Also set in Soho, this is no ordinary pizza express! Some of the top names in jazz have played here, and you can regularly check out great acts (7 nights a week!!) whilst enjoying food and drinks in a beautifully decorated establishment. Pizza Express Jazz Club also holds venues in Holborn, Maidstone, Chelsea and Birmingham.
If you find yourself attending the pizza express jazz club often, you may find it worthwhile becoming a member. Below are the main details for becoming a member.
HOW TO JOIN:
1. To join, simply contact the Music Office on 020 7439 4962.
2. Membership costs £120 per annum.
3. Membership entitles you to:
- 20% off all shows at PizzaExpress Jazz Club, The Pheasantry and the PizzaExpress Live venues in Holborn, Maidstone and Birmingham
- 10% off food in the music venues
- 2 free tickets for one standard show per year*
- Exclusive free ticket offers across all our venues
- Priority booking for shows
The 606 (Chelsea) has been one of the busiest jazz clubs in Europe since 1976, featuring jazz, soul, groove, Latin, R&B, funk, gospel, blues and groove artists with live music 7 nights a week plus Sunday lunches. With a capacity of 120 seated, this intimate basement Club and restaurant is known for its ‘speakeasy’ atmosphere and has hosted many a future jazz star in their formative years, including Jason Rebello, Liane Carroll, Polly Gibbons and Jamie Cullum, who describes it as ‘London’s best music venue’.
The NightJar is a small, speakeasy-style cocktail bar, and one of the best in the world at that. The interiors are 1920s-esqe, cosy and glamorous without the clichés. The drinks have innovative garnishes (but stop short of being gimmicky); the service is attentive, without being annoying; it has a lot of class, without a hint of pretentiousness. The music doesn’t disappoint either, with top live jazz and blues playing seven nights a week. Look out for acerola, calmus root and pine sap – just a few of the surprising cocktail ingredients to be found at the Night Jar.
Based in Dalston, The Vortex is a small and intimate club that offers live music 7 nights a week from 8:00 pm until midnight. Door openings are strict so do not be expected to be let in before 8:00 pm, but there is a lovely little coffee shop below the venue where you can wait before heading into the club.
With its ancient and varied history, the Crypt is the perfect setting for a live jazz venue. Its gothic architecture adds to the mystery of the space deep below the renowned George Gilbert Scott’s “St. Giles’ Church” on Camberwell Church Street. The Crypt is actually part of the original Anglo-Saxon Church which stood on this site from at least the 11th Century until it was destroyed by fire in 1841
Concerts take place every Friday evening and on some Thursday and Saturday evenings so this club may not be open depending on what day of the week you are visiting London. Look ahead on their gig diary to see what they have coming up so you are not disappointed!
The UK is home to some of the world’s finest music academies, several of them are in London and one in particular, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, is virtually on Toulouse Lautrec’s doorstep. Toulouse offers GSMD postgraduates a residency they can call their own, to give audiences an opportunity to get to know these exceptional up and coming young players. They play every Monday evening, whilst other acts perform throughout the rest of the week, what’s not to love!
Cahoots is a blitz themed cocktail bar set in Kingly Court. Their WW2 themed bar is accompanied well with cocktails and jazz, and there are regular music slots to check out. Cahoots is livelier than a lot of the other clubs on this list, and is perfect for birthday parties that want a classy feel with lots of great swing music! The staff are super attentive, and bring out handwritten birthday cards and scrumptious cakes, and serve delicious drinks all night long for an evening of fun with friends and family.
With live music from some of the International jazz scene’s most critically acclaimed musicians every single night of the week, Oliver’s Jazz Bar is always worth a visit.
Oliver’s Jazz Bar has been a cornerstone of the London Jazz Scene since 2003 when it first opened its doors to the musicians and jazz lovers of the capital
Olivers Jazz Bar is a little way out of central London, based in East Greenwich. It can be easily reached by South Eastern Rail and the DLR. Other attractions close by include the Cutty Sark, the O2 arena and the wonderful National Maritime Museum. It may well be worth allowing a full day to see all the great sights, especially in the summer when the park has some of the most spectacular views of the London Skyline around!
Hosted by vocalist Lesley Christiane and saxophonist Kelvin Christiane, the Twickenham Jazz Club is built on the legacy of those wonderful years at the Crown in St. Margaret’s Road where many outstanding international and home-grown Jazz musicians entertained its loyal followers with stunning, never-to-be-forgotten performances. Twickenham Jazz Club is a small and intimate venue that lends itself to people that enjoy small concerts that they can really sit and listen to the music without distraction.