Saxophonist Ronnie Scott first opened the doors to his basement club back in 1959 as a place where local musicians could meet together to play music and jam.
Over the years, the club has gone from strength to strength, with a programme that’s seen some of the biggest names and best musicians on the jazz music scene pass through its doors and onto the stage throughout its lifetime. Often choosing to shun some of the bigger venues and concert halls in favour of the intimacy and atmosphere of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, jazz royalty have played in the basement and entertained crowds of music fans for over 50 years.
In addition to the basement club, Ronnie Scott’s has a stylish cocktail bar upstairs from the main venue. With plush décor and easy listening music including live performances on many evenings, the bar is a relaxed place to step out of the hustle and bustle of the Soho streets.
The cocktail menu boasts an extensive list of drinks from traditional aperitifs and old favourites alongside the bar’s own inventions from their resident mixologists. With a champagne list and range of whiskies from the common to the rare, there’ll be something for every palate to enjoy while kicking back and enjoying the vibe.
Jazz… and so much more
The club offers a full programme of jazz entertainment on the bill seven days a week. With doors open every day from 6pm for the evening show and Late Late shows on each Friday and Saturday from 12.45pm, there’s plenty of opportunities to hear the latest sounds.
In addition to the evening programme, Ronnie Scott’s offers a Sunday jazz lunch where three courses are served alongside two hours of some of the best relaxed jazz in the city.
The menu options don’t stop at lunch, and Ronnie Scott’s Bar upstairs from the club offers a selection of snacks and meals, including a range of caviar and champagnes, from opening until late.
Growing new talent
From its speakeasy beginnings, the club has gone on to offer opportunities for musicians and music fans of all ages. Ronnie Scott’s Big Band in a Day is a popular free programme that has seen the bringing together of young musicians between 12 and 17 years of age for a day of playing, tuition and fun that culminates in a two-number gig on the main stage at the end of the day.
Taking place on the first Sunday of every month, musicians playing saxophones, trumpets and trombones, basses and piano amongst other jazz instruments join the popular programme to offer the next generation of new musicians the chance to find their feet and experience the thrill of performance in the footsteps of some of the world’s jazz greats. Parents and guardians have the chance to watch their kids take to the stage at the evening performance and see future jazz stars born in the basement.
If you’re a true jazz aficionado, you can check the Club’s website to see a full list of the upcoming artists and book for the show of your choice. Priority tickets for the club are £55 and put you right in the heart of the action. If you’re looking for a somewhat more relaxed experience, entry to Ronnie’s Bar is often free and for live sessions cost as little as £5 for top-flight acts in this intimate, relaxed venue.
Ronnie Scott’s is one of the most famous venues in London and has a reputation around the world for its jazz. Fewer people know that it is also a relaxed venue with great food on offer that gives visitors to Soho a chilled-out place to escape the crush of Soho.