This October the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club turns 60 years old! We say legendary because you’d be hard pressed to find anyone interested in jazz who hasn’t heard or frequented at the musical establishment. For most, Ronnie Scott’s has provided a welcome spot to not only discover new music as a listener, but also to help new musicians looking to make a living in jazz establish a reputation. To celebrate the many years Ronnie Scott’s club has hosted the jazz community, we’re taking a look back through the club’s rich history.
Ronnie Scott’s club was founded by saxophonist Ronnie Scott himself in 1959. It was originally a small basement in the West End where the theatre and music community was already thriving but in need of places to flourish. Initially, the club was a place for musicians to meet, play together and socialise. It was popular almost immediately, with big time jazz artists such as Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie and Miles Davis frequenting.
Today, Ronnie Scott’s has moved to Soho and is still a huge part of London’s music scene. The club still has a special place in many people’s heart, including the biggest names in jazz such as Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson and Kurt Elling. What we particularly love about Ronnie’s club is that it is still, to this day, a place to hone in on your craft and make a name. Despite the huge reputation, Ronnie Scott’s frequently opens its arms to welcome newcomers into the fold and regularly gives the stage to up and coming artists, which can really benefit a young musician’s career.
Because of this, Ronnie Scott’s continues to be a fantastic place to discover new artists. Their keen ear for genius and fantastic ability to recognise star quality means bands who debut at Ronnie’s typically go on to have a great jazz career. Many of today’s young and successful jazz artists dominating the stage are visionary and breaking the mould to do big things.
That doesn’t mean that Ronnie Scott’s forgets the old. If you’re a reminiscent jazz lover, you’ll still want to pay ode to the greats and the club always respects its roots. If you’re looking for a throwback session, you’ll find it with their eclectic DJ sessions, and let jazz take you around the world and through the times with live music featuring blues, jive, Latin and flamenco.
New jazz bars come, and old jazz bars go but Ronnie Scott’s jazz club is still very much the place to be. Got a fond memory of Ronnie Scott’s? We’d love to hear it! Send it to us via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.