Discover London | Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is a jazz club which has operated in London since 1959.

The club opened on 30 October 1959 in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street in London’s Soho district. It was managed by musicians Ronnie Scott and Pete King. In 1965 it moved to a larger venue nearby at 47 Frith Street. The original venue continued in operation as the “Old Place” until the lease ran out in 1967, and was used for performances by the up-and-coming generation of musicians.

Zoot Sims was the club’s first transatlantic visitor in 1962, and was succeeded by many others (often saxophonists whom Scott and King, tenor saxophonists themselves, admired, such as Johnny Griffin, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt) in the years that followed. Many UK jazz musicians were also regularly featured, including Tubby Hayes and Dick Morrissey who would both drop in for jam sessions with the visiting stars. In the mid-1960s, Ernest Ranglin was the house guitarist. The club’s house pianist until 1967 was Stan Tracey. For nearly 30 years it was home of a Christmas residency to George Melly and John Chilton’s Feetwarmers. In early 1969, The Who premiered Pete Townshend’s rock opera “Tommy” at the club. It was the site of Jimi Hendrix’s last live performance.

Scott regularly acted as the club’s Master of Ceremonies, and was (in)famous for his repertoire of jokes, asides and one-liners. After Scott’s death, King continued to run the club for a further nine years, before selling the club to theatre impresario Sally Greene in June 2005.

In 2009 Ronnie Scott’s was named by the Brecon Jazz Festival as one of 12 venues which had made the most important contributions to jazz music in the United Kingdom, and finished third in the voting for the initial award.

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About musingsofananglophile

Fran. 20. Anglophile. Daydreamer. English Literature Student.

Posted on August 20, 2012, in Lifestyle, London, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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