Where to find the best jazz bars and clubs in London
Jazz music originated in the US state of Louisiana in the late 19th century, and since then it has been played and enjoyed around the world.
The musical style never went out of fashion but was only popularized by literary and film works from The Great Gatsby to La La Land.
London’s jazz scene is booming, with some of its oldest bars such as Ronnie Scott’s becoming institutions in their own right.
But whether guests want to visit world-famous jazz venues or catch other jazz performances, London has something for everyone.
Since opening its doors in 1976, Club 606 in Chelsea has been one of the busiest jazz clubs in Europe with jazz, soul, groove, Latin, R&B, gospel and blues music emanating from the venue seven days a week.
The intimate speakeasy seats 120 people in its basement bar and restaurant that was once home to jazz stars Jason Rebello, Jamie Cullum and Polly Gibbons early in their careers. Jamie Cullum even described the 606 Club as “London’s best live music venue”.
90 Lots Road, SW10 0QD
This award-winning jazz bar has been a jazz mecca since opening in Stoke Newington in the late 1980s before moving to The Dalston Culture House in 2013.
Vortex was the winner of the Live Jazz category at the prestigious Parliamentary Jazz Awards, and it is continuously regarded as one of London’s top music venues, with nearly 400 performances taking place each year.
The volunteer-run club has been instrumental in launching the careers of many up-and-coming jazz artists such as the bands Portico Quartet, Polar Bear and saxophonist Evan Parker.
The nonprofit also strives to keep ticket prices low, so there are even more reasons to visit this fabulous concert venue.
11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ
nightjar is a speakeasy-style cocktail bar located a stone’s throw from Old Street station that hosts the best jazz and blues concerts every night of the week.
Interiors transport guests to the height of the infamous 1920s jazz era with all the effortless glamor and style that entails.
This chic establishment also serves up a range of delicious cocktails, vintage spirits and even contemporary tapas dishes to enjoy against the backdrop of sultry jazz sounds.
129 City Road, EC1V 1JB
milk and honey
The Soho Jazz Joint milk and honey opened in 2002 and has since drawn crowds of London’s most glitzy and glamorous punters.
The speakeasy spans three floors and features a 1930s swing and jazz soundtrack, great cocktails and food.
Milk & Honey has become a London institution since opening, and although it serves as a members’ club, non-members can still attend by reservation only.
Milk and Honey, 61 Poland St., W1F 7NU
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by Ronnie Scott
by Ronnie Scott is arguably London’s most legendary jazz club. The jazz bar is one of the oldest in the world and has hosted a sparkling array of top jazz performers since opening in 1959.
Guests enjoy food, drink and live entertainment at the main club upon arrival, before heading up the historic staircase to the iconic 50s-inspired speakeasy for more sensational music. Ronnie’s is a place every jazz fan should check out.
To book tickets, from £37.50, visit website .
47 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4HT
Jazz after dark
Jazz after dark is an unassuming jazz joint, nestled in the heart of Soho, that every jazz lover should know. This cozy jazz club has seen artists such as Amy Winehouse, and the bar now hosts parties dedicated to the late soul artist.
Guests of Jazz After Dark can expect jaw-dropping performances from up-and-coming jazz artists, acoustic performers, and live music most nights of the week. Tickets can be reserved here .
9 Greek Street, W1D 4DQ
Hidden Jazz Club
from Waterloo Hidden Jazz Club is another treasure of the London jazz scene. As the name suggests, the club is in a low-key location as the joint is located under a disused railway arch that has been turned into The Vaults Theatre.
Audiences have been entertained at this stunning venue over the past four years with regular performances from award-winning artists such as Denys Baptiste, Binker Golding, Cherise Roberts and Deschanel Gordon to name a few.
This intimate venue is unlike many of London’s more established clubs, as world-class musicians relax alongside the audience between performances. For jazz lovers, this one is definitely worth a visit.
The Vaults Theatre, Rue Launcelot, Waterloo, SE1 7AD
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