If you’ve had the time to check out our London Rock & Roll Tour, you’ll already know that the capital is a global hub of music and culture.
However, it’s not just rock music that makes London one of the best places in the world to see live music. It’s also internationally famous for its jazz scene, boasting top quality musicians, beautiful venues and quality beverages that help you get your dancing shoes together.
For the city’s best venues, check out our list of the 7 best Jazz bars in London.
The undisputed, undeniable king of London’s music scene, Ronnie Scott’s started out as a humble basement bar owned by the titular saxophonist. Following appearances by legends such as Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, the club grew in prominence and remains one of the most prestigious venues in the world.
Critically acclaimed musicians every night of the week – that’s the promise made by this tiny but mighty jazz venue. Nestled away next to Greenwich Theatre, Oliver’s is a bit of a hidden gem that is very popular with local music fans. You’ll find an authentic jazz experience here.
With artisan food and artisan jazz, Green Note is the perfect place if you like some tunes alongside your nosh. It’s an all-vegetarian menu with a broad range of acts and artists visiting throughout the month, from bluegrass to folk to, of course, jazz. The venue itself is no-frills, but that only adds to the sense of love and dedication displayed by the management.
As one of Camden’s best-loved venues, the Jazz Cafe takes a more modern approach to the genre, with a broad variety of artists that either touch on or fully commit to the jazz sensibility. Legends like Roy Ayers, Kelis and Booby Womack have all graced the stage here. Whoever you go to see, get ready for a lively night.
Famous for its speakeasy vibe, 606 is a good place to check out established, high-quality acts on the circuit today. Jamie Cullum, Jason Rebello, Liane Carroll and Polly Gibbons are all jazz superstars that would recommend this staple of the London scene. If you’re a connoisseur of jazz music, this is the perfect, lower-cost alternative to Ronnie Scott’s.
Like 606, the Nightjar also relishes in its prohibition-era style, with a big focus on classic cocktails and what it calls ‘vintage spirits’ – rare and unique beverages dating back to as early as 1888. The Nightjar is a great place to introduce your friends to jazz music whilst sampling some excellent jazz manouche, gypsy jazz and swing.
Boisdale is a series of restaurants stretching from Mayfair to Belgravia. Renowned for a high-end vibe and excellent food, you’ll pay a bit more to enjoy your night here. However, the quality of the music is second-to-none, with independent artists and feature nights such as Blues Night, Motown Night and, of course, Jazz Night. Settle in for a relaxing evening of great food, great whiskey and great music.
If you’re looking for more great ways to explore the best of London’s art and culture, make sure you drop in and take a look at our London tours page. There’s more on offer than you can shake a saxophone at.