Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club' page

By Adrian Autton

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club opened on 30 October 1959 in the basement of 39 Gerrard Street. It was managed by two saxophonists: Ronnie Scott (1927-1996) and Pete King (1929-2009). The club proved extremely popular and in 1965 it moved to a larger venue nearby at 47 Frith Street. The club at Frith Street is still in operation today. The original venue, nick-named the "Old Place", remained open until the lease ran out in 1967, and was used for performances by the up-and-coming generation of musicians.  Ronnie Scott’s rapidly became a popular performance venue with US jazz artists, with saxophonist Zoot Sims making the first transatlantic trip to perform at the club in 1962. The club was soon attracting some of the biggest names on the international jazz scene, including Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz and Buddy Rich. UK jazz musicians were also regularly featured, and the club offered them opportunities to collaborate live onstage with their visiting American counterparts. Many famous recordings and landmark performances have taken place at Ronnie Scott’s. There are live recordings of Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and John Dankworth performing at the club, and Hendrix fans will be familiar with the club as the venue for the star’s final performance. Ronnie Scott himself was also a draw for the crowds. His inimitable style as Master of Ceremonies became an integral part of the evening’s entertainment.  Scott died in 1996, but Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club continues to be one of the most important jazz venues in the UK. 

This page was added by Tim Devitt on 26/03/2010.

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