London jazz venues reopen with Ronnie Scott’s, 606, Jazz Café, Vortex and Spice of Life all announcing shows

Friday, September 11, 2020

Five of London’s main jazz clubs are reopening with social distancing measures in place as live music returns to the capital for the first time since March

London venues: Spice of Life, Ronnie Scott's, Vortex, The Jazz Cafe and 606 Club
London venues: Spice of Life, Ronnie Scott's, Vortex, The Jazz Cafe and 606 Club

The long wait is finally over for London’s jazz musicians and fans who’ve not been able to play or attend indoor gigs for over six months. Ronnie Scott’s had planned to reopen in August, but the rules soon changed, and had to reschedule its programme until 19 September. With international travel still fraught with difficulties, all venues are drawing on the huge pool of local talent, with strong UK line-ups across a wide range of styles. Nearby Spice of Life, in Soho, also relaunches on 16 September with fiery hard-bop saxophonist Leo Richardson’s Quartet, with several other dates confirmed for its Wednesday jazz nights.

The Vortex
in Dalston gets going tonight (11 Sept) with renowned pianist Tom Cawley and his Trio, with rising star harpist Alina Bzhezhinska’s Trio featuring Tony Kofi tomorrow (12 Sept) with further twice weekly dates continuing into early October.

The 606 Club in Chelsea announced its programme in late August, with two or three gigs a week, with further bookings listed below, alongside its regular live streams that are filmed and broadcast from the club. And Camden’s iconic Jazz Café has announced it will now be a seated venue to comply with social distancing rules, with its downstairs now set up for a 150-capacity seated audience – with its programme kicking off with a double bill from rising trumpet and bass names James Copus and Joe Downard on Tuesday 29 September.

Dates for Ronnie Scott’s are as follows: The Ronnie Scott’s Allstars perform the Soho Songbook (19 Sept); Tom Seals (20 Sept, lunchtime); The Ronnie Scott’s Allstars perform the Soho Songbook (20 Sept); Emma Smith with Jamie Safir Trio - Portrait of Ella (23 Sept); The Ronnie Scott’s Allstars – ‘Time Out - A Musical Portrait of Dave Brubeck' (24 Sept); Natalie Williams Soul Family (25-26 Sept); 100 years of jazz piano with James Pearson (lunchtime) and Ray Gelato and the Giants (27 Sept);  Ray Gelato and the Giants (28 Sept); James Taylor Quartet (1-3 Oct);  Paul Ryan and Jamie Safir: 'Celebrating Tony and Bill 45 Years on’(lunchtime) Ronnie Scott’s Blues Explosion Quintet (evening) (4 Oct); Pete Long and Simon Spillett present 'A Celebration of The Jazz Couriers' (7 Oct); Jason Rebello (8 Oct); Ian Shaw (9 Oct); Reuben James (9 Oct); Celebrating Doris Day’s life in film, TV and on record (lunchtime) and Cassidy Janson (evening, 11 Oct); The Horne Section - 10th anniversary celebration (12-13 Oct); Soweto Kinch (15 Oct); Lianne Carroll (15-16); Down for the Count (lunchtime) and Tom Seals (evening, 18 Oct); Ashley Henry (23-24 Oct); 'Song for My Father': Celebrating The Music of Horace Silver (lunchtime) Ronnie Scott’s Blues Explosion Quintet (evening, 25 Oct); Byron Wallen (28 Oct); Omar Puente Cuban sextet (29 Oct); Mark Kavuma Milestones and more (30 Oct) and Citrus Sun (31 Oct).

More info at:                          

The Vortex gigs are as follows: Tom Cawley Trio (11Sept, 7.30pm); Alina Bzhezhinska Trio ft. Tony Kofi (12 Sat, 7.30pm); Brigitte Beraha / Barry Green (18 Sept 7.30pm); Shirley Smart Trio (19 Sat, 7.30pm); Trish Clowes Trio (25 Sept, 7.30pm); Ivo Neame Trio (26 Sept, 7.30pm); Nikki Yoeoh - Solo Gemini (2 Oct, 7.30pm); Emre, Idris, Liran (3 Oct, 7.30pm); Calum Gourlay's Obvious Trio (9 Oct, 7.30pm)

More info at:

606 Club gigs are as follows: Derek Nash (12 Sept); Georgina Jackson (20 Sept); Neil Angilley (24 Sept) and Dan Reinstein's Birthday Gig! (26 Sept).

More info at

Jazz Café gigs are as follows: Havana Música: A Celebration of Cuban Music with The Latin Bridge (Monday 28 Sept); James Copus and Joe Downard (29 Sept); Cubafrobeat: A Cuban-Afrobeat Explosion (30 Sept); PBUG (main show) Camilla George (late show, 2 Oct); The Music of Otis Redding with Reuben Richards and The Jezebel Sextet (3 Oct); Beat of Brazil (4 Oct); Tony Momrelle (9 Oct); Cuban Independence Day with Sambroso Afro-Cuban All Stars (10 Oct); Fela Kuti's Birthday with Bukky Leo & Black Egypt (14 Oct); Balcony + Tayo Sound (15 Oct); Jay Phelps Afro Cuban All Stars plus Pyjaen play Roy Hargrove (late show, 16 October).

More info at

Spice of Life gigs are as follows:

Leo Richardson Quartet (16 Sept); Chris Rand's The Gathering Rebound album launch (23 Sept); Irene Serra Quartet (30 Sept); and Five-way Split Ft. Alex Garnett (7 Oct).

More info at

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