London’s top five jazz venues
London has had a long love affair with jazz and boasts some of the world’s finest jazz venues. From sophisticated club environments to unpretentious basements, London’s jazz venues cater to all audiences and offer great jazz experiences for lovers of good music. It’s hard to pick out the best from the outstanding venues that are around but these will have you going back time and again to hear your favourite music.
Without doubt Boisdale deserves its fine reputation as one of London’s best live jazz venues with its regular round of performances by the finest local and international jazz musicians. The experience begins as soon as you walk in and are treated to a warm and comfortable atmosphere that belies the sophisticated surroundings. Great food from the Scottish-themed restaurant and a drink from the superbly stocked bar will complete an unforgettable evening.
Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston
The Vortex first opened just over 25 years ago and has been a favourite with lovers of fine jazz from the beginning. It moved to its present location in 2005 and has maintained its excellent reputation by hosting some great contemporary jazz performances and continuing its support for non-mainstream music. The Vortex is regularly included in lists of the world’s best jazz venues and was voted as one London’s top 10 live music venues by Time Out magazine readers in 2012.
Jazz Café, Camden
The Jazz Café is a small but very popular music venue that always leaves patrons wanting to return. Whether you prefer to get up close and personal just in front of the performers on the stage or prefer to look down on proceedings from the balcony restaurant, you will have a jazz experience to remember. Dancing or dining, the choice is yours, but the music is always first class.
Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho
Pizza and jazz hardly sound like they should go together but the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho will make you change your mind in a hurry. Enjoy your great-tasting stone-baked pizza in the restaurant and then head downstairs to the basement where you will be greeted by a wonderful little jazz club that will keep you entertained with you favourite music for hours. It’s so easy to settle in and relax with a glass of wine and listen to the best in jazz that you will probably forget that you are in a top class pizza parlour.
The 606 Club, Chelsea
You will find the 606 Club in a basement on Lots Road not far from Chelsea Bridge. The club features live jazz seven nights a week, employing some 10 different bands a week. But don’t expect to find the great international stars of jazz, as the 606 Club prefers to present the best in British-based jazz – but the depth of talent is amazing. The club serves excellent food too, but licensing restrictions mean that non-members can only get an alcoholic drink if they have a substantial meal.
This article was written by John Fuster a Jazz Fanatic from Nottinghill, London. His favourite place to go is the jazz venue boisdale of bishopsgate, situated in liverpool street.