Club Eleven

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Club Eleven was a nightclub located in London between 1948 and 1950. Despite being in business for only two years before being closed by a police drugs raid, the club played a significant role in the emergence of the bebop jazz movement in Britain

The club was so named because it had 11 founders – business manager Harry Morris and ten British bebop musicians. It was first opened at 41 Great Windmill Street in Soho in 1948, and had two house bands, one led by Ronnie Scott and the other by John Dankworth. Scott's sidemen included Tony Crombie, Lennie Bush, Tommy Pollard, and Hank Shaw, while Dankworth's included Leon Calvert, Bernie Fenton, Joe Muddell, and Laurie Morgan. When Scott toured the US, Don Rendell filled his spot. Denis Rose organised many of the activities at the club.

1950 raid[edit]

In 1950 the club moved to 50 Carnaby Street, but shuttered a few months after the move as a consequence of a police raid.

A ship's steward had been arrested in possession of cannabis, and under interrogation stated he'd purchased the drug at Club Eleven, leading the police to raid the club on 15 April.[1] The police raid recovered cannabis and cocaine, and an empty morphine ampoule. This led to the arrest of several young white British men, shaking social assumptions about drug use being confined to the lower classes and non-whites.[2][3]


In 2009 Club Eleven was named by the Brecon Jazz Festival as one of 12 venues which had made the most important contributions to jazz music in the United Kingdom.[4]

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Davenport-Hines (10 November 2003). The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Global History of Narcotics. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 374–. ISBN 978-0-393-32545-4. 
  2. ^ Mark Easton (1 March 2012). Britain Etc. Simon and Schuster. pp. 158–. ISBN 978-0-85720-143-0. 
  3. ^ Marek Kohn (7 March 2013). Dope Girls: The Birth Of The British Drug Underground. Granta Publications. pp. 177–. ISBN 978-1-84708-886-4. 
  4. ^ "Buckingham Palace hits right note with jazz fans" Archived 26 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine., London Evening Standard (3 August 2009)