Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club

Coordinates: 51°30′48″N 0°07′54″W / 51.51346°N 0.13155°W / 51.51346; -0.13155
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51°30′48″N 0°07′54″W / 51.51346°N 0.13155°W / 51.51346; -0.13155

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club

Logo of Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club
Ronnie Scott's in 2017
Address47 Frith Street
LocationSoho, London, United Kingdom
TypeJazz club
Opened1959; 65 years ago (1959)

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club is a jazz club that has operated in Soho, London, since 1959.


The club opened on 30 October 1959 in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street in London's Soho district. It was set up and managed by musicians Ronnie Scott and Pete King. In 1965 it moved to a larger venue nearby at 47 Frith Street. The original venue continued in operation as the "Old Place" until the lease ran out in 1967, and was used for performances by the up-and-coming generation of musicians.

Zoot Sims was the club's first transatlantic visitor in 1962, and was succeeded by many others (often saxophonists whom Scott and King, tenor saxophonists themselves, admired, such as Johnny Griffin, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt) in the years that followed. Many UK jazz musicians were also regularly featured, including Tubby Hayes and Dick Morrissey who would both drop in for jam sessions with the visiting stars. In the mid-1960s, Ernest Ranglin was the house guitarist. The club's house pianist until 1967 was Stan Tracey. For nearly 30 years it was home of a Christmas residency to George Melly and John Chilton's Feetwarmers. In 1978, the club established the label Ronnie Scott's Jazz House, which issued both live performances from the club and new recordings.

Scott regularly acted as the club's Master of Ceremonies, and was known for his repertoire of jokes, asides and one-liners. After Scott's death in 1996, King continued to run the club for a further nine years, before selling the club to theatre impresario Sally Greene and philanthropist Michael Watt in June 2005.

In 2009, Ronnie Scott's was named by the Brecon Jazz Festival as one of 12 venues that had made the most important contributions to jazz in the United Kingdom,[1] and finished third in the voting for the initial award.[2]

Jimi Hendrix's last public performance was at Ronnie Scott's, in 1970.[3]

House musicians[edit]

Club interior

Many of the visiting musicians appearing at Ronnie Scott's were soloists touring without their own rhythm section, or were touring as members of larger bands and they often used the house band to accompany them. On occasions, the house musicians coincided with the members of the various bands that Ronnie Scott led at one time or another.


backing visiting Americans such as Stan Getz, Art Farmer and Roland Kirk[5]
  • Tony Oxley – house drummer from 1966 until the early 1970s.
Accompanied Joe Henderson, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins and Bill Evans.


Accompanied Chet Baker, George Coleman, James Moody, Joe Henderson and Johnny Griffin
  • James Pearson – house pianist since 2006


Other instruments[edit]

Other musicians[edit]

Other regular performers since 2006 include:

Record label[edit]

In 1978, the club established its own record label, Ronnie Scott's Jazz House. The first release was an album by Scott's quintet. Over the next 20 years, the label gained in prominence, issuing both historic live club performances and new recordings.[6]

Live albums recorded at Ronnie's[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Ronnie Scott's Jazz Farrago – compilation of best features from Jazz At Ronnie Scott's magazine, Hampstead Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9557628-0-2,
  • Ronnie Scott, Some of My Best Friends are Blues (with Mike Hennessey). London: Northway Publications 2004. ISBN 0 9537040 6 8.
  • Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club interview at
  • BBC Omnibus"Omnibus - Ronnie Scott and All That Jazz (1989)"
  • Burrell, Ian (3 June 2009). "Ronnie Scott's at 50". The Independent. London. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  • Waller, Martin (10 January 2009). "Ronnie Scott's club now tunes into profits and all that jazz". The Times. London. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  • Industry interview with Nick Lewis, Head of Music & Promotions at Ronnie Scott's, March 2019.


  1. ^ "Buckingham Palace hits right note with jazz fans". London Evening Standard. 3 August 2009.
  2. ^ "Most important jazz venue named". 7 August 2009 – via BBC News.
  3. ^ "Jimi Hendrix". Songkick. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  4. ^ David Taylor's British jazz web site Archived 16 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Obituary in The Independent".[dead link]
  6. ^ Fox, Charles; et al. (2001). "Ronnie Scott". In Sadie, Stanley; Tyrrell, John (eds.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.). London: Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 978-1-56159-239-5.

External links[edit]