phone mail2 facebook twitter play
A Guide to London’s Jazz Jams
Image Credit: Jarof

A Guide to London’s Jazz Jams

10 May 2017 Will Rathbone

There’s something about the spontaneity of jazz that’s just so appealing - a group of musicians letting loose and running wild. Who knows where they’ll end up – the important thing is it’s happening now. In a world whose future can seem terrifyingly unsure, “living for the moment” is thrillingly re-assuring. In keeping with this spirit, you don’t want to always book a ticket to see jazz, so we’ve rounded up some of the finest jams in town. Just turn up – most are free before a certain time - and enjoy the jam.

Effra Tavern – Sunday, Brixton


Image Credit: Mike Urban

Lauren Darlymple hosts this jam at the friendly Effra Tavern in Brixton. Comprised of some of the area’s finest musicians, the atmosphere is relaxed and the playing is accomplished. You know these musicians have been playing for years and, along with their army of regulars, they conjure an atmosphere with ease. If you’re still hungry for more at the midnight close, Bar 414 on Coldharbour Lane continues the jam till 3am.
 
Effra Tavern hosts a jam every Sunday in Brixton. Free entry.
 
Orleans Wine Bar – Tuesday, Finsbury Park

Triple Jam Sandwich, hosted by the Acoustic Nomads house band, is a reggae-tinged jam that brings in players from all over London. It’s a late one for a Tuesday, with the music continuing till 3am, but entry is free before 11pm (£5 after), the mood is lively and the music popping.  
 
Triple Jam Sandwich takes place at Orleans Wine Bar every Tuesday, 10pm-3am in Finsbury Park. Entry is free before 11pm, £5 after.
 
The Junction – Tuesday, Camberwell


Image Credit: Mike Urban

A relative newcomer to the scene, The Junction’s Tuesday jam attracts some fine musicians and has a genuine feeling of “still undiscovered” about it. It’s a great venue for music all week, and the food is tasty and generous with the helpings. The kitchen opens till 10pm, so we recommend heading down straight after work and grabbing a comfy seat at the front near the action.
 
The Junction hosts a jam every Tuesday, 8pm-11pm in Camberwell. Free entry.
 
Mau Mau Bar – Wednesday and Sunday, Notting Hill

Mau Mau Bar brings the jam to West London – and with it comes an atmosphere as cool as a cucumber on clarinet. Sunday brings a reggae jam, with Wednesday’s having more of a more traditional bent. The bar is cash-only, and the sound system is one of the finest in town.  
 
Mau Mau Bar hosts a jam every Wednesday, 8pm-12am and Sunday, 8-11pm in Notting Hill. Free entry.
 
Upstairs at Ronnie’s – Wednesday, Soho


Image Credit: Shell Daruwala 

The big hitter of London jamming. The crowd is undeniably suit-ier than other jams, but that doesn’t affect the calibre of musician on show. Let’s face it – if you’re playing at Ronnie’s, you’re going to be good. It’s an iconic venue, the Gin Martini is second to none, the players know their stuff and boy, do they show it.

Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s hosts a jam every Wednesday, 9:30pm-3am in Soho. Entry is £6 after 8pm, £8 after 10pm. 

Troy Bar – Wednesday and Friday, Shoreditch

This is the jam for those that know about jams. Troy Bar is a staple of every musician’s diet – from hip newcomers cutting their teeth to seasoned circuit-players cutting back and letting loose. The standard is high, and the crowd is buzzing - especially on a post-work Friday night. Optimism is in the air, and it sounds like a trumpet.
 
Troy Bar hosts the Hoxton Jam every Wednesday, 8:30pm-1am, and Jazz Grooves every Friday, 10pm-3am in Shoreditch. Free entry (before 10:30pm on Friday).
 

Tell us what you think

You may also like

Euroart Open Studios

Euroart Open Studios

Meet established and up-and-coming artists in their unique workspaces and buy affordable original artworks directly from the makers.

You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred - Zabludowicz Collection

You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred - Zabludowicz Collection

We visited the Zabludowicz collection in North London to take a look at their latest exhibition featuring 14 international photographers, over a 40-year period, who…

PROJECT2017 at Gallery Elena Shchukina

PROJECT2017 at Gallery Elena Shchukina

A ten day exhibition of abstract art from emerging and established artists.

This Week 22-28 May

This Week 22-28 May

There’s a veritable smorgasbord of activities on the menu throughout the final week of the month of May. A scorching play tackles London’s housing crisis head-on at…

London International A Cappella Choral Competition

London International A Cappella Choral Competition

16 Choirs from 11 Countries competing A Cappella

The Bach Choir: Sea Symphony

The Bach Choir: Sea Symphony

An evening of classical music at Royal Festival Hall

Jorinde Voigt - Both Sides Now

Jorinde Voigt - Both Sides Now

We spoke to visual artist Jorinde Voigt about her new London exhibition at the Lisson Gallery ‘Both Sides Now’, her ideas about art and how it…

The Glory Lates with Timberlina

The Glory Lates with Timberlina

Drag sensation Timberlina returns to Dalston's The Glory to host an evening of empathy and folk wisdom.

Top 5: Whisky Bars in London

Top 5: Whisky Bars in London

We have a new saying around our London Calling offices: “I am what I dram.” To follow up on this profound drop of pure poetic truth,…

Song of Contagion at Wilton’s Music Hall

Song of Contagion at Wilton’s Music Hall

Acclaimed World and Jazz musicians combine with a renowned scientist to tell the story of gobal epidemics.

Most popular

Museums at Night at The Bank of England Museum

Museums at Night at The Bank of England Museum

Enjoy talks, demos and explore this fantastic museum by dark.
The Engine Room: International Sound Art Exhibition

The Engine Room: International Sound Art Exhibition

Celebrating the most exciting sound art being produced right now.
Top 5: Rooftop Bars in London

Top 5: Rooftop Bars in London

From cosy chilled-out spaces to high-end glitzy restaurants overlooking the city’s skyscrapers, we pick out some of the best rooftop bars you should be spending your summer evenings at.
Pre-General Election Tours of the Houses of Parliament

Pre-General Election Tours of the Houses of Parliament

Explore the history-steeped Houses of Parliament before the General Election this June.
Top 5: Gelato and Ice Cream Parlours in London

Top 5: Gelato and Ice Cream Parlours in London

We may be tempting fate, but we've rounded up freshest frozen treats London has to offer in time for the Spring sunshine
House of Burlesque: 2.0

House of Burlesque: 2.0

House of Burlesque push aside the pretence of fluff & feathers in their strong, sassy and thoroughly modern show.
Euroart Open Studios

Euroart Open Studios

Meet established and up-and-coming artists in their unique workspaces and buy affordable original artworks directly from the makers.
Last Chance to See: The Hunterian Museum

Last Chance to See: The Hunterian Museum

Human toes and maggots buried in reindeer skin? We explore one of the weirdest museums in London before it closes for three years…
The Secret Garden - London Children’s Ballet

The Secret Garden - London Children’s Ballet

This May, The Secret Garden is performed by a stunningly talented all-child cast at the Lyric Hammersmith.
Celebrate Drawing with the RWA’s ‘Drawn’ and ‘Lines in a Landscape’ Exhibitions

Celebrate Drawing with the RWA’s ‘Drawn’ and ‘Lines in a Landscape’ Exhibitions

Don't miss these three unique exhibitions with over 200 artworks celebrating the art of drawing at RWA Bristol.

Your inbox deserves a little culture!