On these cold winter nights, there’s really nothing better than relaxing in a cosy basement club with cocktails, listening to world-class musicians do their stuff. You don’t have to know your soul jazz from your Bepop to enjoy the atmosphere of a jazz club, just sit back and enjoy musicians jamming together in an intimate setting. You’re probably already familiar with Ronnie Scott’s in Soho, the capital’s most acclaimed jazz club, so we’ve rounded up five other excellent jazz hubs that are bringing New Orleans vibes to Central London and beyond.
Pizza Express Jazz Bar
You probably wouldn’t naturally associate pizza with jazz, but this venue in the basement of the Dean Street Pizza Express has had some of jazz’s most famous performers grace its stage, including Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse and Sting. With live music seven days a week and a constant line up of world famous artists, it’s the ideal (and probably only) place where you can enjoy highbrow jazz with a slice of pizza.
10 Dean Street, London, W1D 3RW, find out more here.
Image credit: John Cassidy
Vortex Jazz Club
No one has a passion for jazz like the Vortex. Whether you’re looking for Acid, West Coast, jazz-funk or improv, the Vortex offers all with a diverse and experimental line up. Led by volunteers and holding a strong community spirit, their primary goal is to bring jazz to the masses, converting the casual fans and indulging the connoisseurs. Expect an evening of improv and experimental jazz that will inevitably keep things interesting.
11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ. Find out more here.
Image credit: Mattxb
If being in a cramped basement doesn’t sound like your thing but you still want to enjoy some jazz, Nola is the ideal option. Transport yourself to the birthplace of jazz in a considerably less cramped environment, with this New Orleans themed bar. You’ll be ushered to your table by dixie chicks and served by tattoo covered bartenders mixing up cocktails such as La Louisane and a Barrel Aged Bijou. Nola has a new location opening up in 2017. Head down for live music from local jazz greats and even Louisiana natives.
335-337 Old St, London EC1V 9LL find out more here.
Image credit: Bex Walton
Hidden in Chelsea you’ll find one of London’s most iconic jazz clubs. The quintessential basement venue, 606 focuses on UK based jazz acts, championing homegrown music and local jazz heroes. It has events on seven nights a week to suit every jazz palette; with upcoming gigs including respected jazz artists Victoria Newton and Neil Angilley. A slightly more civilised affair, to buy alcohol you need to have a main meal as well, but there’s plenty to choose from, whether you fancy light bites such as Mexican nachos or full platters such as bangers & mash to compliment your night of smooth jazz.
90 Lots Rd, Chelsea, London SW10 0QD, find out more here.
If you’ve exhausted Soho’s plentiful jazz offerings, head down the Northern line to Kennington for Brasserie Toulouse-Lautrec. A French wine bar, it also has nightly live music in their upstairs area, with a jazz band 2-3 nights a week. Enjoy a glass of one of their extensive selection of French wines and kid yourself into thinking you’re in a Parisian, bohemian jazz bar.
140 Newington Butts, Kennington, London SE11 4RN, find out more here.