You thought Pizza Express was all about dough, mozzarella and tomato sauce? Think again. It also does smooth sax, groovy beats and seductive vocals. This intimate basement pizza-based jazz club has presented the cream of musical talent since 1976 in the heart of Soho. It’s won an armful of awards as one of the best jazz venues around and has hosted an impressive roster of performers including Norah Jones, Gregory Porter and the great Amy Winehouse.
Pizza Express, 10 Dean St, Soho, London +44 20 7437 9595
This popular jazz hangout has been specialising in music, drink and good times for 20 years. There’s live jazz seven nights a week as well as contemporary folk and world music. It loves to nurture new jazz talent and so the programme has a strong focus on young up and comers but also boasts bigger acts every now and then. A laid-back cool customer and one of Dalston’s finest.
The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London +44 20 7254 4097
Café Oto is a bit more on the weird and wonderful side of the jazz club arena. Mainstream is definitely not in the vocab of this vast airy venue located behind Dalston’s Kingsland High Street. Discover music you never knew you needed in your life, every day of the week. There’s a huge array of styles on show, including improv, free jazz, psych-rock and lots more. Not one to be missed for adventurous music explorers.
Cafe Oto, The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin St, London +44 20 7923 1231
Hidden at the less salubrious end of Chelsea, this jazz favourite is ever popular with the hard core jazz music loving crowd. A great place to enjoy some smooth late night tunes and grab a bite to eat, this club has been a part of the jazz landscape in London since 1976. With live music seven nights a week, the party is always jumping.
606 Club, 90 Lots Rd, Chelsea, London +44 20 7352 5953
This one needs no introduction. Ronnie Scott’s is nothing short of jazz legend. It has been going since 1959 and it has hosted the biggest names in Jazz, from Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald, to Katie Melua and Jamie Cullum. The classy and laid back interior is the perfect setting to pass a music filled evening, soaking up some smooth sounds.
Ronnie Scott’s, 47 Frith St, Soho, London +44 20 7439 0747