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

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File:Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club sign.jpg

Neon sign outside the club

File:Ronne Scotts.jpg

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club at 47 Frith Street, Soho, London

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club is a prominent jazz club which has operated in London, England 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 (in)famous 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. Managing Director Simon Cooke joined in April 2008.

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 music in the United Kingdom,[1] and finished third in the voting for the initial award.[2]

Many prestigious artists have played there, including Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day, Nina Simone, Curtis Mayfield, Dianne Reeves, Stacey Kent, Katie Melua, Jamie Cullum, Bobby Broom, Wynton Marsalis, Madeleine Peyroux, Prince, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, George Benson and Cassandra Wilson.

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

House musicians[]

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. The dates of a particular house musician sometimes overlap with that of others owing to the nature of a musician's working schedule. Many of them were already, or would soon become, leading figures on the British jazz scene.

Since 2006 the Ronnie Scott's Allstars have been some of the greatest talents on the UK scene, including regular performers James Pearson and Sam Burgess.


  • Phil Seamen – house drummer from 1964 to 1968[4]
  • Allan Ganley – house drummer from 1964 to 1967, 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.
  • Martin Drew – house drummer from 1975 to 1995
  • Chris Dagley – house drummer from 2006 to 2010
  • Pedro Segundo – house drummer since 2010
  • Chris Higginbottom – house drummer since 2012


  • Eddie Thompson – house pianist 1959–60
  • Stan Tracey – house pianist from March 1960 to 1967/1968
  • John Critchinson – house pianist from 1978 to 1995. Accompanied Chet Baker, George Coleman, James Moody, Joe Henderson and Johnny Griffin
  • James Pearson – house pianist since 2006


  • Sam Burgess – house bassist since 2006

Other instruments[]

  • Ernest Ranglin – house guitarist 1964–65.

Other musicians[]

Other regular performers since 2006 include:

  • Al Cherry (guitar)
  • Alan Barnes (sax)
  • Alec Dankworth
  • Alex Garnett (sax)
  • Alistair White (trombone)
  • Arnie Somogyi (bass)
  • Dave O'Higgins
  • Gary Baldwin (Hammond organ)
  • Gerard Presencer (trumpet)
  • James Nisbet (guitar)
  • Mark Smith (bass)
  • Matt Home (drums)
  • Mornington Lockett
  • Natalie Williams (vocals)
  • Nina Ferro
  • Pete Long (sax)
  • Ralph Salmins (drums)
  • Steve Fishwick
  • Steve Rushton (drums)

Record label[]

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[]

  • 1963–65: Live in London vols 1 & 2Tubby Hayes (taped by Les Tomkins at the Old Place)
  • 1964: Live at Ronnie Scott'sBen Webster
  • 1964: The Punch – Ben Webster
  • 1964/65: There and Back – The Dick Morrissey Quartet (released 1997). Recorded 27 January 1964/20 August 1965
  • 1965: Sonny Stitt / Live at Ronnie Scott'sSonny Stitt and the Dick Morrissey Quartet. Recorded May 1965
  • 1965: Live at Ronnie Scott'sWes Montgomery
  • 1966: Blossom Time at Ronnie Scott'sBlossom Dearie
  • 1967: Sweet Blossom Dearie – Blossom Dearie
  • 1969: Volcano...Live at Ronnie'sKenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band
  • 1969: Rue Chaptal...Live at Ronnie's – Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band
  • 1970: Somewhere in Soho (also released as Live at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club) – Soft Machine
  • 1971: Dynasty (Live at Ronnie Scott's)Stan Getz
  • 1972: Rich in London aka Very Alive at Ronnie Scott'sBuddy Rich Big Band
  • 1974: Ella in LondonElla Fitzgerald
  • 1975: Lee Konitz Meets Warne Marsh Again - Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh
  • 1976: Livestock - Brand X
  • 1976: Symphony of Scorpions - Graham Collier
  • 1977: Ronnie Scott's Presents Sarah Vaughan LiveSarah Vaughan
  • 1980: Complete Live at Ronnie Scott's 1980Bill Evans
  • 1980: Live at Ronnie Scott's aka The Man from Planet Jazz – Buddy Rich Big Band
  • 1980: Live at Ronnie Scott's – Mike Carr and His Trio Featuring Jim Mullen and Harold SmithMike Carr
  • 1980: Blues for the Fisherman – The Milcho Leviev Quartet, featuring Art Pepper
  • 1980: True Blues – The Milcho Leviev Quartet, featuring Art Pepper
  • 1983: Live at Ronnie Scott'sWeekend
  • 1984: Live at Ronnie Scott'sNina Simone. Recorded 17 November 1984.
  • 1986: Live at Ronnie Scott'sChet Baker
  • 1986: Live at Ronnie Scott'sChico Freeman
  • 1986: Live at Ronnie Scott's, LondonAnita O'Day
  • 1988: Live at Ronnie Scott'sCurtis Mayfield
  • 1988: I Gotta Right to Sing (live at Ronnie Scott's)Marion Montgomery
  • 1988: Live at Ronnie Scott'sRoy Ayers
  • 1989: The London ConcertGeorge Russell's Living Time Orchestra
  • 1990: Live at Ronnie'sJohn Dankworth Big Band
  • 1990: Live at Ronnie Scott'sTaj Mahal
  • 1991: FelicidadIrakere
  • 1992: Fourth World: Recorded live at Ronnie Scott's Club
  • 1994: Speed TrapPeter King Quintet featuring Gerard Presencer
  • 1995: How Long Has This Been Going OnVan Morrison, Georgie Fame and Pee Wee Ellis. Recorded 3 May 1995.
  • 1995: A Change of SeasonsDream Theater
  • 1997: Dolly BirdLiane Carroll
  • 1998: Live at Ronnie Scott'sShakatak
  • 1998: Soho SessionPeter Green Splinter Group
  • 2000: Ronnie Scott's Jazz HouseArturo Sandoval
  • 2002: Son of Dolly Bird – Liane Carroll
  • 2003: Live at Ronnie Scott's - Lisa Stansfield
  • 2004: Watts at Scott'sCharlie Watts Performing This Week...Live at Ronnie Scott's
  • 2005: MF Horn VI – Live at Ronnie'sMaynard Ferguson
  • 2006: Live at Ronnie Scott'sJamie Cullum
  • 2007: Live at Ronnie Scott'sJeff Beck

See also[]

Further reading[]


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External links[]