An Essential Guide to Ronnie Scott’s

Jessica Maya Jones

Since 1959, Ronnie Scott’s lush red low-lit basement in the heart of Soho has been an iconic escape for jazz lovers. Graced by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, the jazzy intimate atmosphere breathes history alongside its superb musicians. Book a table for the main stage and enjoy a night of music magic and sophistication alongside a menu of delicious food and award-winning cocktails. Upstairs @ Ronnie’s offers a more laid-back speakeasy energy, with an area for dancing next to the sax players and music makers. From the Cuban rhythms of Omar Puente to the rising star that is Ashley Henry, there is music to be adored by all who visit. 



What to expect?
Jazz Jazz Jazz and so much more! Confirmed artists include jazz vocalist and Puppuni Sister, Emma Smith, playing tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Young lion Mark Kavuma, a prominent trumpet player on the British jazz scene and old-school jazz funksters James Taylor Quartet will be sure to rock your jazz socks off. Scalding hot saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch and genre-blurring pianist Ashley Henry will host a night not to miss.

Where is it again? 
47 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4HT

How long should I spend there? 
If you can, all night. 

Opening times: 
Monday to Thursday Show 1: Doors open at 5.30pm, show begins at 7.15pm. Show 2:  Doors open at 9pm, show begins at 9.45pm – 11pm. Late Late Show, 11pm-3am. 
Friday and Saturday Show 1: Doors open 6pm, show begins at 7.30pm. Show 2: Doors open at 9.15pm, show begins at 11pm - 00:15.
Upstairs Bar closes 2am 
 
Events at Ronnie’s: 
For a calendar view of Ronnie Scott’s performance schedule, click here 

Unmissable Evenings:
- For the night owls of London, prepare to be whisked away as the rest of London shuts its eyes…Upstairs @ Ronnie’s rages on until 2am.
- Upstairs @ Ronnie’s - The Wednesday Night Jazz Jam! Lose yourself in the dazzling improvisations of the renowned Ronnie Scott’s House Band.
- Upstairs @ Ronnie’s – The Thursday Jazz & Funk Jam! Dance the night away to an explosion of funk and fun.
- Upstairs @ Ronnie’s – The Friday Live Cuban Band! Escape into a world of Cuban salsa.
- Every night, Ronnie’s basement hosts a concert of the highest calibre, each one brilliant. 
 


Who is Ronnie Scott?
- Ronnie Scott (1927-1996), was a renowned London-born jazz tenor saxophonist and co-founder of the UK’s most popular jazz club Ronnie Scott’s. Originally, the club was hosted in the basement of 39 Gerrard Street in Soho, yet due to its rising popularity, moved to Frith Street in 1965 as demand for bigger capacity grew. Ronnie’s has been a home to the brightest of stars, including but not limited to: Prince, Lady Gaga, Chet Baker, Johnny Depp and Tony Bennett.  
- As the jazz club’s Master of Ceremonies, Ronnie Scott was infamous for his sense of humour as he would comically introduce acts onto the stage and entertain the audience during the intervals. Since his passing, his legacy of excellent musicianship, humour and jazz have continued to thrive. 

Fun Fact:
The Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club founded its own record label, the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz House, and has since been responsible for boosting the careers of jazz players across the UK. 

Ronnie’s Best Kept Secret:
- Traditionally, Ronnie’s The Late Late Show is Soho’s best kept secret, but for now (and hopefully not for long), it is not open as a result of coronavirus precautions. However, Upstairs @ Ronnie’s will continue to be an effortlessly swanky joint to have a drink with family, friends, and lovers alike.  
- Ronnie Scott’s also offers a membership deal for £295 a year – which given all the perks (20% off all shows, frequent free entry, queue jumps, exclusive invitations to drinks-tastings and special events) seems completely worth it. 
 
How has Coronavirus affected the club? 
 
- Ronnie Scott’s will open with a reduced capacity of 50%, with all the safety measures necessary, such as deep cleaning, 100% fresh air air-conditioning, sanitizer stations, thermal checks on arrival and strict social distancing measures in place. 
- Ronnie Scott’s has fully embraced the new safety criteria stating on their website that “the club was always so damn busy it might even appeal to you to have a little more space”. The intimate and cosy atmosphere has not been hindered by the restrictions. Ronnie Scott’s have stated that they are particularly proud of the elegant screens that separate the seating areas as they complement the décor. 
- The new “rule of six” will also not affect Ronnie’s. As a matter of fact, the club discourages parties of over 6, particularly for the late shows. If the ruling continues into December, then it will affect the Christmas party season which is always larger bookings. 
 
A Message from Ronnie Scott’s General Manager Fred Nash on Covid-19: 
“We are proud to have scored 100% in a Covid-safety audit without compromising the great atmosphere of the club and not putting in measures which are quite frankly, weird or unnecessary.  We’ve all experienced strange trips to a pub where you have to navigate a seemingly pointless one-way system, download an app to order a drink only to find it doesn’t work.  We believe we can welcome customers back safely whilst maintaining the old- school hospitality values we are known for.  We’re certain that when our customers return, they will feel we have got it just right”.

Tickets and more information available here.




 
 

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