Groove to the rhythm: What are the best jazz clubs in London?

Whether you’re drawn to the allure of class jazz clubs or prefer to explore the hidden gems tucked away in London’s musical fabric, we’ve got your guide to the ultimate jazz odyssey. 

So, if you’re ready to let the music transport you, join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the jazz haunts that make London’s heart swing and groove like no other.

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

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Location: 47 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4HT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7439 0747

Website

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is no spring chicken in the world of jazz. It’s been belting out tunes since 1959, making it one of London’s longest-running jazz institutions. 

Founded by none other than Ronnie Scott himself, along with fellow saxophonist Pete King, this club has been a cradle for some of the most legendary jazz musicians on the planet.

Think about it: Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, and Stan Getz – just to name a few – have graced the stage with their smooth, soulful sounds. If those walls could talk, they’d be singing a hell of a jazz ballad.

The Bull’s Head

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Location: 373 Lonsdale Rd, Barnes, London SW13 9PY, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8876 5241

Website

It was in the 1950s that The Bull’s Head truly found its groove as a jazz mecca. Jazz legends like Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball took to the stage, turning this cosy pub into a swinging jazz den.

The Bull’s Head is known for its intimate setting, where you can practically feel the notes in the air. It’s a place where the music doesn’t just fill the room: it becomes a part of you. 

The Spice of Life

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Location: 6 Moor St, Soho, London W1D 5NA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7437 7013

Website

Imagine stepping into a place where cosy meets eclectic. “The Spice of Life” is a charming, snug venue that oozes character. 

The décor is like a love letter to jazz itself – a melange of vintage posters, dimly lit corners, and an atmosphere so intimate, you’ll feel like you’re sharing a secret with the musicians.

But here’s the twist – it’s also a multifaceted gem that also hosts comedy nights, poetry slams, and open mic sessions. So, if you’re ever in the mood for a side of laughter or lyrical poetry with your jazz, this is the place to be.

Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club

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Location: 140 Newington Butts, London SE11 4RN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7582 6800

Website

Named after the iconic French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (bet you didn’t see that coming), this place has been serenading London since 2008.

This place is all about the whole artistic experience. From live jazz and blues to art exhibitions, this place is a haven for creative souls. The place is also known for often having a stellar lineup of musicians. From solo pianists to full jazz bands, the stage here has seen it all.

The Crypt Jazz Restaurant

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Location: St. Giles’ Church, Camberwell Church St, London SE5 8JB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7703 4832

Website

First, let’s talk about the crypt part – yes, you read that right. “The Crypt Jazz Restaurant” is a musical treasure tucked away beneath the beautiful St. Giles-in-the-Fields church. 

Imagine descending into a 200-year-old underground crypt, where history and jazz intertwine like old friends sharing stories over a glass of whiskey.

This unique setting creates an atmosphere that’s as mystical as it is musical. Gothic arches, ancient stone walls, and flickering candlelight set the stage for an evening of jazz that feels like a voyage through time.

Boisdale of Canary Wharf

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Location: Cabot Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7715 5818

Website

Boisdale has a reputation for hosting some of the biggest names in the jazz world. From Jools Holland to Georgie Fame, you can expect a lineup that’s nothing short of extraordinary.

But it’s not just about the legends, Boisdale also shines a spotlight on emerging talents. They have a commitment to nurturing new jazz artists, making it a vibrant hub for both seasoned performers and rising stars. 

Jazz After Dark

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Location: 9 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4DQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7734 0545

Website

Jazz After Dark has been serenading London since 1985. It’s the kind of place where jazz history is etched into the very bricks. Legends like Amy Winehouse and Prince have graced this stage, leaving their musical footprints for all to hear.

And because jazz and libations go together like Ella Fitzgerald and scat singing, let’s talk about the drinks. Jazz After Dark serves up craft cocktails that are as smooth as a saxophone solo. From classic cocktails to house specialities, they’ve got a drink for every mood.

The Pheasantry

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Location: 152-154 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4UT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7439 4962

Website

The Pheasantry is a jazz nest with a history as rich as a double bass solo. Once upon a time, this place was a famous restaurant, and it even counted The Rolling Stones as regulars. Fast forward to today, and it’s a jazz haven that continues to make musical history.

What’s fascinating here is their lineup of artists. They attract top-tier musicians from around the world. Whether you’re into sultry vocals, virtuoso instrumentals, or a mix of both, this place has it all.

The Troubadour

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Location: 263-267 Old Brompton Rd, Earls Court, London SW5 9JA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7370 1434

Website

The Troubadour’s tale began in the late 1950s when it opened its doors in the trendy South Kensington neighbourhood. At that time, it quickly became a hub for the city’s budding folk and blues music scene. 

Legends like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Joni Mitchell graced its stage, leaving behind an indelible mark in the club’s history.

But it wasn’t until the ’70s that The Troubadour found its true calling as a jazz sanctuary. Since then, it has welcomed jazz virtuosos and emerging talents alike, continuing the tradition of live music that makes it a cornerstone of London’s cultural landscape.

The Archduke

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Location: Concert Hall Approach, London SE1 8XU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7928 9370

Website

This establishment has been enchanting Londoners for over four decades. Originally a wine cellar, The Archduke found its groove in the ’70s as a jazz and blues haven. Its enduring legacy is a testament to its commitment to celebrating the art of jazz.

The pièce de résistance, however, is the panoramic view of the Thames River and the bustling cityscape beyond. Picture yourself sipping on a velvety Cabernet Sauvignon while the sun sets, casting a golden glow over London’s iconic landmarks. 

The Piano Bar Soho

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Location: 16 Carlisle St, Soho, London W1D 3BT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7287 9943

Website

Walking through the doors of The Piano Bar Soho is like stepping into a scene from a classic film noir. The dimly lit room, with its plush red velvet seats and vintage piano, exudes an aura of old-world glamour. 

The Piano Bar Soho is renowned for its intimate performances. It’s all about the soulful connection between the musician and their audience.

The highlight, as the name suggests, is the piano. Each night, talented pianists tickle the ivories, creating melodies that will dance in your heart long after the final note.

The Green Note

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Location: 106 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7AN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7485 9899

Website

This club’s name is a nod to its origins as a vegetarian café with a penchant for soul-soothing live music. Since its inception in 2005, it has been a haven for emerging talents and established artists alike, putting it firmly on the map of London’s jazz scene.

Now, what’s a jazz club without an eclectic lineup, you ask? At The Green Note, you’ll find a kaleidoscope of musical genres beyond just jazz. Folk, blues, roots, world, and Americana all take their turn in the spotlight. 

The Magic Garden

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Location: 231 Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, London SW11 4LG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7622 4844

Website

As the name suggests, The Magic Garden boasts an actual garden, and it’s a hidden treasure. When the weather plays nice (which, let’s admit, is a rare treat in London), you can enjoy your jazz al fresco style. 

You can picture yourself sipping a cocktail under the stars while the music serenades your senses. That’s the kind of magic you’ll find here.

The Hideaway Streatham

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Location: 2 Empire Mews, Streatham High Rd, London SW16 2ED, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8835 7070

Website

The Hideaway Streatham has a rich history that traces back to 2010. It might not be centuries old, but in the fast-paced world of London’s music scene, a decade is a significant milestone.

Beyond being a venue, The Hideaway Streatham is a thriving hub for the local jazz community. It hosts workshops, open mic nights, and jam sessions, fostering a sense of camaraderie among jazz enthusiasts and aspiring musicians.

The Hampstead Jazz Club

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Location: 28 Ivor Mews, London NW1 9RE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7998 3388

Website

Founded in 2016, The Hampstead Jazz Club may be relatively young in terms of years, but it’s already established itself as a prominent fixture in London’s jazz scene.

The club takes its culinary offerings seriously, with a menu designed to complement the live music. You can indulge in a variety of snacks or savour hearty meals while enjoying the performances.

The Chandos Arms Jazz

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Location: 31 Colindale Ave, London NW9 5DS, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8200 0032

Website

Nestled in the heart of Colindale, this club has been serenading the city since 2014. While it may also not be aeons in the grand scheme of things, in the ever-evolving world of jazz, it’s a testament to its staying power.

Now, let’s talk about the main attraction – the stage. The Chandos Arms Jazz stage isn’t just a platform: it’s a sacred altar for musical greatness. This is where legends are born and where seasoned pros come to weave their enchanting musical spells. 

Nightjar

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Location: 129 City Rd, London EC1V 1JB, United Kingdom

Contact: You may contact them here

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Nightjar is where the cocktails flow like a bebop riff and the ambience oozes with vintage allure. But let’s not beat around the bush, getting a coveted table here can feel like a tactical mission, complete with cover charges that make your wallet wince.

Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re all for a bit of persistence and trust us, it pays off. Once you’ve navigated the entry procedures, including the cover charge, and snagged a seat within earshot of the stage, Nightjar transforms into a veritable sanctuary for live jazz.

So, while the entry might require a bit of strategic planning and a modest dent in your wallet, Nightjar’s live jazz performances make every effort worthwhile.

Waterloo Hidden Jazz Bar

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Location: Launcelot Street, SE1 7AD, United Kingdom

Contact: You may contact them here

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This hidden gem is nestled beneath the bustling streets of Waterloo, and its entrance is a tantalising enigma waiting to be unravelled. 

Once you step inside, you’ll find yourself in a dimly lit cellar that exudes an air of mystery, reminiscent of the bygone era when jazz thrived in hidden corners.

Beyond its speakeasy vibes, the entire venue is a creative haven, celebrating alternative arts in all its glory. However, your destination is the hidden jazz bar, where the magic truly happens. 

Ricco Lounge

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Location: 11 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7460 0103

Website

First,  let’s talk about Fridays – the crown jewel of Ricco Lounge’s week. This is when the place transforms into a haven for jazz and soul enthusiasts. Live performers take centre stage, and the lineup changes weekly, ensuring each visit is a fresh, musical adventure. 

Picture the likes of Kedma, Mo, or Natalie Duncan, gracing the stage with voices that flow like honey, serenading the audience with their soulful melodies.

606 Club

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Location: 90 Lots Rd, London SW10 0QD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7352 5953

Website

Chelsea might seem an unlikely setting for a classic jazz club, but the 606 Club thrives here. The only clue to its existence is the softly glowing 606 sign atop a brick wall, like a subtle nod to those in the know. 

Plus, the 606 Club extends its reach beyond Chelsea’s elegant confines by participating in the EFG London Jazz Festival. It’s a time when the entire city becomes a stage for jazz enthusiasts.

Vortex Jazz Club

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Location: 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7254 4097

Website

Dalston Jazz Bar certainly has its allure, but it’s the Vortex Jazz Club that truly steals the spotlight. As you step inside, you’ll be enveloped by an atmosphere that strikes the perfect balance between intimacy and energy. 

Let’s talk tunes. At the Vortex Jazz Club, the lineup is a dynamic journey through the world of jazz. It’s a revolving door of talent, offering everything from classical jazz trios to the daring realm of modern improvised scat. 

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