Seven settings for sultry jazz
With International Jazz Day on 30 April, we round up our favourite local jazz venues
Le QueCumBar, Battersea
A live music bar with a distinctly Parisian feel, this beautiful little venue will whisk you away to the streets of Paris during La Belle Epoque and the era of gypsy jazz icon, Django Reinhardt. Le QueCumBar offers great live music and delectable French wine to match the mood six nights a week. With such a range of exciting styles of music, performance and dance to pick from, you’re best off selecting a date at random and heading along to see what’s playing.
With live entertainment throughout the week, and music ranging from jazz to blues, this laid-back venue certainly feels like an intimate hideaway. Visitors to Hideaway can expect to hear everything from the colourful Cuban sounds of Buena Vista Social Club tributes to Dominican Merengue, right the way through to 1920s jazz. Enjoy a bite to eat, sip on a drink or two, and hit the dancefloor for a dance.
Brixton Blues Kitchen
Contrary to its name, Brixton’s Blues Kitchen offers a whole host of musical genres. Live music-lovers should check out the venue for its legendary tribute nights such as that of a Nina Simone sound-alike. The bar has an extensive cocktails menu and there’s a stacked menu of BBQ favourites.
Jazzlive at the Crypt
Oh so cooly situated in the basement of a Camberwell church, Jazzlive at the Crypt perfectly fits the mould with an elegant candlelit underground setting. With a rich live music history stretching back to the late 20th century, Friday nights are famous here, with improvised music from some of the UK’s best jazz musicians.
A hugely popular jazz club which is just about to turn the grand old age of 42. After almost half a century packing in the punters, Chelsea’s 606 has gained a respective reputation and a load of jazz fans over the years. The club offers an eclectic restaurant setting where you can enjoy tasty food with live talent from British musicians playing everything from New Orleans funk and soul to the sounds of the sax.
Bulls Head, Barnes
This riverside boozer has a long history as a jazz venue, often hailed as a suburban Ronnie Scott’s. Approaching its 58th anniversary, the Bull’s Head is known for its important contribution to the UK jazz scene. Among many of the famous names who have played here are Coleman Hawkins, Tubby Hayes, Blossom Dearie, Mick Jagger and many others. The jazz room is perfectly kitted out for an evening of talented musicians and there is a charming pub atmosphere to soak up pre-gig.
Electric Theatre, Guildford
A prominent building in the heart of Guildford, Electric Theatre couldn’t be further from a gloomy unassuming jazz bar, and inside it’s a beautiful and versatile space that is used for everything from drama performances to live music. Spend an evening listening to music that will conjure up the golden age of jazz, and keep an eye out for their immensely popular blues and rock nights too.