London is famous for its nightclubs and live music scene. Jazz fans in particular will find plenty of jazz clubs in London where they can indulge their ears with world-class music and their tummies with good food and drinks. The most famous and popular jazz clubs are found in Soho, London’s original red light district and a popular area for LGBTQ+ bars, pubs and events. Here’s our jazz club rundown:
1. The Piano Bar Soho
If you are looking for an intimate evening with great music, then the Piano Bar Soho is really the place to go. It’s a private bar for members only and you should book in advance if you are a non-member. You don’t have to be a jazz enthusiast to really enjoy this very cosy and informal place with great hosts, fabulous cocktails and great performers to boot too.
It is definitely one of the best jazz clubs in London, so put it on your schedule when you are in Soho and want to enjoy its nightlife. You can also book its private room for birthdays and other special events with fewer than 80 people. In addition, a small room for up to 18 people can be booked for a private cocktail party and film screening. What better place for a party we say?!
You’ll find the Piano Bar Soho at 16 Carlisle Street, Soho, W1D 3BT. Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.
2. Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
This is one of the oldest jazz clubs in the entire world. It opened in 1959 and features most of the legendary and popular names in modern jazz and jazz fusion. Some people call Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club the ‘best jazz bar in London’ – and for good reason. It’s certainly a bit on the pricey side of things, but well worth it.
The well-established jazz club has a long tradition and is the playground for many celebrities, who offer great concerts in a club atmosphere. Tickets should be booked well in advance, although sometimes you are lucky and can still get one or two tickets at the box office. It feels rather classy than cosy, is well organised and offers an extensive array of delicious food and drinks too.
You’ll find Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club at 47 Frith Street, London, W1D 4HT. Nearest stations are Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road.
3. Ain’t Nothin’ But…
You’ll always find a friendly crowd at the cozy Ain’t Nothin’ But, which is very well run and makes many people come back again and again. It describes itself as the ‘best blues bar this side of the Atlantic‘ and is certainly one of the best jazz clubs in London – we really can’t argue with that one.
Founded in 1993, Ain’t Nothin’ But is a home for good music. Blues and jazz enthusiasts can enjoy fantastic live bands seven days a week and can see many musicians performing in a short space of time. For drinking, there’s tasty craft beer, wine and spirits. You can’t book ahead, it’s walk-ins only.
You’ll find Ain’t Nothin’ But at 20 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B 5PZ. Nearest station is Oxford Circus.
4.The Crazy Coqs
What makes The Crazy Coqs special is the ambience which takes you all the way back to the 1930’s. The small and cosy environment is created with round tables, small lamps and a very snug interior, and all the tables here have a good view of the stage so you won’t have to crane your neck looking to see who’s playing.
The club offers excellent service and there is plenty of opportunities to order drinks and snacks before the show and during the interval. The ambience of Brasserie Zédel next door (oh dahlingggg!) creates exactly the right climate you’re looking for with jazz. You can also book the venue for private events during the day.
You’ll find The Crazy Coqs at 20 Sherwood Street, London, W1F 7ED. Nearest station is Piccadilly Circus.
5. Pizza Express Jazz Club
Hidden in the basement below Soho’s Pizza Express (yep, really) you’ll find the Pizza Express Jazz Club, which always has an interesting programme with great artists on the roster. With a capacity of around 80-100 seats, it’s rather snug it has to be said, but its repertoire is all the broader for it. Everything is represented here, from swing to classic jazz to urban contemporary.
The prices are fairly decent here so you’ll get a reasonable amount of bang for your buck, and thanks to the Pizza Express restaurant on the ground floor, you can eat quite well before the show. People recommend the very tasty herb butter and pizza rolls but the whole menu is pretty bloody good.
You’ll find Pizza Express Jazz Club at 10 Dean Street, London, W1D 3RW. Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.
6. 606 Club
Based in Chelsea close to the Thames, the 606 Club is an unassuming and hidden spot in a rather fancy location. It trumps with an atmosphere of an American speakeasy, where you have to buzz through the gate and start a trip down the stairs into the basement.
Apart from that, people come here for the great music. For more than 40 years, the 606 Club has presented the best British-based jazz available, and has been run by musician Steve Rubie since 1976. The booking policy is strict: only really talented musicians are allowed to play – and the fee is paid directly to them. However, the club itself is as relaxed as its dress code. Portions may not be massive, but they’re delicious, and the club also offers an allergen menu (gluten-free and dairy-free) with several different options.
You’ll find 606 Club in Chelsea at 90 Lots Road, London, SW10 0QD. Nearest station is Imperial Wharf.
If you’re looking for a club which feels exactly like someone’s living room, then Nell’s is really the right place for you. It’s the perfect venue for a fabulous night out, providing a truly intimate setting for a live gig. You can step back in time and really enjoy the ambience as you settle in with some really great music.
The rooftop terrace is a special feature that gives you the opportunity to relax and unwind between shows, and doors usually open at 7.30pm.
You’ll find Nell’s at 3 North End Crescent, London, W14 8TG. Nearest station is West Kensington.
8. The Vortex
A group of enthusiastic volunteers run this jazz venue in hipster Dalston, and that’s why the prices are affordable, as the club is a non-smoking, not-for-profit business. The Vortex Jazz Club offers up to 400 performances a year in an intimate space of around 100 seats. For a quarter of a century, the club has provided a platform for jazz, improvised and experimental music.
It puts on a remarkable variety of jazz and related acts, including innovative and experimental groups, as well as more accessible bands and joyful world-music-influenced acts. Their aim is to promote jazz in its various forms and to bring the music to a wider audience. At the same time, they support new and emerging talent through their innovative programming. The lighting and sound systems are all excellent, creating a great atmosphere and a unique music experience. Located on the first floor you find a café under the club, where you can eat very cheaply.
You’ll find The Vortex at 11 Gillett Square, London, N16 8AZ. Nearest station is Dalston Kingsland.
9. Jazz Cafe Posk
If you a fan of jazz and Polish food then this is the right place for you. The Jazz Cafe Posk is located in the basement of the Polish Social & Cultural Association in Hammersmith. Regular concerts are held there every Friday and Saturday evening. The cafe has existed for half a century and was founded as a cultural and social centre for earlier waves of migrants from Poland. But now it has developed into a centre in its own right, with a theatre and an atmospheric jazz cellar downstairs.
The talented artists can show off through the great sound system and the guests enjoy the reasonable ticket prices and the comfortable and spacious seating. The bar charges normal pub prices, and you can have a delicious meal at Posk’s restaurant before attending the show – the cakes are really rather tasty.
You’ll find the Jazz Cafe Posk at 238-246 King Street, Hammersmith, London, W6 0RF. Nearest station is Ravenscourt Park.
Rounding off this list of the best jazz clubs in London is a real winner. Once known as ‘The London Theatre’, the club has been modernised and given a new name: Jazzbourne. It’s perhaps the smallest and most intimate jazz club in London with a maximum of 45 seats. This guarantees an intimate and familiar atmosphere, enhanced by cabaret tables, red velvet curtains, and an elegant piano. All creative activities such as music and live performance, film screenings, talks, workshops and events take place here, and it’s also good for private parties too.
They strive to be a ‘force for good’ by making socially and environmentally responsible decisions. This is also reflected in the bar menu, which only offers brands that are committed to making the world a better place. It’s just a stone’s throw from Deptford too.
You’ll find Jazzbourne at 443 New Cross Road, SE14 6TA. Nearest station is New Cross.
So there you have it – these jazz clubs in London leave no wishes unfulfilled. There’s something for everyone. So treat your soul with some smooth or fancy jazz that makes life worth living – seriously.