Peter Bacon reports:
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club turns 60 on 30 October 2019 and the line-up planned for its big birthday bash would be hard-pressed to squeeze into the Frith Street club. So, instead, the more accommodating Royal Albert Hall will be doing just that for Kurt Elling, Liane Carroll, Guy Barker, Courtney Pine, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, Van Morrison, Imelda May, Ian Shaw, Pee Wee Ellis, Madeline Bell, Natalie Williams, the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra led by Pete Long, and the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars led by James Pearson.
That press release in full (nearly):
On 30th October 1959, Ronnie Scott and Pete King opened the doors of their first club on Gerrard Street as a place for music lovers to experience the intoxicating world of Jazz. Fast forward 60 years, and Ronnie Scott’s has become a Jazz institution; playing host to some of the biggest names to have ever graced the stage – from Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Dee Dee Bridgewater, to contemporary artists including Jamie Cullum, Jeff Beck and Christian Scott.
To celebrate the club’s landmark birthday, Ronnie Scott’s is opening a bigger set of doors for one night only; putting on a once in a lifetime gala concert at the Royal Albert Hall on their official 60th birthday, Wednesday 30th October 2019 in aid of the Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation.
The line-up for this unmissable event represents the ‘who’s who’ of the Jazz world, as befits the club that has been the pinnacle of the British Jazz scene for 60 years. Tickets go on sale on Friday 7th June at 10am with the following performers revealed so far:
Van Morrison, two-time Grammy award-winning songwriter, instrumentalist and producer
Imelda May, popular Irish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist
Madeline Bell, iconic American jazz and soul vocalist
Kurt Elling, 14-time winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll and celebrated American jazz vocalist
Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, the man behind the smash hits ‘Yeh, Yeh’ and ‘Get Away’
Pee Wee Ellis, American saxophonist and composer and the architect behind James Brown’s unique sound
Courtney Pine, British jazz giant and founder of band The Jazz Warriors
Ian Shaw, renowned jazz vocalist and campaigner
Natalie Williams, critically acclaimed recording artist
Liane Carroll, acclaimed pianist and vocalist
Guy Barker, jazz trumpeter and composer
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra led by Pete Long
Ronnie Scott’s All Stars led by James Pearson
The story of the club’s illustrious history will be told throughout the evening, interwoven with the narrative of the night’s set…
Managing Director of Ronnie Scott’s, Simon Cooke, said: “We are transporting the club, for one night only, into the slightly larger Royal Albert Hall but have every intention of recreating the unique atmosphere we have here in Frith Street. It’s wonderful that so many artists have asked to appear at the show and is indicative of the affection and importance the club holds in London and across the world.’’
Co-owner of Ronnie Scott’s, Sally Greene OBE, said: “I am so proud to be a part of both Ronnie Scott’s amazing history and its bright future. Over the past 60 years Ronnie’s has welcomed many incredible artists; from legends of Jazz to lesser known rising stars. I look forward to this British institution bringing the wonders of Jazz to the heart of Soho for another 60 years. Our birthday at the Royal Albert Hall will be a unique evening showcasing our love of Jazz on a grand scale to our long-standing patrons and future generations of music lovers.”
Artistic Director of the Royal Albert Hall, Lucy Noble, said: “We’re thrilled to announce this all-star celebration of Ronnie Scott’s, a name synonymous with sensational Jazz music. The Hall has a proud history of hosting the giants of the genre – from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Billie Holiday to the stars of 2019 – and this meeting of two of Britain’s great musical institutions should add up to an incredible night.”
The ‘A Night at Ronnie Scott’s’ gala concert represents the stunning culmination of birthday celebrations taking place throughout 2019 for the club; marking an iconic year for one of London’s most cherished venues.