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13 Secret Live Jazz Venues In London

By Christian Rose-Day (09 Apr 13)
Tags: secret bars,secrets clubs,live jazz music,jazz london,jazz club,jazz lounge,jazz bar,jazz guide,jazz appreciation month,secret venues,bossa nova,brazilian jazz,live music,music venue,music club,

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Just in case you hadn't realised yet, April 2013 is Jazz Appreciation Month and the best jazz clubs and jazz bars in London will be creating a variety of smooth, laid back vibes for your lusty listening pleasure.

But what about the unsung jazz hero, the lesser known live jazz staple, that quietly goes about the business of feeding and entertaining London with a host of varied live jazz styles? Here are just a handful of those jazz lounges that you may not have heard of before.

Not many know it but Roast restaurant, set high above the busy Borough Market, provides a full program of live jazz most evenings and weekends. Performers such as Paola Vera - recipient of a Yamaha Outstanding Young Jazz Musician's Award - provide a jazzy backdrop for your roasted meats.

Kettner's Cocktail and Champagne Bar is launching a new complimentary ‘Gin, Fizz and Jazz night' on 30th April. Every Tuesday evening from 8.30pm the bar will host to some of London's most talented and glamorous singers including vintage duo Verity and Violet, 40's trio The Marjorie Belles, the smooth Jazz tones of Annie Bea and Kate Eden, and the powerhouse vocals of West End favourite, Emma Lindars. A special Gin and Fizz cocktail menu has been created for the event by Head Bartender Jason Palmer with each drink at just £6. Groups can book either of the cosy ‘nooks' in the bar to take advantage of the evening's entertainment.

You may have recently heard about the new Louisiana Jambayala pop-up taking place in April at both the Chelsea Jam Tree bar and its baby sister, Jam Tree Clapham. Well, alongside the New Orleans inspired drinks and French Creole cuisine, a live Dixieland jazz band will invoke the spirit of the Deep South in the deep south (and west) of London. Darting from early Dixieland jazz to unmistakable New Orleans brass bands, from rhythm and blues to vintage rock n roll and New Orleans soul and funk, the playlist will showcase the very best sounds from a city that has had an unparalleled influence on modern music, featuring artists such as Allen Toussaint, Louis Armstrong, The Meters, Fats Domino, Irma Thomas and many more.

The award-winning Babylon restaurant comes alive on Tuesday nights from 7.30pm with the smooth tunes of live jazz. No need to bring your dancing shoes, just sit back and enjoy a delicious menu against a backdrop of live music. An a la carte menu is available for tables of up to 7 guests. Groups of 8 or more dine from a party menu, including 3 courses from £46.50 per person. For more information call 0207 368 3993 or to book online use the calendar below.

Le Caprice has just started their new Saturday Jazz Brunch featuring the musical styling of Dom Pipkin, who is known for his soulful New Orleans sound and for playing with such notoriety as Ray Davies and Morcheeba. He also leads the band that backs British pop star, Paloma Faith. Saturday Jazz Brunch occurs every second Saturday from 12.30-4pm.

Continuing the jazz brunch theme, fusion restaurant and bar, Asia de Cuba in the West End, has launched a chilled out Sunday (12-5pm) featuring dim sum with Latin cocktails and a live Cuban jazz trio.

On Sunday 21st April Bread Street Kitchen (Gordon Ramsay's City of London restaurant) will be hosting a relaxing Sunday brunch with the Lazy Loaf live lounge music of Louise Golbey, whose blend of soul and jazz has seen her play at the Glastonbury Festival and the famous BBC Maida Vale studios. The music kicks off from 1pm.

One of our favourite decadent restaurants, Boisdale in Canary Wharf, is hosting a latin jazz night on Wednesday 24th April from 8pm that will feature Columbian percussion master and founder member of the UK's first salsa band, Roberto Pla. Roberto - who has previously recorded with the likes of Kate Bush, M. People and toured with Slim Gaillard, Alfredo Rodriguez, Carlos Valdez and Trevor Watts - has also played with the best bands in his country, including Los Ocho de Colombia.

Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar on the South Bank next to the London Eye and across the water from Big Ben, hosts jazz evenings once a week. Taking centre stage every Thursday in April is jazz artist Rebecca Poole, recently hailed as "the new voice of nostalgia" by Jazz FM, who will be performing from 7.30pm until late. We recommend booking (use the calendar below) and we recommend the steak, obviously.

Primo has live music playing every day of the week from 8pm (9pm on Saturdays) for free and includes the likes of soul, funk, Brazilian, house and most importantly (for the sake of this news feature anyway) jazz. You can check out the full upcoming program here but in terms of what to see during Jazz Appreciation Month, we recommend Beautiful Sundays with South African Kate Winter on 21st April, King of Crooners with Atila on Tuesday 16th April, or Jazz Across The Bridge with saxophonist Renato D'Aiello & Friends on Sunday 28th April.

The swinging big band sound of The National Youth Jazz Orchestra will be heard at the aptly-named secret live jazz venue, Hideaway, in Streatham on Sunday 21st April from 2pm (£10). This Sunday lunch show is a great option for jazz fans with families as under 16s get in for free.

Cocochan restaurant in Marylebone has invited Huw Price to play an acoustic soul, jazz and bossa nova set on Wednesday 10th April. The singer and guitarist has performed with musicians such as Roberto Manzin and at private exhibitions for artists like Banksy. Plus, the restaurant is currently offering 2 courses and glass of wine or sake for only £25 so get booking (below)!

And finally, The Cutler Bar at newly opened Sushinho in the City has booked a jazz band to play every Wednesday. The band – Boca Nova – play Brazilian jazz music called bossa nova from 7pm, and best of all, there's no entrance fee.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Tom Marcello (Share Alike).

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