Opened by the British saxophonist Ronnie Scott in 1959, this legendary Soho institution made its name as the first club to host American jazz musicians in the UK. As well as welcoming the biggest names on the jazz scene (Zoot Sims, Johnny Griffin, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt) it's also made room for other artists that fit the distinctive Ronnie Scott's vibe – Tom Waits, Elkie Brooks and even Mark Knopfler have all performed here. It was completely refurbished in 2006 when theatre impresario Sally Green took over – Scott had died ten years previously and his business partner wanted out. Capacity has been expanded to 250 and the club is now consistently booking a wide variety of top notch artists that while featuring the biggest names from the world of jazz (like Kurt Elling, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, Chick Corea and Billy Cobham), has also included the likes of guitar hero Jeff Beck, former Cream bassist Jack Bruce as well as soul and blues stars. The club's 50th anniversary year in 2009 was particularly strong and saw the introduction of a now annual 'Brit Jazz Festival' that showcases the best home grown stars in a two week period in August. This festival has been a sell out success and is testimony to Ronnie Scott's original ambition of setting up the club as a place for British jazz musicians to perform at regularly, and in turn create our own world class jazz scene.
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