Belfast Telegraph

Van Morrison to jazz up Ronnie Scott's club's 60th birthday

Gala concert: Sir Van Morrison
Gala concert: Sir Van Morrison
Imelda May

By Alex Green

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club will celebrate its 60th birthday with a star-studded charitable event featuring Sir Van Morrison at the Royal Albert Hall.

The esteemed venue will host a gala concert on Wednesday, October 30 to mark 60 years to the day since opening in London's Soho.

The 73-year-old Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter from east Belfast, who was knighted as Sir Ivan Morrison in 2016, will be joined by Irish rockabilly and pop musician Imelda May.

The Brown Eyed Girl singer will also appear alongside acclaimed US jazz vocalist Madeline Bell and British jazz veteran Courtney Pine.

Money raised will go to the club's charitable foundation, which provides opportunities for budding musicians under the age of 20.

Dubbed A Night At Ronnie Scott's, the event will see the club's rich history retold in between the programme of live music.

Ronnie Scott's managing director 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."

Club co-owner Sally Greene 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."

The Royal Albert Hall's artistic director 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."

Ronnie Scott's has played host to famous jazz names including Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone as well as contemporary artists such as Jamie Cullum and Jeff Beck.

General sale tickets for the event go on sale on Friday at 10am via the Royal Albert Hall's website.

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