Sunday, May 03, 2009

Ronnie Scotts and the cost of attending jazz

Mike Hobart writes an interesting article on Ronnie Scott's in the Financial Times. A letter then suggests that jazz has become too expensive. Certainly Ronnie Scott's is relatively expensive. You are paying for top jazz, in the West End (with high rents) and a smartly refurbished venue. As the afficionados already know there is a whole host of good value jazz in London, ranging from the likes of Loop Collective at the Oxford through to the Vortex through to..... In terms of quality and value.
We have to somehow get across to people that Ronnie Scott's is only one jazz venue among many where there is good jazz. Last night at the Vortex with Finn Peters and co. doing a great job in keeping jazz up-to-date and charming an audience in the process. Clearly the task has not been achieved until now, despite all the work that is done by the likes of Jazzwise and the newspapers.
I looked at Peter Bacon's list of gigs that he was going to see today at Cheltenham. Mouthwatering! (And I'm glad that I've seen one or two myself recently, such as Phil Robson with Dave Liebman.) Lucky for someone who presumably can get in free to them all. However, who can afford nearly £20 for a gig (even if there's a 3 for 2 offer going at the festival). And then they wonder why they don't get young audiences?
(We were very flattered by Dave Liebman at the Vortex this week, when, in addition to playing amazingly well, he pointed out the diversity of audience in terms of age and financial wealth. He pointed out that in New York, many audiences whom he plays to are old and monied.)

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