London’s The Jazz Cafe announces socially-distanced reopening this month

"We owe it to all the people who make the live industry tick to give this a go."

The Jazz Cafe in London has announced that it will open its doors for the first time since March as a socially-distanced venue.

The venue will reopen on Friday September 18 as a fully-seated venue, with the layout reflecting an original design concept for the venue when it opened in 1990.

The Jazz Cafe’s first gig since March will come in the form of The Sierra Band presenting ‘A Night of Southern Soul’ on September 18, while afrobeat veteran Dele Sosimi will perform the following evening.

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Gigs until mid-October have also been announced. The full listings are as follows:

SEPTEMBER

18 – Sierra Band Present A Night Of Southern Soul
19 – Dele Sosimi & Friends
20 – Anime Film Scores performed by Piano & String Quintet
21 – Anime Film Scores performed by Piano & String Quintet
23 – Sierra Band presents Neil Young – After The Goldrush 50th Anniversary
24 – Live For Beirut
25 – Light of The World
26 – Osibisa
27 – Sunday Soul
28 – Havana Música: A Celebration of Cuban Music With The Latin Bridge
29 – James Copus And Joe Downard
30 – Cubafrobeat: Cuban-Afrobeat Explosion

OCTOBER

02 – PBUG
03 – The Music Of Otis Redding with Reuben Richards And The Jezebel Sexted
04 – Beat Of Brazil
08 – Lola Young
09 – Tony Momrelle
10 – Cuban Independence Day With Sambroso Afro-Cuban All Stars
13 – The Howl & The Hum
14 – Fela Kuti’s Birthday With Bukky Leo & Black Egypt
15 – Balcony + Tayo Sound
16 – Jay Phelps’ Afro Cuban All Stars / Pyjaen Play Roy Hargrove
17 – Etta Bond
19
– A Night Of Whitney
20 – Loathe
21 – Howie Payne

On the reopening, head booker Ruari Frew said: “We’re still a long way off where we need to be, and it will be very difficult to operate financially but we owe it to all the people who make the live industry tick to give this a go.

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“Our world is largely made up of freelancers, many of whom fell through the gaps of any government support. It’s crucial that we get as many people as possible working again in a safe environment. Although it’s not sustainable in the medium or long term, for now it’s exciting to have musicians on stage in front of an audience, engineers in booths and bar staff serving drinks again.”

Venues were officially allowed to host socially-distanced gigs from August 15, following the British government’s relaxation of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Shortly after the announcement, however, the Music Venues Trust told NME that socially-distanced gigs are “not viable” for around two thirds of venues.

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