The global musical legacy of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is to be celebrated in a new documentary feature film tied to the 60th anniversary in 2019 of the opening of the famous live music venue in London’s Soho.
Eponymously named after the late tenor saxophonist Ronnie Scott, who founded the club with business partner Pete King, the club doors first opened in October 1959 – inspired by the vibrant post-War jazz venues in New York, including the Three Deuces.
Since then, the club has consistently played host to many of the world’s greatest jazz legends, including Chet Baker, Count Basie, Miles Davies, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Wes Montgomery, Buddy Rich and Nina Simone.
Norah Jones and the American actor-turned-musician Jeff Goldblum are among more recent artists who have performed at the club, which also attracts headline names from other musical genres, including an impromptu appearance by Lady Gaga in 2015 and, prior to that in 2014, Prince.
The documentary, currently with the working title Ronnie’s, is being made by UK-based film finance and production company, Goldfinch. Kew Media Distribution will be representing the film for worldwide distribution within its slate at the Cannes Film Festival (14 May to 25 May 2019), working towards a theatrical release in early 2020.
Producer Eric Woollard-White said: “It is a privilege for everyone working on this film to have the opportunity to tell the story of this iconic club, the people behind it and its musical legacy.
“There is something very special about the venue itself; you can literally feel the history in the room and as filmmakers we just wish the walls could talk to us.
“Looking back at the many memorable performances captured on film over the years, it is clear musicians raise their game when playing there and you get a real sense that this is a safe haven to take risks and experiment musically while the audiences lap it up.
“There is a strong human story at the heart of this film combined with a moving love affair with music and musicianship. It’s a roller-coaster ride that’s definitely got something for everyone, whether you’re a jazz fan or not.”
Simon Cooke, Managing Director of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, added: “We have had many producers over the years ask to make a film or show about the club but we were really waiting for the 60thto commit to this major production.
“Here at Ronnie Scott’s, we are very aware of the fondness that the club has in the public consciousness so it’s wonderful that the full story will finally be released to a broader audience.
“There is extraordinary world-wide awareness of the club, and now we get to show what all the noise is about.”