27 June 2016


The Bell Inn
Historic Pub in Nottingham City Centre
Regular readers will know that I strongly recommend putting on traditional jazz performances in pubs during lunch hours.

My reasons are these. Most traditional jazz fans are elderly people who have the time and appetite (in all senses) to go out for some music, a drink and perhaps a meal at lunchtime. Many of them have told me they much prefer this to going to jazz clubs in the evenings. They candidly say they simply do not like to be out late at night, especially if there is a tricky journey home. And, of course, admission is free at these pub lunchtime concerts.

Also, most members of our bands are themselves elderly and no longer have day jobs, so they too are available to play at lunchtime. What could be better for them than to go and give some entertainment, keeping in practice and sharing their joy in the music? In addition, there's always a good chance of getting younger people interested in the music - those who casually pop into the pub for a drink and are pleasantly surprised by what they hear.

I am speaking of course of the situation here in England but I guess the same is true in many other countries.

So let me renew my appeal to managers of bands and pubs to get together to see what can be arranged.

If a pub manager can make some kind of offer, such as a free drink for the band and a small donation towards their expenses, a tips jar can also be passed round among the audience, who, if they wish, may contribute a coin or two. In this way, the musicians should at least cover their travelling expenses. That is how the system successfully operates at the pubs where I have been present at such performances in recent weeks.

I have observed with pleasure that in my part of Central England there has been a welcome increase in pub lunchtime jazz over the last couple of years. There are at least six pubs within twenty miles of my house where I can confirm the music is being regularly offered at the time of typing.

Lunchtime Pub Jazz