Curtain comes down on Peterborough Jazz Club after 30 years

Peterborough Jazz Club, which attracted some of the best British and international artists to the city, has folded.

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 9:38 am
Claire Martin performing at Peterborough Jazz Club

The club, founded by Laurie Jacobs in 1992 to enhance the cultural life of the city and to stimulate education, interest and creativity in jazz.

had not put on a concert for almost two years, which proved a major contributing factor to the decision.

Its first concert in February 1992 was headlined by the great Ronnie Scott’s band and was one of many ‘sell outs’ over the years at The Great Northern Hotel, where the music room was noted for its great acoustics and super ambience.

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The Great Northern was home until 2018 when for financial reasons the club was forced to move to the Broadway Suite (now the Boizot Suite) at what is now the New Theatre and presented concerts there for two seasons

Its last concert before the Covid pandemic hit was at the Jazz Bar above When Polly Met Fergie restaurant in Westgate Arcade.

Looking back, Laurie said: “During the 2000 season, the Club produced its own CD ‘We’ve All Been There’, featuring a dozen artists who had appeared at our place and who kindly donated a special track each for the compilation CD.

“In addition, the late great blind pianist, Peter Jacobson recorded a live performance at the Club, ‘On Your Marks’, which was widely acclaimed as one of his best recordings.

“Over the past nearly three decades, the Club has hosted many of the finest jazz musicians not only from the UK but also from USA, for which the Club is justly proud. Despite the Club coming to an end, we all have fabulous memories of many wonderful concerts.”

But he added: “It has become increasingly difficult in these Covid times to sustain not-for-profit Clubs such as ours and we have survived for many years without any grants or subsidies from the Arts bodies or local authorities to help us continue our aim of promoting the very best jazz in Peterborough. We have been fortunate over the years to receive personal gifts from a number of people who recognised the importance of the Club and the music we present and I would like to say how much we appreciated this support, which helped the Club survive as long as we did.”