The Jazz Café’s Top 10 Gigs

Happy Birthday, Jazz Café!

Camden’s Jazz Café turns twenty-eight this year. This is quite an impressive feat for a sub-500 capacity venue in the UK.

Unfortunately, music venue closures in the UK have become wide-spread in the last few years, this battle is ongoing but if all of you beautiful people keep going to gigs the venues stand a much better chance of surviving. Thanks to excellent organisation and facilitating such awesome shows the Jazz Café for one, isn’t going anywhere.

You can read all about the Jazz Café’s history and heritage as a staple of Camden’s lively music scene in our venue guide here.

To celebrate its 28th birthday the good people at The Jazz Cafe put together their top 10 gigs since the venue’s grand reopening in 2016. Were you lucky enough to be at one of these:

Shabaka and The Ancestors 

Friday 31st March 2017 

The London debut of Shabaka’s last album on Brownswood, recorded with The Ancestors in South Africa. It was bookmarked as one of our marquee shows of the year and didn’t disappoint. The full show was live streamed by NTS too.    

Ata Kak 

Wednesday 19th April 2017 

Ata Kak proved age is but a number, showing bags more energy than most of the artists we’ve had perform here. His infectious, upbeat performance and smile made it a definite highlight for us.


The Roots 

Sunday 2nd & Monday 3rd June 2017 

Having first played at Jazz Café in 1994, the venue has always held a special place in the hearts of Questlove, Black Thought et all. They played three shows across two nights, all of them with the kind of high octane non-stop party that we’ve come to expect.

Miles Mosley 

Wednesday 28th June 2017 

it’s not every day that you can call upon Kamasi Washington as a special guest for your show but that’s exactly what happened with Miles Mosley when he brought out his longtime friend and collaborator for his headline show last year.


Friday 15th July 2016

one of the first shows since the reopening in 2016. At the time Abra was one of the most in-demand artists on the R’n’B circuit, it was a real coup for her to perform for us at the time.

Alfa Mist 

Thursday 31st August 2017 

an overnight success thanks to his Antiphon mixtape going viral on YouTube, Alfa topped a stacked bill on one of our Rhythm Section live showcases last summer, bringing Jordan Rakei as an unannounced special guest on the night.

Yussef Kamaal 

Friday 9th September 2017 

© Photography by Jake Davis

Like with Shabaka and Moses, this had the feel of a landmark gig not just for the band but for UK jazz in general. The band’s dissolution not too long after this show made it feel even more special in retrospect.

Moses Boyd Exodus 

Friday 10th November 2017 

The golden boy of UK jazz, Moses brought his Exodus show to our stage having only performed it a handful of times live. His merging of electronic instruments and jazz proved why he’s the hottest prospect to emerge from the current crop in London.


Tuesday 20th February 2018 

Having one of the Soulquarians on our stage was always going to be a special occasion – Bilal brought his A game, which included a cover of Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’.

Fatoumata Diawara 

Monday 26th March 2018 

Fatoumata Diawara -Jazz Cafe-26 March 2018

Mali’s greatest export has been our most high profile show of 2018 so far. She played for 90 mins straight to a full house of rapturous fans.

Long live Jazz Café! That’s what we say, come along to a show – there are loads more amazing gigs coming up. Get tickets here:

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