Venue Guides / Venue Guide

Venue Guide: Vortex Jazz Club, London

Everything you need to know about the much-loved Dalston club.

For 25 years, the London club has been serving as a platform for jazz, improvised and experimental music. Here’s what you need to know… 

Address: 11 Gillett Square, Dalston, London N16 8AZ

Telephone number:  020 7254 4097 (Mon-Fri 12-18:00)

Brief history: 

The Vortex has been instrumental in the launch of up and coming artists’ careers, such as Mercury-nominated bands including Polar Bear, Portico Quartet and Sons of Kemet. Saxophonist Evan Parker has a long-standing relationship with the club, including a monthly residency; he once described the club as his “spiritual home” and played a benefit gig for the club with his longtime friend, bassist Dave Holland.

The club’s mission is to programme top-class live music and have a positive impact on the local community of Dalston, in terms of its cultural vibrancy, as well as to the area’s development. The Vortex relies on the dedication and passion of its directors and volunteers, who include technical staff and last but not least its loyal Members, who keep coming back.

Recently the club ranked seventh in the international All About Jazz poll of best jazz venues 2019.

How man people does it hold? 

75 seated around tables with 25 standing.

Who has played there? 

Long-established in North London for over 20 years, the Vortex Jazz Club is a beacon for contemporary jazz in the capital. With seven evening performances a week, The Vortex programmes cutting-edge jazz alongside contemporary folk and world music. The venue provides support for young local talent and also regularly features leading world-class artists, both from the UK and overseas.

Artists who have performed include Stan Tracey, Tony Kofi, Evan Parker, Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine, Mercury Music Prize Nominated Polar Bear and Zoe Rahmann, pianists John Taylor and Gwilym Simcock and award-winning saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, Jango Bates, Louis moholo-Moholo, David Torn, Craig Taborn, Annie Whitehead, Ian Shaw, Marshall Allen…Dave Holland joined Evan Parker, John Edward and Mark Sanders as a special surprise guest.

Louis Moholo and Keith Tippett united for a special gig and the line went the whole length of the square. The club is also a favourite performance space for cutting-edge artists from the New York Downtown scene.

How do I get there? 

The Vortex is a 2-minute walk from Dalston Kingsland Overground Station and a 5-minute walk from Dalston Junction Station. The area is also well serviced by a number of buses.

Where should I eat? 

You can eat Downstairs at the Vortex with their mouth-watering selection of Thai food. Kingsland High Street and Bradbury Street are also chocked full of some of the best Turkish restaurants in the city. 

Where can I stay? 

Find places to stay in London on Airbnb

TicketWeb Tip: 

Book in advance if you can! The Vortex is a popular place. 

Where can you carry on the party?

TicketWeb fave The Shacklewell Arms is around the corner. They open late on Friday and Saturday nights. 

Check out the latest listings and get tickets for shows at Vortex Jazz Club, London through TicketWeb.uk 

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