It is with great sadness that I can confirm that the Jazz @ The Oxford night will not be returning in the Autumn. A staple in the North London contemporary jazz and new music scenes for the last twelve to thirteen years (possibly even longer – the opening dates from the LOOP Collective are quite hard to pin down), the night has had a pretty formidable run by the standards of similar ventures, but unfortunately the new management has decided not to continue the gigs.
While this is obviously a huge disappointment, I would like to take the time to sincerely thank everyone who has been involved in any way at all, and to reflect upon what has been a terrific ride. The path was not always a terribly smooth one: it’s every promoter’s worst nightmare when inexplicably one week the audience barely outnumbers the band (!) but mercifully such evenings at The Oxford had become incredibly scarce and the night felt in good health – indeed, in the last year or two, even after a fairly drastic door money hike, nights considered ‘thin on the ground’ usually involved numbers I’d have bitten your hand off for when I started running the night in 2009!
This is entirely thanks to dedicated local followers, young and old, and support from a wonderful community of musicians, which meant that not only would musicians pop in for a beer and a set on their nights off, but knowing the spirit of the place and what we were aiming for, they were willing to come and play without guaranteed fees and share their music and talents with us all. A strength of nights such as this is undoubtedly the intimacy of the place, for audience and performers alike, and because of that, lovely relationships were formed between musicians and punters: regulars all knew each other and became friendly, and audiences were sometimes so moved by musicians’ work that they actually became active in supporting that music being recorded, which I think is a deeply wonderful thing.
With this news, there are unfortunately gigs which were scheduled to take place in the Autumn which we can no longer deliver: one such gig, however, was just too exciting to let slip, so I’m delighted to announce that our friends at The Constitution in Camden (a.k.a. the Con Cellar Bar) have stepped in and helped us out, and that the amazing trio of NY sax great Ellery Eskelin, with Matthew Bourne and Chris Sharkey, will be appearing there on October 10th! Tickets are now on sale here, more info at the Con website.
Hooray for the Con – please show them your support!
My heartfelt and unwavering thanks to anyone who has attended, played or been in any way involved in Jazz @ The Oxford over the years – it has been an absolute privilege to have known you all, and to have experienced such wonderful and unique music.
George Crowley, 03/08/16
PS. Apologies to everyone who never got an email back from me – that was never my strong point…!
Con Cellar Jazz Autumn season begins on September 2nd
For Jazz gigs in your area, please check out JazzLondonLive