from left to right: Sally Greene, Gary Bartz (saxophonist), Michael Watt
In 2005, Theatre impresario, Producer and Restaurateur, Sally Greene, became the proud new owner of Ronnie Scott's. Sally is renowned for rescuing and restoring The Old Vic, Criterion and Richmond theatres. In 1999, having saved The Old Vic from closure, she formed The Old Vic Charitable Trust with Stephen Daldry, and in 2003 she appointed Kevin Spacey as Artistic Director of The Old Vic Theatre Company.
She is the Founder and Chief Executive of Old Vic Productions plc, and co-producer of the Tony Award-winning Billy Elliot: The Musical. Sally is also the proprietor of the world-famous Soho jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s, and in 2007 she launched Greene Light Films. She is the recipient of an OBE and a Montblanc Arts and Culture Award, in recognition of her contribution to the arts in Britain.
Sally is Patron of Pop-up Ltd, a community-based literature programme, and the acclaimed HighTide Theatre Festival. In 2004 Sally opened the Cheyne Walk Brasserie, once voted restaurant of the year by Harper’s magazine.
In many ways, Ronnie's is the logical culmination of Sally's career to date, bringing together her love of jazz, her proven expertise in the competitive restaurant trade and, above all, her sensitive restoration skills. Sally's magnetic energy and enthusiasm persuaded the great Jacques Garcia (designer of the award-winning Hotel Costes in Paris) to head up the expert design team at Ronnie Scott's. More info on: http://sallygreeneobe.com/
Club owner Michael Watt first visited Ronnie's in 1960 and this was the beginning of a long-running relationship with the club. An international businessman and entrepeneur who is considered one of the pioneers of international rights to televised sporting events (rugby, cricket and soccer) and the entertainment industry. His early days were spent working in Jazz Clubs in the USA and as a driller in oil fields around the world.
Michael has interests in many Broadway, West End and Australian theatre productions as well as music. He is the only New Zealander to have received a Tony and with partner Korda Marshall, he owns the record label Infectious, which includes the major Australian band The Temper Trap, the American band, Local Natives, and Mercury Music Prize 2012 winners Alt-J.
A dedicated conservationist and supporter of a wide range of charitable organistaions including ventures in Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, Mozambique and a music school in South Africa, he was awarded the ONZ for International Philanthropy.
Michael is one of the few people who can recall the seminal Bill Evans Sessions at Ronnie's and after such a long and colourful patronage he took little persuading to become co-owner and join Sally Greene in revamping the club, which is as he says, 'now in a position to honour its iconaclastic founder Ronnie Scott and partner Pete King, for another 50 years
Club managing director Simon Cooke has worked in and around the live music business since 1979 when he was manager at the legendary London live music club, The Venue. Thereafter he moved into tour merchandising to represent artists of the calibre of Genesis, Queen, Prince, Bowie, Bob Dylan, AC/DC and many many more.
A change of direction in 1990 lead to a working relationship with the newly launched Jazz FM radio station with whom Simon worked until 2003.
Whilst at jazz FM Simon set up the Jazz Enterprise division which expanded the business portfolio of the company and more than doubled the revenue through the creation of Jazz FM Records, Hed Kandi, concert promoting, events management and web sites.
After the purchase of Jazz FM by GMG, Simon moved on to become founder Director of The Local Radio Company PLC before returning to his major love of live music, and particularly jazz, here at Ronnie Scott's in 2008.
Fred has been working in live music venues for the past twelve years. Starting out at a small jazz club in Reading, he quickly learnt about the jazz scene, and had his sights firmly set on the best jazz club in the world.
Fred previously managed the cult club Soho Revue Bar before coming to Ronnie’s in April 2009. Fred is passionate about great hospitality and strives to deliver the very best service at the club.
Nick has worked at the club since 2006, having always wanted to contribute towards the presentation of world-class live music. As a keen bass player and pianist himself, a first visit to the club 2 years earlier saw him witness to the effortless brilliance of a Liane Carroll performance - this immediately convinced Nick that this was an institution that he wanted to help maintain and expand its global reputation.
Nick saw the club through its transition period and change in ownership and today looks after all the club's 'behind the scenes' functions including ticket sales, marketing, website, box office, is part of the music programming team (with a personal reputation for booking more 'unusual' acts!) and is also involved with other initiatives to expand the club's reach outside of its 4 walls.
Musical Director at Ronnie Scott’s and the owner of a ferocious piano technique coupled with a sense of musicality rarely heard, James Pearson is one of the most exciting musicians to have emerged from the U.K in the last 25 years. After working with him, the late jazz legend Sir John Dankworth declared: "James Pearson is an exceptionally gifted artist. His masterful playing makes him head and shoulders above the rest of his contemporaries. He shows signs of true greatness".
Amongst his leadership of the house band 'Ronnie Scott's All Stars', James is also an active contributor to the programming of bands at the club, leads the 'Big Band In A Day' initiative for young students and runs a monthly 'Have I Got Jazz For You' quiz for Ronnie Scott's Members, amongst other things.
Ronnie Scott's has remained a central constant in Paul's lifelong love affair with jazz. He first visited the club to see the seemingly effortlessly swinging US tenor sax legend Zoot Sims in 1972. Since then, Paul has experienced a countless number of astonishing performances there from the likes of Stephane Grappelli, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, Roland Kirk, Freddie Hubbard, Machito, Woody Shaw, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, Buddy Rich, Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson, Anita O'Day and of course on many occasions the guv'nor himself Ronnie Scott - his jokes as well as his storming quintet.
Before joining the Ronnie's music bookings team in 2009, Paul worked in architecture and illustration but the pull of the music was so powerful that as a jazz fan and semi-pro singer he became more involved with live jazz promotion, particularly his longstanding residency at the Spice of Life, Soho. He also possesses extensive experience in specialist record retail (9 years at Ray's Jazz), is an avid collector and unwavering champion of the music. In 2008 he received the All-Party Parliamentary Award for Services to Jazz. Paul sees his current position as a dream job and is well aligned to bring his deep musical knowledge, promoting experience and enthusiasm to help maintain the reputation of Ronnie Scott's as the best jazz club in the world!
Before joining the music team in 2009 Sarah had worked in all aspects of the music industry: record labels, publishing, record retail, record collector, jazz radio and as a performer. Formal education in performance art, sound engineering and jazz and pop studies, Sarah’s love of jazz led to five years at Jazzfm Radio as part of the enterprise team where she coordinated both production and licensing for the Hed Kandi and Jazzfm record labels.
She was also part of the ejazz.fm digital radio station with her programmes Vocal Show and Fuse Box. Performance and recording led her away for a few years before coming back to jazz at Ronnie Scott’s where she strives to keep the music quality high, varied and interesting. Her passion for vocal jazz, fusion and music with a groove contributes to the varied specialties of the team. She continues to seek out new talent and rediscovering forgotten gems by watching as much live music and vinyl trawling as possible.