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. In many ways, Ronnie Scott'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. Sally brought together a strong team to manage the club, which has flourished since her takeover, with performances from jazz legends to international superstars, regular pop-ups all over the world and a reputation as the place to go in London for any music lover.
Sally Greene is renowned for rescuing and restoring The Old Vic, Criterion and Richmond theatres. In 1998, having saved The Old Vic from closure, she formed The Old Vic Charitable Trust with Stephen Daldry. She is the Founder of Greene Light Stage, and co-producer of the Tony Award-winning Billy Elliot: The Musical, which opened in 2005 at the Victoria Palace Theatre in the West End and ran for an incredible 11 years. In 2007 she launched Greene Light Films. Sally Greene also opened the Cheyne Walk Brasserie in 2004 on the iconic Chelsea street. The restaurant was once voted restaurant of the year by Harper’s magazine. In 2019 after undergoing a complete refurbishment the restaurant reopened as No. Fifty Cheyne and received a glowing review from the Evening Standard.
Sally is the recipient of an OBE and a Montblanc Arts and Culture Award, in recognition of her contribution to the arts in Britain. Sally has always strived to support and promote charities through her own ventures; Ronnie Scott’s has hosted evenings for charities including the Hoping Foundation and an evening with Sam Smith for War Child. She is also one of the Trustees of Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation, which sponsors young musicians both in the UK and around the world. Sally has always had a passion for supporting the next generation of musicians and artists, she is a Trustee for the London Music Fund, an independent charity which offers grants to young, underprivileged children across London to develop their musical potential. Sally Greene is also a long-time supporter of the NSPCC, supporting their FULL STOP campaign and playing an instrumental role in the backing of an innovative new partnership between the NSPCC and the English National Opera in 2017.
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 managing live music venues since 2001. Starting out at a small Jazz Club in Reading, he quickly learned about the jazz scene and had his sights firmly set on the greatest jazz club in the world.
Fred previously managed the cult club Soho Revue Bar before coming to Ronnie Scott’s in 2009. Fred is passionate about hospitality and music and strives to deliver the very best service at the club.
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.