Lennon-McCartney. Simon & Garfunkel. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. PizzaExpress and live music. Some things just fit together. Beautifully.
Our founder, Peter Boizot, loves beautiful things. Pizza, obviously. But much more too. Art. Buildings. Venice. And music. Jazz, to be precise. Peter always knew how well pizza and jazz go together. So we've always showcased great music.
At the heart of our music universe is our world-famous Jazz Club Soho. It opened in Dean Street in 1969. And when we say world famous, we mean it. Quite literally. Music lovers and musicians the world over know it well. For some, in fact, the pizza comes second. Hard to believe. Absolutely true.
Why the acclaim? Perhaps it's the setting. Or the acoustics. Or the kit. Or the other musicians who turn up. Just to hang out and be fans themselves. For many, it's the talent. We've welcomed the best in the business. Tony Bennett. Courtney Pine. Cybill Shepherd. Van Morrison. Amy Winehouse. Charlie Watts. Even Sting. London is full of music. And musicians. And they all know the Jazz Club.
But it goes much further. We take live music across the country. To high streets near you. Great musicians. Just down the road. Wherever you live. And if that's near Maidstone, you're laughing. (And swaying. And tapping your feet.) Another top venue. More great music. Like JTQ. Sam Brown. Hugh Cornwell. And Ruby Turner. To name just a few.
Then there's the Pheasantry. Talk about history. This has it all. It bred pheasants for Henry VIII. That was 500 years ago. Eric Clapton lived there (that was more recent). Queen played there. So did Hawkwind. Now it's the home of the best vocal talent. So if you love cabaret, it's your first port of call.
What do you think? Have we whetted your appetite? If so, visit our PizzaExpressLive website. Your short cut to great music. Live. Click here
But what happens when the band has milked its last ovation and waved you all goodbye? We want great music in our restaurants all the time. Full stop. So we have teamed up with Nick Luscombe. You may have heard him on the radio. 6Music. Xfm. (Yes, he's great, isn't he?) He's also a producer. A DJ. Oh yes, and Chief Music Editor at iTunes.
Fair to say, then, that Nick knows his stuff. Really well. He's that friend you have. The one who always plays new tracks. Insists that you listen.
Because he knows you'll just love them. (Everyone knows someone like that.) So we asked him to spice up our playlist. He did that. And more. And now our playlist reaches out. Far and wide. Into classic funk. Eddie Henderson. Herbie Hancock. Into new funk, like Breakestra and the Bamboos. It has Latin. It has blues. And, of course, it has soul. It's beyond eclectic. It's metaclectic. (No, that's not in the dictionary. Not yet.) So next time you're with us, listen up. It could be a classic. It could be brand new. But whatever you hear, we think you'll just love it.
The music scene is always moving. Always changing. Never standing still. It's the only way to stay fresh. We get it. We're the same. So we're always looking out for great new talent. And if we can help, we will. Jamie Cullum was a regular at Dean Street when he got his big break. So was Norah Jones. Leona Lewis used to wait on tables with us. (Even budding superstars sometimes need Saturday jobs.)
It was our endless search for the next big thing that prompted the Big Audition. Because we're interested. What do you think? Who's your favourite artist? Who do you want to see? So we gave you a choice and asked you to choose. (Have a look on YouTube to see some highlights.) It was a massive hit. As you know. And it brought us loads of new talent. To bring to our restaurants. To play while you eat. Because pizza and music just fit together. Beautifully.
So who do you love? If you chose our playlist, who would be on it? We're listening.