The Vortex has been going for over 25 years now and it’s a bit of a hand to mouth organisation, and that’s because there isn’t really that much money in jazz. Ronnie Scott said that if you want to make a million in jazz, you need to start with two – it was meant to be a joke but it is actually true. What we do at the Vortex is provide a platform for up and coming musicians. We don’t just specialise in standards or whatever, Jazz is a broad church so the musicians we have here come from different backgrounds and perspectives. They have their own take on the music so you find that some of it is straight ahead, some of it’s quite avant-garde and some of it’s more improvised. We try to get a balance.
THERE ISN’T REALLY THAT MUCH MONEY IN JAZZ
Our venue is very small – we can’t get more than 100 people in the room. Even if we had a gig that sells a lot of tickets and we are limited, it breaks my heart when we have to turn people a way and tell them we’re sold out because if the council comes around we could get shut down for having too many people.
The guys from Ronnie Scott’s come over here and when we thought we might disappear about 18 months ago they were very worried. They said that we couldn’t disappear because it’s very important what we do, because we give a lot of the young musicians their start.