So you’re heading out on a Thursday. Whether you’re in a suit and tie, or just kicking back in jeans, you’ve brushed up and are ready for a good night. The group chat is pinging with suggestions of where to go, but you’re in the mood for something a bit different. Somewhere with atmosphere, charm and… a gramophone on the bar? Well, how about a little Jazz in Exeter then?
You picture the swinging sixties, or the speakeasies of the Prohibition in New York. Live music, toes tapping, each person with a cocktail in hand, having a ball. There’s no need for a time machine or a teleportation device, however. Jazz in Exeter is just as dance-inducing as it was in the old days. In fact, right here at The Book Cover, we do everything we can to transport our visitors back to the good old days of Jazz, and bring it right here to you in Exeter.
Live music happens every Thursday night from 8:30pm with a variety of acts from the jazz sphere. If you can’t wait to hear the dum dum dum of a plucked double bass, read about our bands to whet your appetite.
Jazz developed in popularity around the same time as the Prohibition. Originally hailing from the African American culture, New Orleans was its original home until it spread like wildfire throughout the rest of America. From the late 19th century, black musicians were learning and mastering the European instruments common in America, and adding their own twist to the traditional songs and sounds. The rhythms of the Caribbean collided with America at the Louisiana town of New Orleans.
Certain simple rhythms prevailed in popularity, while some got left behind. With the addition of Spanish music which came into the port from Havana, Cuba, and South America, cakewalk, ragtime and proto-jazz came into formation. It is these styles which led to Jazz becoming popularised, until ultimately, it took over the world.
By the time of the 1930s Prohibition, jazz was famous all over the world. In a time of difficult race relations, both music and speakeasy bars are credited with encouraging positive relations, as different races played and drank alongside each other. Today, jazz in Exeter allows that same coming together of people from all walks of life through the enjoyment of music which is rooted in history, and yet still retains beats that get us up and dancing.
Our house band is fronted by Annika Skoogh, the multi-talented vocalist with quite a pair of lungs. Hailing from Sweden, she sings Jazz, Latin and Soul music. In trio format, she’s accompanied by keyboard and double bass, to really let those vocals shine and get toes tapping for quality jazz in Exeter.
Other performers include Lindy Hop Dancers, Electro Swing, Jazz duos and trios, Hot Club of Stonehouse, ‘La Vie en Rose’ Gypsy Jazz Band and Rachael Roberts and the Gatsby Gang. Each brings their own take on how jazz in Exeter should sound, with fusion from classical, to rock, electric and swing.
So when the time comes to decide which bar you’re headed for the evening, be bold and try something new. Or rather, something old! Because jazz belongs to all of us and it has done for the last hundred years. Here at The Book Cover, jazz in Exeter is among the most atmospheric and enjoyable types of music, and we think everyone deserves a little boogie once in a while.