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Edinburgh’s Jazz Bar joins list of music venue closures

Kevin Dorrian
Kevin Dorrian performing at the Jazz Club (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Another of Edinburgh’s music venues, the Jazz Bar, has blamed the squeeze on consumer spending for its sudden closure.

The announcement came two days after the bar in Chambers Street announced a “temporary closure” to tackle a leak that required immediate attention.

However, on Wednesday evening, it announced on its website that the cost of living crisis coupled with operational challenges “proved too much” to carry on operating.

Public relations company owner Kevin Dorrian, who has performed regularly as a drummer at the venue, said: “This is a travesty for Edinburgh. The Jazz Bar has global status as a year-round performance venue.

“Three shows every evening – every day, one of the most sought-after Fringe venues in the capital and above all, full of lovely talented people who will be personally crushed by the suddenness of this decision.”

It becomes the latest music venue in the city to shut its doors in recent years, following the closure of clubs such as Atik, Electric Circus, The Venue, Studio 24 and The Picture House, now a Wetherspoons pub.

The Jazz Bar opened in 2005, replacing the Bridge Jazz Bar which existed for seven months before being destroyed in a fire.

Closed: The Jazz Bar (pic: Google)

It was founded by Bill Kyle, a jazz musician who saw the venue through many challenges. After he died eight years ago, his wife Mary Ann and daugther Edith ran the venue.

In a statement on the Jazz Bar website, a spokesperson said the team was “extremely proud to have served the musical community” as well as thanking musicians and patrons for their support.

“The Jazz Bar is more than just a venue to many people; it was a cornerstone of a community and will be quite literally irreplaceable to the Edinburgh music scene and gig economy,” the statement read.

“Today, as we announce the closure of The Jazz Bar Ltd, we do so with a profound sadness, but also with gratitude for the countless memories and friendships forged within its walls.

“We must pay special thanks to the musicians who have rallied to help the venue survive and be accommodating to any changes being made.

“Without their good faith and the tireless effort of the staff we wouldn’t have been possible to even make it this far in the year.

“We must also mention our gratitude to Bill Kyle, whose vision and passion brought The Jazz Bar to life, we extend our deepest appreciation.

“We extend our sincerest thanks to the musicians, staff, and patrons who made The Jazz Bar a cherished part of Edinburgh’s cultural landscape.”

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