Ronnie Scott’s JO to swing bank-holiday Battersea

    Battersea Park in Concert returns for a second year with jazz from Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra, Claire Martin, Ray Gelato and more

    Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra at the 2023 Cheltenham jazz festival with Alan Barnes, foregrounded, on baritone. Photo © Brian Payne

    After last year’s successful debut, the Battersea Concert in the Park series returns for the bank-holiday weekend, 24-26 August. The concerts include the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra playing Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and John Williams as well as music from the musicals, but for jazz fans the interest will be in the afternoon and evening of jazz scheduled for the 26th and headlined by Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra.

    As ever, saxophonist Pete Long, renowned for his droll presentation, will lead the 18-piece RSJO in music made famous by Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Cab Calloway, Frank Sinatra, Chaka Khan and more. The orchestra, which has variously included such leading players as Alan Barnes, Mark Armstrong, Freddy Gavita, Callum Au, Alex Garnett, Robin Aspland and Matt Skelton, will be joined by guest singers.

    Before the RSJO takes the stage in the evening, there’ll be music from the London African Gospel Choir, playing their arrangement of Paul Simon’s Graceland album with a full live band, and swing masters Claire Martin and Ray Gelato playing popular standards from the jazz repertoire. In addition, the Swinging At The Cotton Club show will celebrate the music, dance and songs of New York’s legendary nightclub of the 1920s and 30s, featuring a full swing band and the Lindy Hop Dance Company.

    There’ll be range of food to go with the music, with street-food specialists KERB taking care of the culinary and bars experience and The Luxury Picnic Co offering gourmet picnics. Upgrades such as Gold Circle area and the Diamond VIP Experience will offer another level of luxury. Families with young children can visit Kids Tipiland, featuring interactive activities and games.

    Tickets and more information on Battersea Park in Concert are available at