Jam sessions can be a great place to cut your teeth, meet other like-minded musicians and most importantly, have fun playing the drums.
Here is a selection of (primarily jazz) jam sessions, that I highly recommend, based in North London and East London with a little bit of extra information about what to expect!
Jazz Jam at the Mascara Bar- Stoke Newington, N16 6XS
This jam has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in a small pub backroom. The house band perform an opening set and then players wanting to jam can get up to play jazz standards after the break. New players to jazz definitely welcome to get up and join in!
Price: Free on the door but must buy a drink to watch the band.
Ronnie Scott's Upstairs Jazz Jam - Soho, W1D 4HT
Not in North or East London- but definitely worth the travel if you're a jazz head! High level jazz jam in the upstairs of Ronnie Scotts, the band play an opening set and then players are invited up to play after the break. You may have to show your face for a couple of weeks to get called up for the jam session, depending on how busy it is, but just make sure you know your jazz standards!
Price: £5 after 8pm// £8 after 11pm or FREE for musicians ( show your MU Card, Business Card, Instagram Account etc)
Jazz/ Funk Jam Session at Troy Bar - Hoxton, N1 6NG
This one is a mixture of styles and not just based on jazz standards and your typical jazz night repertoire. Again the house band play a full set and then after the break players are free to come up and jam. Expect to hear jazz rippers and funk bangers! High standard playing but all players welcome!
Price: Free Before 10pm/ £4
Jazz Jam at the Vortex Jazz Club - Dalston, N16 8AZ
Come in and grab a seat in the downstairs of the vortex jazz club (use the side doors), chilled atmosphere and a consistently high level of musicianship. This is another jam where the house band play and then call up players that they know from the audience, so it's worth attending a few times to show your face before playing! Some of the best jazz playing I've seen in London has gone down at this venue! Expect to hear and play the usual jazz standards but with plenty of room to make it your own.
Price: Free but donations collected throughout the night.
Jazz Jam Session at The Haggerston - Kingsland Road, E8 4AA
Late night jazz jam session in a small pub, with some seasoned players! The band don't kick off until 11.30 and then musicians are invited up to jam throughout the night until 3am. High level playing of jazz standards and one to visit a few times to get to know the regular crew before getting up.