Rose and Crown Pub

‘Jazz is a four-letter word, but it’s gigantic’: Nottingham’s ‘Out To Lunch’

Out to Lunch began in March 2000 to bring the underground jazz culture together for dancing and listening to unique music.

The name came from prominent jazz instrumentalist Eric Dolphy’s 1964 album and is a visual representation of the event.

Jim Bernardini, 60, is the event planner and DJs the gathering, which is driven by his long passion and knowledge of jazz, working with guest DJs.

Jim Bernardini
Organiser and DJ Jim Bernardini, 60, behind the decks.

He said: “If I’ve accomplished anything, it’s a very social, intimate, collection of unusual, eccentric, non-conformist type people.

“It brings people together because the jazz scene has always been there but it’s very unique, it’s very underground, it’s not elitist, it doesn’t get recognition”.

Guest DJs involved in the past include big names like Galliano, Incognito, Tommy Chase, James Taylor Quartet and Paul Trouble Anderson.

In June, Colin Curtis, 70, one of the biggest northern soul DJs, is playing.

Music varies from jazz to jazz fusion, Latin and Afro-Cuban, providing a good tempo.

Dancers come from as far as Tokyo and London, creating a diverse yet intimate social gathering.

“I’m proud of the culture, it’s like the child in you”, said Iona Layland, 30, a personal trainer and dancer.

Each dancer has their own style, like the DJ’s music – you can’t have one without the other, they share the same importance.

Out To Lunch Dancers
Dancers at ‘Out to Lunch’, which brands itself as ‘the longest jazz dance session in England’.

Last month celebrated the 22nd anniversary with Killer Jim, Perry Louis and DJ Daddio.

Over the years, Out to Lunch has been hosted at different venues, including Dogma, Spankies and the Rose and Crown.

Out to Lunch occurs every second Sunday each month in Nottingham, with updates on the latest events available on the Facebook community page ‘Out to Lunch’.

All images courtesy of Craig McGovern.

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