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Why do food and jazz go together

There’s nothing like enjoying a Sunday lunch to the backdrop of live jazz musicians. But just why do food and jazz go together so well?

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Jazz music first popped up in New Orleans in the USA in the late 19th century. Described by Fox News as “one of America’s original art forms”, jazz has captured the imagination of many over the decades. With characteristics of swing, blues, call and response vocals – plus a good dose of improvisation – jazz took on various different qualities as it was gradually exported across the world. Music types from big bands to bebop have jazz roots, while nowadays Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz are especially popular.

It’s this wide variety of personas jazz possesses in the present day that goes some way to explaining its resurgence in popular culture. A recently released jazz album captures the diversity of the jazz scene in London alone, with everything from jazz funk to rocking blues represented. Traditionally seen as a music genre for older audiences, the ever-expanding scene is now attracting music-fans of all ages, from all walks of life. This is happening across the world too – the first-ever jazz festival was hosted in Saudi Arabia this year.

There’s no doubt jazz is the genre to watch at the moment. But why is it a choice of music that accompanies food so well?

In general, live music in restaurants is making a comeback. Eating out is one of the main ways we treat ourselves nowadays, but diners want these social occasions to last longer and be about more than just food. For jazz in particular, many say it’s feel-good music that’s full of spirit, yet versatile enough to listen to in the background while eating. Described by many as music that feeds the soul, it seems like a good idea to feed the body at the same time. The most popular jazz bars across the world – from Ronnie Scott’s in London to Jazz Standard in New York – all have food as an important part of the experience.

Throughout April, The Runnymede on Thames is hosting a series of jazz lunches on Sundays. Relax in our stunning Riverside Suite Conservatory with a glass of fizz or non-alcoholic alternative. Tuck into an indulgent buffet lunch, with something to suit all tastes and fancies crafted by our talented chefs. All the while, you can enjoy the music performed by our jazz duo. It may transport you to jazz’s vibrant heartland of New Orleans. Or it might elevate your experience of our River Thames location to a new level. Jazz means different things to different people, and that’s exactly why we can’t get enough of it.

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