Greenwich Entertainment announced today the acquisition of North American distribution rights to Ronnie’s directed by Oliver Murray (The Quiet One) and produced by Goldfinch Entertainment (The Ice King). The documentary premiered to rave reviews at DOC NYC and during its UK theatrical run. Greenwich will release the film early next year.
Ronnie’s chronicles the life of saxophonist Ronnie Scott, a poor, Jewish kid growing up in 1940s East End, London who became owner of the eponymous night club. Musical greats spanning decades played at Ronnie’s including Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Nina Simone, Van Morrison, Chet Baker, and Jimi Hendrix, who played there the night of his death. Glorious clips bring to life this legendary jazz club and its charming yet tormented owner. The Guardian’s four-star review proclaimed “how much visceral enjoyment there is to be had from the atmospheric footage of the venue, packed, low-lit, the clink of bottles and the hum of expectant chatter. Ronnie’s puts you right there.”
“To music fans all over the world Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is a temple to musical excellence,” said director Oliver Murray. “This film is a celebration of the men and women who dreamt of building such a place. They were uncompromising, resourceful, and ferociously loyal to one another in their quest to explore new sounds and create the perfect environment to play and listen to music. Ronnie Scott was as complex and colourful as the music played on his stage and his untimely death left the jazz community bereft of a favourite leader. My hope is that the film offers a look at the truest, most honest version of Ronnie. It’s a tale of great achievement, but also a deep-seated struggle with a traumatic illness and music was Ronnie’s medicine. Long live Ronnie Scott’s Club, the memory of its founders Ronnie Scott and Pete King, and the joys of live music!”
Ronnie’s was produced by Goldfinch’s CEO Kirsty Bell with COO Phil McKenzie executive producing. Greenwich’s Ed Arentz negotiated the deal with Abacus Media Rights, who will distribute the documentary internationally, on behalf of the filmmakers.