Letter: Build on legacy of Ronnie Scott

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The Independent Online
Sir: Much has been discussed about Ronnie Scott being a depressive and of his possible suicide, as though these are the inevitable corollaries of creative genius ("Jazzmen sound blue note at Scott's farewell", 8 January).

Unlike some of us, he fought against bureaucratic obstacles and cultural inertia and, in forming his jazz club, succeeded in bringing the unique talents of great American jazz musicians to these shores. His humorous cynicism developed more as self-protection.

When I formed the Bass Clef in 1984, Ronnie Scott's band opened it. Then, in 1994, I was faced with closure after battling against similar obstacles for 10 years. Ronnie was immediately helpful and supportive. In my case, the financial pressures were irreversible and Bass Clef and Tenor Clef were forced to close.

Now Ronnie has departed this world. One of the best ways to honour his memory is to ensure that his club and its Birmingham counterpart remain as centres of the Cinderella of the arts, jazz. All support should be given to Ronnie's partner in the club, Pete King, to continue this.

To all those involved in the arts who are now recognising the great contribution Ronnie made (and my thoughts go to those able to influence the National Lottery and the Arts Council): what are you going to do about it now he's gone?


Twickenham, Middlesex