My Top 5: Tobie Carpenter, jazz musician

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Never been to the East Side Jazz Club? Our new series offers tips on where to hang out in the neighbourhood from locals

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‘I have family roots in the East End going back several generations.’ Photo: PR
A Leytonstone based jazz guitarist and composer, signed to Leyton-based label Turquoise Coconut Records, Tobie Carpenter – with his Organ Trio – released a debut EP Dead Pan Party, which reached No.1 in the iTunes Jazz Album Charts.

The group have recently added a number of local dates to their tour schedule, including Luna Lounge and Hornbeam Nights in Walthamstow. A date at All You Read Is Love is also being confirmed for the autumn. They’ve also played everywhere from Ronnie Scott’s to Club Bonafide in New York.

“I grew up in Yorkshire but have family roots in the East End going back several generations,” says Tobie. “I’ve lived in east London since 2012 and Leytonstone for the last two years. I love the scene, and so much of the great music that happens here.”

1. Luna Lounge

It’s his top spot. Photo: Luna Lounge
I love this venue. I first played there when I called in on my way home from another gig, where I’d heard about the jam session they host. It turned out to be on a different night, but when the staff saw I had my guitar with me they insisted I get up and play. I ended up doing a solo set, and they were so enthusiastic they brought me out a free meal and drinks. I’m looking forward to playing Luna Lounge again on 23rd July with my Organ Trio: it’s the first London date of our UK tour.

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2. Epping Forest

A beauty. Photo: Stephen Emms
I‘ve recently become obsessed with walking here and in the woodland around Wanstead flats. As musicians we spend a lot of time working inside, usually at night – so it feels great to spend time in such peaceful natural surroundings. Sometimes instruments can be a distraction while composing so I really enjoy writing while walking, and we’re spoilt for choice for great spots in the area. More info.

3. Turquoise Coconut Records

There he is. And what a label. Photo: PR
I‘ve been super lucky to work with this incredible label, based in Leyton. It’s run by unbelievably dedicated and passionate musicians who live in the area, always looking to promote fresh music for curious ears. They gave me a complete free rein on my most recent release (Dead Pan Party – Tobie Carpenter Organ Trio) and did an incredible job getting it to No.1 in the iTunes Jazz Album Chart. They’re a great example of the strength of the local arts scene. More info.

4. All You Read Is Love

Previous performances at All You Read. Photo: The Itch
I am an absolute sucker for word play and puns, as you can see in my song titles (including ‘Green Man Blue’ a love song for the roundabout just up the street from All You Read Is Love); so this place had me at hello. The food and drink is amazing and it’s a great place to work/procrastinate from in the day. There’s also a lovely selection of things to read and vinyl for sale. It’s really worth checking out the programme of live events too (disclaimer: we’re planning a gig there in the autumn). More info.

5. East Side Jazz Club

John Altman Big Band. Photo: Eastside Jazz Club
This is a true hidden gem in Leytonstone. Every Tuesday night some of London’s most celebrated jazz musicians play upstairs at the Leytonstone Ex-servicemen’s club (next to the Red Lion). It’s completely unfussy and 100% about the music. East London has so much to offer in terms of presenting music in unusual settings with uber hip concepts, which is incredible, but clubs like this just put the music at the centre of everything and that’s really important for artists and audiences too. There’s a regular following from the 15 Years it’s been running and some huge names on the programme. More info.

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Find out more about Tobie’s upcoming UK tour head here. Follow him @tobiecarpenter

Are you an interesting, clued-up local who wants to share your Top 5 hangouts? Email info@leytonstoner.london

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