Watermill Jazz was founded in March 1994 by pianist Ann Odell and the late Steve Spurling, at our original venue The Watermill in Reigate Road. From October 2001 until April 2016 we were based at the Aviva Sports and Social Club in Pixham Lane, Dorking.
June 1999 BBC Jazz Notes broadcast on Radio 3 a performance by the Martin Drew quartet, recorded live earlier in April at our Reigate Road venue.
May 2001 we were privileged to present the quintet of John Dankworth and in October 2004 another legendary name in British jazz performed at the club the Humphrey Lyttelton band.
In 2005 we purchased our Yamaha C3 Grand Piano. The following February, John Horler's CD The Key to it All was recorded live and released to critical acclaim on Diving Duck Recordings label.
October 2006 saw the first of our now yearly concerts at The Menuhin Hall, which in 2006 featured Stan Tracey quartet including Bobby Wellins perform Under Milk Wood.
May 2010 We commissioned Paul Busby to write The Watermill Jazz Suite, which was premiered at the club.
June 2011 Bobby Wellins CD Time Gentlemen Please, recorded the previous year at our venue,was released on Trio Records.
March 2014 We celebrated our 20th anniversary with a special performance by Sax Appeal, with the premiere of Derek Nash's Phoenix Suite, written by Derek under commission from the club.
November 2014 Our 20th anniversary celebrations finished with a special end of year concert by Alan Broadbent and the Mark Nightingale Big Band, recorded on the evening by the BBC. This was subsequently broadcast on Radio 3 the following month, as part of Jazz Line-Up.
December 2019 Winners of the Parliamentary Jazz Awards Venue of the Year
We aim to present the finest in Jazz from top UK and overseas bands, coupled with giving an opportunity to the best of the younger bands on the scene today. The music ranges from mainstream to post bop and contemporary music, whilst the bands vary in size from solo acts right through to big bands.
The club is run by a voluntary committee: Roger Hind, Paul Hobbs, Steve Wetherall & Kathryn Shackleton.