A POPULAR Scottish music venue has announced “with a heavy heart” that it will be closing its doors.

The Jazz Bar in Edinburgh, described as Scotland’s first dedicated jazz bar, is to close after 20 years.

The venue was created by the late Edinburgh-based drummer and jazz organiser Bill Kyle in 2005.

A number of UK jazz musicians have played there including Martin Drew, Peter King and Jim Mullen as well as a number of big names from the US such as Ravi Coltrane, Gerry Bergonzi and Don Menza.

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A statement on the venue’s website from Alex James on Wednesday reads: “To our loyal patrons, musicians and friends.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sudden closure of The Jazz Bar. We are extremely proud to have served the musical community and audience providing live music almost every day for close to two decades.

“It has been particularly challenging for The Jazz Bar with a massive variety of issues and challenges to work through.

“Despite extremely hard work and very positive progress to overcome these issues, the cost of living crisis coupled with operational challenges proved too much.”

The statement continued: “The Jazz Bar is more than just a venue to many people; it was a cornerstone of community and will be quite literally irreplaceable to the Edinburgh music scene and gig economy.

"When founder Bill Kyle began his journey to create The Jazz Bar, it was marked by perseverance and passion, surviving many challenges (including the original incarnation of the venue 'The Bridge Jazz Bar' burning down)."

James also said: "After he sadly passed eight years ago this perseverance was carried on by his wife Mary Ann and daughter Edith who kept the business alive for the next period in its existence and carried forward her father’s legacy, continuing to champion live music in Scotland.

"Today, as we announce the closure of The Jazz Bar Ltd, we do so with a profound sadness, but also with gratitude for the countless memories and friendships forged within its walls.

"We must pay special thanks to the musicians who have rallied to help the venue survive and be accommodating to any changes being made. Without their good faith and the tireless effort of the staff we wouldn’t have been possible to even make it this far in the year.

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"We must also mention our gratitude to Bill Kyle, whose vision and passion brought The Jazz Bar to life, we extend our deepest appreciation. His legacy will forever resonate within the hearts of all who were touched by his kindness and dedication.

"We extend our sincerest thanks to the musicians, staff, and patrons who made The Jazz Bar a cherished part of Edinburgh’s cultural landscape. Your support and passion have been the driving force behind our journey, and for that, we are eternally grateful."