The Jazz Cafe was set up by Jon Dabner in Camden in 1990, and the Mean Fiddler Organisation bought the venue in 1992. At that time ‘Acid jazz’, the dance floor oriented funk hybrid that gave the style press something to write about, was all the rage and a whole batch of bands sprung forth around the thirst for revamped wah wah grooves. The likes of Raw Stylus and Izit didn’t have a record deal but they still managed to sell out the venue.
Over time, the club has evolved. Alongside live music, the Jazz Cafe has maintained a healthy kinship to club culture, staging nights such as Wah Wah, Messin’ Around, Deep Funk and the Hi Hat, the monthly jazz dance session which carries the torch from the classic scenes such as Dingwalls and the Electric Ballroom. “We try and keep jazz-dance alive,” states Gibson emphatically. “It’s no longer trendy but the Hi-Hat monthly session has a core audience of about 150 people They’re die hards though, they can tell the difference between Galliano and Art Blakey.”