Pianist Barry Green writes about the Ajani Grill restaurant in Hornsey:
I just wanted to let everyone know about a fantastic jazz club in the heart of North London. It’s everything a good jazz club should be.
About a year ago I got a call from the owner/chef/booker Patrick Oludayo, asking me to play at the Ajani Grill. I hadn’t really heard of it,and viewed Hornsey at the back of beyond. Thankfully I overcame my geographical stupidity and said yes. Since then I’ve done a few trio gigs there,and it is one of the warmest welcomes musicians can receive in London. There really aren’t many places which really make you feel that they want to play there. The place is tiny, and can only serve 32 people eating. Patrick truly loves jazz and the restaurant is covered with rare obscure album covers: Carmell Jones! Roy Brooks! The food is great.
All of this adds up to creating an environment in which we can really play jazz music in a place that feels like it has been there for years, and feels like it should be there for the next twenty. Jazz music in a place that really likes it! The scene needs places like this to enrich our day to day musical lives and the amazing and occasionally disheartening experiences that it sometimes brings.
So, next time you have a free night and fancy some chicken and jazz, go to Hornsey and check it out. It’s not that far! Hopefully we’ll all be playing there for many years to come.