Easy listening comes to the Bernie Grant Arts Centre every Wednesday as the Tottenham venue hosts the Smooth Jazz Lounge, where resident DJs play a mixture of mellow sounds, up-tempo jazz, soul, funk and Latino music.

Melanie Whittaker from Seven Sisters, who is also known as DJ Sapphire, decided to open up the lounge last September, due to her love of smooth jazz music and she wanted to have a place in her hometown that was dedicated to it and would introduce people to the genre.

The 44-year-old explains why the Smooth Jazz Lounge is a great social hub to meet new people, as well as the perfect setting for a first date…

What sort of artists play there?

The first band I had perform at the Smooth Jazz Lounge was Love For Sale. They are a five-piece jazz band who play great classics. We have also had singers, acoustic guitarists, jazz trios and a poet. Lara Lee performed in August after doing really well on Tom Jones' team on The Voice. He was blown away by her spoken word, poetry and singing and she is an amazing artist. During October we will also have reggae jazz as I would like to do my bit for Black History Month. I sing in a reggae band called General Skank and we will be performing on Wednesday, October 5, which will be the one year anniversary of the Smooth Jazz Lounge and also my birthday.

Why did you want to set up the lounge here?

The Bernie Grant Arts Centre is the music hub of the community, as it puts on many shows and music events and I am happy to be a part of this. It also gives the community a platform to show off their musical talents and to enjoy performances in the arts and music. We have had many local people perform at the Smooth Jazz Lounge. I saw a girl called Amy busking outside Tesco and invited her to her perform which she did alongside her friend Aina and they were amazing. It has a great community feel as everyone is getting to know each other.

I transformed the space into a jazz lounge with perfect dimmed lighting, comfy chairs and the tables have individual lights on them. The soothing smooth jazz and soul playing in the background is played by myself and DJ Spider at a low level so people can speak to others without shouting or they can watch a silent movie that is playing in the background. With so many more people moving into the area, it is a great place to meet new people and for a first date.

Are you from Tottenham?

I am originally from Derby but moved to London in 1994. I was always moving around renting and then I was fortunate to have a small win on the lottery with the syndicate at my day job at Bolt Burdon Kemp Solicitors in 2006. As a result of that I was able to purchase my home in Seven Sisters in November 2006.

Where did your passion for jazz begin?

I have always been surrounded by music, mainly reggae as my parents are from Jamaica, but when I moved to London, I discovered Jazz FM and loved what I was hearing. My sister Judith introduced me to Peter White, who is now my most favourite smooth jazz guitarist. His guitar is the voice of the song and every chord he plays sings to you. There's no vocals, just music. I emailed Peter to find out if he'll ever be coming to England to perform and to my astonishment, he replied. He was really kind and told me his tour dates and I have seen him perform in London many times and I also went to San Diego to see him perform. We are now Facebook friends!

Do you come from a musical family or is it just you pursuing music?

My whole family, which includes parents, four sisters and two brothers all love music. My sister Maxine is a radio DJ and the others are always getting playlists ready for a family gatherings.

Who would you like to play at the Smooth Jazz Lounge?

Peter White. He would be amazing, as he was my smooth jazz first love.

Details: sapphiresmusic.com