jazz musicians

The Museum of Interesting Things will be supplying props for the Times Square production of:

Angie Jackson…The Musical

This professionally produced production (including 20 original songs) covers one extraordinary year (1935) in the life of America’s 1st ever African American Female Jr. Detective Solving Crimes All Over NYC. & Harlem!!! Angie Jackson Kid Detective in her adventures meets an assortment of legendary figures in history such as Satchmo Louie Armstrong, Cab Callaway, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday who assist her to be the 1st ever to win “SHOW-TIME AT THE APOLLO”. The cast of the production includes a stellar group of Hudson County & NY-NJ-Pa area up and coming stars of stage and screen ranging from 6 to 60 years old.

The Musical’s August 19th 2015 presentation during the festivities of the New York New Works Theatre Festival is at 300 west 43rd str 2nd floor.…

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from The Skint e-newsletter:

7pm doors (monthly): wit’s end and the dorothy parker society’s jazz age soirée features live jazz from mike davis and his chicago loopers and wfmu’s michael w. haar playing rarities. cocktail attire, dapper suits, and other vintage wear highly encouraged. free dance lesson at 8:30pm. flute midtown $15.

This performance will take place on April 25th.

According to the Wit’s End website, the Jazz Age jazz dance party recurs regularly:

“On the last Saturday of the month, January through October, come join us in a celebration of Jazz Age culture, cocktails, and dance! Where vintage clothes, classic drinks, and the hot sounds from the 1920s and 1930s mix.”…

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The Cotton Club had competition: it seems a number of similar establishments existed in a nearby geographical area at the same time. In many cases, physical evidence of these jazz clubs was obliterated as properties changed hands, and peoples’ behavior shifted. Find out more at http://www.bigapplejazz.com/historiclenoxave.htm

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From delanceyplace.com:

In today’s selection — from Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington.

During the Roaring 20s and into the Great Depression, the hottest club in New York was the Cotton Club, an establishment owned by one of New York’s most notorious gangsters. Though it featured black performers and was located in the middle of Harlem, New York’s preeminent black neighborhood, black patrons were almost never allowed and the decor was made to evoke a Southern slave plantation.

“In 1927 Harlem was a playground for white people who could afford to pay for liquor and sex — and who liked having sex with black people, so long as they didn’t have to talk to them afterward. Of the uptown nightclubs that catered to white patrons, the Cotton Club, which billed itself as ‘the Aristocrat of Harlem’ in its newspaper ads, was the best known and most expensive, as well as the one with the dirtiest pedigree. Owney Madden, the owner, was an Englishman of Irish parentage whose family had emigrated to New York’s Hell’s Kitchen when he was eleven years old. He was slight of stature and spoke in a high-pitched voice that sounded, Sonny Greer said, ‘like a girl.’ But appearances were deceiving, for Madden was a vicious street fighter who in his youth had racked up a long list of cold-blooded killings. He now ran one of New York’s most successful bootlegging gangs, investing his profits in Broadway shows like Mae West’s Sex (and, it was whispered, having a backstage affair with West herself). In 1920, while he was serving an eight-year term in Sing Sing for manslaughter, he acquired a failed Harlem supper club called the Cafe de Luxe that had been ‘owned’ by Jack Johnson, the famous black boxer, who served as the front man for yet another mobster. After Madden was paroled in 1923, he turned it into a cabaret with a stiff cover charge whose scantily dressed dancers and sexually suggestive stage shows became the talk of Manhattan.


“Located on Lenox Avenue at West 142nd Street, the Cotton Club was a second-story walk-up that held between six and seven hundred people who sat in two tiers of tables surrounding the dance floor. The walls were covered with what Irving Mills, who was prone to malapropisms, called ‘muriels.’ The rest of the decor, as Cab Calloway recalled, was suggestive in a less innocent way:

The bandstand was a replica of a southern mansion, with large white columns and a backdrop painted with weeping willows and slave quarters. The band played on the veranda of the mansion …. The waiters were dressed in red tuxedos, like butlers in a southern mansion, and the tables were covered with red-and-white-checked gingham tablecloths …. I suppose the idea was to make whites who came to the club feel like they were being catered to and entertained by black slaves.

“Spike Hughes, who visited the club a few years later, described it as ‘expensive and exclusive; it cost you the earth merely to look at the girl who took your hat and coat as you went in.’ He was stretching it, but not by much.…

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