Harlem’s Cab Calloway’s “Hepster Dictionary,” 1939 (video)

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Cab Calloway, the charismatic bandleader not only had a way with words, his love of them led him to compile a “Hepster’s Dictionary” of Harlem musician slang circa 1938. It featured 200 expressions used by the “hep cats” when they talk their “jive” in the clubs on Lenox Avenue in Harlem, NY.. Continue Reading →

T. Oliver Reid Brings Drop Me Off In Harlem

tn-500_stephensorokoff-237Singer and Broadway star T. Oliver Reid leads what he describes as “a club hopping journey through the swanky clubs and low down joints of 1934 Harlem,” featuring the music of Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen, Andy Razaf, and more. Continue Reading →

Harlem’s Leonard Harper “The Father Of Cabaret”

leonard harper in harlemLeonard Harper (1899 – 1943), was a producer, dancer, directing, choreographer and director during the Harlem renaissance in Harlem, New York   Continue Reading →

Three Nights of Live Music and Swing Dancing Celebrating the Life of Frankie Manning

Frankie manning dancer in harlem 1The Frankie Trifecta is a celebration of the centennial of dance legend Frankie Manning, the most celebrated Lindy Hop dancer in history.  Continue Reading →

James Melvin “Jimmie” Lunceford, 1940-1972 (video)

James Melvin “Jimmie” LuncefordJames Melvin “Jimmie” Lunceford (June 6, 1902 – July 12, 1947) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader in the swing era. Continue Reading →

Apollo Club Harlem Returns

Apollo TheaterBy Walter Rutledge

Apollo Club Harlem returned to the Apollo Theater for four performances Thursday, February 20 through Sunday, February 23, 2014. The evening consisted of a pre-show musical interlude by pianist Isaac Ben Ayala, a lively revue and post show dancing on stage for orchestra patrons. Continue Reading →

The Douglas Theater, Harlem, 1920

On 143rd Street and Lenox Avenue sat the Douglas Theater, depending on which of my sources is correct, either 600 or 2200 seats (which in 1935 expanded to 2300, which could indicate that an orchestra pit was covered over to add more seating). Continue Reading →

New Amsterdam Musical Association And James Reese Europe In Harlem

The New Amsterdam Musical Association, (NAMA) is the oldest African-American musical organization in the United States. Continue Reading →

Twenty Two West (“22 West”) In Harlem

twenty two west 22 westTwenty Two West or “22 West” was the name of the Harlem Restaurant – Bar – Jazz Club – Gallery & Banquet Room, that was located at 22 West.135th Street, between 5th and Lenox Avenue in Harlem, New York. Continue Reading →