Ebony Lounge

The Ebony Lounge was located in the basement of the Hotel Chesterfield. Alonzo Kittrels of the Philadelphia Tribune reminisced:

[T]he Chesterfield Hotel, a landmark that deserves its own back-in-the-day column, given its significance in the lives of Black people. It was particularly important in the lives of the performers at the nearby Uptown Theater. This hotel was where many performers stayed while appearing at this venue.

In a March 28, 1960 conversation with celebrated jazz journalist Ralph J. Gleason, bassist Percy Heath reminisced about his start as a professional musician:

But I remember when Red Garland did come to Philadelphia he was singing and playing “Billie’s Bounce” and “Now’s the Time” and we hadn’t heard those things, and he was sort of an authority on Charlie Parker tunes at that time. But there were an awful lot of promising musicians around Philadelphia. I really started with a trio. At that time we used to play in little cocktail bars and there was hotel there, the Philadelphia Chesterfield Hotel, they had a lounge. We played in there quite a bit and then we’d go around to Wilmington, Delaware, and play some club down there.

Conversations in Jazz: The Ralph J. Gleason Interviews is available on Amazon.com.

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