Ella Fitzgerald@100

March is “Women in Jazz Month.” It’s also “Women’s History Month.” As the National Museum of American History notes, Ella Fitzgerald was about intersectionality before the term was coined: Fitzgerald succeeded in the male-dominated field of jazz. By overcoming the odds, breaking barriers, and setting precedents, she paved the way for other women to follow … Continue reading Ella Fitzgerald@100

Leonard Bernstein@100

This year marks the centennial birthday of several jazz luminaries, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Lena Horne and Thelonious Monk. Philharmonic Laureate Conductor Leonard Bernstein was born on August 25, 1918 but the celebrations are already underway. The worldwide festivities will continue until August 25, 2019. Bernstein had a longstanding appreciation of jazz, blues and … Continue reading Leonard Bernstein@100

African-American Music Appreciation Month 2017

On June 7, 1979, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June “Black Music Month.” Every president since then has recognized the contribution of black musicians to the nation’s cultural heritage. In 2009, President Barack Obama changed the month-long celebration to “African-American Music Appreciation Month.” The tradition continues with President Donald Trump: During June, we … Continue reading African-American Music Appreciation Month 2017

Jazz Appreciation Month 2017

Founded by the National Museum of American History in 2002, April is Jazz Appreciation Month. The Smithsonian kicks off its celebration with a loving tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song.” To find new ways to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month, visit Smithsonian Jazz.

Jazz 100 Celebrates Four Icons

This year marks the centennial birthdays of Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaría, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie. The jazz visionaries will be celebrated on Friday, September 30 at 8:00 p.m. at the Merriam Theater. Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Art, said in a statement: Philadelphia is a revered jazz city and … Continue reading Jazz 100 Celebrates Four Icons

Palais Royal

Opened in 1919. the Philadelphia Tribune described the Palais Royal as “the finest colored ball room in America.” On May 4, 1937, the Chick Webb Orchestra, featuring Ella Fitzgerald, played a dance here. In the 1940s, the Palais Royal was the home of the Elate Ballroom, the Elate Club and the Sydney King School of … Continue reading Palais Royal

Rendezvous Room

The Rendezvous Room was located on the first floor of the Hotel Senator. It was operated by Irvin Wolf from 1947 to 1955. In a piece for the Tri-state Jazz Society, Rabbi Lou Kaplan wrote: Located at 915 Walnut Street in the Hotel Senator, the Rendezvous was owned by jazz enthusiast Lee Guber. It opened … Continue reading Rendezvous Room

Sarah Vaughan Forever Stamp Will Be Issued in 2016

The U.S. Postal Service announced that the Sarah Vaughan forever stamp will be issued in 2016: Jazz and pop singer Sarah Vaughan (1924-90) will be commemorated on a forever stamp in the Music Icons series, with 16 stamps in the full pane. The Divine One will join fellow Union Local 274 members Count Basie, John … Continue reading Sarah Vaughan Forever Stamp Will Be Issued in 2016

Club Harlem

Under the proprietorship of Stan Cooper, this West Philly jazz spot was hot in the 1950s. It played host to jazz and blues greats such as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Lionel Hampton, Johnny Hodges, Ella Fitzgerald, Lucky Millender, John Coltrane, Dinah Washington, Bull Moose Jackson and Erskine Hawkins. Nat King Cole played several gigs here … Continue reading Club Harlem