Jelly Lived Here

On this beautifully articulated brick facade is a glass (plexiglass?) sign noting that in 1939-40, the famous Jazz pianist “Jelly Roll” Morton lived here in Central Harlem, on West 131st Street.

Born sometime around 1890 in New Orleans, Jelly Roll began to play the piano in a brothel at age 14. He took the nickname “Jelly Roll” – slang for female genitalia – and left New Orleans to tour throughout the US.

In 1915 “Jelly Roll Blues” was one of the first jazz compositions to be published and later in life, Jelly Roll repeatedly claimed to have invented Jazz as a musical art form.

Below is a photo of Jelly Roll from 1941:

To hear Jelly Roll’s “Jelly Roll Blues”, click on the YouTube link below:

Raise Your Voice – Tell Mayor Eric Adams What You Want (and what you don’t!)

NYC Speaks is asking you for your thought/wishes for your community.

They’ll take what you write to the mayor. Please fill out the survey – they can’t read your mind…

Art in Our Midst

The artist Allison Saar was commissioned to enliven the 125th Street Metro-North platform in 2018 and her subtle glasswork has delighted me since.

The stained glass that encompasses the waiting rooms on the platform, harkens back to the jazz scene in Harlem.

Even the title of the piece “copacetic” – a Jazz term from the interwar period – evokes smoky bars, men with hats, and everyone dressed for show.

The Zip Code Memory Project Gathering for Covid

December 5, 2021, 4pm-5:30 pm
Peace Fountain at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
111th Street/Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025

JOIN the Participants of The Zip Code Memory Project for our first public gathering to acknowledge, mourn, and pay tribute to the losses of COVID 19 in a healing community ritual. Featuring live participation by the Harlem Choir.

  • What have we lost and learned from Covid?
  • How can we heal and grow together?

We invite you to bring 5×7″ postcards responding to these questions in writing, drawing, photography or other media to the event for display. You can also email your postcards to [email protected] and become part of our online archive on ZCMP.org Candles and blank postcards will be available at the Cathedral for free. If you address your postcard to someone, we will mail it for you.

The Zip Code Memory Project seeks to find reparative ways to memorialize the devastating losses resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic while also acknowledging its radically differential effects on Upper New York City neighborhoods. Working across the zip codes of Harlem, Washington Heights and the South Bronx, we are gathering with local community, arts and academic organizations to imagine how the losses of the pandemic can be acknowledged, mourned, and healed, and how the mutual aid, care and repair they have occasioned can be honored.

Questions or requests for further information, please contact: [email protected]

ZCMP.org

The Heat Vulnerability Index

The Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) shows neighborhoods whose residents are more at risk for dying during and immediately following extreme heat. It uses a statistical model to summarize the most important social and environmental factors that contribute to neighborhood heat risk. The factors included in the HVI are surface temperature, green space, access to home air conditioning, and the percentage of residents who are low-income or non-Latinx Black. Differences in these risk factors across neighborhoods are rooted in past and present racism.

Remember, all neighborhoods have residents at risk for heat illness and death. A neighborhood with low vulnerability does not mean no risk.

What factors affect heat vulnerability in your neighborhood?

 Daytime summer surface temperature is different from air temperature, and varies more by neighborhood: some neighborhoods are hotter than others. A higher surface temperature is associated with a higher risk of death from heatwaves. 

 Green space is treegrass, or shrub cover. Green space helps cool a neighborhood. Less green space in a neighborhood is associated with a greater risk of death during heat waves.

 Air conditioning is as necessary during extreme heat as heating is in winter. A neighborhood with a high percentage of households with air conditioners means that more of its residents can be protected from extreme heat.

 Poverty is a social factor that places people at risk of death during heat waves for many reasons. One reason is that people living in poverty may be less likely to afford owning or using an air conditioner during heat waves. Citywide average: 19.6%

Racial disparities in heat vulnerability

In NYC, Black people die of heat-related illness at a disproportionately high rate. Because of this, neighborhoods with more Black residents are more greatly impacted by extreme heat.

Black New Yorkers suffer these disproportionate health impacts from heat due to social and economic disparities. These disparities stem from structural racism, which includes neighborhood disinvestment, racist housing policies, fewer job opportunities and lower pay, and less access to high-quality education and health care.

Overall, these systems limit access to resources that protect health. While many factors affect a neighborhood’s heat risk, Black New Yorkers are subjected to higher rates of poverty and lower access to air conditioning, green space, and neighborhood cooling resources.

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/kuXB4/2/

You can learn more about what the City is doing to address extreme heat and how the HVI is guiding that work at Cool Neighborhoods NYC. Communities can also use the index to advocate for services and resources.

Sendero Verde Phase II

The massive development on the block Park/Madison and 111/112 is about to double. Financing has been arranged ($225 Million) to begin Phase 2.

The project will have 709 units of affordable housing, public gardens and recreational space, a mix of community facilities and social services, a new school, and approximately 30,000 square feet of retail. Phase Two will specifically include 347 affordable housing units reserved for the formerly homeless up to households and individuals at 90 percent of the area median income (AMI).

The project will also be the largest Passive House structure for multifamily use in New York City.

“Sendero Verde’s mix of incomes, passive house design, plaza, gardens, and more than 85,000 square feet of community space serving education, youth, and senior activities and health needs provides a model for the next generation of communities of opportunity,” said Jonathan Rose Companies president Jonathan F.P. Rose. “We are so grateful for the support of our community neighbors and the local community board, our partners, and the city agencies that made this project possible.”

Charlie Parker Jazz Fest and COVID

 The NYC Parks Department wanted to let you know that this weekend’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival – with the Jazzmobile on Friday – will require proof of vaccination or negative covid test within 72 hours.

This is a SummerStage decision and more details can be found at www.summerstage.org

Friday, August 27, 2021

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Marcus Garvey Park

18 Mt. Morris Park West, New York, NY 10027

All free performances will be open to the public, first come, first served, and subject to venue capacity limits.

In response to the increasing spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, all guests of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival SummerStage events at Marcus Garvey Park on August 27, 28 and 29, will be required to show either proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (final dose by August 13) or a negative PCR test within the last 72 hours in order to enter.

Learn more about acceptable documentation, mask guidelines, and other safety protocols here.

This performance will be livestreamed on CharlieParkerJazzFestival.org.

In celebration of what would have been Charlie “Bird” Parker’s 100th birthday, alto saxophonist Vincent Herring invited two seminal fellow altoists — Gary Bartz, & Bobby Watson – to deliver Bird At 100 (Smoke Sessions) as a tribute to and in honor of Parker’s legacy. Bird at 100 sees the three saxophonists alternate between soaring solo flights and three-part harmonies, at times pushing each other, while at others, taking a backseat to Bird, their inspiration. They’re supported by David Kikoski on piano, Yasushi Nakamura on bass while Carl Allen sets the pace from behind the drum kit. A special guest for the evening is Antonio Hart and his quartet. Hart is an alto saxophonist who has sat in with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Terrence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, and Dizzy Gillespie. Rounding out the Quartet will be Miki Yamanaka on piano, Alex Ayala on bass, and Vince Ector on drums.

Harlem Jazz Clubs: 1920-40


If you’ve ever wondered where the scores of jazz clubs were during the Harlem Renaissance, this map is the best I’ve seen:

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Here is the list with more details:

HARLEM JAZZ CLUBS, RESTAURANTS, and BALLROOMS from the 20’s-40’s:

• Alamo Club (1915-1925) 253 West 125th St (basement) b/t 7th and 8th (aka Alamo Cafe; Jimy Durante)
• Alhambra Ballroom (1929-1945) (aka The Harlem Alhambra) 2116 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (7th Avenue) at 126th Street (built in 1903 for vaudeville. In 1929 it opened an upstairs ballroom featuring jazz performers like Bessie Smith and Billie Holliday that closed in the 1960’s.
• The Apollo Theater 253 West 125th St. b/t 7th and 8th Avenues
• Baby Grand Cafe (1945-1965) 319 West 125th b/t St Nick and 8th (1964 phone book) (Club Baby Grand)
• Bank’s Club (located on 133rd St. )(more info to come)
• Barbeque Club (restraunt above The Nest at 169 West 133rd (established 1923)
• Barron’s Club – Clark Monroe opened clark Monroe’s Uptown House in the 1930s at 198 West 134th St (at 7th Avenue)in the basement. The building formerly held Barron WiIlken’s Exclusive Club (aka Barron’s Club, where Duke Ellington played early in the 1920s. It later beacme the Theatrical Grill, managed by Dickie Wells. Later that became the Pirates Den then the Red Pirate then finally, Clark Monroes Uptown House. At that point the entrance was moved from 2275 7th Ave to 198 west 134th.
• Basement Brownies (1930-1935) 152 West 133rd St. b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
• Brittwood Bar 594 Lenox at 141st, next to the Savoy Ballroom.
• Capitol Palace 575 Lenox at 139th St.
• Clark Monroe’s Uptown House 198 West 134th St.between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard (7th) (building still there). – Clark Monroe’s Uptown House, sometimes shortened to Monroe’s Uptown House or simply Monroe’s, was a nightclub in New York City. Along with Minton’s Playhouse, it was one of the two principal clubs in the early history of bebop jazz.
Clark Monroe opened the Uptown House in the 1930s at 198 West 134th St in Harlem, in a building which formerly held Barron’s Club (where Duke Ellington worked early in the 1920s) and the Theatrical Grill. Monroe moved the club to 52nd Street in 1943 (next to the Downbeat Club., says one book)., and opened a second club, The Spotlite, in December 1944. (Wikipedia)
• Club Harlem 145th and 7th (1952?)(more info to come)

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• Connie’s Inn (1923-1934) 2221 7th Ave at 131st St. (131st and 7th was “The Corner”) (1964 Connie= Conrd Immerman – Lithuanian – unlike the Cotton CLub it wasnt whites only)(connie was in the basment, above it was a bar
• Cotton Club 644 Lenox Avenue at north east corner of 142nd
• Count Basie’s Lounge (1955-1964) 2245 7th Avenue NEC 132nd St.(building still there)
• Covan’s (aka Covan’s Morocco Club) 148 West 133rd b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
• Dickie Wells Shim Sham Club (1932-1942) (in the same space as The Nest) (169 West 133rd)
• Edith’s Clam House (aka Harry Hansberry’s Clam House or just The Clam House) – 146 West 133rd St. b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
• Gee Haw Stables 113 West 132nd Street b/t Lexox and 7th Ave. The after hours club was so-named because there was a sculpted horse’s head at the entrance. Much of Art Tatum’s God is in the House LP was recorded here on a tape recorder in 1941.
• Golden Gate Ballroom (1939-1950) 640 Lenox Avenue at West 142nd St.
Harlem Opera House 209 West 125th St. at 7th Avenue
• (Harry Hansberry’s) Clam House 146 West 133rd (1928) b/t Lenox and 7th Ave.
• Havana San Juan 138th and Broadway (1960)(more info to come)
• Herman’s Inn (145) 2493 Seventh Avenue b/t 144th-145th Streets
• Hoofers 2235 7th Ave (basement of Lafayette Theater/Dancers Bojangles Robinson)
• Hot Cha 2280 7th Ave NWC 134th (Hot Cha Bar and Gril) (CLub Hot Cha)(Where Billie Holiday staryed)
• Lafayette Theater 2227 7th Ave. (The Rhythm Club that was under the Lafayette became the Hoofer’s CLub)

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• Lenox Lounge (Zebra Room inside) from 1939 – 288 Lenox b/t 124th and 125th
• Lincoln Theater 58 West 135th Street b/t 6th and 7th Avenues (1909-1964)
• Mexico’s 154 West 133 (basement) b/t 6th and 7th Avenues

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• Minton’s Playhouse 206 west 118th at St. Nick. south east corner of St Nicholas Avenue (building still there)(1938-1974; reopened 2006); Jazz Club and bar located on the 1st floor of the Cecil Hotel (210 West 118th St.)
• Monroe’s Uptown House see: Clark Monroe’s Uptown House – 198 West 134th Street
• The Nest (aka The Nest Club – men played in Bird outfits, sang “Where do the young bird’s go – to the Nest!”) 169 West 133rd (basement) – (opened in 1923-1932)) later the Rhythm Club (upstairs The Barbeque Club)
• The Palace Ballroom (aka The Rockland Palace Ballroom; originally the State Palace Ballroom) 280 West 155th at 8th Ave.
• The Plantation Club 80-82 West 126th Stret between 5th Ave and Lenox
• Pod’s and Jerry’s 168 West 133rd b/t 6th and 7th Avenues
(1925-1935)(better 1928-1948 or 9) (Officially The Patagonia; later The Log Cabin)(Greet you with “Hi Pod’ner” and Wild West Jerry)
Pod’s and Jerry’s, officially the Catagonia Club, was a cabaret and jazz club. It was one of the thriving speakeasies during the Prohibition era when the street was known as “Swing Street”. It was established in 1925 by Charles “Pod” Hollingsworth and Jeremiah (Jerry) Preston. After the end of Prohibition in 1933 the club was renamed The Log Cabin, which was one of the last clubs to close on 133rd street in 1948, long after its demise.[Wikipedia]
• Radium Club (Happy Rhone’s Radium Club 1920-1925; 654 Lenox b/t 143rd-144th)
• Reuben’s 242 West 30th St. b/t 7th and 8th Avenues (a small piano club; Art Tatum played here. Owned by Reuben Harris who played along with two whiskbrooms over a folded newspaper)
• Renaissance Ballroom (150 West 138th b/t 6th (Lenox) and 7th Aves (1915-1964)
• The Rythm Club (came after The Nest and before the Hoofer Club) (169 West 133rd) (later moved to 168 West 132nd 1932 then was later taken over by the Hoofer’s Club)
• St. Nick’s Jazz Pub 773 Street Nicholas Ave. – (since 1940: renamed The Pink Angel in 1950); renamed in the 60’s)
• Savoy Ballroom (1926-1958) 596 Lenox Avenue b/t West 140th and West 141

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• Showman’s Bar (Showman’s Jazz Club) 375 West 125th (It was originally located next to the Apollo Theater at 267 West 125th Street, where it was a hangout for the performers. Showman’s moved 3 times in 42 years.)
• Small’s Paradise (aka Ed Small’s Paradise) (1925-1980’s)(basement) 2294+1/2 Seventh Avenue at the south west corner of 135th Street. (This later became Big Wilt’s Small’s Paradise; Now an International House of Pancakes is in the space.)
• Snookie’s Sugar Bowl (a luncheonette in Harlem during the 1950′-60’s.(more info to come)
• Sugar Cane Club (aka Small’s Sugar Cane Club) (1917-1925) 2212 5th Ave at 135th (entrance through narrow underground passage)
• Sugar Ray’s (2074 7th Ave b/t/ 123-124 (owned by boxer Sugar Ray Robinson)
• Theatrical Grill (198 West 134th St.; Clark Monroe opened the Uptown House in the 1930s at 198 West 134th St in Harlem, in a building which formerly held Barron’s Club (where Duke Ellington worked early in the 1920s) and the Theatrical Grill.
• Tilllie’s 148 West 133rd (chicken waffles and jazz)(1926)(later it was Monette’s Supper CLub where legend has it that John Hammond 1st heard 17 year old Billie Holliday (fm NYT) (Now, since, 2006, it’s Bill’s Place – a small jazz club)
• The Ubangi Club (1934-1937) 2221 7th Ave at 131st St.) The Ubangi Club was opened in 1934 by Glady’s Bently a famous lesbian singer who sang in tux and tails. Her club took over the space that had been occupied by Connie’s Inn from 1923 to1934. Both clubs were in the basement.
• The Yeah Man (1925-1960) 2350 7th Ave at 138th St.

To see the full list of NYC jazz clubs, and to get some great images of Harlem scroll way down the bottom, here:

https://popspotsnyc.com/jazz_clubs/

First Lady Michelle Obama Reflects on The 2020 and 2016 Elections

“This week, I’ve been reflecting a lot on where I was four years ago. Hillary Clinton had just been dealt a tough loss by a far closer margin than the one we’ve seen this year. I was hurt and disappointed—but the votes had been counted and Donald Trump had won. The American people had spoken. And one of the great responsibilities of the presidency is to listen when they do. So my husband and I instructed our staffs to do what George and Laura Bush had done for us: run a respectful, seamless transition of power—one of the hallmarks of American democracy. We invited the folks from the president-elect’s team into our offices and prepared detailed memos for them, offering what we’d learned over the past eight years.

I have to be honest and say that none of this was easy for me. Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger. That wasn’t something I was ready to forgive. But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside. So I welcomed Melania Trump into the White House and talked with her about my experience, answering every question she had—from the heightened scrutiny that comes with being First Lady to what it’s like to raise kids in the White House.

I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do—because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego. Our love of country requires us to respect the results of an election even when we don’t like them or wish it had gone differently—the presidency doesn’t belong to any one individual or any one party. To pretend that it does, to play along with these groundless conspiracy theories—whether for personal or political gain—is to put our country’s health and security in danger. This isn’t a game. So I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, regardless of party, to honor the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history.”

Drug Testing of Newborns and Parents

NEW YORK CITY COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS LAUNCHES INVESTIGATIONS INTO THREE MAJOR PRIVATE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS’ PRACTICES OF DRUG TESTING NEWBORNS AND PARENTS
The investigation seeks to determine whether the hospitals’ policies and practices target Black
and Latinx parents and infants
NEW YORK—Following concerns from advocacy groups regarding drug testing practices that
may disproportionately target Black and Latinx parents and infants, the New York City
Commission on Human Rights announces investigations into Montefiore, Mount Sinai, and New
York Presbyterian hospitals, which, collectively, have facilities in the Bronx, Manhattan,
Brooklyn, and Queens. The investigations examine the hospitals’ policies and practices
regarding drug testing of pregnant people and newborns to assess whether those policies and
practices demonstrate discriminatory racial bias against Black and Latinx families. The
Commission-initiated investigation seeks to root out and end any such discriminatory practices.

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/press-releases/Hospitals_Press_Release_11-16-2020.pdf

Early Voting Hours Extended for NYC

The historic voting numbers have led to changes in voting hours this weekend. But… Don’t wait for an extension. Make a plan. Get on line. Vote. Remember, you’ve been waiting for this for 4 years. Don’t let it slip by.

The New York City Board of Elections’ commissioners on Tuesday voted to extend early voting hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but the change may only take effect at polling sites where it is deemed feasible.

Early voting in New York City will likely take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31; and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1 at polling places that have the ability to handle the extra hours, BOE Secretary Frederic Umane said at a virtual meeting Tuesday afternoon.

“It is our intention to do it, but we may not have the ability to do it for all sites, but that’s what we’re going to try to do,” he said.

American Legion Post #398 Jazz

One of the casualties of COVID has been in-person musical performances. Two years ago I took my parents to the American Legion Col. Charles Young Post #398 to hear some local jazz and enjoy an evening out. The night was magical, and I can only hope that this venue will survive, and then thrive, after COVID.

The entrance to the bar, the food, and the music is down below, through doors in the courtyard’s cinderblock entryway:

Post #398 is located at 248 West 132nd Street. The Yelp reviews are here:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/american-legion-post-398-new-york

Vote for Him

Food Helpline

347.455.0107

16mm Black and White Film of Count Basie Available on Ebay

A 7 minute 16mm film of the Count Basie orchestra is currently up for bids on Ebay.

For jazz fans this might be an interesting find.

Look at the piano he’s conducting from.

For more (and to place a bid) see: https://www.ebay.com/itm/283962234531?ul_noapp=true