HARLEM JAZZ & MUSIC FESTIVAL proudly celebrates the two remaining world-renowned venues that made Harlem the Jazz & Music Mecca known throughout the world.
Showman’s Jazz Club
Since 1942, SHOWMAN’S JAZZ CLUB is Harlem’s premier old school jazz club and a cultural landmark. The bar stands as a reminder of he legendary age of jazz. This soulful haunt of Harlem’s old guard has been home to greats like Lionel Hampton, Eartha Kitt, Duke Ellington and Pearl Bailey. Their original location was next to The Apollo. After playing at the Apollo, musicians used to go next door and play their own music, hence the name Showman’s.
Founded in 1938 by saxophonist Henry Minton, Minton’s Playhouse was the place where Bebop was born and established. Virtually everyone who was anyone in the world of jazz made his or her way up to Minton’s. Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker were regulars. In addition to, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Gene Krupa, Miles Davis and Art Blakey, to name a few. Minton’s was not just the birthplace of Bebop, it was the place where much of what we now know as modern jazz, was incubated.