QUEENS JAZZ TRAIL
Saturday, July 7, 2007, 1:00 PM
Jazz is associated with many cities, districts and streets. There is New Orleans, Basin Street, the southside of Chicago, Kansas City, Harlem, 52nd Street, and others. One place, though, is missing in most accounts of jazz history, despite its many links to music—New York City’s Borough of Queens.
$35/ $25 for members
It will come as a surprise to most that since the 1920’s Queens has been the “Home of Jazz”, residence of choice for such notables as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, and and many more. Senior jazzmen Benny Waters and Jimmy Heath currently live in Queens and a new generation of young jazz musicians is moving into the borough. You can experience living history on this unique tour to the Queens museums, archives, homes and cultural institutions that document Queens’ important contributions to jazz.
Flushing Town Hall
Meet your guide at the Flushing Town Hall, a New York City Landmark (1862), now a cultural center with a regionally acclaimed jazz series. Visit its permanent exhibit of photographs and memorabilia related to Queens jazz legends including Louis Armstrong and bass player Milt Hinton.
Corona and the Louis Armstrong House and Museum
The second stop is Corona where legendary trumpet players Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie lived around the corner from each other. We’ll stop at the Louis Armstrong House and Museum, where Louis Armstrong and his wife Lorraine lived from 1943 until his death in 1971. You can check out Louis’ vast personal collection of recordings, reel-to-reel tapes, scrapbooks, photographs, trumpets, and awards. We’ll also see the “Dorrie Miller” apartment complex that was home to Cannonball and Nat Adderly and is still the residence of Jimmy Heath.
The tour continues south to Addisleigh Park in St. Albans, which has the highest concentration of jazz greats’ homes in the borough including Count Basie’s tudor with a yard as big as a city block.
The tour returns to Flushing Town Hall where mementos of the Queens Jazz Trail© tour await each Jazz Trailer in the Gift Shop. The shop has an extensive inventory of jazz books, CD’s, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and posters—a must stop! Upon departure, each guest also receives a free Queens Jazz Trail© map (suitable for framing).