West Harlem and Jazz in Manhattan

In my previous blogs we have walked on Broadway first in downtown and now well into the hundreds cross-streets and we still have about hundred streets more to go - Broadway is long!

Most non-New Yorkers know Manhattan up to around the Lincoln Centre on Upper West Side and perhaps a little further. But around the hundredth-and-tenth street, it is all less known and therefore somehow it feels more authentic, more the "real New York", if one can name it as such. 

In one of my previous blogs about the Lincoln Centre I talked about great jazz experiences, but in fact it is up here where Harlem starts that the jazz places become more authentic. Here you can find some of the good old days jazz clubs! One club where we used to go and that I think any visitor should visit is the Cotton Club on 125th street right by the icon iron subway bridge and close to the river on the west side. This is one of the places where you kind of feel the good old days of jazz. If I am not mistaken it was one of the original places that thrived during the prohibition era in the ninety twenties and it still has that historic feel today. You can practically imagine Duke Ellington still going on that stage.

I believe it's one of the places which can launch a musician and his career. Back ten years ago, a young female bassist performed for us one evening we were there. We befriended her and over the years we saw her move from being part of a small band to having her own regular band performing downtown Manhattan. 

I'm so happy for her as she once asked me to hire her for an office job. I'm glad that I had no vacancies or a great music talent would have been wasted.

When hearing Jazz in the radio I am always reminded of New York, as this town just feel born for jazz!