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‘Harlem of the West – The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era’: See the exhibit, read the book

May 30, 2017

by Eldoris Cameron, SFAAHCS

The John Handy Group – John Handy, Pony Poindexter, John Coltrane and Frank Fisher – perform at Bop City, the building that later housed Marcus Book Store, the oldest Black book store in the nation until it was lost in a foreclosure in 2014. In a “John Handy Spotlight,” SFJazz kicked off its 2017 season paying tribute to the great saxophonist who played with Charles Mingus back in 1959. Handy is 84.

 

From May through August, three floors of black and white jazz photographs are on display at the African American Art & Culture Complex. They depict Harlem of the West, the San Francisco Fillmore jazz era that was bustling from the 1930s through the 1950s.

Jazz was “king” and the Fillmore music scene was alive and flowing from end to end in the African American community. Duke Ellington, Eartha Kitt, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Joe Louis, Sammie Davis Jr., Eddie and Vernon Alley and other personalities can be seen at Fillmore establishments such as Bop City, Texas Playhouse, Blue Mirror, Club Flamingo, Primalon Ballroom and the Champagne Supper Club.

From May through August, three floors of black and white jazz photographs are on display at the African American Art & Culture Complex.

Many of the photos on display can be found in the popular new edition of “Harlem of the West – The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era,” a beautiful book recently published by authors Elizabeth Pepin Silva and Lewis Watts.

The San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society and the San Francisco Public Library collaborated in arranging this photographic exhibit for all to enjoy at no cost to the public. The second-floor photo exhibit can be found in the gallery of the SFAAHCS, “The Society.”

These jazz photos can be viewed Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the African American Art & Culture Complex, located at 762 Fulton St., San Francisco.

The book, “Harlem of the West – The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era,” can be purchased at Marcus Book Store in Oakland or via this Paypal account, otwfront@gmail.com, for $35 for softcover and $65 for hardcover.

Eldoris Cameron, publicity coordinator for the San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society (SFAAHCS), can be reached at eldoriscameron@aol.com.

One thought on “‘Harlem of the West – The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era’: See the exhibit, read the book

  1. Carolyn Zaremba

    Another amazing city district destroyed by "urban renewal". James Baldwin was clear that "urban renewal" meant "move the negroes out". And that's what happened.

    Reply

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