In honor of this weekend's 38th Annual Sacramento Jazz Festival & Jubilee, I decided to drag out some old jazz club ads I found during my microfilm research this last year. The ads are from the late 1940s and 1950s when the West End (now downtown and Capitol Mall) was really hopping.
The West End has a long and interesting history, which I hope to give justice in telling some day. For now, I'll quote an article written by Stephen Magagnini in the Sacramento Bee on June 5, 2005, describing the West End as:
"a multiethnic neighborhood between 10th Street and the Sacramento River that was home to citizens of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Mexican and African descent, as well as nightclubs, card clubs and brothels. The Bee once called it one of the worst slums in the nation."Here are the places for which I have found ads thus far:
Nitz Jackson's Zanzibar: 530 M Street (Capitol Avenue); at the southwest corner of 6th and Capitol.
This former restaurant/bar was transformed into a club in 1941 and remained open until November 1949.
The Zanzibar had performers over the years like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy "Little Jazz" Eldridge, Saunders King, Edith Griffin, Sunny Gonsalves, Hunter Gray Trio and Vincent Theodore "Ted" Thompson's combo, to name a few.
Hovey Moore's MoMo Club: Across the street from the Zanzibar, also at 6th and Capitol. Open until the mid-1950s.
Back in the day many entertainers played at the MoMo, including Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker, Jay Payton, Stuffy Bryant, Leroy Harold, Harrel Wiley, Lil Allen Robinson, Gene Morris, Emily Foster, The Rhythmettes, Leo Valentine Trio, Opal Mann, Four Sharps and a Natural, and Betty Shepherd.
Al Oxman's Clayton Club: 1126 7th Street, in the former Clayton Hotel which became the Hotel Marshall in the 1940s.
At the Clayton Club headliners such as Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, The Treniers, Gene Bell, Happy Johnson Quintette, and many others performed here.
Redevelopment of the West End began in the late 1950s and early 1960s. These days, most nearby jazz heard playing is in Old Sacramento.
Apparently there were other clubs as well, such as the Cotton Club on 6th Street Between J and K, and the Congo Club at 329 Capitol Avenue -- I'll have to see if I can find any vintage ads from these clubs during my microfilm researching.
Stay cool this weekend, hepcats!