33. Morrisania Music Clubs

MorrisaniaMorrisania in the Bronx was a jazz and music cultural center, yet most of its history has been lost and forgotten.

Although much of Manhattan’s Black history is well-documented and preserved, many Black cultural centers in the Bronx have been forgotten; some have been torn down, some have no plaques or landmark status, and some don’t even have recorded addresses. Morrisania in the Bronx is an area with a rich musical history but few historical records or sites. As part of the Bronx African-American History Project, New York City historians and Fordham University faculty have been trying to unearth these sites and stories, and many interviews can be found on the BAAHP website.

According to the New York Times, Morrisania was home to a number of popular night clubs like Club 45 at 845 Prospect Avenue and Blue Morocco at 1155 Boston Road. Musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Nancy Wilson played at these jazz clubs, and today neither original building exists. Morrisania was a major center of Latin music, doo-wop, and hip-hop, yet walking along its streets today, there are few remnants of the times that figures like Dinah Washington illuminated the stage at these now-forgotten clubs. Additionally, many musicians would get their starts at Morris High School, like William Lindsay of The Crickets.

Next check out a Guide to Black-owned Restaurants in NYC.