Years before Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, jazz clubs were among the first places in Jim Crow America where Black and white people mixed, in audiences and onstage. Sittin’ In, a new book by Jeff Gold, tells the little-known story of America’s jazz clubs of the 1940s and 1950s. In exclusive interviews, iconic musicians Sonny Rollins and Quincy Jones and preeminent jazz historian Dan Morgenstern give first-person accounts of the clubs Rollins called “a paradisiacal place to be.” On Thursday, you can join author Jeff Gold for a virtual book talk full of images and insights from his new book.

Photographs from Sittin In Courtesy of Jeff Gold

In additional interviews, musician, MacArthur Fellow and Kennedy Center creative director Jason Moran, and Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic Robin Givhan explore the music, history, culture and abundant style of the era. Separate sections survey the jazz histories and clubs of New York City, Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Photographs from Sittin In Courtesy of Jeff Gold

The book’s 200+ images include never-before-seen club souvenir photographs, some featuring fans posing with legendary musicians such as Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Louis Armstrong – and even one photo showing clubgoer Marlon Brando with fans at New York’s Birdland.

This live virtual event on Thursday, November 19th at 3:00pm is organized for Untapped New York Insiders. Not an Insider yet? Become a member today and get two months with code JOINUS. A video of the tour will also be made available to all our Insiders afterward in the Video Archive section of our website. Get a copy of the book here.


Already a Member? Book here!


Next, check out Vintage Photos: Inside the Cotton Club, One of NYC’s Leading Jazz Venues of the 1920s and ’30s and Fun Maps: The Queens Jazz Trail by Ephemera Press