Take a stroll along Swing Street and visit the sites of iconic Central Harlem clubs where New York City’s Jazz Age was born! Walking in the footsteps of jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald, you’ll visit places where music legends lived and performed.

This limited-run tour will take place on Friday, June 14th and Friday, June 28th. If you’re an Untapped New York Insider, you can save $10 with a member-exclusive discount code found in the Insiders weekly newsletter.

Billie Holiday’s Harlem and the Birth of the Jazz Age

Strivers Row townhouses

During the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s, this Manhattan neighborhood was bursting with visual arts, poetry, prose, and music. The exhilarating sounds of jazz seeped into the streets in front of colorfully named clubs like Tillie’s, Pod & Jerry’s, and the Hot Cha. 133rd Street became Swing Street and artists who performed at those jumpin’ joints lived nearby at sites like Striver’s Row, a micro-neighborhood where jazz musicians such as Fletcher Henderson, Eubie Blake, and W.C. Handy took up residence.

On this tour, you’ll uncover the history of Harlem while visiting where it was made. Stop by Billie Holiday’s first New York City residence and the spot where she had her first Harlem gig, see where Ella Fitzgerald made her name, and peer into the modest parlor room that birthed the first Black record label.

Ella fitzgerald
Image via Library of Congress

Your expert guide, Mark Satlof, is a fourth-generation New Yorker, a 25-year resident of Strivers Row in Central Harlem, and a jazz aficionado. He is a licensed New York City Sightseeing Guide and a regular guide for Untapped New York’s Insiders. He received a BA in History from Columbia University. In addition to sharing his knowledge of New York City as a tour guide, as a board member of the landmarks advocacy organization Save Harlem Now!, he is an advocate for preserving Harlem’s architectural gems and historic sites. With 30+ years in music and entertainment PR and currently a President at the top music PR firm, Shore Fire Media, Mark has worked with dozens of major stars including some who first made their mark in Harlem.

Join us on June 14th and June 28th!

Billie Holiday’s Harlem and the Birth of the Jazz Age

Next, check out all of Untapped New York’s Public Walking Tours!