National Trust for Historic Preservation: Stroll Through 7 Sites of Jazz History in Chicago

Stroll Through 7 Sites of Jazz History in Chicago interactive map. Image credit: The National Trust for Historic Preservation

“From 1923 to World War II, as the Great Migration brought Black people from the Deep South to the South Side, Chicago became the jazz capital of the world. The Bronzeville neighborhood—a stretch of seven miles long and two miles wide and south of the Downtown Loop–was packed with jazz clubs, glamorous ballrooms, and exciting nightlife. State Street was referred to as ‘the Stroll’ from 31st to 39th Streets.

“Chicago was also a pivotal location along the ‘Chitlin Circuit,’ the live Black entertainment route from Harlem, Indianapolis, Chicago, Kansas City, Memphis, and New Orleans. While musicians of color faced discrimination in public transportation (buses and trains), restaurants, gas stations, and hotels, this route was created to avoid the insulting and degrading treatment of Black entertainers. Talent managers knew the preferred hospitality venues for their travel needs in each of these cities. Most travel was done by cars or independent buses.

“In this guide, take a stroll through jazz history—the people, the music, and the places—in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and beyond.

  • Club DeLisa
  • Savoy Ballroom
  • Regal Theater
  • The Forum
  • Bottom’s Dreamland Cafe
  • The Sunset Café/Grand Terrace Café
  • Soldier Field”

Read the full story at the National Trust for Historic Preservation

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