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Lenox Lounge

About this listing

Historic jazz club, home of the famous Zebra Room

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Central Harlem
Theater, Performance

Place Matters Profile

By Nina Moffitt

The Lenox Lounge is an historic bar and jazz club in Harlem where you can drink, dine and hear straight-ahead jazz players, young and old, playing from swing to modern and bebop jazz in the famous "Zebra Room."

The Lenox Lounge

The Lenox Lounge is located on Lenox Avenue between 124th and 125th streets, right outside the 125th St. subway station. You can’t miss its name on the front of the building, in large block letters brightly illuminated at night. Standing outside, you can look through big glass windows into the front bar and see Harlem locals chatting and drinking after work. When you walk through the bar to the back, you will be asked to pay a cover ($10-20, depending on the day and performance) to enter the famous "Zebra Room" where live music is played nightly.

Push through the Zebra Room's early 1940s swinging glass-and-wood...

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Sources

Anderson, Jervis. Harlem: The Great Black Way, 1900-1950. London: Orbis Publishing Limited, 1982.

Burns, Ric. New York: An Illustrated History. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.

Collection of [the periodical literature of jazz], Rusch, Bob, collector. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

William L. Hamilton, "A Legendary Harlem Club Preens for Its Second Act," New York Times, March 30, 2000.

Interview with Alvin Reid, Sr. by Nina Moffitt, for Place Matters, City Lore, June 25, 2007.

Lenox Lounge website, www.lenoxlounge.com

Lynda Richardson, "Longing For Authenticity; Is the Jazz Really Jazz in Harlem Without the Locals," New York Times, November 16, 2000.

Nina Siegal, "Neighborhood Report: Washington Heights/Harlem: Restoring The Lenox Lounge to Its Uptown Opulence," New York Times, June 6, 1999.

Verve Jazz History- Bebop, http://www.vervemusicgroup.com/history.aspx?hid=20>

Watkins-Owens, Irma. Blood Relations: Caribbean Immigrants and the Harlem Community, 1900-1930. Bloomington, Ind: Indiana University Press,1996.

[Posted, August 2007]

On The Web

The Lenox Lounge website

Nominations

Anonymous Nominator

Legendary jazz club, a favorite of Billie Holliday.



Kelley Loftus

For me, the Lenox Lounge remains an important, pricelss touchstone, with my love of Jazz and with so many of the clubs gone and often forgotten. One doesn't need to love music to revel in the beauty and style of the Lounge - but that certainly doesn't distract from the experience. Its loving restoration has kept it true to its old self. To alter the Lounge would be a tragedy when so many things have gone the way of corporate box stores. The quality and craft reflect pride and connection with Harlem's history. (March 2008)


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