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Jam Session Thursdaze

November 3, 2022


From 8PM to 11PM the music doesn’t stop!

Reservations take seating priority.

No Cover/No Minimum PLUS a Free Drink for Artists who take the stage!

General Admission Ticket: $20

Student Ticket Online (must show ID. limited quantity): $10

Student Ticket at the door: $15

($20 Minimum Spend Per Guest)

($10 Minimum Spend Per Student)

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Hosted by the Minton’s Playhouse Band

In late 1940 Minton’s owner, Henry Minton, hired ex-band leader Teddy Hill as manager. In early 1941 Hill in turn engaged Kenny Clarke, who had played in Hill’s orchestra, to organize a house band for Minton’s Monday “Celebrity Night” jam sessions.

His choice for pianist was Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and the brilliant electric guitarist Charlie Christian. Word quickly got out that Minton’s on Mondays was a place to sit in, and the club was soon packed with big-name musicians either listening or waiting their turns to play; including band leaders Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and soloists Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Hot Lips Page, Ben Webster and Don Byas.

In the fall of 1941 Charlie Parker, an obscure alto player, started to attract attention at after-hours jams at another Harlem club, Monroe’s Uptown House. Clarke, in the Parker biography “Bird Lives!”, recalled that “Bird was playing stuff we’d never heard before. He was into figures I thought I’d invented for drums. He was twice as fast as Lester Young and into harmony Lester hadn’t touched. Bird was running the same way we were, but he was way ahead of us. I don’t think he was aware of the changes he had created. It was his way of playing jazz, part of his own experience.”

Clarke and Monk made arrangements for Parker to move to Minton’s, where Parker emerged as a leader of the new music after Charlie Christian’s death in March 1942 (at 25, from tuberculosis). Hill refused Clarke’s and Monk’s request to hire Parker for the house band, so they paid him from their own salaries. Over time, other budding stars of bebop – Bud Powell, Sonny Stitt, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro and others – would be drawn over to Minton’s to join the revolution. According to Barry Kernfeld, editor of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, “the sessions became famous for demonstrations of virtuosity – unexpected harmonies, fast tempos, unusual keys – that discouraged those whose style did not fit in well. These experimental sounds were crucial to the development of bebop.”


Doors open at 6PM.

House Band warms up the night with a one hour set at 8PM.

Around 9:30 The House Band will open up the stage to any musicians/guests who would like to perform.

People who are planning to perform on stage do not have to purchase an entry ticket. There is NO COVER/NO MINIMUM FOR PEOPLE WHO GET ON STAGE.

You are eligible for ONE FREE DRINK TICKET after you finish performing. Find the Manager for drink ticket.

Those who purchase tickets online have table reservation priority.

No-show Table reservations are forfeited at 9:30PM. Please come on time!



November 3, 2022


Minton’s Playhouse
206 West 118th Street
Harlem, NY 11026 United States
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