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Places, Spaces and Changing FacesMinton's Playhouse
Minton's Playhouse, Birthplace of Bebop Theolonious Monk, Howard McGhee. Teddy Hill, Roy Eldridge outside Minton's Playhouse, NYC
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Minton's Playhouse. 21O West 118th Street. New York.

Theolonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Teddy Hill, Roy Eldridge outside Minton's Playhouse
Theolonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Teddy Hill, Roy Eldridge outside Minton's Playhouse
Image courtesy of William Gottlieb

Tenor saxophonist Henry Minton opened Minton's Playhouse in 1938. In 1940, the club's management was taken over by the former bandleader Teddy Hill, who concentrated much of his energy on the regular Monday-night jam sessions, in which visiting musicians took part; among the guest performers who played there often were Dizzy Gillespie, Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge, Charlie Christian, and Don Byas. The resident musicians included Thelonious Monk (from 1939), Kenny Clarke, Joe Guy (who lead the house band), and Rudy Williams (1945).

The weekly jam session and after-hours playing at Minton's provided an opportunity for musicians such as Gillespie and Monk to explore new ideas together, and their experiments played an important part in the development of bop. In the 1950s, Tony Scott and Jerome Richardson held long engagements there.

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