Notes on collections at the RIHS
To complement tonight’s Concert Under the Elms featuring the Greg Abate Quartet, we have pulled a few jazz numbers from our collections.
The Celebrity Club operated in Providence from 1949-1960 and played host to hundreds of musicians.
Each week the Providence Chronicle featured a piece by Freddie Williams in which he reviewed the Celebrity Club concerts and interviewed the visiting artists. In December 1950, Williams asked tenor saxophonist Arnett Cobb what he thought of the Celebrity Club. Noting that the club was one of the best, Cobb said, “this comparison had nothing to do with the size of the club, or luxury of appointments, but rather with the excellent mixing of races, the spirit of friendliness on the part of both patrons and management, the genuine appreciation of music being played and the spontaneous response to the efforts of the musicians”.
Learn more about the history of the Celebrity Club and the Providence jazz scene by reading Jason McGill’s article in Rhode Island History, The Celebrity Club: Social Change in Postwar Providence.
Make sure to stop in at the John Brown House Museum for a “one night only” pop-up exhibit before the concert tonight!
~Michelle Chiles, Research Center Manager