Let Cab Calloway Take You on a Tour of Harlem’s Jazz Scene

February 13, 2012 at 4:00 am

For us, Harlem was the capital of the world. And we loved it.

Those are the words of legendary jazz man Cab Calloway.

    Now, with Calloway as your narrator, you can visit some of Harlem’s historic nightclubs. Swing by the Cotton Club, which was home to the Cab Calloway Band, and learn about where the singers and band leaders and dancers went to get the best fried chicken. And don’t forget about the Reefer Man and the Yeah Man…

    WATCH VIDEO: A virtual tour of Harlem’s jazz clubs.

    [COVE playersize=”512×328″ chapterbar=”on” episodemediaid=”2193858099″]

    Cab Calloway narrates a virtual tour of the clubs of Harlem circa 1930-40.

    Cab Calloway was a jazz pioneer and a fixture in the Harlem Renaissance. He is the subject of a new American Masters documentary. Photo courtesy of Artline Films/J.-F. Pitet.

    And, in celebration of Black History Month, at the end of February PBS’ American Masters will present the documentary, “Cab Calloway: Sketches” (produced by MetroFocus’ parent company WNET/THIRTEEN), introducing younger generations to the man who was a true force of nature in the Harlem jazz and swing scene of the ’30s and ’40s.

    Known for his boundless energy and charismatic stage presence, Calloway also contributed to breaking barriers between whites and blacks. As the first black performer to tour the segregated South, his hits like “Minnie the Moocher” made the taboo issues of his day accessible to everyone.

    WATCH VIDEO: A preview of the American Masters documentary, “Cab Calloway: Sketches.”

    “Cab Calloway: Sketches,” preview above, premieres nationally on Feb. 27 on PBS at 9 p.m. ET (check your local listings). In the New York metro area, it airs on Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

    Mutual of America

    Funders

    MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Rosalind P. Walter, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Jody and John Arnhold, the Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, the Metropolitan Media Fund, Laura and Jim Ross and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America, your retirement company.
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