You probably don't know thathas a Walk of Fame. Most people have no idea that 135th between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard has plaques embedded in the sidewalk paying tribute to jazz legends like Billie Holiday, politicians like Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and Harlem Renaissance writers like Langston Hughes. Most are on the north side of the street, but you can also find one in front of the police station on the south side.
The concept for the walk of fame was lead by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce back in the early 2000s, was to be part of the now forgotten National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame. It seems that the original Harlem Walk of Fame has also been forgetten, as there is not very much information about it or anything on the GHCC's website promoting it.
HTB QUICK FACT: Plaques embedded in the sidewalk “proudly honors persons whose visions, creativity, and leadership have helped to shape a better world.”
Plaques Are Listed On The Right (From Top To Bottoom)
|Dizzy Gillespie (1917 -1993)|
Mr. Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer. Allmusic's Scott Yanow wrote, "Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time (some would say the best). Arguably Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time.
|Billie Holiday (1915- 1949)|
Billie was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Critic John Bush wrote that Holiday "changed the art of American pop vocals forever. Music critic Robert Christgau called her "uncoverable, possibly the greatest singer of the century".
|Bill Bojangle Robinson (1878 -1949)|
Mr. Robinson was an American tap dancer and actor of stage and film. Audiences enjoyed his understated style, which eschewed the frenetic manner of the jitterbug in favor of cool and reserve; rarely did he use his upper body, relying instead on busy, inventive feet, and an expressive face. A figure in both the black and white entertainment worlds of his era, he is best known today for his dancing with Shirley Temple in a series of films during the 1930s, and for starring in the 1943 musical Stormy Weather, loosely based on Robinson's own life.
|Machito - Juan Grillo (1912 - 1984)|
Machito was an influential Latin jazz musician who helped refine Afro-Cuban jazz and create both Cubop and salsa music. In New York City, Machito formed the band the Afro-Cubans in 1940, and with Mario Bauzá as musical director, brought together Cuban rhythms and big band arrangements in one group. Machito's music had an effect on the lives of many musicians who played in the Afro-Cubans over the years. An intersection in ast Harlem is named "Machito Square" in his honor.
Charlie Parker (1920 -1955)
Mr. Parker was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Miles Davis once said, "You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker." Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and improvisation. Parker was an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, rather than an entertainer.
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