Broad Street Jazz

During the First World War, close to a half million African Americans moved to northern cities in search of good jobs and better lives. The musicians who joined this Great Migration brought jazz north to Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and other northern cities where black southerners made new homes. Drawn by the promise of steady work and good wages, more than 200,000 southern blacks migrated to Pennsylvania from 1910 to 1920. Philadelphia's African American population swelled from 84,000 to close to 220,000. [Read more...]

Joel Rose, Producer and Editor
Viet Le, Rachael Berenguer and Jennifer Lynn, Associate Producers
Elisabeth Perez-Luna, Executive Producer
Kenneth Finkel, Executive Director, Arts & Culture Service

Funding was provided by The William Penn Foundation.

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Marking Pennsylvania History

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John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Nina Simone are just a few of the jazz greats who were members of Musicians Local 274 in Philadelphia. There were many independent black musicians unions, but few had the success or longevity of Local 274, as WHYY's Viet Le reports. [Listen]

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