What is the Sunset Cafe?

What is the Sunset Cafe?

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The much anticipated WBEZ New Year’s Eve Party is entitled “Live from the Sunset Cafe” and this has caused some confusion.

The party will be taking place at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater in Lincoln Park (just north of the DePaul University campus) but we decided, given our decision to re-introduce WBEZ to Jazz, that offering a tribute to one of the legendary jazz clubs in both Chicago’s and America’s history was fitting.

Why the Sunset Cafe?

The Sunset Cafe, also known as The Grand Terrace Cafe, was a jazz club in Chicago, Illinois operating during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. It was one of the most important jazz clubs in America, especially during the period between 1917 and 1928 when Chicago became a creative capital of jazz innovation and again during the emergence of bebop in the early 1940s. From its inception, the club was a rarity as a haven from segregation, since the Sunset Cafe was an integrated or “Black and Tan” club where Afro- and Euro- Americans, along with other ethnicities, could mingle freely without much fear of reprisal.

Owned by Louis Armstrong’s manager, Joe Glaser, the venue played host to such performers as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Johnny Dodds, Bix Beiderbecke, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and, above all, Earl “Fatha” Hines and his orchestra’s members: Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Sarah Vaughan.

For the evening of December 31, 2014, the Doug Peck Trio (including three vocalists) will play us through the jazz hits of the twenties through the forties as well as perform current pop songs in the vein of these jazz standards to fully integrate our theme of honoring both Chicago jazz and one of her legendary clubs.

For more info on the Sunset Cafe, check out the Youtube below.

Live from the Sunset Cafe || A WBEZ New Year’s Eve Party
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
9:00pm - 2:00am
Victory Gardens Biograph Theater

Get your tickets by going to wbez.org/events

For more info about WBEZ Events, go to wbez.org/events, check out our Facebook Page, or follow @WBEZEvents on Twitter.