This week on Night Lights it’s Come On Down to Central Avenue as we explore the sounds of the mid-20th-century Los Angeles jazz scene with historian Steve Isoardi (editor of the oral history book Central Avenue Sounds). Jam sessions, bebop, r & b, big bands, visits from Hollywood celebrities—as the center of African-American culture in L.A., Central Avenue had it all. We’ll hear the music of artists such as Dexter Gordon, Howard McGhee, Hadda Brooks, Charles Mingus, Gerald Wilson, Lionel Hampton, and many other eventual jazz greats who got their start on the Avenue, or who spent significant time there…. and we’ll verbally stroll through the vibrant streets of the Central Avenue neighborhood circa 1945 with Mr. Isoardi. The program is now posted for online listening:
Come On Down to Central Avenue: Jazz & More in Mid-20th Century L.A.