In March 1946, an important moment in jazz history took place when Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, two all-time jazz greats, performed together at the Finale Club in Bronzeville/Little Tokyo. During WWII, forced evacuation of Japanese Americans into concentration camps left Little Tokyo largely empty. African Americans coming West for defense jobs moved into Little Tokyo– one of the only neighborhoods without restricting housing covenants. Bronzeville was born.
Dozens of all night “Breakfast Clubs” sprang up in Bronzeville, patronized by jazz musicians and aficionados eager to continue listening to and making music after hours. One of these was the Finale Club which opened in the fall of 1944 at 230 ½ E. First Street, Los Angeles. This year, the Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) unveiled the historic LA City plaque for the Finale Club on First Street to memorialize the extraordinary and rare performance of jazz greats Charlie Parker and Miles Davis at the Finale Club and to honor the continued relationship between the Black and Japanese American communities.
Little Tokyo Historical Society invites you to experience the rich artistic and musical history of Little Tokyo during the Bronzeville Era in a celebration of live music, Bronzeville scholars, photos, and videos. Performers and speakers will include the Ron Kobayashi band and historians Hillary Jenks and Kirk Silsbee, along with brief remarks by Miles Davis’ son, Erin Davis.
This program is presented by the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and the Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS).
The program will be live streamed to JANM’s YouTube channel on October 11 at 2:00 pm PT. Click here to watch the stream.