The 1930’s: Paradise Valley Day

During the 1930s the most important change in the African American jazz community was the gradual shift from big ballrooms to small cabaret bands. This change in size and source of employment reflected the growth of the black-andtan cabaret and the emergence of Paradise Valley as the major entertainment spot in Detroit. The Valley was located within the Black community on the city's near East Side around the intersection of St. Antoine and Adams. Entertainment spots included, but were not limited to:

The Plantation, later Club Plantation, at 550 East Adams was the most prominent of the black-and-tans during the 1930s. Andrew "Jap" Sneed managed the club, and his partner, Stutz Anderson provided the music at the opening in the fall of 1933.

Another Black-owned black-and-tan cabaret was the Chocolate Bar, which for many years had a house band led by guitarist George Dawson.

Club Harlem was one of the few white owned black-and-tan cabarets. The owner was Morris Wasserman, who later owned The Flame which in the 1950s became one of the city's major jazz clubs. Bands led by Ernest Cooper, Monk Culp and Milt Buckner played at Club Harlem.

Paradise Valley was also the place where musicians found after-hours spots for jam sessions and socializing. All the after-hours spots catered to integrated audiences. Jess Faithful's Rhythm Club and the B&C Club owned by Roy Lightfoot were the two most prominent spots during the decade.

During the '30s, a musicians' subculture, including some white players, developed around the jam sessions held at the after-hours spots in Paradise Valley. This provided one of the institutional foundations for the later development of a new jazz style: bebop.

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