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South End Historical Society celebrates Jazz Week with open house

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  April 26, 2013 01:46 PM

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The South End Historical Society is offering a look at the history of jazz and hosting musical performances as part of Boston’s annual Jazz Week.

The South End Jazz Open House scheduled for Saturday, May 4, is the historical society’s first event in its Inaugural Richard O. Card History Series, and will celebrate the neighborhood’s musical history.

“The South End had a rich history and played an important role in shaping Boston’s jazz scene,” the society’s Stacen Goldman, said in a statement. “World-famous musicians like Count Basie and Thelonius Monk played in the Savoy, the Hi-Hat, and other South End clubs. We want to showcase that history, and also draw attention to what is still here today.”

The open house, which is set to run from 12 to 5 p.m., will allow visitors to learn about various sites near the intersection of Massachusetts and Columbus avenues, known as the “Jazz Corner of Boston.”

The society will provide a guidebook and map, allowing people to travel between sites at their own pace. Talks and performances will run throughout the day.

“The South End is the original home of jazz in Boston,” Richard Vacca, author of The Boston Jazz Chronicles, said in a statement. “The clubs were here, and so were the best of the musicians—drummers Roy Haynes, Alan Dawson, and Tony Williams all got their starts right here.”

Vacca will speak several times during the afternoon. The presentations will also mix video, portraits Winthrop photographer Nick Puopolo, and conversations with South End resident who lived through the era.

Tickets for the open house can be purchased online or the day of the event at the historical society located at 532 Massachusetts Ave. All proceeds benefit the South End Historical Society.

E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.

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