The Colored Musicians Club


The Colored Musicians Club


A select group of Buffalo’s most gifted African American musicians reflect on the era when the Colored Musicians Club hosted the nation's greatest jazz artists. Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis were among those who came to the club after their concerts and jammed with Buffalo musicians “until the sun came up.” The musical ties were strong. Buffalo musicians were sometimes invited to join the jazz greats on the road.

The club was organized in 1918 and chartered in 1935. The building on Broadway and Michigan Avenue was purchased in 1944. It provided rehearsal space and social opportunities for Buffalo’s Black musicians who belonged to Local 533 of the American Federation of Musicians. Club members recall being denied entry into the white musicians union, Local 43. The two locals merged in 1969 but the Colored Musicians Club is still thriving. The building now features an interactive museum and is scheduled to undergo a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion.

The first video is a compilation of segments by Rich Newberg, drawn from the 2003 WIVB-TV documentary, “Buffalo Soul: The Legacy Plays On.” The second piece is a WIVB-TV report by Jordan Williams marking the 80th anniversary of the Colored Musician’s Club. It aired on July 24, 2015.




Rich Newberg Reports Collection


WIVB (Television Station : Buffalo, N.Y.)
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (publisher of digital)


Copyright held by WIVB-TV. Access to this digital version provided by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Videos or images in this collection are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the expressed written permission of WIVB-TV and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Users of this website are free to utilize material from this collection for non-commercial and educational purposes.


Buffalo Soul: The Legacy Plays On


moving image/mp4


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