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Central Avenue

July 17, 2007 | Charlotte Stoudt, Special to The Times
Don't show up late to Shakespeare Festival/LA's vibrant new production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," now playing outdoors on the plaza of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. You'll miss the fabulous opening number: the entire cast tearing up the stage to the fierce syncopation of Lionel Hampton's "Central Avenue Breakdown."
January 21, 2007
I greatly appreciated "Albuquerque Rising" and "Hippies, Hogs and Ol' Haunts" in the Jan. 14 section but was dismayed that in the accompanying information yet again no mention was made of Amtrak. One of America's most beautiful train rides, the Southwest Chief, leaves from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and stops near Jerome (in Flagstaff, itself a tourist destination, along with the nearby Grand Canyon) and then continues directly to Albuquerque (stopping downtown, a short walk from Central Avenue)
April 19, 2006 | ERIN AUBRY KAPLAN
TRAVELING THROUGH South Los Angeles last week, I was struck with new clarity by a thought that has been constant but abstract in my mind for the last dozen years: The Latino revolution is almost complete. By "revolution" I don't mean anything radical or politically daring, though the show of Latino protesters in the last several weeks in response to proposed federal immigration legislation has been that.
February 12, 2006 | Jean Merl, Times Staff Writer
Nearly half a century has passed since Central Avenue slipped out of the limelight as the jazz mecca and heart of African American Los Angeles. Long gone are the bustling eateries, shops and nightspots that had lined the once-vibrant street, then known to locals as simply "the Avenue." The famed Dunbar Hotel, which was host to such musical greats as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Lena Horne in the 1930s and '40s, currently houses low-income residents and social service agencies.
July 11, 2004 | Cecilia Rasmussen, Times Staff Writer
Streets can age and die like people, and Los Angeles' Central Avenue -- once the West Coast's jazz capital -- is no exception. But soon it will ring with the sounds of long-shuttered nightclubs and concert halls at the ninth annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival. For more than three decades in the early 20th century, the thoroughfare pulsed with the music of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington and Edward "Kid" Ory.
Central Avenue was the powerful spine of an energetic, world-class entertainment center for the first half of the 20th century in Los Angeles. Overflowing with theaters, restaurants, nightclubs and bistros, it was the showcase arena to experience the art of Louis Armstrong, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jelly Roll Morton and other jazz legends. On Saturday and Sunday, the Avenue came vibrantly alive again, as it does each year with the arrival of the Central Avenue Jazz Festival.
October 17, 2001
A benefit performance of "Central Avenue," Stephen Sachs' play about the jazz scene in 1940s L.A., will be held Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Fountain Theatre. The salute to L.A.'s jazz legends and Fountain Theatre donors benefits Fountain Theatre outreach programs. Hosted by "Central Avenue Sounds" author Steven Isoardi, the benefit includes a reception, dancing and a panel discussion. Guests of honor include Buddy Collette, Gerald Wiggins, Ernie Andrews and Clora Bryant.
August 4, 2001
It is great to have the limelight once again shining on Central Avenue and the Dunbar Hotel, its incredible history and the days when it was the place and, lamentably, the only place where great black artists like Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington could stay when working in Los Angeles in the 1930s and '40s ("Itinerary: Central Avenue," by Robin Rauzi, July 26). However, the history of the Dunbar Hotel was not completed in your story. While it was built in 1928 by Dr. Somerville, it was saved from bankruptcy after the stock market crash of 1929 by my grandfather, Lucius Walter Lomax Sr., who bought it for $100,000 in 1930.
The Down Beat Club. The Parisian Room. The Jungle Room. Some of the swankiest and swingingest clubs in Los Angeles weren't in Hollywood or Beverly Hills in the 1940s; they were south of downtown, strung along Central Avenue. This weekend, step back to a period of L.A. history that recently has caught the eye--and ear--of historians.
July 22, 2001 | DON HECKMAN, Don Heckman is a frequent contributor to Calendar
A night on Central Avenue in the 1940s was an experience to savor. From the Dunbar Hotel at 42nd Street, up and down the avenue, the Los Angeles street was a rich tapestry of sights and sounds. On any given night, one might have heard such sterling saxophonists as Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Grey; jived to the song and dance of the Will Mastin Trio with Sammy Davis Jr.; or stopped in at an after-hours joint to catch a late set by the brilliant Art Tatum.
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