The Cavalcade of Jazz in Los Angeles

“Sweethearts of Rhythm” perform at the 4th annual Cavalcade of Jazz at Wrigley Field. Photo by Charles Williams.

Jazz music has been an integral part of the musical landscape in Los Angeles since the early twentieth century. The large influx of African Americans to Los Angeles during World War II provided audiences large enough to rival those of clubs in New York. Most of the jazz clubs were located along the Central Avenue corridor from Little Tokyo/Bronzeville to Watts. In 1945, Leon Heflin Sr. began producing the Cavalcade of Jazz, the first large outdoor jazz entertainment event of its kind at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The Cavalcade shows featured some of the biggest names in entertainment such as Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, and Roy Milton. Heflin produced the shows from 1945–1958.

The 9th annual Cavalcade of Jazz at Wrigley Field. Features Clara Yaeju, Louie Armstrong, Joe Adams (R), Nat Cole (L), Vera Forman. Photo by Charles Williams.

Visit or photo digital collections: CSUN Tom & Ethel Bradley Center.Cav

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