Elizabeth Pepin Silva & Lewis Watts (Harlem of the West) at Bayview Opera House

Saturday Feb 29 2020   6:00 PM
Bayview Opera House  4705 3rd St, San Francisco, CA  map

Elizabeth Pepin Silva and Lewis Watts will discuss their book Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era at a special reception hosted by the Bayview Opera House in San Francisco.  This event will also feature a performance by The Motley Experiment.

In the 1940s and 50s, a jazz aficionado could find paradise in the nightclubs of San Francisco’s Fillmore District: Billie Holiday sang at the Champagne Supper Club; Chet Baker and Dexter Gordon jammed with the house band at Bop City; and T-Bone Walker rubbed shoulders with the locals at the bar of Texas Playhouse. The Fillmore was one of the few neighborhoods in the Bay Area where people of color could go for entertainment, and so many legendary African American musicians performed there for friends and family that the neighborhood was known as the Harlem of the West. Over a dozen clubs dotted the twenty-block-radius. Filling out the streets were restaurants, pool halls, theaters, and stores, many of them owned and run by African Americans, Japanese Americans, and Filipino Americans. The entire neighborhood was a giant multicultural party pulsing with excitement and music. In 220 lovingly restored images and oral accounts from residents and musicians, Harlem of the West captures a joyful, exciting time in San Francisco, taking readers through an all-but-forgotten multicultural neighborhood and revealing a momentous part of the country’s African American musical heritage.

Doors open at 6:00pm

Excerpt from The Motley Experiment at 7:00pm

Event runs from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Free and Open to the Public

For more info: http://bvoh.org/calendar/ 

Lewis Watts is a photographer, archivist, and professor emeritus of art at UC Santa Cruz with a longstanding interest in the cultural landscape of the African diaspora in the Bay Area and internationally.
Elizabeth Pepin Silva is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, photographer, writer, and former day manager of the historic Fillmore Auditorium. She holds a degree in journalism from San Francisco State University.