Royal Roost

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The Royal Roost was a jazz club located at 1580 Broadway in New York City.

History[edit source | edit]

Ralph Watkins originally opened the Royal Roost as a chicken restaurant. After a difficult start, Watkins was persuaded by Sid Torin (D.J. Symphony Sid) to try presenting modern jazz at the club. Beginning in 1948 the club began to showcase the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Dexter Gordon, Tadd Dameron, and Max Roach. The new programme drew large crowds and the club soon took on a second name, the Metropolitan Bopera House. In 1949 a records label, Roost Records, was founded by Arthur Faden, Bill Faden, Monty Kay and Ralph Watkins which recorded many of the musicians who performed at the club. In September 1948 Miles Davis debuted his nonet at the club. By the early 1950s the jazz component of the Roost was moved to Watkins's new club, Bop City.

According to Ella Fitzgerald biographer, Geoffrey Fidelman, the Roost was the site of bootleg recordings of both Ella Fitzgerald and her then-husband, Ray Brown.

References[edit source | edit]

Khan, Ashley. "After Hours: New York's Jazz Joints Through the Ages". Jazz Times, September 2006.

Coordinates: 40°45′35″N 73°59′05″W / 40.7597°N 73.9848°W / 40.7597; -73.9848