Minton's Playhouse

Minton's Playhouse

Minton's Playhouse is a jazz club and bar located on the first floor of the Cecil Hotel at 210 West 118th Street in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City.

Minton's is famous for its role in the development of modern jazz, also known as bebop, where in its jam sessions in the early 1940s, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie pioneered the new music. Minton's thrived for three decades until its decline near the end of the 1960s, and its eventual closing in 1974.

It is a registered trademark of Housing and Services, Inc. a New York City nonprofit provider of supportive housing. The door to the actual club itself is at 206 West 118th Street where there is a small plaque. Minton's was founded by tenor saxophonist Henry Minton in 1938.

Henry Minton, was well known in Harlem for being the first ever black delegate to the American Federation of Musicians Local 802. In addition, he had been the manager of the Rhythm Club, in Harlem, in the early part of the 1930s, a place which Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, and Earl Hines frequented.

Minton's popularity and his penchant for generosity with food and loans made his club a favorite hang-out for musicians.

After being shuttered for more than 30 years, the newly remodeled club reopened its doors on May 19, 2006, under the name Uptown Lounge at Minton's Playhouse.

However, the reopened club was closed again in 2010. Remodeling began again in 2012.

Earl Spain, a well-known Harlem club operator, is the proprietor of the new Minton's, which occupies the same space as the original club at 206-210 West 118th Street. True to its history the club will feature Monday night jam sessions in an intimate atmosphere inspired by the 1940's.

"The reopening of Minton's is a truly special event, not only for jazz enthusiasts, but for Harlem as well" said Lawrence Oaks, Executive Director of HSI. "Harlem's renaissance would not be complete without the comeback of this important cultural venue".