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All Stars at the Met

Classical Academy | Jazz & Blues | Around the World


What might be a really all-star event? How about a concert featuring all of the biggest jazz names, from Louis Armstrong to Benny Goodman, from Lionel Hampton to Roy Eldridge, Artie Shaw and many, many more? What if that event was the first ever jazz concert held at the Met? That might make for the most spectacular all-star event imaginable.


On 18th January 1944 that very event took place - the New York City Met Opera House held its first ever jazz concert to honour the winners of Esquire magazine's jazz poll. The show, broadcast on television, was also preserved on transcription dics and reissued many time over the years in celebration of this stellar night of music.


Amongst many highlights of the evening, the audience were treated to a beautiful rendition of Sweet Lorraine by Art Tatum, the talented Billie Holliday performing Billie's Blues, and a long and legendary jam session on Gershwin's I Got Rhythm that featured Red Norvo on xylophone. Throw yourself back into 1940s New York at the Met with our special playlist featuring recordings from this all star event.