The Troy Street Observer

Dec 10, 1947: Opening Night at the Down Beat Club

The Down Beat Club, upstairs at 245 Tremont Street in the Theatre District, had a regrettably short life, but nonetheless played a role in establishing modern jazz in Boston.

Photo of the Down Beat Club
The Down Beat Club, 1948

In late 1947, Boston’s music schools were filled with veterans studying on the GI Bill, and its commercial dance bands were populated by out-of-work big-band musicians. Many in both camps were looking for new directions in jazz, and were still talking about Dizzy Gillespie’s October concert at Symphony Hall, his “Program of the New Jazz.” Now the musicians needed a place to play this music, but Boston’s bastion of jazz, the Savoy, was more interested in older styles than new directions. The Down Beat Club filled that need, at least for a short while.


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