What’s The Jelly Roll Morton and Ben’s Chili Bowl Connection?

A reader writes with a link to NotionsCapital:

“Ben’s Next Door (1211 U Street, NW) was a club where jazz legend Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton played from 1936 to 1938.”

A bit more history from the article:

“U Street NW was Washington’s “Black Broadway” long before Ben Ali served his first chili dog. The Lincoln Theater and Lincoln Colonnade night club were at 1215; the theater, now a “theatre,” survives. The Chili Bowl itself (1213 U Street NW) was previously a nickelodeon theater and pool hall, and 1211 next door was a nightclub, variously called the Blue Moon, the Music Box, and the Jungle Inn. From 1936 until 1938 the night club, soon to be Ben’s Next door, was the musical home of jazz pianist, composer, vocalist, performer, and all-around character “Jelly Roll” Morton.”

Very cool. You can read the full article at NotionsCapital.

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